The life of a baby in their first few months is all about feeding and sleeping, as these two activities make way for rapid growth and development. As hands-on parents, you’ll find yourself occupied with either preparing baby formula milk or trying to make them sleep while in your arms or the baby bassinet. The routine can get tiresome at some point that parents would probably start thinking of hacks to make the tedious job lighter. One such short cut is preparing formula milk altogether for multiple feeding. But is it even safe to do so? How long can a baby bottle of formula sit out? We understand the trouble parents go through at this stage, so let’s give answers to common parent woes in formula milk feeding.
On Mixed Formula Milk
It’s the nature of babies to feed, sleep, and repeat. As they fall into their usual deep slumber while feeding, they’d often leave behind unconsumed bottled milk. And when they wake up to search for more food, you can get tempted to re-feed your baby the same milk. If you’re a first-time parent, you’d probably be scratching your head and wonder if you can still feed it to your baby. Is the milk spoilt already? How long can a baby bottle of formula sit out? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, untouched formula milk can sit out for 2 hours in room-temperature after preparation. But the formula milk must be consumed within an hour when the baby starts to feed.
Can You Refrigerate Formula Milk?
Untouched Milk: How long can a baby bottle of formula sit out if untouched? If the prepared formula milk is not used within 2 hours following preparation, you should immediately store it in the fridge. The cold temperature prevents the quick spoiling of the milk as it does with most food; in this case, refrigerated milk can stand for 24 hours. Be worry-free as you feed the baby using stored milk. Discard any milk in the fridge after 24 hours.
Left Over Milk: By no means should parents feed their babies with leftover milk. Your baby’s saliva and the milk makes a great venue for bacteria to grow, which can be truly dangerous for babies. Considering that your baby’s immune system and digestive tract are less developed compared to adults, parents should make sure to observe proper hygiene in feeding their babies. This is also why even adults must never drink milk straight from the carton box and then put it back in the ref after. Doing so can lead to upset tummies, even for adults.
Can You Freeze Mixed Formula Milk?
How long can a baby bottle of formula sit out if frozen? Some parents might think that freezing formula milk can give it longer shelf life. This claim is not substantiated by experts and is not an acceptable means of extending shelf life. Instead, what it does is alter the texture of the milk, can change its palatability, which your child may dislike. Thus, to be safe, follow guidelines set out by the CDC and the milk manufacturer strictly.
Will Heating Up a Bottle of Used Milk Prolong Shelf life?
It’s a common practice among adults to heat leftover food and consume them without care. Please never do the same with your babies. The main concern about an unconsumed bottle of milk is bacteria proliferating in the mixture of saliva and milk. When you reheat, you’re only making the microorganism thrive as they love the warm environment, which can spell disaster for your babes. Thus, it’s best to start with a freshly made milk.
Unmixed Formula Milk
Now that we’ve covered pretty much of the things that could make a parent worry over prepared formula milk, such as worrying about how long can a baby bottle of formula milk sit out, let’s also shed light on the shelf life of unmixed formula milk.
Unopened, Unmixed Formula Milk: How Long Will it Last?
When it comes to sealed, unmixed formula milk, there’s no guessing as to how long it will be consumable. Manufacturers are mandated to identify an expiration date. Most of the time, the label is placed at the bottom of the container. Go and check before opening and feeding your baby. However, poor storage can deteriorate the milk quality even before its expiry date, so make sure to store it per the manufacturer’s recommendation. The general rule is to store an unopened milk pack in a cool and dry place unless otherwise specified by milk producer. As parents, task yourself to always read the label.
Opened, Unmixed Formula Milk
The way to deal with opened, unmixed milk is quite different from a sealed one. We have to take into consideration the contamination that could have occurred after you opened a can or box of milk, so the shelf life becomes shorter than the expiry date. After opening a pack of milk, it must be consumed within a month, or else you will have to discard it. But with your little ones constantly getting a hungry tummy, we’d bet you’d be out buying loads of milk, again in no time.
Early infant feeding is crucial because it can either make way for the baby’s growth or cause the baby to get sick. Thus, every parent should ensure they know by heart the requisites of feeding so that babies get the most from what they’re being fed. With this article, we hope to enlighten mothers on some of the troubling questions new parents encounter, such as ‘how long can a baby bottle of formula sit out.’ Know more about baby bottles.