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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 Ann Arbor, MI!); 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!

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What’s The Best Organic Formula For Your Baby?

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Note: I update this post monthly to ensure that all of the information below is recent and accurate! Read on to find the best organic formula for your baby!
the best organic formula for your baby. healthy baby formula, best organic baby formulaWe’ve all heard the advice: “Breast is best.” Exclusively breastfeed until your baby is 1 year old. Nurse on demand. Formula is “poison.” For a few moms, that advice is easy to follow: they had a natural birth, had so much milk they could donate it, breastfeeding was pain-free, and their baby latched effortlessly. And while I wish it were that easy, unfortunately for many moms, it’s not.

Breastfeeding is HARD. Not hard as in “oh this is hard I don’t feel like doing it,” but hard as in: my baby won’t latch; I have low milk supply; my baby isn’t gaining weight; I physically can’t breastfeed because I have a health condition; my nipples are sore/bleeding/cracked/blistered; I’m in excruciating pain; I have no place to pump at work; I have mastitis; I’ve seen x# of lactation consultants and I’m still having problems nursing; etc.

Since I’ve had Layla, I’ve gotten a bunch of questions from new moms about breastfeeding, baby food, and what formulas – if any – are safe and healthy for their little ones. For me, nursing was one of the most physically and emotionally challenging parts of new motherhood. Many of the early days ended in tears over it. But because I had a decent supply (and I knew many moms who didn’t have enough/any milk at all), I decided to stick with it. It was difficult and challenging every day, but I nursed and pumped for the first 6 months, started weaning around 6.5 months and fully weaned by 7.5/8 months. There was no way I was going to make it to a year, and I was ok with that.

I know a lot of moms feel guilt over weaning early, or not being able to breastfeed as much a they’d like – but honestly, whatever makes you a better, happier mom is what you should do. If you love breastfeeding, great! But if you need to supplement or switch to formula, that’s ok too. The most important thing is the love you give to your baby, and that you and your baby are happy and healthy.

And so, since I knew I was going to need formula for Layla once I weaned, I did a ton of research trying to find the healthiest formula on the market today, and ended up finding a wonderful, healthy formula that I felt good about giving Layla (more on that in a sec!)

Disclaimers before we start:

** Organic formulas are more expensive than regular formula. I realize that not every parent has the financial means to buy organic formula for their little ones, and that is ok! If you don’t have the means, just do what you can for your baby. No judgments here.

** Not every baby likes every formula. Some formulas constipate some babies. Again, if you try the formulas I recommend and they don’t work for your baby – that’s ok too!

** I am advocating a world of no judgments when it comes to breastfeeding or formula feeding. All you can do as a mom is your best. Whether you breastfeed for a year, or 6 months or 1 month, or 0 months doesn’t make you a better or worse mother. A happy healthy mom and happy healthy baby is all that matters.

Now – here it is: a breakdown of all of the organic baby formulas on the market, and which ones are the best. 

What I learned in my research is that the US doesn’t have very strict standards when it comes to organic baby formula. Ingredients that really shouldn’t be in baby formula appear all the time in many organic brands.

The ingredients that shouldn’t appear in organic formula (as outlined by the National Organic Standards Board and are banned in the EU) include:

1) Processed Refined Sugars (Syrup, Syrup Solids) – corn syrup (glucose syrup solids), maltodextrin (a partially hydrolyzed starch derived from corn, rice, or potatoes), sugar, or brown rice syrup. Manufacturers use these because they are cheaper than lactose (which is what should be in formula).

2) Synthetic DHA and ARA – DHA and ARA are naturally found in breastmilk, but the DHA and ARA added to formula are extracted from algae and fungus, often using hexane (a neurotoxic petroleum-based solvent). The National Organic Standards Board has guidelines against this, but the USDA still allows it in organic formulas sold in the US. The issue of hexane in formula is a complicated one — and I have more details about that below!

3) Synthetic Preservatives – ascorbic palmitate and beta carotene are the common ones here.

4) Synthetic Nutrients – this includes lutein, lycopene, nucleotides, taurine, l-carnitine and l-methionine. These are banned in formulas in the EU, but are allowed in the US (go figure). I won’t go into details on each nutrient listed above, but essentially – many are processed with neurotoxic solvents or are either themselves listed as a toxic ingredient.

Note: Palm Oil is in most formulas (EU & US), but it can form “soaps” in the baby’s intestines – which can cause digestive issues/gas/etc. However, I’d still choose palm oil over the alternative some formulas that don’t have palm oil use – which is soy oil, because of this study about soy that makes it problematic. 

Unfortunately, almost every single formula in the US market has one or more of these ingredients included. Even the EU formulas have Palm Oil (but they have less of it than the US formulas, and so it doesn’t cause digestive issues). That being said, organic formula is still better than conventional formula – because at least organic formula is made with non-GMO ingredients and the cows producing the milk are hormone free.

So what’s a mom to do? Order your formula online from the EU if you can! Hipp Organic and Holle are the two best infant formulas out there. 

the best organic formula for your baby. healthy baby formula, best organic baby formula

Hipp Organic, Lebenswert, and Holle Organic are three brands from the EU that have wonderful ingredient lists for their formulas. HiPP is the best, in my opinion and Lebenswert is a close second. I used HiPP for Layla, and it worked great for us.

For HiPP: You can see the ingredients here, For Lebenswert: you can see the ingredients here, and For Holle: you can see the ingredients here.

To buy either HiPP, Lebenswert, or Holle online, I have found a couple online retailers who are either based in the US or ship to the US in a reliable and safe manner!

My top three online retailers for all European baby formula are: Organic Start, BabyKindMarket, and Organic Baby Food. And my top online retailer for HiPP Dutch is Dutch Expat Shop!

Organic Start is an amazing, reliable, reputable, online retailer based in the US who has fast & FREE shipping! I have spoken with Peter, the owner of Organic Start, multiple times over the past year and after researching him and his business thoroughly, I feel confident in recommending Organic Start as a resource for purchasing HiPP, Lebenswert, and Holle in the US. Peter is a father of triplets who is passionate about making the best European formulas available in the US. Organic Start also sells Topfer, Goat Milk Formula, Anti-Reflux, and Hypoallergenic Formula. After working with Peter over the past couple years, I can confidently say that formulas purchased from Organic Start are safe, authentic, and reliable. Note: If you’re looking to buy HiPP UK, HiPP Dutch, HiPP GermanyHolleLebenswert or Holle Goat Formula in BULK (with a bulk discount!) I highly recommend Organic Start Wholesale. (The wholesale arm of Organic Start). Organic Start is offering a 10% off discount for their retail site, using the code PICKY10 – can be used twice per person and it never expires!

DutchExpatShop is pretty awesome because they are the most affordable online retailer for HiPP Dutch! Many of you have struggled with HiPP Dutch being out of stock, and DutchExpatShop pretty much guarantees that they will always have HiPP Dutch at an affordable price to ship to the US. They are based in the Netherlands, and they also have the widest selection of Baby Care products from the Netherlands that I’ve seen. The cool thing about their shop is that you can pretty much get any products from Holland and Belgium through their site (like even stuff for mama like yummy snacks, fresh cheesesbeauty products, body care and more!)

BabyKindMarket is a second reputable online seller based in the US who offers free shipping on all orders over $25 (which is a very low threshold to hit!) They’re never out of stock of HiPP Dutchand they offer all of the Holle, Lebenswert, HiPP, and Goat Milk formulas available in the EU. They also offer a whole line of baby care products from the EU including lotions, body wash, sunscreen and more!

Organic Baby Food is another reputable, online retailer based in the EU who has fast shipping to the US! They sell HiPP, Lebenswert, and Hollealong with Hypoallergenic formula and Goat’s Milk formula. They have reasonable prices, reliable shipping (within 1-3 business days!), amazing customer support and I have been in contact with the owner personally. In addition to baby formula they also have a variety of organic cereals and snacks for babies from HiPP/Holle/Leb, as well as a line of baby care products (shampoo, lotion, calendula) that are gentle and free of any synthetic ingredients so they are perfect for babies! A few other great things about this company: guaranteed delivery within 2 days, money back if your shipment is delayed, dedicated customer support (a few hours turnaround time for emails or direct phone support at 1-800-701-4303), and deep discounts up to 60% off sometimes! They are also giving readers of The Picky Eater a 10% off coupon code at checkout – just use the code: PICKY and you will get the discount!

One new option for Goat Milk formulas that I recommend is Kabrita USA. Kabrita has a new formulation that is now available nationwide – in stores like Costco, Walmart, Whole Foods, and on their website! The new formulation has NO glucose syrup solids, no taurine or l-carnitine, AND has GOS (a prebiotic) added. The new formulation makes Kabrita the best Goat Milk formula out there – better than Holle Goat! It’s cheaper than Holle, available in the US, European sourced, non-GMO, no Palm Oil (they use palmitic oil instead), no maltodextrin, easier to digest than Holle — Kabrita’s whey/casein ratio is very close to breastmilk, while Holle’s isn’t and I have heard that babies who struggle with constipation do better on Kabrita. I’m actually ranking it as a “1” on the chart below, because it is the best goat milk formula out there. Also, Kabrita is offering 10% off all orders with the coupon code GENTLEKABRITA.

I’m in personal contact with the owners of all 5 of these companies: Organic Start (and Organic Start Wholesale), Dutch Expat Shop,  BabyKindMarketOrganic Baby Food, and Kabrita USA and I feel comfortable recommending all of them to you.

Here is a chart of the organic baby formulas out there, outlining which have the ingredients above. The chart is ranked from best to worst formula. At the top of the chart I’ve included a hypothetical line for the “ideal” formula – so you have something to measure all of the other formulas against.

Note: I update this post frequently – this chart is as of April 2018. All updates are listed in detail (by date) below the chart as well! 

For anyone looking for a goat milk formula specifically, I have a separate chart in this post that outlines the best goat milk formula for your baby!

The Bottom Line:

** There is no perfect formula, but some are still much better than others.

** Baby’s Only with Whey is probably the best in the US (that you can buy at your local grocery store)

** If you can afford it, shipping your formula from Europe is the absolute best way to go, and HiPP or Lebenswert are the best formulas out there!

** Regarding Hexane-extracted DHA and ARA, I have gotten confirmation that both HiPP and Topfer use hexane-extracted DHA/ARA – but they both claim that 100% of the hexane is removed after extraction and it is not detectable in their formulas. Given that these are European formulas and the guidelines in Europe are much more stringent than the US guidelines, I’m inclined to believe them.

** Regarding GrassFed and PureBliss – they are not organic formulas, but they are non GMO and antibiotic free, and their ingredients list is relatively clean, which is why I have added them at the bottom here as they are available in the US and are better than all of the non-organic formulas available in the US today. More details on how they can be non GMO and grass fed but NOT organic are below in the 4/6/17 Update!

Recommendations on Supplementing: DHA, Vitamin D, Probiotics

I have gotten a lot of questions about what to supplement with if your baby is on a formula that doesn’t have DHA added, what probiotic to use, or what to do if your baby is getting some breastmilk along with their formula (in which case you need to add Vitamin D). Here are my top picks for baby supplements:

Vitamin D: I absolutely love these Baby Vitamin D Drops. There is literally nothing added to them (no flavors, colors, etc.). They are liquid and you only need one drop in your baby’s bottle per day. You can also just apply the drop on your baby’s pacifier, on your nipple (if you’re nursing), or on your finger and have your baby suck it off. Super easy, tasteless and pure.

DHA: The only Omega 3 supplement I’d recommend for kids is Nordic Naturals. They have an infant DHA supplement and a children’s DHA supplement – both of which are extremely pure, have no added preservatives or sugar, and are in liquid form so they can be added to just about anything!

ProbioticsI love Garden of Life’s line of probiotics – they are shipped cold and their infant/kids one can be added to your baby’s bottle (starting at 3 months of age), and can be used even when your child gets older (just add the powder to their milk). For infants 0-3 months of age, I recommend BioGaia’s probiotic. They also have a kids’ chewable probiotic if you need and option that doesn’t require refrigeration, and I take their adult capsule daily.

