The Best Baby Formula To Buy Today

Breastfeeding is good for your baby. However, some moms opt to use liquid formula or powdered substitutes. Ideally, mothers will not have any problems with breastfeeding until their baby’s first birthday since the American Academy of Pediatrics highly recommends it. Well, that’s in a perfect world, where baby formula feeding is also a viable option.

Best Formula for Babies

Breast milk is rich in nutrients, which is what our babies need. There are also mothers who depend on baby formula made from whole milk such as cow’s milk based formulas for the nourishment of their infants. Formulas are intended to mimic human milk in case this is not readily available.

There are times when mothers feel sore and painful breasts due to infant feeding. They also need a break. Some working mothers are also unfortunate that some offices aren’t breast pump ready. Some mothers are sickly or are undergoing treatment. Babies need their milk, so despite all these challenges, mothers need to find a way to supply it for their young ones. Likewise, there is a need for a reliable toddler formulas for children above 24 months of age. In these instances, formula feeding may be the better option.

Baby formula has been improved over the years, adding more nutritional ingredients to resemble breast milk closely. Nutritional value varies greatly among American and European formula companies. These have carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and varieties of proteins from animal milk. Some are from soy or goat’s milk or skim milk. Most babies formula has DHA and ARA, and essential fatty acids. DHA is a well-known probiotic.

  • Formulas meant for babies also contains artificial growth hormones. Another crucial ingredient that mommies should know is milk fat globule membrane or MFGM which affects your baby’s cognitive function, as well as brain and eye development. It is said infants consuming formulas with milk fat globule membrane are higher in motor development than infants consuming one without milk fat globule membrane. Infant and toddler formulas with iron also help with your child’s overall growth and development. Formulas may also contain vegetable oils to meet your baby’s energy needs.
best formulas
  • In the United States, the FDA strictly regulates the contents of all infant formulas sold in the country. The United States Food and Drug Administration ensures that nutrients found in all infant formulas are acceptable, as well as artificial sweeteners found in milk formulas such as corn syrup solids. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that dairy is the top source of calcium for children; as such, choosing the right milk substitute has to be done carefully with the advice of a health professional.
  • Infant formulas come in varying levels of artificial growth hormones and nutrients crucial for brain and eye development, and most of the time, there are only a few grams of difference. Still, it does affect a mother’s buying decision or the pediatrician’s advice. Read on to know more about the many types of formulas sold in the market to help you decide on which best formulas is right for your little one.


Kinds Of Best Baby Formula

There are plenty of choices when it comes to infant formulas marketed, and it can be very confusing. Not all formulas are created equal. The kind of formula also differs between American and European formulas. To start with, let’s get to know the types of infant formula: liquid concentrate, powder, and the ones called feeding-ready. Some mothers prefer one or two types depending on their choice, but it is always better to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each of the types. There are store brand formulas, while some can have their own formula specially formulated at an added cost. There are also specialized formulas for premature babies or those with particular health needs. Keep in mind that some recommended formulas might be difficult to find due to the formula shortage in the United States.

Powdered Infant Formula


This type is the most common baby formula meant to replace human milk and stored in cartons or canisters. It is supposed to be diluted with water as instructed in the directions.

The Pros:

As mentioned also on TheBump, most brands are not too expensive, and some are affordable. Most people can afford it.

When it is not yet in the water, the product lasts a few months but make it a habit of checking the expiration date.

The Cons:

When preparing formula powdered milk substitutes, it can become a bit messy, especially when you’re mobile or traveling.

Some brands of infant formulas sell travel packs, but that’s an added cost, and it becomes expensive.

You may have more to wash – the scoop and the formula container is extra washing work.

A general rule in preparing infant formulas is to ensure that the water is clean.

Powdered formulas are not suggested for premature babies because powdered food might not be safe and may contain artificial sweeteners such as corn syrup solids. Instead, human milk is most recommended for premature babies.


Best Liquid Concentrate

A bottle of Similac Advance formula

This is another alternative to human milk that also needs water; no scooping is required, just a bit of mixing and bottle shaking.

The Pros:

It is less messy because there’s no scooping involved.

The Cons:

Concentrated formulas typically cost more than powdered formulas.

The prepared formula needs to be refrigerated in 48 hours once opened, which may be an issue if it is a breast milk supplement.


