It's important to pay attention not only to what you are feeding your baby, but also how you feed them. Many new parents wonder, “how long does baby formula last?” and “how do I store formula?” When it comes to formula, there are multiple missteps you can make. Learn how to safely store and prepare baby formula, including powder, concentrate, and ready-to-use baby formula with the guidelines below.
Baby Formula Guidelines
How do you make formula bottles in advance?
Mix concentrated liquid or powder formula with cool water (35-75°F); it should feel cool on your wrist. If you prefer, you may mix with warm water, but only if you plan to feed or refrigerate the formula immediately. Warm water is about 100°F or body temperature; it should feel neutral (neither warm nor cool) on your wrist. Powder should be added to the water and not vice versa since this can make a difference in the formula’s mixability and consistency. If you still have questions about prepping your baby’s bottle, follow these 3 easy steps, and it will become second nature in no time.
How long is formula good for after mixed?
Once the powder formula has been mixed with water, you can refrigerate it at 35°–40°F for no longer than 24 hours before feeding.
How long can formula stay out?
Baby formula that has been prepared from powder, concentrate, or opened ready-to-use should not be kept at room temperature for longer than a total of 2 hours. If the bottle has been warmed or feeding has begun, discard the formula after 1 hour.
Does formula go bad after an hour?
Yes. Prepared and warmed formula from powder, concentrate, or opened ready-to-use should be fed to your baby within 1 hour of being warmed, or it should be discarded. Do not refrigerate or save for later feedings.
Why is formula bad after an hour?
When formula that has been warmed and/or fed remains at room temperature for 1 hour, bacteria normally present in an infant's saliva will grow quickly in the nutrient rich formula.
What happens if baby drinks old formula milk?
If you believe your baby has drank old formula, we recommend reaching out to your doctor to discuss any issues your baby may be experiencing. Your baby’s doctor is your best resource to determine what may be going on with your little one.
Can formula be reheated?
No. Re-heating formula increases the possibility of bacteria growth in the formula as it cools off after heating. Once the formula has been warmed for your baby, it cannot be refrigerated for later feedings.
How long does unopened formula last?
All formulas have an expiration date on the packaging. To find a formula’s expiration date, look at the top or the bottom of the container for embossed printed type with the date. For ready-to-use infant formula, look on the side of the label.
How long does powder formula last?
If unopened, you can follow the expiration date on the powder formula packaging. Once opened, the container’s contents need to be used within 30 days. Meanwhile, store the powder at room temperature in a dry area, with the lid tightly closed.
How long does Enfamil Ready-to-Use formula last?
If unopened, you can follow the expiration date on the Enfamil Ready-to-Use packaging. Once opened, the formula can be refrigerated for up to 48 hours.
Before you know it, you'll be a pro at preparing and storing baby formula. When someone asks, ‘’how long is baby formula good for?” you’ll answer without hesitation. Become even better at feedings by learning about formula-feeding and feeding issues you might encounter.