If your baby doesn't finish their bottle, do you throw away the formula after an hour?

Marianna - posted on 03/07/2010 ( 80 moms have responded )

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That is what the instructions on the formula container say.

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Sarah - posted on 03/08/2010

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I will put any left overs in the fridge. I always have, I am a stay at home mother, and we live on a stict budget. They say a bottle may grow bacteria, but its NOT BAD for babies to be exposed to bacteria, it helps build a healthy immune system. do you think our mothers or grandmothers used sterilized bottles and kept us in a bacteria- free living area? Hardly, and we turned out fine. Right?

Susan - posted on 03/07/2010

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With our first baby I followed most of the rules, but not all. We sterilize the bottles for the 1st 6 months in a big pot of the stove and threw away left over formula (not quite at 1 hour but for sure after 2-3 hours). After 6 months every drop of formula was put back in the fridge and then drank within 24 hours. Of course if we were out and about then things got thrown away. My 2nd baby we steralized the bottles for 3 months and then washed them in a dishwasher. My 3rd baby we just figured the dishwasher got hot enough and we put formula back in the fridge pretty much from the beginning. All three are alive and healthy so I guess we aren't horrible parents. I never listened to the rule of not using a microwave to heat the formula because no way was I listeneing to a crying baby while I heated water on a stove. I think whatever you are comfortable with is the right answer.

Kat - posted on 03/09/2010

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just a question but cant you just remove the nipple/lid and sterilize while refigerating unused formula. I would think most of the bacteria is on the nipple ??

Yahira - posted on 03/09/2010

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u always should know how much your baby drinks and keep track of it. you wont run into the problem. there are times where yes a baby might not be all that hungry. I discard it because the milk does spoil and is not fresh. you wouldnt want ur baby to get sick or throw up all over you.

Regina - posted on 03/08/2010

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I never did I always kept it atleast 2-3 hours after and it was fine.

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Kristin - posted on 03/09/2010

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I always get rid of the formula before the recommended time. If you are having that much formula left over, you should make less formula. If your baby is still hungry you could always make another bottle.

Jamie - posted on 03/09/2010

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Your baby is not always going to drink what you think well mine don't sometimes he just want the bottle in his mouth. I say if depends on the circumstances. If it's alot and it hasn;t been made long then put it in the fridge. If its already been out past the hour then throw it away.

Sally - posted on 03/09/2010

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I ALWAYS THROW LEFTOVER MILK AWAY REGARDLESS OF HOW MUCH IS LEFT.THEY SAY THROW AWAY IT FOR A REASON.

Jessica - posted on 03/09/2010

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i keep them i just put the left overs in the frigde lol.. and this is my frist lol

Sarah - posted on 03/09/2010

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You really should throw it away after an hour. I saw someone's post that said they heated their bottles in the microwave...that's really bad. That actually deactivates the formula and takes out the majority of the nutrients. And, if you're doing it in a plastic bottle you end up feeding the baby plastic.

Tara - posted on 03/09/2010

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I never did keep it after an hour. I always threw it out, until my son was about 6-8 months. Then he got to where he wouldn't eat as much so I start out throwing it away and then I was like this is too expensive... So I put it in the fridge. If he didn't drink it all at the next feeding I would throw it out. I never heated his bottles. I always used tap water and just gave it to him at room temp. because I didn't want to be out in public trying to find a microwave or something to heat his bottle up with so I just gave it to him at room temp. He is almost 16 months old now and he is healthy and happy! Right now he is drinking cows milk and if he doesn't finish it... in the fridge it goes and he is doing great! Hope this helps!

Erin - posted on 03/09/2010

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Formula is expensive, but no matter how much was left when my kids finished their bottles I would throw out the remaining formula and not save it. I would rather make another bottle then worry about any germs or bacteria passing to the baby from formula that has been used before.

Cynthia - posted on 03/09/2010

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i always do is very important the my baby formula is fresh even if is expensive, his health has no price

Marypaz Sioco - posted on 03/08/2010

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For me as a Mom, as i can see mu kid if she is really starved or not. on my point of view as a Mom, u can evaluate her if she can finish a bottle before sleeping if not just put the leftover in the ref and if she cries out, ready to feed another time. and still u can save energy and time for yourself.