Ready To Feed Baby Formula

A photo of multiple boxes of Similac baby formula. The photo also includes the store's price tag.

Ready-to-consume infant formulas are alternatives to human milk that involve no scooping. You do not need to worry about how much formula to give your child. You just have to open the bottle and feed the milk to your child.

The Pros:

Ready to feed formulas is the easiest to prepare baby formula among all the types of infant formulas as it is closest to human milk in liquid form.

It has a minimum level of contamination at the same time, and almost zero mess when it comes to preparation.

Unopened bottles are still safe, and there’s no need to have them refrigerated.

The Cons:

Well, it may be the most convenient baby formula, but it is also very costly.  At most, this type of milk formula can be around 35% more expensive than the powdered version.

If the bottle is open, then it has to be consumed or refrigerated for around 48 hours.


Best Baby Formula

Some babies may have particular needs, so we really cannot rely on just about any milk formula offered on the market, be it European or American formulas, which have almost the same basic complete nutritional requirements. Your hospital may provide you with a milk formula along with the infant-care package that is from cow’s milk protein that can be an alternative to human milk. Its nutrients are closely similar to breast milk nutrients. However, you may need to consider trying other types of infant formulas that could be better for your child’s nutritional health. This is very important, especially when switching formulas from human milk.


Newborn Formulas

It is always necessary that newborns get breast milk. Breast milk nutrients change based on the growing needs of the child, while milk formulas have fixed ingredients such as cow’s milk protein, DHA and ARA (naturally found in breast milk), and essential fatty acids. However, if the situation calls for it, milk formula can still be fed to healthy newborns. Lactose intolerant babies would get recommended formula made from organic lactose. Premature babies are the exception where milk substitutes are out of the equation. Those born between 28 up to 32 weeks need breastfeeding, or if the mother is unable to provide it, the NICU or the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit will look for a breast milk donor. Your pediatrician will also recommend the right feeding routine.


Nevertheless, for premature babies born between 32 to 37 weeks or for those full-term babies who are underweight, try also Similac NeoSure Formula for Premature Babies or Enfamil EnfaCare Infant Formula. Member’s Mark Infant Formula is also a good budget option. These are helpful for newborns with issues that need proteins, calories, vitamins, and minerals. Also, they have DHA and ARA and essential fatty acids or arachidonic acid that support the baby’s brain and eye development, as well as human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) that block pathogens. They also improve gut health by promoting good gut bacteria and gut barrier functions. Though they have little difference in formulation, the two brands have two similar nutrients.


Breastfed Kids Best Baby Formula

Although there’s no such thing as the best formula, there are brands that offer something unique or a little more than others, whether cow’s milk or organic.

One of them is Similac for Supplementation Infant Formula, which has 10% more prebiotics. Prebiotics are responsible for softening the baby’s stool, and some mothers may need this type to make sure that their babies won’t have a hard time when pooping.


Infants should get breastfeeding as much as possible. Mothers who are not able to breastfeed for too long may eventually be unable to supply milk to their babies anymore. The milk ducts will produce less milk since it detects that there’s no more demand to produce milk. Breast pumps should happen once in a while to ensure a continuous supply of breastmilk.

Organic Infant Formula

For some parents, the ideal infant formula is made of organic ingredients in place of human milk. These organic milk formulas are from grass fed cows. However, the search for the best organic formula has become a challenge. Even though organic formulas are natural, they may still have DHA and ARA, and corn syrup solids. Some parents do not prefer Hexane, a petroleum refining byproduct, but it is considered safe as a processing agent by the FDA. There’s no conclusive study that proves that organic milk substitutes are far better than the others such as cow’s milk. What is apparent is that the average organic formula is more expensive, and your child gets the same nutrients as the others.

A photo of Similac Organic Infant Formula

Some of the top organic baby formulas are as follows: Plum Organics Infant Formula which uses lactose as a carbohydrate. It is non-GMO and gluten free However, this organic formula contains hexane-sourced Omega-3s (it is safe.) Next is the Honest Company Organic Infant Formula, which doesn’t contain extracted components, but has glucose syrup. Its advantage premium infant formula ingredients abide by the strict criteria of the USDA certified organic program. Many parents also like Bobbie Organic Infant Formula, which is the only formula that has been certified organic by both USDA and EU standards. In fact, European formulas have been becoming more popular due to the baby formula shortage in the US. Lastly, we have Similac Organic Baby Formula, which tastes sweeter but does not contain palm oil at all. The sweetness comes from organic sugar, which is a worry for some parents as opposed to other formulas.