More Info on Hexane Extracted DHA/ARA in Formula:

I spoke with an expert who has her BS in Biology with a minor in Chemistry, who worked in an organic chemistry lab for 2 years and worked with many solvents used in extractions, compound purification, and analysis, and then went on to get an MS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. She is extremely knowledgable when it comes to hexane and extraction methods, so I asked her for her thoughts on how concerned we should be about hexane-extracted DHA/ARA in formula. Here is the summary: 

  • Hexane is often used as extraction solvent for extracting fats. This is because it has a low boiling point when compared to most fats, which makes it easy to get rid of post-extraction – leaving the fat behind.
  • To get rid of Hexane, chemists use a large apparatus called a “rotary vap” that gets rid of the solvents and you end up with a pure powder substance (usually a chemical compound). The next step is to check the purity of the compound using a machine called an NMR or MS, which tells you whether you have any of your solvent left.
  • This woman told me that she never, ever found an issue with having hexane still present after drying her sample.
  • Since formulas are a powder, they are heated to the point of water removal, and therefore the hexane should be all gone. It is unlikely that hexane is left in properly treated formula, but you are placing trust in the formula and manufacturing industry that all formula is being properly prepared.
  • Note: All oils that don’t have a cold-pressed process are extracted using hexane – this includes corn oil, soy oil, vegetable oil, etc. (unless otherwise specified on the bottle). Hexane is also used during the development process for drugs – many drugs are purified in a hexane solvent and then it is dried off. So if you are going to question hexane, you need to be aware of the other areas where it is used in our regular food and drug supply!
  • When it comes to being concerned about hexane vs. other questionable ingredients in organic formulas – maltodextrin, soy oil, etc., I’d be more concerned about maltodextrin vs. hexane extracted DHA. This is because maltodextrin’s glycemic index is much higher than table sugar and I personally believe a lot of issues today come from sugar and inflammation, and even when hexane is used it should be gone by the time the formula is packaged.
  • Unfortunately, there is no formula out there that doesn’t have at least one of the “offending” ingredients I have listed above! For me personally, I would choose hexane-extracted DHA over maltodextrin or soy oil for example. This is because soy oil is also extracted using hexane, and maltodextrin has an extremely high glycemic index. In addition, formulas that contain soy oil or maltodextrin are 100% guaranteed to contain these ingredients, versus hexane which is likely not traceable in a formula that has used it as a method to extract DHA/ARA before the formula has been prepared!

The Ranking As of August 2018:

#1 | HiPP (prefer the Dutch version of HiPP – which you can also get at DutchExpatShopor HiPP PRE or Lebenswert or Holle PRE or Kabrita USA (if you want a Goat Milk Formula)

#2 | Baby’s Only with Whey Protein

#3 | Topfer or BabyLove or Regular Holle

#4 | Holle Goat or Happy Baby or Honest Co

#4 |  Plum Organics

#5 | Baby’s Only with Brown Rice Syrup

… and then the rest of the list!

US Only Formulas Ranked!

I’ve gotten a lot of questions on how I’d rank just the US-made formulas (for folks who can’t afford or don’t want to buy from the EU). For just the US formulas, I’d rank them as follows.

#1 | Baby’s Only with Whey Protein or Kabrita USA

#2 | Happy Baby or Honest Co

#3 | Plum Organics

#4 | Baby’s Only with Brown Rice Syrup (which also has a version with DHA/ARA added)

#5 | Earth’s Best

Detailed Updates by Date Below!

Update as of 1/24/19: Honest Co. has improved the ingredients in their formula!! Yay!! They no longer use glucose syrup solids or taurine, and have added prebiotics. Because of this they jumped a bunch of places on the list and are now comparable with Happy Baby!

Update as of 12/31/18: I have added two reputable retailers to my site who I have been able to communicate with and understand the ins and outs of their company! The first is DutchExpatShop – the cheapest seller of HiPP Dutch that I’ve found. And the second is BabyKindMarket – a reputable online seller based in the US who offers free shipping on all orders over $25! Also, if you’re looking for a Facebook group about baby formula, I’d recommend this particular Facebook group that’s meant as an unbiased discussion forum for baby formula in a supportive, non-judgmental manner.

Update as of 3/15/15: The Honest Company just came out with an Organic Baby Formula – that, in my opinion, is now the best option for an Organic formula made in the US. The first two ingredients in the formula are similar to HiPP (Organic Non Fat Milk, Organic Lactose) — but then the third ingredient is “Organic Glucose Syrup Solids,” which is not great but still better than Baby’s Only (which has “brown rice syrup” as the first ingredient). The Honest Co. formula is still not better than Holle or HiPP, but is better than all of the other US formulas out there.

Update as of 5/25/15: Baby’s Only just came out with a Whey Protein Formula that now is probably the best option for an Organic formula in the US. Nutritionally, it seems much better than the original Baby’s Only formula with brown rice syrup. Some things to note: 1) It looks like the nucleotides in this formula aren’t added synthetically – that Baby’s Only just discloses that all milk proteins have naturally occurring nucleotides – in which case that seems ok. 2) They do have organic soybean oil and soy lecithin in their formula 3) They don’t have palm oil (like HiPP does) in the formula or glucose syrup solids (like the Honest Company’s formula) which is great. This makes Baby’s Only with Whey a pretty great option – and might be the best option in the US since it doesn’t have glucose syrup solids like the Honest Company’s formula does. Between HiPP, Holle and Baby’s Only with Whey, it’s a bit of a toss up between whether you’d rather have soybean oil or palm oil in your baby’s formula. I might still go with Hipp or Holle first, and then Baby’s Only with Whey Protein, and then the Honest Company’s formula in the US. Note: Holle also has a new formula called Lebenswert – which doesn’t have maltodextrin (for stage 1; it does for stage 2/3).

Update as of 3/31/16: Plum Organics just released a formula which is a great option for Organic formula in the US! It doesn’t have any syrup solids (yay!) and it has a combination of 4 oils (coconut and high oleic sunflower – which are great; and palm/soybean oil – not as great). Between Plum Organics and Baby’s Only with Whey – I think they are both great options for a formula you can purchase in the US. Baby’s Only with Whey might be slightly better because they don’t have palm oil, but honestly I’d say they are pretty comparable.

Update as of 4/30/16: Honest Co. is being sued because their formula contains Taurine and other ingredients that really shouldn’t be in organic formula. The problem is, those ingredients are considered OK by the FDA and the same ingredients are in many of the organic formulas available in the US (like Earth’s Best and Baby’s Only with Brown Rice Syrup)! That’s why I recommend the European formulas over any formula in the US – the EU formulas have the cleanest list of ingredients by far. I hope the FDA changes their standards on what ingredients are considered acceptable for organic formulas – depending on how the suit turns out I’ll update this list accordingly!

Update as of 6/21/16: I just found out about a German formula available in the US called “BabyLove“. The ingredients look great, are really in line with HiPP and Holle – and are a great option for your baby! The only ingredient on their list that I’m not sure about is “sweet whey powder” – I’m not sure if that is lactose, or if that’s added sugars. The company claims that their formula has no added sugars, but I haven’t found any more information than that. Either way, the rest of the ingredients look pretty comparable to HiPP or Holle so I’m adding it as a #3 option for your little one!

Update as of 7/23/16: HiPP UK has changed its ingredients for its Stage 2 formulas (they now include soy). BUT – the Dutch version of HiPP still has high quality ingredients and no soy. Also, a new formula called Topfer just came out, and their ingredients are very comparable to HiPP or Holle Leb! I’d definitely recommend their formula!

Update as of 11/4/16: Earth’s Best has recently changed the ingredients in their formula — they no longer use syrup solids as the sugar! Now they use lactose. That’s definitely an improvement! They have FOS (which is a prebiotic sourced from sucrose – so it’s not bad), and they still have palm oil, taurine, etc. on their ingredients list but getting rid of the syrup solids is a big plus.

Update as of 1/10/17: Regarding hexane extracted DHA in formula – this is what I’ve found to be true: Baby’s Only with Whey Protein has confirmed that the DHA in their formula is NOT extracted using hexane. As for the DHA in HiPP, their company statement says: “HiPP Infant milks use natural sources of DHA and ARA, derived from fish oils.”

Update as of 4/6/17: There are a few new formulas coming out (or that have just come out!) Happy Baby in the US, PureBliss by Similac, and GrassFed by Munchkin. HappyBaby is a decent option in the US – I’d rank it after Regular Holle (the chart above is updated!). GrassFed and PureBliss both have decent ingredients (the only “offending” ingredients are Soy Oil and Taurine) but they are not certified organic. Both say that their formulas are made with 100% Grass Fed Cow Milk, have no antibiotics and are non GMO – but they are not organic. This is likely because in some capacity, >5% of their ingredients by mass were not sourced-organic. Also, you can feed cows grass that has been sprayed with non-organic pesticides and it’s still considered “grass fed” but it wouldn’t be considered organic. They mention that the cows are GMO, rBGH and antibiotic free, but do not address the grass itself, so that might be another reason why it’s not organic. I have kept them on the list at the bottom because their ingredients are pretty good (you can read about GrassFed’s ingredients here), and are better than some of the other formulas in the US that are on the market today, but they can’t be considered “organic formulas.”

Update as of 7/1/17: Many of you have asked me questions about the FDA’s recent crackdown on US-based sellers of European formula. This is happening because the FDA does not allow sellers to buy formula in Europe and sell it here in the US under a US business name. The formula has to come directly from Europe. It is 100% legal to order formula from Europe for personal use. If your order is less than $800, you will not be charged duty. It’s important to use reputable sites who know international shipping declarations so that your package of formula doesn’t encounter problems when arriving in the US! That’s why I highly recommend Organic Start (or Organic Start Wholesale) and Organic Baby Food, because they are familiar with these declarations and will get your formula to you without any delays or issues.

Update as of 4/1/18: There is a new Goat Milk formula that has recently come out – from Kabrita USA. Their Goat Milk formula has lactose and whey as the primary ingredients, palmitic oil instead of palm oil, and no glucose syrup solids in the newest formulation! I have also heard that it’s better than Holle Goat for babies who struggle with constipation. Currently their formula is labeled as a “toddler formula,” but their formula does meet the FDA’s nutrient requirements for an infant formula and I’ve heard that infants do well on it. Kabrita USA is moving through the required steps (laid out by the FDA) to be marketed and sold explicitly in the US as infant formula as well!

Update as of 4/10/18: Many of you have mentioned that HiPP Dutch can be out of stock from time to time and have asked for the next best thing. If you don’t want to use Lebenswert or Holle PRE, another great option is HiPP PRE! It’s basically identical in ingredients to HiPP Dutch, so it’s the perfect replacement when needed.

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865 responses to “What’s The Best Organic Formula For Your Baby?”

  1. What a wonderful, informative post. It reminds me of The Food Babe’s post on organic formula, which was similar and also helpful.

    I know this post is about formula, just wanted to note that most women can avoid what’s referred to as “low milk supply” by following certain tips in the first few days/first week of their baby’s life. I wrote a post on this recently: Stanford also has some great video resources for brand new moms who want to help establish their supply:

    Thanks again for this thorough formula info. Passing it along to a few friends!

    • Thank you so much Amelia! And thanks for the breastfeeding info too. You’re right that I’m focusing on formula for this post because I’ve found that there are a lot of resources out there regarding breastfeeding, but very few around which formula might be the best/healthiest or how to navigate the world of “breast is best” when you’re having difficulty nursing. I have met some moms that tried everything (including seeing multiple LCs and many of the suggestions in your post) but still had a lot of difficulty nursing and producing enough milk. Or moms who couldn’t do many of those things because their babies were in the NICU, etc. Nursing is such a different experience for every person, and I’m trying to provide a supportive environment for whatever any mom decides! Basically my perspective is: If you love nursing or have figured out a way to make it work for you (pumping, etc.), that’s great! But if you have tried everything and it’s just not working for you, or if you need to wean before 1 year is up, that’s ok too. I’m so glad you found this post helpful though – and thanks for passing it along!

      • Thank you so much for all of this great information!!! You are exactly right–there are so few resources out there as to which formula is the healthiest choice when breastfeeding isn’t going the way we want. As the daughter of a lactation consultant and an RN myself, I needed no convincing that “breast is best.” I had no intention of ever giving my child formula. Sadly, I apparently have insufficient glandular tissue and can only make about half of what my baby needs daily. I tried everything…I had a live-in lactation consultant (my mom) for the first two weeks, I pumped after every feed beginning in the first two weeks, breast massage, oatmeal, lactation cookies, herbs and teas of various kinds…the increase was minimal. While I know that there’s no other choice but supplement, I still had feelings of inadequacy, feeling that I was already letting my baby down by not being able to feed her. After eating organic as much as possible during pregnancy, avoiding tuna, and switching to organic and nontoxic cleaning products and bath products, there’s no way I want to be feeding my child those things in her bottle. Thanks so much for wading through this information and putting it out there for us! I feel better knowing that there are some not-so-bad options out there.

        • Hi Anna! Thank you so much for sharing your experience! I’m so sorry to hear that you struggled so much to produce enough milk in the beginning – that must have been so stressful and emotional for you. I hope you aren’t feeling inadequate (or that you’re letting your baby down) anymore! The effort you put in to try to give her as much milk as possible is what makes you an amazing mom 🙂 You are doing the best you can and there is no shame in that! I’m glad this post was helpful for you – and I hope your little one likes whichever formula you choose! Good luck and let me know if you have any questions about any of the options out there!

    • I really enjoyed reading all the information you have put together. However, the Baby’s Only Whey Protein is intended for toddlers and not infants. Therefore that eliminates this formula for us. I contacted the company and they indeed said it is to be used for children 12 months and up.

        • Baby’s only advertises towards toddlers because they believe that infants should solely be given breastmilk and promote that on all products

          • That is good to know Vanessa! I thought Baby’s Only should be suitable for infants as well as toddlers, and this confirms it 🙂 Thanks for the tip!

