10 Best Formulas For Babies in 2022
If you’re a new parent, you will hear the non-stop debate of: should you breastfeed your baby, formula feed, both? Or just breastfeed exclusively? The debate never stops. The good news is, the modern-day market provides some quality products for your baby that you can choose from. While many people around you will argue that nothing can rival a mother’s breast (and, in fairness, this is how she passes on antibodies to strengthen her baby’s immune system), the formula has come a long way in providing the necessary nutrients for healthy, thriving babies. We came up with our list below and we are sure that you will find a formula that’s perfectly suited for your new little bundle.
This is the best product on our list that is currently in stock:
Comfort proteins for unstressful digestion
Probiotics and prebiotics
10 Best Formulas For Babies Reviewed
1. Happy Baby Organic Stage 1
Non-GMO, organic ingredients including algae-sourced proteins
Whey and casein proteins to build muscle
GOS and FOS Prebiotics for digestive tract health
Tons of vitamins and minerals
Fatty Acids DHA and ARA for developing brains and nervous systems
Smell is strong; some children do not like this
Packed with prebiotics, important proteins, and tons of vitamins and minerals, this formula is good for baby’s developing brain, eyesight, muscles, and digestive system. It’s available in Stages 1 and 2 and if you have a little one with lots of tummy issues, try the sensitive formula, designed specifically to be gentle on young stomachs. Made with organic lactose, this formula mirrors the make-up of breast milk.Read more
Containing GOS, FOS, and organic lactose, this Happy Baby Organic Formula is a quality substitute for mom’s milk. The recipe also includes DHA and ARA, the essential fatty acids you’ll find in breastmilk. With whey and casein proteins to build strong muscles, the proper prebiotic mix to assist healthy, comfortable digestion, and key vitamins and minerals such as Calcium, Phosphorous, Iron, Copper, Choline, Folic Acid, and Vitamins C&D, this organic formula will keep baby both happy and healthy.
These powerhouse Omega-3’s and Omega-6’s help to promote healthy and productive functioning in our brains and nervous systems. Sourced from non-GMO algae, these fatty acids will also improve baby’s developing eyesight.
Ease of Use
Happy Organic Baby Formula is easy for parents and care-takers to make and use. Simply measure out the desired amount of formula powder and warm water. Combine them in a baby bottle, shake until the formula has dissolved and mixed, and you’re ready to go!
2. Enfamil NeuroPro Pack of 6
Support cognitive development with MFGM
#1 brand that is recommended by most Pediatricians
One of the only formulas that feature a blend of protein that feature MFGM and DHA
Offer complete nutrient for newborns through 12 months old
Never made with any GMO ingredients
New container is not stable and the seal breaks easily
Clumps easily when not mixed for a long period of time
Inspired by breas tmilk this formula contains some of the most brain building elements on the shelf. It features MFGM and DHA. These two elements have supporting evidence from studies that showed that it can support the development of your baby just like breast milk. The proteins and dual prebiotics allow for easy digestion and complete nutrition for infants up to 12 months in age. Enfamil is created with the latest leading scientific data to ensure it provides the most comprehensive and up-to-date nutrition for your infant.Read more
One of the only formulas that contain an ingredient until now that has only been found in breastmilk. MFGM (Milk Fat Globule Membrane) is an ingredient that scientists have been able to isolate from a three layered membrane and is now used in Enfamil NeuroPro Infant. It is what experts believe is directly related to the development of the brains of our little ones during one of the most critical times in their life.
MFGM is an essential part of the development of the brain. Now that it is including in this formula parents know that they are getting all the nutrients that are also found in breast milk. These key essentials play a huge role in cognitive development.
Ease of Use
NeuroPro Infant has been designed to be easy to digest for little ones. It is a protein based blend that has been inspired by breast milk. It offers a complete nutrient plan for infant ranging from newborn to 12 months of age.
