Being a working mum is tough work. You drop your baby off at the childcare centre or leave him with the nanny, then rush to your morning meetings. At the end of the day, you dash home to spend that precious couple of hours with your sweetie before his bedtime.
It’s even harder to be a mother who pumps at work. Since you’re striving to provide the best nutrition for baby, you make a beeline for the office nursing room (if you’re lucky to have one) several times a day to express milk.
You’ll also need to find a way to keep your breastmilk cold, so it’s safe and ready for your baby. Even if your office has a refrigerator or a freezer to keep the milk cold, you’ll need to factor in your commute back home.
That’s where a reliable cooler bag comes in. Such bags will store the many bottles or bags of liquid gold at a safe temperature ― for up to 12 hours ― till you are able to feed your baby, or pop it into a fridge. We’ve rounded up the best in the market for you...
1. V-Coool Double Layer Cooler Bag
FROM Pupsik Studio
WHAT This was created to store both bottles and breast pumps in one cooler bag. Two compartments let you stash all sorts of accessories and pump parts, while a waterproof, dirt-resistant outer layer makes it durable and easy to maintain. The fully insulated inner padding keeps milk cold for up to 10 hours.
PARENTS SAY “It would be good if it came with an ice pack, but at this price, I guess you can’t complain. Anyway, you can get ice packs for $2 at Daiso,” says mum Ng Yee Nee. We also like that you can carry it by hand or use the shoulder sling.
2. Mom's Precious Convertible Cooler Bag
FROM Mum’s Fairy
WHAT Spacious and versatile, this carrier is a discreet way to carry all the equipment you need to express your milk. You can carry by hand, use the shoulder sling, as a backpack, or attach it to your stroller. Made from a strong, long-lasting material, it boasts a waterproof and insulated lining.
PARENTS SAY You’ll enjoy easy access to the contents, especially when you’re busy with your baby, thanks to the wide opening. It’s also large enough to hold most breast pumps and all its parts. Though the design is very basic, we like the versatility offered by the different ways in which we can carry it.
3. Autumnz Posh Cooler Bag (various designs)
FROM You Have a Baby
WHAT With two spacious compartments, you can keep your pump parts separate from the milk in this space-saving cooler bag. Holding up to eight standard milk bottles ― it can be used as a hand-carry or a shoulder sling bag. Keep your milk chilled for 14 hours (under normal room temperature) with three Autumnz Reusable Ice Packs ($7.90/set of three).
PARENTS SAY Ho Kei Shan, mum of 2-year-old twins Dylan and Declan, digs the bag because it’s both functional and pretty. “I have it in a few designs, because I find it so useful. It was large enough to store milk for my twins, and now that I’m done breastfeeding, I use it for their meals and snacks.”
4. Fridge-to-Go Victoria
WHAT Simply collapse the cooler bag, pop it into the freezer for 10 hours and it’s ready to use! Fits six bottles ― the tote handle makes it easy to carry around. The built-in cooling panels will keep your milk chilled for 12 hours.
PARENTS SAY You don’t have to deal with ice packs or messy condensation with this spacious cooler bag. Although it’s expensive, you know you’re paying for something reliable. You can easily use it to transport food and drinks for outings and picnics when your pumping days are over.
5. Medela Breastmilk Cooler Set
FROM Agape Babies
WHAT Pumping mums will love this portable BPA-free cooler set that will keep your breastmilk cool and safe. Comes with four Medela storage milk bottles ― very handy! ― and a contoured ice pack.
PARENTS SAY This is probably the cooler bag you’ll want to go for if you are using a Medela pump. It’s compact and portable, and the ideal fit for four Medela storage bottles. The ice pack ensures that your bottles of milk won’t go tumbling around the bag. However, some mums wish that it’s slightly bigger, especially the mums who express more than twice a day might find this bag a bit too small.
6. Skip Hop Grab & Go Double Bottle Bag
FROM Agape Babies
WHAT Insulated to keep two bottles cold for up to four hours, the Double Bottle Bag comes in nine different designs and will make a great bag for your baby’s snacks.
PARENTS SAY This is more suitable for mums who have a chiller in the office and would only need the cooler bag to transport the milk home. We like the modern designs, but its capacity is not terribly huge.
7. JL Childress 6 Bottle Cooler Tote Bag
FROM Pupsik Studio
WHAT Leak-proof, as well as PVC-, lead- and phthalate-free, this cooler tote bag boasts two insulated zippered compartments and cam hold six bottles. Pick from pink, blue or a grey clover design.
PARENTS SAY A good size for mums on-the-go, the tall and slim lines of this bag lets you place it in your work bag or diaper bag. Or, simply use the strap to sling it over your shoulder. We like that it comes with a reusable ice pack.
Main photo: iStock
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