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How Long Is Formula Good For? A Guide For Worried Parents

How Long is baby formula good for

Parents are always worried about the safety of their children, and with good reason. There are lots of things to worry about, from how Long is formula good for to whether or not to let them play outside. In this blog post, we’ll help ease some of those worries by providing a guide on how long is baby formula good for.

Keep reading to learn more!

How Long Does a Baby Formula Stay Good at Room Temperature?

When you combine water and formula powder to form that magical liquid that nourishes your infant, the countdown clock begins. The average life of a bottle is two hours at room temperature, unopened and uncooled.

However, read the label instructions because some manufacturers’ instructions state that a bottle is only considered safe for an hour at room temperature after mixing. It may be based on whether the brand is adhering to the American Academy of Pediatrics or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Trusted Source recommendations.

Take a look at the suggestions coming up in the following sections regarding formula milk usability.

Don’t forget to check this guide on how to help a teething baby sleep before moving to the next section. 

Is It Better to Chill It in a Refrigerator?

Yes, provided that the bottle is not consumed by your baby.

A single jar of powdered baby formula will keep for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator if it isn’t in use. As a result, many parents make a larger amount of formula in the morning and pour it into bottles as needed for regular use.

These parents are well aware that an inconsolable newborn is frequently a hungry-right-now youngster who doesn’t like to wait for you to prepare a bottle and then feed.

However, keep your fridge temperature at 40°F (4.4°C) or lower.

What About Partially Used Bottles?

This is another situation where you want to know how long is formula good for. Well, you cannot refrigerate them. The ideal situation is to dump them. Don’t put it in the fridge for later consumption.


Bacteria grows easily in milk-based products. Once your kid has taken a drink from a bottle, germs enter the formula, and it should not be saved. This phenomenon also explains why you should never save pumped milk.

“But the baby only took a little bit!” you protest. That doesn’t matter because there are still bacteria in the bottle, and they will multiply over time. Germs like to grow in warm environments, so don’t give them that chance by putting partially used bottles in the fridge.

What About the Heated Baby Formula? Can You Store It?

No, it is not safe to store heated baby formula. A bottle that is heated should be used within one hour, after which the remainder should be poured down the drain.

Heating the bottle kills some of the bacteria, but it also creates ideal conditions for others to grow. If you don’t finish the bottle, dump it and start again with a fresh one. In this way, you’ll ensure that your baby gets the safest formula possible.

What About the Opened but Unused Pack?

Once you open a container of formula, it has to be used within one month.


Because the ingredients in the formula are not stable for long periods of time, even when they are kept at room temperature, as soon as you expose them to oxygen and light (by opening the jar), they begin to lose some nutritional value, so they should not be used for more than a month.

For instance, the fats in the formula can easily go rancid and become harmful to your baby. If you’re not sure whether or not a container of the powdered formula is spoiled, smell it before using it. The spoiled powdered formula will have an unpleasant odor.

What About an Unopened Pack of Baby Formula?

The formula that is not mixed with water and has not been opened will last for up to two years. This is because the container is airtight and light-proof, so there is no opportunity for oxidation (the process that causes deterioration). However, if you do open it, you must use it within a month.

However, you must follow the guidelines on the container of the formula that you purchase because not all formulas have the same shelf life.

So as long as you are aware of the guidelines for your particular brand of formula and follow them closely, you can be sure that your baby is getting the freshest possible product.

When it comes to infant formula, freshness counts!

What Are Some Factors to Consider Before Buying a Baby Formula?

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The first factor is whether the baby formula you are going for has enough nutrients. It should have every vitamin and mineral that your growing baby needs in his/her diet. You can check if it contains iron, calcium, protein, etc.

Baby’s Digestion Habits

The next factor you need to consider is whether the formula can be digested well by your baby’s body. What this means is that it should have the right ratio of carbohydrates and fats for a growing baby’s needs.

Ingredient List

Another thing to think about before buying a particular brand of formula is its ingredients list – avoid buying baby formula which contains preservatives, artificial flavors, and colors.

It should also have probiotics to ensure that the digestive system of your growing baby is healthy.

Soy-Based vs Milk-Based Formulas

You can choose between soy-based or milk-based formulas. You need to decide whether you would like to go for cow’s milk-based infant formula instead because it has more nutrients than soy formula. However, if your baby is allergic to milk or lactose intolerant, you would have to choose a soy-based infant formula instead.

Last but not least, it is always important to compare prices before making that purchase! You don’t want to spend more than what you have to on something as essential as baby formula.

Note: Don’t forget to check this guide on how to develop fine motor skills in infants. 

Final Words

These are the general guidelines for how long a baby formula lasts in multiple conditions. However, you should always check the expiration date on the container to be sure. And remember, these are just general guidelines–your baby’s individual needs may vary. Talk with your pediatrician if you have any questions about how long a specific type of formula is good for.

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