15 Best Formulas For Babies To Wean From Breastmilk In 2022

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If you are looking for a suitable alternative to breast milk, here’s our list of the best baby formulas to help you out. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends mothers to breastfeed babies for the first six months of their lives (1). However, when breastfeeding may not be possible due to medical or non-medical reasons, parents should look for best baby formulas to help their child meet the daily nutrient intake. Baby formulas are designed to substitute for breast milk, containing all the essential nutrients in appropriate amounts.

Different types and brands are available, making it difficult for new parents to choose the right formula for their children. So, our list includes detailed information with the pros and cons of each product to help you pick a suitable one for your little one. However, consult your child’s pediatrician before choosing any product.

Safety Tips To Follow While Giving Formula To Your Baby

Note that baby formula is only an alternative food source for infants whose mothers cannot breastfeed and not a substitute for breast milk. Here are some precautions to keep in mind while using baby formula.

  • Always consult your pediatrician before starting a new baby formula or switching to another.
  • Learn the pace feeding technique so that you do not overfeed the baby.
  • Carefully read all the ingredients and look for ingredients that might cause allergy to your baby.
  • Do an allergy test by giving small amounts of the formula before feeding it through a bottle.
  • If your baby shows signs of allergy, such as rashes, diarrhea, or constipation, discontinue the formula and try a new one after giving a gap of three to four days.
  • Check the expiry date on the packet.
  • Strictly follow the mixing table guidelines and always mix it right.
  • Give only freshly mixed formulas.
  • If you want it a few hours later, refrigerate the already prepared formula bottles in an insulated container.
  • Always wash the bottles and nipples in hot water.

It is also important to know about the different types and forms of baby formulas to choose the right one for your baby.

Types Of Baby Formulas

Based on the ingredients and method of preparation, baby formulas are of six types.

  1. Dairy-based: You should not give cow’s milk to babies less than 12 months old as they would not digest it. However, some formulas contain cow’s milk protein that is modified to be digestible for babies. Milk, sugar, vegetable oils, and iron are also added to make it close to breastmilk.
  1. Non-dairy: This type of formula is usually made of soy milk and best for babies who are intolerant to cow’s milk. It is fortified with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Such formulas are only prescribed in a handful of cases, so always consult your pediatrician before going for one.
  1. Organic: Some formulas are made from ingredients produced without using pesticides or fertilizers, and do not contain antibiotics or artificial growth hormones. However, a few of these may contain sucrose, which might cause tooth decay. So, check the labels before purchasing.
  1. Lactose-free: For babies who could be lactose intolerant, lactose-free formulas are recommended. In these, sugar lactose is substituted with corn starch.
  1. Hydrolyzed: These are the formulas for infants who have metabolic disorders, allergies or trouble digesting non-hydrolyzed formula. The proteins in such formulas are broken down into smaller proteins to make them easy for the baby to digest. Always consult your pediatrician before switching to a pre-digested formula.
  1. Special: Some formulas are designed for premature babies with allergies. These formulas are mostly non-dairy, lactose-free, and pre-digested. These are not recommended unless the doctor prescribes it.

Based on the form, baby formulas come in three forms:

  1. Powder concentrate: You need to mix the powder with water that has been boiled and cooled. Add water to the bottle first and then the formula. Gently mix together and feed your baby. The packs come with specific mixing instructions.
  1. Liquid: These formulas come in liquid form and some require additional water to be mixed in. These too come with specific mixing instructions.
  1. Ready-to-feed: The pre-mixed formula can be directly fed without any mixing or diluting.

How To Prepare Infant Formulas? Do You Need Bottled Water?

Each product has its own preparation process, so check the package for instructions. But these are the common steps for preparation:

  1. Wash your hands well with warm water and soap.
  2. Take a sterilized bottle. Remember to sterilize the bottle, nipple, caps and rings in boiling water after each usage.
  3. Add the required amount of the formula into the bottle. Seal the remaining product well and store it away from moisture and sunlight.
    • You can use a ready-to-feed formula directly after pouring it into the bottle.
    • For a liquid concentrate, dilute the formula with clean water as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
    • If using a powder, scoop the right amount into the bottle and pour water. Add water in batches for even distribution of the formula.
  1. Attach the nipple, tighten it.
  2. If the formula is cold, you could try placing the bottle in warm water. Do not warm it in a microwave.
  3. Feed your child and discard the remaining formula in the bottle after each feed. Do not store this half-fed formula as it could have been contaminated.
  4. Store freshly prepared formula in the refrigerator in a fresh container and label them with dates. Discard the formula if it hasn’t been used for 48 hours.