            • I just contacted the company about this as well, and they said that they are approved per AAP, but cannot recommend under 1 year old due to “government regulations by FDA”. Not sure what that means, but it seems silly to me that they are only marketing Toddler formula. They did say that you could ask your pediatrician for approval on use for infants.. but I’m just going to use a different formula (Grass Fed).

              • Thanks Sara! That is interesting and definitely helpful! I think basically because they have a bit more iron in their formula than a typical infant formula, they don’t meet FDA regulations as an infant formula. But I know many many mothers who use Baby’s Only with Whey for their infants and it works just fine! You could definitely ask your pediatrician – if your peds says that Baby’s Only with Whey is going to be fine for your <1 year old, I’d go ahead and use it. Grass Fed is good but just a heads up – they are not organic. They are non GMO and antibiotic free, but they don’t meet the USDA organic standards because >5% of their ingredients are not sourced organically, and pesticides can be used on the grass their cows graze on. It’s still a better option than all of the other non-organic US formulas, but I just wanted to give you a heads up in case a 100% organic formula is important to you!

            • Hi Anjali, This blog is so helpful. I’ve been using Hipp Dutch Stage1 since reading it and my son is thriving. He’s about to turn 6 months old, do you recommend going to Hipp Dutch Stage 2? Or should I stay on Stage 1 until 12 months old? Thanks in advance for your help.

              • Hi Daniela! So glad you’ve found this post helpful! You can definitely switch your 6 month old to HiPP Dutch Stage 2 now — the main difference between Stage 1 and 2 is that Stage 2 has more iron, which is needed for babies older than 6 months (since that’s when they lose their iron stores). That said, if you have some extra Stage 1 boxes you need to use up there’s no harm in keeping him on Stage 1 for a bit longer, especially if he’s doing well on solids and getting iron from food. Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

    • I breastfed my baby girl for 3 months when I decided to give her formula I couldn’t have made a better choice than Holle organic formula. The product is great, its gentle easy for my baby to digest, it doesn’t have the weird smell of regular formula, it tastes good and you can even see the difference in the baby’s stools. I’m so glad to have found that made it affordable and accessible!

    • Thank you so much for this post. It’s really helpful!

      Holle lebenswert formula was a life saver! Had tried all the American formulas and between fighting colic and then no dirty diaper and screaming from hunger, diaper changes, and the white volcano I was truly desperate. After a week on this formula my son is a different baby, happy, normal diaper changes and eating like a horse. I would highley recommend this product to any parent struggling with feeding issues. I am supplementing breast feeding with this formula.
      God bless and good luck to all the parents out there, and many thanks to to making the purchase of this possible.

      • Thanks so much for sharing your experience Sonja! So glad Holle Leb has worked for you and your little one! 🙂

        • I tried ordering off of this website. The formula was about $28 but the shipping was $32 additional (and 3 weeks to arrive). Do you know of any other locations with cheaper shipping (I live in Oregon) to purchase the Holle formula?

          Thank you for this post – I always thought Organic Formula, regardless of brand was fine, since it was Organic. I gave Organic Similac to my first 2 babies (could only breastfeed a short time). I recently heard something about that brand being “the worst” of the organic formulas so I wanted to do some research, and found your blog. Such great information! I just can’t afford to pay $60/container of formula. Baby #3 is due in a few weeks – so was hoping to have just 1 container on hand if/when needed. Thanks!

          • Hi Erin! I totally understand about how confusing organic baby formulas in the US can be! I’m glad you found this post helpful 🙂 Thanks for sharing your experience trying to order from OrganicBabyFood and the high shipping costs. That’s why in this post I only recommend two sellers of Holle: 1) Organic Munchkin and My Organic Formula. Both Organic Munchkin and My Organic Formula offer FREE shipping to anywhere in the US no matter how many boxes you’re ordering 🙂 I’d highly recommend ordering from either of them! Hope that helps, and let me know if you have any other questions or have any issues ordering from either of these two vendors! Congrats on Baby #3 as well! 🙂

          • Hi there, i live in New Zealand and love Holle’s Lebenswert for my baby.I have tried both Holle demeter and lebenswert Bioland milk. Both are Holle products but different organic certification and different price too.I prefer Lebenswert. I order from which is a fantastic website. The price is the best i have found so far and shipping only takes usually 10 days from germany to NZ. Customer service is second to none. I wouldn’t have been afford organic either had it not been for this website. Its worth the hassle to order through them.The price i pay with them comes to the same or less for what i would pay for slightly premium formulas in NZ.Hope this helps.

            • Thanks Payal! This is a good resource for ordering European Baby Formula in New Zealand! Thanks so much for sharing!

          • Extremely happy with Fantastic service, free shipping, products arrived in great condition and are 100% authentic! I ordered a couple boxes from a US based supplier first to make sure baby liked it. I then ordered from there and even with shipping costs saved compared to the US supplier. 1 box makes more ounces than 1 can of the Similiac I was using. I ordered the 15 box bundle and it comes out to $0.12 per ounce (with shipping) and I was paying $0.20 per ounce for Similiac. So glad I made the switch, only wish I had done it sooner.

    • Obviously women who are going to such great lengths to find healthy formulas have exhausted all other options… Thank you Anjali on behalf of mothers like me who used multiple lactation consultants, saw specialists, pumped around the clock, read every article and blog post about making EBF work, and endured great physical and emotional pain before being forced to use formula to keep my baby ALIVE. I so appreciate the time and effort you put into this. And so does my sweet, healthy, formula fed baby boy.

      • Thank you SO much for your kind words Ashley!! That’s exactly why I wrote this post. There is so much unnecessary, unwarranted stress and pressure for moms to EBF – and then if nursing isn’t working out, the ridiculous shaming around “you haven’t tried hard enough” – which is completely unfair and not helpful at all! I am so glad you switched to formula – it sounds like it was absolutely the right decision for you, and so happy your baby is doing so well with it! Good for you for doing what was best for you and your son. You are doing great mama!

  2. Great post! My son has just turned six months and we are trying to incorporate a lot of solids into his diet. I am curious to know what type/brand of cereal you feed Layla. I have made your avocado puree and my son gobbles it up like a champ! Great recipes!

    • Thanks so much Shwetha! I’m so glad my baby food recipes are working for you too! I use Earth’s Best organic oatmeal cereal for Layla. Eventually I’ll just end up grinding up rolled oats and giving it to her, but I like Earth’s Best for right now because it’s fortified with iron which babies older than 6 months need. Hope that helps!

  3. I was looking for formula last year to supplement bf my 6 month old. I used Holle and was worth every penny!! My baby did not react to it or have any digestive issues. I wish it was readily available here!

    I ended up BF my baby until 13 months, mostly because I did not want to deal with formula and it was relatively easy for me except the first twoweeks!!

    I really hope your website and the food babe’s website can help get good baby formula to North America.


    • Thanks so much for sharing Tina!! And nice job on breastfeeding until 13 months – that is amazing! 🙂 And yes, I really hope we do get better organic formula options for us here in the US – there is no reason why brands like Holle and Hipp are only available in Europe and not here – we deserve healthy, organic formula for our little ones too!

  4. Anjali,
    How long does it take to receive HiPP from the Artisana website? I would like to give it a try, but my concern is running out and having to wait too long for a new shipment. We have been using Gerber Soothe. Have you heard anything positive or negative about Gerber Soothe?
    Thanks for this blog, it’s very helpful!

    • Hi Sandra! So glad you found this post helpful! To your question – I think it takes about a month. A few months ago, HiPP was available on Amazon and through that, I would get the formula in about 2 weeks. But with Artisana it takes longer for sure. I’d say estimate about a month and order it in bulk so you don’t run out too quickly! I used to order like 6 boxes at a time. I haven’t heard much about Gerber Soothe — but since it’s not an organic formula I didn’t do much research on it. If your baby does well on Gerber Soothe and doesn’t do as well on some of the other US organic formulas (since you will have to wait to get HiPP in the mail), then I’d say stick to Gerber Soothe until you get HiPP and then try that. Otherwise you could always try Baby’s Only or Earth’s Best in the interim and see how your little one does with those! Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

  5. Hello,
    I am a new mom trying to decide between ordering HiPP or Holle. It seems like, based on ingredients, HiPP outperforms Holle. But I read on a couple of blog sites that HiPP powdered formula has strangely high aluminum levels. Do you know anything about this? If so, would that make Holle the better choice? Thanks for any input!

    • Hi Amanda! Thanks for your question! You are right that HiPP outperforms Holle when it comes to ingredients. I also read about the aluminum issue — but the study that was done was in 2013, and it was unclear whether 1) that’s still an issue for Hipp and 2) whether Holle had the same issues because I don’t think they were one of the formulas tested, although I can’t be sure. You could call HiPP and ask them about the aluminum and then decide – But ultimately – I’d say go with whichever one you are the most comfortable with – both are great and much better than the options in the US! Hope that helps!

  6. Hi there! Thank you so much for this extremely informative post. Where do you think the Honest company’s new formula will fall on your chart? I know they have palm oil and couple other unideal ingredients…. But it seemed better than other organic ones. Would love to know your thoughts!

    • Hi Sasha! That’s a great question! I’d say the Honest company’s new formula is probably a little better than Baby’s Only, and slightly worse than Holle or HiPP. It’s better than Baby’s Only because its first two ingredients are Organic Non Fat Milk and Organic Lactose – that’s great! The third ingredient is “Organic Glucose Syrup Solids” — which isn’t good. But that’s still better than Baby’s Only because “brown rice syrup” is the first ingredient in the Baby’s Only formula! Other than the syrup solids, the Honest Company’s formula has palm oil and taurine — but HiPP has palm oil too. So really – the only two ingredients that make the Honest Company’s formula worse than HiPP are the syrup solids + taurine – which compared to the other US based formulas isn’t bad at all! So, short answer: I’d rank it as HiPP, Holle, the Honest Company’s Formula, Baby’s Only, and then the rest of the list. Hope that helps!

      • Oh, Anjali! You are incredible. Thank you, SO much! I just ordered Hipp. I do have a slight concern… I heard that Hipp that is being sold in the US are kind of like the gray market. When these suppliers import the formula from EU, I’m assuming it gets passed through x-ray and other securities. Would that alter and affect the formula?

        • No problem! I’m so glad it’s helpful. Regarding passing formula through security screenings (x-rays at the airport) – it shouldn’t be a problem. The airport security screenings have such low dose radiation that it shouldn’t alter or affect the formula. (e.g. if you are traveling with an infant and bringing formula or breastmilk with you, it will have to pass through the security screening x-rays and it is fine). So I wouldn’t worry about it – but if you’re super concerned just check with your doctor!

    • Hi Tom! I’m pretty sure that Artisana (also linked in the post above) ships to Canada. But you can call them and double check! Hope that helps!

    • Hi Annie! If your pediatrician says it’s ok to feed your preemie formula, then either HiPP or Holle would work. Again, my preference is HiPP, but I’d just double check with your pediatrician since preemie care can be pretty different than regular newborn care!

  7. Thank you for this post! Finding a safe organic infant formula has been a very emotional journey on top of not being able to breastfeed. I appreciate your help in consolidating everything into an organized chart!

    I was wondering what your thoughts are on the new Baby’s Only with Whey Protein and how you think it stacks up against Hipp, Holle and Honest. I contacted customer care, and they sent me a nutritional comparison chart, and from that it seems pretty good. It uses organic lactose rather than brown rice syrup and the whey/casein ratio is 60/40 instead of 18/82 like the other Baby’s Only formulas. It also doesn’t contain palm oil like Holle and Hipp, but does have taurine and nucleotides. My babe is currently on their LactoRelief, due to what is suspected to be temporary lactase deficiency following gastroenteritis, but I’m hoping to possibly switch her to the new formula soon. I plan on adding Nordic Naturals DHA and Flora Udo’s Choice Infant Probiotics.

    I was also wondering what your take is on the Weston A Price homemade raw milk formula? It sounds great to me in theory and I think it could provide a beautiful redemptive opportunity for mamas who couldn’t breastfeed – to still be able to “make” nutrient dense food for their little ones. At the same time, the whole feeding raw milk to an infant thing and making something so important from scratch does sort of scare me.

    • Hi Sage! I can only imagine what you’ve been going through – not being able to breastfeed must have been so difficult – but you are doing the absolute best you can and there is nothing wrong with giving your little one formula if you aren’t able to breastfeed! I’m glad this post made things a little easier for you – and thanks for asking about the new Baby’s Only with Whey Protein formula. I actually didn’t know they came out with that recently, and I just looked it up. I agree with you that nutritionally it seems much better than the original Baby’s Only formula with brown rice syrup. It looks like the nucleotides in this formula aren’t added synthetically – that Baby’s Only just discloses that all milk proteins have naturally occurring nucleotides – in which case that seems ok. They do have taurine in the formula, so I guess it’s kind of a toss up between the palm oil and the taurine. Since taurine is produced synthetically using chemicals – I might pick palm oil over taurine since at least palm oil is organic and not synthetic – and my daughter didn’t have any digestive issues caused by the palm oil in Hipp. But the Baby’s Only with Whey formula does seem like a pretty decent option – and might be the best option in the US since it doesn’t have glucose syrup solids like the Honest Company’s formula does. I’d still go with Hipp or Holle first, and then Baby’s Only with Whey Protein, and then the Honest Company’s formula in the US.

