When we started feeding Lebenswert formula to our daughter Eleanora, she wouldn’t always finish the whole bottle in a single feeding. We were left wondering what to do with the leftovers. How long can formula sit out? Can we put leftover formula in the fridge? Can we freeze it? If we do, will it maintain all of its nutrients?
Before we opened the Organic Baby Food Shop, it was nearly impossible to get our hands on Lebenswert Stage 1 formula. How could we then justify throwing away the coveted liquid? But we didn’t want to take any chances.
We’ve since received questions on formula storage guidelines from a number of our customers. So we did a little research. Our findings are explained here.
Can You Refrigerate Bottled Formula?
The answer is both yes and no. If your baby has fed from a bottle and there is leftover formula, you need to toss it. Any formula that has been exposed to your little one can grow bacteria, so it’s not safe to keep. Untouched formula that has been sitting out for less than one hour can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Just be sure to throw away any mixed formula after 24 hours.
Note: it is advisable to always refrigerate bottles that you prepare for later.
Speaking of refrigerators, we recommend you avoid keeping your powdered formula such as Lebenswert, Holle, or HiPP in the fridge as the humidity can cause the powder to clump.
How Long Can You Keep a Bottle at Room Temperature?
In general, a bottle is safe at room temperature for up to one hour. However, this depends on where you live and what the temperature is inside your home.
Can You Freeze Formula?
Freezer temperatures are so low that they will cause formula to lose some of its valuable nutrients. That’s why we recommend you avoid freezing formula.
Other Important Things to Keep in Mind
In an effort to avoid exposing babies to excess bacteria, it is important to always prepare bottles carefully before feeding. To start, clean both your hands and the area where you will be preparing the formula. Before using a bottle or nipple for the first time, be sure to sterilize them. Many brands provide specific instructions for sterilization on their packaging; otherwise, boil the bottle or nipple or two to three minutes. If it’s not the first use, we still recommend thoroughly cleaning both the bottle and its nipple with soapy, hot water (ideally using an organic soap). And always rinse the bottle thoroughly under running water after washing to ensure that there is no leftover soap.
All of the formulas available here at the Organic Baby Food Shop — Lebenswert, Holle, and Hipp — are very easy to make, so there should be no need to prepare them ahead of time. However, if you choose to do so, refrigerate them as soon as possible and toss them if they’ve been stored for more than 24 hours.
Do you have any tips or tricks of your own regarding formula best practices? We’d love to hear in the comments below!
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