How Many Times Can You Reheat Formula

As a new mom are you wondering how many times can you reheat formula for your baby? I know we’ve all been there.

You make your baby a fresh bottle of formula when the phone rings, and suddenly ten minutes have passed and the bottle’s gone cold. Now you’re probably wondering whether to make another new bottle or safely reheat the one you made.

Read on to learn about how many times you can reheat breast milk and how to do so to feed a happy and healthy baby.

Practical Tips On How To Properly Reheat Breast Milk

There are specific ways to reheat breast milk and other ways that can be dangerous for your little one. When you heat breast milk, it mustn’t get too hot.

If it does, this can kill the nutrients in the breast milk, even if it’s the first time you’ve heated the breast milk. There are also a few do and don’ts that you need to follow.

  • If your baby didn’t finish his milk, you can place it back in the refrigerator to reheat for their later feeding. But, remember that breast milk that has been partially consumed and left in the fridge should be used within four hours before discarding it to avoid contamination.
  • Reheat the breast milk by warming water on the stove then placing the milk container in the hot water. However, try not to let it boil and do not reheat the milk in the microwave.
  • As much as possible, to avoid reheating or throwing away unused portions of milk, only take the amount your baby will be able to consume at a time. Your baby will need 3-4 ounces of breast milk during his first to the sixth month.
  • Finally, always monitor the amount your baby drinks per feeding and adjust the amount of milk you store per bag according to how much your baby can drink in one sitting.

Read Also: How To Prepare Formula Bottles in Advance

How Many Times Can You Reheat Formula For Baby?

How Many Times Can You Reheat Formula for baby

Based on recent studies and research, it is best advised to reheat breast milk that has been partially consumed just once, as reheating it again would destroy the good bacteria and nutrients found in breast milk.

Also, it is best to only reheat and use breast milk within four hours, as there would be some bacterial contamination in the milk that comes from your baby’s mouth.

Normally, it is safe to reheat breast milk once. But if it has already been reheated and remains unused after four hours, then discard it.

Like mentioned, reheating breast milk depends on various factors, like from the way you stored breast milk down to how long the breast milk has been sitting outside.

Read Also: What Happens If Baby Drinks Spoiled Breast Milk

How Many Times Can I Reheat Untouched Breast Milk?

You should reheat untouched breast milk once. Even if your little one does not drink out of the bottle, and it did not sit out at all, you should only reheat it once. This is because heat kills the vitamins and healthy nutrients in breast milk.

You are more than likely breastfeeding your baby to get all of the healthy benefits that come with breastfeeding, so why ruin it by killing the good bacteria and nutrients in breast milk?

TIP: Heating breast milk to a temperature that is too high can also kill nutrients in breast milk.

Read Also: 10 Bottle-Feeding Mistakes You Should Avoid

How Many Times Can I Reheat Breast Milk That Is Partially Consumed?

Partially consumed should be reheat once, provided that it is reheated within four hours. If your little one only drinks part of a breast milk bottle, you should store it immediately in the refrigerator. It can also then be reheated one more time within four hours.

If it is left to sit at room temperature, it cannot be reheated. Rather, the remaining breast milk should be discarded. Harmful bacteria can breed in bottles after a baby drinks from them, and it will breed at an alarming rate at room temperature.

It is not safe to give your baby a bottle that has been left out longer than an hour. The safest way is to throw away the remaining breast milk to avoid exposing your baby from harmful bacteria.

If your little one is hungry again in an hour or two later, use a fresh baggie of stored breast milk. This ensures that there are not harmful bacteria inside of it. It also guarantees that you’re not killing nutrients with too much heat.

Read Also: 11 Newborn Night Feeding Tips To Help You Cope

When To Not Reheat Breast Milk


Although, reheating your breast milk is fine, but there are periods when you shouldn’t, such as:

  • Do not reheat breast milk when it looks like the milk has been sitting outside for over half an hour (if your baby drank some from the bottle). Bad bacteria may have already gotten inside the breast milk, making it unsafe for your baby to consume.
  • When breast milk is spoiled from improper storage or having been left outside for long, you shouldn’t reheat and use it again. You’ll notice if breast milk has gone bad through its smell.
  • If your baby is sick, do not reheat breast milk to use again, as it loses its immunologic properties when reheated. It’s best advised to feed your baby a fresh bottle of breast milk from the fridge (and has been properly heated).
  • Do not reheat milk previously frozen, as thawed breast milk will only have a very little amount of living immune cells, which prevent contamination.

Read Also: How To Make Formula Taste Like Breast Milk

Practical Tips To Follow To Store Breast Milk Properly for Reheating

By storing your breast milk properly, this ensures that you can properly heat and reheat your breast milk in the future. But how do you do so? Here are some practical tips to follow when storing breast milk:

  • From the time you begin pumping milk until storing them in bottles or bags, ensure that your hands and pump parts are clean and sterilized. Place it in the appropriate storage bottles or bags and the freezer or fridge, depending on when you will be using it.
  • Thaw your frozen milk before heating it. Don’t refreeze milk to thaw and reheat again.
  • Label your breast milk according to when you pumped it and how long it will take until it expires so you know which bags of breast milk to feed first and what you should throw out if it is past the expiration date. Remember breast milk can last for:
    • Ten hours at room temperature.
    • Eight days in a fridge.
    • Two weeks inside the freezer of a fridge.
    • Three to four months in the freezer of a fridge with a separate door.
    • Six months to a year in a deep freezer.

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If you are pumping breast milk for your baby to store and reheat later, then you should also take account of the unused breast milk to know if you are going to reheat and feed it again to your baby later on. While this is allowed, there are practical tips to try out to ensure that you’re feeding your baby quality breast milk.

I believe that this article answers your question: “How many times can you reheat formula?” Now that you know all about reheating breast milk, how to store breast milk properly and how to do it right, follow these tips and you won’t have to worry about feeding your baby pumped milk anymore.

If you have any questions or would like to share your tips and experiences with reheating breast milk, then drop your comment or suggestion down below. We would love to hear what you have to think about.