Homemade vs Commercial Baby Formula

Visiting a relative of mine last summer gave way to an interesting discovery. While rummaging through some old recipe cards I found one from the 1970s for at-home baby formula. This immediately sparked my curiosity because these days I was under the impression that baby formula was store-bought and of pharmaceutical grade. The relative explained to me that her knowledge of baby formula was that it was highly common in the 1970s for middle-class families to make their own baby formula at home and that it was considered a poorer woman's lot to breastfeed. I was shocked at how times had changed, especially because I worked at a medical office that gave after-hours classes on the importance of breastfeeding. These classes also involved statistics about baby formula v breastfed babies' long term health (based on baby boomers) which I realized could be very different from the formula of today for babies because the accepted thought is to buy baby formula from a store and not make it at home. This is a conspiracy theory and not medical advice regarding this topic, please refer all of your advice to a medical provider as this site is not that.


What is today's best selling baby formula made of? According to my Google search, it is Similac Advance, as of 2016 and the ingredient list shows that it is mostly nonfat milk, lactose, and whey protein, plus some vitamins. The recipe for at-home baby formula from the 1970s was mostly sweetened condensed milk mixed with water and flour. Today we know to limit the amount of flour a baby ingests because their tiny digestive tract is not able to process it. However, in the1970s those babies were chugging that flour milk, which brings me to my point that statistics on babies who were feed formula are not comparable to that of babies now due to the differences between commercialized formula and the homemade variety.


Some important thoughts to consider as well are that commercially produced baby formula is much more regulated and typically mixed with fluoridated water. Whereas homemade formula was generally whipped up by a stay at home parent who had their own version of a baby formula recipe. Maybe Sue-Ann liked to add chicken broth to her baby's formula, but Molly-Mae would only use heavy whipping cream and corn starch. This is why I believe that the stats on baby formula health risks should be reevaluated due to the lack of standardization within the variables of what was considered baby formula. Do you think that I am right? Sound off in the site forums to agree with me or tell me why I'm wrong, and remember to always; Let Your Inner Shut In Totally Wig Out!