Homemade Baby Formula Recipe (+ VIDEO Tutorial)| Updated: Dec 24, 2018
Using a baby formula recipe that closely matches the nutritional profile of breastmilk is a far better choice than even organic baby formula from the healthfood store. More on this below.
Note: Donor programs are widely available for human breastmilk. But, the diets of the donor mothers are unknown and most likely nutritionally insufficient. In addition, breastmilk banks pasteurize the donated breastmilk which destroys much of the nutritional benefit. Unless you are fortunate to have a trusted and direct donor milk source in your community, avoid this option!
Dangers of Commercial Formula
Commercial formulas are always a poor choice for a number of reasons. First of all, formula manufacturers line the cans with the chemical BPA. This substance disrupts hormone development and is a probable contributor to early puberty in girls, and ADHD, urogenital abnormalities and other ills in boys.
The European Safety Authority found that canned commercial formula is a significant source of BPA for infants, exposing the child to 13mcg of BPA per kg of bodyweight per day! BPA free formula cans are no better. The chemical BPS is typically used instead which is just as dangerous. (1)
Beware that manufacturers pack even organic commercial formula like Earth’s Best in BPA cans. Worse, they use organic brown rice syrup as the primary sweetener which is known to be frequently contaminated with arsenic.
In addition, all commercial milk formulas are processed at extremely high temperatures which violently denature the fragile milk proteins, render them allergenic, and add carcinogens to the final product. Soy infant formula is the worst. Obscenely high processing temperatures not only denature the proteins, but large levels of phytic acid in soy block mineral absorption by the infant. Moreover, soy based plant estrogens disrupt the hormonal development of the baby!
It seems that for the concerned Mother who is unable to breastfeed, learning how to make baby formula at home with safe, pure ingredients is the most prudent way to go!
Why to Make Homemade Formula Even if You Are Breastfeeding
In the video below, I show you how to make your own safe, healthy raw milk homemade formula for your baby. Even though I breastfed each of my children for at least 2 years, I made this exact formula for my own children when I was away for the day or the evening as pumping was not an option that worked well for me.
I even used this homemade formula for an entire day once when I had some dental work done and was advised to pump and discard for 24 hours.
As a result, even successfully breastfeeding Moms can use this wonderful homemade formula as a supplement when necessary to their own nutrient dense breastmilk!
It is advised that even breastfeeding Mothers have the ingredients for this formula on hand for an emergency. In the event Mom is in a car wreck or sick and unable to nurse, Dad can step in and make this safe alternative until Mom is back on her feet. It takes a few days to a week to gather all the ingredients together to make this formula, which is why I advise having them on hand at all times.
Homemade Baby Formula Recipe
Moms who have successfully used this formula feeding your children, please post about your experience in the comments section to encourage those who are considering it and need some Mom to Mom encouragement!
Where to Source Milk for Homemade Formula
The most widely available grassfed milk around the world is from cows. This is usually the most budget friendly and easily sourced milk for this recipe for homemade formula.
If only goat milk is available in your area, this recipe for goat milk baby formula can be used instead. When using milk from ewes, please refer to the linked article for an adjusted recipe; one of the benefits of sheep milk is that it is higher in healthy fats than either goat or cow milk.
Where no raw milk is available in your area at all, you can legally ship raw camel milk to your home. This option is available in the US, Canada, and the EU to make a nutritious camel milk baby formula.Cold pressed raw milk also must be cultured before using as it contains no probiotics.
Do NOT use ultrapasteurized (UHT) milk even if organic as it is too highly processed and extremely allergenic!
It is also best to avoid all types of powdered milk for this recipe. The factory process of making milk powder reduces nutrition considerably and denatures it, which makes it more likely baby will have an allergic reaction.
Dairy Allergy Option
Avoid buying bone broth to make the dairy free formula. Make it yourself! Commercial bone broth even if authentically made is watered down and does not properly gel in the refrigerator. Most brands have toxic packaging issues as well. If you must buy it in a pinch, see my shopping guide page for vetted brands that are safe.
Homemade Baby Formula Recipe (for infants too)
A nourishing baby formula recipe you can make at home with safe, whole ingredients that was developed and tested by Dr. Mary Enig to match breastmilk as closely as possible. Also suitable for infants.
- 2 cups raw cow milk preferably grassfed and organic
- 1 7/8 cups filtered water
- 1/4 cup liquid whey
- 4 Tbl lactose
- 1/4 tsp Bifidobacterium infantis powder
- 2-4 Tbl raw or pasteurized cream
- 1/2 tsp cod liver oil unflavored
- 1/4 tsp butter oil unflavored
- 1 tsp sunflower oil preferably organic
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil preferably organic
- 2 tsp virgin coconut oil preferably organic
- 2 tsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tsp gelatin
- 1/4 tsp acerola powder
Fill a 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup with filtered water and remove 2 TBL (this will give you 1 7/8 cup water).
Pour about half the water into a pan and turn burner on medium.
Add the gelatin and lactose and let dissolve, stirring occasionally.
When gelatin and lactose are dissolved, remove pan from heat and add the rest of the water to cool.
Stir in the coconut oil and butter oil until melted.
Put remaining ingredients in a glass blender.
Add the water mixture and blend for about 3 seconds.
Place formula in glass baby bottles or a glass jar and refrigerate.
Before giving to baby, warm glass bottle in a pan of hot water or a bottle warmer. NEVER microwave baby bottles!
If using raw cow milk from holstein cows, use 4 Tbl of extra cream (otherwise use 2 Tbl extra cream).
If choosing to make this homemade formula with camel milk, be sure to include 4 Tbl extra cream as camel milk is lower in cream than cow milk.
Do not use high oleic sunflower oil. Use only the brand recommended in the ingredients list which is cold pressed, organic, unrefined, and low oleic.
*Do NOT use powdered whey from the store as it is denatured. Avoid whey from making cheese as it will curdle the formula.
*Do not substitute pasteurized or powdered milk as these are heavily processed, denatured and allergenic foods.
*Do NOT use ultrapasteurized (UHT) cream. It is highly allergenic. Raw or pasteurized cream is acceptable.
*Do NOT use fish oil or krill oil instead of high vitamin cod liver oil as they do not contain any Vitamin D and very little to no Vitamin A.
If you are wondering where is the iron in homemade baby formula, this article provides an explanation.
If baby experiences constipation using this formula, try adding 1 tsp of molasses to each batch. This should help move things along.
Homemade Infant Formula Video Tutorial
The video below shows how to make the DIY baby formula step by step. It is easy! You will be able to make a batch in about 10 minutes in no time.
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
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Sarah Pope has been a Health and Nutrition Educator since 2002. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Weston A. Price Foundation.
Sarah was awarded Activist of the Year at the International Wise Traditions Conference in 2010.
Sarah earned a Bachelor of Arts (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) in Economics from Furman University and a Master’s degree in Government (Financial Management) from the University of Pennsylvania.
Mother to three healthy children, blogger, and best-selling author, she writes about the practical application of Traditional Diet and evidence-based wellness within the modern household. Her work has been featured by USA Today, The New York Times, National Review, ABC, NBC, and many others.