This homemade infant’s goat milk formula is great for babies who need a healthy alternative to store-bought formula or breast milk.
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Why Should You Give Your Baby Homemade Infant’s Goat Milk Formula?
Perhaps you’re here because you need to stop breastfeeding and switch to formula. Maybe you never wanted to breastfeed, or couldn’t, and this is your go-to alternative. Or your baby’s stomach doesn’t tolerate store-bought formula or has an intolerance to cow’s milk.
Whatever the case may be, this is a great option for giving your baby all the nutrients they need.
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What Led Me to Create This Recipe
I never thought I’d be making my own baby formula. I actually thought I’d be able to exclusively breastfeed my babies and supply them with breast milk and the nutrients they need.
However, once my first son arrived I quickly learned I was going to have to supplement because very little breast milk was coming in. I was crushed, to say the least. It wasn’t until my second baby that I realized I had Insufficient Glandular Tissue, an actual diagnosis.
That meant I physically could not produce enough breast milk no matter how much fenugreek or milk thistle I took, or how much time I spent power pumping and eating lactation cookies. (Although the cookies were a nice treat!)
My mother suggested the homemade formula recipe she used for my brother and me – evaporated milk and Karo syrup. This combo was actually quite popular back in the day, but at that moment I couldn’t fathom giving my baby milk without more nutrients.
The store-bought formula had tons of nutrients on their nutrition labels. Even if I didn’t know what all of them did I was sure he was supposed to have them.
After a lot of research, I found a common thread of ingredients that most homemade formulas utilized. Goats milk actually has similar beneficial properties to human breast milk. This is the most common ingredient I found. Molasses, infant probiotics, infant multivitamins, and agave nectar were among the other ingredients.
Then I researched what nutrients an infant should be having on a day-to-day basis for healthy growth. Thus, forming my very own goat milk baby formula!
Can Goat Milk Formula Lead to Iron Deficiency Anemia?
This has been a common topic brought up when others hear about goat milk formula.
If anyone, big or small, is ONLY receiving goat milk without anything added to it, their diet would be deficient in more than just iron. They will become malnourished with multiple vitamin deficiencies, including a lack of carbohydrates for healthy brain and muscle growth.
This is why it’s very important to include vitamins and other nutrients in their milk to ensure your baby is receiving their daily nutrition. (Harrison et al., 2007)
If a baby is not receiving folate, vitamin B12, or iron in their milk they can develop anemia, or a lack of healthy red blood cells, that help carry oxygen to tissue in their body. The symptoms of anemia can range from mild with weakness and lethargy to very severe with heart irregularities/abnormalities.
Vitamin C is also important in aiding the absorption of iron.
The bottom line is, that goat milk formula with added vitamins is essential in preventing anemia and maintaining a baby’s healthy diet.
How Do You Add Nutrients to Homemade Infant’s Goat Milk Formula?
If you look at the back of a store-bought formula container you will see all kinds of added vitamins for maintaining healthy growth.
A lot of infant multivitamins contain those exact same vitamins and I will go over a couple later in this post that I have personally used for my baby.
Goat Milk Powder
Goats milk is the base of this formula. I tried a few different brands at our local health food store. One of them was Meyenberg’s goat milk powder, which is a great brand. Have you ever felt powdered goat milk before? It’s silky, yet cloud-like.
If you’re wondering if this is pasteurized. Powdered milk is actually made from dehydrated, pasteurized milk.
Never give a baby raw, unpasteurized milk. (Raw Milk Questions and Answers, 2022)
Just like breast milk and store-bought formula, you need to add something to give your baby carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates are an infant’s main fuel source, and are necessary for proper growth and development.
An infant’s daily intake of carbohydrates is 60 grams of carbohydrates, while those who are 6 months to 1 year should have 95 grams of carbohydrates to aid in brain growth and muscle movement. (Infant Nutrition and Feeding, 2019)
Like breast milk, this also provides a sweeter taste for babies, which draws them to drink it. (Mennella and Bobowski)
Agave in the Raw has worked well for me. Blue agave nectar is what I started out with, but I found it to be the cause of his bad gas. Since the switch, I haven’t had any issues.
I have been using ChildLife’s Multivitamin & Mineral for several months and it’s worked very well! It’s also nice that it comes in a bigger 8-ounce bottle to last a tad longer than my previous multivitamin.
Keep in mind while reading this nutrition label that it is for TWO teaspoons. I also show an image with dosages to show you what you need for your age.
My baby was 4 months old when I began this multivitamin and I began with 1 teaspoon.
If you’re looking for it locally, I know the Whole Foods in my city has it so you can easily buy it there if you have one nearby.
Note: It’s important to research what you are giving your baby. Not all multivitamins have the same vitamins/minerals or the same dosage. For more information on daily infant nutrition consult with your qualified health care provider.
Probiotics help your baby’s digestive tract. It’s essentially a “sterile gut” when they are born, and they need healthy bacteria strains to aid in digestion.
However, studies have shown that probiotics are not always necessary and are typically used more when babies need healthy bacteria introduced back into their GI. (Quin et al.)
For instance, if your baby is having diarrhea from antibiotics being given probiotics can sometimes help with diarrhea by bringing healthy bacteria back in.
I have tried 3 different brands of probiotics with different strains and each time I begin them my baby does have a day of diarrhea as the probiotics run through his digestive tract.
This is normal and to be expected. After that, his BM’s returned to normal. If your infant has continued diarrhea after 1 day, contact your health care provider. This can lead to dehydration in infants very quickly.
