Heating milk is a process necessary for thawing or warming breast milk or for creating a warm glass of milk or hot chocolate. Milk is sensitive to high heat and can lose some of its nutrient value if exposed to hot temperatures for too long. Heating milk in a microwave can lead to uneven heat and hot spots, which cause scalding upon consumption of the milk. You can heat breast milk to room temperature by placing it under warm water before feeding your baby. You can bring non-human milk to a slow simmer over the stove top and add ingredients for flavor, if desired.

Things You'll Need

Heating Non-Human Milk

Pour the milk into a small saucepan and place the saucepan on a stove top burner. Turn the heat setting to medium and bring the milk to a simmer.

Stir the milk gently with a spoon so it warms evenly. Reduce the heat to medium-low.

Add cocoa powder and chocolate, if desired. Stir the mixture.

Heat the milk until bubbles begin to form around the edges of the pan or until the chocolate and cocoa mix in to form a smooth consistency.

Heating Breast Milk

Place a bottle of breast milk under warm, running water from your faucet or pour water into a deep bowl and submerge the bottle of breast milk in the water. Do not allow the nipple of the bottle to touch the water, as this can cause contamination.

Empty the bowl when the water cools and refill it with warm water, if necessary. Warming a refrigerated bottle typically require three to five minutes of warm water. Allow frozen breast milk to thaw in the warm water at room temperature for no more than 30 minutes.

Remove the bottle from the warm water. Move the bottle in a circular motion to mix up the nutrients within the milk. Pour a drop of milk from the bottle onto the back part of your wrist to test the temperature. The milk should feel warm to the touch.


  • Add 4 oz. of chopped chocolate and 1/4 cup of cocoa powder per 2 cups of milk to make hot chocolate.