The Best Formula for Your Baby

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Best Formula for Your Baby - Holistic Squid

Sometimes, babies need formula. So what is the best formula for your baby?

Regardless of how adamantly you or I may suggest, persuade, or insist that breast milk is the best food for a newborn, the fact remains that about 25% of newborns in the U.S. are not breastfed and 64 % of children are receiving supplemental formula by 3 months. (From the CDC’s 2008 statistics).

Based on these numbers, nearly two-thirds of our newborns are being nourished (or not as the case may be) with synthetic food – at least in part. What I am finding in my practice is that most moms are getting plenty of education on why they should be breastfeeding, and even get plenty of support in the hospital and beyond to make it happen. But nevertheless, many moms still come to the conclusion that finding the best formula is the way to go for their little ones.

There is tons of info out there on why breast milk is ideal for babies, and you can read about The Composition of Human Milk here. I’ve written on Increasing Milk SupplyIs Formula Necessary for Underweight Babies?, and even Is Breast Always Best? But the point of this post is not to educate on the merits of breastfeeding or make formula feeding moms feel guilty.

I would like to explain why homemade formula can be far superior to any commercial formula, and how making the best formula for babies is much easier than you may think.

In a nutshell, commercial baby formula is not an ideal food because it contains toxic ingredients and lacks essential living components that can only be created with real, unprocessed foods. These commercial formulas tend to grow babies who have far more allergies, eczema, asthma, and behavioral and developmental issues, all of which can lead to more severe health conditions in adults. I see this day in and day out in my practice. Thankfully, there are alternatives to both breast milk and commercial formula that provide a happy medium between the two extremes.

The problems with commercial baby formula

The key to understanding why it is so important to bother making your own baby’s formula is reading the labels of the commercial stuff. Please bear with me. I promise we will get to alternatives, but I’m going to start by showing you the ingredients in one of the best formula options on the market:

Organic Reduced Minerals Whey, Organic Non-Fat Milk, Organic Lactose, Organic Glucose Syrup Solids, Organic Palm Oil Or Organic Palm Olein, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic High Oleic (Safflower Or Sunflower Oil), Organic Soy Oil, Organic Whey Protein ConcentrateAnd Less Than 1%: Crypthecodinium Cohnii Oil (Docosahexaenoic Acid), Mortierella Alpina Oil (Arachidonic Acid), Soy Lecithin, Minerals: (Calcium Chloride, Calcium Hydroxide, Cupric Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Potassium Bicarbonate, Potassium Chloride, Potassium Hydroxide, Potassium Iodide, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Selenite, Zinc Sulfate), Taurine, Vitamins: Ascorbic Acid, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Beta-Carotene, Biotin, Calcium Pantothenate, Choline Chloride, Cyanocobalamin, Folic Acid, Inositol, Mixed Tocopherol Concentrate, Niacinamide, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Thiamin Hydrochloride, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D (Cholecalciferol), Vitamin E (Dl-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate), Vitamin K (Phytonadione), Nucleotides: Adenosine-5′-Monophosphate, Cytidine-5′-Monophosphate, Disodium Guanosine-5′-Monophosphate, Disodium Inosine-5′-Monophosphate, Disodium Uridine-5′-Monophosphate.

For starters, it is wonderful that this formula is using organic ingredients. There are a bunch of words I can’t pronounce here, but most of those are synthetic vitamins and minerals. Although they are not ideal and most likely fail to be properly absorbed, these are the least of my concerns with the list above. Let’s look at the top nine ingredients that make up 99% of the content of this baby formula:

Organic Reduced Minerals Whey – In its natural form, whey is a great source of protein and probiotics. You can read a description of Reduced Minerals Whey from the American Dairy Products Institute here. I’m not sure why you’d want to reduce naturally occurring minerals in an otherwise healthy food. The issue with dried whey is that it is typically dried at high temperatures that denature the proteins and make them toxic. Furthermore, the heating and drying process will negate any probiotic effects of the fresh whey. NOT GOOD.

Organic Non-Fat Milk – Sounds benign enough, but there is NO reason a baby should ever consume non-fat milk. Not only do babies absolutely NEED the milk fat and cholesterol, but the process of making powdered skim milk creates a substance that is not only devoid in nutrition, but is also laden with oxidized cholesterol and neuro-toxic amino acids. NOT GOOD.

Organic Lactose – A necessary ingredient, lactose is a milk sugar that naturally occurs in breast milk. GOOD.

Organic Glucose Syrup Solids – This is a fancy way of saying sugar made from starch. Most glucose syrup solids in the U.S. are made from corn, which also make what’s known as corn syrup! NOT GOOD. A better choice to mimic breast milk would be more lactose.

Organic Palm Oil Or Organic Palm Olein – Not the worst ingredient if it’s coming from a reputable source. QUESTIONABLE.

Organic Coconut Oil– Good choice to provide the special medium-chain fats found in mother’s milk. Should be expeller pressed only. OK.

Organic Soy Oil – Soy oil is not fit for human consumption and should not be in baby formula. It can act as a hormone disruptor among other issues. NOT GOOD.

Organic High Oleic (Safflower Or Sunflower Oil) – Good if expeller-pressed only. QUESTIONABLE.

Organic Whey Protein Concentrate – See issues with Organic Reduced Minerals Whey above. NOT GOOD.


So just for comparison, here are the ingredients for an organic soy formula advertised to be the only soy formula free of corn syrup (yikes!):

Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Soy Protein Concentrate, Organic High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Soybean Oil, Calcium Phosphate, Organic Vanilla, Organic Soy Lecithin, Potassium Phosphate, Magnesium Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Calcium Ascorbate (Vit. C), Sodium Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Citrate, Choline Bitartrate, L-Methionine, Taurine, Ferrous Sulfate, Inositol, Zinc Sulfate, Natural Vitamin E Acetate, L-Carnitine, Niacinamide, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Thiamin Hydrochloride (Vit. B1), Riboflavin (Vit. B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vit. B6), Copper Sulfate, Folic Acid, Phylloquinone (Vit. K1), Potassium Iodide, Sodium Selenate, Biotin, Vitamin D3, Cyanocobalamin (Vit. B12).

I do not recommend feeding a baby brown rice syrup (basically all sugar and potentially arsenic), and I have already mentioned the dangers of soy (soy protein concentrate, soybean oil, and soy lecithin) above. Not to mention the synthetic vitamins. Next…


Here are the ingredients for a common hypoallergenic formula that is given to babies having a difficult time digesting regular formula:

Corn Maltodextrin (35%), Casein Hydrolysate [Derived from Milk] (18%), Sugar (15%), High Oleic Safflower Oil (10%), Medium-Chain Triglycerides (10%), Soy Oil (8%). Less than 2% of the Following: C. Cohnii Oil, M. Alpina Oil, Calcium Phosphate, DATEM, Potassium Citrate, Xanthan Gum, Magnesium Chloride, Monoglycerides, Salt, Ascorbic Acid, L-Cystine Dihydrochloride, Calcium Carbonate, L-Tyrosine, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Ferrous Sulfate, L-Tryptophan, Taurine, m-Inositol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, dl-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, Zinc Sulfate, L-Carnitine, Niacinamide, Mixed Tocopherols, Calcium Pantothenate, Cupric Sulfate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Thiamine Chloride Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Potassium Iodide, Potassium Hydroxide, Phylloquinone, Biotin, Sodium Selenate, Vitamin D3, and Cyanocobalamin.

Just looking at the first eight ingredients, does that look like something that you would feed a BABY?


And finally, here are the ingredients for a standard newborn formula commonly given as samples to new moms in the hospital:

Nonfat Milk, Lactose, Vegetable Oil, (Palm Olein, Coconut Oil, Soy Oil, High Oleic Sunflower Oil), Whey Protein Concentrate, Galactooligosaccharides, Polydextrose, Less than 1%: Mortierella Alpina Oil, Crypthecodinium Cohnii Oil, Soy Lecithin, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D3, Vitamin E Acetate, Vitamin K1, Thiamin Hydrochloride, Riboflavi , Vitamin B6 Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12, Niacinamide, Folic Acid, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Ascorbic Acid, Inositol, Calcium Carbonate, Calcium Phosphate, Magnesium Oxide, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Cupric Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Sodium Selenite, Potassium Citrate, Choline Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Chloride, Nucleotides, (Cytidine 5′-Monophosphate, Disodium Urdine 5′-Monophosphate, Adenosine 5′-Monophosphate, Disodium Guanosine 5′-Monophosphate), Taurine, L-Carnitine

Personally, I think it is UNACCEPTABLE that our medical institutions are sending new moms home with samples of this stuff.

