10 Best Baby Formula in 2019 – Expert Buyer’s Guide

Every mom has a dream of having quick labor and pain-free breastfeeding. Sometimes that breast is exhausted, achy, and asks for a time out. Sometimes, moms need a helping hand or simply a baby has some special needs and isn’t able to have breast milk. And that’s where baby formula steps in.

Baby formula is carefully engineered to mimic the nutritional composition of breast milk, which contains an assorted array of proteins (typically from cow’s milk but also sometimes soy or even goat’s milk), carbohydrates, fats, and vitamins. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) strictly regulates these core components.

So what are the different types available, and, is there such thing as the best baby formula?

Types of Baby Formula:

  • Cow’s milk protein-based formula – Most infant formulas are of this type. Made of altered protein from cow’s milk, resembles breast milk and is easier to digest.
  • Soy-based formula – Soy-based are vegan options for babies or in situations when the baby is allergic to protein or cow’s milk.
  • Specialized Formula – This formula is designed for your baby’s specific need. Some examples of specialized formulas are:

– Hydrolyzed Formula: This type is an option for babies who cannot tolerate cow’s milk or soy-based formula; wherein protein is broken down partially or extensively in much smaller sizes.

– Preemie Formula: These are specially made for premature and low birth weight babies. It contains more protein and higher calories to help them catch up on their growth.

– Lactose-free Formula – This is for babies with lactose intolerance, where they can’t digest milk sugar lactose because of the lack of the enzyme lactase.

– Thickened Formula – For babies with reflux, thickened formulas may reduce vomiting.

Editor’s Choice

Enfamil-ENSPIRE-Infant-Formula

Enfamil ENSPIRE Infant Formula

Why is it better?

  • Non-GMO
  • Superb nutrients added

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The Lineup At A Glance

Highly valued formulas on today’s market, so take a peek!

1. Enfamil ENSPIRE Infant Formula

Enfamil-ENSPIRE-Infant-Formula

Enfamil is one of the leading brands in baby formulas.Enfamil Formulas have been the closest ever formulas to breast milk. The formula claims to meet the nutritional needs of babies until 12 months offering, among other nutrients dual prebiotics that help babies support their natural defenses.

  • Non-GMO
  • Superb nutrients added
  • Very expensive formula

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!

Enfamil is one of the leading brands in baby formulas.Enfamil Formulas have been the closest ever formulas to breast milk. The formula claims to meet the nutritional needs of babies until 12 months offering, among other nutrients dual prebiotics that help babies support their natural defenses. Moreover, choline and DHA will play a crucial role in your baby’s brain development.

It is important to emphasize that Enfamil Enspire is the first and only formula that is enhanced with MFGM (Milk Fat Globule Membrane) and Lactoferrin, components naturally found in breast milk. Their main function is to foster cognitive development (MFGM) and to support the immune system (Lactoferrin)

The texture is thick and creamy, and the taste is not too sweet. There is no corn syrup used, only lactose as its only sweetener, so thumbs up for Enfamil!

It is our first choice for the overall best baby formula, and also the best formula for breastfed babies

2. Similac Pro-Advance Infant Formula

Similac-Pro-Advance-Infant-Formula

Similac Pro-Advance is specially designed for babies with sensitive tummies that are prone to spit ups and colics. The company added an ingredient- 2’-FL HMO, a prebiotic previously found in breast milk that helps strengthen and nourish the baby’s immune system like a breastfed infant.

  • 2’-FL HMO prebiotic
  • OptiGRO blend (DHA,Lutein, Vitamin E)
  • Non-GMO
  • No palm oil
  • Helps with colics, gas and spit-ups
  • Pretty much expensive formula

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!

Similac Pro-Advance is specially designed for babies with sensitive tummies that are prone to spit ups and colics. The company added an ingredient- 2’-FL HMO, a prebiotic previously found in breast milk that helps strengthen and nourish the baby’s immune system like a breastfed infant. It also designed the OptiGRO, a unique blend of DHA, Lutein and Vitamin E, to support brain development, eye health, and developing cells

Moreover, some of the moms I spoke to, are very happy with this formula, saying that it greatly reduced gassiness and spit-ups just after a few days of feeding. Other moms were really satisfied with its efficacy on transitions from breastfeeding to formula.

