Baby Formula Shortage - Alternates?

David Trammel's picture

I'm sure anyone with younger children has heard, that we are in a shortage of baby formula. If not, here is a good article that lays out how it's happening and why.

"The baby formula shortage is an outrage. A sane country would fix it."

Beyond that, this is a good example of what kind of shortages we will begin to see happen even more, during this phase of the Long Descent.

What alternatives do parents have? Do you know of alternative formulas or work arounds?

Breast feed the baby. It's why women have breasts.
Sadly, we don't live in a breast-feeding culture surrounded by relatives who nurse in front of growing girls so they have an idea of what to do.
It does have to be taught and modeled.
You and baby have to *learn* how to nurse.
Every baby nurses differently.

And yes, sometimes it hurts. It takes time. On-demand nursing means you've always got baby with you.
Pumps don't work nearly as well as advertised for some women but for other women, they're a godsend.

Nursing doesn't play well with a job outside the home.

It's still the best, most natural alternative for the overwhelming majority of babies. Yes, I am aware that there are a few babies (maple syrup disease and so forth) where baby MUST drink artificial baby milk to survive. But those cases are extreme outliers.

La Leche League was a huge help for me with all three of my kids.

If you want to nurse, you can. I breastfed for almost a year at the same time I was a single parent in the Navy. I had a supportive command, I read message traffic while I pumped, I met my baby during my lunch hour (when I was supposed to be exercising).

Formula isn't nearly as good for babies as the formula companies would have you believe.

Breast is best!

ClareBroommaker's picture

I bookmarked this a couple days ago. https://wehavekids.com/parenting/Emergency-Baby-Formula. It has two "emergency" recipes.

mountainmoma's picture

Breast feeding is best, and I also was going to La Leche League meetings when my first 2 were nursing.

Hopefully this is a wakeup call for those about to give birth, but they might not be seeing the news, unfortunately. Once they stop or dont start nursing, it is too late.

There are recipes to use, not as well balanced as formula, but many babies survived on it in times past, commercial formula is relatively new. Basically, canned milk with Karo syrup ( human milk is higher in sugars(carbs) and lower in protein than cows milk) Not hard to look up and keep babies from starving, luckily we are not there yet. Goat milk is another alternative, dont know recipe to add/dilute for fresh goat milk, but I am sure it is on the internet somewhere, look it up. Here is for 1950's and 1960's recipes for using canned condensed milk and Karo syrup. Note that the doctor also says to start with vitamins after 10 days. https://dustyoldthing.com/1950s-homemade-formula-recipes/

A problem now is not that there is nothing on the shelf, but it may not be what the baby is adjusted to. Some babies have allergies to some types of formulas. Some babies will get upset stomachs from some. So, the parents want to use what they know the baby will tolerate, so it must be very stressful to think you may not be able to just go to the store and have it there.

mountainmoma's picture

When I look at store bought formula ingredients, it realy looks like junk. Use lactose for extra carbs, ok, that part is good. Use non-fat milk and add in cheap fats -- bad. Chemical vitamins. Anyway, for people with money and that cant breast feed, the Weston Price foundation has a recipe, lots of ingredients needed to add to fresh, raw cows milk. https://drjockers.com/homemade-baby-formula/. A place that sells the ingredient add-ons as a convenient kit is here, they also have reviews you can read of parents whose issues with baby improved switching to this over commercial formula https://radiantlifecatalog.com/nourishing-traditions-kit-for-homemade-ba...

This of course uses items that are hard to find so cant be used in an immediate emergency and also is of course much more expensive that canned milk. It is of course much better balanced and better for long term use for child development

I had a lactation consultant tell me about the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew all those decades ago in South Florida.

The new moms in the hospital HAD to learn to breast feed. There was no easy alternative because of the widespread damage.

And this was in South Florida in the early 90's!

If you're prepared, you're more likely to manage, with nursing or with anything else.

This is a terribly hurtful comment for those who have tried and failed. It makes me sad to read. Unfortunately, breast feeding is NOT always a matter of strength of will.

I, of course, agree that breast is best. It's just that life is often not that simple.