      For the Weston A Price homemade raw milk formula – I also thought it sounded great in theory when I came across it and contemplated making it at home. But honestly, with everything you have to worry about as a new mom, and the fact that there are so many things that can go wrong with raw milk and making homemade formula from scratch constantly (since I doubt it would last very long in the fridge) – I just thought it was too unrealistic for me to try, and like you, I didn’t want to risk making a mistake with the formula and make Layla sick as a result! That being said, if you feel like you can do it and want to try it, I would totally support that! But if you don’t feel comfortable doing it, you are not alone – as much as I would have loved to make homemade formula I was too worried/overwhelmed about messing it up to try it. Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions – you are doing great mama!

  8. Thank you so so much for this informative post! I was wondering which formula you think is better: Baby’s Only with DHA or Baby’s Only with Whey Protein? I have twin girls and am not making enough to give them both breast milk, so I need to supplement. We’ve been using Baby’s Only Dairy so far, but we will be trying both these other formulas before I go ahead and buy a case of them (they give a discount for multiples, so I’m sold!). I’ve been thinking the Whey is better because the whey to casein ratio is 60:40, which from what I’ve read is closer to what’s found in breastmilk, and the other formulas Baby’s Only makes is reversed because they don’t add extra whey. I guess my added concern is not having the DHA (although they claim that all their formulas contain precursors for DHA, so I guess I should assume that my girls will convert those elements to DHA). A rep did tell me though that the American Academy of Pediatrics has not come up with a minimum standard for how much DHA should even be in formulas, so I’m wondering if I’m being concerned over something that may not be important. The fact that they’re also getting my breastmilk adds the DHA I’m consuming. My last question: Although I agree that the European formulas you mentioned are probably best, our doctor recommended us not to use them b/c he said the standards are different there as well as if there’s a problem with one of the formulas, we probably wouldn’t find out about it. I’m curious on your thoughts on this? Thank you so much!

    • Hi Heather! Thank you so much for this thoughtful comment! I do think the Baby’s Only With Whey is better than the regular Baby’s Only formula for a number of reasons (no brown rice syrup, a better whey to casein ratio, etc.) – so I’d definitely choose that for your twins! For the DHA – you can actually get a great Baby DHA supplement from Nordic Naturals — that’s what I give Layla in her oatmeal each morning and it works great. And yes your babies should still be getting DHA from your breastmilk so if your pediatrician isn’t too concerned about it, I wouldn’t worry about it too much 🙂 For the European formulas – it’s true that if there is a problem with one of the formulas it would be hard for us to hear about it. That said, the European standards are actually much more strict than the US — many of the ingredients allowed in our formulas are not allowed in Europe! So I wouldn’t worry about their standards being different – you’re probably better off under their standards anyway. I made the same calculation when I chose HiPP for my daughter 🙂 I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions!

  9. Anyone know where to order Hipp from that will ship to US? We really liked it and used it as a supplement with breast milk. Artisana has apparently gone out of business (and have taken my money with them, I never received my order from 2+ months ago). Any help is appreciated. I’m even willing to try Holle if I can find it somewhere that will ship to the states. Thanks!

    • Hi Alisha! I’m so sorry to hear about this — how terrible! Artisana was great when they were around because they were affordable and I always got my formula within 2 weeks. But Layla has been off formula for over 6 months now so I hadn’t shipped from them for a while! Thank you so much for letting me know about this. I’ve done some research and updated this post with four online sites that sell HiPP and two that sell Holle: For Hipp: these retailers ship to the US: BritishSuperstoresDirect, LittleWorldOrganics, BritishCornerShop, and Formuland. For Holle: you can buy it at Formuland and LittleWorldOrganics as well. Hope that helps!

      • Hi Anjali!
        So let me ask you about the links you have posted above-they are all shipping from outside the US?? I don’t get it! I am ordering Hipp at and they ship within 2 days directly from California. My little Emma drinks about 2 Packs a week (I know thats a lot…) so 2 weeks waiting on the product? NO WAY! You should really check it out. Easy, fast and includes free shipping as well. Also, did anybody try this new HappyFamily Grow and shine organic toddler formula yet?? Emma has her first b-day coming up and I am looking for the best toddler product around.
        I would love to get your experience on that!?

        • Hi Amya! Thanks so much for letting me know about MyOrganicFormula! I hadn’t heard of them before but I love that they are based in the US. I have added them to my list of vendors in the post 🙂 For toddlers, I don’t actually recommend formula – it’s best to get toddlers on regular organic milk assuming they can digest it and your pediatrician doesn’t have a reason for recommending they stay on formula. I recommend giving toddlers whole organic milk until they are 2, and then switching to 2% or 1% organic milk after that. Hope that helps!

  10. Thank you for all this great information. When using Baby’s Only Whey formula and supplementing with Nordic Naturals baby DHA, does that take care of ARA as well?

    • No problem Stephanie! Glad you found it helpful. Baby’s Only Whey Formula contains Alpha Linolenic and Linoleic Fatty Acid, which are precursors for DHA & ARA, so I think between that and the Nordic Naturals baby DHA you should be good to go (but I’d also double check with your pediatrician to make sure they are ok with it!)

      • Hi, I just thought I would share what my doctor said, “I think the extra DHA will likely be beneficial. I certainly don’t think there would be any harm in it. I wouldn’t try too hard to find a supplemental ARA, though.” Also, we switched over formulas this week and I am so happy with Baby’s Only! It smells really good, and what makes me really happy is the change in spit up. We have normal spit up now, haven’t had one projectile spit up since we switched over 🙂
        Baby took Nordic Naturals DHA fine in his formula as well. I am feeling good! 🙂

        • Thanks for sharing Stephanie – that is super helpful. And I’m so happy to hear that Baby’s Only + Nordic Naturals is working out well for you and your little one! 🙂 Thanks for letting me know!

  11. Hi, my son just turned one and had been exclusively on breastmilk. He’s not a picky eater but is on the 25th percentile for weight and 16th percentile for height. He was born on the small side 5lb 14 oz and is now 19.6lb at one year.

    I wanted to switch him to cows milk now that he is a year old but my pediatrician said they recommend for all their patients to be on breastmilk or formula until 2 years of age. They said I can switch him to the toddler formula.

    My concern is the toddler formula is flavored with vanilla and such. There hasn’t been much reviews about toddler formula as there is for baby formula.

    What are your thoughts about switching him to baby’s only whey formula and adding dha from Nordic naturals instaed of switching him to the baby’s only pediasmart? Or any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you so much for your time and informative site!!

    • Hi Susan! So first of all – kudos to you for exclusively breastfeeding for a year! That’s a huge accomplishment and you should feel great about that 🙂 That’s interesting that your pediatrician recommended only breastfeeding or formula for 2 years. That’s pretty contrary to what most pediatricians and the American Academy of Pediatrics says (which is that you can move to cow’s milk after 1 year). But given that your peds said to stick to formula — you should actually be able to use the Baby’s Only Whey Formula + Nordic Naturals DHA since the Baby’s Only Formula is technically a toddler formula (not an infant formula!) So I think you should be good to go with that. You might want to double check with your pediatrician, but that’s what I would do. Hope that helps!

  12. Hi, I want to get the european formula like hipp or holle but finds that there are 2 version of it. I’ve trying to figure out but no information of such thing.. Do you know by any chance what is the difference between Hipp combiotik from UK and Hipp Bio Combiotik from Germany ?
    And holle vs holle lebenswert ?

    Thank you so much for your time 🙂

    • Hi Amelia! I believe the two HiPP formulas are actually the same thing — I think it’s just the brand sold in the UK vs. Germany. I looked at the websites for both and they look pretty identical except for the language 🙂 So I’d just go with the UK one since it’ll probably be easier to order & ship! For the two Holle formulas — I couldn’t find the ingredients list for Holle Lebenswert so unfortunately I couldn’t compare the two — but another reader just let me know that Holle Lebenswert doesn’t have maltodextrin and it does have organic lactose and organic skimmed milk powder, so it might be the better option between the two! Hope that helps!

      • Hi Ladies!!!

        Amelia, I just ordered the Holle Lebenswert from
        The stage 1 is the one that doesn’t have Maltodextrin and does have organic lactose & organic skimmed milk powder. They actually have a deal right now on the 15 box kit! Stage 2 & 3 do have Maltodextrin but from organic farming. This link lets you see the ingredients in the products. I agree with Anjali…I prefer Holle over HiPP. Hope this helps 🙂

        • Thanks so much Ariana! Amelia – I hope this helps! Oh and I think Holle and HiPP are both great options 🙂 When I was using formula for Layla, I used HiPP because I couldn’t find a way to get Holle shipped to the US — but now with you can probably get either option pretty easily!

          • Thanks so much Anjali and Ariana! It really..really helps me! 🙂
            Anjali and Ariana, if i’m not mistaken what is the reason you prefer Holle over HIPP… is it because of aluminium issue or other stuff ? I found an article that address aluminium issue and wanna know what do you think about it …. here is the link
            Please let me know…
            Thank so much for your time and informative site!

          • Thanks so much Anjali and Ariana! It really..really helps me! 🙂
            Anjali and Ariana, I just post another question below… what do yo think about the addreesed article about the issue?

        • Have you tried the Holle lebenswert? I’ve been using the regular Holle which baby loves and am running out and it’s out of stock everywhere! Do you know the main differences between the 2 products? I’m in need of a good formula before I run out!

          • Hi Tonia! I haven’t tried Holle Lebenswert – but it is very comparable to Holle. You can see the two ingredients lists here: 1) For Holle Lebenswert: 2) for regular Holle: — so you can definitely use Holle Lebenswert instead of Holle! Hope that helps!

          • Hi Tonia,

            I’m waiting for my shipment to arrive! If you look at my previous post, I posted the website I ordered from. I believe it’s directly from Germany. The main difference was with the stage 1 contents. I ordered the Lebenswert but if they didn’t have it, I was going to order the original Holle. Good luck!

            • Thanks so much for your reply. I am still using stage 1. The ingredients were comparable to Holle stage 1 so I just ordered a batch! Hopefully taste is similar and baby enjoys it. Let me know how it goes for you!

              • Hi, Tonia, Anjali and Ariana! I bought Holle Bio Lebenswert last week. But I bought from ebay, the seller that sells Holle Lebenswert is in USA, so I got the fast shipment in just 3 days and get my baby drink the milk. Besides the ingredients of Maltodextrin in regular Holle, there’s one thing I asked the seller about the difference are that regular Holle follows Demeter regulations and Holle Lebenswert follows Bioland regulations and . Under both, the cattle providing the milk must remain as nature intended. Bioland standards also require only organic grasses unless imminent malnutrition and then only 25% of the daily rations can be hay; they also allow cut horns. Other than that, the only difference is the amount you get per box. In stage 1 you get 100 extra grams in Lebenswert Bio.

                I think Lebenswert Holle is better… from the point of *no maltodextrin, extra 100 grams and Bioland is a bit stricter I think than demeter… but this just my opinion… 🙂

  13. Thanks so much Anjali and Ariana! It really..really helps me! 🙂
    Anjali and Ariana, if i’m not mistaken what is the reason you prefer Holle over HIPP… is it because of aluminium issue or other stuff ? I found an article that address aluminium issue and wanna know what do you think about it …. here is the link
    Please let me know…
    Thank so much for your time and informative site!

    • Thanks Amelia! I will check it out!! Actually, Holle was also recommended to me by my LC as well as a few moms from my mommy & me group! They swear by it and their babies love it! I also saw another comparison blog of HiPP and Holle that also lead me to prefer Holle. The aluminum was one of the reasons but not the only one. Thanks for sharing!!! 🙂

      • Hi Amelia! That article is very helpful! The conclusion I draw from it is that there isn’t really evidence one way or another, and it’s an issue that Holle wasn’t tested in that same study. As I said before I used HiPP with Layla because I couldn’t get Holle at the time — but you should just pick whichever one you feel most comfortable with! I don’t think you can really go wrong with either one 🙂

  14. Thank you so much for this post! It’s really helpful. I wanted to know your thoughts on the added Fluoride in the HiPP formulas? They recently mandated that baby formulas in Europe must have added Fluoride. I believe this started late last year so they had to reformulate it. A) How is Fluoride organic? B) In the U.S. we already have Fluoride in our drinking water potentially feeding our babies too much of it.

    • Hi Anai! Thanks so much for this information – it’s crazy how fast things change in the infant formula market! When I used HiPP Flouride was not an ingredient on the label. I looked up the HiPP ingredients and it looks like Flouride amounts to only 0.0067mg per serving. The recommended daily value for infants aged 0-6 months is 0.01mg / day, for 6-12 months it’s 0.5mg per day. So as long as you’re not exceeding those amounts daily it shouldn’t be a problem – but I would double check with your pediatrician on that, especially because each city’s water has a different amount of Flouride in it. Flouride is a mineral – so it’s not really classified as organic or non-organic. Hope that helps!

