After being back to work for a few weeks and pumping breast milk for my daughter, I was aware at the rate I was going through breast milk storage bags. I was pumping about 16 oz. a day, and I would split that into 4-oz increments for my daughter's meals the next day, so I was using at least 4 bags a day. The bags I used came in 25/box, so I was going through a box every 6 days, and at 30 cents a bag, that added up to quite an expense! I wanted to find a more cost effective way, and while at the store I saw the Playtex One Step Storage System.
This system is designed to work with Playtex bottles with the drop in liner, and the system allows you to pump directly into the plastic liner, which is then placed into the bottle for feeding. The drop in liners are quite cost effective, at about ten cents each, plus the fact that it's eliminating a bottle being used to pump into means I would be saving time washing bottles each night - I was intrigued! Another thing that made me happy is that the Playtex drop in liners are BPA free, which is a big deal for me. The actual bottle that the liners drop into does contain BPA, however the milk doesn't go in that part, so the theory is that it's mostly safe.
After I got the system, I was a bit intimidated at actually using it, I wasn't sure how it would be to pump into a bag instead of a bottle, it seemed like it'd be flimsy and I didn't want to spill any milk. Then, the storage piece of it shows the milk being stored upside down (either in the fridge or freezer), which I really had no confidence that it would work at all. In fact, I did a test run with putting water in the bag and closing the top, then turning it upside down, just to make sure that it didn't immediately leak out (it didn't).
The system has an adapter that fits on most pumps (including the Medella, which I use), then that adapter screws on to the ring that holds the liner. Although it sounds like it's not a secure solution, it does work well. The downsides are that there's only one adapter to the kit, and if you use a double pump, you either need to buy a second kit, or pump the other side into a bottle, then pour that bottle into a liner, or a storage bag. I ended up pumping the other side into a bottle, and it actually works pretty well - especially when you're just learning the best way to hold the bag, I'm not sure I could get both bags full of milk disconnected from the pump end and tops screwed on without spilling something. So this way, I can set the bottle down and use both hands to get the milk that was directly pumped into the bag secured with the lid screwed on, and put into my cooler, then focus my attention on the remaining bottle. This way, I still have bottles to wash, but it's only two at a time, so I could wait a day or two before I wash.
There are 6 storage rings/lids that come with the kit, and it's working out great for us right now because my daughter only needs 12 oz (three 4-oz bottles) a day at daycare. So I can send 3 liners with milk (secured with the storage ring solution) and have 2 rings to take to work and pump into, then that night I will use the third ring to pour milk from a bottle into the liner, and I'm ready for the next day. I am washing rings every night though (so of course I wash bottles every night too). The actual drop in liners are marked with volume measurements and they are accurate, however they are very hard to read - they're clear on the clear plastic. So, one you figure out how full the bags should be for the desired ounces, you can just eyeball it - or you can pour from a bottle into the bag so you are certain of how much you have (although that defeats the purpose of pumping right into the bag). I write the date and amount directly onto the liners so that daycare knows which milk to use first, a sharpie works great even if the liner has been chilled.
Another note to the stability of this system - I will put the liners with milk into a plastic bag for daycare and let my son carry it (he loves to help) and even with them falling over in the bag during transit, being dropped (he's only 2.5), and/or kicked (did I mention he's a boy?), there has never been a spill!
This is a very easy system to use with the Playtex drop in bottles as well, all you do is put the liner complete with ring and lid into the bottle, screw the ring onto the top of the bottle, take the lid off and screw on a nipple. This makes it extremely easy and reduces the chances of spilling anything, plus all you have to wash is the ring and nipple!
I love how this system is saving me money - I still use the storage bags for extra milk to throw in the freezer, but with just 1 or 2 bags a week, compared to 20 a week, I can handle that expense. Plus, the Playtex liners are BPA free, so that's an added bonus of using this system! (However, the Playtex drop in bottles are NOT BPA free, so you must evaluate that risk for yourself. I feel that since the outer bottle doesn't touch the milk, and since my daughter doesn't lick/chew on the outer bottle, I am willing to risk this hopefully minimal exposure.)
100% recommended by this momma!