Skip to Content

How Long Does Baby Formula Last? Does it Go Bad?

These days most parents choose baby formula to feed their children.

This is a good choice as children need food that is highly nutritious, just like baby formula.

Babies cannot consume a lot of food together; thus, you need to provide them with food in smaller quantities and within small intervals.

Therefore people get confused about whether this food can be stored or do baby formula go bad.

It might be inconvenient to make food again and again, but keeping long-stored food can cause problems.

The food will not give all its nutritional benefits; also, it will develop bacteria that can be harmful to your infant.

What Is Baby Formula?

Baby formula is a substitute for breast milk that is made with dried milk powder.

These formulas include powder that you need to mix with water for feeding.

Until the babies reach the age of 6 months, they cannot eat any solid food; thus, baby formula is given to provide them with all the needed nutrients.

However, they must not have regular milk till they are one year old.

The formula can provide various nutrients such as proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and many others.

The only difference between breast milk and baby formula is antibodies that protect the infant from illnesses.

Various types of formulas are available: milk-based, soy-based, hydrolyzed, and specialty.

Some babies are allergic to the protein found in cow’s milk one can feed them with hydrolyzed formula.

This formula breaks down those particles and makes them easier to digest for the infant.

How Long Does Baby Formula Last? Does Baby Formula Go Bad?

There is no doubt that formula goes bad if you store it for a certain period.

One cannot keep it even for a short span as it gets contaminated easily.

If we talk about the formula’s shelf life at room temperature, it should be consumed within 2 hours of making.

Make sure you start feeding the baby within one hour after preparing the food.

After feeding, be sure to discard the leftover formula in the bottle, as the leftovers are contaminated with the saliva of the baby.

Thus it can be harmful to babies’ health as they might develop bacteria in them after some time.

It would be best to sanitize the bottle after every feeding to minimize the risk of contamination.

If you are busy and cannot make the food repeatedly, then you can store it in the fridge.

To keep the formula safe for the baby, refrigerate it as soon as you make it if you are sure not to use it immediately.

Proper storage in the fridge allows you to store it for 24 hours from the preparation time.

The shelf life of unopened and unmixed packs of these formulas can consider their best-by date as it can be different for every brand.

In the case of the opened pack, the dried formula should be used within one month.

How to Tell if Baby Formula Has Gone Bad?

  • Prolonged Storage.

When you are making formula food for your baby, then be sure to check its expiry date.

The formulas that have passed their best-by date can cause severe problems for the infant.

Therefore one should avoid using a formula that is stored for a prolonged period.

No matter if the condition of the powder is good, you still need to discard it.

After opening a jar, please mark the date as it is only consumable till 30 days after opening.

  • Discoloration.

One can see if there is any discoloration in the formula because of storage.

It has an off-white color and milky texture, but as it gets contaminated, then its color might change.

So if you notice any shift in color, you should avoid its usage.

This change can happen if the powder is exposed to moisture and air.

  • Foul Smell.

This can be hard for anyone to figure out as you need to sniff the powder and see if there is any odor.

At first, the formula offers a pleasant scent, but as time passes, it turns sour.

Fresh baby formula has a good scent, except if any ingredient has a strong smell.

If the ingredients have had a strong or pungent smell since the start, you will not get a foul odor after it goes bad.

How to Store Baby Formula?

  • Frequently Clean Bottle.

For better storage, one needs to pay attention to the cleanliness of the bottles.

Using the same bottle without cleaning them can spread contamination, and bacteria can develop in the bottle.

Thus use a separate scrubber, clean the baby’s bottle, and pat dry before using it.

  • Use Airtight Container.

When storing an unopened and unmixed pack of baby formula, you should keep it away from moisture and air.

If exposed to these outer elements, their texture will become lumpy.

Therefore, you can keep their packs in airtight containers to prevent bacteria and moisture.

  • Avoid Storage in Sunlight.

Look for a place that is away from direct sunlight and heat.

That is because overexposure to direct sunlight can cause the powder to dry out, and it might lose its nutritional value too.

Thus it would be better to store it in the pantry or in kitchen cabinets.


When storing a pack of formula milk, the ideal temperature ranges between 55 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Baby formula should only be refrigerated if it’s prepared because powdered formula can develop lumps because of humidity.

Make sure to reseal the container if the original containers have openings.

Avoid refrigerating or reheating the leftovers, as these can be harmful, so you can keep them for an hour and discard it after that.

Yield: 1 Serving

How Long Does Baby Formula Last? Does it Go Bad?

how long does baby formula last does baby formula go bad
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • Baby formula
  • Air-tight containers or Ziplock bags
  • Labels and markers


  1. Store your product in an labelled container in a cool, dark place like the pantry.
  2. If your food is frozen, allow it to thaw in the fridge before using.
  3. Make sure to look for signs that your food has gone bad before using it.
    Skip to Recipe