I have compiled a quick rundown of the safety guidelines for storing breast milk and formula.
Breast Milk Storage Guidelines
If you are expressing breast milk in order to feed baby at a later time with a bottle, here are some helpful guidelines for how long the milk will stay good in different environments.
Room Temperature: 4-6 hours
Cooler with Ice: 24 hours
Refrigerator: 3-8 days
Freezer: 6-12 months
Prepared Formula Storage Guidelines
If you are preparing formula, the timelines are different.
Room Temperature: 1 hour, then it must be refrigerated or thrown away
Refrigerator: 24 hours
Please note that if a baby starts but doesn’t finish a bottle, it cannot be saved for later. It must be thrown away because of bacteria that can collect.
Unprepared Formula Storage Guidelines
Cans of unprepared formula mixes are best kept in cool, dry places and out of the sun. Find a cabinet away from heating elements and hot pipes where you can safely keep it. Don’t put it in the refrigerator or the freezer as the damp atmosphere will cause the formula to clump and be unusable. Once a can has been opened, it is good for 30 days, or until the expiration date printed on the can, whichever comes first.