Why can’t I make my own formula or use regular milk or milk substitutes from the dairy aisle?
Although feeding babies regular milk or making homemade formula was common decades ago, it is not a safe or recommended practice. In the United States, laws and other government rules make sure that all infant formula sold in stores meets very strict rules about their ingredients, to make sure it supports healthy growth and development.
The FDA also oversees how approved formulas are made and stored. The government inspects both the formulas and the manufacturing facilities regularly to be sure the rules are followed to avoid contamination and spoilage.
Formula mixtures made from online or other resources may not have vital components, such as enough iron or vitamins for a baby. Or, they may have too much salt or other nutrients that your baby’s kidneys and liver cannot handle in large amounts.
In addition, regular dairy products like cow milk or alternatives such as soy, hemp, or almond milk are not designed with the right amount of very important nutrition sources including protein, iron, calcium, and vitamins that a baby needs. Even if it seems like they have enough from the label, the chemical forms of the nutrition may not be easily absorbed by the baby’s body. Or, certain ingredients may affect each other (such as calcium and phosphorus) in ways that is not ideal for things like bone growth.