The first choice of nutrition for babies is breastfeeding. Medical experts recommend exclusive breastfeeding for at least six months.
However, this may not happen for various reasons, including some babies having a problem breastfeeding, insufficient breast milk, or the mother may resume work before the month elapses. In such cases, formula milk is the best alternative to help your baby achieve optimum growth.
The ingredients of baby formula vary from one brand to the other. Thus, finding the best baby formula for your baby can be tricky.
Remember, babies are delicate. Their digestive system is not fully developed. As such, they may find it difficult to digest some baby formulas. So before you make any purchases, you must consult a pediatrician.
For the fact that the FDA approves milk formulas (1), it should give you confidence that they are safe. However, each baby responds differently to the product. Some products are well for them, while others won’t go past their tongues. They’ll spit-up.
For those who may take the formula, allergic reaction, vomiting, or diarrhea might occur.
The majority of parents have reported success with these formulas we’re reviewing in this article. For some, they have to switch from one formula to another, until they found the right one. For others, they followed the doctor’s recommendations.
Still, others had to read reviews from the users.
Undoubtedly, these formulas work. When you find the right formula, your baby will have less gas and constipation episodes, less acid, reflux, and colic, regular, and consistent bowel movement, and above all, they’ll gain weight.
What’s the best baby formula?
Experts say the best baby formula should be closest to breast milk. Though it is difficult to get an exact match, the contents of the milk formula should resemble those in breast milk.
Again, the milk formula should be devoid of artificially growth hormones. Therefore, before buying these formulas, you have to look at ingredients. The right formula packs amazing value addition and health benefits for your growing baby.
The market offers a plethora of baby formulas. In this baby formula review, we look at different categories of the best baby formulas and specific highly recommended products.
So, when it is time to make purchases, you won’t hassle at all.
Here, The 10 Best Baby Formula for 2020
1. Similac Pro-Advance Infant Formula – Best Organic Baby Formula
The Similac Pro-Advance Infant Formula packs incredible benefits for the baby. Notably, parents using this organic formula report that their babies have reduced gassiness, fussiness and do not spit up the formula just after a day of using it.
This Similac Infant Formula is advertised as the best formula to help your infant build the immune system besides the development of the brain and eyes. The Pro-Advancedelivers this, thanks to the natural ingredients.
The ingredients are:
- 2′-F.L. Human Milk Oligosaccharide–is prebiotic that nourishes the immune system by feeding the bacteria in the gut to boost the strength of the immune system
- DHA, Lutein, and Vitamin E – DHA is vital for brain development, and Lutein helps the eye to function correctly, while Vitamin E is essential for the development of body cells
Other ingredients include minerals, vitamins, Non-fat Milk, Lactose, Whey Protein Concentrate and natural oils (e.g., coconut, soy)
Another incredible thing you’ll notice is that this formula does not have artificial growth hormones. All dairy ingredients used are from cows that are not treated with synthetic growth hormones.
- Has quality comparable to breast milk
- No artificial growth stimulators
- Reduces constipation rates
- It is packed with 50% more milk formula
- Alleviates most of the negative symptoms of other formulas
- Some customers complained of grey impurity after adding water
- Some batches have different color and smell
- Costly organic baby formula
When we think about our baby’s food, we think about play safe. That is why many people recommend organic baby formulas. These formulas are devoid of artificial ingredients. Thus they give milk formula a natural taste.
But you must consider the fact that just because a milk formula is organic doesn’t mean it is safe for consumption. These products aren’t cheap. As such, some brands may try to keep the prices low by the addition of low-quality ingredients. So you need to study the ingredients of the organic formulas first.
Similac aims to replicate the taste and components/ingredients of breast milk. Though it is difficult, most kids adapt to this formula quicker than anticipated.
2. Enfamil A+ Infant Formula– Best formula milk for baby 0-6 months
The stage one Enfamil A+ Infant Formula is the best way to start off your newborn. The formula features ingredients that give complete nutrition to babies for the first six months of their lives with minimal to no side effects.
- Dual probiotics: for the development of the delicate and sensitive digestive tract. Similarly, it allows the formula to sail smoothly along the gastrointestinal tract.
- Choline and DHA are essential components for proper brain and eye development.
