Best Baby Formula For ColicThis post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read my disclosure.
What is the best formula for colic babies? In this helpful guide, I’ll be reviewing the best baby formulas for colic, including pros, cons, and how to choose the right formula for your little one!
Is your infant excessively crying and fussy for what seems like no reason? If that’s the case, then you may have a colicky baby on your hands. As parents, there’s nothing worse than seeing our precious little ones in pain. For that reason, you’re probably wondering how you can help your newborn feel better.
Lucky for us, there are ways to support colicky babies. There are a number of special formulas available online and in the formula aisle that are designed to ease colic symptoms and stop your baby’s cry. If you’ve been endlessly searching “best formula for colic baby” online, this is the guide for you!
Today, I’m covering all the best formulas for babies with colic and reflux. So, want to know what to do for colicky babies? Read on.
What Is Colic And What Causes It?
Colic is the frequent and excessive crying of newborns during their first three months of age. Technically speaking, it is defined as a baby’s crying for over 3 hours a day, more than 3 days per week, and spans at least 3 weeks. While the range for what could be considered colic is tricky to pin down, features of a baby’s colic typically include:
- Crying for no apparent reason
- Intense crying that mimics an expression of pain
- Extreme fussiness, even after crying has ceased
- Predictable timing (episodes usually occur in the evening)
- Facial discoloring
- Body tension
The exact cause of colic is unknown, as it can result from several factors. Medical experts have a tough time accounting for all the various features, but they have determined several potential causes:
- A baby’s digestive system is not fully developed
- There’s an imbalance of healthy bacteria in the digestive tract
- Food allergies
- The mother’s diet during pregnancy
- Overfeeding or underfeeding
- Early forms of childhood migraine
- Family stress or anxiety
Can Certain Baby Formulas Cause Colic?
Sometimes, bottle feeding too quickly (e.g. finishing a bottle in less than 20 minutes) or giving your baby too much formula can cause colic. The lactose or milk sugar present in standard infant formula may be a source of discomfort for your baby (or your baby could have a food allergy) which would then cause colic symptoms. Additionally, if your baby has a cow’s milk allergy, feeding them formula milk made from dairy products could cause colic.
Signs Your Baby May Have Colic
Because moderate crying and fussing are normal for the majority of infants, it can be hard to tell whether or not your baby has colic. Aside from excessive crying, signs your baby may have colic include:
- Burping often or passing a lot of gas
- Having a bright red, flushed face
- Having a tight belly
- Curling their legs towards their tummy while crying
- Clenching their fists while crying
At Home Colic Remedies
If you think your little one has colic, the good news is that there are several home remedies you can try to alleviate some of their discomforts. Here are some old-fashioned remedies for colic:
- Lay your baby on their tummy. Sometimes, this simple change in position can help colicky babies. Additionally, you could try rubbing their back, which is both soothing and helpful for passing gas.
- Carry them. Oftentimes, colicky or gassy babies respond well to being held. Holding your baby for long periods or using a baby carrier may relieve symptoms of colic.
- Practice repetitive motion. Taking your baby for a walk, rocking them, or using a baby swing can help with colic symptoms.
- Hold them upright after feeding. Sometimes, gastroesophageal reflux disease is what causes your baby’s colic. This means that your baby experiences a form of heartburn as breast milk or formula comes back up their esophagus after eating. Holding them upright can reduce these acid reflux symptoms.
- Thicken milk with infant cereal. You can add infant rice milk to formula or breast milk as a thickening agent. Your baby’s doctor may recommend trying this to reduce acid reflux symptoms, but make sure to consult with them first.
- Use anti-colic baby bottles. You could try using a specialized, anti-colic bottle to help ease colic symptoms.
- Try a different formula. If your baby isn’t responding well to your current formula, then it might be a good idea to explore other options. An anti-reflux formula, lactose-free formula, organic baby formula, or specialized colic formula might do the trick.
What Type Of Baby Formulas Help Prevent Colic?
Because the exact cause of colic isn’t certain and colic looks a bit different for every baby, there are several types of formula that might help to soothe your baby’s tummy (think: hypoallergenic formula, dairy or lactose-free formula, and soy formula). There isn’t one best formula for colic and gas that works for all babies, so I recommend testing out a few formula options, as the right formula will depend on your baby’s specific set of circumstances.
