Storage of baby formula is an important aspect on which the baby’s health directly depends. Feeding mixtures are indispensable helpers for mothers who, for some reason, cannot breastfeed their babies. On the other hand, baby formula always carries a potential threat to a small organism, as there is a possibility of bacteria getting into it. Therefore, it is very important to know how to properly store baby formula. Moreover, it is important to know not only how long it can be stored in a diluted form, but also in which dish it is better to keep it. No less important is how long an open can of infant formula can be stored. We will try to reveal all these aspects in detail in our article.
The most important thing in storing baby formula:
- An opened jar of infant formula cannot be stored for more than 21 days, i.e. longer than three weeks.
- Store diluted infant formula at room temperature for no more than 3 hours.
- Diluted infant formula can be stored in the refrigerator for no more than 1 day.
Dry baby formula
The manufacturer always indicates the shelf life of baby formula on the packaging. However, after her autopsy, it is no longer possible to be guided by these data. Usually, the dry mixture is sold in tin, opaque cans, tightly closed with rubber lids. Less often, but you can also find this product in a glass jar. But manufacturers who want to reduce the cost of their products are limited to cardboard packaging, at best, with a foil package inside.
And, if in a glass or tin container, the dry mixture may well remain usable for the entire permissible storage period, then it cannot be left in a paper package for even a minute. Many mothers simply pinch the edge of the opened bundle with a clothespin. In fact, this cannot be done, not only bacteria, but also pest larvae can easily get into the mixture.
It is best to pour the powder into an opaque, dry, sterile glass or tin jar that is tightly closed with a lid, immediately after opening the cardboard package. This is the most optimal option in which to store opened baby formula.
At a temperature of 14-24 °C in a dry and dark place in a glass jar, it will be stored for 3 weeks. If it is necessary to pour the mixture into another suitable container, it must first be thoroughly washed and sterilized (including the lid).
Most often, mothers are indignant about why 3 weeks is the maximum shelf life of an opened formula. In fact, it does not make sense, and if the manufacturer specified such a term, it means that his product will be spoiled at the end. The fact is that vitamins tend to disintegrate when in contact with air, which means that the longer an open mixture is stored, the lower its vitamin value.
For many mothers who rarely use baby formula as complementary food, this is extremely wasteful. Unfortunately, baby dry formula is currently not sold in portioned bags or in very small quantities. Therefore, mothers have nothing to do but use the remaining dry mixture for other purposes (for example, in baking) after three weeks.
Diluted baby formula
Despite the fact that it is permissible to store diluted infant formula, it is advisable to take water of the required temperature and separate dry formula with you. It is easy to prepare and in this version will definitely be as safe as possible for the baby’s health.
Every mother should know how much to store diluted infant formula in order not to endanger her baby. In a warm environment, bacteria begin to multiply actively, and a few hours after cooking, it becomes unfit for consumption. For the same reason, you cannot store baby formula if the baby has not milked it or even just touched the nipple with his lips. Bacteria have already entered the prepared mixture, so later it will not be possible to feed with this mixture. It is not possible to feed the child several times with the same mixture from the bottle, it must be poured out.
What to store
If the bottle is carefully sterilized, then there is no need to pour the mixture anywhere, you can just carefully wrap it so that it remains warm as long as possible. Of course, you can also take diluted baby formula with you in a regular thermos, but, as a rule, it is better to avoid transfusions. And, by the way, the mixture does not necessarily have to be warm, many children even like to eat it cool (within reasonable limits), it does not affect the quality of food and digestion in any way.
A good option is a special bag for bottles, it is made according to the principle of a thermos and in it the bottles with the ready mixture will remain warm for 3 hours. But, more experienced mothers still prefer to take a bottle of water at the right temperature and a dry mixture in a suitable small container in this bag. It will not be difficult to pour the powder into water at the right time and shake vigorously.
How much to store
Often mothers need to take food for the child with them. When the baby is planned to be fed later, the bottle is prepared, taking into account that it will be stored for no more than 3 hours. This means that the storage temperature will not be higher than 24 °C.
In the refrigerator on the middle shelf, diluted baby formula can be stored for no more than a day.
How to store in summer
In the summer, it is better not to take risks and, if necessary, leave diluted infant formula in the refrigerator on the middle shelf. But it has no place on the refrigerator door, since the temperature difference when opening it can spoil it much sooner.
It is better to take ready-made baby food on the road in a container with ice or a cooler bag, but then before feeding there will be a problem of how to heat the mixture to the optimal temperature.
And the most optimal option is still the same thermos bag.
How to keep warm
Many mothers are very concerned about the question of whether it is possible to keep the warm mixture even a little. Do not forget that the maximum shelf life of diluted infant formula is 3 hours, so keeping it warm for longer is contraindicated.
You can use several methods:
- wrap the bottle in several layers of foil or parchment paper;
- dilute the mixture first with hotter water and let it cool to the required temperature (do not forget that the mixture cannot be diluted with boiling water, and the exact time of cooling the mixture to the desired temperature is difficult to guess, only experimentally);
- buy a special thermos bag for bottles.
The last option is optimal, but it is best to take with you an expensive bottle of water of the required (or even higher) temperature in the same thermos bag and a little dry mixture and prepare it immediately before feeding.