Doctor explains why it’s dangerous to make your own baby formula

Local health officials urge parents to avoid ‘dangerous’ homemade recipes during the ongoing...
Local health officials urge parents to avoid ‘dangerous’ homemade recipes during the ongoing baby formula shortage crisis.(Beatriz Reyna)
Published: May. 24, 2022 at 6:21 AM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - While parents wait for nonspecialized formula to be shipped to the U.S., some doctors are warning about the dangers of making your own baby formula at home.

Dr. Steven Abrams, a pediatrician who is affiliated with the American Academy of Pediatrics, says people on social media platforms are posting recipes, despite the safety concerns.

“We know that homemade formula, even the ones online, run the risk of contaminated components to them, they have the wrong mixture of minerals and protein for babies, and a lot of times the things that you add to them just may not be absorbed by the baby,” Dr Abrams said.

He says there are some mixtures that are flat out dangerous.

“One’s that use things like hemp milk, and almond milk, they are nutrionally inadequate, the ones that use evaporated cow milk are not ideal, we prefer people not use them,” he said.

The AAP recently approved the use of whole cow’s milk to replace formula for babies older than 6 months of age. Toddler milk could also be an option.

“If you are going to do that, especially if it’s going to be used for more than a couple of days, you should check with your pediatrician about iron levels, because in these babies who are close to a year of age, the biggest problem is that there is not enough iron,” he added.

He says the last time the U.S. saw a shortage in baby formula was back in 2020 when sales skyrocketed after people hoarded formula, but it wasn’t this severe. The current shortage was caused by supply chain issues along with the country’s four largest formula producers having to shut down in February due to bacteria contamination.

“I don’t think we are going to see things back to normal for another 2-3 months, but I am hoping that the kind of crisis that it is causing so much families upset, will gradually get better once we start importing normal formula,” he said.

Dr. Abrams also advised against watering down baby formula to make it last longer because it can cause low sodium levels and even seizures in some babies.