- Fibers and Polydextrose: they enrich the formula to aid in the breakdown of the components of the formula. Also, it softens the stool, thus makes the baby happier and less fussy babies.
Besides, the infant milk formula packs an amazing array of minerals, vitamins, and natural oils that your baby needs for their growth.
- Rich in vitamins and other essential nutrients
- Easy to prepare
- Breastfed babies adapt quickly to this formula
- It is available in various formats
- Know how to cause gas in infants
The needs of newborns are special. That is why doctors recommend that exclusive breastfeeding should be their source of nutrition. However, that may not be possible in some instances. So a baby formula is the best alternative source of nutrition, right from day 1.
Numerous options exits. But you have considered the fact that the digestive system is not fully developed. Thus it requires food that will not make it difficult for digestion to occur. Enfamil A+ Infant Formula has been designed primarily to cater to the nutrient needs of these babies.
3. Earth’s Best Organic Dairy Infant Powder Formula – Earth’s Best Baby Formula
If you are looking for a baby formula that offers excellent nutritional value to your baby, look no further than the Earth’s best organic dairy infant powder formula. It packs an incredible range of nutrients, just like breast milk. Babies from birth to 12 months can easily digest these nutrients.
Earth’s best organic dairy infant formula is a top-shelf product because it lacks artificial sweeteners. Instead, it has lactose from cow milk. The principal aim of the manufacturer was to create a product that has a close resemblance to breast milk.
- Omega 3 (DHA) and Omega 6 (ARA) fatty acids: essential for the development of the eyes and the brain.
- Lutein: for the development and proper health of the eyes
- Organic lactose: for sweetening
- Proteins: Organic Whey, Organic whey protein concentrate, Organic non-fat milk
- Reduces gas, constipation, and fussiness in babies
- Reduces spitting up a tendency in babies
- Mixes easy
- Mimics breast milk
- Products inconsistency – some batches work well while others do not
- Smells strange – rancid fish milk smell and taste
When you narrow down to specifics, you will always find a product that matches your baby’s unique needs. Every product has a unique feature that makes it outshine other products. For Earth’s infant baby formula creating organic products that use lactose-only profile and additional prebiotics. Lactose is a natural sweetener that your baby will love.
Confusion always arises about the term organic formula. Keep in mind that these formulas have added minerals, vitamins, and in some cases, enhancements. These products are synthetic and are synthetically derived; they aren’t organic. When we talk about natural, it is about the protein, fat, and carbohydrate part of the formula.
4. Enfamil A.R. Spit Up Baby Formula – Best baby formula for acid reflux
The Enfamil A.R. Infant Formula is built to reduce the spit-up tendency in babies. One sign that a baby has acid reflux is when they spit food they have just eaten. A formula that can reduce this habit means it can resolve the problem of reflux.
Notably, the manufacturing process and the ingredients of this product meets the reflux reduction guidelines by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Apart from reflux issues, this product can solve a range of digestive problems.
- Omega 3 DHA and Choline: for the development of the brain. Besides, they help the baby to have a sharp memory, properly working nervous system, and muscle control.
- Vitamins C and E and Selenium: for the development of the immune system
There are 30 total nutrients within the formula to complement the baby’s diet.
What should give you the confidence to use this baby formula is that pediatricians recommend it. Besides, in a double-blind, randomized controlled trial, infants who spit-up frequently showed that Enfamil A.R. Infant Formula reduces the frequency and volume of spit-up.
TheEnfamil A.R. is a thicker formula, a factor that makes it more effective in dealing with reflux issues. And, unlike other reflux baby formulas, it does not cause constipation or bloating according to parents who have used the formula. Most parents also report that the formula has enabled their babies to gain weight.
- Reduces spitting up by 75% or more
- Reduces constipation and bloating
- Kind to the tummy
For infants, three months or younger, acid reflux is a common thing. Acid reflux usually occurs when the lower oesophageal sphincter is weak or is underdeveloped. The sphincter is supposed to prevent food and stomach content from leaving the stomach into the esophagus but only allows food to enter the stomach. If it doesn’t close properly, the stomach content will flow back.
An infant with mild reflux will spit up food after eating. Some kids have severe cases. Such kids show signs like little to no weight gain, crying, and irritability, refusal to eat, etc. Baby formulas can be used to manage this condition. Normally, when you visit a doctor, he/she may recommend a change in the type of formula you are using. Enfamil A.R. Spit up Baby Formula tops the list.