What To Look For When Choosing A Formula For Colic
While the best formula for your colicky baby will depend on their specific needs, there are a few things you should look for when choosing a formula for colic:
- Formulas with probiotics (like lactobacillus reuteri) and prebiotics, which help to ease digestion
- Anti-reflux milk
- Lactose-free milk, if your baby is showing signs of lactose intolerance
- Organic ingredients, which are helpful if your baby has intolerances
- Additives that enhance growth (DHA, ARA, or iron)
- Federal Drug Administration approval
Ingredients To Avoid
When it comes to finding the best formula for colic, you want to avoid formulas that have:
- Added sugars or syrup solids (although with hypoallergenic formulas, this sometimes can’t be avoided)
- GMO ingredients
- Soy (as this can be an allergen for some babies)
- Any hexane-extracted ingredients
If you’re breastfeeding and supplementing with formula, you’ll want to avoid the ingredients above and additionally, for your breastmilk, you may need to alter your diet. This is because there are certain foods that a mother eats that will pass into her breast milk.
Babies don’t respond well to spices, caffeine, or alcohol, so cutting these out of the maternal diet could help to relieve colic symptoms if you choose to breastfeed.
Additionally, it may be a good idea for breastfeeding mothers to avoid consuming common allergens like cow’s milk, eggs, wheat, nuts, soy, and fish, if your baby seems to be reacting to something in your breastmilk. Some mothers also choose to avoid foods known for causing intestinal gas, like cruciferous vegetables.
Aside from adjusting your maternal diet, there are a few home remedies that should be avoided when treating your baby for colic. Do not give a colicky baby dicycloverine or dicyclomine (a medication used to treat stomach cramps), as it has been found to cause breathing difficulties. Also avoid giving your baby star anise tea, as certain types may be toxic.
Best Baby Formulas For Colic
If you have a colicky baby at home, you may choose to turn to a specialized formula to help ease symptoms. If you’re interested in giving this a go, here are my top picks for the best formula for colic babies.
Bobbie organic baby formula is a nutritionally complete formula modeled after breastmilk. Bobbie is the only female-founded and mom-led infant formula company in the United States. Their flagship formula, (which you can try with their starter bundle 2 cans for only $20 per can + free shipping!) launched in 2021 and is USDA organic, non-GMO, kosher, has received the Clean Label Project Purity Award, and is Certified Pesticide-Free.
Now, they have released their Organic Gentle formula, which is the first USDA & EU certified organic tolerance formula with 100% lactose carbohydrates, making it a one-of-a-kind recipe for babies with gas, crying, or fussiness. Not only that, their proteins are partially hydrolyzed (smaller for easier digestion), making it a great option for babies who are having trouble with intact milk protein. The formula is also non-GMO and thoughtfully sourced, just like their flagship recipe. Bobbie also doesn’t have palm oil, which may lead to constipation in some babies. (Learn more: Palm Oil In Baby Formula). Bobbie is one of the best organic formulas available in the US today!
- Cost: $28 for a 400-gram can
- Why We Love It: Bobbie is the first Organic, European-Style Infant Formula that meets FDA requirements. It’s science backed and made from pasture raised dairy, and uses a whey protein that’s specifically formulated to be gentle on your baby’s tummy.
- Ingredients: The ingredients include organic lactose, organic partially hydrolyzed protein, organic nonfat milk, organic high oleic (sunflower or safflower) oil, organic canola oil, organic coconut oil, organic linoleic (sunflower or safflower) oil, DHA (from schizochytrium sp. oil and mortierella alpina oil), vitamins & minerals.
This is one of the best hypoallergenic formula brands on the market today. The HiPP HA product line is based on hydrolyzing cow milk proteins, which makes the protein molecules smaller, simpler, and easier for your little one to process. I highly recommend this one for babies with mild milk intolerances!
- Cost: $40.99 per box for 1 pack, $38.99 per box for a 4-pack, $36.99 per box for an 8-pack, and $34.99 for a 12-pack.
- Why We Love It: This formula brand uses scientific research to ensure that its products provide all the necessary nutrients for your baby’s growth and development (think: vitamin A, C, D, and many more).
- Ingredients: The ingredients include lactose, vegetable oils (palm oil, rapeseed oil, sunflower oil), hydrolyzed whey protein, organic starches, prebiotic fibers (galactooligosaccharides from lactose), and LCP (for Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids) from a mixture of oils (vegetable oil and fish oil).
