10 DIY Formula Recipes That Are Not Doctor Approved

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DIY always sound like such a cool idea, especially with the Pinterest culture perpetuated in the mom world today. You can DIY baby food, baby booties, and toddler projects, so why not baby formula? Well, first, I would say that this is the perfect opportunity to check yourself before you wreck yourself.

It may seem like a wonderful idea to save a load of cash and make your own formula if you’re done breastfeeding or have chosen not to breastfeed. Or, maybe you’re like some of the fancy celebrities out there and choose to make your own formula for health reasons. Again, this may seem like a great idea “in theory,” but this is not a road you want to go alone.

Before you start mixing raw goat milk with barley water, it’s important to consult your pediatrician and do your research. It’s always a mother’s right to choose how to feed her baby, but most often, that distinction falls between breast milk and FDA approved formula. There was even one complicated case where CPS was called on a young mother who fed her baby homemade goat’s milk formula without doctor’s approval, though there is likely more to the story.

The reason DIY formula is such a tricky topic is because a baby’s life depends on it. Many women may believe Breast Is Best, but you can’t argue that commercial formula comes in a close second. DIY formula falls into uncharted territories. Some of these recipes may be highly nutritious, but it is important not to make baby formula without consulting your pediatrician first:

1. Scientology Formula

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Katie Holmes reportedly fed Suri DIY Scientology formula made from milk, barley water, and corn syrup…based only on the advice from Scientology literature.

2. Homemade Milk Based Baby Formula

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While most of these ingredients are beneficial, raw milk must be obtained from a reputable source. Depending on the source, raw milk could leave you open to contamination; please consult with a pediatrician before use.

3. Facebook Baby Formula Recipe

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This recipe is intended for emergency use, though evaporated milk is hardly the best choice for a newborn baby. Karo syrup is often rumored to be a baby constipation remedy that should be used under a doctor’s care.

4. Goat’s Milk And Carrot Juice Baby Formula

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At face value, the recipe looks to be nutritionally deficient. The recipe has secondhand backing from a pediatrician, though there is no confirmed medical recommendation.

5. Emergency Baby Formula 

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This “emergency” baby formula doesn’t look like it will hold up as even a last resort option; it’s chock full of refined sugar. Might as well give your kid a candy bar when they cut their first teeth.

6. Homemade Meat-Based Baby Formula

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Before giving a newborn any type of meat product with the potential to congeal, have a heart-to-heart with your pediatrician first. This recipe also does not have any type of official doctor’s recommendation.

7. Homemade Raw Milk Baby Formula

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This is another raw milk recipe with the potential for contamination. It is modified from the much-respected Weston A. Price Foundation formula recipe, but nonetheless, do not attempt without the guidance of a pediatrician.

8. Hypoallergenic Baby Formula

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While this recipe looks mighty nutritious, it’s best to talk with your pediatrician before feeding an infant meat product, whey, and meat stock. This recipe also does not have an official doctor’s recommendation.

9. Amazing Homemade Baby Formula

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There’s no telling if this recipe will provide enough nutrition for a baby. The recipe also advises to talk with your pediatrician, especially if your baby is under six months.

10. Homemade Goat Milk Infant Formula

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This recipe looks like the real deal at first glance, in comparison to breast milk. However, talking to a doctor is the only way to confirm its nutritional value.

(Image: Freer/Shutterstock)

You can reach this post's author, Bethany Ramos, on twitter.
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    • Valerie

      My recipe:
      - milk from a virgin adolescent goat
      - baby dolphin tears
      - kitten saliva
      - half a can of Ensure
      - sprig of cilantro for color
      Brew in a locally bought sustainably made piece of pottery and feed by dropper. Fingers crossed!

      • Bethany Ramos

        Goddammit I ran out of dolphin tears again!!

      • Valerie

        #HDY

      • Lackadaisical

        Can you mix the tears of a shark with the tears of a clown?

      • Megan Zander

        Can I sub parsley for cilantro bc it tastes like soap?

      • Valerie

        You can but no promises on the results.

      • Lackadaisical

        For that very reason if you switch to parsley you have to add soap.

      • Lackadaisical

        Do I stir clockwise or anticlockwise? Will the tears of a seagul mixed with the babies own tears work as a substitute for dolphin tears? Is it more important that the potter was local but the clay imported or that the clay was local but the potter made the pot elsewhere.

