As a new parent, you want to ensure your baby gets the best nutrition possible. One of your most important decisions is whether to breastfeed or formula-feed your baby. If you choose to formula-feed, you must know how long you can keep formula once it has been made up.
How Long Can You Keep Formula Once Made Up?
Understanding Infant Formula
Before we dive into how long you can keep formula, let’s first discuss what infant formula is. Infant formula is specially designed for infants to provide all the necessary nutrients they need to grow and develop. Infant formula is either powdered or liquid, usually made by mixing the powder or concentrate with water.
How Long Can You Keep Formula Once Made Up?
Once you have made up the formula, it is essential to use it within a certain amount of time to ensure it is still safe for your baby to consume. Here are some general guidelines on how long you can keep the formula once it has been made up:
The formula made up can be left at room temperature for up to 2 hours. After 2 hours, any leftover formula should be discarded.
If you need to store made-up formula, it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Store the formula at the back of the fridge where it’s cooler, avoiding the door where the temperature varies.
The formula should not be stored in the freezer, as freezing can break down the nutrients in the formula and affect its quality.
READ ALSO: How Long is a Warmed Formula Bottle Good For?
Tips for Safely Making Up Formula
To ensure that your baby’s formula is safe to consume, here are some tips for making up the formula:
Always wash your hands before making up the formula, and ensure all equipment is clean and sterilized.
The water you use to make up the formula should be boiled and then cooled to the recommended temperature before mixing with the formula.
Always follow the instructions on the formula packaging for how much powder or concentrate on using and how much water to mix it with. Adding too much or too little water can affect the nutrient content of the formula.
As mentioned earlier, any leftover formula should be discarded in the refrigerator after 2 hours at room temperature or 24 hours.
Can I save the formula that the baby didn’t finish?
It is not recommended to save the formula your baby didn’t finish. Once your baby has started drinking from a bottle of formula, bacteria from your baby’s mouth can get into the bottle and begin to grow. Any leftover formula could be contaminated with bacteria, making your baby sick.
If your baby doesn’t finish a bottle of formula, it’s best to discard any leftover formula within 2 hours of when it was initially prepared. This will help minimize the risk of bacteria growth and ensure your baby consumes a safe and fresh formula.
It’s also important to note that reusing a partially consumed bottle of formula at a later time is not recommended. Again, bacteria can grow in the formula, leading to a risk of infection if your baby consumes it.
To prevent formula waste, prepare smaller amounts and increase them gradually as your baby’s appetite grows. This will help ensure that you prepare only what your baby can consume in one sitting.
In summary, saving formula that your baby didn’t finish is unsafe. Always discard any leftover formula within 2 hours and prepare smaller amounts to avoid waste.
How long can you keep a made-up bottle of formula?
Once a bottle of formula has been prepared, it should be consumed or discarded within 2 hours. This is because formula can quickly become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria at room temperature.
If your baby doesn’t finish the bottle within 2 hours, it’s essential to discard any remaining formula to prevent the risk of bacterial growth. It’s worth noting that reheating the formula once prepared can promote bacteria growth, so it’s best to avoid it.
Refrigeration is recommended if you must keep the prepared formula longer than 2 hours. A bottle of formula can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours as long as it is kept at a temperature of 35-40 °F (2-4 °C). Keep the formula at a stable temperature by placing it towards the back of the refrigerator rather than the door.
When you’re ready to feed your baby, take the bottle out of the fridge and warm it in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes. Never warm the formula in the microwave, as this can create hot spots that burn your baby’s mouth.
In summary, a prepared bottle of formula should be consumed or discarded within 2 hours. If you need to store formula for longer than 2 hours, refrigeration is recommended for up to 24 hours. Remember never to reheat the formula and discard any remaining formula after feeding.
Can babies drink cold formula?
Yes, babies can drink cold formula if they prefer it that way. Some babies prefer cold formula, and feeding them this way is safe.
Mix the powdered formula with cold water instead of warm water to prepare the cold formula. However, it’s important to note that some babies may be sensitive to cold drinks and experience discomfort or gas. If your baby shows discomfort when drinking cold formula, consider offering it at room temperature or slightly warm.
It’s important to note that while cold formula is safe to drink, it should never be served straight from the fridge. This is because cold formula can cause a shock to your baby’s system and may upset their stomach. To avoid this, you can warm the bottle slightly by placing it in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes.
It’s also important to remember that once the formula has been mixed with water, it should be consumed or discarded within 2 hours. If your baby doesn’t finish a bottle of cold formula within 2 hours, it should be discarded to avoid the risk of bacterial growth.
In summary, babies can drink cold formula if preferred, but it should always be served in the fridge. Always warm the bottle slightly and discard any leftover formula within 2 hours to ensure safety and freshness.
Can I store the formula in the fridge and then reheat it later?
No, it would help if you discarded any leftovers once you have reheated the formula.
Can I freeze the formula that has yet to be made up?
Yes, the unopened formula can be stored in the freezer.
An unopened formula for?
The unopened formula can be stored for up to a year.
Can I add more water to a formula already made up?
No, you should not add more water to a formula already ba formulae.
Can I use a formula that has passed its expiration date?
No, you should always check the expiration date on the formula packaging and not use it if it has expired.
Properly preparing formula is essential for providing your baby with the best nutrition. Know the duration for which it can be kept. Always follow the guidelines outlined above to ensure your baby’s formula is safe to consume.