This baby milk for colic has been specially formulated with organic skim milk that has been hydrolyzed (aka broken down to its simplest form). This process breaks down the complex milk casein proteins, leaving behind whey protein that is easy for tiny tummies to digest. HiPP Comfort is one of the cleanest hypoallergenic colic formulas I’ve found on the market today.
- Cost: 1 box for $39.99, 12 boxes for $33.99 each, or 24 boxes for $29.99 each.
- Why We Love It: HiPP Comfort is the most broken down European formula available to ship to the US and is a hypoallergenic formula. It is also enriched with prebiotics and probiotics, and it contains both ARA and DHA.
- Ingredients: The ingredients include lactose, maltodextrin, vegetable oils, starch, beta-palmitate, hydrolyzed whey protein, galactooligosaccharides from lactose, and calcium orthophosphates.
This goat milk formula for colic babies has an excellent nutritional composition with easily digested proteins. Made from organic goat’s milk, this formula is a great option for babies with cow milk sensitivity. Learn More: Benefits Of Goat Milk Formula.
- Cost: 800g can for $64.99.
- Why We Love It: Jovie offers three organic goat milk formulas made for stage 1 (birth-6 months), stage 2 (6+ months), and stage 3 (1+ years). They also sell a goat milk powder for older children (3-9 years), as well as pregnant and/or lactating moms.
- Ingredients: This milk for colic includes organic whole goat milk powder, organic lactose (milk), organic vegetable oils, organic galacto-oligo-saccharides (human milk), docosahexaenoic acid rich oil (DHA), and arachidonic acid rich oil (ARA).
Kendamil is quickly gaining popularity – because it can be a good formula option for a colic baby! Kendamil Goat boasts excellent ingredients, wholesome nutrition, and easily digested proteins that are great for babes with cow milk sensitivity.
- Cost: $61.99 per pack, or you can purchase a 12-pack for $58.99 each.
- Why We Love It: The main carbohydrate is lactose, and it is jam-packed with organic prebiotics from whole A2 goat milk.
- Ingredients: The ingredients include whole goat milk, demineralized goat whey powder (from milk), vegetable oils (sunflower, coconut, rapeseed), galacto-oligosaccharides (from milk), and lactose (from milk).
This is some of the best baby milk for colic because it has components that are similar to those found in breast milk: lactobacillus fermentum (probiotics) and galacto-oligosaccharides (prebiotics). Oftentimes, colic in babies can be caused by baby formulas with hard-to-digest ingredients, and while HiPP Dutch doesn’t have hypoallergenic characteristics, it is formulated to be as all-natural and close to breastmilk as possible, which may be enough to ease colic symptoms in some babies.
- Cost: 28.22oz can for $46.99, but you can buy six cans for $45.99 each or ten cans for $42.99 each.
- Why We Love It: Because this is a European formula, it is manufactured with ingredients that come from farms strictly adhering to EU standards for organic farming (which I personally love).
- Ingredients: This formula for gassy colic babies includes organic skim milk, organic whey, organic vegetable oils, organic lactose, organic galacto-oligosaccharides, whey protein, fish oil, choline, mortierella alpina oil (ARA), and lactic acid probiotic culture.
Enfamil claims that this colic milk formula is clinically proven to reduce colic due to cow’s milk allergy within 48 hours. If your baby has a dairy allergy, this may be a great fit for your family.
- Cost: 12.6oz can for $34.99 or a 19.8oz can for $45.99 or a 27.8oz can for $58.99.
- Why We Love It: This is a lactose-free, hypoallergenic formula that contains LGG (lactobacillus rhamnosus GG), which is a gut-friendly bacteria. Additionally, it is the #1 pediatrician-recommended formula brand for cow’s milk allergy.
- Ingredients: Its ingredients include corn syrup solids, vegetable oil, modified casein hydrolysate, modified corn starch, mortierella alpina oil (ARA), schizochytrium sp. oil (DHA), and LGG.
This baby formula’s easy-to-digest proteins make it ideal for minimizing reflux symptoms and soothing colicky babies.
- Cost: A 19.5oz tub costs $29.99 and a 4-pack costs $116.99 dollars.