5. Gerber Good Start Gentle (HMO) – Best Tasting Formula for Breastfed Babies
Undoubtedly, your baby will fall in love with a formula that has an excellent taste and smell. Honestly, some formulas will push you away just by their smell. The Gerber Good Start Gentle (HMO) is formulated to resemble breast milk in all aspects. Babies love breast milk, except for the picky ones.
The milk formulation comes with a lot of nutrients for the proper development of the baby while offering them the gentleness of breast milk. The corn syrup gives it a sweet taste. It is worth noting that the formula has proteins that are gentle on the tummies of the kids.
- 2′-F.L. Human Milk Oligosaccharide: a potent prebiotic similar that found in breast milk for digestive health
- Proteins: it features comfort proteins, i.e., whey protein
- Probiotic: lactos for immunity and digestive health
- Expert-recommended DHA supports brain and eye development.
There are also sufficient amounts of vitamins, minerals, essential oils, and sweeteners.
- It’s good for transitioning
- Reduces spit-up in infants
- No gas or constipation issues
- It’s so clumpy
Have you ever tasted formula milk? What of breast milk? One thing is clear: the tastes are different. Again, each formula has a unique taste. While others taste watery, some taste extremely sweet.
If you are a breastfeeding Mom, and you want to supplement your breastfeeding with baby formula, you need to find something that gives a taste closer to breast milk. Each baby is unique, and they find these formulas to taste differently. However, experts put the Gerber Good Start Gentle (HMO) as one of the all-round baby formula milk, thanks to its pleasant taste.
6. Happy Baby Organic Infant Formula – Best natural baby formula
Happy baby organic infant formula is a unique formula. Many parents hail it for its effectiveness in enhancing growth while reducing the adverse effects that other formulas have.
The formula has ingredients that give it a composition close to breast milk. It offers complete nutrition that can support the life of the baby in the first year. It has a generous amount of prebiotics, vital vitamins, and minerals.
The notable ingredients are:
- Prebiotics: it has GOS & FOS prebiotics, which are the third-largest components, just as in breast milk. They are essential for gut health
- Protein: whey and casein are the main proteins
- Lactose: the most abundant compound that supplies energy to your growing infant
- DHA/ARA: the formula uses the recommended type of the fatty acids to ensure brain and nerve development
- Vitamins & Minerals: it packs mineral and vitamins found in milk, e.g., Calcium, Phosphorus, Copper, Iron, Vitamins C & D, Folic Acid, and Choline. These components are essential in the development of body organs and tissues.
If your goal is to give your baby nourishment, then buying the Happy Baby Organic Infant Formula is the best option. It offers ideal nutrition to get your little one off the best start.
- The contents mimic those of actual breast milk
- The formula has a right consistency after mixing
- A good option for transitioning from breast milk
- It is not foamy and doesn’t form bubbles so; it won’t cause gas
- May cause constipation in some babies
- Has a strong smell
The number of natural/organic baby formulas is increasing. Every supermarket shelf has an organic baby formula. Just like any other milk formula, your baby may or may not like it. The best natural formula is that which most users find it effective and friendly because of the powerful ingredients and beneficial effects it offers to your baby.
Do not just buy formula because it is natural, buy it because it can help your child achieve the best growth rate without any problems. In this case, try the happy baby organic infant formula.
7. Gerber Good Start Soy 2 Plant-based Protein – Best vegan baby formula
The Gerber good start soy infant formula is a soy-based on-GMO baby formula, which is suitable for both infants and toddlers. These formulas are devoid of lactose but are fortified with crucial minerals and vitamins that are found in breast milk. This guarantees complete nutrition.
The excellent start formula is effective in preventing gas or fussiness that may arise due to lactose intolerance, a feature that confers digestive comfort. Essentially, the formula is kind to the developing tummy, thanks to its ingredient.
The soy protein is easy to digest, while the DHA is incorporated to enhance the development of the brain. Again, you’ll note that the formula is packed with an abundance of real fruits, vegetables, and grain, to kick start your baby on the right track.
What we found to amazing about this product is the fact that the manufacturer is always on the lookout to improve the content of the formula. This way, the babies get the right set of nutrients.