        A fantastic recipe but so many questions. However, it has to he better for them than something formulated in a lab by scientists who merely know a lot about baby nutrition and health

      • Valerie

        The direction of stirring does not matter but be sure to stir with a broken off unicorn horn. Hope this helps!

      • Lackadaisical

        Thank you! By the way, for my own formulas I find it really helps to get your baby to laugh into it as you stir, although for some reason I can’t figure out the baby laughs less and less as you switch to the formulas I use. I can’t think why

      • Valerie

        Baby laughs really help the whole thing come together. Try holding him upside down.

      • Butt Trophy Recipient

        Add a bit of sweet bourbon and the kid sleeps through the night.

        Careful of the hangover the next morning.

      • Valerie

        We need to go into business. Hopefully, you have a dolphin tear hook-up. I am not too close to the coast so my sources are pricey.

      • Butt Trophy Recipient

        The best way to extract dolphin tears is to punch them in the guts or bully them with mean comments.

      • Valerie

        Really? I was thinking of letting them watch Free Willy. That movie tore me up!

      • Butt Trophy Recipient

        You know dolphins and orcas don’t get along. It’s a Black – White thing.

      • Valerie

        Right, but I think there must still be a mutual respect there of “hey, that could be meee!”

      • Williwaw

        A formula-drinking kid might be too young to get into cilantro!

    • Megan Zander

      For the record I am not on board with this, but my grandmother found an old drs script sheet that had the recipe for formula which she fed to my uncles 60+ years ago. I remember it had condensed milk and a few other ingredients. So I think back in the day this was legit.

      • Valerie

        Yes, it was. My grandma has mentioned it before. They drank like, the canned milk with the moo-cow on the label.

      • momjones

        My Mom told me she had to give one of my older brothers evaporated milk. By the time my younger brother and I were born (early 50s), Similac had been developed.

      • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

        My aunt fed her son evaporated milk because as a teen formula was too expensive and she had to go back to school so breastfeeding was out. For the record, he became a hockey player in college and then went on to be very successful.

        I certainly don’t think it’s a good option if other better ones are available, but it’s not going to doom a kid either.

    • Surly Canuck

      I guess the mom in #2 doesn’t know that raw cream IS unpasteurized. That’s what makes it raw.

    • Brittany

      My pediatrician gave me a paper with a similar recipe for the emergency formula. She said use it just for emergencies like natural disasters. I’ve never had a reason to make it but I thought it was interesting and good to know just in case.

      • http://www.twitter.com/ohladyjayne allisonjayne

        That totally makes sense.

      • Lilly

        that makes sense theoretically, but I am way more likely to have formula powder than 2/3 of the ingredients listed above lying around my house.

    • Allie

      It’s called “formula” because back in the day, companies didn’t make it, doctors gave out a formula for mother’s to make in their own kitchens. Just sharing a history lesson …

      • http://ichasekids.com/ Litterboxjen

        I came here to say something similar – my mom talks of how when she was a baby, her mom had to make formula in the kitchen herself. Not sure what went into it, and I’d certainly want to consult my doctor before taking on the task of making homemade formula, but we didn’t always have powdered cans of the stuff on store shelves.

    • Kay_Sue

      I…don’t think I would ever want to be in a situation where I had to consider DIYing my own formula.

      • gothicgaelicgirl

        Yeah, based off my dietary habits, it’d be an amalgamation of Philadelphia spread, onion, prawns and quite possibly some Tayto thrown in.

    • ChelseaBFH

      Is it weird that this actually makes me angry? I’m all for everyone parenting their own way, but the one thing you just don’t mess with is your baby’s nutrition. Just switching from Similac to Costco brand formula made me feel guilty – and that was after doing the research and talking to my pediatrician about it!

      • Bethany Ramos

        I feel you on that one!

      • ChelseaBFH

        I guess now I know how Gisele feels about us formula feeders…

      • disqus_ealSxkOnJn

        Parents can and HAVE gotten homemade formulas approved by doctors. I’ve heard of parents getting it tested to verify its nutrition, they have the technology to make sure it has what babies need. Some babies with severe allergies can’t even handle the hypo-allergenic ones and NEED homemade formula to survive.

        I agree about parents who do this without checking with the pediatrician being irresponsible- but getting angry at parents who verified this with their doctor and got their recipe tested to show it supplied proper nutrition? That makes no sense. They aren’t messing with their babies’ nutrition any more than commercial formula feeders are.

