Updated June 19, 2013
I struggled to breastfeed my eldest. I was coerced into weaning her when she was 10 months old. I was prescribed a medication and I was told, “No more breastfeeding.” Silly me! I listened without doing my own research or asking for a second opinion. I didn’t want my baby to starve, so I gave her Enfamil formula because that was what the doctor recommended and I thought it to be my only option. Again…silly me! In this age of information, research was just a little click away.
With my younger girl, breastfeeding was breeze. She still nurses. I work full time but somehow we managed to keep breastfeeding going even though I am not great with the pump. Well, I am at first, but as soon as baby starts eating solids, my pumping output goes kaput. So how did we keep breastfeeding alive? Mostly by co-sleeping and reverse cycling, which was kind of rough on my husband and me but worth it to us.
But then, all on her own, my baby started sleeping through the night. At around 10 months old, with no sleep training or any methods, she would sleep from around 7 or 8 until 5 in the morning. She also no longer wanted to sleep in our bed. She would only sleep peacefully in her own space. (Side note: this shocked the crap out of me. So many people said how hard it would be to get her out of our bed and that she would be five or six YEARS OLD before she started sleeping in her own bed.) So my milk supply went down further!
At this point, I started to notice that she looked really scrawny to me. And that other babies her age were bigger, which usually isn’t a big deal to me because I’m pretty small but I don’t know. I just felt like something wasn’t right. At her one-year checkup, the pediatrician said she had hardly gained any weight since her nine-month check up. After months of consistent. normal growth, she fell off her growth curve.
I don’t judge women who formula-feed but I have always thought of myself as the extended breastfeeding type. And if I didn’t work full time, I think that would have worked out better for me. But what I was pumping at work was not cutting it. Nobody likes to feel like their baby is not getting enough to eat.
I don’t believe her diet is broad enough yet for her to get all that she needs from just solids and cow’s milk though. So I was considering going back to the realm of formula. Have you ever looked at the ingredients in formula though?! I did recently and to say I was horrified…
The first ingredients are: nonfat milk, vegetable oil, CORN SYRUP SOLIDS
Say what, now? It just doesn’t sound like food to me. WTF is a corn syrup solid? Doesn’t sound healthy. I would be more at ease if I didn’t think that formula companies were just out for money. I would be more at ease if I thought they really gave a crap about my baby. But they don’t.
I, on the other hand, absolutely adore my offspring. And I want to feed them food. Food that is as close to nature as our modern world will allow while still taking advantage of all the knowledge we have now. So that’s how the search for homemade toddler formula started.
I call it toddler formula but I don’t really see a problem giving it to a baby. I’m not a doctor, of course, but there’s nothing in it that babies can’t have. And the ingredients are way better and higher quality than what is used in commercial formula. Just to be clear, let me say this again – I’m not a doctor! This is my recipe based on one I found here . You’re welcome to click on that link to see what the original recipe was and there are other ones too. But remember that you’re your baby’s parent and so you know what’s best for him or her. You’re responsible for the decisions you make, not me! So here’s the recipe, which makes about 36 ounces:
Ingredients & Tools
- 1 and 7/8 cups water (2 cups minus 2 Tbsp)
- 2 cups goat’s milk
- 1/4 cup whey (I make whey by straining plain yogurt or kefir through a fine mesh like cheesecloth. Just let it drip for a long time, a few hours will do it. Whatever you do, don’t use whey powder.)
- 1-2 tsp blackstrap molasses (Use 2 tsp if baby is constipated or needs additional iron. Otherwise, you can just use 1.)
- 4 Tbsp lactose powder
- 1 tsp powdered children’s/baby probiotic- I used to use a liquid but it was flavored. I prefer this and it blends better (make sure it is stored refrigerated wherever you buy it)
- 1 tsp expeller pressed sunflower oil
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp virgin coconut oil, melted but not hot
- 1/2 tsp cod liver oil
- 1 packet Rainbow Light Nutristart multivitamin powder
- 2 Tbsp heavy cream (optional)
- Put everything in the blender.
- Turn on the blender and let it go for 40 seconds to a minute.
- Place into storage containers (I used Mason jars because I use those for everything under the sun.)
- To heat up the milk, just put some very hot tap water in a bowl and place the bottle in it, just like heating up breast milk. Do not microwave because, just like breast milk, you’ll kill the good bacteria in it.
I have to tell you, this is the only thing besides breast milk that my baby will drink. I still nurse her 2 or 3 times a day and I pump at work but this is a great supplement that I really don’t mind feeding her because I know exactly what the ingredients are and I know it’s good for her.
SO there you have it! Hope your pumpkin loves it as much as mine does! If you have questions or want to know where to get these ingredients, comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.