    • Hi Jennifer! Regarding passing formula through security screenings (x-rays at the airport) – it shouldn’t be a problem. The airport security screenings have such low dose radiation that it shouldn’t alter or affect the formula. (e.g. if you are traveling with an infant and bringing formula or breastmilk with you, it will have to pass through the security screening x-rays and it is fine). I traveled a bunch with Layla and we had formula and breastmilk both go through the x-ray without any issues. So I wouldn’t worry about it – but if you’re super concerned just check with your pediatrician! Hope that helps!

      • Hi! I was wondering what you think of soybean oil being included in formula? It’s in the Honest Company and Baby’s Only varieties.

        • Hi Marianna! I don’t think soybean oil is an optimal ingredient, but if it’s organic at least you know it’s non-GMO which is preferable to conventional soybean oil! The formulas from the UK don’t use soybean oil if it helps 🙂

      • I got my box of Lebenswert last week and on the box was a big sticker that read “Do not Iradiate. Baby Formula”

        • Hi Ariana, Food Irradiation is not the same as putting formula through the airport x-ray machines as far as I know. Food Irradiation is an actual process used by the food industry to help kill bacteria in food (see this article for more info). The airport x-ray machines use such a low dose of radiation it’s no different than the radiation you’d receive actually sitting on an airplane (see this article for more info). I’m not sure the TSA would allow you to not put your formula on the conveyor belt when going through security, but if you’re really worried there is no harm in asking! Hope that helps!

          • The place in the UK In order Hipp from doesn’t write on the package ‘do not irradiate” but supposedly they don’t do this to packages not going to dc? I am concerned about all of it but hope it’s okay.

            • I think the way the UK defines “irridiate” might be different than the radiation that the package might face when going through the airport security screening. It might be worth calling them to ask what they mean by it – I think that might assuage some of your concerns! One thing I just realized is that any products shipped to the US are flown here in cargo planes, which means they have probably already been exposed to an x-ray scanner / minimal radiation from being on an airplane (if Holle/HiPP were concerned about the minimal radiation their products might face on an airplane/airport security, my guess is that they wouldn’t ship them to the US). You could also ask your pediatrician if the x-ray scanner is anything to be worried about, and then decide what to do based on what they say. Hope that helps!

                • Hmm — well HiPP’s suppliers do ship to the US (BritishSuperstoresDirect, LittleWorldOrganics, BritishCornerShop, and Formuland all ship to the US). So it might be worth calling them to see if they will answer your questions? Your pediatrician will also be a good resource to help you determine how concerned you should be!

                  • Anjali,

                    I was wondering for the listing of HiPP suppliers, I noticed that the BritishCornerShop is a bit cheaper compare to the other sites. Is there a reason for this? Or am I doing my conversion incorrectly?

                    • Hi Jennifer! You are right – BritishCornerShop comes to about $38 / box (since they don’t have free shipping if you just order 1 box), and the other sites are around $40-$44 per box! I don’t think there’s any particular reason for this – BritishCornerShop must be trying to either beat the competition, or they are able to sell it for cheaper because they are a bigger retailer. Either way – I’d order it from the cheapest place possible! Hope that helps!

              • The companies that ship to the US cannot say one way or another and pediatricians don’t have the answers but I do appreciate your support!

  15. Hello – just to let you know that after speaking with Nature’s one’s customer service rep, she confirmed that the new Baby’s Only Whey Dairy formula is free of taurine and it has nucleotides that are naturally occurring. My daughter is 10 months old and my milk supply is no longer enough, so I had to start supplementing with formula, and this new formula was the best one available in the US. So far, so good – my baby seems to like it and no issues with her BM.

    • That’s great news! So glad to hear that about the Baby’s Only Whey formula – that sounds like a great option available in the US. And so happy to hear it’s working for you and your daughter!

  16. Thank you all so much for these infos. I do have a question. Is the honest company formula good one? I am new at being a mom and have so much to learn.

    • Hi Shermie! I hadn’t heard of Babynat Organic before — but looking at the link, it looks like maltodextrin is the first ingredient listed on the label – which I’d be wary of. That means it’s the primary ingredient in the formula! The rest of the ingredients do look ok, but I’d probably still go with Holle or HiPP instead since I’d prefer that milk based ingredients are listed first on the label. Hope that helps!

      • My son is almost 9 months old. I want to give him a try of Hipp. Which one is more suitable – 1st infant milk? or Follow on Milk?

        • Hi Shermie! I’d probably use Follow On Milk (although you can technically use 1st infant milk for the first year of life) I used 1st infant milk until Layla was about 8 or 9 months and then I switched her to Follow On Milk. The main difference between the two is that Follow On Milk has more iron in it, which is helpful for babies older than 6 months (since they start to lose some of their iron stores after they turn 6 months old). Hope that helps!

          • Hi! I have consulted with Hipp. My 8 month old still does first infant and not follow on because he is not on an established solid diet. Follow on has more iron but constipated him.

            • Ah that’s helpful Jennifer. Yes – if your baby isn’t fully established on solids then follow on milk wouldn’t work for them. And you can absolutely use 1st infant milk for the entire first year! It’s best to just try either one and figure out what’s best for your baby. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks for sharing Shermie! Bellamy’s Organic is pretty good – but they use whey powder as their first ingredient (HiPP uses skimmed milk), and they have milk solids as a primary ingredient (HiPP doesn’t have milk solids). I also like that HiPP has DHA from real fish oil, and prebiotics (it doesn’t look like Bellamy’s Organic has those two ingredients). Other than that they are pretty comparable, so I might give HiPP the slight advantage but Bellamy’s Organic looks ok too! So you should choose the one you feel most comfortable with and that your baby enjoys. Hope that helps!

  17. Hi,

    The difference between Germany vs. UK version of Follow on Milk. The replies from
    Starch in the milk is good for baby?

    German Bio Combiotic contains probiotic bacteria and which therefore needs to be mixed at lower temperatures to ensure these friendly bacteria are not killed off. The formula we market here in the UK does not contain probiotics (they only contain prebiotics) and which is why we have different mixing instructions and therefore needs to be made up with water of 70 degrees C. Germany do also offer this milk with and without a starch – so you would need to check which one you have been using. Here in the UK the formula milks do not contain starch.

  18. Thank you for the clear and concise post that brings together such a vast amount of information in a way that is accessible. We have been using Holle’s Lebewert Bio Stage 1 for our daughter. Compared to the Holle reviewed here, it does not appear to have maltodextrine, and she is loving it.

    • Thanks Nicolas! I’m so glad you found this post helpful! So good to know about Holle Lebewert – I’ve heard that’s a great option and I’m happy it’s working well for your little one! Thanks for the tip!

    • Hi Ali! The Baby’s Only Whey Protein formula is supposed to be safe (and applicable) for infants/newborns – I’d just double check with your pediatrician before you use it. Hope that helps!

  19. What about to buy hipp? It looks legit but I want to make sure the formula I’m getting is authentic. It’s a few dollars cheaper than formuland. Have you heard anything about them? Tia

    • Hi! I’ve never shopped on torafoods before, but it looks legitimate as far as I can tell. They are based in the UK, so they are probably able to get HiPP – but I’d recommend calling them to make sure if you have concerns. Hope that helps!

  20. Does it not bother you that some of the formulas have Soy Oil?
    Soy oil is thought to tamper with hormone levels , especially in baby girls

    • Hi Amir! Thanks for your question. Out of this list, the formulas I’m recommending (primarily HiPP and Holle) don’t have soy oil in them. The American formulas – even the better US ones like Baby’s Only and Honest Company – do, unfortunately, have Soy Oil in them. But at least the organic US formulas have organic soy oil so you don’t have to worry about GMOs/contamination/etc. I agree that it’s not an ideal ingredient to include in baby formula, which is why I’d recommend the UK formulas first, and then the organic US formulas second. As for soy oil tampering with hormone levels – there hasn’t been any definitive research one way or the other – and the research I’ve seen about soy’s effect on hormones has been in extremely high high doses in a lab – which doesn’t apply to the quantity that’s in baby formula. That said, if you’re worried about soy oil then you should go with HiPP or Holle (which is what I did!) Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

    • Hi Randy! I don’t think Earth’s Best ever had carrageenan – which is great! Was there a reason you thought carrageenan was on their ingredients list? And yes, it is good that their first ingredient is lactose, but the third ingredient listed is “Organic Glucose Syrup Solids” — which isn’t great. HiPP and Holle don’t have any syrup solids at all in their formulas so that’s much better! But if you can’t get HiPP or Holle, then Baby’s Only with Whey or Honest Co are a good choice, and if you can’t find either of those then Earth’s Best is the next best alternative. Hope that helps!

      • Thanks for getting back to me, Anjali. I guess I read about carrageenan and earth’s best on a few websites. Thanks for clarifying.

        I’m leaning towards Baby’s only with Whey but I’m a bit concerned about the high calcium and phosphorous levels, and their impact on kidneys. My daughter is almost 9 months now (and we plan to supplement 5 out of 25oz with formula), so maybe its not an issue?
        Do you know anything about this issue?

        • No problem, glad it was helpful! Regarding the high calcium / phosphorous levels for Baby’s Only with Whey — honestly I’d talk to your pediatrician about that. Baby’s Only says their formula is safe for children under 1, and given that you’re not really using a lot of formula every day it could be ok – but I would definitely double check with your doctor. Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

    • I completely agree Randy! I do think it’s strange — if they can make a formula like that for a non-organic version, I don’t see why they couldn’t just get the same ingredients for their organic version. But yes, the fact that the non-organic version is full of GMOs, the cows are treated with antibiotics/hormones, etc. makes the non-organic version still worse than the organic one (in my opinion). But Similac Organic is probably the least desirable organic baby formula out there, so if you can, I’d stick to HiPP, Holle, Baby’s Only or Honest Co if you can! Hope that helps!

      • Anjali, I’m not an expert, but I’m not so sure if organic is better than non-organic. I mean the presence of Palm oil (which leads to lower bone mineralization) in the organic ones (and not non-organic) is also a scary thought.

        • Hi Randy! Honestly it’s just choosing between two bad options — you’re basically choosing between whether you want hormones/antibiotics/GMOs in your child’s formula, or 1-2 less-than-desirable ingredients but where research hasn’t proven true negative effects (like the link between palm oil and lower bone mineralization). No formula is going to be perfect, so you just have to pick the one that you feel the most comfortable with and that your baby does well on! But yes, in an absolute sense, non-organic isn’t always worse than organic. For example, an organic candy bar is always going to be worse than a non-organic fruit. But for me, I’ll always choose organic dairy over non-organic dairy because of what they do to the cows and the milk on non-organic farms. Hope that helps!

  21. THANK YOU for taking the time to do research like this and share it with all of us! I can only imagine how much time it takes to research everything and present it in a well-written manner. Please know it is appreciated!

    I have a 9 month baby and I pumped exclusively for 8.5 months. She’s been on the “big name” brand formulas for the last 2-3 weeks and may be coming down with her first cold so I am desperate to get her on something better. Fortunately I just found out I am able to order Holle and HiPP off (I’m in Canada) for a reasonable price too!

    • Of course!! I’m so glad it was helpful Bianca 🙂 And that is so awesome you can order Holle & HiPP so easily in Canada!! Great news 🙂 I hope your little one does better once you switch!

  22. Hi Anjali,
    I am having twins and the doctor has told me to be ready anytime after 34th week, i dont know is 34th week is considered as pre mature when it comes to twins since most of them say 34th-37th week is what you can expect when you having twins.. so is there any baby formula for babies born before full term or can i go with holle or hipp?

    • Hi Niki! I think 34 weeks is considered **slightly** premature, since 37 weeks is technically full term. I’d check with your doctor to find out if there is a special premie baby formula that’s required, or if you can give them any formula (in which case Holle and HiPP should be fine). I’d just ask your pediatrician what they’re comfortable with and go with that. Hope that helps and hope your delivery goes smoothly! 🙂

  23. Thanks Anjali, i also wanted to know if i am going with Holle or Hipp should is go for a bulk order.. cause i dont know which would suit the twins, also i would be in India for the delivery and i dont know if i can get it shipped there if i go short of the formula. Should i take some 20 boxes of both hipp and holle from US and try what works best , I am going crazy thinking what i should be doing! Please advice .

    • Will you be able to try the formulas before you go to India? And how long will you be in India? If you won’t be able to try the formula / pick one / order it in bulk before your trip, you might just have to pick one without trying it first and bulk order it before your trip — because it will probably take a few weeks to get it shipped to India (assuming you find a place that ships to India). I can tell you that since both Holle / Lebenswert and HiPP are super mild, most babies will do well on either one of them, so I think you’ll be ok no matter which one you pick. Hope that helps! And I hope your trip goes well!

      • I think Holle Lebenswert is a great option! It has cleaner ingredients than regular Holle – so I think it’s definitely a step up 🙂 Ariana – so glad Lebenswert is working out well for your son!