      • Lizz

        In the case of babies not tolerating hypoallergenic formula an amino acid based formula is used. Heck those babies who can’t tolerate hypoallergenic are probably the worst candidates for trying homemade formula with but yes I have heard of ONE case. Personally I’m more pissed off by all the suggestions to feed infants raw milk then homemade in general but any Pediatrician that would support an infant drinking raw milk even if the cow is in the parents own backyard was a quack to begin with.

      • ChelseaBFH

        Since the headline to the article said “not doctor approved,” I am assuming that these recipes are, well, not doctor approved.

    • CW

      I do know someone who fed her adopted kid a homemade formula of some sort of nut milk and seaweed when she was a baby and the kid is fine. I wouldn’t recommend doing it, but apparently the baby was allergic to dairy and soy and the formula that was recommended by the pediatrician was ridiculously expensive. So the mom, being on the crunchy side, decided to DIY. Carnation evaporated milk + corn syrup just sounds plain NASTY to me.

    • Obladi Oblada

      I have such severe food allergies that when I was a baby my Mom had to make the meat based formula from, as stated by someone else, a recipe from her doctor. She didn’t have any breast milk (neither did I) and this was my only option. My Dad said when she would cook the stuff it would starve him to death because it smelled like stew. ;)

      • Obladi Oblada

        We also put corn syrup in my eldest son’s bottle because he was so constipated. Worked like a charm.

    • kay

      So…. does this mean I shouldn’t be adding vitamins to Bailey’s and putting it into my baby’s bottle? Crap.

      • Bethany Ramos

        Save it for me!

      • Tinyfaeri

        Made with the finest cream in Ireland!

      • http://fakegeekmom.com Aimee Ogden

        Of course not! The cream in Bailey’s is PASTEURIZED, you monster!

    • keanesian

      I can’t get over how many of these have corn syrup in them. In addition to unprocessed milk and other issues, is it really better to avoid store bought formula if it means feeding your kid a bunch of corn syrup?

      • http://fakegeekmom.com Aimee Ogden

        Yeah, I have no problem with giving a baby the occasional tot of the stuff (I’ve heard it helps with constipation?) if you need to, but I’m not sure what terrible things you’re avoiding from store-bought formula if your kid is chugging syrup at every meal. I suppose some of these might be cheaper than the canned kind, but some of them sound pretty costly to put together! I’m imaging buying all the ingredients for #2 and then watching my kid spit or vomit the whole mess across the room after the first bottle …

      • Sally Cinnamon

        There’s corn syrup in the store bought stuff, too.

      • disqus_ealSxkOnJn

        Not all of it. Way too few brands actually use lactose, but there are ones that do.

    • Katherine Handcock

      The evaporated milk formulas don’t surprise me at all – that’s actually still surprisingly common in the area of Canada where I had my two kids. Part of that is because there are lots of myths circulating about breastfeeding there – the “milk curdling in the breast” one is the most common. There was one (very sweet and well-meaning) elderly lady who, when I commented my son was growing so fast, said, “Oh, make sure talk to your doctor, sweetie – he might want you to go half-and-half with whole and skim.” It was the best advice she got when she had her kids; I’m sure she didn’t see any reason not to pass it on!

      I didn’t tell her that I was actually nursing because I’m pretty sure it might have blown her brain ;-)

      • Williwaw

        I heard somewhere (and just found an article in The American Indian Quarterly about it, also) that Inuit women in Canada’s far north may not be able to breastfeed their babies due to high levels of dioxins and other pollutants in their breast milk. Apparently this is a result of high levels of ocean pollutants being concentrated in Arctic fish and mammals. So, it would not surprise me if many women in those regions hesitate to breastfeed. I don’t know what scientific research has been done on that, though.

        (On a not-really-related note, my husband claims that his mother raised him on nothing but whole cow’s milk, no formula.)

    • Emily Wight

      I’ll admit that as a crazy person who had been driven to exclusive pumping, I did look into homemade formula recipes and was going to make the one where you grind up chicken livers that have been frozen for 14 days and the only thing that stopped me was that I’d have to wait 14 days for relief. Sleep is such a wonderful, sanity-preserving thing and I’m glad I’m enjoying it again.

    • Blahblah

      My Mom didn’t understand why we didn’t just give my daughter a bottle of water when she was constipated at six weeks old. Lucky me she didn’t see these.

    • Rachel Sea

      The worst thing is that some of these ARE doctor approved. The first time I saw the goats milk and carrot juice formula was on a popular quack doctor’s website.

