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July 07, 2020 2 min read

Many parents ask, can I reheat formula? Naturally, we want to save every once of formula. But the question is if there is a way to reheat formula safely? We have good news parents; yes, formula can be saved!

First consider that all foods, including formula, need to be stored and cooked safely. As long as you follow the strict guidelines (as we discuss below) to ensure no bacteria penetrate the formula, your child will be safe.

What if my baby falls asleep?

If your child has fallen asleep but you just made a bottle, you can put the formula in the refrigerator. As long as baby hasn’t touched their mouth to the bottle yet, it is still fresh and bacteria free.

Once your child is awake again, you can reheat it by placing the bottle in boiling water. DO NOT MICROWAVE FORMULA AS THIS CAN RUIN IT.

For some babies, they are not fussy if the bottle is warm or straight from the fridge – you know your baby best, so follow their lead.

What if my baby will not drink reheated formula?

This might happen to parents. You do not want to keep reheating formula until your baby is starving in order to force them to eat it.

You might wonder, how many times can you reheat formula? Think about this, after a long enough time, the formula will lose its essential nutrients. All in all, your baby decides how many times can formula be reheated by refusing it.

If your baby is uncomfortable drinking reheated formula, it is best to trust their gut instinct. Just create another bottle fresh for them.

And for future formula conservation, you can always create a whole bottle each time, but immediately store half of it in the fridge (for up to 24 hours) – to ensure no formula is wasted.

What if my baby doesn't finish a bottle?

In other words, can you reheat baby formula that has been partially consumed? Unfortunately, you need to throw away what your baby did not finish.

Your baby's saliva has mixed into the formula, making it unable to keep for later. The bacteria in your baby's mouth will grow no matter what temperature, so even storing it away cannot help.

If you risk feeding the formula again, you could make them sick. Life happens, so grab out another bottle and make a fresh formula for your child.

Conclusion

Overall, you can reheat baby formula after it is made, but you must follow strict guidelines. This means you can only save formula if it has not been tampered with.

Once your baby drinks the formula, their mouth bacteria taints it and makes it unable to store for future consumption. On the other hand, if your child falls asleep and does not drink the formula, it is safe to store in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

Finally, remember that it is better to be safe than sorry. Trust your child's instinct and, when in doubt, make a new bottle for them.

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