      • Thanks Airana.. i am actually in a big fix.. i will be delivering in India and i have to carry the Baby formula from US since i can get holle or hipp in US.. but if i take in Bulk from US to India and if it doesnt suit the babies then i really dont know what i would do 🙁 what if the babies are lactose intolerant.. i am so confused .

        • Hi Niki! Hmm that is tough. Do you know how long you will be in India for? Because if it’s only for a month or so, you could just buy a couple boxes of either HiPP or Holle and take them with you — and depending on how much your baby is eating and how much formula you need, you can order more when you get back to the US, or see if you can find a company that ships to India during that time? Newborns eat very frequently but they don’t eat a ton in each feeding, so you might be able to buy just a few boxes and make them work. And that way, if you do buy a few boxes and your baby is lactose intolerant, then you won’t have wasted a ton of money on formula that you can’t use (and I’m sure you can give it to someone else who can use it!)

  24. Hi, I just read your post about Hipp and Holle Organic Formula.
    You said that Hipp is a better option than Holle, but I just read that Hipp contains High levels of Aluminum.
    Have you heard about that? It seems that maybe Holle is the best option and they also have new formula without maltodextrin. However I want to know if I have to supplement my baby with DHA, because it looks like Holle doesn’t contain enough DHA and ARA. What are your thoughts?
    Thank you.

    • Hi Yolanda! I totally understand your concern — I have seen conflicting articles on whether HiPP contains high levels of aluminum or not – I haven’t gotten a definitive answer one way or the other, and I haven’t gotten a definitive answer how the aluminum levels in HiPP compare to the levels in Holle either. But if you’re concerned, you could definitely go for Holle Lebenswert (which I think is the new version without maltodextrin). I would supplement with DHA – I like the Nordic Naturals Liquid Baby DHA (I used that for Layla – just added it to her oatmeal and it worked great). But I’d double check with your pediatrician to find out what they think about supplementing with DHA. Hope that helps!

        • No problem! I just did DHA — we did probiotics only for a short time when she was super young (like 2-8 weeks old) – because she was having a lot of gas/discomfort – but after that we just did DHA + breastmilk + formula. Hope that helps!

          • Hello again Anjali,
            What kind of water did you use to mix the formula? I’m concerned about the fluoride levels, since Hipp and Holle both have flouride and water in California is high in flouride and also tap water.

            • Hi Yolanda! I used reverse osmosis filtered tap water — which removes extra fluoride. You can also get purified water from the grocery store. Hope that helps!

    • Ah I see — I just replied to your other comment with some other options! Let me know if that makes sense and if you have any other questions!

  25. Anjali, i will be India for 4-5 months and since its twins i would need a lot of boxes.. i am thinking About 20 boxes of Holle lebenswert and some 20 boxes of formula for lactose intolerant babies.. can you suggest something for lactose intolerant babies. Please let me know what you think of what i am planning.. will it work?

    • Hi Niki! Ah, I see. That’s quite a long time. I think 20 boxes of Holle Lebenswert sounds good, for the lactose intolerant baby formula – honestly I don’t think there are any options out there that don’t have a bunch of processed ingredients in them (unfortunately :/ ). Most of the non-dairy formulas taste pretty bad and have added sugar/etc. in them. What I’d suggest is just buying the Holle Lebenswert for now, and if your babies turn out to be lactose intolerant, then just buy whatever formula is recommended in India — since the US/UK formulas that I’ve seen aren’t great. You can also just make your own formula if it turns out your babies have a dairy sensitivity (there are some goat’s milk recipes that work great for lactose intolerant babies). Hope that helps!

      • Hi Niki and Anjali,

        Just wanted to pop in to let you know that after a failed attempt at switching over to Holle due to my daughter’s lactose intolerance, we have successfully been supplementing with Baby’s Only Lactorelief for about four and a half months. It is far better than the hydrolized formulas which our allergist originally wanted her on for suspected milk protein allergy. I wish that the primary ingredient wasn’t brown rice syrup; however, it is far better than glucose solids and her body has been tolerating it extremely well.

        The customer service at Natures One has been incredible and I really appreciate that it’s a small family owned company, every time I’ve called with questions, I’ve spoken to the same two women. With their assistance, I was even able to get my insurance company to cover the cost of the formula and distribute through Coram, one of their primary distributors. We get 12 cans a month at no cost. Natures One has a medical assistance form on their website that can be filled out by the pediatrician for sensitives such as lactose intolerance or gluten sensitivity, etc.

        As for supplements, I highly suggest reading The Holistic Baby Guide by Randall Neustaedter. There is a section on supplements for babies who can’t be breastfed. In addition to the formula and donor milk, we also give our daughter Nordic Naturals Cod Liver Oil – DHA and Vitamin D3, and the following supplements from Klaire Labs: l-glutamine – heals the intestinal lining, infant formula probiotics, prebiotics – to aid in the effectiveness of the probiotics, and digestive enzymes to assist in the digestive process. She has done wonderfully and is extremely healthy which was a major fear of mine when we had so many issues with breastfeeding amidst a wicked bout of postpartum depression after a traumatic birth. My husband and I both had a month long respiratory infection a few months back and she never had even a cough. We also have to regularly take her to the children’s hospital for orthopedic treatment and despite her high level of exposure, she has never had even a cold.

        Now that she is seven months, I have found over the past month making my own organic baby food at home to be extremely redemptive and healing in what has been a painful journey of coming to terms with the fact that I was unable to feed my baby in the way that I so desperately longed to be able to.

        I’d be happy to answer any questions that you may have.


        • Thank you so much for this and for sharing your experience Sage! I’m so glad to hear about Baby’s Only Lactorelief – that’s a great tip to know about for lactose intolerant babies – and that’s so awesome that you got your insurance to cover it! Great tip also on the supplements, I’ll probably look into all of these the next time I have a baby, sounds like your daughter is doing great on all of them. So sorry to hear about how hard the birth was and your postpartum depression – I can’t even imagine how difficult that was. I had a very difficult birth with Layla and probably had my share of baby blues and that was hard enough! So kudos to you for finding ways to heal yourself outside of breastfeeding. Totally agree that making baby food at home can be redemptive and healing, it certainly was for me! Thanks again and take good care 🙂

  26. Anjali and Sage,
    THANK YOU SO MUCH! you ladies are so helpful.. i learnt so much. Its my first pregnancy and i dont know a thing. Anjali my sister also lives in US and she will be coming to India in Jan, so i am so relived because i can take few boxes with me in November and if holle works for the babies then she will get more while she is coming. Sage thank you so much for letting me know about Baby’s only lactorelief .. i will take few boxes with me just in case. Can you let me know approximately how many boxes i would need for a month for the twins ? Also i wanted to know about the donor milk .. i have read a lot about it and not sure how safe it is, i wont be able to breastfeed for few reasons 🙁 so baby formula and donor milk is the only option. Not sure about the donor milk in India, really scared to try there.. can i use the formula when i am in India and switch to donor milk when i come to US? I will surely read The Holistic Baby Guide by Randall Neustaedter.. since i wont be breast feeding i want to make sure i make up for it someway. Please let me know if you think there are supplements i should definitely not miss. Sage you told me your insurance covered the cost of the formula.. does most insurance cover the cost? Also i would love to be in touch with you to find out more about making your own organic baby food. Thank you both again 🙂

    • Hi Niki! I’m so glad this discussion has been helpful for you (and thanks Sage too!) That’s great that your sister can bring some boxes of formula with her when she goes to India to visit you – that will be a huge help. For how many boxes of Baby’s Only to get — it looks like each container makes about 84oz of formula. I think newborns take in about 3oz per feeding (if they’re eating 8 times a day) — so that means you’d need at least 12 scoops of formula (24oz) per baby per day (maybe more). So you could potentially go through one container of Baby’s Only every 2 days! That’s super fast, so for 1 month you’d probably need 18 containers — maybe 20 to be safe. Donor milk can be safe and a wonderful option – I’ve known people who have used it. But you have to find an accredited service where you can really trust their verification, storage, and testing practices. Everyone I know who has received donor milk has been connected to a service that provides it via their doctor – so I’d suggest asking your doctor/hospital for a good recommendation. Not sure how donor milk is regulated in India, and I’d be pretty wary of it there so I’d probably only use it once you’re back in the US. For insurance, every insurance company is different unfortunately, so you’ll have to call yours to find out what they cover. For baby food — I’d love to help you in any way I can! When the time comes, you should check out this page on my blog: — I’ve posted my favorite baby food recipes there (Layla absolutely loved all of them, and throughout the process of feeding her solids we’d give her tastes of whatever we were eating to get her used to different spices and textures). Good luck with everything, don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any other questions, and keep us posted on how it all goes!!

  27. Hi Anjali, I’m expecting a baby in December and unfortunately can’t breastfeed. After extensive research online, I definitely want to go with either Holle or HiPP but am really struggling!!!! I like the idea of prebiotics and DHA in the HiPP but have also been concerned about the whole aluminum issue. That being said, it looks like the problem was with the powder and not the ready made but the ready made formula has soy lecithin. The problem with Holle Lebenswert is that no one ever has it in stock and I don’t want to commit to a formula that I cannot predictably get. So at this point I’m trying to decide between 1) Holle with the maltodextrin (just bc I know I will be able to get it more predictably than the Lebenswert 2) HiPP ready made with the soy lecithin or 3) HiPP powder with the questions re aluminum. I would LOVE your opinion on which you think would be the lesser of all evils (maltodextrin, soy lecithin or aluminum)! Also, how important do you think the DHA and prebiotics are (because maybe that would push me more towards HiPP)? Would really really appreciate any thoughts/recommendations!!!! Thanks so so much!

    • Hi Cathy! First of all – congratulations!!! I’m so excited for you 🙂 I’m sorry to hear that you can’t breastfeed, but you will still have a great experience feeding your little one formula 🙂 Regarding the aluminum issues with HiPP, honestly the only study that was done was done in 2013, and even that study’s conclusions weren’t definitive: apparently all of the aluminum levels were all within current guideline limits and there was no evidence they were harmful to children, especially since there is aluminum in drinking water/etc. For Layla, I used HiPP mainly because Holle Lebenswert wasn’t available at that time. Now that it is, I’d probably go with Holle Lebenswert the next time I have a baby. But I’d probably also call HiPP and find out what the recent aluminum studies have been since it’s over 2 years since the last report came out (and if the report is different, I’d go with HiPP). For you — if you are concerned about the potential aluminum in HiPP, I think it’s a toss up between Holle with the maltodextrin and HiPP with the soy lecithin. I might go with Holle just because I like the powdered formulas better. I did like that HiPP had the DHA + prebiotics, but you can supplement with baby DHA from nordic naturals so I don’t think that’s as big of a deal. One thing you could try is to order Holle Lebenswert in bulk right now before your baby is due, since the boxes last forever and then you won’t have to worry about supply. Otherwise just go with regular Holle. I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions and I hope you have an amazing last few months pre-baby and a smooth delivery!!

      • Thanks so much Anjali! Just two more quick questions: 1) Any particular reason you like the powder formulas better than the ready made? and 2) This is probably stupid but I literally have no clue: do you add the DHA supplement directly to the formula? or do you give it separately? Thanks again!!!!

        • Hi Cathy! No problem! Answers in order 🙂 1) Oh – I like the powdered formulas better because they are more economical/cheaper and they can usually be stored longer. You get more bang for your buck with them — sometimes the ready made can be double the cost of powdered! (not sure how the pricing works with HiPP though). 2) You can add the DHA supplement to the formula (as long as you know your baby will finish the whole bottle) — I usually gave it separately using a dropper and then added it to her food when she moved to solids. Hope that helps!

          • Thanks so much Anjali!!! I also contacted HiPP regarding the aluminum issue…this was their response:

            “HiPP analyses all the critical raw materials for aluminium contamination on a very regular basis and selects the raw materials with the lowest levels possible to ensure we are providing the safest products possible for babies. The level in our products is kept as low as technically and practicably possible. The level of aluminium in raw materials fluctuates widely as it is an abundant metal in the earth, and this is something we have little control over. The levels of aluminium mentioned in the published studies only show a ‘snap-shot’ of levels in products and other batches of products, not tested, could very easily have much lower levels. At HiPP we have done analysis of final products and generally the content of aluminium has been found to below the detection limit of 0.5mg/kg powder (much lower than the values found in the study). Please find attached the statement issued by HiPP on the subject of aluminium, together with a statement of the SNE (former: IDACE) concerning aluminium in (infant) nutrition.”

            I think you are right– that the aluminum likely isn’t a big issue. Also, they never tested Holle — it’s hard to believe that Holle would be the only one without aluminum.

            Thank you so so much for all your advice!!!!

            • No problem at all Cathy! 🙂 Good to know about HiPP — I think Holle would probably have similar issues if it was tested — so yes! I think HiPP is probably ok 🙂 So glad you were able to reach them and get these details, thanks so much for sharing!

  28. Hi. My friend from UK sent me a hipp formula thru UPS. UPS won’t deliver it to me unless I get an FDA Registration. Any idea on how to get the registration?

