How Long Can I Keep Formula Milk In The Fridge?
As a new mother, it is your responsibility to feed and make sure that your newborn is in his or her top health. While breastfeeding is known to the best option for your baby, the choices depend on various factors and individual preferences. If you are considering to give your baby a mixed feed of breastfeeding and formula, or just purely formula feed, you might have many questions regarding formula feeding. This can include - how long can I keep formula milk in the fridge?
Preparing baby formula needs to be done with great care, as an external preparation might be prone to contamination while exposed in the air. Care has to be practiced in different stages of preparing and storing so that there is no bacterial build-up or risk while feeding your baby.
Does Formula Milk Last Longer when Refrigerated?
If you're asking how long can I keep formula milk in the fridge, you have to determine first if the formula is untouched or not.
An unused bottle of formula can last for up to 24 hours in the fridge. That's why some parents prefer to make larger batches of formula in the morning and portion out into bottles for feeding throughout the day. However, do not that the fridge temp should be 40°F (4.4°C) or lower.
Typically, it's not advised that you freeze formula since it can change the texture and doesn't extend the time during which the formula is still usable.
Does a Partially Used Bottle Last as Long as a Freshly Mixed One in the Refrigerator?
So, how long can I keep formula milk in the fridge when it’s partially consumed? The answer is you can’t. In fact, if your baby has had finished feeding but doesn’t want the rest, you should dump it within an hour. Never put it in the fridge for later use.
Milk-based products are well-known for growing bacteria. Once your baby has fed from a bottle, bacteria are introduced; thus, the formula shouldn’t be saved.
After heating up a bottle, can you put the unused portion in the fridge?
Again, bacteria is the issue here; therefore, the answer is no. Bacteria thrive more once given a nice warm environment to grow in.
Another thing to know: A heated bottle should be consumed within 1 hour, and any remaining milk should be poured down the sink after that time. It applies to formulas prepared from powder as well as milk concentrates and ready-to-drink varieties.
Tips on Storing Formula Milk in the Fridge:
It is ideal not to store the formula feed for more than 15 minutes during normal conditions. However, if there is a specific situation where you have to store the feed, keep the following pointers in mind when asking how long can I keep formula milk in the fridge:
- The unused formula feed should be stored in the refrigerator within one hour.
- Throw away any formula milk left in the bottle.
- Dispose of any formula milk that has been sitting under the room temperature for an hour or more.
- Formula feed can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
- Throw away any formula feed that exceeds the 24-hour timeline even when stored in the fridge.
- Check the formula before feeding your baby for any signs of bacterial build-up.
Being mindful of the formula feed is vital for the overall wellness of your little one. Check the brand of your formula and take the necessary advice from your doctor when in doubt.
Keeping mixed formula out for too long
A milk formula that is sitting out at room temperature must be thrown away after 1 hour. If kept in the refrigerator, a pre-mixed formula that is used must also be thrown out after 48 hours. An unused formula that you mixed must be thrown out after 24 hours.
Re-using leftover formula milk
If your baby does not finish all the formula within one hour, throw it out immediately. Do not refrigerate a leftover bottle to give to your baby later because bacteria could make your baby sick.
Not mixing the formula correctly
If you don’t add the right amount of water, your baby could quickly become dehydrated, and if you don’t add enough formula, your baby will also not get enough nutrients. Follow the directions carefully and add the exact amount of water and formula recommended and shake the bottle thoroughly.
As a parent, your baby's health should be your top-most priority. Whether you opt to breastfeed or formula-feed your child, you should always take the necessary steps to ensure your child's safety and wellness.
If you are asking how long can I keep formula milk in the fridge, here are the basic things to keep in mind. An untouched formula at room temperature should be thrown away at the two-hour mark while an unused formula can be stored in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Generally, there's no reason to freeze formula. Mix the powder and water or use premixed liquid ready-to-feed formula only when needed.
Keeping the following rule of thumb can help you ensure that you only provide what’s best for your baby.
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