The nutrient content of the milk formula is comprehensive.
Many parents prefer this formula because it is more palatable than other soy baby formulas. Typically, the formula works well for picky eaters. Also, the Gerber Good Start Soy 2 Plant-based Protein infant formula makes the digestion process effective, resulting in less gas and constipation
- Helps to regulate bowel movements
- It mixes very well – no clumping or sticking
- Likable flavor
- No issues to children transition from breast milk to formula
- An excellent option for babies who are lactose intolerant
- May improve digestion
- Not to be used for babies below nine months
Many people are becoming aware of them eat-free, dairy-free diet. While some people embrace it, a good number are skeptical about its health impact. The diet is perfectly healthy for both parents and babies.
Vegans eat foods of plant origin except for breast milk. This narrows down your choices when it comes to baby formulas. For these reasons, experts advise that vegan babies should be breastfed for longer as compared to non-vegans.
When breastfeeding isn’t an option, you have to look for an alternative source of nutrients. Vegan baby formulas may be of almond, soy, and coconut milk origin. While picking a breast milk substitute, consider the level of protein and mineral, among other compounds. Typically it should resemble what the breast milk offer.
8. Similac Alimentum Hypoallergenic Infant Formula – Best baby formula for colic
Colic is painful, and that why babies cry. With the right baby formula like the Similac alimentum hypoallergenic infant formula, your baby will no longer cry. Typically, the formula can reduce symptoms of colic resulting from protein sensitivity within 24 hours.
This milk formula from Similac comes with proteins that have been pre-digested (broken into smaller pieces). The breaking down of the proteins into smaller pieces virtually eliminates allergic reactions in babies who are allergic to cow’s milk and makes it easier to digest.
- DHA and ARA,
- Prebiotics, and
- a generous amount of vitamins, minerals, and essential oils required for the growth of the baby.
An outstanding feature of Similac Alimentum Hypoallergenic Infant Formula is that it lacks gluten, and lactose making it suitable for babies with food allergies and colic.
- Can manage eczema
- Eliminates gas and constipation
- Good for babies with allergies
- Reduces fussiness and spit-up
- Customers complained of poor packaging
No one clearly understands what causes colic. In spite of this, there are numerous efforts to improve the symptoms of these conditions.
A colicky baby won’t stop crying. It’s worse if these cries could occur at night. Did you know that a colicky baby can cry for more than 3 hours in a stretch for more than three days in a week? Without a doubt, this is devastating.
Colic is associated with gas, and cases of gas in children arise due to lactose intolerance. Experts say, if you lower the amount of sugar in the milk, then it could reduce the symptoms of colic. If you buy a formula that has a low amount of lactose, then it could reduce the incidences of colic.
Similarly, proteins are suspected of the potential causes of colic. Babies may find it difficult to digest the proteins in the cow’s milk. In this case, you can opt to buy formula with hydrolyzed milk.
9. Similac Pro-Sensitive Non-GMO Infant – Best baby formula for sensitive stomach
Similac Pro-Sensitive Infant Formula is easy to digest milk-based formula. The formula has been proven to work well for most babies with sensitive tummies. The range of nutrients is extensive, and the blend ensures that nutritional requirements for the babies are complete and in the right proportions.
The formula follows strict guidelines to help tackle the problems of constipation, spit-up, fussy stomach, and gas effectively. Actually, this non-GMO Similac formula is the best bet for babies with sensitive tummies.
Lactose-sensitive babies can safely use this formula. Additionally, the formula can boost the immune system thanks to the natural prebiotics.
- OptiGRO: this is a blend of DHA, Lutein, and Vitamin. The unique combination of powerful ingredients ensures that the baby has a general high growth rate, proper development of the brain, and the eyes, development of the body cells, improving the performance of the immune system.
- 2′ F.L. human milk oligosaccharide: a potent prebiotic for gut immunity. The prebiotic quickly circulates within the body of the baby at a faster rate than other formulas.
- Other ingredients include minerals, vitamins, milk protein isolates, and vitamins in sufficient amounts, just like breast milk.
It is important to note that the baby formula does not have artificial growth hormones. Therefore it is a top recommended product for moms.
