Don’t Even Think About Making Your Own Baby Formula

When it comes to baby food, we may think that homemade is always best, but there could be a very important instance when that is very, very wrong:

Homemade baby formula.

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Image via Flickr/ nerissa's ring

In an effort perhaps to make formula a healthier choice, some parents are turning to do-it-yourself homemade baby formula kits or are looking up formula recipes online, some of which include buying ingredients like raw cow's milk, bacteria, liver oil, and yeast. There has even been some talk of the bioengineering of food, leading to food allergies, pushing some parents to go back to “whole” ingredients. 

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The International Food Information Council (IFIC) says “not so fast.” “Consumption of homemade formulas can lead to potentially serious health consequences for babies,” the organization claims. Other organizations agree, cautioning parents against attempts to make baby formula at home for several reasons:

1. The homemade baby formula may not contain the right mix of nutrients. 

Parents, let's remember that formula from a store isn't poison. I fear that in our quest to make “breast the best” and move away from formula feeding (both good things, no doubt, but still not for everyone) that we have made formula out to be a villain.

Formula is highly regulated, and companies are constantly updating and improving formula ingredients to ensure that it is the right mix of nutrients that a growing baby needs. “Commercial infant formulas must meet all the requirements of the Infant Formula Act, which was developed to safeguard the nutritional health of infants, with very specific ingredient, manufacturing, testing, and labeling requirements,” states the FDA. 

2. It may be more contaminated. 

Whether purchasing raw ingredients for homemade baby formula, such as cow's or goat's milk, you are also opening the door for a lot of contamination exposure. From the person who collects it, to how it stored, shipped, and produced in your kitchen, it can be very easy for stray bacteria to make its way into your baby unknowingly. Unlike your kitchen, commercial baby food is rigorously inspected to avoid contamination. 

3. Whole cow's milk is discouraged. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages parents from introducing raw or whole cow's milk before a baby is 12 months of age. Many homemade baby formula recipes also use raw, unpasteurized cow's milk, which the AAP also warns against, citing increased risk for babies, whose digestive systems may not be ready for the extra bacteria or milk. The AAP states that breast milk, followed by commercial formula, are the best foods for babies six month and younger. 

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What do you think about the trend for homemade baby formula? 

What do you think?

Don’t Even Think About Making Your Own Baby Formula

Chaunie Brusie is a coffee mug addict, a labor and delivery nurse turned freelance writer, and a young(ish) mom of four. She is the author of "Tiny Blue Lines: Preparing For Your Baby, Moving Forward In Faith, & Reclaiming Your Life In An Unplanned Pregnancy" and "The Moments That Made You A Mother". She also runs Passion Meets Practicality, a community of tips + inspiration for work-at-home mothers. ... More

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13 comments

  1. Profile photo of Chantelle Chantelle says:

    Our daughter is adopted so formula was our only option. We started her out on the best organic formula we could find and she had a super hard time. Then it came to our attention she was allergic to soy, which is in EVERY formula on the market. (And just about every processed food you buy.) She was miserable and not gaining weight as she should no matter which formula we tried. We start making the Weston Price homemade formula and she totally thrived. It was like night and day. Normal bowel moments and and weight gain. She was one happy girl. Any mom who thinks I am crazy for making my own formula needs to check herself and stop judging. We are all doing the best we can for our babies and homemade formula is not only way more expensive than store bought, it is also way more time consuming to make. We talked to our Pediatrician before we started and she approved the change and was amazed how much better our daughter did on the formula. I would recommend it to any mommy who really wants to give her baby the next best thing to breast milk. And FYI I did not throw together some random list of ingredients and just wing it. The formula is a very specific and a scientifically backed recipe for complete nutrition for baby. I don’t think any parents would , ” throwing together some internet list of ingredients with no real clue what they’re doing.” Really come on! Buying formula from Target or your local grocery store is a whole lot easier.