3. Gerber Good Start Gentle Stage 1
Comfort proteins for unstressful digestion
Probiotics and prebiotics
Opening to pour into bottle often causes spills
Of all Gerber’s many formulas, they claim that this is the closest in makeup to natural breastmilk. Gerber’s Gentle comes pre-packaged for parents on the go. Simply shake your carton, pour it into a bottle, and you’re finished. Made with no Genetically Modified Ingredients, this is a solid choice if you want a natural, gentle formula for your infant.Read more
It contains a blend of DHA and prebiotics to ensure baby is getting the very best nutrition that they can. As with all Gerber products, the formula is non-GMO.
This particular formula is made with comfort proteins, which are small proteins that help baby digest their nutrition properly. The iron, probiotics, and prebiotics in Gerber Gentle will help infants pass soft stools as well, so no constipated little bundles will be fussing throughout the day and night.
Ease of Use
This specific line is meant for children in Stage 1, or the first year of breastfeeding. The proteins included are gentle and comforting, making them easy for baby to digest so you won’t have any fussy little ones with upset tummies. And now Gerber has individually packaged and pre-mixed their Gentle Start formula to make feeding time hassle-free. These are perfect for mommies on a schedule; simply transfer them over to a bottle, warm the bottle up, and help baby tuck in.
4. Similac Advance Pack of 3
Milk based and iron-fortified
135 servings per 3-pack canisters purchased
Canister contains scoop and has a long three year expiration
Very portable can be thrown in diaper bag and go
Fast and easy shipment of product
Can cause gassiness in some infants
Yellow seals have been broken in some shipments
Abbott’s Infant Nutrition line is a global phenomenon. Best-known for its Similac line, widespread opinion suggests Abbott to be one of the most trustworthy and high-quality options available. Similac Advance features OptiGro, an exclusive mix of nutrients found in breastmilk. Combine this with the face that it’s the #1 chosen brand by many moms and you’ve got yourself a recipe for success.Read more
The Similac Advance with OptiGro contains DHA, Vitamin E, and lutein, to help develop your baby’s brain, skin, immune system, and eyes.
The bone and brain building ingredients that it provides are a perfect supplementation to get your baby through the first 12-18 months.
Ease of Use
OptiGro includes Lutein, DHA, and Vitamin E, a blend of nutrients found in breastmilk that help increase eye health as well as developing young minds. Lutein, often found in spinach, is great for optic growth. DHA, generally found in fish, helps developing baby brains.
5. Enfamil Nutramigen Hypoallergenic Colic
Provides healthy gut bacteria to strengthen immunity
Can be used to treat symptoms of colic with quick results
Builds a tolerance towards lactose products
Good to be used with smaller bottles on the go
Powder stays fresh and doesn’t need refrigeration
Can be expensive
Powder has a thick sandy texture when mixed
Enfamil is one of the most common formulas taken for baby formula comparison because of its superb nutrient profile. If your little one is experiencing bouts of colic, you might want to look into whether they’re suffering from a cow’s milk allergy. Nutramigen is a gentle, lactose-free formula with all the necessary nutrients still in place to help support your growing tike.Read more
One of its truly amazing infant instant formula preparation is Nutramigen with Enflora LGG Hypoallergenic Infant Formula. This is especially designed for infants who may be allergic or hypersensitive to cow’s milk. It has been formulated to prevent and manage colic in very young babies so your child will feel more satisfied after each feeding. One of the added ingredients to Nutramigen is Lactobacilusrhamnosus GG or LGG, a probiotic which helps to improve your child’s tolerance to milk products made from cow’s milk.
It also contains DHA and ARA which are also found in breast milk and which are essential in the development of your kid’s brain and eyes. Maintaining gut health is a vital part of our longevity. This formula will help to build up the natural flora in your child’s tract, boosting immunity and possibly increasing their tolerance for lactose. Nutramigen’s formula also may act as a preventative measure against your child developing environmental allergies.
Ease of Use
Feeding your little one is a breeze as this instant formula is easy to mix. Especially since the powder stays fresh and does not need to be refrigerated. Take this formula on the go so you can prepare a bottle anywhere.