If you are looking for an alternative to my first pick, this will be your best choice. It is also closer to breast milk, 100% Lactose, GMO free. Similac Pro-Advance is a bit cheaper than Enfamil, but still expensive on the long run.

3. Baby’s Only Organic LactoRelief Formula

Baby’s-Only Organic-LactoRelief-Formula

This formula is designed for children older than one year that are prone to allergies and are lactose intolerant. It is a great choice when parents have concerns with soy based formulas.

  • Gluten and corn syrup free
  • High levels of DHA and ARA
  • Non GMO
  • Primarily available in toddler formulas to encourage breastfeeding

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This formula is designed for children older than one year that are prone to allergies and are lactose intolerant. It is a great choice when parents have concerns with soy based formulas. This formula is totally gluten free, and also free from corn syrup or any other GMO component. It contains DHA and ARA lipids that gives the formula a more natural fatty acid profile. Baby’s Only claims that there is no artificial growth hormone, antibiotics, and steroids in the formula.

4. Earth’s Best Organic Infant Powder Formula

Earth's-Best-Organic-Infant-Powder-Formula

The Earth’s Best Organic Infant Formula is a formula rich in high-quality protein, mineral, vitamins, and essential fatty acids. It contains DHA and ARA to promote eye and brain development.

  • Easy to digest for an organic formula
  • Mimics breast milk without adding corn syrup
  • Very affordable and high quality formula
  • Can be foamy

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The Earth’s Best Organic Infant Formula is a formula rich in high-quality protein, mineral, vitamins, and essential fatty acids. It contains DHA and ARA to promote eye and brain development. The manufacturer uses organic glucose solids and organic lactose as a carbohydrate source. It contains no antibiotics, growth hormones, steroids or harmful herbicides or pesticides, and zero presence of corn syrup.

We have to emphasize that this is not only organic, but it’s also kosher.

Lastly, many satisfied parents say that they are happy that their babies have an easy time digesting it. With its high quality ingredients, Earth’s Best managed to keep a very competitive price, which is  a big yay!

5. Similac Advance Ready To Feed Infant Formula

Similac-Advance-Ready-To-Feed-Infant-Formula

Like every other Similac formula, this one is also enriched with the specially designed OptiGRO,  blend (DHA, Lutein and Vitamin E) that are essential for our baby’s brain development, eye health, and developing cells.

  • No spit up or constipation
  • Easy transition from breastmilk to formula.
  • These are super pricey.

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Like every other Similac formula, this one is also enriched with the specially designed OptiGRO,  blend (DHA, Lutein and Vitamin E) that are essential for our baby’s brain development, eye health, and developing cells.

The ready to feed really is very simple to use and take along with you. I dare to say it’s almost as easy as breastfeeding! No mixing, no pouring, no carting around an empty bottle with dried smelly formula in it. Just take and then toss! That’s all.

Similac Ready To Feed makes a great choice for the middle of the night feedings – no stumbling around at 3 am trying to mix the water and formula in exact proportion while hungry baby is crying her lungs out.The best thing about these premixed bottles is that you can keep them in a bag or in the nursery so you always have a bottle ready – and you don’t have to worry about it spoiling.

When buying this formula bear in mind the following:

  • Once opened can be refrigerated for 48 hours, otherwise 1 hour rule applies.
  • Formula cans are BPA free
  • Any standard nipple fits

6. PurAmino Hypoallergenic Amino Acid Based Infant Formula

PurAmino-Hypoallergenic-Amino-Acid-Based-Infant-Formula

PurAmino Hypoallergenic is an amino acid based and iron-fortified formula for babies and toddlers who suffer from severe milk protein and soy allergy. It helps your baby’s overall development.

