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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Your Ultimate Guide to The Best Infant Formula

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If you are a parent looking for the right formula for your little one, it can be hard to figure out which formula is the best. There are so many options out there — it can be really confusing! That’s where this post comes in: this is your guide to the best infant formula. You’ll learn which formulas are the best, where to buy them, and what ingredients you should always try to avoid!

ultimate guide to the best infant formula

If you have come across this post, you are likely a parent of a little one. You might be a new mom who is struggling with breastfeeding, a dad who is trying to do some research to alleviate the burden on his partner, or a parent who has adopted, fostered, or done surrogacy and needs a healthy alternative to breastmilk.

While there is so much pressure on new parents (“breast is best” is so prevalent in our society today), the reality is that for a variety of completely valid reasons, exclusive breastfeeding might just not be working for you and your baby. The problem is, searching for the best infant formula can be tough because there are so many options out there! That’s where this post comes in. This is your Ultimate Guide to The Best Infant Formula for your little one.

ultimate guide to the best infant formula

As for which is the best infant formula, my research (which you can read in detail in this post) has led me to European formulas as being the cleanest, safest options for babies.

The Top 4 Best Infant Formulas On The Market Today

  1.  HiPP Dutch 
  2. HiPP PRE 
  3.  Lebenswert
  4. Holle PRE 

The Top 3 Best US-Made Formulas On The Market Today

If you’re looking to buy a US formula, I’d recommend:

  1.  Baby’s Only with Whey Protein 
  2.  Kabrita USA
  3.  Happy Baby

The Best Goat Milk Formulas

And if you’re looking to buy a Goat’s Milk formula, I’d recommend: Kabrita USA or Holle Goat (for more details on goat milk formula comparisons, you can read my post here). And if you’re trying to decide between Goat’s Milk or Cow’s Milk formula, my post comparing the two will be helpful for you!

The Best Hypoallergenic Infant Formulas

For hypoallergenic formula, I like HiPP HA and HiPP Comfort. I’d recommend HiPP Comfort over HiPP HA for babies with more severe lactose or milk protein allergies. You can see my post comparing all of the hypoallergenic baby formula options here.

Where to Purchase the Best Infant Formula

As for where to purchase European baby formulas, I’m in personal contact with the owners of all 5 of these companies: Organic Start, HuggableMy Organic Company,  Dutch Expat Shop (cheapest for HiPP Dutch), and Organic Baby Food, and I feel comfortable recommending them to you.

So if you are a new parent struggling to find a formula you feel good about – I hope this post helped you! And If you’re a new mom feeling stressed about breastfeeding, just know that you’re not alone. I didn’t have a great experience nursing either of my two kids – breastfeeding is something that didn’t come naturally to me with either baby. I would never be that mom who could just be comfortable and carefree nursing in public – it always felt like gymnastics trying to get my baby to latch properly and painlessly and stay on without getting distracted.

I remember shedding countless tears over the excruciating pain and pressure to nurse my first baby – only to feel like a failure when I couldn’t make it work the way I envisioned it would. Eventually I realized that supplementing with formula made me a much happier and healthier mom. I realized that a baby exclusively breastfed by a stressed out, constantly crying and anxious-about-nursing mom would not be better off than a happy, positive mom who supplements with formula. And since formulas like HiPP Dutch have such clean and amazing ingredients – I didn’t have to feel like I was feeding either of my kids “junk” instead of the “liquid gold” I was told should be their exclusive source of nutrition for their first year of life.

All of you know that I’m an advocate for healthy, all natural, whole foods. But I actually don’t believe that breast is best. Our society does not take care of new moms and new parents in the way that it should – the system isn’t set up to make “breast is best” easy and doable for many parents. In fact, the system almost works against new moms breastfeeding (case in point: no nationwide paid maternity leave policy). And for those reasons, I believe that FED is best, and that formula can be a perfectly healthy, viable and guilt-free option for your little one if needed. And believe it or not, the recent research shows that after the first month of life, for full term healthy babies, breastmilk and formula prove to be no different in terms of their long term effects!

This is all to say that if you are a new mom or a new parent choosing formula for your baby, I support you. And this post is meant to take a little bit of the stress off of new parenthood! If you have any questions about any of the formula options I’ve listed above, don’t hesitate to reach out to me – I answer every single question I get! Leave your questions in the comments below, or feel free to email me at pickyeats@gmail.com.

ultimate guide to the best infant formula

Please note that The Picky Eater is not responsible for the quality of the formula or the experience of ordering from any of these sellers listed in this post. Personally, based on my own research, if I were buying European formula for my own child, I would feel comfortable and confident ordering it from the retailers I’ve listed above.