Keep in mind that analyzing these lists of ingredients only begins to explain the problems with these formulas. What’s not mentioned is what’s excluded (such as probiotics, adequate saturated fat and fat soluble vitamins, and more), and how many of these ingredients (such as the synthetic vitamins) are not well absorbed. But, on to the solutions…


Healthy, doable alternatives to store-bought formula

Homemade formula is not only so much healthier for your baby, but it can be (relatively) cheap and easy too!

Here are the ingredients to two homemade formulas suggested by the The Weston A. Price Foundation:

Raw Milk Formula Ingredients: Filtered water, whole raw cow’s milk, homemade liquid whey, good quality cream, lactose, bifidobacterium infantis, fermented cod liver oilhigh-vitamin butter oil, expeller-expressed sunflower oil, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, nutritional yeast flakes, gelatin-, acerola powder.

Bone Broth (aka Liver Based) Formula Ingredients: Homemade beef or chicken broth, organic liver, lactose, bifidobacterium infantis probiotic, homemade liquid whey, expeller pressed coconut oil, fermented cod liver oil, unrefined expeller pressed sunflower oil, extra virgin olive oil, acerola powder

When I mention homemade formulas to most moms, their eyes tend to widen in disbelief and doubt.

Is homemade the best formula??? Who’s got time/money for that?

Well, when it comes to your baby’s health, I am confident that you and your partner can make time for making the best formula option from scratch. Once you have gathered the ingredients – most of which you can get online – the actual time to make a few days’ supply should take about 10 minutes. You can also freeze some to have in a pinch, just like you would do with breastmilk. Plus, according to the WAPF calculations, the homemade formula actually costs less than even the most expensive store-bought formulas.

What are all of those strange ingredients?

I don’t know about you, but to me those ingredients look a lot less strange than the science lab ingredients found in the store-bought formulas. The cool thing about these real food ingredients is that they each multi-task, not only providing the macro-nutrients (fat, protein, carbohydrates, cholesterol), but also providing vitamins, minerals, probiotics, etc in bio-available form for your baby’s ease in absorption.

Here are just some of the nutrients these ingredients provide:

Whole raw cow’s milk and cream from pasture-fed cows – Protein, Saturated fat Cholesterol, Lactose, Vitamin K2, Vitamin A, probiotics

Homemade liquid whey – protein, probiotics

Bifidobacterium infantis – this is a probiotic specific to a baby’s gut

Fermented cod liver oil – omega 3 fatty acids, naturally occurring vitamins D and A in the correct ratio. Get it here.

High-vitamin butter oil – vitamin K2, responsible for distribution of calcium through the body for proper development of bones and teeth. Get it here.

Expeller-expressed sunflower oil and extra virgin olive oil – Monosaturated fats, a.k.a.oleic acid

Expeller pressed coconut oil – medium-chain fats found in mother’s milk

Nutritional yeast flakes (Frontier brand) – folic acid and vitamin B12

Gelatin- from grass fed cows – to support healthy digestion

Acerola powder – another name for vitamin C which is naturally present in mother’s milk

Ingredients unique to the meat based formula provide:

Homemade beef or chicken broth – Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Gelatin, Glucosamine, Chondroitin, Silicon, Sulphur and trace minerals. Want the health benefits of bone broth, but don’t want to make your own? Buy bone broth online here.

Organic liver (from a grassfed source) – Saturated fat, Cholesterol , Vitamin A, Omega-3 fatty acids, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic acid, Riboflavin, Niacin

Raw milk for my baby??? Is that safe? 

In short, yes. You can read all about raw milk safety and sourcing in this post on milk or at Most conventional formulas use milk as their base, and raw milk contains the fat, intact proteins, and living micro-organisms that a baby needs, just like human breast milk.

Liver??? For a baby?

In my office, I refer to this as the Bone Broth Formula because it sounds less intimidating. Many adults are squeamish about liver, so the thought of feeding their babies a liver-based formula may seem out the question, but I submit that it is absolutely worth considering.

Liver from healthy pasture raised animals is extremely nutrient-dense and a perfect first food for baby. Many cultures around the world feed their babies chewed liver in their early days of eating solids.

For those babies who have digestive issues, especially those that have already consumed commercial formulas, it may be necessary to provide baby with a casein-free formula. The liver based formula is therefore not only a safe, nutritious alternative, but also preferred to commercial formulas as well as the milk based homemade formula. For babies with severe milk allergies, you may also need to omit the whey and substitute an alternative sugar for the lactose (milk sugar).

The wonderful thing about the liver-based formula is that not only will it allow your baby to grow and thrive, but the gelatin from the broth will help to heal your baby’s gut and may even reverse their digestive allergies over time. The meat-based formula may also be a good alternative for those who do not have access to raw milk.

Where can I get the ingredients for homemade formula?

Conveniently, you can now buy an entire Kit for Homemade Baby Formula here. Once you have this, all you need to source is the filtered water, raw milk and cream, and liquid whey for the milk based formula or grass fed liver and bone broth for the meat based formula.

Rather than go into the details of making the best formula here, you can check out all the recipes, videos and more from Sarah Pope of The Healthy Home Economist or directly on the Weston Price website. In particular, Sarah’s videos take the mystery out of the fairly simple task of whipping up your own healthy formula for your baby.

If you are lucky enough to live in Los Angeles, the wonderful and amazing Monica Ford of Real Food Devotee makes and delivers homemade baby formula per the Weston Price recipes to your door. Whoot!

Breast may be best, but if you are using formula, homemade is far superior for your baby’s health and surprisingly affordable and easy too.

Have you tried the homemade formulas?

Please share your experiences below!

The Best Formula for Your Baby - Holistic Squid

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  1. says

    Option c: encourage complete breastfeedobg through social/emotional support, advertising, and political pathways to make it easier. Yes, moms will use formula still, but a little support and encouragement and just seeing other moms breastfeeding goes a long way towards normalizing a normal act.

    • says

      Yes- absolutely agree with this! But let’s be sure to offer grace to the mama that is unable to breastfeed. I would love nothing more than to bf my newest, but there are hurdles. Namely, she was adopted at 7 mos out of foster care. She has intimacy issues we need to work through. So I’ll keep trying to stimulate my milk production, but in the meantime, until she is most comfortable, we need a formula.

    • Jess J says

      No matter how much support there is, there will be several situations where breastfeeding is not an option. Whether because of adoption like the other reply or a medical issue in the mother. I was not able to breast feed my daughter because of a hormonal imbalance that severely limited my supply, even though I tried valiantly for 3 days exclusively and an additional 3 weeks while supplementing with formula. I never was able to get more than 2-3 oz at a time and she was already eating 4-6 oz at a time. I would have loved to be able to provide breast milk for her, but my body just would not cooperate.

      • Samantha says

        True, true….My milk never came in at all. My poor baby was starving and everyone kept saying “just give it another day”. After a few days of a crying, hungry baby we bought formula. I was so very disappointed. But, 30 years later, he is a healthy, intelligent young man. God’s grace covered us.

    • Michele Gouveia Allen says

      Breast feeding is the best but there are some who are incapable of doing so – for example, adopting an infant. Sometimes there ISN’T an option C.
      Please don’t judge a mother you see with a bottle in their baby’s mouth instead of a breast.

  2. says

    Thank you for posting this. I’ll be honest I usually don’t even read posts by anyone about breastfeeding because I know know know how important it is and I know know know how hard I tried and did everything humanly possible to make enough milk. My girls did not have tongue tie and I nursed on demand, had a very nourishing diet, and never made enough – they were always SO hungry and fussy after eating. I recently learned about Insufficient Glandular Syndrome that I had never even heard of and what I read sounds IDENTICAL to me – so I wonder if I have that. I dried up by 6 weeks with my first and until I found the WAPF recipe she was on formula for a couple months then I made it. With my second I supplemented with homemade formula until enough milk came in which took about 2 months then I could make enough for her. BOTH girls have only had one cold and are extremely healthy and surpassing milestones. :)

    • Sarah says

      I have IGT too. I’m wanting to try the liver formula as I have damaged my dom’s gut with organic commercial formula. What can I use in place of whey, if anything?

      • Rebecca C says

        why do you want to leave out the whey? it is not recommended that you change the recipe. whey is really easy to make. the easiest thing is to get plain full fat yogurt from the store. look for yogurt that doesn’t have any thickeners for the best results. the ingredients should be something like milk and live cultures. pour some yogurt into a cloth and hang up over a bowl, the whey will strain into the bowl. I actually have made my own strainer. I took a plastic container with a lid that originally had parmesan cheese in it, and drilled a bunch of hole in the bottom of it with a very small drill bit. then I set it into another plastic container that is the same width but taller, so the smaller container nests into the larger one and it’s a tight fit. I put a coffee filter in the smaller container, pour yogurt into it, put the lid on, then set it into the larger container. they whey drips out into the larger container, the “yogurt cheese” stays in the coffee filter which you can use for yourself or for cooking. definitely use the whey unless you are certain there is a problem with it, like an allergy or something. i don’t know of a substitute for it.

