Can You Reheat Formula?

Q: I’m having a baby soon, and with all of the books I have been reading, they all say to throw the formula out after use. If my baby had not had the nipple in their mouth, can I still safely reheat the formula for another feeding? I hate to waste it.


A: Reheating baby formula is something that comes with mixed reviews. However, as long as the baby had not had the bottle, there is very little risk of bacteria growth. Some mothers will even allow their child to have the bottle, and put the leftovers into the refrigerator within an hour to conserve resources. It is suggested not to do this, as there is a small chance the baby’s saliva will mix with the formula and create bacteria.

To Reheat Your Bottle

There are only two recommended ways to reheat formula for your baby. A bottle warmer, or warm water baths.

When using a bottle warmer, follow the manufactures instructions. Always test the temperature of the bottle before feeding.

Warm Water Baths

To warm a baby’s bottle, simply place the bottle into a container full of warm (not boiling!) water to allow it to come to temperature. Be sure to test it on your wrist to ensure the comfort of your baby. Warming a bottle in this fashion should take about 15 minutes, depending on the chill of the formula.

Never use a microwave to reheat formula as it heats unevenly and may scald your baby’s mouth!

Having a child is expensive, so being able to save on resources is something every mother should know.  You can save the leftover formula for up to 24 hours, but no more. Bacteria could grow rapidly if strict cleaning regimens were not followed. While saving a bit of money is ideal, you should undervalue the safety of your baby! If something is off about the bottle you were planning on feeding, empty it out, and make a new bottle.

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