To prepare baby formula, you must use clean water. You may use bottled water after boiling it. Pour the required amount of water in a pan, cover it with a lid and let it boil for two to three minutes. Check that the water is at room temperature before using it.

If using tap water, check for its fluoride content and avoid using if the levels are high. Tap water should also be boiled before using in formula.

15 Best Formula Milk For Babies In 2022

1. Best Overall: Baby’s Only Organic Formula

Type: Dairy and non-dairy/ organic

Style: Concentrated powder

If you are looking for a baby formula that is organic and safe, check the Baby’s Only Organic Formula. It is said to be made using organic ingredients and is free of hormones, harmful pesticides, or fertilizers. This video will help you understand how helpful is this formula for your baby.

Benefits: The manufacturer claims that this formula contains organic DHA and ARA derived from egg phospholipids that support the child’s brain and eye development.

Ingredients: Made from natural ingredients like soy, dairy, and coconut, this baby formula is said to be close to breast milk. It also comes in dairy, whey+dairy, and non-dairy variations (for lactose intolerant babies).

Pros

  • Organic
  • Gluten-free
  • Non-GMO ingredients
  • No harmful pesticides or hormones
  • Does not contain corn/glucose syrup, palm oil, and Hexane-processed DHA
  • BPA-free packaging
  • Non-hexane processed DHA for better absorption

Cons

  • May not be suitable for some babies
  • Becomes frothy upon shaking

2. Best fuss-free : Similac Pro-Advance Infant Formula

Type: Dairy

Style: Powder concentrate

Similac is a baby formula that is said to be close to breast milk and could be a good supplement when the mother is unable to produce enough breast milk.

Benefits: According to the manufacturer, this baby formula contains 2’-FL HMO, an immunity-boosting probiotic found in breastmilk. It also contains healthy DHA levels, lutein, and vitamin E that promote brain, eye, and bone development. The manufacturer further claims that many mothers reported reduced fussiness, gassiness, and spit-up after one day of using this best formula milk for babies.

Ingredients: This baby formula is milk-based and fortified with iron; it also contains fructooligosaccharides, nucleotides, a blend of DHA, Lutein, Vitamin E, and a palm olein oil-free fat blend that is good for calcium absorption.

Pros

  • Said to be close to breast milk
  • Non-GMO ingredients
  • No artificial growth hormones
  • Reduces fussiness and gas

Cons

  • Might have a slight odor

3. Best non-GMO : Burt’s Bees Baby Formula

Type: Dairy

Style: Powder concentrate

Burt’s Bees Baby formula is a nourishing blend of vitamins D, E, and K. It contains age-appropriate, balanced nutrients, promoting overall growth and development of your little one. Check out more about the Burt’s Bees formula for babies from this video.

Benefits: According to the manufacturer, this baby formula is gluten free and is good breast milk alternative. This lactose-based formula is easily digestible and supports physical growth.

Ingredients: Organic lactose, organic partially hydrolyzed whey protein, organic palm oil or palm olein, organic soy oil, organic coconut oil, organic high oleic (safflower or sunflower) oil, less than 1%: mortierella alpina oil, schizochytrium sp. Oil, vitamins and minerals.

Pros

  • Easily digestible
  • Less gassy
  • Non GMO product

Cons

  • Not suitable for children with galactosemia

4. Best kosher-friendly : Earth’s Best Organic Dairy Infant Powder Formula

Type: Dairy/ Organic

Style: Powder concentrate

This is an organic baby formula made from cow’s milk. It is said to contain whey and casein protein in a ratio that brings it pretty close to breast milk. Certified by USDA Organic, this could be one of the best formula milk for babies with insufficient mother’s milk. Here is a video that can give you more insights into the product.

Benefits: The manufacturer says this baby formula contains all the necessary nutrients required for the baby’s growth during the initial months. This best formula milk for babies contains Omega 3 DHA and Omega 6 ARA fatty acids that occur naturally in breast milk and support brain and eye development. It is also said to enhance immunity due to its fructooligosaccharides content.

Ingredients: Organic reduced mineral whey, organic nonfat milk, organic lactose, glucose syrup solids, organic palm oil, organic coconut oil, organic soy oil, etc.