          • Rebecca C says

            sure that is legit, didn’t mean to imply otherwise.


            this is a link to a hypo allergenic baby formula. It is done by Sarah Pope and she is a good authority on the weston a price baby formulas and all else for that matter. she says the whey is ok for a lot of babies because it is the milk protein casein causing the problem, not the lactose or whey. but she also says that you can remove the whey and sub dextrose or sucrose for the lactose. if the allergy isn’t severe, you could try it as written and see if baby is ok with it. if it is severe you probably don’t want to take that chance and should just leave it out.

            hope that helps.

          • says

            Hi Sarah – If you cannot tolerate it, you can leave out the whey. As Rebecca mentioned, if you may also need to substitute organic dextrose or sucrose or lactose.

          • Sarah says

            The problem is that he has a yeast problem, and lactose, dextrose, and sucrose all feed the yeast. He does still get what breastmilk I do make.

          • Rebecca C says

            if you read the FAQs on the Weston price website:

            There is mention of putting a child on straight goats milk if he is old enough and mature, along with giving cod liver oil, egg yolk, and pureed liver so there is not an iron deficiency. You don’t mention how old you child is.

            I would recommend reading the whole page. There are other comments from parents who have situations. Also read all of the baby related pages on the weston a price website. Then, if still in doubt, you can look up the weston a price chapter leaders (found on the website) in your area and contact them with your question. I did that, and found one of the chapter leaders had a facebook group going that I joined. Also, there is a yahoo group for weston a price baby issues that may help.

          • Sarah says

            He will be 1 next week. We have tried plain raw goat milk 3 months ago and it made his bottom red.

          • says

            Sarah – Assuming he’s doing a fair amount of solids at this point, I wouldn’t worry too much about perfecting the formula. If I were in your shoes, I would try the broth based formula and just omit the things he cannot digest well, and then include lots of nutrient dense foods in his solid food diet.

  3. Gina Reaves Palmer via Facebook says

    Me likey. I’m currently breastfeeding my 2nd child but if I had a problem with breastfeeding I would definitely do this. I hope more and more people hear about how to make homemade formula. Those poor babies. They are at the mercy of us adults making such important decisions for them.

  4. Michele Petranek via Facebook says

    Yes thank you! I had the same problem as Renee. Saw the “best” lactation people, did jaw exercizes with the baby, finger fed the baby, took all the ‘milk’ supplements, plus homeopathy, pumped and tried to feed the baby ALL day long…all to no avail….no milk. I ended up with severe guilt and panic attacks, and the scariest 3 months of my life, all because of the pressure I felt to breastfeed and judgement I felt on me. BELIEVE ME I wanted to more than anything, but unforntuately wanting it bad enough doesn’t always make it magically happen. If you have the time, money, and patience, I also heard Weston Price recipe is supposed to be the best alternative.

  5. Merideth Cotterman via Facebook says

    This is what we need more of. People offering choices and education. I was not able to breast feed after having my son but was too ill to think clearly about finding a formula recipe. If there was more education and discussion-perhaps it would have been something I had heard about.
    When you know better….you do better :)

    Ditto that on the WAPF formula.

  6. Ashley says

    Homemade formula was a God send for us. We found out our son was tongue tied at 8 weeks so I had already fallen behind in my supply. I still breastfeed Hunter, who is 2, but from about 4 months on we started supplementing with raw milk formula. I felt SO much better putting this in his body rather than store bought formula!!!:) Thanks for the post!

  7. Amy Jo via Facebook says

    the struggle of breastfeeding twins will guilt me until the day I die…and thereafter I am certain. I never made enough, I tried absolutely everything a mommy could do, I spent hours upon hours hooked up to that pump, it was brutal. I breastfed with the best of them, but my babies were not thriving and they were losing weight. I had to supplement. I wonder Holistic Kid: Why expellar pressed Coconut oil? I thought extra virgin cold pressed was best due to the minimal processing???? Please answer. Thanks.

  8. Sandy (NZ) says

    What a great page, thank you so much for posting it! Still pregnant with my first, and of course planning to breastfeed, but just knowing that if all doesn’t quite go to plan, that I can provide a nourishing alternative is a lovely thought! Definitely bookmarking this page!

  9. says

    Fab article, very helpful, practical and informative! I really struggle with getting parents out of the fear mode re making homemade formulas vs shelf artificial ones. I find it hard to believe! One of the comments mentioned glandular syndromes with low breastmilk, its called breast hypoplasia here, and it means that there are not enough mammary glands present in the breast tissue to make sufficient milk. Its so sad, so hard on mum and babe! Needs a lot of support!! xx
    LOVE the comment “when you know better you do better!” Wish we all could know a year in what we know then vs day one i tell ya!!!

  10. says

    My little girl is now 2 years old. I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and she was born with a severe milk allergy. Too exhausted to breastfeed after week 6, we tried the liver based WAPF formula (replacing the lactose powder with rapadura). One problem we had a was getting the liver to fit through the teat of a bottle (despite pureeing and trying freeze-dried liver). Unfortunately while she loved the taste of the formula, she had constant diarrhoea and was not doing well. We had no choice but to switch to a prescription diary-free formula. This was so hard to accept as we are such huge supporters of whole foods. She did well on this for the 1 1/2 years, and we are in the process of weaning her off it. Something to remember is that despite the negative ingredients, there is still enough goodness in these formulas to make a baby thrive. She is now eating solids and loves wild salmon, caviar, fermented vegetables and takes fermented cod liver oil. We still have a distance to go as she is still very allergic to things and has a lot of skin trouble. But I know we did what we had to do and sometimes a compromise is necessary.

    • Rebecca says

      Thank you for posting this. I feed my little one dairy/soy free formula because it is all she can tolerate. I cannot do the bone broth formula because she is allergic to 3 of the ingredients and if I were to leave them out it wouldn’t be nutritionally complete. I do everything I can to give her the best foods I can, so I have felt a lot of guilt with feeding her the commercial formula, but it is helping her grow. My pediatrician always reminds me how crazy healthy my kiddo is with the exception of her skin/food issues. I can only do my best, and sometimes my best is the store formula. Thanks for reminding me that it is enough.

      (oh, and I know your post is from over a year ago, I just had to say thank you!)

      • says

        Thanks so much for sharing, Rebecca.Well done for doing the best you can with what you have and not being too hard on yourself. For anyone using store bought formula, there are still plenty of ways to heal and protect the gut/immune system – probiotics, vitamin D, fish oil, and a nutrient dense diet go a long way in improving health for kids.

  11. jamie says

    I am soooo Thankful for this post, and for my sister posting it so I could find it!!! I had no idea about homemade formula!!! Didnt even know you could! My first daughter was breastfed for a very short time but a lot of pressure caused me to formula feed with her and she is very healthy and no problems….my second daughter had GERD sooo bad, and immediately the day after she was born my doctor told me I couldn’t breastfeed because she needed the heaviness of formula etc etc…now I know how much better it would have been :( But with my son, after he was born….I dont know if it was the shock of my labor and delivery(didnt go as planned at all…barely made it to the hospital with 9 mins to spare) or what it was but I absolutely did not want him on my breast….and with only a week on the bottle he would not take my nipple :( We tried everything and he just wouldnt…so I pumped and pumped and pumped but when he was 3 months old my supply just diminished even after doing and taking everything possible. I was and am still soooo depressed about it….and no sooner did we start him on formula did he develop a rash :( so he is now on Nutramigen…(what my middle daughter was on) and I hate it. I have just seriously been considering trying like hell to re-lactate but after trying to give him my frozen breast milk….he wouldnt take it and went on bottle strike for a good 2 hours. He is very picky and wont take but 1 kind of bottle nipple…will no longer take a binky and still at 7 months refuses to eat solid food.
    Which sucks, because like many, I rely on wic to pay for the 22 dollars a can of formula and they cut us down from 11 cans to 8 and its sooo expensive! I pray to God I can make this formula and feed it to him. And pray I can find the liver ingredients since he has some kind of allergy and is on the meat based formula anyways. I hate feeding him this stuff!!!! It has caused many tears from me. I am sooooo thankful for this!!!! I was just wondering….would it be possible to continue giving it to him after he is one??? It sounds even better for him then whole milk does.