If you have a tight budget and you feel that organic baby formulas are the only formula best for your child in replacing human milk, then you can try the cheapest organic formula, which is Earth’s Best Organic Dairy Infant Formula. Even though it’s cheaper, it does have many of the same potentially beneficial additives as other expensive brands. Some mothers rated Earth’s Best Organic Dairy three stars, but it is the most affordable formulas of all organic formulas at around $22 for a 23.2 per ounce can, making Earth’s Best Organic value for your money compared to others. Check out other top organic formulas here other than Earth’s Best:


Top Infant Formulas To Address Colic

If your child has gastrointestinal issues, then you may need to switch to a suitable formula other than the basic infant formula made from cow’s milk. Hydrolyzed formulas and partially hydrolyzed formulas will most likely help. A visit to your pediatrician will identify if the child has cow’s milk allergy on protein or any problems with digestion.

Some formula to consider is Gerber Good Start Soothe Powder Infant Formula. This is one formula that contains whey protein, which is easier to digest compared to casein protein. It also has L. reuteri, which is the probiotic that could help colic.

Infant holding and drinking a bottle of baby formula

Another one is the Similac Alimentum Infant Formula. This hydrolyzed formula is a perfect substitute as formulas with carefully hydrolyzed proteins may be able to assist with digestion. Its protein content will be good for your baby’s immune system since it breaks down into smaller units. It doesn’t have palm oil as well to avoid stiffening your child’s stools.

Only babies diagnosed with a full-on milk protein isolate allergy should consider switching formula brands to the fully hydrolyzed formula or hypoallergenic formula since they have a foul smell and somehow tastes bitter. This is when Pedias recommend soy based formulas. Bear in mind that babies with full-on milk protein allergy can also be allergic to soy protein, so it is ideal to do your research on soy oil based formulas.


Best Baby Formulas For Gas Problems

For some reason, infants can be extremely gassy, especially those who do not ingest cow’s milk normally. Before changing formulas, make sure that the babies are fed upright with their heads above the tummy. Try to check their bottle nipple if the milk is flowing slowly. If you are using powder milk formula, allow the bubbles to subside first before feeding the milk to your baby.


The liquid concentrate can be a better option as well as it is closer to human milk. Bottles that are vented or angled are recommended more compared to regular-shaped bottles for gassy babies. After the feeding, try to help your child with his burping.

Some of the recommended baby formulas for gas on the market are Similac Total Comfort Non-GMO Infant Formula, which is a low-lactose and partially hydrolyzed formula. Total Comfort is a non-GMO formula that is preferred by most mothers with infant gas issues.


Infant Formula For Constipation

Since infants poop, while lying down, this can cause strain to some babies lasting for about 10 minutes. If your baby poop much less, then it is possible that your baby is constipated. Before buying a different milk formula as an alternative to human milk, try to ease your baby by adding an ounce of apple to the formula. Also, when pooping, try to move his legs as if pedaling a bicycle.

Enfamil Reguline Infant Formula has received many positive online reviews as one of the top baby formulas for constipated babies. It has hydrolyzed protein, particularly partially hydrolyzed whey protein, and two prebiotics for easier digestion compared to generic formula made from cow’s milk.

The Best And Most Economical Baby Formula

Protein, fats, and carbohydrates are the core contents of all milk formulas, may they be generic or branded, cow’s milk or organic. This one is a requirement by the FDA, and if you do not see any of them on the generic formula list of nutrients, then it may be too risky to feed your child. The right formula for your child always contains these core contents.


There is also a lot of variation of generic milk substitutes to choose from, just like the brand-name formulas. There’s a generic edition of Gerber Good Start you can try. Another one is Kroger Comforts for Baby Tender Formula, which has a lot of lactose content sourced from cow’s milk, less corn syrup, and has all the essential nutrients.

Frequently Asked Questions

Last Updated on May 6, 2023 by Inma Barquero

DISCLAIMER (IMPORTANT): This information (including all text, images, audio, or other formats on is not intended to be a substitute for informed professional advice, diagnosis, endorsement or treatment. You should not take any action or avoid taking action without consulting a qualified professional.   Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions about medical conditions. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here a

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