Baby 101: Storing breast milk and baby formula
Congratulations on bringing your little one into the world!
One of the first and most important things you will need to do is address feeding your baby. Parents will choose between breastfeeding or using baby formula, but it doesn't stop there. Whatever route you take, storing and preserving your breast milk and baby formula properly is essential. Taking a few minutes to learn how to keep, transport, warm, and feed this precious nutrition to your baby is crucial.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind for properly storing and preserving breast milk and baby formula:
If you are pumping, you may find it convenient to pump or pour directly into breast milk bags or bottles to store milk in or use then. Freshly pumped breast milk can be kept at room temperature for up to four hours before use. If you aren't going to use it within four hours, it can be put in the refrigerator for four days or the freezer for six months.
You can use the Ember Baby Bottle for freshly prepared formula, allowing you to feed immediately at the perfect temperature. When feeding your infant formula, prepare it according to manufacturer instructions and use it within two hours, or store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. And remember that once the baby has been fed from that bottle, the rest of the formula should be discarded unless finished within an hour.
See CDC chart for milk and formula storage.
Most babies eat around 2.5 ounces of breastmilk or formula for each pound of their body weight. During the first weeks of your baby's life, they will feed an average of every two to four hours. As they grow, babies will be able to go more extended periods between feeding so that by the time they are six months old, they will be feeding every four to five hours on average.
Considering how many times per day babies eat, it's good to get the details on storing and preserving breast milk and formula right from the start. This way, you won't have questions on the fly about how long something is good at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Not only will this help keep the baby healthier, but it will also help you avoid wasting breast milk or formula. A lot of feedings will take place, but this period of parenting will fly by, so enjoy every minute of it!
Dr. Tanya Altmann, MD, FAAP
Dr. Tanya Altmann, a nationally recognized pediatrician, mom, and best-selling author, is partnering with Ember to bring you advice on all things parenthood.