- Why We Like It: This colic formula contains MFGM (milk fat globule membrane), which is a component of breast milk that supports cognitive development.
- Ingredients: The formula is made with corn syrup solids, whey protein-lipid concentrate (milk), partially hydrolyzed nonfat milk and soy concentrate solids, vegetable oil, mortierella alpina oil (ARA), and schizochytrium sp. oil (DHA).
Neocate is one of the best baby formulas for infants with cow’s milk allergy, multiple food allergies, digestive issues, and related issues. It’s also one of the best formula for babies with colic, reflux, and gas.
- Cost: Four 14.1oz cans cost $167.50 dollars.
- Why We Like It: Not only is the formula itself dairy-free, but it is made in a dairy-free protein facility, making it a win-win for babies with lactose intolerance or cow’s milk allergy.
- Ingredients: The ingredients include corn syrup solids, refined vegetable oil (medium-chain triglycerides, high oleic sunflower oil, sunflower oil, canola oil), M. alpina oil (ARA), and C. cohnii oil (DHA).
This gentle formula is one of the best formulas for babies with gas and/or lactose sensitivity. However, something to note is that this formula is intended for babies over 1-year-old.
- Cost: One 12.7oz can is $14.99, a 6-pack is $89.94, and a 12-pack is $179.88 dollars.
- Why it’s special: This formula gets its DHA and ARA from organic egg yolks.
- Ingredients: The ingredients consist of organic brown rice syrup, organic milk protein concentrate, organic canola oil, organic high oleic oil, organic linoleic sunflower oil, and organic coconut oil.
Alfamino is some of the best formula for colic, as it is hypoallergenic, contains free amino acids, and is nutritionally complete. Essentially, this formula ensures your little ones have everything they need to grow into healthy babies, and it might be slightly easier to digest than most other formulas.
- Cost: You can get one 14.1oz can for $39.89, or you can purchase a 6-pack for $239.34.
- Why it’s special: Alfamino has a unique fat blend containing medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) to help babies with fat malabsorption.
- Ingredients: The ingredients include medium-chain triglycerides, corn syrup solids, vegetable oils, potato starch, L-arginine, L-aspartate, mortierella alpina oil (ARA), crypthecodinium cohnii oil (DHA), and choline bitartrate.
This reduced-lactose formula is designed specifically for babes with extreme fussiness, gas, or crying. Not only is it easier for tiny tummies to digest, but it is fortified with iron and contains ARA and DHA. Earth’s Best also makes a partially hydrolyzed formula which could be a better option if your baby has a diagnosed milk protein allergy.
- Cost: A 23.2oz can costs $31.99 dollars.
- Why We Love It: This reduced-lactose milk-based powder is easy to digest, making it great for colicky babies. It’s also USDA-certified organic and made with non-GMO ingredients.
- Ingredients: This colic baby formula contains organic glucose syrup solids, organic palm oil, organic whey protein concentrate, organic milk protein concentrate, organic soy oil, organic coconut oil, organic high oleic oil, mortierella alpina oil (ARA), and crypthecodinium cohnii oil (DHA).
This baby formula for colicky babies has the prebiotic 2’-FL HMO (human milk oligosaccharide) to support your baby’s immune system. Similac Colic Formula also boasts hydrolyzed whey protein (aka: partially broken down proteins) for easy digesting.
- Cost: 20.1oz tub for $29.99 or a pack of three 36oz cans for $121.49 dollars.
- Why We Love It: This baby formula features OptiGRO with DHA (docosahexaenoic acid, aka omega-3 fatty acids), lutein, and vitamin E that can boost brain development and eye health.
- Ingredients: This colic baby formula is made with corn maltodextrin, whey protein hydrolysate, high oleic safflower oil, sugar, soy oil, coconut oil, 2’-FL HMO, short-chain fructooligosaccharides, beta-carotene, lutein, crypthecodinium cohnii oil (for DHA), and mortierella alpina oil (for ARA, or arachidonic acid).
This soy-based infant formula is formulated especially for babies with lactose intolerance. So, if you’re looking for a formula to ease a cow’s milk protein allergy, Enfamil ProSobee is a great option.
- Cost: 12.9oz can for $21.99 or a 20.9oz can for $31.99.
- Why We Love It: This baby formula for colic is ideal for those following special dietary restrictions (Kosher or vegan diets).