  12. Christine says

    GrowingGreen – I agree that this formula helps empower a mom who can’t breastfeed. I made it to 6 months with my son, but despite much help and much effort, I just had no more milk and the baby was losing weight. I bought organic formula because I couldn’t stand the thought of putting RBST/RBGH into my baby, but realized that I still didn’t like feeding him that. I had 2 friends who had made this formula and we were already getting raw milk, so I switched. I felt so much better and more confident knowing that he was getting real nutrition, not powder and chemicals. He’s done great on it, except that I have had to leave out the coconut oil because it makes him throw up.

    Not being able to breastfeed is devastating to an informed mom who is trying so hard. If you know it’s not working, give yourself permission to quit. I never felt guilty because I tried so hard and did my best – just very sad. Making this formula helped me feel that I was again giving him the best nutrition that I could.

  13. Lucia Duquette-Holmes via Facebook says

    Or if plan c doesn’t work used plan d, donor human milk. Human milk for human babies and milkshare are two places to connect with women who can donate milk. Cows milk is not appropriate for human babies, it’s too fatty, and too allergenic. Goats milk is a little closer to ours but best to get the stuff that’s made for our babies.

    • Meg says

      I thought donor human milk was pasteurized and therefore stripped of all it’s benefits. Raw milk is easier to digest because it hasn’t been messed with.

  14. Sandy (NZ) says

    My friend just told me that she and her sister both couldn’t breastfeed any of their children because they have a condition where their babies are allergic to their breast milk! They can’t get any nutrition from the breast milk no metter how much they drink. Her first son almost died of malnutrition despite feeding regularly, before the doctors worked it out And apparently it’s as common as 1 in 1000. So I’m taking back my judgements of women who are formula feeding, you have no idea why that is what they are doing… And it’s not always their choice.

    But it’s great to know that recipes for a ‘good’ formula exist.

  15. Pernova says

    Both these formulas contain animal products, gelatin in the first, liver and beef/chicken stock in the second. What would you recommend for vegetarian parents unwilling to feed either of these substances to their child?

  16. malabsorbers mommy says

    I really need some help on these formulas, we have no access to raw cow or goats milk as we live in corn country and they are all grain fed, my children cannot tolerate corn at all. I plan to make the liver based formula but might need a substitute for the whey and lactose, I will make it as directed for the trials but she seems to have a dairy intolerance of some sort, and if I leave these out I know as picky as she is she will not drink it. Are there alternatives and what amount do I use in a standard recipe? What about the high concentration of vitamin A, I am concerned that this will be to much is there a way to lower that without degrading the formula, or are there people that have used this liver based formula that can give me some input as to how it helped their child and how well they did on it? most responses are based on the milk version and I really cannot do this, even a tylenol with cornstarch in it will send her into bouts of miserable screaming so I cannot get donated breastmilk, take care of my health, and she requires supplemental formula and at 6 1/2 months of age she is miserable, doesnt sleep, and requires hours of just carrying her around or driving around to get a sound enough sleep to feel a little better! any info would be great! We suspect she has fructose malabsorption like our 3 yr old who also can tolerate no corn at all and feeding her baby foods has made her even worse as the fructose content is to much just like with him.

  17. Lora says

    malabsorbers mommy: i have a recipe you can use that uses powdered goat’s milk if you are interested. you could use a combo recipe including mine (with goat’s milk) and this recipe. i use the powdered goat’s milk because i don’t have access to raw goat’s milk that i trust, and my babies have all had a sensitivity to the casein (cow’s milk) protein. they DO grow out of it, so that is the good news:) my first 2 boys grew out of it between 9 – 12 mths old. My 3rd baby boy is just now 6 mths and is thriving on this formula. I also recommend you make your own solid baby food. Its not that much of an inconvenience when you get used to it. Just pick up some organic sweet potatoes, peas, green beans, carrots, etc and take them home and blend them up with water, or some formula that you have already made. Then your baby will not be subjected to any kind of corn syrup… If you want the recipe, email me at:, and put “formula recipe” in the subject line:)

  18. Chris says

    I made this for my 1 month old daughter and she is having trouble with her bowel movements. She has a hard time going. Any thought or tips

    • Lora says

      Organic blackstrap molasses. That is what controls their bowel movements. If you are already using this, add an additional tablespoon. If you are not using any yet, start with 2 tablespoons throughout the day- one tablespoon in two different bottles for example. My first child needed 4 or 5 tablespoons a day, but my 3rd couldn’t take any more than 2 or he would get diarrhea:( Blackstrap molasses is different than Karo syrup or any of that other junk. Its all natural, and has a lot of things our bodies actually need. You can find it at a health foods store like Whole Foods or sometimes I can even find it at Kroger in their healthy living section. Hope this helps!

    • Rebecca C says

      When she goes, is it hard pellets, or wet stuff. If it’s hard and dry, try molasses and that sort of thing. If she is just having trouble getting it out but it is normal poop, you can rub her lower abdomen, or try the q-tip trick (lubricate a q-tip and insert just the very tip into anus and swirl, they will go pretty quickly and it could spray you in the face, speaking from experience).

  19. Rebecca C says

    I have to supplement my pumped breast milk and I just started to use the cow’s milk formula above. I got all the products from vitacost and which was cheaper than radiant life and also free shipping. The raw milk I got from a farm. check I believe to find in your area. it was hard to find yogurt without thickeners to make whey, but I finally found Straus brand at Sprouts market. It’s really hard to find cream without extra stuff and that hasn’t been ultrapasteurized, but it’s possible.

    For anyone out there, I have a question: After making a batch and putting it in a jar in the fridge, it set up like jello. Well, duh, it has gelatin in it. But I wasn’t expecting that and it is a big challenging to get the right amount out of the jar and into the baby bottle with a spoon with it being so gelatinous. Any ideas how to make this easier? Anyone, please?

    • Amanda says

      I have not made the formula myself but would suggest checking our Sarah Pope’s (Healthy Home Economist) video post on making this recipe. There are a lot of trouble-shooting ideas in the comments.

  20. Sarah says

    I just started my baby on the homemade formula (Weston A. Price recipe) as described on this website. I used raw cow’s milk from pasture fed cows. Since giving my baby the homemade formula, he has been extremely fussy (he’s had 5 bottle of it so far). What should I do? Should I take an ingredient out? Should I try to find raw goat’s milk instead?

    • Lora says

      Sarah…YES!! A lot of babies are diagnosed as “colicky” when really they are insensitive to the proteins in cow’s milk. They grow out of this, but for some reason around 4-8 weeks, babies can’t handle cow’s milk dairy anymore. As soon as I switched mine to goat’s milk, (I have 3 boys) they were like brand new babies within 7-10 days! Its worth a shot, right? And, if you can’t find raw goat’s milk, I have a recipe for using powdered goat’s milk. Read my comment above and good luck!

    • says

      Hi Sarah – If you decide to try goat’s milk, make sure follow the WAPF recommendations to modify it, as goat milk does not have the same nutritional profile as cow’s milk. I don’t recommend using powdered milk unless you can ensure that the milk was dried at a low temperature. If I were in your shoes, I might try to broth based formula instead. Good luck!

  21. Amanda says

    Love the post. My son has been on the WP raw milk formula since 3 months old when I couldn’t pump anymore (we had serious latch problems). It took me a couple minutes to get over the guilt but after seeing how well he’s thrived I couldn’t be happier. Weight and height normal and he’s super robust and started walking at 8 months old- now he’s into EVERYTHING! He’s very in tune and fun loving. He will be 1 year on March 11th and he will be graduating to just raw milk- mainly meats, sweet potatoes/yams, raw butter, broth, and some fruits and occasionally lara bars or such for his sweet tooth. I hope this recipe is allowed to spread and more women become aware and btw I can’t tell you the countless times doctors and other people told me I was putting my sons life in danger. Its truly sad because I almost let that persuade me.. However, I will say I would have totally preferred to BF and next time my husband and I have planned out a course of action for our next child.
    Also as a side note I’d like to add I always added 1-2 tsp of organic molasses. It helps with any possible constipation and it has great trace minerals..

  22. Harper says

    Hi there,

    I’m making goats milk formula for my son and am trying to find the best things to substitute for lactose and gelatin. (I’ve read that organic maple syrup may be a good choice for the lactose.) He can’t tolerate either. Thank you.

    • says

      Hi Harper – You can use organic dextrose or sucrose in place of the lactose. As for replacing the gelatin – I think this is a bit more challenging. My guess is that you could leave it out and test it again when he’s a bit older.

