What Happens If My Baby Drank Old Formula
Baby Toddler Safety

What Happens If My Baby Drank Old Formula?

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Do you have old formula, and you are wondering what happens if my baby drank old formula?

First, according to WHO guidelines, old formula is not only formula milk past its expiration date.

Any prepared formula that is older than two hours falls under this category of old formula. 

Experts recommend preparing a fresh batch of formula milk every time you need to feed your baby.

This way, you can avoid any issues that might arise from the baby consuming the old formula. 

However, human is to error. So, what happens if you feed your little one old formula? Keep reading.

What Happens If My Baby Drank Old Formula

If your baby drinks old formula, there is a likelihood that they could fall ill.

For starters, if it is formula milk you mixed over an hour ago, it could contain bacteria. It grows pretty fast, especially if you leave the bottle out at room temperature. 

Children under three months, born prematurely, or those with preexisting medical conditions are more likely to develop serious infections.

In addition, watch out for any rise in body temperature and sluggish appearance.

What symptoms will your baby show after drinking old formula?

Did your baby drink old formula? The best way to know if they are affected is to keep an eye n them. If you notice any of the below, seek immediate medical advice:

1. Vomiting

The old formula might cause your baby to throw up due to food poisoning. Food poisoning occurs within twenty-four hours.

The body might quickly attempt to eliminate the spoilt food and bacteria out of the system.

Once your baby starts to throw up, give them bits of salty water to keep them dehydrated and replace lost fluids.

2. Diarrhea

Note that diarrhea will yield a more severe loss in fluid and electrolytes than vomiting.

Therefore, give your baby salty water to keep them hydrated and seek medical attention.

If diarrhea goes unchecked, it can lead to dehydration, which can be fatal to your baby.

3. Fever

If your baby drinks this formula milk, they could contract a cronobacter infection.

Cronobacter is the most dangerous bacteria in the old formula. It survives in powdered milk and multiplies fast enough. 

This infection can cause secondary bacterial infections or bacterial meningitis. These can be fatal. 

Unlike adult meningitis, your baby will not have a stiff neck, only a fever.

If your baby has meningitis, it will also become sluggish and unresponsive. Contact the doctor if you observe any of the above signs.

What Happens If The Baby Drinks Formula That Has Expired?

You may have mixed up a bottle of formula for your child, given it to them, and then discovered that the formula had expired.

Your kid is unlikely to become ill from old formula, especially if it is supercharged. 

The major worry here is that expired formula may not have the same nutrients and vitamins as fresh formula, and your baby would not have gained these nutrients from their feed.

This is because, beyond the use-by date, the nutrients break down and disappear, and the formula will no longer be as valuable to your baby’s health. 

If the formula has expired and been exposed to bacteria, there is a higher chance of sickness.

Mold development is possible, and this might make your infant very sick.

It’s best to keep a note of the best by or use-by date on the formula tin and double-check the formula each time before using it.

Read a related post: How Much Is A Scoop Of Formula

How do I know if an old formula is bad?

Old formula has sour milk characteristics that include a foul smell, clumps on the milk, and the milk seems separated.

Your baby is unlikely to drink it off anyway. However, keep off any formula older than two hours since it might contain dangerous bacteria for your child.

The risk escalates more in children with weak immune systems and those below three months.

See a related post: How Long Does A Can of Formula Last?

What if I gave the baby expired formula?

If you gave your baby a formula that is past its “best by” date, do not panic.

The expired formula is less harmful to your baby unless the powder is clumpy, smells odd, decolorized, or broken the formula’s seal.

Past the expiry date, nutrients in the baby preparation will break down. If you feed them this milk, they will not get the required nutrients. 

However, monitor for any food poisoning symptoms since bacteria is likely to have expired formula.

What happens if my baby drank old formula? Sometimes, nothing happens.

Nevertheless, it is crucial to stay vigilant. Check your baby for food poisoning symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea.

Also, keep your baby hydrated to keep off serious illnesses. In a worse scenario case, old formula might cause cronobacter infection that is likely to cause meningitis.

Monitor your baby closely for any symptoms such as fever and lethargy. Contact your doctor at the earliest signs. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it possible for a baby to get sick from drinking outdated formula?

Corynebacteria can survive in arid environments. Powdered baby formula, powdered milk, and herbal teas are common sources of bacteria.

Corynebacterial infections are uncommon, yet they can be fatal in infants as young as days or weeks old.

What happens if you leave the formula out for too long?

In a made-up formula, harmful germs can multiply swiftly. Even if the formula is kept in the refrigerator, germs can survive and reproduce, though slower.

The longer the formula is kept out of the fridge, the higher the danger of illness.

What if the baby drinks from a soiled bottle?

Bacteria. Unsanitized baby bottles can also be a breeding ground for dangerous bacteria, which will eventually make their way into your baby’s mouth if you simply clean them by rinsing them.

These germs can make your baby sick, causing things like food poisoning and vomiting.


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Iesha Mulla

Iesha is a loving mother of 2 beautiful children. She's an active parent who enjoys indoor and outdoor adventures with her family. Her mission is to share practical and realistic parenting advice to help the parenting community becoming stronger.

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