Freezing baby formula seems convenient for some families, but is it safe? Whether using European baby formula as your infant’s only source of nutrition or as a supplement to breast milk, knowing each detail of formula storage will make bottle feeding easier.
Storing formula might seem simple. Still, when you are functioning on little to no sleep, leaving the powdered baby formula container in the open air or a prepared bottle of European baby formula out on your countertop can be easy.
Unmixed powder baby formula can stand limited exposure to room temperature. Minimal subjection to the surrounding environment will not result in loss of nutrients or damage to powdered formula.
A quick look before recovering to check for noticeable moisture or contamination is necessary, and then you can reseal and put the container back in a cool dark space until the next time you need it.
On the other hand, prepared infant formula will spoil if left out at room temperature for too long. Once you mix the powder and water, baby formula is best given to your little one within 2 hours of preparation and one hour from when feeding begins.
If the prepared formula is left out for more than 2 hours or has been partially fed to your little one, immediately discard the unused portion.
European Baby Formula comes vacuum-sealed so that it is sterile until the moment you open it. This ensures that your baby’s nutrition stays contamination-free, and all ingredients remain fresh.
Parents will not have to worry if their powdered formula is used by the expiration date. Using a box or can by the use-by date is easy for most babies.
However, if you find that your little one’s baby formula is nearing expiration, freezing the powder or prepared baby formula is not the answer. Unfortunately, freezers can negatively affect all European baby formula’s components and overall nutritional value.
According to the Food Safety division of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the freezer formula can also negatively affect its components.
High humidity, like that found in a freezer, can cause the powder to clump. When the powdered baby formula adheres together, it changes the actual number of micronutrients that goes into your baby's bottle.
Babies' bodies and digestive systems are developing amazingly fast. European baby formulas are designed to make sure there are no toxic or harmful ingredients, only balanced nutrition that supports digestion and growth.
An imbalance of minerals, proteins, or fats will lead to nutritional problems that can have lasting physical and cognitive effects. Too much or not enough of the necessary vitamins and minerals over an extended period can damage your baby's kidneys or stunt your infant’s growth and hinder development cycles.
Just like powder, the components of baby formula can change when frozen. Freezing prepared or premixed European baby formula causes the fat to separate from the proteins. When separated, the temperatures in the freezer are so low that it can cause the loss of some essential nutrients.
As the frozen baby formula thaws, these nutrients will not mix to a consistent state. The texture and taste of the European baby formula will be undesirable to infants, and the quality will be compromised.
Please do not store baby formula powder inside a refrigerator. Condensation will lead to mold and bacteria growth that is extremely harmful to your baby.
There is also the worry that the dry powders will have the opportunity to pick up smells and tastes from the surrounding foods, making them unpalatable.
As you feel more comfortable bringing your little one out into the world, being prepared for feedings is likely to top of mind. How much formula should you take, and what is the easiest way to make a baby formula bottle?
The safest option for daily outings is to carry an airtight pre-measured amount of European powdered baby formula and a clean, empty bottle for each feeding you will be away from home.
Pro Tip* Use a thermos to bring boiling water, which will keep it hot for about four hours. After mixing the water and formula, check the temperature by sprinkling a few drops onto your wrist to ensure it is comfortably warm, not hot, and then serve right away.
If you need to mix formula and place it in bottles before you go out with your baby, chill it for at least an hour in the back of the refrigerator, where it's coldest. You can then store these bottles in a cooler with ice packs for up to two hours.
When traveling by air, families are allowed to carry on the amount of prepared and powdered baby formula through security that they need.
Here are the steps you will need to know when bringing infant formula on an airplane.
✈️Remove the formula items from your carry-on to be screened separately
✈️Let the TSA officer know that you have a formula in larger amounts than 3.4 ounces
✈️The TSA may need to test the formula for prohibited items (by pouring a minimal amount out). If you do not want the formula bottle to be opened, let the TSA know, and additional screening procedures may be needed.
✈️You are allowed to bring ice packs, frozen gel packs, and a cooler or insulated bag. The ice packs may need additional screening if they are partially frozen or slushy.
✈️Plan ahead by locating stores at your destination that carry your brand of formula, just in case.
Whether opened or not—pre-mixed or powdered—where and how you store your baby formula matters.
Store unopened infant formula containers in a cool, dry, indoor place—not in vehicles, garages, or outdoors.
Once a container of infant formula is opened, store it in a cool, dry place with a tightly closed lid. Do not store it in the refrigerator.
Pro Tip* Most infant formulas must be used within one month of opening the container (check the label). When you first open the container, write the date on the lid to help you remember.
* Never use baby formula after the “Use By” date on the container *
You may wonder how to determine if your powdered baby formula is spoiled. You can start by checking the formula for an unusual smell, color change, or consistency.
Another red flag that the formula may be spoiled is if your baby refuses to take a prepared bottle of baby formula or gets sick after feeding.
To keep your formula from spoiling, you should carefully store your little one’s nutrition and use it by the expiration date indicated.
Keep in mind that European baby formulas use the date format DAY / MONTH / YEAR.
We know that the rules surrounding formula can seem a little overwhelming initially, but remember, it’s your baby’s delicate system you support. It won’t be long before preparing your infant’s formula will become second nature.
The Milky Box European baby formulas are shipped directly to your door, clearly marked with at least 6 months' expiration for our US customers. Nutrition for every digestive, growth, and lifestyle need.