    • Colette says

      I jus use goat milk formula and its fabulous although its the nanny care one. Not sure if that’s available in the US im in the UK

  23. Sarah says

    How long does the raw cows milk recipe last in the refrigerator ? Freezer ? Just wondering how much I can make at once. And how much does 1 recipe make ? Thank you ! Look forward to trying this! I’ve had a really rough week, my 8 month old has just decided to stop nursing all together. I’m going to keep pumping as long as I’ll produce, but happy to have a back up if needed!

    • Rebecca C says

      In our state, the milk has a sell by date that the farmer’s have to sell it by that date or they can’t sell it. But it lasts longer than that. It lasts from 7 to 14 days approximately depending on how long ago it came from the cow. If it starts to taste a little sour, it’s still ok to drink and will actually give even more nutrients. Once it’s gets a little sour you may want to leave it on the counter until the curds and whey separate, then strain through a cloth and you have the whey you need for the baby formula. You can freeze it in the gallon, it will last for at least several months in the freezer. I buy three or four gallons every week and drink some fresh, and rotate through the freezer with the other ones. They have only been in there up to about three months before we use them. But since there is really no quality lost still at that point, I’d imagine they could last even longer. This is a chest freezer we are using. Keeping them in the freezer in the kitchen that you open all the time, the limit would probably be three months to freeze. That’s also about what the guidelines are for breastmilk, interestingly.

    • Rebecca C says

      Also, one batch is 36 ounces. I make two batches at a time because my son drinks a lot, so I end up making another two batches about every day and a half. But you should plan on making it at least every two days for freshness, if not every day. Also, I have made a batch and frozen it in small amounts to pull out in emergencies if I really can’t make any fresh formula, I’ve used it twice. Also a tip, buy all the ingredients in bulk, buy a lot of lactose because that will get used up the fastest. You can order it all on amazon and (that’s where i get my stuff). go to the weston a price website and read everything, that’s the source of the formula and they have a lot of FAQ there.

  24. Jazmyn says

    My daughter will be 18 months old in a couple of weeks. I breasted her until she was six months old, but I also supplemented her with the raw milk formula because I didn’t make enough breast milk since she was about three months old. My daughter is a COMPLETE WESTON PRICE BABY, and I must say that she is bigger, stronger, more advanced and intelligent than any other baby she has been compared to. This formula is a GOD-SEND and so is the Weston A. Price Foundation. I could never eat any other way or feed my children any other way than by the Weston Price guidelines… An if Ur smart, U would do the same!!

    Eternally Grateful & Thankful :)

  25. Kim says

    I have to stop breastfeeding due to an illness I have. I am extremely upset about it but I have to start taking medicine and can’t do so while breastfeeding. I am feeling a little better now that I have found home made formula. I have some questions and was wondering if anyone could help. I live in Australia and it is illegal to sell or buy raw milk. Can I use pasteurised milk? I have found a small farm that pasteurises the milk at the lowest temperature. What do you think? Also do you just use one formula or can you feed your baby both the milk and the meat formula? Thanks

    • Rebecca C says

      Hi there. You just use one formula. The cows milk is where you start unless you already know your child wont tolerate it. If you can’t find raw milk, then you need to use the best pasturized milk you can, make sure it is whole milk only. Then you need to get milk kefir grains and culture the milk. You can look up how to do this online, you have to buy the grains online or someone you know, etc. It is an easy process that puts live enzymes back in the milk. As far as the whey goes, you can get some pure whole fat yogurt with no additives and strain it, the liquid part is the whey. You could also try getting whey out of the milk that you cultured with kefir, not sure if it will work but worth a try. anyway, the cows milk is the most ideal. if baby has a problem with it then you move to goats milk, then if that doesn’t work then the meat formula is last. I buy the rest of the ingredients that are not dairy based on and, if you have those websites. buy it in bulk, and get a lot of lactose since it gets used up fast in the recipe. one last thing, try to make sure the cream you get is just pure cream with no additives like carrageenan. hope that helps. i’m still getting emails when people leave comments here so if you have another question i would be happy to help. I’ve been making it for my son for about at least four months now and he has gone from a two month early preemie not on the growth charts to a solid healthy boy who is a little bigger and taller than his one year old cousin, and he’s very happy. I understand not being able to breastfeed and being able to make this formula for us has helped me feel a LOT better.

    • says

      Hi Rebecca – You can certainly use lightly pasteurized milk as long as your little one’s tummy can handle it. If not, transition to the broth-based formula. Wishing you the best!

    • Kimberley says

      Hi Kim, where in Australia do you live? I am in WA & my youngest (now 18 months) has had WP formula since about 3 months although we have just weaned him to straight milk in the last couple of weeks – I’m sort of missing the routine of making his formula & realising that my little guy is no longer so little :( He absolutely thrived on it, so very healthy, strong & happy. I could not recommend giving it a go enough xx

      It is definitely worth trying to get the milk. … If you are in WA I might be able to help, but know some of the other states do have availability as well. Also, I found the artic ice is worth getting from US rather than Australia (we actually get most of our vitamins from there now) we bought lactose from brewing stores as pretty much impossible to get here anywhere else less than $25 a pound (brewmart $10 for 500g…. They loved they had their brew baby!) & the suggested probiotic is not only very expensive here but must be imported in such a way it doesn’t get to include what it even has in it. .. rather than $30 for 15 days we get metagenics for kids (recommended by my chiro) which does my 3 boys for a month for about $25.

      Let me know if I can help & good luck!

      • SAL says

        Hi Kimberley, my research into homemade formula led me to your post. I live in Perth and as RAw milk is illegal I wondered if you could give me some advice on where you source safe milk from. Also, any other ingredients that may be available locally. Thanks :)

  26. Terri goetze says

    Hi there-

    I was wondering if you have any feedback for me on the ingredients of the “babys only” dairy formula (the one w/out dha and ra added) by natures one?

    In the instance of adopting and therefore not having breastfeeding as an option, im looking to see what the healthiest alternative to making my own formula is. In my research i felt that the babys only dairy by natires one seemed to be the best choice but eanted to see if you would give me your input?

    I greatly appreciate it. Thanks in advance!,0

  27. Lou Anderton says

    My wife and I are adopting a newborn, and we’re doing our research also, breast feeding obviously isnt an option, so is the homemade recipe safe for a newborn? We have looked at organic formulas but they have more than a few questionable ingredients in them, and I have also read they are not best suited to newborns either. HELP! Now we’re totally confused.

    • Rebecca C says

      I say YES! The question is actually is commercial formula safe for a newborn, and I believe the answer to that is no. Look at WestonA price website and thehealthyhomeeconomist blog also as good resources. Also this blogger has a list of foods acceptable for baby in the above comments. Also there is a yahoo group about this that you can join to ask questions

      I use it for my son, he was two months premature and he is doing amazing. He is 7.5 months now and caught up and beyond on growth charts, healthy happy no problems or sicknesses even through the RSV season. I also buy the water for the formula to avoid giving him fluoridated water. The ingredients of the homemade formula are as pure as you can get. The commercial formula ingredients are scary and artificial, and the processing of the formula is so harsh that any good things that may have been there are killed in the process of making it. I had so many questions when I made the decision to start making the formula myself, so I just have to share with people how good it is.

      • Rebecca C says

        I also want to mention that I calculated the costs of the homemade versus commercial formula and the homemade came out to be roughly $3 per batch. the commercial formula is $22 plus per same sized batch. How often does it happen that you save a ton of money with real foods? Buy everything in bulk online, and source the fresh ingredients locally and you will be set.

  28. MommaMumm says

    HOLY COW! I wish I knew about this when my lil’ins were tiny! I breastfed both boys (still am part time with the 15 m/o), but I work out of the house part time and, for some unknown quirk with my body, I cannot pump. So, if we didn’t want the babies to starve, they had to have formula.
    Would have been great with the homemade baby food we made. The only downer is, you can’t fine raw milk anywhere in my state! =[

  29. Sarah P says

    I’m currently using a raw organic goats milk formula. Our son transitioned from breast to bottle 3 weeks ago just after 3.5 months on nothing but breast milk. He was impatient for my second let down during an obvious growth spurt & very frustrated. The goats milk formula is homemade and is seriously my saving grace. Now he’s a happy boy at every feeding and consumes about 50oz per day. Goats milk e is the closest milk to breast milk you can get from an animal and its readily available. The cost is just a bit more than raw cows milk.

  30. Ciara says

    Hello, if we can’t get raw milk would pasteurized goat milk be better than nothing? And can you buy the liquid whey or is there a way to make it with pasteurized goat milk or regular milk? Thanks so much!!

