Yes! Babies can drink cold milk. However, some babies might prefer room temperature or something closer to your body temperature. If you would like to transition to cold milk for convenience, slowly adjust the temperature over time for an easier switch.
Traditionally, parents will warm up their babies’ milk before giving it to them. If babies breastfeed, milk is already warm from the source.
This act causes some parents to wonder whether it’s safe for babies to drink cold milk.
If you pump, it might be easier to give your baby cold breastmilk. The same is true if you’re making a bottle. If your baby is hungry and crying, you might consider giving them cold milk.
Here’s what you should know about babies’ milk temperatures, whether you are bottle-feeding or breastfeeding.
Is It Safe for Babies to Drink Cold Milk?
In general, babies don’t mind a bottle of cold milk. Keep in mind that some babies do prefer warm milk. There aren’t any known safety issues with babies drinking cold milk.
The fat layer in breast milk will separate from the rest of the breastmilk when it’s cold. If your baby doesn’t consume the fat layer, they may be hungry soon or have difficulty gaining weight.
Running some warm water over the bottle can make it easier to mix the fat layer with the breastmilk. Be sure to swirl the bottle to help the fat layer mix.
Will Cold Milk Hurt My Babies Stomach?
Some parents believe that cold milk could hurt a baby’s stomach. There’s no evidence of this, though. Most babies are okay with cold milk.
Your baby can drink cold breast milk or cold formula. There are no known health risks associated with either option.
There are not many differences between feeding your baby cold milk instead of warm milk.
If you pump breastmilk exclusively, your baby will only have warm milk if you decide to heat it. In this case, it might be more convenient to give your baby cold milk every time you feed them.
Then, you can quickly get the pumped breast milk out of the fridge.
Do Babies Need Time to Get Used to Drinking Cold Milk?
Some babies may be shocked when they first take a sip of cold milk if they’ve only ever had warm milk.
Don’t be surprised if your baby doesn’t like cold milk the first time around. The temperature change may be a bit of a shock to your baby because they are expecting warm milk from the bottle.
Some parents find that their children drink less milk if they consume cold milk. Other babies may even refuse to drink cold milk.
This reaction is something to keep in mind and continue to monitor how much your baby is drinking.
While it may be more convenient to give your baby cold milk, you don’t want this to prevent them from gaining weight or eating enough.
If your baby doesn’t prefer cold milk, make sure you give them some warm milk on occasion. Your baby’s health is more important than the convenience of cold milk.
How to Help Babies Get Used to Drinking Cold Milk
If you want to start feeding your baby cold milk regularly for any reason, I would suggest doing so gradually. This transition will help with the shock factor.
Begin by giving your baby milk that is slightly cooler than usual. I would recommend taking your time with this transition for the best results.
It’s important not to rush it if your baby turns their head away from the bottle of cold milk at first.
Sometimes newborns don’t like cold milk. If your newborn doesn’t like cold milk, you can try again when they get a little bit older.
Should You Give Your Baby Cold Milk?
You can give your baby cold milk if you want to. Aside from the fat layer, there are no significant issues with giving your baby cold milk.
Keep in mind that your baby might have a preference for the temperature of their bottle. Giving your baby cold milk is a good choice if you’re short on time.
Why Is Cold Milk Convenient?
Some parents find that cold milk is much more convenient than warm because they don’t have to take the extra step of heating a bottle or breast milk.
If the bottle is warmed up, it also needs to be tested to ensure it’s not too warm for your baby.
For this reason, feeding your baby cold milk can save a lot of time. This is especially helpful for those middle of the night feedings, and if you’re somewhere you cannot heat a bottle.
Due to the convenience, some parents may choose to give their babies cold bottles on rare occasions, such as when the baby is starving.
Others like the convenience every day and stop heating their babies’ bottles entirely.
Can You Give One-Year-Olds Cold Cow Milk?
If your child is one year old, their pediatrician will likely advise you to give them cow’s milk. Parents sometimes choose to provide cow’s milk in a bottle, while others try to wean their children off the bottle and use a sippy cup instead.
When giving your child cow’s milk, you can choose to provide them with warm or cold milk. Keep in mind that some children will have a preference.
They may not drink the milk if it’s too cold or warm. Some parents give their children cold milk during the day and warm milk at night.
The warm milk may help them to calm down and relax before bedtime.
What’s important is that your child gets the milk’s nutrients, so you should give cold or warm milk depending on your child’s preferences.
How Do You Warm Milk for Babies?
If you decide to give your baby warm milk, it’s important to heat it properly. There are a few different ways you can heat your baby’s milk.
Some parents buy bottle warmers, but they aren’t necessary. Some parents purchase bottle warmers for convenience, but the choice is yours.
There are other ways to heat your baby’s bottle without buying a different device.
Heating Milk Stored in the Refrigerator
- To heat your baby’s bottle, you should heat tap water in a mug in the microwave or pot on the stove.
- Remove the water from the heat source, then place the bottle in the pot of hot water. You may do this for up to 15 minutes.
- Before giving your baby a warm bottle, test the temperature on your wrist. If it’s too warm for you to handle, it’s too warm for your baby. You will need to wait before feeding your baby.
Heating Milk From Frozen
- If you’re using frozen breast milk, you will need to thaw it. You can thaw it in a bowl of warm water. You can also run warm water over it until it thaws out.
- Once you thaw breast milk, you should not refreeze it. Make sure you don’t microwave breast milk either. Some parents like to use a bottle warmer to thaw frozen breast milk quickly.
- Once thawed, refer to the above steps for heating milk.
You should never microwave a baby’s bottle. If you microwave a bottle, it’s likely to have hot spots. These hot spots can then burn your baby. Microwaving bottles also kills some of the nutrients that you want your baby to get.
What Milk Temperature Do Babies Prefer?
Many babies prefer to drink milk that is close to body temperature. This is why many babies like to drink warm milk or breast milk.
Some babies don’t have a temperature preference and will happily drink milk at any temperature. You will simply have to try different milk temperatures with your baby to find what they prefer.
It depends on the baby in many cases. Some babies simply aren’t concerned with the temperature of the milk.
Because some babies prefer milk at body temperature, it’s recommended to make bottles 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
As mentioned, it’s safe for babies to drink cold milk, so you may not choose to follow that temperature recommendation.
Can Babies Drink Bottles at Room Temperature?
If you don’t want to give your baby warm or cold bottles, you might choose to provide them with a room-temperature bottle.
If a formula bottle is at room temperature, you should only let it sit out for one hour after it’s prepared.
Once a formula bottle has been prepared, your baby should drink it within an hour, or you should refrigerate it.
A Few Final Thoughts
Babies can drink warm or cold milk. Be aware that the fat layer cannot be mixed when milk is cold, so your baby might miss out on those nutrients or have trouble gaining weight.
When you first give your baby cold milk, they may need to adjust to the new temperature. Some parents gradually decrease the temperature of their baby’s bottle to make the transition easier.
If it’s easier for you to feed your baby cold milk, it is a safe option.