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How Long Can a Formula Bottle Sit Out?

Some babies refuse breast milk for various reasons. Then the adapted formula comes to help. The formula is used if the mother has very little milk or it is completely absent. Sometimes the mother is unable to breastfeed for health reasons or the child does not have a biological mother.

Modern formulas have a high-quality composition with everything necessary for the baby. This replacement does not affect health in any way. It is necessary to know the rules for formula preparation, sterilization standards, and storage requirements to feed it. Let’s take a closer look at all these processes. Another important question is how long can a formula bottle sit out.

How long can you store the prepared formula?

The baby may not want to eat immediately after waking up. There are situations that the formula is already ready and there is no one to eat it. Can it be left for a while? The answer can be divided into two parts: as preferable and as acceptable.


It is better if the formula is used exclusively fresh and immediately after its complete preparation. So the probability of getting negative consequences is reduced to zero.


The formula can be stored in a bottle at room temperature for no more than 1 hour. This is provided that the room is not more than 25 ° C. Such a formula in a bottle is allowed to be stored in the refrigerator for no longer than 12 hours.

Remember that the composition of the adapted formula is quite natural. It contains many components made from milk. They cannot retain their qualities and remain safe for a child in a diluted form for a long time.

How to store the unprepared formula?

A packed jar with a dry mix has a fairly long shelf life while maintaining tightness. Such a formula in dry form can stand up to 1 year. It is worth taking care of compliance with storage measures if you have already unpacked the jar:

PackageClose the jar carefully to keep air and moisture out. Store only in original packaging. Do not pour the formula into a bag or other container.

Measuring spoon Do not store the measuring spoon inside the formula. Keep it clean and dry. Change it if necessary.

Location of storageStore the opened formula in a dark, cool, and dry place. The refrigerator is not suitable for this.

Duration of storage Opened dry mix can be stored for no more than 1 month. Some manufacturers indicate only 20 days. Always carefully read the storage conditions on the package.

General rules for the preparation of a formula

You need to know the main rules of cooking to maximize the properties of the formula and its freshness. They are strict and written in each instruction. They may differ slightly in their stages depending on the food company. Let us briefly describe the main rules for preparing an adapted formula:

Sterility – It is better to immediately purchase a special sterilizer if the child is artificially fed. It will help you to sterilize dishes and accessories for feeding easily and very conveniently. Sets of dishes should be at least 2. Children eat by the hour, which implies that meals are ready for a certain time. Do not forget to prepare the formula for this period.

Water – Do not use raw water to prepare the formula. It must be filtered and boiled. It is better to purchase special water for children. The cooking temperature for each brand is different. It ranges from 37 to 40 °C. The child should be given the finished formula no higher than 36 ° C.

Bottle and nipple – The formula is prepared immediately in the bottle from where the baby will eat it. That’s where she chills. Use only heat-resistant and safe plastic. You can buy glass bottles but they are heavier and not safe for older children. The nipple should be with a dispenser so that the baby does not choke on the formula.

Do not taste from a bottle The taste and temperature of the formula should only be tasted by pouring it into a spoon or dripping it onto your hand. You can’t taste it from the bottle itself. So you leave your bacteria on the nipple and this can affect the health of the baby.

How to store the prepared formula?

It is worth adhering to the rules for storing infant formula if there is a situation in which it cannot be consumed by the child on time:

Store in a bottle – The allowable time of 1 hour of storage is relevant only if the formula will remain in the same bottle. It must not be poured into another container.

Special storage box – It is better to use a special heated box for storage. It will help keep the formula at one temperature so that it does not have to be heated later.

Out of the light – Store in a dark and dry place. The finished formula in the bottle should not stand on the table.

In the refrigerator – It is allowed to keep the formula in it for no more than 12 hours. It is better to put the bottle on the shelf with dairy products.

Do not freeze Do not freeze the finished formula. This is an additional type of processing that will significantly reduce the quality and taste of the formula.

What happens if you give a child a stagnant formula?

Exceeding the storage time by a few minutes is not critical if the formula has been stored at the correct temperature and under all conditions. But when the finished formula in the bottle has stood at room temperature for much more than 1 hour, it is better to pour it out.

What are the consequences of using a stagnant formula for a baby? The most harmless and the most deplorable. Your little one will be cranky at best due to abdominal discomfort. This can occur if the formula is slightly acidified.