    • Sarah P says

      Pasturized goats milk is still better than nothing. In the recipe I use I don’t add whey. Its not necessary since its so close to breast milk.

  31. Alison says

    Is there an alternative to the coconut milk? My sister is very allergic to coconut and her 3 month old had a severe reaction to coconut oil on a diaper rash. She is currently nursing but he is eating just as much as she is producing. All of her frozen and previously pumped milk is gone and she is looking into alternatives. We have found one commercial formula that does not use coconut oil but the second ingrediant is corn syrup solids — looking for one that does not have corn syrup. She has several digestive issues and does not want to get him started on the wrong foot and set up for future issues. We are trying to have him allergy tested to see if he reacts to the coconut but we are still looking for alterantives. Let me know if you have any ideas or suggestions!

    • Ciara says

      You might wanna look into it more but I think the reason why coconut oil is important to the recipe because of the lauric acid in it. Which is also in breast milk. Wonder if she would be allergic to Palm kernel oil? Palm kernel oil is a major source of lauric oil. The other being Cinnamon oil. Cinnamon oil has an extremely high lauric acid content, contributing about 80 to 90 percent of its fat composition. But I don’t think Cinnamon oil would work with baby formula lol! Hope you can get a better answer. Good luck!

  32. Tricia says

    My 8 month old has been on homemade formula from WP for over 2 months. I started her on it because she was constantly spitting up on the Enfamil formula. She loves the WP formula. But for the past few weeks she has been very constipated. Straining very hard with no result evn to the point of vomiting even out the nose. I have been giving prunes. She is on some cereal and strained veggies. I am wondering if it could be an ingredient in the WP that could be causing this? Could the gelatin be binding. Has anyone else experienced this with their child and using the formula? Any help would be appreciated.

    • says

      Hi Tricia, thanks for your question. It’s possible that the constipation is from the dairy. You might try the liver based formula to see if that makes a difference. Hope your little girl feels better soon!

  33. says

    i’m so glad to find this post as we are starting foster care. i know that breast is best, but when fostering someone elses baby, that’s just not an option! thanks so much for this!

  34. Meghan says

    My 10 month old son had been on the liver based formula for almost a month (i wish id found it sooner!). He has a dairy protein allergy, but tolerates the lactose and raw whey well.

    I am wondering when and how I should begin the process of weaning him from this formula? We buy raw cows milk for the rest of the family, but i am afraid to try him on it. Is there another nutritionally sound “milk” that isnt dairy based, that we could transition to? He eats lots of solids- mostly vegetables, avocado, fruits, and a few meats at eveyr meal.

    I am thinking coconut milk? Bt cant find much information on substituting it in place of whole cows milk. We were on Nutramigen, and the dr wanted to take him from that, to soy, then diary sensitive, then regular formula, then whole milk …. I decided to make my own formula instead. 😉 but not sure where to go after that.

    Thanks so much!

    • Ciara says

      All store bought milk alternatives like coconut milk, hemp milk, almond milk, soy, etc, contain carrageenan and xanthan gum. Two very unhealthy ingredients. Even the organic brands have it in them. If not both of them then at least one of the other. The BEST thing to do is to make it yourself. I make coconut milk at home and sweeten it with just a little bit of raw honey. Real coconut milk is an amazing super food with incredible health benefits. Homemade Hemp milk also! You can google videos and how to make it yourself. Very easy. Good luck :)

    • says

      Hi Meghan, thanks for your question. If he is allergic to casein, I would avoid giving him dairy until he’s much older. While nutritious, coconut milk is not a sufficient substitute for breast or even raw cow’s milk. Soy, as you know, should be avoided.

      Depending on the severity of his allergy, I would wait until he’s two to start introducing cultured raw milk (yogurt and kefir) in small amounts. If he tolerates them over a two week period, add more. Eventually you can go to raw milk.

      Also, sometimes raw goat’s milk is easier to digest than raw cow’s milk, but I wouldn’t attempt this until he is mostly on solid foods. I hope this answers some of your questions.

  35. Dana says

    Hi, my son is five months old with FPIES. He is currently on a commercial hypoallergenic formula due to my inability to produce more than a half oz of milk per feeding for him. Since he has been on the formula I have hated all the chemicals in it. Would the broth based formula be ideal for him? I have been toying with the idea of trying the homemade formulas but have been scared to. He has bad reflux and I wonder if he still has problems with what is in his current formula, bc he does have the soy and milk allergies. Thanks!

    • Gen Simrak says

      Dana, my son also has FPIES! I hate the formula he’s on, but see no other option. As he gets older (he’s 15 mos now), he will eventually grow out of the Neocate Junior formula he’s currently on. I’m assuming he will switch to Coconut or almond milk. As it is, we have to be very careful with what we introduce to him. Any new ingredient could end in disaster. :( So I feel your pain and have the same questions. Especially how to get him the right nutrients.

  36. Gen Simrak says

    And once more the panic of my child’s health issues rise to the surface… >deep breath<

    My third son, C, was born 9 weeks premature due to pre-eclampsia. (How I wish they knew more about that disease!) I was able to express colostrum right away, however little bit it was. But they supplemented it with hospital-grade fortifier provided by Similac and Enfamil. He was having trouble gaining weight and had TERRIBLE reflux/bradicardia/apnea issues. While in the NICU, they switched the fortifier and he reacted to the new stuff. I insisted they switch back. (Why a bleeding rash w/horrible diarrhea didn't concern them in the least is beyond me.) When he came home, he was still having trouble so they had me continue to mix my breastmilk with NeoSure and they kept increasing his mixture ratio to add more calories. He was vomiting so badly and having such awful diarrhea – it was a nightmare – that I finally told them that I wanted to breastfeed him exclusively. I did so and he started to gain weight! There was a party in the doctor's office that day! But eventually, he went back to the same reactions. At 6 months of age, he ended up in the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia with failure to thrive. Turned out he had a milk allergy, so they put him on Nutramagin via NG tube which eventually switched to bottle. As he also reacted to this, I found out that some babies have such severe dairy/soy allergy that they still react to it because there is still broken down casein. He has been on Neocate (Elecare didn't work for him either.) and is now on Neocate Junior as he hasn't gotten the whole eating thing down yet. He's 15 months old.

    The long and the short of it is that my son is severely allergic to anything that crosses with dairy. He is currently ONLY eating pureed fruits and vegetables. In order to get him to eat solid foods, I figured out that only will allow things that are dry and crunchy into his mouth. Not mushy. He refuses to eat cut up berries, bananas, soft carrots, or anything other solid foods. I have not tried grains at all as per the Allergists' recommendation as it is a high risk allergen. He is also not eating legumes due to a reaction he had once. But I intend on trying to expand these horizons with home challenges.

    I had looked into the homemade formula but because he can't have anything with dairy in it, I felt like the only option was to stick to the nasty amino acid based formula with synthetic vitamins and minerals as all his doctors thought that was best. I want my baby to have the best start to life but I feel at a complete loss. I may have to switch eventually to coconut or almond milk at some point, but seeing as we are very tight financially – we have a $300 grocery (not just food) budget for a family of five – relying on the insurance company to provide his special formula seems like the only viable option. Is there anyway out of this??!! Am I harming my allergy-laden baby's future/development by keeping him on Neocate Junior?????

  37. diann says

    PLEASE everyone remember, strong, healthy adrenal glands are required for milk making. Adrenal fatigue makes it almost impossible for a woman to produce appropriate amounts of milk and still remain healthy herself. Not that she’ll be very healthy anyway with adrenal fatigue. The additional strain of trying to produce milk nonstop (which by the way takes more energy than pregnancy to maintain) can really leave mom with lifelong health problems. Good reason to look for alternatives? I think we’d all agree it is :)
    p.s. I was able to nurse both of my kids successfully for 3 years each. We all need to be informed and reasonable.

  38. Jennifer Strom says

    I have a baby about to turn one in a couple of weeks and I’m looking into making her own formula, what if I can’t find raw milk or the kefir cultures they reccomend on the Weston site. Can I still just use commercial org milk? She mostly eats solids and gets maybe 2-3 bottles of milk now.

  39. Lisa says

    First off, making your own baby formula is dangerous to your baby, the FDA strongly advises you not to make your own baby formula. Second, at the beginning of this article, you were basically bashing formula feeding moms. I have had 4 kids all grown now, and not one of my kids have any type of allergy, ezcema, Asthma, or any type of sickness. My kids do not have behavorial or developmental problems, all 4 of my kids were honor students with all A’s throughout school, they all had a full ride to college. And what do you know all of my kids were formula fed due to I had breast cancer and had to remove my breasts. I’m not knocking breast feeding at all, but do not judge women formula feeding they’re babies. You never know what the story is behind it.