  2. Profile photo of Morgan Hart Morgan Hart says:

    I’m with Jenelle…when I first read the title, I thought, “People actually do this?!” Thanks to the comments I realize people do….this is quite possibly the craziest thing I’ve seen this week. Yes, I’m well-educated. I breast fed my two boys, made their baby food, use mostly natural cleaners, make my own laundry detergent…I say all this to make a point. I consider myself pretty well versed when it comes to the health of my kiddos. And I’m fairly to each their own-for mommas who use Gerber and Clorox, kudos to you too. But making my own formula? If for some reason my babies couldn’t nurse, it would have taken a pretty serious health emergency for me to even consider a DIY formula. Formulas not only have specific nutrients, but have them in specific amounts and combinations. Why risk endangering the health of your baby? You’re talking about creating possible health problems for the lifetime of your kids. I’m guessing there may be the VERY FEW parents whose children have a dire health issue, that have exhausted all other options, have consulted with a pediatrician, and felt they needed to try a DIY formula. But most people are probably throwing together some internet list of ingredients with no real clue what they’re doing…and I thought it was bad enough that people swapped breast milk without going through a bank or some other agency that ensures it isn’t contaminated. Geez.

  3. Profile photo of Deanna Deanna says:

    My son is almost 7 months old and I have been giving him a raw goats milk formula since he was 2 months old. We tried every formula there was and he tolerated none of them. He was miserable all the time. Gassy, fussy, and screaming all the time. We’ve even had him tested to see if he had an allergy to the cows milk in the formula, but no allergy to that. We even tried Nutramigen. It still didn’t help. Which leads me to believe there is something in the formulas that my son was reacting to. Well from the very first bottle of goats milk formula my son is a completely different baby. He is so happy. He has been on the homemade goats milk formula for 5 months now and he continues to grow and thrive. He also gets a infant vitamin and probiotic everyday. His dr also supports my decision to give him a homemade formula. This was the best thing I could have done for my son.

  4. Profile photo of Jen Jen says:

    I made my own from Weston A Price, and it was THE best. Our daughter is so healthy, happy, and a GREAT eater. This article is total BS, and it has many..”it MAY be….”
    I’m here to say that making your own from WAP is the right decision a mother can make.
    Commercial formula is full of GMO’s, palm oil, etc, which is WAY worse than any (HEALTHY) ingredient in making your own formula.
    Don’t believe everything your read, or better yet, start reading ‘other’ sources and expand your knowledge of what’s in ‘our’ food, baby formula, vaccinations, water, etc.
    Here’s to making your own formula.
    Cheers.

  5. Profile photo of Michelle Michelle says:

    Brought to you by someone indoctrinated by the Rockefeller Medical Industrial Complex… Where we are shamed into vaccinating our children…then fed the fear porn titled Don’t Even Think About Making Your Own Baby Formula.

    • Profile photo of Leslie Leslie says:

      Shamed into vaccinated your children? You are right, let your child get measles and then spread it to a 2 month old that can’t get the vaccine and will probably die from the disease just because you think you know what you are talking about. I can’t believe people still actually believe that vaccines are dangerous. Talk to someone who grew up in the 1950s and 60s and before and tell them you decided not to vaccinate your child against measles and polio. Be prepared they will probably punch you in the face for being so stupid. Thank you for thinking you are so much better than everyone else and because of people like you who don’t vaccinate your children, other vulnerable children are getting sick and dying of totally preventable diseases…you should be shamed into not getting vaccinated.

      • Profile photo of Michelle Michelle says:

        Leslie… I really don’t even have the energy today to argue with you. Keep believing every thing you are told and don’t do the research. I wish you well though. Hopefully you will wake up and discover the multitude of cures nature offers.

  6. Profile photo of Kelly Kelly says:

    I understand that so many people look down on formula and “unnatural” foods for babies, but this is dangerous. There is no way this could be better or safer for you baby. Not everyone can breast feed for many reasons, but remember if you are not, your baby is not getting your antibodies so a contamination from “do-it-yourself” formulas could be much more devastating to your baby than buying formula.

  7. Profile photo of jenelle jenelle says:

    I have never nor would I ever consider making my own baby formula! Prior to reading this I didn’t even know such kits/recipes existed or that people actually did this. Making your own baby food I understand, but not formula. I feel if a person thinks baby formula is dangerous to the point where they are making their own(which seems like the dangerous option to me) than they shouldn’t be formula feeding, barring an medical issues.

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