Homemade Toddler Formula

Updated June 19, 2013
*recipe below*

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)
  • blender


  1. Put everything in the blender.
  2. Turn on the blender and let it go for 40 seconds to a minute.
  3. Place into storage containers (I used  Mason jars because I use those for everything under the sun.)
  4. 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.PhotoGrid_1368919060525

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 hippiebrowngirl@gmail.com.

5 thoughts on “Homemade Toddler Formula

  1. The idea of making your own formula is great. However, if you want to offer something “as close to nature” as possible, I would drop the following:
    – the lactose powder: there is already lactose in goat’s milk
    – molasses: I avoid sweetening baby’s food, and prefer to rely on natural sweetness found in food. If you absolutely must sweeten it, it would be better to use ripe fruits, as they contain simple sugars not complex ones, so are better digested.
    – probiotic supplement: probiotics are important, I concur, but you would better be offering these as homemade fermented food, not supplements, unless your child has a condition that requires that.
    – blend of oils: why not stick to only a couple (coconut, olive)? Keeping it simple 🙂
    – multivitamins: really??? Synthetic vitamins are not a good idea. They are not assimilated as well by the body as natural ones occuring in real food, the dosage is not tailored to your child’s needs, which btw changes all the time. Finally, synthetic vitamins may disturb the nutrients balance in the system, for example by impeding the assimilation of natural nutrients from food sources.
    – heavy cream: only if fresh from farm milk, preferably organic and from grass-fed cows. Most people use store the bought cream that comes in cartons. These contain additives, some pretty nasty ones like carrageenan. Better without such cream altogether.

    • Thanks for your two cents. You’re welcome to substitute as you like or completely ignore this post altogether. I’m just sharing what worked well for my baby and gave me peace of mind. I do want to say that human milk has a higher lactose content than goat’s milk and so that was the reason for including the lactose powder. Additionally, the molasses was not meant as a sweetener; molasses is good for constipation and contains iron.

      • I do NOT want to ignore this post at all! I actually really like the idea, and find this recipe to be quite good. I’m very glad (and not surprised) that it worked well for you 🙂

        I hear you about the lactose content of breastmilk. If you have already started offering solids to your child, she is probably getting a decent amount of sugars from fruits and veggies, perhaps even grains if you do include them in her diet. Since lactose is not really an essential nutrient (in the sense that it does not fill a specific role other than being converted into energy), you do not need to fortify your formula with it. Especially if you need to use it in this form (“lactose powder” is not something I personally consider real food).

        Also, You are absolutely right about the importance of iron, which you include by adding molasses (which also has a good mineral profile). Indeed, after 6 months, we have to make sure to meet baby’s increasing needs for iron. However, if you do give meats to your child, consider offering iron in the form of iron-rich animal foods, like liver or stock, as they are highly digestible and packed in iron in its most bioavailable form. Leafy greens are also rich in iron.
        One important source of iron we tend to overlook is… the dirt from soil! Unfortunately, not all of us have easy access to a clean and safe natural environment for our children to roam in :((

        One last thing: it is really great that you managed to breastfeed your children, in spite of being a working mom. Pumping is so demanding! You have all me respect 🙂

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