    • says

      Dear Lisa – While you may take advice from the FDA, I do not. I am surprised that you find that this article is ‘basically bashing formula feeding moms” as that was not my intent as I clearly state: “The point of this post is not to educate on the merits of breastfeeding or make formula feeding moms feel guilty”.

      That’s truly wonderful that you didn’t have any issues with formula feeding, but the fact remains that many babies do. This article is written to support *those* mothers and help empower them with all of the best options available for feeding their babies – whether or not you or the FDA agree.

  40. nanci says

    Please just a short answer…Mom is not breast feeding, not practical for them to make their own formula…SO what is the best pre-made powder formula they can buy?????? thank you

  41. Nicole says

    Thank you so much. I am adopting and needed good alternatives to breast feeding asit is questionable if breast feeding will create a healthy supply. Love your site!!!!

  42. Mike says

    We are in the process of possibly adopting a baby due to be born in a few months. We definitely do not want to feed the baby a commercial formula and unfortunately we live in MN where getting raw milk is more difficult than scoring a bag of drugs. The liver formula sounds very interesting but I am wondering if there are concerns about too much vitamin A or anything else from consuming a high amounts of liver?

  43. J mUmmA says

    Finally getting the rest of the ingredients today to make the formula for our twins, we’re in Australia and the Bellamy’s Organic formula that we were using contains Cupric Sulphate which is an industrial made pesticide, they said that it’s copper which is an essential mineral for babies, but Cupric sulphate is not the natural copper element.. the NASAA were supposed to be doing a thorough investigation into it but we’ve heard nothing back and it’s still on the shelves- we’re disgusted. So very much looking forward to finally having some decent milk going into our babies tummies, I’m still expressing but only getting about 19 oz a day, the twins are now 11 months old.. How long would you suggest keeping them on the homemade baby formula?

  44. Jolene says

    My daughter is allergic to coconut oil and all products with coconut. What would be a good substitute for the coconut product in these homemade recipes? Thank you

  45. says

    I am warming the formula before feeding, but there is still a lot that is not reconstituting after being in the fridge. Am I not warming it enough? Will this be an issue as far as nutrients? Have you given a bottle cold because you’re in a place you can’t warm it up? Does that work alright when you have no other choice?
    – Becca

  46. says

    Hello, thank you soooo much for your knowledge! I LOVE reading it! I have a certificate in holistic nutrition and enjoy learning more.

    So I have a preemie, he weighed 2lbs. 5oz. My little miracle. My other 2 children were full term and exclusively breastfed! This little guy is 4 months old, should really only be a month old now and currently weighs 7lbs. 5oz. I need to plump him up, of course his pediatrician recommended neo enfamil…I hate it and try to not a use it.. My naturopath suggested goats milk-but I think he was recommending it as a supplement to my milk. I pump off my formilk every single feed and give him the hinmilk. I also just bought raw goats milk…can I add raw goats milk instead of formula? Or do you know a way to fortify my milk after I pump it????
    Thank you so so much in advance. Tiffany Hebb

  47. Anna says

    please i need you to contact me through email, i think my childs formula was making her sick, not an allergy or intolerance, to the point that baffled doctors and is being tested for epilepsy. since changing her from formula to cows milk all symptoms seem to have ceased… i have no idea what could possibly be in her formula making her this sick if it is the case!

  48. Theresa Applegate says

    Hello!! I have been using the homemade formula for about a month now. My baby is only having about one bowel movement per day, and appears to be straining and a bit constipated..any suggestions? I thought I had seen something about constipation but can’t seem to find it now. Thank You!

    • says

      Hi Theresa – Thanks for your comment. It’s hard to say without knowing more, but it’s possible that baby might have a sensitivity to dairy, so you might have luck trying a liver based formula.

  49. rachel says


    I am wondering is there a substitute I can use instead of gelatin when making up the lactose baby formula? I am having trouble getting a hold of this product.

    Thank you!

  50. Kea says

    my daughter is six months now, but was born 9 weeks early, started out pumping while she was in the NICU for two months, but with stress depression lack of sleep my milk started to decrease badly and i missed pumping sessions at work when we got crazy busy with so many call offs, i felt like a failure and by he time she came home she was starving and bf was so painful, but i tried anyways i had to eventually use formula as a supplement, then all together use formula:( but she did really bad on about four commercial brands Neosure, Similac, Up&up reg and sensitivity until i switched to organic actually, but now i make home made and give her lots of natural baby foods and ive also tried alot of other things, shes gaining weight quicker and catching up… cant even tell shes a preemie anymore! but its not always that moms dont want to breast feed, things happen and this is my first, soooo im glad theres alternatives… i no longer feel ashamed i want my child to be healthy, every mom does right.. :)

  51. Cecilia says

    What an excellent article!! Thank you so much for actually posting the REAL truth. I have actually made this milk based formula and it helped my little one to begin thriving again. I was so thankful to have another option after being very disappointed in even the store bought “organic” formula ingredients. And it is less expensive to make! Plus for those who are thinking about making it, it may seem a little overwhelming at first but I was able to get it down to where I would make a bunch and freeze it and it was no problem at all. Good luck to all of the mamas out there with Breastfeeding and so thankful to have this secondary option for those who can’t.

  52. Natalie says

    Hello Sarah please help, I have 2 month old twins I’m still breast feeding but topping up with formula as there not getting enough. Can I give them the milk based formula?? I can’t seem to find if milk is ok for them at this age? Thanks

  53. Joy says

    There are a whole host of grandmas out there (I am one) raising infants born to drug addicted babies whose parents lost their rights to them. I wish I had known about this when I first brought him home from the NICU. He is almost seven months now, and I may still try to incorporate some of this into his diet. His wonderful aunt, the older sister of his bio mom, has been showing me some of the newer thinking on these topics and I am a slow learner, but will be trying harder! Thanks for the article.

  54. Colette says

    I never produced breast milk I think due to stress and I have m.e and had a c section I was gutted. I feed her nanny care new Zealand goat milk formula. Its Done wonders. It has full fat milk solids and no added sweetness. Its not cheap but managed to do it. She be a year in October and will switch to full fat goat milk

  55. Janelle Troyer says

    Has anyone used something like sunflower lecithin to help emulsify the fats so that there isn’t such a pool of the oils on top of the formula? I’d like to be able to get all of the oil INTO my baby and not leave a film on the bottle and a small puddle at the end of the bottle that she will NOT drink. I’m not sure of the lecithin will work, but I wonder if it’d be worth a shot?

  56. Andrea says

    I’m curious as to the calorie content for the Goat’s Milk recipe. I have access to the milk and ready to order the kit but our pediatrician is hesitant to get on board because of my son’s low weight. She would rather wait until he is a year old before we make the switch because she is worried about losing calories from the homemade formula vs the store bought. Is there any approximate range that the kit and milk will provide? And aside from sticking to the recipe is there anything that could be added in addition too to up the calorie intake like we currently do with his formula?

    • says

      Andrea, at the bottom of this page is the nutritional breakdown for the WAPF formulas (link at end of comment). The goats milk is 890 calories per 36 oz soa about 24 calories per oz which is 2 calories more than the similace neosure. To add more calories you can always add some heavy cream. I use this formula with my premie twins and they gained 2-3 lbs a week the first 3 weeks they were on it when they were actually losing weight on the formula they were receiving in the hospital. Hope this helps you!

  57. says

    I first stubbled across your blog while researching homemade baby formula for my daughter and I now frequent it. I live in Canada and was almost discouraged from homemade baby formula initially because I could not find all of the required ingredients without having to order from several online stores in both US and Canada to get setup. Since then, I have started a small online store that is stocking homemade baby formula ingredient kits and is now featured on the WAPF site as the Canadian resource. I appreciate any helping with spreading the word so that more Canadian’s have this option for their babies. :)

    Ovio Organico Traditional Foods Ltd.

  58. Maria says

    First of all I would like to thank you for all the time and effort you put into your work.
    I do have a few questions for you.
    “Whole raw cow’s milk and cream from pasture-fed cows” – exactly where would I get this milk and how can I be sure that that is what I am getting? Unfortunately my grandma is no longer around to provide me with such a wonderful and pure product.
    “Organic liver (from a grassfed source)” – same concern and question as above, as well as, we all know that liver functions as a filter in a body. That being said is this “filter” really a good base for my baby’s food?