- Ingredients: This baby formula is made with corn syrup solids, vegetable oil (coconut, palm, olein, soy, and high oleic sunflower oils), soy protein isolate, mortierella alpina oil (ARA), and crypthecodinium cohnii oil (DHA).
Gerber Good Start Soothe Pro is one of the best formulas for colic and acid reflux. If your little one is overly fussy, crying, passing gas, colicky, and spitting up, this formula might just be your saving grace.
- Cost: A 30.6oz can is $36.48 dollars.
- Why We Love It: This formula features a special blend of partially broken-down whey proteins, probiotics, and prebiotics to boost gut health and prevent gas, colic, and reflux.
- Ingredients: Gerber Good Start contains corn maltodextrin, whey protein concentrate, vegetable oils, L. reuteri dsm 17938 probiotic cultures, mortierella alpina oil (ARA), and crypthecodinium cohnii oil (DHA).
Parents can rest assured knowing that this hypoallergenic formula is a complete course of nutrition for little ones with a cow’s milk protein allergy. Of course, it is also lactose-free.
- Cost: One 14.1oz can is $26.47 dollars.
- Why it’s special: This formula contains 100% high-quality whey protein that has been broken down into smaller pieces. That way, it’s easy for tiny tummies to digest.
- Ingredients: This formula is made with corn maltodextrin, enzymatically hydrolyzed whey protein isolate (from cow’s milk), MCT oils (aka medium-chain triglycerides), vegetable oils, potato starch, M. alpina oil (ARA), corn syrup solids, C. cohnii oil (DHA), and B. lactis probiotic cultures.
EleCare is some of the best baby milk for colic and reflux because it is a nutritionally complete, amino-acid-based formula that is designed for infants who cannot tolerate intact or hydrolyzed protein.
- Cost: One can is $59.99 dollars.
- Why We Like It: EleCare is the
- Ingredients: The ingredients include corn syrup solids, high oleic safflower oil, medium-chain triglycerides, soy oil, and L-glutamine.
This is on my list for the best formula for colic and reflux because it has broken-down proteins and shorter fats (MCTs) that make it easy for delicate babes to digest.
- Cost: A 12.1oz can costs $28.99, a 19.8oz can costs $39.99, and four 19.8oz cans cost $167.99 dollars.
- Why We Like It: Its hypoallergenic qualities make it a wonderful option for babies with digestive issues and all sorts of allergies.
- Ingredients: This colic formula contains corn maltodextrin, casein hydrolysate, sugar, high oleic safflower oil, medium-chain triglycerides, soy oil, mortierella alpina oil (ARA), and crypthecodinium cohnii oil (DHA).
PurAmino hypoallergenic is ideal for nourishing babies with severe food allergies. Essentially, it is chock-full of all the important nutrients your babe might be missing out on if they are allergic to cow’s milk. They also have a toddler formula for colicky babies who need additional support as they get older.
- Cost: One 14.1oz can is $51.99 dollars.
- Why it’s special: This formula boasts the expert-recommended amount of DHA, which is an important nutrient for both brain and eye health.
- Ingredients: The ingredients consist of corn syrup solids, amino acids, high oleic sunflower oil, medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) oil, soy oil, and modified tapioca starch.
Colicky Baby FAQs
Below you will find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about colic:
While every colicky baby is different, colic symptoms typically begin when infants are about 3 weeks old and last until about the 3- or 4-month mark.
A hallmark of colic is that it usually occurs around the same time every day. While colic symptoms appear to come on suddenly, most babies get fussier in the evenings.
Technically speaking, colic is defined as a baby crying for at least 3 hours a day, for at least 3 days per week, lasting for at least 3 weeks.
To relieve your baby’s colic symptoms, try walking, rocking, or taking your baby for a car ride, as some respond well to movement. You could also give them a pacifier to suck on, rub their tummy, place them on their belly and pat their back, or plug in a white noise machine.
More Baby Formula Guides!
- Best Formula for Constipation
- Best Formula for Reflux
- Lactose Free Baby Formula
- Holle Formula Review
- Aussie Bubs Formula Review
- Best Hypoallergenic Baby Formulas
- Best A2 Baby Formula
Hopefully, this post helped you determine what the best formula for colic will be for you and your baby! As always, if you have more questions about colic, formula, or figuring out what’s best for your baby, leave a comment down below – I respond to every question I get!