6. Earth's Best Organic Dairy
Doesn’t cause fussiness or gas the way other formulas do
High quality canister and scoop
No additional corn syrup solids and non-hexane
Formula must be prepared with room temperature liquid
Milk obtained from grass-fed cows
Product contains trace amounts of soy
When mixed the formula can become excessively foamy
Nothing beats nature and the natural process! But, science has helped us to make some marked improvements and additions to what may already be occurring in nature. This formula is and has the closest resemblance to mother’s milk. With a reduced lactose content, Earth’s Best is a gentle formula that helps support immune health, brain development, and red blood cell count.Read more
Specifically formulated to be as near-identical to human breast milk as possible, the Organic Premium Dairy Infant Formula is one of the best baby formula brands you can ever buy for your young child. Thanks to its right combination of docosahexaenoic acid or DHA and arachidonic acid or ARA, providing a good ratio of omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids, respectively. Best of all, it has been certified organic by the US Department of Agriculture so you’ll feel much safer in the fact that your infant will not be consuming harmful chemicals.
It has all the right nutrients that your baby needs for optimum brain development. It has also been improved upon by being formulated with the added supplements of lutein for eye health and fructooligosaccharides for immune boosting. The whey and casein ratio has also been formulated to mimic what is present in breast milk so that you can be sure your baby gets the right proteins necessary for his or her muscle growth and development as well as other body organs that rely on high quality protein.
Ease of Use
Earth’s Best comes with a pre-measured scoop to save you some hassle. Simply warm up some water, mix in a scoop of Earth’s Best Organic, and shake until the formula has dissolved completely. Order up: you’re all set to serve Baby their meal!
7. Plum Organics Iron
Created and molded to be just like breastmilk
Designed to be easy to digest and gentle on little tummies
Contains no added corn syrup solids
No GMOs and features DHA and ARA
Promotes the development of the brain and eye development
Very foamy and bubbly when mixed
Very strong cheesy smell
Plum Organics has created a lactose-based formula from cow’s milk to closely resemble the nutritional content of breast milk. There are no corn syrup solids added and the DHA and ARA support developing young brains. Organic and free of GMO’s, you can feel good about giving this formula to Baby.Read more
When babies are small they need a great source of fat for energy. Fat is the primary source for them and also helps them be able to absorb vitamins that are fat soluble. The formula is able to mimic the same fat pattern found in breastmilk to ensure that babies are getting everything they need at each feeding.
This is a complete nutrition system that can be used for the baby’s first year. It is able to provide them with everything that is needed including DHA and ARA which are the key in keeping them on track for the development of their eyes and coordination.
Ease of Use
A handy measuring chart on the back will help you with portions. Simply warm the recommended amount of water, add the pre-measured scoop into the bottle, close the lid, and shake until it’s well-mixed. Make sure your little one doesn’t have a lactose allergy though, or you’ll be dealing with colic later in the night!
8. Baby's Only Organic Non-GMO Dairy
With a “Best in Class” rating for its purity and nutritional superiority
Features no GMOs and is USDA certified organic
Contains DHA, key essential in the development of brain and eyes
Packaging contains no BPAs
Made and packed in the U.S.A
Mixing makes the formula get super foamy
Strong smell and very light taste
This is one of the many ways that nature makes sure that our little one gets everything that they need. It is a formula that has been created to ensure that they get everything they need to promote the development of their brain and body. The ingredients have been created for optimal health and development. It is an organic formula that contains all the proteins, essential fats, and vitamins that breast milk also contains. It is one of the best starts with a formula that your little one can get.Read more
This is one of the only formulas that are able to provide all the right amounts of proteins, fats, carbs, and vitamins that your little ones need to thrive. It is able to fuel the growth and build the mind for one of the best possible starts in life. It is also great for children with food sensitivities.
Thriving is what babies need to do and this is the formula that is here to help parents make sure that is happening for their little ones. This formula contains all the essential vitamins and proteins that your little one needs to get a head start in life. It is a healthy formula that provides for babies just like breast milk would.
Ease of Use
This product is great for all children. It can be used as a daily nutrient, a supplemental calorie system, or for children with food sensitivity. Some children with feeding difficulties also do very well of this organic formula. It provides them with all the right things to keep them right on the track.
