As a breastfeeding mom who recently went back to work, I’ve spent a great deal of time evaluating the many options for keeping my little one on breast milk while I’m gone during the day. As you might imagine, I was super excited when I was offered the chance to try out and review the Kiinde Twist, a breast milk collection, storage, preparation and feeding system. I’m happy to report, it didn’t disappoint.
I kid you not, it felt like Christmas morning opening the box from Kiinde because each item came individually packaged, so I got to “unwrap” everything one by one! I was a little bit intimidated by all of the pieces and parts, but I sat down and read all of the instructions once through, and it came together quickly and turned out to be quite easy to use.
The Kozii (bottle warmer) is awesome, and the best part is that it can be used not only with the Twist pouches but also with other brands of storage bags, plastic or glass bottles, and even food jars! It comes with a simple chart with suggested times for warming, taking the guesswork out of how long to heat milk/food. The only thing that would make the warmer better is if it made some sort of sound to let you know when the bottle is done heating. If you listen closely, you can hear an audible click when it shuts off, but there’s no alarm to tell you it’s ready. Fortunately, the warmer has a great safety feature that makes it safe if you forget to grab the bottle right when it’s ready—the warm water drains from the reservoir, so your bottles won’t overheat.
The Twist Pouches (breast milk storage bags) are durable and freeze well, and the fact that you can throw them out (no washing required!) is amazing. However, like many women, I don’t always have the same milk output at every pumping session, which means the bags often have uneven quantities when I pump directly into them. I found myself having to consolidate bags to make the right quantities to store, which then leaves a wasted bag—and no one likes that. (Especially because the bags are a bit more expensive than other brands, which, I imagine, is due to their handy caps (instead of the more common zip-style closure.) I ended up pumping into bottles and pouring the milk into the bags in the quantities I needed for storage. To me, this is the biggest downside of the system because the fact that you don’t have to wash any bottles was so attractive! However, I still have a lot less bottle washing to do, so even with my MacGyvered method I’m saving in that regard.
The Kiinde Squeeze (feeding bottle) is really unique. It’s a shell that holds the Twist pouches that the Active Latch nipple attaches to—in other words, it allows you to convert your milk storage bags into bottles and feed directly out of them. My little one is only 2 months old, so she isn’t holding bottles on her own, but I love the fact that she will be able to easily grasp the unique shape when she’s old enough. The starter kit comes with Active Latch nipples with different flow speeds and cases for each. They have been great in helping my baby go between bottle and breast without any confusion or issues. You also get two nipple cleaning brushes that are handy.
The kit comes with several Direct-Pump adapters, so you can use your own breast pump to pump right into the storage bags. I had no trouble finding the right adapter and hooking up my Medela Pump In Style Advanced for leak-free pumping.
The Kiinde Keeper (breast milk holder and organizer) is a nice milk storage accessory for the fridge or freezer, but it only holds 12 Twist pouches, so it’s more of a daily use thing than a stocking-enough-milk-to-feed-an-army thing because its capacity is limited. It does fit other brands of millk storage bags as well.
Even though I personally have issues with getting even milk output (causing me to pump into bottles and then pour into bags), I would still highly recommend the Kiinde Twist system. Cutting down on bottles—or eliminating them all together—is amazing, and with the bottle warmer and other accessories included, you get some serious bang for your buck.
To buy: kiinde.com