A more difficult situation may arise when the child eats the spoiled formula. The kid can get into intensive care or get an intestinal infection. There have been cases of death of babies who were fed the missing formula. Be as vigilant as possible when giving your baby formula that has been stored ready-made.

How to give the prepared formula after storage?

You should be especially attentive to the quality of the prepared formula in a situation where you were forced to store it. Use simple rules:

External appearanceThe formula should not change color. Its consistency does not change during short storage of up to 1 hour. Sometimes there may be a slight precipitate.

Taste – Before giving the formula to the baby, make sure that it has not lost its original taste. There should be no sour taste.

Smell – The finished formula should not have an unpleasant odor. Check it before feeding. Open the bottle cap and smell the milk.

Temperature controlThe formula should not be cold to consume. It must be heated in a steam bath if it was in the refrigerator. Check the temperature with a non-contact thermometer.

Shuffle Shake the bottle before giving the stored formula to the baby. This will help improve the consistency and eliminate the precipitate.

Should I store the formula in a bottle?

It is always best to feed your baby exclusively immediately after preparing the formula. It is not recommended to keep it. This can only be done in emergencies. The health of a child is not worth any savings.

Sometimes moms have a hard time at night. You need to get up a little earlier than the baby and prepare the formula while he eats at night. The baby can be woken up and fed as a last resort. Night feedings are required for up to 6 months. They are also extremely important for underweight and prematurity. Do not store the formula without a good reason. Better make a new one. This will be much safer for the baby.

How to avoid the need to store the prepared formula?

Do everything so that you do not have to leave the finished formula in the bottle. Try to follow certain rules for this:

Don’t overcook – Dilute exactly as much dry formula as the baby will eat at a time. These standards are written in the instructions on the package.

Don’t pre-blend – Try to keep a record of your child’s sleep and wake times. Prepare the formula no earlier than 10-15 minutes before the baby is ready to eat.

Find an assistantDesignate a family member to be responsible for feeding him when you are away from home. Otherwise, you will constantly have to store ready-made formula and feed the baby only when you are at home.

Feed by the hourArtificial feeding differs from breastfeeding in that you can easily create a feeding schedule yourself. This will help to avoid overlays with the preparation of the formula.

Set an alarm – This is true for night feedings. Be guided by the schedule of awakenings of the baby and set an alarm in advance so as not to store the finished formula. It is difficult to adapt to this, but gradually everything is balanced.

Don’t go out hungry – Try to go for long walks immediately after a heavy meal. So the need for a pre-prepared formula will be eliminated. Leave someone at home so they can prepare the formula for you when you return.

Take a thermos and dishes with you – Pour the formula into a pre-sterilized bottle. Take a thermos of hot water and a measuring cup with you. Prepare a new portion on the street or in the children’s room of a store, mall, or other place.

What is in the adapted formula?

Artificial feeding causes a lot of skepticism about its benefits and harm to the child. Modern advances in science make it possible to bring formulas for feeding as close as possible to breast milk.

You need to understand the composition of the formula to understand how to properly store it. Each brand will have its ingredients. Differences in components depend on the age of the child. There are highly adapted formulas (0-6 months) and partially adapted (from 6 months). We will describe the main components of the composition that are common to all formulas.

Whey Protein or CaseinDepending based on the formula on which it is produced, it will contain either whey protein or casein. These are parts of natural products that cannot be stored for a long time.

Carbohydrates – This component of the formula should be represented by lactose, as in breast milk. It is obtained from animal milk.

Fatty acids – Mandatory components of a quality formula should be linoleic and ἀ-linolenic fatty acids. It is important that the composition also contains polyunsaturated fatty acids: docosahexaenoic (DHA) and arachidonic (ARA). Fatty acids in the formula are most often of plant origin.

Vitamins and mineralsThe amount of vitamins and minerals in the adapted formula is 15-20% more than in breast milk, but they are less absorbed by the child’s body. The composition should contain iodine, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, vitamins B, vitamin E. vitamin A, and so on.

Biologically active components – Not all formulas have these components, but they are desirable for better absorption. These include: probiotics and prebiotics are produced based on safe bifidobacteria and lactobacilli.

Other functional components These include Omega-3 and Omega-6, nucleotides, lutein, milk fat, and taurine. These valuable components are as close as possible to natural formulas that allow them to be well absorbed by the unstable digestive system of the child.

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