Pros

  • Easy to digest
  • Organic
  • Non-GMO ingredients
  • No synthetic growth hormones, pesticides, or fertilizers.
  • Kosher-friendly

Cons

  • Some babies may experience constipation
  • Can have a peculiar smell

5. Best packaging : Enfamil NeuroPro Baby Formula Milk

Type: Dairy

Style: Powder concentrate

This new formula milk for infants from Enfamil is said to be fortified with brain-building nutrition that is found in breast milk. The manufacturer claims that it has been formulated through clinical research and is one of the best baby formulas for infants through 12 months whose mothers cannot breastfeed.

Benefits: According to the manufacturer, this baby formula contains a unique blend of brain nourishing DHA and MFGM in clinically recommended amounts. This formula is also said to contain a dual prebiotic blend of PDX and GOS that supports your baby’s immune system.

Ingredients: Nonfat milk, Lactose, vegetable oil, whey protein concentrate, essential minerals, and vitamins.

Pros

  • Comes in different forms of packaging to suit the needs of different users
  • Non-GMO ingredients
  • Easy-to-digest proteins

Cons

  • Can cause constipation in some babies

 

6. Best gentle-formula : Enfamil Neuro Pro Gentlease Baby Formula

Type: Dairy/ hydrolyzed

Style: Powder concentrate

This is another variant of Enfamil designed to ease gas, fussiness, and crying in babies. It is formulated for infants up to 12 months.

Benefits: Similar to other Enfamil baby formulas, the Gentlease variant contains MFGM and DHA that support brain development. It also contains a probiotic blend that helps in the growth of your baby’s immune system. Additionally, the manufacturer claims that Gentlease formula milk for newborns might help ease feeding issues like fussiness and gas in just 24 hours.

Ingredients: Corn Syrup solids, vegetable oils, partially hydrolyzed nonfat milk, whey protein concentrate, whey protein-lipid concentrate, other essential vitamins, and minerals.

Pros

  • Comes in different packages for ease of use
  • Easily digestible ingredients
  • Gentle on your baby’s stomach

Cons

  • Formula might be bubbly
  • May have a peculiar odor

 

7. Best gluten-free : Similac Go & Grow

Type: Dairy/ Hydrolyzed

Style: Powder concentrate

If you have weaned your baby from breast milk and are looking for a balanced formula for your growing toddler, then the Similac Go & Grow formula might just be the one.

Benefits: The manufacturer claims that this baby formula is one of the best toddler drinks with 25 vital nutrients, including iron, DHA, and vitamins C and E that help in your toddler’s brain and eye development. It also contains immune-nourishing 2’- FL HMO.

Ingredients: Corn Maltodextrin, whey protein hydrolysate, high oleic sunflower oil, sugar, soy oil, coconut oil, other essential minerals, and proteins.

Pros 

  • Prebiotics to support digestion
  • Has vitamins found in fish, spinach, and broccoli
  • Ideal for switching from infant formula to toddler formula
  • No artificial growth hormones
  • Gluten-free

Cons

  • Taste may not be agreeable to all toddlers

 

8. Best organic : Happy Baby Organic Infant Formula

Type: Dairy/Organic

Style: Powder concentrate

This baby formula is said to be made of organic ingredients and formulated for babies of six months and above. Certified organic by the USDA, the Happy Baby Organic Infant Formula could be ideal for babies whose mothers cannot breastfeed them.

Benefits: It is made from organic ingredients and contains lactose, which is similar to that found in breast milk. It also includes key vitamins and minerals that are found naturally in breast milk. This formula comes with a blend of four or more prebiotics, to promote a healthy gut.

Ingredients: Organic lactose, organic nonfat milk, organic palm olein, organic soy oil, organic coconut oil, organic whey protein concentrate, and other essential vitamins and minerals.

Pros

  • Made of organically sourced ingredients
  • Gentle on your baby’s stomach
  • Formulated to be like breast milk
  • Non-GMO and gluten-free ingredients
  • No corn syrup solids

Cons

  • Formula might be too bubbly
  • May have a peculiar odor

 

9. Best Nutrition Based Formula : Similac Advance Infant Formula

Type: Dairy

Style: Powder concentrate

Similac infant formula could be your pick if you are looking for a complete nutrition-based formula for your baby’s initial years.

Benefits: The manufacturer claims that this formula contains no artificial hormones. It also contains OptiGRO, an exclusive blend of DHA, Lutein, and Vitamin E that supports the brain, eye, and cell development.

Ingredients: Nonfat milk, whey protein concentrate, high oleic safflower oil, soy oil, coconut oil, and other essential minerals and vitamins.

