When we started feeding our little one with Lebenswert, sometimes Eleanora would not finish the entire bottle and we were uncertain of what to do with the leftovers. Is it safe to refrigerate the formula that was not consumed? Maybe even freeze it? Will it keep all the nutrients?
As it was almost mission impossible to get our hands of the magic formula Lebenswert Stage 1 until we opened our online store, it felt like almost a crime to throw it away, but we didn't want to take any chances. After receiving many of the same doubts from our dear customers, here is what our research and experience suggests.
The simple answers would be: Yes and No! Confused? So were we, but let us give you some more information.
While it is ok to refrigerate formula that has not been sitting out for over an hour in the fridge for up to 24 hours, it is not safe to refrigerate the content that was fed to your baby in the bottle. The formula that has been exposed to your baby can grow bacteria, so it is always advised to throw it out. It is also essential that you always refrigerate any bottles that you prepare for later. Make sure to throw away any mixed formula after 24 hours.
Though this depends on where you live and what your room temperature is (we are from Texas but luckily have great AC), the rule is no longer than 1 hour.
As mentioned above, while the mixed formula is good to keep cool for up to 24 hours, freezing your formula is not a good idea as it can lose some of the valuable nutrients your baby needs. Don't keep your powdered formula such as Lebenswert, Holle or HiPP in the fridge, not because it is dangerous but the humidity can cause the powder to clump.
What we do not want under any circumstances is to expose your baby to excess bacteria, an important step to avoid is to prepare the bottle carefully before feeding. It is always a good idea to sterilize the bottle and its nipple before you use them. The best way is to wash the bottle with soapy hot water (make sure to use an organic soap ). If it is the first time you are using the bottle make sure it says sterilized on the packaging if not, simmer it in boiling water for about 2 minutes.
Always rinse the bottle thoroughly under running water to ensure that there is no leftover soap. Make sure the area where you will be preparing the formula as also your hands are clean and dry.
All of our formulas, Lebenswert, Holle, and Hipp are very easy to make, so there really is no reason to having them prepared beforehand, however, if you choose to do so, make sure to refrigerate them as soon as possible and avoid exposure for over 1 hour and no longer than 24 hours in the fridge.
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At what age do babies stop drinking formula? Well, they don't have to stop at 12 months old, especially if they are a fussy eater and they’re not getting enough iron and nutrients from their diet.