How Long is Formula Good For and What to Do With It Afterwards

If you’re anything like me, you probably have a few unopened jars of formula from your littlest days tucked away somewhere in your home. Let’s be honest: Those things don’t exactly last forever! Especially if they are stored improperly. That being said, how long is formula good for and what should you do with it afterwards? It might surprise you to know that there are several things that you can do with those old bottles of formula once your child has outgrown them.

How Long Does Formula Last Once Opened?

One of the first things that you’ll want to do, if you’re not already doing it, is to mark the date on which you opened the formula. This is super important so that you know how long you have to use the product before it starts to spoil. Typically, it’s recommended that you use formula within 1 year of the date of opening. This is particularly important for those who are feeding their babies with the assistance of breastmilk, due to a variety of factors such as the mother’s diet, etc. The shelf-life of formula also varies depending on the type of formula that you’ve purchased.

3 Things to Know About Storing Formula

● Don’t Shake It Up: While it’s totally normal to shake a bottle before feeding your baby, you should make sure to shake it gently, rather than vigorously. Why? Because when you shake it up, you increase the chances of oxygen seeping into the formula, which will cause it to spoil faster.
● Keep It Away From Heat: You should also make sure to store your formula in a cool place, away from any heat source such as a stove or oven. Otherwise, it will start to lose nutrients and vitamins.
● Avoid Bright Light: Moreover, you should also keep the formula away from any kind of light source. Light, particularly UV light, will cause the formula to lose some of its nutritional value and even start to become oxidized.

What to Do With Discarded Formula?

Now that we’ve touched on what to do with unopened formula, let’s talk about what to do with discarded formula. The good news is that you can actually do several things with the unopened and opened cans and bottles of formula that you’ve already used for your child. For example, you can donate it to a local women’s shelter or hospital. You can also give it to a friend who is expecting or has a young baby. Alternatively, you can also dispose of it by tossing it into your garbage can. If you opt for this option, try to make sure to remove the cap from the canister or bottle first. This will deter pests from getting inside of the product. You can also recycle any unopened cans of formula. This is especially helpful for parents who are in urban areas where there aren’t any nearby landfills.

So, how long is prepared formula good for and what should you do with it afterwards? Well, you can expect it to last anywhere between 6 months and 1 year if you keep it unopened and properly stored in a dry, dark, and cool area away from heat sources. When it comes time to discard it, you can donate it, throw it away in the garbage can, or recycle it.