Pros

  • No artificial growth hormones
  • Nutritionally complete formula
  • Exclusive blend of nutrients found in breast milk

Cons

  • May not suit all babies

 

10. Best hypoallergenic formula : Enfamil Nutramigen Hypoallergenic Colic Baby Formula

Type: Non-dairy/ Hydrolyzed

Style: Powder concentrate

This formula can be helpful in managing colic babies. It is clinically proven to relieve allergy symptoms caused by cow’s milk, ensuring your baby is happy and well-rested.

Benefits: According to the manufacturer, the Enfamil baby formula contains a baby probiotic named LGG, which is known for managing allergy and supporting digestive health. This formula is also known to provide immune support without any allergic response when the baby goes back to consuming cow’s milk. It is lactose-free and contains important nutrients like omega 3 DHA, ARA, and Choline that support brain development.

Ingredients: Corn syrup solids, vegetable oil, casein hydrolysate, modified corn starch, mortierella Alpina oil, Crypthecodinium cohnii oil, and other vitamins and minerals.

Pros

  • Hypoallergenic baby formula
  • Lactose and sucrose-free
  • Fast relief from colic due to cow’s milk
  • No artificial growth hormones

Cons

  • Formula might have a peculiar odor
  • A little expensive than the rest

 

11. Best dairy-free : Neocate Infant Baby Formula

Type: Non-dairy

Style: Powder concentrate

This formula is for babies who are hypoallergenic to cow’s milk and have other food allergies as well. It is a non-dairy formula made in a dairy-free facility.

Benefits: This baby formula could be the best baby milk formula if you are unable to breastfeed and if your baby is hypoallergenic to cow’s milk. According to the manufacturer, the Neocate baby formula is less allergenic than other formulas and also contains all the essentials for your baby’s growth and development.

Ingredients: Corn syrup solids, refined vegetable oil, high oleic sunflower oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, and other essential vitamins and minerals.

Pros

  • Hypoallergenic
  • Dairy-free
  • Soy oil-free
  • No artificial colors or flavors

Cons

  • Formula may be too thick to pass through the bottle nipples
  • May have a peculiar smell

 

12. Best for immune system : Gerber Good Start Powder Infant Formula

Type: Dairy

Style: Powder concentrate

Formulated for infants aged zero to twelve months, this baby formula is designed to be close to breast milk composition. The manufacturer also claims that this formula might help in relieving fussiness and colic in babies.

Benefits: Available in powder concentrate, this baby formula might be able to provide the necessary nutrients to babies who are not able to breastfeed. The product contains prebiotics that help in growth of beneficial gut microbes. It contains specially designed proteins and probiotics that are easily digestible; it also contains DHA, 2’ FL- HMO, and other nutrients that support the immune system, eye, and brain development.

Ingredients: Corn Maltodextrin, whey protein concentrate, vegetable oils, and other nutrients and minerals.

Pros

  • Non-GMO ingredients
  • No artificial growth hormones
  • No genetically engineered ingredients
  • Specially designed lid to lock the freshness

Cons

  • Some babies may experience constipation

 

13. Best for colic babies : Love & Care Gentle Infant Formula

Type: Dairy/Hydrolyzed

Style: Powder concentrate

Looking for formula milk that is gentle on your baby’s stomach? Then try the Love & Care formula that contains easily digestible proteins.

Benefits: The manufacturer says this baby formula contains all the nutrients needed for your baby’s growth during the first 12 months. It is designed to be close to breast milk and contains nutrients like DHA, omega-3 fatty acids, and plenty of vitamins and minerals. It also contains cow’s milk proteins broken into smaller parts to make them easily digestible for babies.

Ingredients: Corn syrup, nonfat milk, palm olein, partially hydrolyzed whey, soy oil, coconut oil, high oleic oil, Mortierella Alpina oil, crypthecodinium cohnii oil, and other necessary minerals and nutrients.

Pros

  • Triple-care formula for brain development, immunity, and growth
  • Easy-to-digest; helps in reducing colic and fussiness
  • 25% less lactose than other formulas
  • Non-GMO ingredients

Cons

  • Might have a peculiar smell

 

14. Best lactose-free : Alfamino Infant Formula

Type: Non-dairy

Style: Powder concentrate

This hypoallergenic infant formula could be one of the best formula milk options for babies who are allergic to cow’s proteins or have multiple allergies and malabsorptive conditions. It is designed for babies aged zero to 12 months of age.

