What Happens If Baby Drinks Old Formula?

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Taking care of a newborn may be stressful even for experienced parents. When you are exhausted, you may be more likely to make mistakes. For instance, you may accidentally give your baby a formula sitting out at room temperature for many hours. Worse, many parents even accidentally fed their children 3-day-old formula.

So, what happens if your baby drinks old formula? The answer will depend on how long the formula has sat out after preparation, what temperature you stored it, is this formula freshly prepared or leftover after your baby has taken it. However, some symptoms your baby may experience when drinking spoiled milk are diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration in extreme situations.

Let’s dive into this article to know specific answers and other helpful information.

Symptoms Of Baby Drinking Spoiled Formula

Your baby won’t get a severe illness, but he will experience a tough time due to foodborne botulism. If you accidentally gave your baby old formula, he may undergo the following symptoms:

Your newborn may have food poisoning from the old milk. Within 24 hours, the foodborne illness will indeed occur. Your baby’s body may try to flush out the spoiled milk and germs as quickly as possible. That’s why he vomits.

If your baby begins to vomit, offer them minor amounts of salt water to keep him hydrated and replenish lost fluids. You should track how often your child vomits and replenish him with water or take him to the doctor right away.

baby drank expired formula

1. Diarrhea

If your infant drank spoiled milk, his body will try to cleanse itself by causing diarrhea. Frequent diaper changes due to runny stools will be symptoms of this condition.

These stools seem to be frequently more acidic, which might result in diaper rashes. It’s better to change the diaper for your newborn after each diarrhea to prevent diaper rashes.

Diarrhea, like vomiting, causes dehydration and weakness in your kid and disrupts his breastfeeding routine. If treated properly, this bad situation will disappear after one or two days.

2. Fever

Your baby may become infected with Cronobacter bacteria. In the spoiled formula, Cronobacter is considered the most hazardous bacteria. It lives and grows quickly enough in baby food.

Bacterial meningitis or secondary bacterial infection can occur due to this illness. Your child’s immune system will be fighting the nasty germs, which might result in a high fever.

If your infant gets a fever right after drinking old formula, you should seek medical attention immediately.

3. Dehydration

Although dehydration might be hard to detect, you should keep an eye out for the following symptoms in your infant.

Their skin may seem pale and flushed, and your baby may pass less pee and refuse to drink.

Dehydration will strike fast if your baby is vomiting or suffers diarrhea. If you see any indications of dehydration, consult your doctor right away.

These signs are how your baby’s body attempts to wash out harmful bacteria. Yet, the symptoms might lead to dehydration, which may be rather dangerous.

How Long After Drinking Old Formula Will a Baby Get Sick?

Each baby’s body will react differently to spoiled formula. But the signs listed above are unavoidable symptoms. Food poisoning symptoms usually appear within 24 hours of your baby consuming contaminated baby milk.

Toxins from germs in foods that have not been prepared or stored correctly are frequently the reason. As mentioned above, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and dehydration are common symptoms.

After drinking old formula milk, your baby may have nausea in the first day or two. Bacterial toxins in old formula sat out at room temperature or exposed to direct light from the sun are frequently the leading cause.

These symptoms will most likely last one or two days. If one of these signs persists beyond a couple of hours, it’s best to consult your doctor immediately.

How To Know If Baby Formula Has Gone Bad?

If you want to prevent your baby from drinking spoiled formula, it’s best to know how to tell if powder formula or prepared type has gone bad.

Powder Formula

If it’s a powder type, you can check the use-by or best-by date on the package. After doing that, but you still have doubts, examine for the following signs:

  • The powder has a musty odor.
  • It has firm lumps or clumps together.
  • The seal on the lid is damaged or bulging.
  • The powder has discoloration or mold.

If you detect any signs, it’s best to throw this bad formula tin away and buy a new one to guarantee safety for your child.

Prepared Formula

According to CDC, you can leave the prepared formula at room temperature within 2 hours. After this period, bacteria will go into food, spoil it, and cause food poisoning.

That’s why you should not give your infant formula that was prepared for more than 2 hours. If you don’t plan to use it right away, store it in the refrigerator.

However, if you are unsure of the time you made that bottle, below are some signs to check spoiled formula:

  • The milk has an unpleasant smell.
  • The milk appears to have lumps.
  • Separation of the milk seems to be taking place.

It would be best never to give your baby any old formula that might have gone bad. If the milk is outdated, babies may become sick from foodborne infections.

baby formula gone bad

How Fast Does Formula Go Bad?

If you leave the prepared baby formula out at room temperature, it will deteriorate. You should feed your baby the formula 2 hours after preparation or one hour after the start of feeding.

The prepared formula may spoil if not used within two hours. It’s advisable to put the bottles in the refrigerator and feed your newborn within 24 hours.

After you’ve fed your kid, toss away any leftover baby food in that bottle. Bacteria can increase in the presence of formula through saliva. Before using the bottle again, wash it and sterilize it.

Do not keep unopened formula containers in automobiles, basements, or outdoors. Once you open them, keep them cool and dry while keeping the lid covered.

You must use the powder type within one month after opening it. Otherwise, you should write the opening date to keep track of the expiry date.


Can Expired Ready-To-Feed Formula Make A Baby Sick?

Expired ready-to-feed formula isn’t as good as it used to be but is less likely to make your baby sick. However, the spoiled formula is very capable of this. Therefore, it is necessary to distinguish between expired and spoiled.

If you mistakenly feed spoiled milk to your infant, he may endure vomiting, diarrhea, fever, or dehydration due to Corynebacterial infections.

Luckily, you can treat these illnesses at home. Symptoms of the disease will improve within a day or two depending on the individual case.

Can Babies Drink Formula After 3 Hours?

The answer depends on what kind of milk it is. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the prepared formula will spoil after 1 hour if left at room temperature.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also mention that you should throw that milk away if you let it out for 2 hours at room temperature.

So, you shouldn’t feed your child formula left at room temperature for more than 2 hours.

If you properly store the formula in the fridge, its best use time is within 24 hours. It means you can feed your newborn this milk after 3 hours.

If your infant hasn’t drunk from the bottle, keep refrigerated milk for 48 hours before it goes spoiled.

What Should I Do If My Baby Drank Spoiled Milk?

If your infant drinks old formula, keep an eye on him to see if new symptoms appear.

Check for any signs of illness, such as diarrhea, vomiting, or a fever. If your baby begins to show some of these symptoms, you should seek medical help.

Otherwise, give them minor quantities of drink every half-hour to avoid dehydration, the primary source of foodborne disease risk.

In A Nutshell

This article has eventually got to the bottom of your headache question: What happens if your baby drinks old formula? Your newborn won’t get a severe illness, but he may show some symptoms of food poisoning such as vomiting, diarrhea, a high fever, or dehydration.

The most important thing you should do when you accidentally feed your baby spoiled milk, whether breast milk or formula, is to stay calm. Try to replenish him with water to avoid dehydration. If the situation goes bad, you need to contact a doctor immediately.

Hopefully, this post will be helpful for you.

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