9. Earth's Best Organic Low Lactose
Low lactose formulation strengthens future tolerance for lactose
Helps in proper absorption of nutrients preventing diarrhea and malnutrition
Has an appetizing scent unlike other formulas
Tastes and looks like actual breast milk
Keeps baby fuller longer than breast milk
Formula can be difficult to mix/blend
Some canisters can have a metallic taste and smell to them
Made of only the most natural and organic ingredients, the Organic Sensitivity instant formula is gentle and friendly on babies’ tummies while providing them with superb breast milk-like nutrition, thanks to its DHA and ARA content that are closely identical to what’s found in breast milk. Prebiotics support increased immune health and lutein aids in the development of little eyes. All milk used in this formula comes from cows that are only fed certified organic hay, grain, and grass.Read more
It does not contain harmful chemicals like artificial flavoring, preservatives, antibiotics, growth hormones, and other substances. It may not be a soy formula but it does the job of giving excellent nutrition to very young children. Mind you, however, that this is not lactose-free.
With all of the other brain building ingredients in this formula, it also includes DHA and ARA.
Ease of Use
Omega-3 DHA and Omega-6 ARA aid in the development of your infant’s brain. A special prebiotic fiber boosts immunity. The formula is iron-fortified for better red blood cell development and the reduced lactose means easier digestion for sensitive stomachs.
10. Enfamil NeuroPro Gentlease
Reduces gas and crying
Made up of MFGM & DHA
Similar to breast milk
#1 Recommended from Pediatricians
Cannot be used warm
If warmed, can result in serious severe burns
Gentlease formula is here to help your fussy baby. If you have a baby that tends to get gassy or is extremely fussy this formula is here to help reduce all of those tendencies to make your baby and your night a little bit easier. It’s packed with important nutrients, including Omega 3’s, choline, and iron. It’s clinically tested to reduce colic, gas and fussiness within a 24 hour period.Read more
Made up of MFGM this formula is very similar to breast milk. NeuroPro is one of the best formulas to give to your baby for this formula is the only one that is made with a fat-protein blend of MFGM & DHA.
The fat protein blend of MFGM and Omega-3 DHA aids in boosting growing brains. Additional vitamins and minerals help to boost immune health as well as eyesight and other physical development.
Ease of Use
Like most formulas, this tub includes a measuring chart on the back for ease of use, as well as a pre-measured scoop and simple instructions. Simply mix the allotted formula amount with warm water, shake in the bottle until dissolved, and serve.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
First, we had to read a lot about infant nutrition and the best baby formula comparison is that of breast milk. We strongly believe in the fact that breast milk contains all the right nutrients and in the correct amounts especially geared for babies’ optimum development. We had to make sure that the nutrients found in breast milk are the standards to which the different baby formula brands have to be measured against. So, the closer the nutritional profile of the infant nutritional product to breast milk, the better are its chances of getting included in our top 10 list. Moreover, if there are additional nutrients that are not found in human breast milk, we had to study these ingredients and determine if they provide a significant developmental benefit to infants. If so, then these are also factored in. For example, soy formula will have a slightly different nutrient profile from cow’s milk although both are instant formula preparations. These examples of baby milk nutrient formulations will have a slightly healthier advantage to certain babies.
The war between breast milk and formula can seem like a fraught field to be navigating. If formula is the better choice for your family and lifestyle, rest assured that many formulas out there have been designed and engineered to pack as many nutrients as possible into your baby’s meals. Blends of iron, DHA, ARA, MFGM, lutein, Vitamin E, and more all create nutritional gold mines to mimic the make-up of breast milk.
Ease of Use
Most formulas come in powder form with measuring charts on the back to help guide you in proper portions. Simply measure out the necessary powder, add it to warm water in a bottle, shake, and you’re ready to serve! All formula should be refrigerated or used immediately after mixing and disposed of within 24 hours.
While the World Health Organization recommends that babies are breastfed for up to six months, it is entirely up to you to decide on what age you would like to stop.