  • A serious approach for children with severe allergies
  • Contains DHA, ARA and iron
  • Meets Kosher and Halal requirements
  • Contains MSG
  • More expensive than other formulas

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PurAmino Hypoallergenic is an amino acid based and iron-fortified formula for babies and toddlers who suffer from severe milk protein and soy allergy. It helps your baby’s overall development. The formula will make a considerable contribution to the well-being of such babies, being in the same time very gentle on the tummy.

It provides a full nutritional scope for babies up to 24 months old.

It is a great solution for babies suffering from acid reflux.

This product has great reviews and many parents are more than happy to know that their loved ones can be fed on a formula that won’t cause any kind of allergic reaction, make them spit up or have “nasty diaper situation”. For such parents as well as their babies, this formula is a life saver.

But, you have to know, that this formula contains infamous MSG (Monosodium Glutaminate)  and be informed in case you decide to opt for this one. The manufacturer’s response was that MSG is added to PurAmino as a source of the amino acid, glutamic acid. Once PurAmino is prepared with water, the MSG is broken down into sodium and glutamic acid.

7. Gerber Good Start Soy Formula

Gerber-Good-Start-Soy-Formula

For babies with milk protein allergy or lactose intolerance, soy formulas can be a doctor-recommended choice. At the very beginning of bottle feeding, most doctors recommend starting with a dairy-based formula because its proteins are closest to those in human milk. Hence, if you have a family history of milk allergies, that’s when you should talk to your baby’s doctor about starting on a soy formula.

  • Excellent formula to fight gas and fussiness
  • Suitable for lactose intolerant babies
  • Non-GMO soy
  • No corn syrup
  • Uglu smell
  • Clumps if not shaken hard and long

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For babies with milk protein allergy or lactose intolerance, soy formulas can be a doctor-recommended choice. At the very beginning of bottle feeding, most doctors recommend starting with a dairy-based formula because its proteins are closest to those in human milk. If you have a family history of milk allergies, that’s when you should talk to your baby’s doctor about starting on a soy formula.

Moreover, Gerber soy formula is the most popular on the market. The soy protein is partially hydrolyzed to ease digestion. It’s also one of the only soy formulas to use non-GMO soy and milder sweeteners. Its primary sweetener is corn maltodextrin, plus some sucrose. It’s good to know that maltodextrin isn’t as sweet as corn syrup solids.

It is a product with a very good, competitive price on the market, but downside is that it smells badly and the minute you mix water and formula, you need to shake very hard and long in order to break all the clumps.

8. Kirkland Signature Non-GMO Infant Formula

Kirkland-Signature-Non-GMO-Infant-Formula

Companies like Costco, Walmart and many others have their own store-brand formulas to replicate popular name-brand choices.

  • Money saving formula with excellent ingredients
  • Resembles much more expensive formulas
  • Non-GMO
  • Bulk buying in Costco
  • Too foamy

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Companies like Costco, Walmart and many others have their own store-brand formulas to replicate popular name-brand choices.

FDA says that all baby food undergo the same testing, and they are safe to be used, only the type of baby food is to be chosen by parents bades on baby’s specific needs. The generic brands are cheaper than name-brand choices.

When considering store-brand options, look carefully at the ingredient list to make sure your preferences for protein source, sweeteners, and enhancements are included.

One of parent’s favorite choice is this one,  Costco’s Kirkland Signature Non-GMO Infant Formula. Its ingredients are compared to Gerber’s Good Start Gentle, with whey protein, and lactose as the only sweetener. The ingredients are non-GMO, the only sweetener is lactose (a milk sugar) and it contains prebiotics like many other formula brands.

This baby formula is remarkably budget friendly, and especially when looking in a long run. There is a slight possibility that babies with extra sensitive tummies won’t like this one, due to the fact that this formula doesn’t hydrolyze the milk protein like Good Start, so some crying and gas is possible.

9. Plum Organics Grow Well Organic Infant Formula

Plum-Organics-Grow-Well-Organic-Infant-Formula

Plum Organics allows you to nourish your baby with the right nutrients. If you want your baby to be the healthiest and strongest member in your family, you may choose this formula that is among the best organic and best natural baby formulas existing in 2019.

