Is Homemade Baby Formula Safe for Babies

mom preparing baby formula

Babies are very delicate, and when it comes to their nutrition, they need things to be properly balanced if they are to grow strong and healthy. A baby’s mother provides the best nutrition for him. Breast milk is a perfect blend of everything your child needs, and you don’t need to worry about balancing nutrients yourself.

If a mother cannot breastfeed or the family makes a choice not to breastfeed, then infant formulas are the best ways to provide nutrition to your baby. Often, it is advised to give your child professionally formulated infant formulas rather than homemade infant formula as they are formulated with care by experts.

Can You Give Homemade Formula to Your Baby?

Whether or not to give your baby homemade baby formula is something that is debated over. Experts say that it is not recommended to give homemade formula to your child because there is a likelihood that it will not meet your child’s dietary needs.

Still, some families are not comfortable with the store-bought readymade infant formulas. Some of the companies that make infant formulas use Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO), synthetic preservatives and nutrients, growth hormones that are made artificially, neurotoxins and other ingredients that cause more harm in the long run than good. This does not apply to all the brands, but when buying infant formula, you need to be very careful to buy one made with organic ingredients for the health of your child.

If you are unable to afford to buy organic baby formula, it is best to work alongside your doctor and come up with a homemade recipe that will ensure your child has all the nutrients needed.

Important Guidelines for Making Baby Formula at Home

If you are convinced that making your own baby formula at home is the best way to go, then here are some guidelines you should keep in mind for the safety of your child and gain the most benefits from it:

1. Source Only the Best Ingredients

When looking to formulate your own baby formula at home, you need to only get the best ingredients for your child. Make sure to research a little about the companies that you are looking to buy from; they should be reputed sources. Avoid anything that contains GMOs as they are not good for your child.

2. Work With Your Doctor, Naturopath and Dietician

When you are trying to formulate your own baby formula, it is best to be transparent with your doctor and ask for help. Not all parents are comfortable using store-bought baby formulas and prefer more natural alternatives. You should aim to run your ingredients by your doctor and ensure that the recipe you will end up using will be beneficial to your baby. This is especially important for those babies who have special dietary needs in the first place.

3. Use the Right Amounts Every Time

While you may be tempted to take liberties with the amount of the ingredients you are using, it is best to avoid doing any such thing. Your baby’s organs are still extremely delicate. This means that your child will not be able to handle an overdose of anything. This is especially seen with salt and sugar in homemade formulas. Refrain from making any changes to the recipe that your doctor has already approved of.

What are the Risks of Homemade Infant Formula?

Before getting into any new venture, it always pays to know the risks so that you can make a better decision. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Contamination Can Occur

Even if you use the best ingredients, your homemade baby formula is at risk of becoming contaminated. The preparation time and steps involved when it comes to making homemade baby formula can offer up a chance for contamination to occur. This can take place without dairy involved as well, but most chances of contamination usually occur when dairy is involved.

2. Certain Ingredients May Not Be Safe for Your Child

A lot of homemade baby formulas will involve the use of raw milk. This could be cow or goats’ milk to be used as a base. Raw milk is dangerous even for adults. Some of the dangers that are involved with consuming raw milk are the risk of getting infected with Listeria, Salmonella and E. Coli, among others. If adults are not safe from the dangers of raw milk, infant children are certainly not. Getting infected with any of the bacteria that can be present in raw milk will cause serious problems in your child.

3. There Could Be an Imbalance in Nutrients

As babies need very specific balanced nutrition, this area is one that is likely to cause issues if you are making a homemade formula for your baby. It could be that the recipe itself was not very good, or that you have not followed it correctly. Whatever the reason may be, this is a common problem that takes place with homemade baby formulas. This can cause your baby to either be overweight or malnourished.

Homemade Baby Formula Recipes

Most professionals will insist that homemade baby formulas should only be used in the case of an emergency. If you need to make some homemade baby formula yourself, here are a few recipes that will help you out in a pinch.

1. Evaporated Milk Baby Formula

This is quite the traditional DIY baby formula. It makes for a quick and easy formula that you can whip up in an emergency. This recipe cannot be used all on its own to ensure the health of your baby if it is all that you are going to be feeding. You will need to consult your doctor to find out what vitamins you will need to supplement to make sure your baby gains all the nutrients needed.

Ingredients: 

  • Clean container that can hold a quart.
  • 13 oz evaporated milk (whole)
  • 18 oz water
  • 1 tablespoon light Karo syrup OR 2 tablespoon of white granulated sugar

How to Make:

  1. Mix all the ingredients together in the clean and sanitised container.
  2. Gently stir until the syrup or the sugar is completely dissolved.
  3. Once your child has been fed, you should keep only what you may need as an emergency. Do not keep this formula for more than three days.

2. Dairy-Free Homemade Baby Formula

If you want to make your homemade baby formula dairy-free, this recipe could be just what you need. Some infants have a problem with digesting lactose, so they will not be able to have the other more popular types of homemade baby formula. Or, perhaps you are looking for homemade baby formula for vegan babies so that you can get your baby started in life on a dairy-free diet. Whatever the reason, this is the homemade baby formula for you.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cut cooked brown rice (or any other rice if you do not have brown rice)
  • 4 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoons of white granulated sugar

How to Make:

  1. Blend all the ingredients in a blender together.
  2. Blend well until the ingredients have liquified. This will usually take around five minutes.
  3. Feed it to your baby immediately. Throw out any of this formula that remains after two days.

3. Goat Milk Homemade Baby Formula

The best type of goat’s milk for this recipe is the powdered kind. It is always best to avoid using raw milk of any kind while making your homemade baby formula with goat milk.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz water, body temperature
  • 28g powdered goat’s milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon syrup of brown rice
  • 2 teaspoon blackstrap molasses
  • 1/2 tsp cod liver oil (add this in only once a day)
  • Vitamin D drops according to the instructions on the bottle

How to Make:

  1. Put all your ingredients in a bottle and then give it a good shake until everything is mixed well, and there are no lumps.

Why Is It Best to Use Commercial Baby Formula?

Commercial Infant formula is regulated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). When food is regulated by the FDA, it means that it is safe for consumption as it has been tested for pathogens, checked for nutrition content and ensured in every way that the product is safe and good for your health.

If the regular commercial baby formula is not satisfactory for you, even though it is FDA approved, you can always go for the organic brands. Not only do these make sure that you do not have any harmful ingredients in the infant formula, but everything is made from healthy and safe organic produce. All commercial infant formulas on the market come with instructions on how they should be used and how they should be stored. This makes it easy for mothers to be able to feed their children.

When it comes to commercial-grade infant formula, you don’t need to do much other than buying it and mixing it when it is time to feed. You do not need to worry about ensuring to get the right number of vitamins and nutrients. It cuts off most of your stress when it comes to your baby’s nourishment, so you can go on to focus your attention on looking after your child and bonding with him or her.

By sticking with commercial-grade infant formula, you will be safer, your child will be healthy, and you will not face the additional task of having to source the ingredients for your baby’s food.

Every parent has their child’s health and well being in mind, so you should do what is best for your little one. Just be sure to consult with your doctor to know if the ingredients you are using are good for your child.

Also Read:

Vegan Formula for Infants
How to Prepare Baby Milk Formula
Formula Feeding Guidelines for Infants