Lactating — and formerly lactating — mamas, I have a hack for you! Got old pump parts lying around? Grab those retired pump flanges and put them back to work…
as kitchen funnels! Just toss the soiled pump part in the dishwasher after usage and you’re all set!
You just milked yourself for 15-40 minutes. You’ve bagged and stored the extracted breastmilk. You need a break from anything pump-related for a while, but no. Now you need to wash your pump parts. Gah!
What if I told you you didn’t have to individually soap and scrub each and every piece of pump equipment? Yes, there’s a faster way to get clean pump parts! Better yet, it saves your hands from those hot, soapy, manicure-killing suds.
First, get a big, sturdy plastic strainer and a big plastic bowl in which the strainer can easily sit. When you’re done pumping, put the strainer inside of the bowl and place the duo in your kitchen sink. Then, fill the bowl-strainer combo with scalding hot soapy water (be careful with the hot water please… no spilling or allowing children near the liquid), toss in the used pump parts, and allow them to soak (30 minutes is generally plenty of time.)
Once the parts have finished soaking, lift the strainer out of the water and either rinse off any remaining suds with hot water (simply spray the bubble-covered parts with water from the tap as they sit in the strainer) or fill the bowl with clean hot water, and resubmerge the strainer to allow the pump parts to rinse. Once the pump parts are rinsed, remove the strainer containing the freshly cleaned pump parts from the sink and place the pump parts on a drying rack to air dry.
As you move the parts to the drying rack see if any require a little love from the bottle brush. If so, put a dot of dish soap in the big bowl, add water, submerge the needy pump part, give it a quick once-over with the scrub brush, rinse the cleansed part under the tap, and pop it on the drying rack. Done!
Out and about without a spill-proof cup? Looking for a bribe that will secure you a semi-sane errand but won’t inundate you with mom guilt? Good 2 Grow Juice Waters!
With loveably recognizable cartoon character tops, a closeable sports bottle style spill-proof spout, high availability (everywhere from Target to Rite Aid, gas stations to grocery stores), a wallet-friendly price, and a reasonable nutritional content, these juices and juice waters are great.
Instead of packing sippy cups for a family trip, we buy a couple of these juices to entice the kids to behave like human offspring through the destination grocery run. Once the juice bribes have been earned and consumed, we wash and refill the containers with water as we would a standard sippy cup for the remainder of the vacation.
Once emptied, scrub the containers as you would a baby bottle or toss them on the top rack of the dishwasher to reuse and refill them. (Don’t hold onto them for too long though, as thorough crevice cleansing is problematic.)
Note: As with all foods you provide your children, be a conscientious caretaker and look into the juice bottle when you remove the foil safety cover. Even take a quality control taste if you’re so inclined. There are rumors that some people have found mold and such inside purchased juices but, full disclosure, I’ve found odd things in pre-packaged items I’ve purchased for my own consumption. So I’m not leading a boycot. If it looks off, toss or exchange it; if it looks fine, enjoy it!