- The formula has a near breast milk consistency
- No artificial growth hormones
- Reduces the tendency to spit
- Can manage colic and other digestive problems
- Frothy/foamy which may result in gas
Tummies of babies are usually not without issues. If it is not a gassy stomach, then it is constipation. Sadly, these problems affect babies who are fed on formula milk in most cases. Nonetheless, when you get the right formula baby milk, it can go well with the babies.
While some milk formulas are described as being suitable for babies with stomach issues, not all of them deliver the best results. This may prove it difficult for first-time moms or mothers who are little informed about these products.
All mothers want the best products for their babies. So getting the right baby formula will keep your baby free from constipation and unbearable incidences of bloating.
10. Enfamil Enspire Baby Formula Milk Powder – Best baby formula for constipation and gassy baby
Parents love the Enfamil enspire baby formula milk powder is close to breast milk in terms of its composition. Typically, this is the only formula in the U.S. that has MFGM & Lactoferrin. It comes with a high number of vitamins and minerals to kick-starts your baby and promotes the functioning of the digestive system.
- Lactoferrin: this is a protein typically found in colostrum as well as breast milk. This is important for immune support and the development of the intestine
- MFGM: supports metal development
- Omega 3 DHA and Choline: are essential for mental development
- Other ingredients include Non-fat Milk, Lactose, Vegetable Oil (Palm Olein, Coconut, Soy, and High Oleic Sunflower Oils), Whey Protein-Lipid Concentrate (Milk), Whey Protein Concentrate.
- Reduces gas issues drastically
- Baby poops regularly
- Closest to breast milk
- Some babies may not like the taste of the milk
The digestive system of babies is prone to constipation and gas. Both conditions are uncomfortable for the babies, which makes them cry a lot. The worst part is that when they cry, they swallow in more air, which may escalate bloating.
Burping can help, to some extent, but that isn’t a long term solution. Similarly, for constipated babies, experts advise taking a lot of water. This can be a little too late.
When you give your babies formula milk, chances are they’ll develop constipation and gas. Normally, the first reaction is to change the formula. This can be the right choice if you find the right formula
How to Choose the Best Baby Formula?
For some parents breastfeeding is not an option, while for others, they may want to supplement their breastfeeding. In this case, the formula aisle is your only option. But you have to take it slow because there are numerous options in the market. You can buy these milk formulas depending on a number of factors such as:
Forms of formula
The formula comes in 3 types, i.e., ready-to-use, liquid concentrate, and powdered
- Ready-to-use formula: once you buy this formula, you directly use it. No need to measure or mix. This type of formula is what most newborns are given in hospitals. However, once you open them, they have a short lifespan. Additional, they are highly-priced.
- Liquid concentrate formula: these formulas require mixing equal parts of water and formula. They are not highly-priced.
- Powdered formula: this is the most convenient formula you can buy. It takes less space. However, it has a month shelf-life once you buy it. Preparation is quite comprehensive, and you must follow all directions to make the right formulations.
Types of formula
- Cow’s-milk-based formula: these formulas have cow’s milk as the main ingredient. The milk protein is altered to make it easy to digest.
- Hydrolyzed formulas: in these formulas, the proteins have been broken down into smaller particles to make digestion easier
- Soy-based formula: these formulas are from soybean proteins/plant-based proteins that have been broken to make digestion easy. However, this formula is not suitable for preterm infants weighing less than 1,800 grams
- Lactose-free formula: this formula is ideal for babies who cannot digest lactose, as they lack lactose.
- Organic formula: these are formula certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The aim is to limit the number of herbicides, pesticides, and other chemicals the reach your baby.
The best milk formula must have the nutrients that breast milk has. The nutrients should be sufficient enough. Examples are Carbohydrates (lactose), Protein, Fat, Vitamins and minerals, Nucleotides, Rice starch, Dietary fiber, Amino acids, Probiotics, and prebiotics.
Buying bay formula milk can be a hectic process. Typically, the whole process is much of a trial and error thing. For lucky parents, they may have a product that their baby will like, while for others, it may be a continuous process of looking for the Best Baby Formula.
Nonetheless, with advice from nutritionists and pediatricians, you can quickly get the highly recommended Best Baby Formula for your baby. Still, you need to do some personal research, based on your baby’s reaction and needs. But, always buy a milk formula whose ingredients are closer to those of breast milk.
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