Parents are grateful for our Recipes for Homemade Baby Formula when breastfeeding is not an option or must be supplemented. See also our FAQ on Homemade Baby Formula, Diet for Pregnant and Nursing Mothers, and FAQ on Diet for Pregnancy. And, Chapter Leader Sarah Pope has posted videos on making the formula on her blog: http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/videos/homemade-baby-formula-videos/
Once Scrawny, Now Ripped
My son was born at 6 pounds, 4 ounces. By the time I got him home and weighed again, he was down to 5 pounds, 12 ounces. Scrawny! The first week of his life I attempted to nurse, but my milk never came in sufficiently enough to satisfy him. He was starving and got lighter before I got smarter. First I tried a store-bought organic powdered baby formula. It was thin and I felt terrible giving it to him. I tried adding oils, but felt terrible not knowing what was the best thing to add to help him grow. I had known about the baby formula recipe, but in rural Alaska could not get all the ingredients. Then I learned I could get them from Radiant Life.
At week three of Brody’s life he got his first shot of real, healthy, food. We noticed an immediate difference. He stopped fussing. He slept better. His color improved. His hair started coming in. He acted happy. He gained weight, not the doughy, rolly, fatty weight but a perfectly proportioned body with extra girth at the joints. When he was 3 1/2 months old we began giving Brody organic, 3-minute egg yolks.
Brody is a healthy, happy, smart, inquisitive little guy. He is cute and funny and has a natural charisma that draws people’s attention to him. Everyone always comments on how tall he is and how handsome. Most people think he is at least 2 years old when he is barely a year. He has defined biceps and triceps. His calf muscles are firm and long. Once when strolling him through the Anchorage airport a young man walked up to me and said to Brody “Hey, little man!” Then he turned to his 20-something buddies and said, “Dudes! Check him out. He’s one ripped up little dude.” They then all fussed over him and told him how buff he was. I can only attribute it to his wonderful nutrition.
Lynn Harris, Fairbanks, Alaska
Healthy After a Rough Start
The Weston A. Price Foundation teachings, my pregnancy and the birth of our son Seth are infinitely tied together. I had first learned about the principles from a chiropractor just weeks before I found out I was pregnant. I had been having abnormal paps that just wouldn’t clear up. I’m sure now the reason was due to the raw vegan-fruitarian diet I was eating at the time. After 4-5 months on a nourishing traditional diet my paps finally tested normal. However, being malnourished and pregnant before that time affected our unborn son; he was born with hypospadias. I later learned that the penis is formed around the 8th week of pregnancy and I was still eating a fruitarian diet at the point.
Seth was born via cesarean section after a failed water-birth at home. My C-section resulted in a punctured bladder and heavy blood loss requiring 6 units of blood and ending up in the ICU. I was in the hospital for almost a week before returning home. Needless to say, nursing didn’t get off to a good start and bottles were given. I continued to try breast feeding Seth, but between the pain from the cesarean, dealing with my bladder and the catheter I was sent home with, etc., I couldn’t handle nursing Seth on demand. He was a big boy, 9 pounds, 10 ounces at birth, and his weight bothered my tummy and aggravated my myofascial pain in my neck and shoulder region from an earlier accident.
In order for my family to help with the feedings we adopted the milk-based formula. Nursing fell off completely after 3 months, as Seth preferred the formula to me and the formula became his main-stay.
Seth is now 2 1/2 years old and has been extremely healthy. He was sick for the very first and only time this past winter with an ear infection. He never had so much as a sniffle when he was on the formula. I didn’t have to worry about him being well enough for his hypospadias surgery at 10 months old, because he was so strong and robust. We couldn’t be happier with the results that good nutrition has had on him, even though we had a rough start of it.
Robin Leuenberger, Michigan
Making Homemade Baby Formula
My adopted son Tate started on the homemade raw milk formula when he was three days old-and has thrived on it. Since I knew I would be making formula for my baby, I was able to prepare ahead of time. I love to cook, but like most people, I took one look at the raw milk formula in Nourishing Traditions and was a little apprehensive with the long list of ingredients. Actually, I added one other ingredient-1-2 tablespoons cow colostrum to each batch.
I knew that sleep deprivation was in my future! Nevertheless, I forged ahead with optimism, and to my great delight, after the first few times of making the formula, it became easy as baby-pie! It only takes 20 minutes to make from start to finish, including clean up!
Here are some of my tricks. First, before Tate arrived, I made ice-cube portions of the whey, cream and colostrum. A typical cube section in a tray equals two tablespoons. This is the perfect amount for the formula; four tablespoons or two cubes for the whey and two tablespoons or one cube for the cream and colostrum.
