Some parents might be interested in making their own infant
formula. But commercially prepared formula is the best and safest choice for babies
who aren't breastfed.
Online formula recipes may look healthy and promise to be nutritionally complete,
but getting too little — or too much — of important nutrients can cause
serious problems for infants.
Commercially prepared formula must meet high nutrition and safety standards. It
is hard — if not impossible — to meet these standards at home.
Problems with homemade formula include:
Contamination and infections. Preparing formula at home can lead
to contamination. Formulas that use unpasteurized raw cow milk or goat milk may cause
infections, like Salmonella
or E. coli.
Nutrient deficiencies. Homemade formulas may not have enough
important nutrients, including protein, vitamins, and minerals. For example, vegan
and dairy-free formulas don't provide enough calcium,
which can lead to feeding problems, irritability, and seizures.
Nutrient excesses. Some formulas may have too much of some nutrients.
For example, too much salt or protein can be hard on an infant's kidneys.
Poor growth and learning problems. These can happen when a baby
does not get proper nutrition over time.
Why Might Some Parents Want to Make Formula?
Parents might want to make their own infant formula for a lot of reasons. They
might be looking for healthy, natural, or organic options, while some families need
to spend less
on store-bought formula. For parents who can't or choose not to breastfeed,
commercially prepared formula is the best choice. These formulas contain the right
balance of protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals and are made with
safety in mind.
If you cannot afford formula, talk to you doctor or call 211 to help you find local