10 responses to “Your Ultimate Guide to The Best Infant Formula”

  1. Thank you for your awesome informative blog! Wondering if you have any insight on our troubles… our son is 4 weeks and he was on Happy Baby (almost exclusively minus a bit of breastfeeding in the beginning) for the first 2-3 weeks. Around week 3 he began spitting up a lot and eventually vomiting (one time projectile)… he seems to have symptoms of reflux (arches back sometimes and looks u comfortable and in pain when passing gas). No fever and was pooping normal for first three weeks. Went to doc (who recommended Enfamil Gentleease), tried that for a few feedings and eventually bought Baby’s Only Lactorelief the next day due to better ingredients. He seemed to get worse after another day and a half and took
    Him to doc again yesterday and they then recommended Similac Alimentum, which smells like toxic waste and it pains me to give it to him due to the ingredients. They also gave us antacid drops. I ordered some Holle Goat Milk formula which should arrive this week and hoping that will help but curious given your knowledge if you have any thoughts or recommendations on alternative formulas to try. I am also considering HIPP Anti Reflux or possibly one of the HiPP HA ones but I’m not sure whether his problems are allergy based. 😊

    • Hi Kat! I’m so sorry to hear about your little one’s tummy troubles!! That must be so stressful! I guess the question is — how is he doing on Alimentum? If his symptoms disappeared once starting on Alimentum, then it likely is some sort of reflux/undiagnosed allergy issue. Holle Goat Milk is fine for babies who have trouble digesting cow’s milk but will not work for a baby with an actual allergy, and likely won’t do much to treat reflux (especially since Holle Goat Milk has a whey-casein ratio that is not similar to breastmilk, so it has a tendency to constipate some babies). If he is doing well on the Alimentum but you want something comparable with better ingredients, I’d go with HiPP HA, and if that doesn’t work I’d try HiPP Comfort — which is the most “broken down” European formula available. HiPP AR is specifically for reflux only, but not necessarily hypoallergenic, so you could try that if Alimentum isn’t giving him any relief in his reflux symptoms. Whenever you do switch formulas, I’d recommend doing it slowly over a period of 1 week where you gradually increase the new formula and decrease the old one — so that it doesn’t “shock” his system too much. Hope that helps and I hope you find something that works soon!

  2. Would you say Honest and HappyBaby are now equal with the updated ingredients, or do you feel that HappyBaby still has a slight edge? Also, do you read much into CleanLabel Project when selecting a formula, or not necessary? Thank you!

    • Hi Jessica! I think HappyBaby still has a slight edge because they use non-hexane extracted DHA in their formula and I believe Honest Co still uses hexane extracted DHA – it’s a small difference though so they are really identical otherwise. I don’t really look at the CleanLabel project when selecting organic baby formula since the risk of things like heavy metals in organic formula is low, and all of the formulas I recommend are already rated highly on the Clean Label project’s site! Organic pre-made baby food is a different story, and I do look at the Clean Label project’s analysis for the baby food pouches I recommend in this post. Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

  3. Hi I’m a new mom and breastfeeding trying to go back to work and my baby is very picky. I’ve tried three formulas alreadyband she wont drink them. I’m trying to pick a formula for her to drink ; what should I Give her?

    • Hi Mira! I’m not sure which formulas you’ve already tried, but I’d recommend going with HiPP, which is the closest formula I’ve seen to breastmilk and most babies do really well on it. Hope that helps! The transition to formula is always a little challenging, but just keep at it and eventually your baby will accept HiPP once she gets used to it!

    • I’m so glad Lindsay! I don’t have a post specifically about transitioning to cow’s milk, but I generally just recommend parents switch to Organic, Whole Cow’s Milk at 12 months. Most babies who have tasted formula end up loving cow’s milk and there’s no issue with just switching cold turkey. That’s what I did with both of my kids – one day they had all formula, the next day all cow’s milk and it was totally fine. For babies who have never tasted formula and are EBF for the entire first year of life, they might struggle a bit more and may require a slower transition (e.g. mixing some cow’s milk with breastmilk for a while until they get used to the flavor of cow’s milk). But otherwise you could just make the switch and see how your little one reacts! Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

  4. My daughters little boy is 10 months old – he refuses to let her feed him – he eats all kinds of table food really well – the problem is he isn’t nursing very well anymore and will not take bottle of formula – he is waking up 2 to 3 X’s a night – she is not sure if he is hungry – sometimes in the middle of the night he will drink a 4 oz bottle of formula. They eat supper around 6:30 and goes to bed around 7 – she nurses him before night bedtime.
    Any ideas?

    • Hi Julie! This is really common once babies get used to solid food – oftentimes they will just prefer food over milk and won’t get enough milk during the day! There is also the 9/10 month sleep regression, which might be going on here as well. Did he used to sleep through the night and is now waking up all of a sudden? Or has he always been waking up, but now it’s just more often? Also – I’d be curious to know how much milk (approximately in oz) he’s getting during the day and how much solid food he’s eating (and what he’s eating). Those are all factors that would help determine whether he’s actually hungry or is just waking up for comfort, or because of the sleep regression or something else! I work with parents on this in a 1:1 capacity so I’m happy to chat more over the phone if needed! Feel free to email me at pickyeats@gmail.com if you (or your daughter) needs more support with this!

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