    • That’s so strange! If the formula was shipped to you in a personal package (and sent to your home address), I don’t know why UPS would ask you to get an FDA registration. FDA registrations are for food facilities and distributors. I think you’ll just have to call UPS to figure out what’s going on — sorry I can’t be more helpful here! I hope you’re able to get your package from them!

      • I hope Hazel can help here — sorry I don’t have a better answer to this other than trying to call UPS to sort it out! Good luck Chris! Let me know if you figure out a solution!

  29. Hi Anjali, thanks again..i will take 20 boxes of holle lebenswert and few boxes of Baby’s Only Lactorelief which Sage suggested . Can you let me know which DHA you used ? and also what other supplements you think i should take from US and go .. because i really dont know about the quality available in India . Let me know what all supplements you gave your baby from 0-6 months. Also i am making a list of baby essentials i would need soon after delivery and until i am in India .. i will fwd the list to you soon please let me know if i need to add anything more to that list.. also i heard all the newly bought clothes for the babies should be washed once before using it on the newly borns.. is it so? if so then is there any mild detergents for the baby’s clothes or the regular detergent we use . Can it be machine washed? Please let me know.

    • That sounds like a good plan Niki! For DHA, I used Nordic Naturals DHA for babies. I also gave Layla Vitamin D as a supplement (bought this one from Amazon). And we did probiotics when she was an infant because she had a lot of gas issues, but we stopped the probiotics once her gas issues resolved (after about 8 weeks we didn’t need it anymore). So yeah that’s about it! DHA + Probiotics + Vitamin D. I didn’t worry about any other supplements mainly because I was nursing her from 0-6 months and supplementing with formula here and there, so I figured she was getting everything she needed that way. I’d double check with your pediatrician if there are any other supplements they’d recommend in addition to DHA/Probiotics/Vitamin D. So yes, you should wash all newly bought clothes, blankets, washcloths, towels, etc. — anything the baby will be using that’s going to touch their skin — before you use it. Any detergent that’s free of dyes and fragrances (like All Free and Clear, or any detergent from Whole Foods, etc.) will work. And yes, machine washing is totally fine! I’ve never hand washed any of Layla’s clothes. Hope that helps, feel free to send over your list once you have it, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any other questions!

      • Hi Anjali,
        I read that you give Layla vitamin D also besides formula. 1.) May I know why? Until when? I thought vitamin D in formula that baby drinks is enough already, am I wrong? how bout multivitamin for infant? and then 2.) for probiotics, is it for gassy baby only?

        Thank you for your time and answering my question…

        • Hi Lia! Our pediatrician recommended we give Layla Vitamin D even when she was on formula because the formula didn’t have the full 400 IU recommended daily for babies. For probiotics, we only gave it to her when she was an infant and was having major gas issues, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give your baby probiotics for longer than the infant stage if you need to! Hope that helps, and you should also follow up with your pediatrician to make sure they are comfortable with the supplements and formula you’re giving your little one 🙂

            • For probiotics, honestly it’s up to you. We didn’t give Layla probiotics after she was about 2-3 months old because her gas issues resolved themselves. I’d ask your pediatrician what they’re comfortable with, for both the probiotics and Vitamin D. I can only tell you what we did with Layla, which was Vitamin D supplements along with the formula, and probiotics for the first 2-3 months of her life 🙂 Hope that helps!

  30. Hi Anjali, i found this website organic baby food.. they have starter kit (15 boxes) and big kit ( 45 boxes) and much cheaper than most places and its shipped from Germany.. have you ordered from these people anytime.. my only concern is why they are giving for almost half the price when its so much in demand! Yeah they have additional shipping cost too.. but its still much cheaper. Any idea?

    • Hi Niki! I haven’t used that website (organic baby food) before — but it could be cheaper because it’s shipped from Germany vs. the UK? Not sure though. I’d just call them to find out and make sure that the formula is authentic before you buy it!

    • Hi Niki! That should be fine 🙂 For the probiotic, we used Jarrow Formulas for Babies. Hope that helps!

  31. Anjali.. I have too many questions for you today 😉 have to tried cloth diapers? i saw some online the re useable cloth diapers.. any idea ?

  32. Hi Anjali-
    Thanks for this article and all of your research. I’ve been using Similac liquid ready to feed. Apparently there are better options out there – I wanted RTF originally since it could be sterilized, as powder cannot. Anyway, I ordered some Hipp and baby seems to be doing fine with it. My question is, if she’s taking 6-7/oz per feed to Similac, would I give her the same amount of Hipp? She is 6 months and we’re starting to introduce solids, but we’re doing baby led weaning so she’s not actually ingesting much food yet – more just playing with it 🙂 I just want to make sure she’s getting enough nourishment.

    Also, the directions for Hipp say you have to boil the water. Can we just use filtered water? And it also says you can’t prepare ahead of time – I think with other formulas you can pre-mix some for the fridge. Or, do you think it’s ok to pre-measure out some powder into bottles and then just add water when you’re ready to use? Any thoughts on that? Sorry, new to powder 🙂 Thanks!

    • Hi Dania! Of course! I’m so glad this post was helpful 🙂 So yes, you can give her the same amount of HiPP as she was drinking of Similac — 6-7oz per feed is totally fine. I think, even with solids, Layla was doing about 7oz 3 times a day of formula (and now she does 7oz 3 times a day of milk) — so they’ll be drinking a significant amount of milk for some time! So yes, for HiPP – you don’t have to boil the water – we used filtered water and boiled water for Layla and both were fine. You can’t prepare HiPP ahead of time and keep it in the fridge unfortunately, you have to use it within 2 hours of making it. But yes, you can measure out the powder and the water separately and then just mix when you’re ready to use! Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

  33. Anjali.. Holle lebenswert formula has vitamin D in the ingredients list should i still supplement with Vitamin D3?also i dont see iron.. since i am not breast feeding i want make sure i am giving them everything they would need for their growth.

    • Hi Niki! It depends on how much Vitamin D is in the Holle formula. If it’s 100% of the daily value needed for an infant, you don’t need to supplement. For iron, don’t worry about it. Most infant formulas don’t have much iron because infants already have iron stores from birth that they retain for the first 4-6 months of life 🙂

  34. HI Anjali.. i had mailed organic baby foods , from where i ordered Holle lebenswert .. had asked them about vitamin D and iron in the formula.. they replied saying “The Vitamin D conists mostly of Vitamin D2 and D3.(7,5 μg per 100 gramm)
    The formula contains 4,4 mg Iron per 100 gramm.”
    Do you think i still need to go for DHA +Vitamin D3 or just DHA? also i keep reading about ARA.. do you think i need to supplement DHA+ARA?

    • Hi Niki! Personally, I only supplemented with DHA (not DHA + ARA) — so I’d talk to your pediatrician about whether ARA supplementation is necessary. For Vitamin D, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all babies receive routine vitamin D supplementation (400 IU per day) due to decreased sunlight exposure and an increase in rickets. We gave Layla 400 IU of vitamin D every day, even when she was having formula. I’m not sure how (7,5 μg per 100 grams) translates to IU – so I’d ask your pediatrician about that as well. Hope that helps!

    • Hi, I had the same question, because I want to supplement my daughter with Vitamin D.
      She’s on Lebenswert bio 2, it contains 1,1 ug of Vitamin D per 100 ml of fluid intake, that means 40 IU per 4 oz aprox. (10 IU per ounce).
      That calculation can help you find if your baby needs more Vitamin D.
      Anjali, What Vitamin D supplement do you recommend?
      Thank you, you have been very helpful!

  35. Hi Anjali, How does the Baby’s Only Lactorelief rank? I tried the Baby’s Only Whey and my baby was sick after each bottle, spitting up tons of mucous.

    • Hi Alisa! I haven’t done much research on Baby’s Only Lactorelief — but compared to the other allergy-friendly formulas out there I think Lactorelief is one of the better ones for sure! So if your baby has a milk protein intolerance or allergy, that could definitely be a good one to try. I have talked to other moms whose babies have done well with it. Hope that helps!

  36. I just want you to know how helpful this post was for me. I’ve made it 9 months ebf and wanted to do some research before supplementing since my supply has taken such a hit. We tried to make our stash last long enough to wait for hipp organics to come in but won’t make it in time 🙁 I have happily shared this post and will continue to share the word. I feel a put in my stomach for not doing my research with my first born! Thank you thank you thank you for this post. We have decided to go with the honest co due to baby’s only whey being on back order (from what I could find). You are an angel. I feel so much better supplementing now. Kind of makes me realize why my DS would never take any other brand! But he will easily chug the honest co!

    • Hi Laura! I’m so happy to hear that this post was helpful for you! And CONGRATS on making it 9 months EBF! That is amazing – you should be proud of that 🙂 Sounds like you made a great choice with Honest Co. – they really are a good option in the US. Thanks for letting me know and take good care!

  37. Hi Anjali and Sage
    I bought Baby’s only lacto relief .. it says its toddler formula and its for age 1 year and older.. so i am wondering if its for just borns ? Sage , can yo let me know from when did you start this formula for your baby?

    • Hi Niki! According to Baby’s Only — their formula can be used for infants even though it says “toddler formula” on it. I would just call Baby’s Only to confirm that if I were using it, but I’ve heard from other moms that you can use Baby’s Only from birth onwards. Hope that helps!

  38. Hello.. does anyone have any idea about the baby’s only lacto relief formula? can it be given to new borns , they have mentioned its a toddler formula on the box.

    • Hi Anjali,
      I wanted to know how long does a 2oz nordic naturals DHA last ? i thought i will just order one now and see if it works with the twins and then order more.. also, did you start with this supplement soon after the baby was born or few weeks later?

      • Hi Niki! See my comment above about Baby’s Only 🙂 About the DHA — you’ll probably only be using 1mL per baby per day for the first month at least, and 2oz = 59mL — so that means, across both of your babies, you should be able to make 1 bottle last for about a month. We started with the DHA once we switched completely to formula (since otherwise babies get DHA through breastmilk).

  39. Hi Anjali, thank you for your help.
    I just want to add that I bought the Holle Lebenswert formula from, it lasted almost a month but I finally received it last week.
    I saw that the box has a seal that says: SpX by X-ray in Frankfurt, Germany. I called to biologish then The US postal services, US customs and finally FDA, everybody told me that it’s safe to give it to my baby.
    You always can call US FDA regarding any issue about your baby food. They have helped me a lot.
    Just want to know: what water did you use to mix it? Thank you!

    • Thanks Yolanda! That’s super helpful to know. I used filtered tap water (which we then boiled) for Layla. But if we were on the go I’d use bottled water. Hope that helps!

  40. Hi Anjali,
    Thanks again 🙂 I had called Nordic naturals because i wanted to find out if they had DHA without vitamin D3 , cause Holle lebenswert formula already has Vitamin D and i dont want to supplement more than required , unfortunately they dont have any DHA for babies without VitaminD , nor am i finding any other brand which doesnt have vitaminD in their DHA supplement. Do you know any? Nordic naturals has vegetarain DHA without vitaminD but it says for babies over 6 months.. i would like to start in the first initials weeks since i am not breastfeeding. Also FYI when i called nordic naturals they told me not to order any of their products from amazon because they have been having lot of issues with the complaints coming in that the seal was broken and the exp date etc.. and they dont know who is selling it on amazon and also few cases been filed and they have not been able to trace them. They suggested before buying any product on amazon call the company directly and find out if they have their products on amazon and then decide to buy especially the baby food and anything edible. Thought i should mention this here , it might be helpful for the mothers on this blog.

    • Hi Niki! Thanks so much for the tip about Amazon! That is very good to know. Honestly, I don’t know of another good brand that has DHA for infants (that’s all natural/no additives/etc.) Nordic Naturals has been my go-to for some time. You might want to ask your pediatrician if the Vitamin D in Nordic Naturals + the formula is too much — it may be ok because you’re just giving 1mL of the Nordic Naturals to your babies when they’re infants, which won’t have the full dose of Vitamin D for the day in it.

  41. Anjali,
    That’s right! i would be giving them just 1ml 😛 thanks for reminding 🙂 btw.. you have mentioned that you boiled the filter water and used it to mix the formula, did you boil the water each time just before feeding or is it ok to boil and store it in the flask for the whole day. In India i am thinking i need to boil the water for quite sometime( not sure how safe aqua guard filter water is) , so doing it each time before feeding would take a lot of time to boil and cool and then feed.

    • No problem! So I just boiled water for the entire day and poured it into bottles — I didn’t boil it before each feeding. But I’m not sure how safe that would be to do in India (like if you need to boil water before each feeding because of the quality of the water?) You may want to check with someone where you’ll be staying to find out what would be safest.

      • Yeah.. will figure out when i go to India, even i dont feel boiling a lot of water and keeping it for the whole day is a good idea. Does the formula mix well with just luke warm water or should it be really warm.. cause i am thinking as soon as i boil the water should i mix the formula or let it cool for a while and then mix. Sorry if i am bothering with too many questions.. i absolutely have no idea about anything . I really appreciate for your patience.

