If you are interested in the Willow pump, you may wonder if the Willow reusable containers are worth it. The 2nd and 3rd Generation Willow pumps give you the option to use both the reusable containers and Willow pump bags.
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Willow Reusable Container Review
The Willow containers are containers that snap into your pump to collect milk instead of disposable milk bags. Using the containers gives you the option to wash and reuse them.
Here are the biggest pros and cons of the containers.
Pros for the Willow Containers
A big benefit of the Willow containers is they help you to save money in the long run. A set of containers cost about the same as buying 2 boxes of milk bags, and you can use the Willow pump containers as many times as you need.
For example, 2 boxes of milk bags is 96 bags. If you use the Willow for 3 pumping sessions per day, you would use 6 bags per day (2 per session).
That means 96 bags would only last you about 16 days which goes by quickly! It is a huge cost savings to be able to use containers for some of the pumping sessions.
Another benefit of the containers is that they are more eco-friendly than the milk bags. Since you can wash and re-use them, you don’t have to discard a plastic milk bag after you have transferred the pumped milk into a bottle for feeding.
Cons of the Willow Containers
The biggest drawback is the containers are not completely spill proof like the milk bags. This means you can use them when you’re doing things like chores around the house while pumping.
I have found that because the containers are not completely spill proof, it’s best to use milk bags if you want to lay down with the Willow.
However the cost savings of the containers really helps.
Another drawback is that the Willow pump containers are an extra pump part to wash after every use. This might take you an extra 5 minutes to wash them after use.
You can compare this to pumping into the milk bags which are a big time saver. You just insert them, pump, and then put the sealed milk bag into the fridge or freezer.
I recommend using the containers when you know you will have a little extra time to wash the containers and store the milk in another bag or bottle. These small tasks add a few extra minutes to your pumping session.
Overall, I thought that the Willow pump containers were definitely worth it. The pros of saving money and not continually tossing bags in the garbage definitely outweighed the cons.
Willow Reusable Container Instructions
Here are the steps to follow to use the Willow pump containers.
Step 1: First, disassemble the pump containers
You’ll do this by rotating the locking ring until it is unlocked. Then, pop the inset tunnel out of the container.
You will need to use both thumbs and push hard. Separate the container from the insert. Then, peel back the green tab to open it.
Step 2: Next, boil the containers to sterilize them
The Willow pump containers should be boiled for 10 minutes before the first use, then set out to air dry.
Remember that according to the instruction manual, it is important to not microwave these pieces or to put them in a microwaveable steamer bag.
Microwaving the Willow pump containers as a sterilization method could cause them to warm and become ineffective.
Step 3: Assemble the Willow Pump parts
Gather the flex tubes, insert, container and Willow pump.
Push the insert into the container. You may need to push firmly to make sure the insert is in the container and the edges are flush.
Rotate the locking ring to ensure the insert is locked. Then, push the green tab at the top of the container down.
Step 4: Next, connect the flextube to the container.
After the flextube has been conected to the container, you are ready to position the pump onto your body.
Step 5: Check Willow pump alignment
Align the container onto your body. Make sure it is centered.
Turn on the pump. Then, bring the Willow pump to the container and attach it.
Step 6: Initiate pumping with the Willow
StepPress the Play button to start the latch for the pump.
Pro Tip: Make sure that you align the container to your chest first! This way you can make sure you are properly aligned before attaching the pump. You can have problems with pump alignment if you attach the container to the pump and then try to position it on your body.