  59. Yana says

    Hi There,
    Can I substitute whole milk kefir instead of whole milk in the formula recipe. My little guy loves it and has been drinking 6 oz of it a day in place of 1 serving of formula as it has helped vastly with his digestion and seems to help with his eczema. I am interested in trying out your formula as we are still battling with his eczema. Im hoping homemade will help. He is 9 1/2 months and has started on pureed food 3x a day as well.

  60. Jen says

    Thanks for this info!
    How does this recipe compare to breastmilk? Does it contain all the same vitamins and minerals? If we leave out the liver option will my baby be deficient in minerals eg zinc, magnesium?

    • says

      Hi Jen, thanks for your question. The WPF has given the guidelines based on the nutrients required to match the nutrients present in breastmilk.

  61. Christina says

    Hi. I found the recipe for the hypo-allergenic bone broth formula on Sarah Pope’s website and made a batch, which seemed fairly simple, and my little guy seemed to enjoy it very much. He is almost six months now, has been exclusively breastfed since birth, and had a bad dairy allergy from birth. The doctor recommended hypoallergenic formulas but he did’t really like any of them. After reading the labels, I couldn’t blame him! But at five months he shows signs of hunger after nursing and he is still waking up every three hours or so during the night. so I started him on the recommended egg yolk a day and he loves it; he seems calmer after his yolk, too. Since it appears my milk is not enough for him, I wanted to try supplementing with this formula. But now he seems to just play with the bottle more than anything. And, stranger yet, he used to take the store formula from a bottle from my husband, never from me, but he won’t take this formula from him! Has anyone heard of this? I was hoping that if I couldn’t breastfeed that, at least, I could have help giving him a bottle. Also, can anyone tell me how long the broth formula lasts in the fridge and how long it can be frozen for? I made the usual 36 oz recipe but now that he’s not really drinking more than half an ounce at a time I need to do something to preserve the rest that hasn’t been used.

  62. mary says

    I have a 6 week old and have had all sorts of issues…like major gas and acid reflux. She was uncomfortable ALL the time! We originally used Baby’s Only Organic formula starting at 3 weeks to help supplement my low amounts of breast milk, but then found out about this amazing formula made in Germany that is almost identical to breast milk and is made for sensitive infant tummies. It’s called Hipp Organic. We had it shipped 2 day air just because our little girl was so uncomfortable and WOW…what a difference this stuff made! Hardly any gas…she wasn’t constipated…it was like she was drinking breast milk. We still have some issues with acid reflux but not nearly as bad. The Hipp formula saved us. Now our baby seems comfortable and peaceful whereas before she was gassy…crying and irritable. I feel so much better about supplementing with formula now that we found the organic Hipp formula. I knew if I did enough searching I would find something really great with good ingredients. Check out the ingredients and why it’s better than formula made in the USA: I hope this helps. This formula was a game-changer. Can’t recommend it enough!

  63. BF 3 babies says

    I’ve seen too many women in my job that say they cannot breastfeed but it is usually based on misconceptions, lack of understanding of how it works, poor advice and lack of support. The human race would not exist if that many truly can’t breastfeed. I’ve also seen many women who fed their baby in another country with no problems. They come to the USA and suddenly they “can’t”. It’s nonsense. Some of the comments above point exactly to those misinformed situations. Formula companies have manipulated parents into believing all the lies. Parents don’t even realize it. You can’t use bottle feeding standards to judge whether or not breastfeeding is successful. The two are very different. Measuring ounces of expressed breast milk is a trap for the severly misinformed. Breastfed babies never eat the same amount that formula feds do. Its been proven. Bottles lead to so many bad parenting scenarios. Feed baby at the breast from day 1 with NO supplementing and don’t try to control everything. Your body and your baby can be trusted! Mother nature knows more than we do.

  64. New mama says

    I have a 10 wk daughter and have had a horrible bf experience. Since day 4 of bf, my breast milk has made my daughter terrible gassy and in extreme pain almost 24/7. I stuck it out for 8 wks until my daughter had blood in her stool. I was not eating dairy or soy during my pregnancy or while bf. I tried the elimination diet and could not figure out what was bothering my daughter. I have spent almost a thousand dollars in lactation consults and naturopathic doctors and no answer to what is bothering her. So alas, I am now using formula and she is happy. I am still pumping and hoping to reintroduce breast milk when her bowels mature. I do not want to hear any criticism please. I am hard enough on myself and have always pride myself in a very healthy diet. I NEVER would have thought this would be my bf problem.

    But my question, if I don’t make my own formula what can I add her formula for better nutrition. Im just apprehensive to make my own. Can I add coconut oil to her formula? What about bone broth? I know both of these are healing to the gut. Thank you!!

  65. New mama says

    One more question about the bone broth. The link you put above to buy online is boiled with onion, celery and carrot. However the recipe in the healthy baby book is just boiled with vinegar. Can my 10 wk old have the bone broth with the carrot, onion, etc?

    • says

      I would not advocate bone broth as per my recipe for a newborn. I would suggest you contact a healthcare practitioner near you who can monitor your child’s growth closely. Hope this helps.

  66. Em says

    Thank you for this. This was exactly the information I needed.
    I was looking to see whether there were any formulas with methylcolbalamin instead of cyanocolbalamin, and folate instead of folic acid. How unfortunate that there isn’t as so many people cannot utilize folic acid due to MTHFR!
    This lack is in addition to the other very real problems you pointed out.
    I have 5 kids and always had low milk supply or un-filling milk with every child except #4. I tried all sorts of remedies to increase milk supply/bulk up the quality of my milk, but they either did not work or worked only a little or were too much trouble to keep up throughout the day in addition to nursing for so long at such frequent intervals, and with one baby, only while lying down.
    And it is so hard emotionally to do almost nothing else except nurse all day long.
    #5 pretty much refused to nurse long enough to fill up and even when he did nurse longer, he was still ravenous immediately — even after nursing for 45 minutes. I had all sorts of problems nursing him and still do at almost 3 months — I nurse him once a day, but even that is hard-going.
    I nursed #4 with no problem and I still don’t know why it went so well. I didn’t even use any galactagogues; he would nurse for only a small amount of time and be satiated for a long time. It was just a gift from God.
    Thank you again, Emily.

  67. Marina says

    I live in Australia where I don’t have access to Raw fresh milk. How do I re-culture organic unhomogenised milk please OR can I just use it as it is??

    • says

      Hi Marina, thanks for the question. If you had to re-culture the milk, you would end up with either yogurt or keifer, so depending on what you are using it for, there is your answer. I hope that helps.

  68. jenna says

    unable to produce enough breast milk and appalled to find out that the infant formulas available to us are nothing but junk, sadden me! I am in search of getting these ingredients together, rather than wait for an order in the mail, can’t I purchase most these products/ingredients at Whole Foods or Mothers Market? Aside from the raw milk & whey of course. I want to get my newborn switched asap, but for now im stuck with this junk-food mcdonalds canned commercial cr*p. Any input is appreciated as I am a first time and single mom.
    Thank you all!

    • Laura says

      hey Jenna,

      I buy most of these ingredients at Sprouts (the organic sunflower oil, coconut oil, and extra virgin olive oil). I buy oraganic heavy whipping cream from there, also.
      or Amazon (I have amazon prime and it comes in 2 days).
      from Amazon I get the lactose, the gelatin, the acerola powder (vitamin c) and nutrional yeast flakes and they come in 2 days and are a good price.

      The probiotic has to be cold, so I order it from here:
      and pay the hefty shipping fee (but it has lasted me 3 plus months so worth it!!!!)
      and I also buy the fermented cod liver oil and high butter oil from this company as well.
      this comes in one week, but even faster since you live in Socal and they’re based on Socal.

      I buy my raw milk from a local farmer, here, and I also buy their yogurt and make whey from it. :)
      I know that’s alot of info, but that’s what has helped me most and that’s how I get everything. once you get it all, alot of it will last for awhile. you’ll use up the lactose, whey, raw milk, and whipping cream often but everything else I”m going strong on! (4 months later).
      Hope that helps!!!! :)

  69. Laura says

    I have used the Weston Price formula for my baby and she is a thriving, intelligent, happy, sweet little 6 month old with no breakouts of eczema. (unlike my first born baby who had commercial formula and the worst WORST eczema ever..sorry baby girl!) (I didn’t know the harmful stuff formula had for my firstborn….!) now, with my 3rd baby, I know so much more and have seen the incredible benefits of this home made formula. When I say thriving I mean it. She is now eating sweet potatoes and avocados alongside this stuff and is a happy, chunky legs, sweet little girl. So for your mamas that need hope that you’re not hurting your baby by having to make formula (because for whatever reason breastfeeding isn’t an option) then please be reassured from one mama to another, that this stuff is safe and works so well. :)

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