Probiotics have active cultures that can die off if they are mixed with warm/hot water. The water needs to be cold or room temperature for them to be active.
Lovebug probiotics have won me over because they’re a powder form that’s easy to mix and they’re in 30 individually wrapped packages.
The other two probiotics I tried were liquid and quite oily and as a result, the oil made a mess of my bottles and pitcher.
Blackstrap Unsulphured Molasses
Unlike refined sugar, which has zero nutritional value, Plantation’s blackstrap molasses contains vital vitamins and minerals, such as iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and selenium.
Molasses can also help with constipation, but can also cause diarrhea if given too much. You may need to alter the amount if you’re noticing a continuance of diarrhea. (Dehghani SM;Bahroloolomifard MS;Yousefi G;Pasdaran A;Hamedi A;)
Make sure you are getting unsulphured molasses, meaning, it has no preservatives.
Goat Milk Ghee
Babies between the ages of 0-6 months need a daily intake of 31 grams of fat. For ages 7-12 months, 30 grams of fat is needed daily. (Infant Nutrition and Feeding, 2019)
The fat helps brain development, helps protect against infection, and helps give energy to a bouncing baby on the go.
To provide that, fat, like oil, is needed. Many use different oils in their homemade formula.
I went with another goat milk product to avoid going the cow milk route which can be harder on an infant’s stomach.
What is ghee?
Ghee is clarified butter that originates back to the Middle Eastern area.
It tends to be thicker like coconut oil, but can be blended smooth in milk when it’s heated.
It’s great for those who have lactose intolerance as it is significantly lower in lactose. (O’Neill)
Lastly, you will need a pitcher to mix these ingredients together. This Dr. Brown’s pitcher and I have been through a lot together. A lot of formula, that is.
I have used it for both kiddos to make formulas ahead of time. Late-night feedings are made simpler by already having it premixed. It’s a lifesaver and a time saver!
This pitcher goes to 40 ounces, but that is filled to the very top. If you are brave enough and do not spill you can attempt to fill it that high, but I go to 36 ounces and stop.
Another option is trying out European baby formula. They have different regulations with their baby formula compared to the US and even offer ones with goat milk.
I read reviews for HiPP and Holle brands, researched their formula, and ultimately tried the Holle goat milk when he was a few months old. (Also just to see if I could go without having to mix all these ingredients daily!)
But my son’s stomach still did not tolerate it as well as he did with the homemade formula.
Their formula is in stages based on age, so be sure to look at what age you need to correlate.
It’s definitely worth looking into. There are websites that ship them to the US without costing an arm and a leg.
Update in 2022: there has since been a ban on store-bought infant formulas crossing borders and it’s very difficult to purchase from other countries. The website I recommended previously was taken down because they could not sell it to the US anymore.
Mt. Capra has a goat milk formula kit that can be purchased and they are US-based.
Homemade Infant’s Goat Milk Formula
- 9 tbsp about ½ cup Meyenberg’s Goat Milk Powder
- ½ cup Agave in the Raw Nectar, or similar agave nectar
- 1 tsp ChildLife Multivitamin, check the dosage on the bottle for age-appropriate dosing.
- 1 tsp Plantation Blackstrap Unsulphured Molasses
- 1 Packet Lovebug Probiotics
- ½ tsp Goat Milk Ghee
- 36 oz Room Temperature Water
- 1 tbsp Rice Cereal or Oatmeal Cereal, I like to put plain steel cut oats in a food processor and blend them to powder for formula
- For easier mixing, fill the Dr. Brown’s pitcher about a quarter way with hot water to melt the ghee. Add the ghee and mix vigorously.
- Then fill to 20 mL with cool water and put all of the ingredients in, then blend it vigorously to break up any lumps from the powder.
- Once mixed, fill the rest of the pitcher with water up to 36 ounces and carefully blend once more.
- Store in the refrigerator once mixed. Use within 3-5 days.
- **Remember not to use warm water with the probiotics as this will kill off the active probiotics.
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Harrison, Me, et al. “Case 2: You Look like You’ve Seen a Goat.” Paediatrics & Child Health, Pulsus Group Inc, May 2007, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2528716/.
“Raw Milk Questions and Answers.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 Jan. 2022, https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/rawmilk/raw-milk-questions-and-answers.html.
“Infant Nutrition and Feeding.” USDA WIC Works Resource System, Apr. 2019, https://wicworks.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media/document/infant-feeding-guide.pdf.
Mennella, Julie A, and Nuala K Bobowski. “The Sweetness and Bitterness of Childhood: Insights from Basic Research on Taste Preferences.” Physiology & Behavior, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Dec. 2015, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4654709/.
Quin, C, et al. “Probiotic Supplementation and Associated Infant Gut Microbiome and Health: A Cautionary Retrospective Clinical Comparison.” Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group UK, 29 May 2018, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5974413/.
Dehghani SM;Bahroloolomifard MS;Yousefi G;Pasdaran A;Hamedi A; “A Randomized Controlled Double Blinded Trial to Evaluate Efficacy of Oral Administration of Black Strap Molasses (Sugarcane Extract) in Comparison with Polyethylene Glycol on Pediatric Functional Constipation.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2019, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30946967/.
O’Neill, Candace. “Better than Butter? Separating Ghee Fact from Fiction.” Better Than Butter? Separating Ghee Fact From Fiction, Cleveland Clinic, 12 May 2021, https://health.clevelandclinic.org/better-than-butter-separating-ghee-fact-from-fiction/.