Quel est le temps de conservation d'un biberon ? - Élhée

How long does a baby bottle last?

The shelf life of a bottle is a major concern among parents concerned about the well-being of their baby.

In this article, we discuss why it is essential to properly store the bottle not consumed by your baby, and to what extent this is possible. You will discover the storage times that must be respected absolutely to guarantee the health of your cherub.

Our goal : to alert parents to the potential risks associated with inappropriate storage times. To do this, we will present to you the most obvious signs of a deterioration in the quality of milk in the event of poor storage.


How to store a baby bottle properly?

It is understandable that many parents seek to avoid waste by saving their baby's uneaten bottles. Whether to meet a fluctuating appetite, minimize expenses or simply save time during future preparations, conservation may seem like a practical solution.

However, it is essential to note that it is possible to keep the contents not drunk by your child, on one condition: the milk must be fresh breast milk and not defrosted !

Exit, therefore, bottles of infant milk which cannot be kept for more than an hour after their preparation.

How long does a bottle of breast milk (not thawed) last for?

At room temperature, breast milk can be stored for about four hours .

For longer storage, it is recommended to place your bottle of milk in the refrigerator, where it can remain safe for consumption for a longer period of time.

In the refrigerator

At room temperature

Fresh breast milk

Up to 7 days maximum

(Between 1 and 4°C)

About 4 hours

Thawed breast milk

24 hours max

(Do not refreeze)

Consume immediately

Active, mobile parents may wonder how to store baby bottles on the go. Investing in an insulated bag specially designed for transporting baby bottles can be a practical solution. This helps maintain the temperature of breast milk and ensures its freshness even when traveling!

Read also: Traveling with baby: how to organize an easy-peasy vacation

Does the material of the bottle influence their shelf life?

Although formal studies have not categorically established a link between bottle material and shelf life, it is important to consider some aspects.

Storing breast milk for too long in a plastic bottle can increase the risk of spreading plastic micro- and nanoparticles into the milk.

At Elhée, we recommend favoring our medical grade silicone baby bottles for your child's meals. This innovative material poses no risk to your little one's health. Milk not drunk and stored for a later feeding can be reheated in the microwave (link to microwave article) without risk.

4 signs that prove that the bottle's shelf life has not been respected!

If a bottle has not been stored for the recommended time, it will show signs of deterioration in quality. These signs should be taken very seriously! They indicate that the milk has become unfit for consumption. If you have any doubts about the milk in your baby's bottle, throw it away. 🚮

An abnormal smell

One of the most obvious signs of spoilage of breast milk is its peculiar and unpleasant odor. The milk will develop a sour or rancid smell . If you notice it when opening the bottle, do not give it to your baby.

In some women, expressed breast milk may develop a slightly unpleasant odor, sometimes reminiscent of vomit, after a few hours or when thawing .

This is usually attributed to the presence of lipases , natural enzymes that break down fats in milk. This smell, although disconcerting, does not prevent your milk from remaining perfectly edible. 🥛

Did you know ? 

To mitigate the impact of lipases,

Simply warm the milk to a temperature of around 60°C.

A change of color

Another key indicator of milk spoilage is a change in color. Fresh milk generally has a white or bluish, sometimes yellowish tint. But if it takes on a brownish tint , this may indicate that it is no longer edible.

Note that depending on the women and what they themselves have consumed, breast milk will have a different color. Its texture and coloring vary throughout the feeding; transparent and bluish at the beginning of expression , it tends to thicken and become creamy yellow at the end of the meal.

A modified texture

Properly stored breast milk has a smooth and perfectly homogeneous texture. If you notice lumps, particles, or an unusual texture persisting after shaking the bottle, this may be a sign that the milk has undergone unwanted changes.

It is good to point out that after its expression, breast milk naturally undergoes separation, with the rise of fat . It is totaly normal ! Your milk remains perfectly fit for consumption. The proportion of fat may differ with each expression and vary from one mother to another. The appearance of expressed breast milk is unique, different from cow's milk or commercial infant formula .

An altered taste

Although the taste of your breast milk may vary depending on your diet, a noticeably altered taste may be a sign that the milk is no longer suitable for consumption. If the milk tastes sour or acidic, it is recommended not to give it to your baby. Note that lipases can, here again, cause a change in the taste of milk without this marking its non-consumability.

To conclude

  • Proper storage of breast milk bottles helps ensure the safety and well-being of your baby. Understanding and applying the conservation principles set out in this article gives you the opportunity to avoid waste and guarantee the nutritional quality of the breast milk given to your child.

  • The material of the bottle potentially influences the storage time. We recommend opting for medical grade silicone baby bottles , a safe and innovative option that avoids the generation of plastic particles in milk when stored in the refrigerator.

  • Although compliance with storage rules is present, it is important to remain attentive to possible signs of milk deterioration that we have mentioned.

  • To find out the shelf life of a bottle of breast milk, refer to the table above.
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