Whether you use powdered, ready-made or concentrated formula, make sure you read the manufacturer’s instructions on how to store the milk safely. Storage recommendations vary from brand to brand and can even differ depending on which size container you buy.
Storing milk properly reduces the risk of bacterial contamination, which can cause your baby to have an upset tummy, diarrhoea and vomiting. Here’s how:
- Store unopened containers of powdered or liquid formula, or an opened tin of powdered formula, in a cool, dry place (such as a kitchen cabinet that’s not right next the fridge or cooker). Avoid long-term exposure to temperatures above 35°C (such as the boot of your car on a hot summer day) since the heat can spoil the formula.
- Don’t freeze powdered formula (either opened or unopened) because it causes the fat to separate out, which makes the milk grainy.
- The Department of Health recommends that you make up each bottle as you need it rather than storing them in the fridge, as there’s a slight risk of bacteria multiplying in formula once it has been made up.
- If you’re going out, it’s safer to take boiled water and mix it with the powdered formula when you need it. Or you can use a carton of ready-mixed formula.
- Once your baby has drunk from a bottle discard any leftover formula if it hasn’t been used within half an hour. It’s not safe to refrigerate leftover formula as bacteria from your baby’s mouth can breed within the bottle even when kept in the fridge.