    • rana

      This reminds me of a girl on my fb who has her own “health” page where she gives “tips and tricks.” She recommends you make your own bone broth and drink it with your placenta capsules and eat homemade gelatin daily. When I first read about the gelatin I think I threw up in my mouth. I should poke around her page more and see if she has a formula recipe, though I’m sure that would go against her “breast is best” policy ;0)

      • CW

        What’s wrong with bone broth? I wouldn’t drink it with placenta (ick) but it’s a perfectly normal thing to have with a salad as a light supper.

    • m

      To me it seems a bit risky to use raw milk. Where I live there were recently many cases of people getting a bacteria that infected their intestines from raw milk. It’s kinda pasteurized for a reason…

    • Ptownsteveschick

      My grandma told me that when my mom was a baby the doctor put her on a meat based formula and that it was brown. EW.

    • BlossomSquare

      Best article regarding woman.so every modern woman should read it.

      http://bit.ly/1mN39Ao

    • julinovotny

      One of the recipes above is mine. I do not see a need to post a link to my site if you are not happy with my choices or my recipe {there are plenty of people who have babies thriving off of the recipe – and yes a pediatrician approved it}. Please remove it, it’s only for those that practice a lifestyle like mine! I didn’t do anything to warrant frustrating opinions or comments. I’m just trying to keep to myself with my recipe. I’m not selling my formula and I recommend anybody who wants to use it consult their doctor! I am not here to put anybody down for choosing powdered formula – as I politely say on my blog. The choice I made was not made public for others to see and make fun of or laugh at. I have a very very healthy 6 year old son {he has been sick 3 times in his life and never had antibiotoics} who used my formula from 4 months until 1 years old – with solids as well. Goats milk is BREAST milk but for goats. There is a lot of nutrition in that {powdered formula is powdered version of cows milk} but because humans’ breastmilk has more carbohydrates than goats milk, there needs to be added natural carbs. There is b-12 and probiotics as well in the recipe as well as dha and omegas. Adding powdered “supplements” into the formula isn’t always necessary. But that is all that’s different about store bought formula – oh except for the CORN SYRUP that’s added in stores. I would not for minute waste your time worrying for feeling sad for my son! This recipe has helped babies who couldn’t keep anything down – soy formula, sensitive formula, cows milk formula, etc. It was the ONLY thing the baby would actually take. There is often a need for homemade fresh formula and I know so many kids who have thrived on it – even if just for supplementing. All store bought formula is – is a powdered down version of my wholesome recipe. I hate to even have to “defend” something I’m sharing that worked for my child! But I felt the need to. Thank you!

      • SarahJane86

        Too bad the “doctor” that backs you up is an anti-vaccine, cancer and aids denying quack. Sounds like your son was lucky.

      • Juli

        This response is why the internet is so bad. I do not want any part of this woman against woman judge mental name calling. I would hope my demographic is well above this kind of thing! This is why I would really like my name and blog taken off this post. I have stayed out of this bullying parenting battle through my entire 3 kids and would like it to stay that way! Please.

      • SarahJane86

        I didn’t call you a name. I gave a reasoned response to your tirade about how wonderful the homemade formula you gave your son was.

        You used the advice of someone who is well known to go well against scientifically proven medical knowledge.

        People followed your advice, whether you wholly intended for them to or not, and you put the information on a public forum. It wasn’t private, it was there for anyone to read and follow. You didn’t write it in a diary, you wrote it on the internet.

        I love how people go well against a safe parenting procedure, post this on a public forum and then whine about the mommy wars when they get called out.

        I didn’t call you a name, a stated facts about “Dr” Mercola. Your son is lucky to have come out the other side of such advice healthy, as is anyone that follows that despicable man’s advice.

        I felt it was in the best interest of people reading this to make public record of the exact type of advice you followed, so they could make a more informed decision.

        No “Mommy Wars”, no “Name calling”, nothing inherently wrong with the internet occurring here.

        Don’t like it? Stop blogging and start a diary.

      • julinovotny

        Thanks SarahJane! Yeah, my son has been sick only 3 times his whole life and he’s 6 years old. Maybe luck…? I will take it!

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    • a_narwhal

      My 82 year old grandma once said to me “I used to just fed my babies PET evaporated milk and Karo Syrup.” It’s funny how things change…

    • Alexandra

      We use number two based on RECOMMENDATION from our pediatrician. Basically he said not to bother drinking milk unless it’s raw because there’s no health benefit to it. Vitamin D and calcium are better gotten through other sources. And we live in NY, not in like a hippy commune or anything :)