Storing and warming feeds

It is safest to prepare a fresh feed each time you need one, and to give it to your baby as soon as it has cooled to the right temperature.

This is because warm milk provides ideal conditions for bacteria to grow – especially at room temperature.

Safely store bottles

To safely store made-up bottles:

  • Make up bottles following steps 1 to 11.
  • Place cooled bottles in the back of the fridge.
  • Make sure the temperature of the fridge is 5°C or less.
  • Throw away any feed not used within 24 hours.

Never use a microwave to warm feeds

Microwaves heat unevenly. They may cause ‘hot spots’ that could scald your baby’s mouth.

Warm refrigerated bottles

To warm up refrigerated bottle feeds:

  • remove the bottle from the fridge just before you need it
  • to warm it, place it in a bowl of warm water, making sure the level of the water is below the neck of the bottle. You can also use a bottle-warmer
  • do not warm it for more than 15 minutes
  • check the temperature of the milk by dripping a little onto the inside of your wrist. It should feel lukewarm, not hot
  • throw away any feed that your baby has not taken within two hours

Related content

How to give a baby a bottle

You will need to know how to give a baby a bottle after you or your partner gives birth. Read how to prepare and check a baby's bottle before feeding.

Page last reviewed: 15 March 2018
Next review due: 15 March 2021