How Long is Formula Good for Once Opened?

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How long is formula good for once opened

Formula and Its Expiration Once Opened

How long formula is good for once opened varies based on the type of baby formula. Liquid concentrate and ready-to-feed formulas keep for 48 hours. Unmixed powder formula lasts up to one month once opened. Discard the mixed powder formula after one hour.

how long is formula good for once opened
The expiry of your baby’s formula once opened is different from the expiry date found on the tin.

Have you ever wondered how long does formula last?

Are you curious as to if the formula goes bad after it has been opened?

Do you want to know if the formula has an expiration date?

The answer to how long is formula good for once opened changes based on if its powder formula or one of the liquid types of formula.

How Long Does Formula Last after Purchasing?

When determining how long the formula lasts after purchasing it, there is no guesswork involved. All formula containers come with an expiration date on the container. This date is most often found on the bottom of the can or tub. For bottles of liquid formula, look on the bottom of the bottle or the side of its label.

The expiration date varies depending on if you purchased ready to drink, concentrate, or powder formula. Powder formula, as long as it’s stored correctly, lasts the longest.

Most cans sitting in stores have an expiration date that is a year or so away. The ready to drink and concentrate cans have a shorter expiration date as the nutrients begin to break down faster.

How to Make Baby Formula (Illustrated Guide for Babysitters)
Expiration dates are found on the lid or bottom of the can. Source:

How Long is Formula Good for Once Opened?

How long does formula milk last once it’s been opened is based on the type of baby formula and storage. Another thing to consider when learning how long does formula last is whether it’s been warmed up and if your baby has started drinking it.

How Long Does Powder Formula Last Compared to Liquid Formulas?

How long is powdered formula good for after opening depends on if it was properly stored. The answer to how long does powder formula last when properly stored is 30 days.

Both ready to feed and concentrated baby formula will last 48 hours once opened, but they must be stored inside the fridge. If you prepare your powdered formula ahead of time, the untouched, prepared bottle keeps safely for 24 hours when stored towards the back of the fridge.

How Long Can Formula Sit Out at Room Temperature?

How long can formula sit out depends on if it’s been heated or not. Once you mix the powder with water to make your baby’s bottle use it within two hours.

The two-hour rule only applies to bottles that are not heated or touched by the baby—heating the formula cuts the time in half.

After heating the bottle, use it within one hour or discard it as bacteria growth begins. These times apply to all types of formula, not just the powder mix.

If you haven’t allowed your baby to drink from the prepared bottle and know you won’t be using it within the two hours, place it in the fridge to extend its shelf life. Use any prepared formula within 24 hours.

Never store partially used bottles in the fridge or at room temperature for later use. Partially drank bottles will keep at room temperature for one hour and should be discarded because of bacterial growth.

Baby bottle and milk on gray copy space | Premium Photo
Prepared formula can sit out at room temperature for two hours.

Can I Use Opened Powder Baby Formula After 30 Days?

Always throw away any unused powder after 30 days. To help you keep track of how long the formula has been opened, it’s best to write the opening date on the lid. The answer to the question does powdered formula go bad is yes.

Powder formula must be tossed after 30 days because the nutrients found inside the formula mix begin to break down. It’s the nutrients inside the powder that provide your baby with the nutrition they need to grow and develop.

The powder should not be stored in the refrigerator. Store with the lid tightly closed in a dry and cool place, such as a pantry or cupboard.

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The general rule of thumb is you should just discard the formula when in doubt. Source:

How to Check if the Baby Formula has Gone Bad?

The first thing to look for when determining if the baby formula has gone bad is the expiration date. If the date on the can, bottle, or tub of baby formula has already passed, toss it out immediately.

The smell and constancy of the formula will also alert you to whether it expired or not. With baby formula, a good rule to follow is if in doubt, throw it out. It’s best not to guess if it still tastes good or not, as your baby’s health is at stake.

For prepared formula that hasn’t been heated up or touched by your baby, you have 24 hours to use it before it starts to deteriorate. If you have warmed the formula up or started feeding your baby, discard it immediately as your baby’s saliva mixed with the warm baby formula creates the ideal environment for bacteria growth.

What are the Alternatives if I Don’t use a lot of Formula Milk for my Baby?

Some parents only use a small amount of baby formula, so they often end up throwing out a lot of formula as they can’t use it up fast enough. For example, a baby who is breastfed might get supplement bottles once or twice a week. For those cases buying the bigger cans or bottles of the formula is a waste because you have to toss the remaining formula before using it all.

Luckily, there are some alternatives for parents who only use a small amount of formula at a time.

Single-serve powder sticks, such as the Enfamil NeuroPro Baby Formula Milk Powder Single Serve Packets, are excellent choices. Each packet contains the equivalent of two scoops of powder. Mix the packet with 4-ounces of water. Use multiple packages to make larger size bottles.

Another option for those who don’t use a lot of formula is the small ready to feed bottles, which some refer to as nursettes. Enfamil NeuroPro Ready to Feed Formula Milk comes in 2-ounce bottles that are nipple ready. The nipples used with these bottles are sold separately. To use these ready to feed bottles, remove the sealed top, and replace it with the disposable nipple.

You can easily get the smaller servings at Enfamil’s website.


Baby feeding doesn’t have to be tough when dealing with your baby’s formula! It’s crucial to figure out how long is formula good for once opened, so you know if it’s safe or not to give to your baby. Powder formula lasts longer than concentrate and ready to feed formula, as when stored in its powder form it lasts for up to one month.

Concentrate and ready to feed formula require refrigeration upon opening and must be used within 48 hours. For parents who only supplement, use on the go powder packets or ready to feed nursette bottles to help eliminate waste.

If you have any concerns, comments, or questions on how long does formula last once opened, please feel free to comment below or join in on the discussion.

How long is formula good for once opened

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Hi, my name is Schianne, wife to my high school sweetheart and mother of a beautiful and clever little girl. Click here to learn more about us.

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