Child drinking formula in a bottle

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Updated: June 5, 2023
By Shauna Henley

When it comes to feeding our little ones, we want to make sure that the formula we give them is safe and fresh. One way to ensure this is by paying attention to the date labels on infant formula. But what do these labels mean, and how can we make sure that the formula we give our babies is still good?

Here are simple explanations to important dates to look for: 

  1.  Expiration date - the last day that the formula should be used. After the expiration the baby formula should not be used because it could be unsafe for your baby.
  2. Look for the "use by" date - the last day before the formula may start to lose quality and nutrients. It's important to use the formula before this date to make sure that your baby gets all of the nutrients from it. 

It's also important to check the packaging for any signs of:

  • Damage or spoilage: if the can or container is dented or damaged, it's best to not use it. 
  • Spoilage: an odd smell or color change may mean that the formula has gone bad. It is best to discard any questionable formula as it may have gone bad.
  • Storage instructions: infant formula comes with instructions on how to safely store it before, and after, opening. Make sure to check and follow these instructions as they can be different for different formulas. 

When it comes to feeding your baby, it's important to be informed and aware of the date labels on infant formula. By paying attention to the expiration date and "use by" date, and checking the packaging, you can help ensure that the formula you give your baby is safe and fresh.