  • Free from gluten
  • Kosher certified formula
  • Made from cow milk that has no Growth Hormone
  • Seamless transition from nursing
  • Foamy and bubbly formula

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Plum Organics allows you to nourish your baby with the right nutrients. If you want your baby to be the healthiest and strongest member in your family, you may choose this formula that is among the best organic and best natural baby formulas existing in 2019.

The contents of the food are, as I have already mentioned, organic and thus, your little darling will have no risk.

The first thing to point out is that there are no corn syrup solids in the Plum Organics formula. Instead, they used lactose from cow’s milk to provide sweetness; lactose is the most abundant carb in human breast milk, so this is excellent move and another key ingredient with high quality.

It’s kosher, corn, gluten free, and contains no genetically modified ingredients.

Lastly, it includes a wiselly made blend of organic lactose, nonfat milk, oils (palm, coconut, soy, etc), whey protein, and a ton of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, omegas, and antioxidants. It includes DHA and ARA in order to promote development.

10. Neocate Infant Formula

Neocate-Infant-Formula

Neocate Infant DHA and ARA is a hypoallergenic, amino acid-based, nutritionally complete infant formula for the dietary management of cow milk allergy, multiple food protein intolerances (MFPI) and food-allergy-associated conditions. It contains gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), short bowel syndrome (SBS), malabsorption and other GI disorders.

  • The safest choice for vegan babies
  • Highly recommended for acid reflux
  • Expensive product
  • Bad taste

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Neocate Infant DHA and ARA is a hypoallergenic, amino acid-based, nutritionally complete infant formula for the dietary management of cow milk allergy, multiple food protein intolerance (MFPI) and food-allergy-associated conditions: gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), short bowel syndrome (SBS), malabsorption and other GI disorders.

Neocate Infant DHA and ARA also contains higher levels of key nutrients important for infants, such as vitamin D, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium, than other brands. An elimination diet using Neocate can improve GI conditions in as little as three days and ensures optimal growth for infants.

In addition, Neocate Infant DHA/ARA is the only elemental formula that does not contain soy oil.

Neocate is a godsend for parents of children with milk and soy protein allergies, which can make babies refuse to eat and cry uncontrollably.  

The formula relieves symptoms of food intolerance and provides an option for babies who cannot breastfeed, who are also sensitive to the proteins in cow’s milk and soy products.

Because Neocate’s amino acid based. dairy-free, soy-free formula could be seen as a specialty product, it tends to be on the pricier side. This can be frustrating, as babies with these two allergies don’t have much of a choice as far as products,

Tips for Feeding Your Baby

Transitioning to the formula is common and perfectly healthy for your baby. There are numerous reasons why mom had to opt for bottle feeding and it is a part of every mom’s privacy. Relaxed, calm and well-rested mom is a happy mom that makes her baby also calm, relaxed and happy. If your baby does not like the taste of the formula, you can try to make the food by yourself with a food maker.

Best way to introduce baby formula to a breastfed baby

  1. Enjoy the closeness of bottle feeding by snuggling and rocking your baby to feel close.
  2. Use distractions if your baby goes for the breast, especially if she’s acting out of a wish for comfort instead of hunger.
  3. Switching to formula when you add solid food routine can make the transition easier. Baby is facing a whole new routine now.
  4. Hold off on cow’s milk until at least first birthday. Your baby’s body isn’t ready to process cow milk proteins any time yet. Milk doesn’t provide a wide range of nutrients that the baby gets from breast milk or formula.

And to wrap it up

While selecting a baby formula may feel like a super weighty decision, the reality is that every formula has the key ingredients your child needs to thrive. Getting your pediatrician’s advice on what’s best for your baby, and having your little one weigh in on the taste will quickly help you pick the right one. Remember to put the formula in the food storage after use.

We have shown you some different, yet very good choices to start from, and we honestly hope that you liked our pick.

Share your experience with us, and share this post if you enjoyed reading it.

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