Benefits: According to the manufacturer, this baby formula is dairy-free and is suitable for babies with allergies. It is also said to be nutrient-rich to support your baby’s growth. The formula’s unique fat blend contains medium-chain triglycerides to help fat absorption.

Ingredients: Corn syrup solids, medium-chain triglycerides, vegetable oils, potato starch, and other important nutrients and minerals.

Pros

  • Lactose- and gluten-free
  • Easy-to-digest
  • Helpful for babies with allergies

Cons

  • May not be suitable for some babies

 

15. Best FDA-certified : Mama Bear Gentle Infant Formula Milk

Type: Dairy/ Hydrolyzed

Style: Powder concentrate

If you are not able to breastfeed your baby, then this infant formula might help you provide the required nutrients during the initial months. This baby formula is gentle on your Baby’s developing digestive system and meets the nutrition and quality standards of the FDA.

Benefits: According to the manufacturer, this baby formula is said to be close to breast milk and is also easy-to-digest by newborns. It contains DHA, vitamins, and minerals that help in brain development and also supports the immune system and growth.

Ingredients: Corn syrup, nonfat milk, palm olein, partially hydrolyzed whey, soy oil, coconut oil, high oleic oil, and other nutrients and minerals.

Pros

  • Helps reduce colic, fussiness, and crying
  • Non-GMO ingredients
  • Meets quality standards set by the FDA
  • Comes in an easy-to-store package

Cons

  • May not suit all babies

 

How To Choose The Right Baby Formula?

You need to pay the utmost attention while choosing a best baby formula. Here are a few things you need to look at while shopping for one.

  • Consult your pediatrician: The first and foremost rule is to consult your pediatrician, who will examine your condition and your baby’s health to prescribe the right formula.
  • Check for allergens: If your baby is allergic to certain substances, check the labels, and avoid baby formulas that contain them. Also, check with your doctor for special formulas if your baby is premature, allergic, or has digestive problems.
  • Nutrients and iron: Choose a formula that contains the necessary nutrients and iron that help in the development of your baby during the initial days.

Why Trust MomJunction?

Vibha Navarathna is a certified writer, with special prowess in informative content, she enjoys learning new things to curate well-researched articles for our readers. Her experience as a mother adds value to her articles on baby products and wellness. For new parents, Vibha has compiled this list of the best baby formulas and also included safety tips, buying guide, types of formulas, and a preparation guide to help you through the process. The products listed here have been added after careful consideration to ensure your child’s safety and good health.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can formula cause constipation?

Baby formula may cause constipation in a few babies as it contains larger proteins. These larger proteins may cause GI disturbances with constipation being one of them. Constipation may also occur with a change in the feeding formula.

2. Is it safe to mix breastmilk and formula in the same bottle?

Although you can mix breastmilk and formula, it is a wastage of the former. Breast milk is customized nutrition for the baby. Also, both have different shelf-life and by combining you may contaminate either of them.

3. How much formula should I feed my infant?

During the first month, a baby may consume up to two to four ounces with six to eight feedings a day. Their requirement may gradually increase by one or two ounces from the second month. After the sixth month, the formula feeding is to be supplemented with solid foods (1).

4. How to find baby formula when your store is out of stock in this pandemic time?

If there’s been a shortage of formula at your local store, check the manufacturer’s website. Apart from local stores, drug stores and baby stores have infant formulas. If you cannot find the same brand or type, consult your pediatrician to know the alternatives. You may also try checking the online stores.

Breast milk storage bags are a necessity for working mothers or any mom who might have to stay away from her baby for long. A good-quality milk storage bag is made of materials that are safe and packed in sterile conditions, so there is less likelihood of bacteria or other pathogens affecting the quality of milk. The options listed here have been chosen based on their durability, convenience of use, and volume, so you can store the milk knowing it is safe for your little one.

References:

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.

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Vibha Navarathna

Vibha is a coder turned content writer. She holds a Masters degree in Computer Applications from Osmania University, Hyderabad and a certificate in 'Introduction To Child Psychology'. Her passion for writing fresh and informative content made her a full-time writer. Holding certifications in content writing and creative writing, she writes on electronics, baby and health products for MomJunction. Apart from... more

Mindy Cockeram

(LCCE, CLEC)
Mindy Cockeram is a Childbirth and Breastfeeding Educator currently residing in Southern California, where she teaches at a non-profit hospital. Her career began after the birth of her second child when she changed career direction and trained as an antenatal teacher with the National Childbirth Trust in London, England. She taught childbirth classes for both the Wimbledon & Wandsworth Branch... more