Charlene - posted on 03/08/2010

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I try to make what is needed, but sometimes there will be lots left, so I will put it in the fridge, I will not keep the bottle if it has been out of the fridge longer then 1 hour, after that I throw it away regardless of the amount left. If there is alot left and it has only been out under 1 hour, then I will refridgerate that and top off for next feeding, and if its not finished the next feeding, I throw it out. I also have never heated any of their bottles, I figure they don't know the difference between a room temp bottle or a heated one if they have never tryed it, also by giving it from the fridge it helps prepare them for drinking milk at a year of age, gets used to drinking cold drinks, it also most likely feels good on the teething sore gums, and when on outings I figured trying to find a way to heat up a bottle a hassle, and not needed.

Melissa - posted on 03/08/2010

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You're running the risk of food poisoning by saving the leftover formula for later.

Iridescent - posted on 03/08/2010

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So many people (I'm certain some on this post) complain of babies with reflux. How many of the "reflux" is food poisoning from those parents that give their children spoiled formula? Geez. Gotta think.

http://www.babycenter.com/0_formula-safe...
"Learn the symptoms of food-borne illness

The most common symptoms of a food-borne illness are vomiting and diarrhea. If you notice these symptoms, call your baby's doctor right away. Food-borne illnesses can be very serious, particularly in babies, leading to dehydration, kidney failure, and even death."

Iridescent - posted on 03/08/2010

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Wow, so many post "formula is too expensive to waste". Why not breastfeed then?
Cassie's formulas cost $42.02 per can. She uses 1/4 can every 24 hours. We pour extra down the drain. I also will not scrape any spilled amount off the scale, table, counter or floor to use. It's also wasted. There are MANY much more expensive types of formula, and we're fortunate hers isn't even more costly. For most families, WIC covers a good portion of what your baby needs. So why be concerned about cost so much when your child's health is at risk by using bacteria filled old formula? Would you leave your own milk out and expect yourself to drink it after sitting for 2 hours on a counter? I doubt it.

Sandi - posted on 03/08/2010

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I threw them after 2 hours (from the start of her feed).

If your baby is regularly leaving 1-2oz then cut down how much you make by 1-2oz. Its easy enough to make that little bit more on the odd occasions they are needed rather than waste the formula.

Melissa - posted on 03/08/2010

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Its most likely because I am also a new mom BUT I definitely throw it away after an hour!! I also breastfeed so I dont go through it as fast but I follow the insturctions I was given on breastmilk and formula! It scares me too much to risk anything going wrong or her having some reaction

Tina - posted on 03/08/2010

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No......Put it in the refigerator and add to it when there ready to eat it again. Formula is to expensive to waste. I have raised 4 boys on formula and they are all strong healthy kids today!

Jennifer - posted on 03/08/2010

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I have 3 children and I ALWAYS threw the formula away after one hour! i did not want to risk my babies getting sick.

Sabrina - posted on 03/08/2010

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as long as it's refrigerated and used within a few hours...it's fine. I have four healthy children. This unless your child has a special condition or is extremley sensitive.hope this helps! Good luck! :)

Hillary - posted on 03/08/2010

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I don't throw it away after and hour I always just threw it away after two and he did just fine with it.

Kay - posted on 03/08/2010

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no u dont have to i never did with my 2 kids and there fine i just leave it untill she finishes it its a load of bull

[deleted account]

I also throw it out, mainly because I can't stand the smell of formula milk. I makes me think of something than will go off pretty quick.

Rikki - posted on 03/08/2010

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yes throw it out every time :) didnt realy qs it i just thought thats what u are ment to do ? yes its expencive but i wouldnt want to drink something that was not 100% at its best....im not sure what happens if u dont throw it away after an hour and im not going to try it to find out id hate to make my son sick

Blackwood - posted on 03/07/2010

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I always do, I figure they put it on there for a reason and I don't like too take the chance.

Amanda - posted on 03/07/2010

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I dont throw it out. now hes on whole milk cuz hes 13 months old and he only has been sick twice and never had to take antibiodics for it. He has a great immune system. I think its all up to the parents. Sometimes I think some parents can be to parinoid.

Jamie - posted on 03/07/2010

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When she was a newborn I did, she is 7 months old now, and if she only drinks a couple ounces I put the rest in the fridge, I personally see nothing wrong with that. She has never gotten sick, and it's always in the fridge within 15 minutes of me making it if she won't take it.

Jillian - posted on 03/07/2010

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I don't and never have. Formula is $15 a can! My son has never been sick, never had an earache and has never spit up his food after eating. My son is now 10 months old and 22lbs 4oz. Milk doesn't spoil that quick so unless you're rich...use every oz of milk that you make.