Here’s my early morning routine. First I rinse off everything with hot water to make sure there is nothing foreign on my utensils. I fill an 8-cup glass measuring bowl with a pour spout with 2 cups of filtered water, then scoop out 2 tablespoons to make 1 7/8 cups. I pour this into a stainless steel pot and add the gelatin. I turn the stove on between low and medium to just warm the ingredients, not boil. Then I add 2 frozen cubes of whey, and 1 each of cream and colostrum. I also add the coconut oil to the pot so that it melts sufficiently. In the same measuring bowl I used for the water, I add the milk and the rest of the oils and dry ingredients (which are available at most health food stores and/or www.radiantlifecatalog.com, (888) 593-8333). By the time I am done with that, the frozen ingredients are melted and I add them together in the big glass measuring bowl. At this point I blend the formula in the blender. I found when left unblended the oils in the formula do not combine well enough. Be sure not to blend for too long, as the cream may curdle.
Then I pour the formula back into the measuring bowl, divide it into glass baby bottles, add the nipples and tops, and that’s it! Even with sleep deprivation, I find this process to be easy and doable. For the actual feedings, I use a bottle warmer that heats with steam instead of going to the stove to boil water each time. When you have a hungry baby, as many of you know, warming a bottle is something you want to happen sooner rather than later.
Once you do it a few times, it’s easy. . . and our baby has thrived on the formula!
For those adoptive parents out there, please feel free to contact me for extra support and encouragement: jen (at) nourishingconnections.org.
Jen Allbritton, CN, Evergreen, Colorado
“Breast milk is best.” “Cow’s milk is for baby cows.” “Breast milk boosts your baby’s immune system.” “Formula can cause your baby to have allergies to food.”
I was brainwashed (in a good way, mostly) by multiple sources, including my Lamaze teacher/lactation consultant, health articles, etc. I was so adamant that I would not use formula-until little Zachary at two months old was not thriving and almost admitted to the hospital because I did not have enough milk to feed him. When I realized this I went to the store and bought formula to save my baby’s life. At the same time, a friend ordered the ingredients for homemade formula for me from Radiant Life. Zachary took commercial formula while I got educated and brave enough to trust raw milk for my baby. I started slowly, gradually increasing the ratio of the homemade formula and eliminating the commercial one.
It took about two months to have Zachary exclusively on the homemade formula. He loved it then and he loves it now! Just on the formula and an occasional raw egg yolk he reached 23 pounds at one year! I am so grateful to have witnessed this miracle. My baby was starving and now I can know that he not only made it to his year birthday, but he got such a wholesome formula that even when my other children got sick, he did not. If he did it was almost not noticeable.
So maybe breast milk is best, but when it is not possible cow’s milk can be for babies if you apply it to the homemade formula using raw milk. This formula did boost my baby’s immune system and so far he has no allergies to any food we have given Zachary. I recommend this formula to anyone and for any baby. It is amazing!
Bernadette Gewondjan, Livermore, California
Having been a personal fitness trainer for a number of years I started on a Paleolithic diet in 1999. I couldn’t find any conventional baby formula for my first child (a son) who is now six years old. We had to go with a lacto-free brand and did not get to start him on a totally paleo diet until he turned one year old. With my second son (who will be three in August) I made sure I was prepared. I used the meat-based baby formula in Nourishing Traditions. This was very easy to make and soon my wife and I had a great system worked out to stay stocked up.
My first son Jimmy has a fairly strong immune system, but my second Tyr has an even stronger immune system. Tyr used to love his meat-based formula, finishing a bottle in less than a minute sometimes. Tyr is a very healthy, energetic, and loving little guy.
I just love the fact that there are alternatives to the unhealthy (and unnatural) products out there.
Jim Smith, Yorktown, Virginia
Feels Good To Make My Own Decisions
I needed to supplement my breastfed baby at about four months. My nutritionist showed me the homemade formulas in Nourishing Traditions. There was a concern in making my own baby formula for a variety of reasons including sterile conditions, proper measuring and vast uncertainty. I thought about it for a long time. In the end, I knew this was my decision to make. I realized that I have a hard time letting anyone take care of my child because I don’t think anyone will care for him like I do. It just took me a little bit longer to carry that thinking over to feeding my baby.
My son is now 131/2 months old. At his 12-month check-up, the doctor said he was advanced to that of an 18-month-old. He already has about 15 different words that he says. Strangers tell me he’s a smart baby just by looking at him, as he’s alert and attentive to his surroundings. Everyone tells me what a good boy he is no matter where we go. After all that worry and uncertainty, making my own baby formula seems so natural, so normal. I can’t begin to tell you how good it feels to make my own decisions for my baby.
Allison, Annapolis, Maryland
With our first child we had every intention of breast-feeding our daughter but through a series of bad nurses, the difficulty of nursing, fatigue of my wife and the stubbornness of my daughter to not breast feed we had to find an alternative. Lucky for us we had a good source of raw milk and the recipe for an alternative formula.
Rachel will be three in June 2005 and for the first 18 months only had the milk formula. The results were spectacular, bordering on unbelievable. She was never sick, slept through the night starting at about eight weeks, ate well and had a happy disposition. We were warned about typical childhood problems; these problems never materialized. For example, we bought things to help with teething before she had teeth but we never used it because her teeth came in with no pain or disruption to her sleep patterns. We were excited about the results and shared it with the staff at the hospital and the pediatrician: our reward was a stern warning about the dangers of raw milk and we can no longer see either unless we stop feeding Rachel raw milk. What we have observed in the medical system in Canada is that no one wants to see a healthy little girl who drinks raw milk.