Roughly two percent of all women can't produce enough milk to breastfeed.
Other Factors to Consider
Next, we had to look at the company that manufactures these infant milk nutritional products. Some are well-known in child and infant nutrition while others are just beginning in this industry. We had to look at the manufacturing practices of these companies and whether their facilities have the necessary and appropriate certifications for producing nutritional products for babies
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Is Soy one of the better alternatives?
While there is some research that promotes soy for adults with high blood pressure and cholesterol, there is also some research that states how soy throws off adult hormonal balance as people approach middle-age with even trace amounts of soy in their diet! Now, it can also be seen as a good protein substitute. When it comes to babies soy can be a major contributing factor in causing food allergies and decreasing immunity in an infant. It also neutralizes the absorption of vitamins and minerals in the system. This contributes to a lower IQ. Hormonally, it can possibly cause a lifetime imbalance beyond repair in both boys and girls.
q: What is Optigro?
Optigro is a systematic formulation developed by Similac that combines DHA, Lutein and Vitamin E. It’s promoted to support eye and brain development, as well as growth, immunity and the ability to the thrive. It’s been reported to be in conjunction with 30 other beneficial nutrients, one of which is Nucleotidic acid. Since most of the formulas in our list are used as a treatment or preventative to colic, the Similac Optigro system, also has a proprietary blend of prebiotics for healthy digestive development.
q: Why aren’t all formulas Non-Gmo?
You might have to ask the FDA about that! Simply, the jury is still out when it comes to the official research on GMOs. At this point in the conversation, scientists and corporations are still trying to find the benefits of GMO use for greater production without it being harmful or detrimental to the population or environment. It really is a toss of the dice! But, with more people becoming aware, many businesses are now sensitive to this need for at least a Non-Gmo option! If there’s a greater demand for more all-natural products, then eventually it won’t even be a question of labeling.
q: How important is it to have a lower lactose base product to promote immunity in the future?
Quite a few of these formulas are used to ease the symptoms of a colicy baby. An infant has an underdeveloped digestive tract and has a hard time breaking down many of the acids and proteins that a child or an adult obviously can. With a lower lactose based formula, we can introduce and provide trace amounts of the bacteria that a child will need to have a healthier and stronger immunity to lactose in the future. This will prevent dairy and environmental allergies, as well as a possible gluten intolerance.
q: What’s the difference between DHA and healthy fat for your baby?
I understand the question! Many of these formulas promote carrying DHA while being non-fat! We all know that most cholestorols and high fat foods already contain DHA naturally! These formulas are meant to be substitutes or supplements to the naturally occurring source of DHA and Omega-3. Ideally, an infant should be continually feeding on its mother for all of the nutrients and “healthy” fats that will allow for proper development. One very good benefit is that some of these formulas are all-milk based so there is at least some highly-soluble, naturally occuring, amounts of DHA that are inherently present.
q: What is a hydrolysate protein formula? Is it safe?
These formulas contain proteins that have been hydrolyzed (or broken down). The proteins in cow’s milk and soy-based formulas are sometimes still too big for sensitive little stomachs. When baby’s digestive tract isn’t able to fully process the nutrition it’s receiving, you get gassy, fussy little ones. No one wants to watch their child suffer through a stomach ache or any kind of discomfort. Formulas with hydrolyzed proteins are best for infants that don’t tolerate cow’s milk, soy-based formulas, or have a protein allergy. For children who simply have trouble tolerating lactose or animal products, soy-based formulas are a promising alternative. Cow’s milk formulas are usually the first stop as they are the least processed and closest to a mother’s breast milk. But if your little one is having trouble digesting this, soy and hydrolyzed formulas may give the whole family some relief.
q: Is it appropriate to continue with formula after 12 months?
You can, but it’s not really necessary! The first six months of a baby’s life are the most crucial for development! This is when everything is still being solidified in his or her system, so to speak! Past that period, you will be pretty much over the hurdle when it comes to most major developmental challenges. After the twelve month marker, it will just be a matter of direct continuity to the process of thriving, emotional wellbeing and development.
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