Brooke - posted on 03/07/2010

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i was told you could put in fridge n heat back up once then discard...... did that for my 4 year old n doing it with my newborn. i havent had any health problms. n i mke up 2 night time bottles n put them in the fridge so its easier at night just to heat it up rather then fumble around half asleep

Morgan - posted on 03/07/2010

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I always throw it out after the hour even if she only had a sip, formula is expensive but its not worth baby gettin sick.

Debbie - posted on 03/07/2010

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my daughter had a problem with not finishing her bottles...I always get rid of the rest after she is finished with her bottle. I know regular milk goes bad so I don't like to keep the formula after she is finished with it. I know formula is expensive but I don't want to feed her nasty formula. That's just my opinion though :)

Susan - posted on 03/07/2010

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As a mother of 3 I always threw it away bcos it does go off and it curdles in their stomachs

Jess - posted on 03/07/2010

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It really just depends. If there is less than half her bottle left I tend to just tip it out. But if I have just made the bottle and she takes a few sips and decides she doesn't want it, then I will put it in the fridge and warm it up later. I just don't reheat it multiple times. Once, when its made and once again to reheat..... after that any left overs get tipped out !

Sarah - posted on 03/07/2010

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My 5 1/2 month old son usually drinks his entire bottle, but occasionally he will leave 1/2oz-1oz. I always throw out the remaining formula according to the directions. I personally think this is the healthiest way to go. I know formula is expensive and it sucks having to pour it down the drain. So you are not wasting too much formula, I would make up several bottles and keep them in the refrigerator. Try your best to estimate how much you 'think' she might eat at one feeding when making up the bottles. If your baby acts like she wants more, then you can always pour from one of the fresh bottles already in the refigerator. If you make up several bottles and put them in the fridge, I think you must use all of them within a 24-hour period.

Capricia - posted on 03/07/2010

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I didn't throw my babies formula away and it didnt' hurt him any, and he is now one

Alarna - posted on 03/07/2010

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we put ours back in the fridge and re-use it if there is heaps left. hasnt hurt our little girl :)

[deleted account]

I know it says to throw it out and to be honest, yes that is the best policy, however..if you buy the formula premix it says it can be refrigerated, so i figure if you can a buy premix of say similac and it's okay to refrigerate that, then it must be okay to refrigerate the unused portion of a bottle that you made up. I do it, and my daughter is 8 months old and growing strong without any sickness at all as of yet. I never feed it to her after 24 hours though, so i think it's a yes to keep it for 24 hours as long as you put it in the fridge right away...but it's up to you...it hasn't hurt mine at all, so use your best judgment..I also smell it before i feed it to her if it's been in the fridge..if it smells bad..throw it out...I'm sure you use your best judgment on other things and this is no different..but your being an awesome mom to be so cautious...good luck..

RoseAnn - posted on 03/07/2010

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We never did. Our baby was never sick. We just kept it in the fridge for the next feeding.
I researched it and bacteria can grow, etc. but the manufactures are exaggerating it so that you will waste that formula and buy more...
Some babies are touchy to formula that isn't 100% fresh, others can tolerate that little bit of bacteria from their mouths that went into the bottle. Only my opinion but if babies aren't given any germs to start building their immune system, they will have a longer time of doing that in the long run.

MarLisa - posted on 03/07/2010

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Marianna,

Hello! I am a neonatal intensive care nurse and just wanted to give you some insight on why the instructions read as they do on the bottle. Milk's (formula) basic compound is a glucose (sugar) base, but in natural form (not like the sugar you buy in the store). Hard to explain, but this is a great breeding ground for bacteria if not kept at the right temparture. So, using the formula within the hour is a good practice to avoid gastrointestinal sickness. However, when we are feeding our preemies through feeding tubes on continuous feeds they can hang up to three to four hours at room temprature. So, as a rule try not to mix more than you think you need and throw the remaining away no longer than 1-2 hours if at room temperature.

Marianna - posted on 03/07/2010

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I'm very sorry that your little one has to go through that. My thought and prayers are with you and your family.

Iridescent - posted on 03/07/2010

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She's missing a liver enzyme (her disease is called Ornithine Transcarbamylase Deficiency) and the treatment is a low protein diet, lots of medications, and formula for life for missing nutrients. When she's sick she has to be hospitalized until she's well and able to eat tolerably, which means she's hospitalized ~half the time in general. She also has hypoglycemia and both conditions made her need a feeding tube for overnight feeds. There are a lot of other major health issues with her, but those are the most serious right now.

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