Patrick and Michelle, Toronto, Canada
When my husband and I adopted our daughter Claire as a newborn, we were looking for a healthy alternative to nursing, as I was unable to do so. I felt very discouraged with what I was reading and hearing about in regards to commercial infant formula and was looking for something that would come as close to breast milk as possible. I was already familiar with the Weston A. Price Foundation and regarded it as a trusted resource.
We started Claire on the milk-based formula as soon as we brought her home from the hospital and have never looked back. She is now one year old, and a strong, healthy toddler. We had her on the formula for one full year, and she never had one ear infection, flu, fever, allergic reaction or colic. She had three minor colds the whole year, less than most babies from my observations. She has been in the 95th percentile for length and weight and has rosy cheeks and sparkly eyes. Her pediatrician has commented on how strong and healthy she is. She has a pleasant, calm disposition and is rarely fussy. One of the most amazing things has been that she has slept soundly through the night, consistently, since her third week. We have never experienced sleep deprivation.
We are planning to adopt another baby soon, and will be making the NT formula again, since our experience and Claire’s health outcome has been so positive. We are so grateful this information was made available to us.
The Ellingtons, Wilson, North Carolina
Five years after my son was born I gave birth to boy-girl twins, via Cesarean section. Even though my twins were seven weeks premature, they each weighed over five pounds and were sent home from the hospital after one week. The hospital gave them soy formula a few minutes after they were born, which they quite understandably threw up. This caused the staff to believe the twins needed to be immediately attached to feeding tubes.
I was very upset that they had been given soy and arranged to have them given a milk-based hypoallergenic formula instead, which I purchased outside the hospital and delivered to the NICU. This hospital was very unfavorable to breastfeeding. (Perhaps they believed it was impossible with twins.) When the babies came home after one week, it became evident to me that I would not be able to breastfeed them exclusively. However, I took measures to increase my supply and was eventually able to provide about half of their needs with breast milk, and the rest with hypoallergenic formula.
When the babies were six months old, I took them off commercial formula and switched to the raw milk formula provided in Nourishing Traditions. They are now three years, nine months old and still drinking a modified version of the formula, along with plain raw milk and a variety of whole foods. My boy twin self-weaned from the breast at 10 and a half months, but my girl twin still nurses a couple of times a day.
The twins took to the raw milk formula immediately and had no digestive distress. They seem to have no allergies of any kind. My girl twin is the healthiest of the three and very rarely gets a cold. My boy twin is not quite as healthy. In his early months, he breastfed quite a bit less than his sister did, and received more commercial formula. However, he is very strong and well built, with exceptionally beautiful white teeth.
There are severe problems with all other formulas, in my view. Standard dairy-based formulas are too difficult for children to digest and can cause allergies to develop. Soy formula is terrible in every way. Apart from concerns over long-term damage, this formula smells and tastes awful and causes otherwise healthy children to smell terrible as well. It causes intestinal distress and is generally very bad news. I found that the hypoallergenic milk-based formulas were the least harmful of the commercial formulas, but there are serious problems with them as well. They are horrendously expensive and not available in many hospitals and pharmacies. Furthermore, they are also full of MSG-like neurotoxins.
I put off giving my twins home-made formula for six months, because of all the dire warnings I had seen against giving unprocessed cow’s milk to infants. The medical establishment now warns against giving milk before one year, but I can no longer accept that idea. My mother was switched from breast milk to raw cow’s milk at three months and did not suffer any ill effects.
Above all, I believe that fresh raw cow’s milk is the best substitute for mother’s milk, because it is also a living food, full of enzymes and antibodies to disease. It is probably superior even to frozen mother’s milk from a breast milk bank, which these days is delivered after being pasteurized.
I wish I had been confident enough to give my twins the Fallon formula from the first day they were home. I also wish I had been able to breastfeed them exclusively, as I eventually did with my older son, but it simply wasn’t possible for me. However, I feel good knowing I did the best I could. My children are growing very well.
Another good thing about the homemade formula is that it caused me to overcome my fear of raw milk. I started to drink it myself, and it helped me to recover from a difficult pregnancy and delivery. Thank you for providing this wonderful information to mothers and their babies. Name Withheld, Los Angeles, California
No More Infections
My son Joey was born December 15, 2002. I had planned to breastfeed exclusively and felt brokenhearted when I couldn’t produce enough milk to feed him. I didn’t know there were any alternatives so I had to give him commercial formula. He suffered from constipation and when he was three months old he came down with bronchitis and an ear infection. The doctor put him on antibiotics and we had to give him respiratory therapy twice a day for several weeks.
About this time my nutritionist suggested the homemade baby formula. I started making the formula immediately. The difference in Joey’s health has been like night and day! He has never had another ear infection or any more respiratory problems. No digestive problems either. He is happy, smart and physically active. He runs, jumps, climbs and turns a great somersault.
May God bless you for the work that you do!
Barbara Finn Figluilo, Frankfort, Illinois