        • Hi Niki, the formula mixes well with warm or cold water, it doesn’t matter! And I don’t mind answering your questions at all, I’m more than happy to help! If it’s easier, you are welcome to email me at if you want to chat about anything baby-related (that way you don’t have to keep checking this post for updates 🙂 ) Either way works though, your choice!

  42. Also.. when did you start feeding your baby solids? some say 4 months and some say after 5 months… i see that Holle has rice and millet porrdige for babies 4-6 months, i am planning to take few boxes of these since i will be in India for atleast 5 months. Do you think its ok to start at 4 months and if its ok what else do you think its ok to feed while i am in India.

    • We started solids around 5 months, but yes you can start anytime from 4-6 months. It all depends on your baby’s “readiness” and whether they’re showing signs of being interested in your food, etc. Layla’s first food was avocado actually, I never did rice cereal with her. We did avocado, sweet potato, pear and then oatmeal mixed with those purees — and then we moved on to other fruits and veggies. You can see a guide and a bunch of baby food recipes here: You can also wait to start solids until you’re back in the states if it’s easier — there’s no rule that says you have to start at 4 or 5 months 🙂 Hope that helps!

  43. I am planning to take some probiotics too.. The one which you mentioned Jarrow formula for baby, did you use the powder or the drops?which one is better? Is it given just once a day ?

    • Yeah we used Jarrow — we used the drops because it was easier for us but honestly either one is totally fine. We gave it to Layla once a day, but you should check with your pediatrician on what might be best for your little ones!

  44. Thats so nice you.. thank you 🙂 Avocado and other fruit and veggie puree sounds better than porridge .. will see how it goes and will surely try . I also wanted to know how long does the probiotic ( jarrow formula for baby) last.. i see its a an 8ml bottle and it says 6 drops daily.. is one bottle enough for a month for two of them .. if it works for them then i ask my sister to get it while she is coming.

    • Hi Niki! If you look at the label on the 8mL bottle – it should say how many total drops are in the bottle. When I looked it up online, it looks like there are 21 servings of 6 drops each — which means that if you were giving one baby 6 drops daily, it would last for 21 days. Since you’ll be giving both babies 6 drops daily, the bottle will last for about 10 days. 🙂

  45. Thanks Anjali 🙂 , I was doing some research on DHA , the vegetarian ( algae) vs the arctic cod , and i came across this…”I would not recommend to give DHA to your baby at all.”
    “DHA is found in breast milk. The DHA in infant formulas come from socosahexaenioic single cell oil. These oils are extracted with the toxic chemical hexane from laboratory grown algae. DHA oils in formula are not similar to that found in breast milk. No study has found out that there is a benefit by adding genetically modified/created DHA to formula yet.
    Now since i am not breastfeeding i am so worried . Do you know anything about the DHA from nordic naturals which says 100% arctic cod, i hope its not genetically modified /created DHA.

    • Hi Niki, Nordic Naturals is a highly reputable company, I think their fish oils are some of the purest out there. So no, I don’t think their DHA is GMO. You can read more about their practices and their fish oil here. But you should really talk to your pediatrician about this — he or she will be able to assuage any worries you have about giving your babies DHA 🙂

  46. Sure Anjali, i will definitely talk to my pediatrician , just that i prefer to do some research before adding anything on to my diet. Thanks again .

    • That makes sense! Doing the research on your own is great, but you should always feel like you can use your pediatrician as a resource (I certainly did when Layla was born!) – that’s what they’re there for! 🙂

      • Hi Anjali, I delivered 2 weeks back , my boys decided to come early (33weeks) their weight is very low ( both of them are around 1.3kgs) they lost some weight last week and they are losing and gaining on and off . It’s driving me crazy . I am feeling too guilty of not able to breastfeed them . In NICU they are feeding them pre term baby formula from Nestle. Somehow I am not too happy with it. They have been digesting it well but are not taking more than 20-30ml per feed. I wanted to know if there is any pre term baby formula for babies with low birth weight with high calories to help them gain weight . My sister is coming from US on 13th of dec I can ask her to get or it would be great if it’s available online and it can be shipped to India. I have Holle lebenswert with me but my doctor says its for full term babies or should be above 2.25kgs , since the calories are less compare to pre term baby formula. I am so confused and tensed please help.

        • Hi Niki!! So good to hear from you! First of all – congratulations on welcoming your little ones into the world! I’m so sorry to hear that they’re not gaining weight (and have low birth weight) – I can’t imagine how stressful that must be and how hard it must be having your babies in the NICU. :/ Honestly, at this point, I would just do what the doctors say. If they have Nestle formula and that’s what they recommend for pre-term babies, just give that formula to your babies. You’ll have plenty of time to give them Lebenswert when they get out of the NICU. The most important thing right now is that they gain enough weight so they are able to get/stay healthy and come home as soon as possible! When Layla was born, she had to go to the NICU as well because she had major major jaundice and I had to give her Enfamil ready to feed formula (even though I was breastfeeding) – to help her get rid of the bilirubin. I didn’t feel great about Enfamil ready to feed either (the ingredients suck) – but it was what the doctors recommended and I didn’t want to mess around with her health at that point. Once she got out of the NICU and once I stopped breastfeeding, I gave her HiPP and felt good about that. So my advice would be, just do what the doctors say and keep your babies gaining weight! Also please don’t feel bad/guilty about not being able to breastfeed them – that is not your fault. And I’ve heard that babies gain more weight on formula vs. breastmilk anyway, so it might even be better that they’re getting formula right now. Their time in the NICU will be so short compared to the rest of their time on formula, so don’t worry if they have a less-than-ideal formula for this short time if it’s what will get their weight up and get them home with you. I hope that helps, sending you hugs and lots of well wishes your way. I hope you are taking care of yourself too, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any other questions!

  47. What about Holle’s new formula with lactose instead of maltodextrin? Would that make it better than Hipp? Also read high aluminum levels in Hipp could be because packaged in aluminum cases…

    • Hi Erika! I think you’re talking about Lebenswert right? If so yes! That is a great option and just as good (maybe better) than HiPP. Regarding aluminum in HiPP — one of my other readers contacted HiPP and this is what they said about the aluminum: “HiPP analyses all the critical raw materials for aluminum contamination on a very regular basis and selects the raw materials with the lowest levels possible to ensure we are providing the safest products possible for babies. The level in our products is kept as low as technically and practicably possible. The level of aluminum in raw materials fluctuates widely as it is an abundant metal in the earth, and this is something we have little control over. The levels of aluminum mentioned in the published studies only show a ‘snap-shot’ of levels in products and other batches of products, not tested, could very easily have much lower levels. At HiPP we have done analysis of final products and generally the content of aluminum has been found to below the detection limit of 0.5mg/kg powder (much lower than the values found in the study). Please find attached the statement issued by HiPP on the subject of aluminum, together with a statement of the SNE (former: IDACE) concerning aluminum in (infant) nutrition.”

      Additionally that study was limited in the formulas they tested (Holle, for example, wasn’t tested) and it was only done once in 2013 — so I didn’t feel like it was conclusive or exhaustive enough. Given that I wasn’t concerned about the aluminum in HiPP, but if you are Holle Lebenswert is a great option! Hope that helps!

  48. Hi, my baby is on Holle formula and Baby’s DHA since Oct, 6th. she got low grade fever that day, (101.5).
    She looks pretty healthy, didn’t have any discomfort, only low grade fever. Next day no fever, she was pooing so well, any discomfort at all.
    In a couple of days, she got fever one more time, and the next day nothing.
    She also eats less, she seems more satisfied with less oz.
    I took her to the pediatriacian and she told me that she looks pretty good and healthy and no further medications or labs will be performed.
    I added probiotics to her formula to fight any viral infection, but she didn’t have any other symptoms, she doesn’t even cry.
    I received the Holle lambswert on Oct, 21st, I feed her with it and she got fever that night again.
    Anyone having the same issues? Any thoughts?
    My daughter is 3 months, almost 4.
    Before all of this she was baby talking a lot (gaga, etc),
    Now she doesn’t. She only smiles like ever but not gaggling.
    Her hair is falling a lot since then also, maybe this is normal but my older baby never had hair loss problems.
    Do you think is just a coincidence?
    Thank you for sharing your experiences.

    • Hi Yolanda! So sorry to hear about your baby’s recurring fevers!! That sounds awful 🙁 Honestly, I have no idea if it’s related to the formula at all. It could be a coincidence, or your baby could be reacting to an ingredient in the formula. Has your baby been tested for allergies? She could be having an allergic reaction to something in the formula. Was she doing ok on other formulas? If so you may want to switch back and see whether she improves. Have you talked to your pediatrician about the recurring fever and hair loss? They should be able to give you some guidance on what to do. So sorry to hear about this, hope she gets better soon!

      • Thank you, I switched back to her old formula and she is great, her hair is fine, her gaggling is back and most important, she doesn’t have any fever. It has only been two days and she is fine again. It seems that she had a reaction to that formula.
        I’m feeling bad that the Holle formula didn’t work with her. I purchased several boxes and now I have to sell them, I have 8 boxes of stage 1 and 10 of stage 2, if anyone is interested, please let me know.
        Thank you for your help Anjali, I’m happy that the formula works for the most of the pople that had posted here, unfortunately it didn’t work for my daughter.

        • I’m so glad she’s better! But that’s really too bad she had a bad reaction to the Holle formula :/ Hopefully you’ll be able to sell the ones you have left! The most important thing though, is that your daughter is happy and healthy 🙂 Thanks for letting me know!

          • Here’s an update:
            I just mix the formula with boiled water as the box instructions and everything is fine. My daughter is doing great with that formula. I was using bottled water to mix it without boiling it. Now I’m boiling it and she is totally fine with the Lebenswert formula.
            I only have 6 boxes left and I think that they will last until my daughter is 5 and a half months of age. Do you think that I should order two more boxes of stage 1? or can I start with stage 2 by that time?
            I also want to try Baby’s Only Whey Protein after 7 months, I have read the ingredients and they looked good, the difference that I found between Holle and Baby’s Only Whey formula is that Baby’s Only Whey Protein contains Organic Soybean Oil and Organic Soy Lecithin vs Holle that contains maltodextrin and Palm Oil, any thoughts about those bad ingredients in both formulas?
            I haven’t compared the vitamins content in both neither.
            Thank you for your help!

            • Oh that’s so great to hear! I’m glad you figured it out so that she can have the Lebenswert formula! I kept Layla on Stage 1 until she was about 8 months actually, so you can do it either way (switch her a little early, or switch her later). Between palm oil/maltodextrin in Holle and Organic Soybean oil/soy lecithin in Baby’s Only, honestly, for me it’s a toss up. Maltodextrin is a cheap sweetener derived from rice, corn, or potatoes that is less similar to the natural sugar found in breast milk, so that’s not great, but neither is too much soy in the diet. So I think they’re pretty comparable honestly. Alternatively, HiPP doesn’t have maltodextrin or soy — and it only has Palm Oil – so HiPP Stage 2 is probably better than Lebenswert stage 2 or Baby’s Only (marginally). Hope that helps!

  49. Hi, my daughter has been taking Holle 1 since when she was 2.5 months. She just turned 6 months and I switched her to Holle 2. Since then, she has suffered horrible constipation. I didn’t know what to do except to switch her back to Holle 1. Do you know if one must switch stage at 6 months? My daughter has only just started take solids (baby cereal) at 6 months. Thanks.

    • Hi Tiffany! One reason for her constipation could be that Holle 2 has more iron in it than Holle 1, and it could be that her body just wasn’t used to it. Not sure if you have to switch to Holle 2 right at 6 months — for HiPP you can use their stage 1 formula for the entire first year. I’d call Holle and ask them — it’s very possible that you could just keep her on Holle 1 until she turns 1 year old!

  50. Thank you for putting this information together! Have you ever looked at the Bimbosan product line? They offer and organic and a “premium” that is not organic but it does it have palm fat. I just wondered where they fell in with these. I am located in Europe so luckily I have access to the top options!

    • Hi Tom! No problem at all! You know, I hadn’t heard of Bimbosan formulas until you just mentioned it, but they look great on first glance. I couldn’t find their nutritional info on their website, but if you have a package, feel free to email me a picture of the ingredient label at, and I can take a look and let you know where it falls among the rest of these brands!

      • Hi, im also wondering about Bimbosan formula from Switzerland. Here are the ingredients. Please tell me how you rank it compared to Lebenswert….

        Whole milk*, skimmed milk*, demineralized whey powder*, vegetable oils and fats (rapeseed oil*, sunflower oil*, palm oil*, palm kernel oil*), lactose*, whey protein concentrate*, calcium citrate, sodium citrate, potassium citrate, magnesium chloride, iron (II) gluconate, sodium hydrogenphosphate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, potassium iodate, sodium selenite, vitamin C, vitamin E, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin K, biotin, vitamin D, vitamin B2, vitamin B12, choline hydrogentartrate, inositol.
        * raw material from controlled organic production

        Thank you for sharing all your research! I was so happy to find your blog! I suffered from insufficient gland tissue with my first baby and am planning differently my second time around.
        All the best,

        • Hi Sara! Thanks for sharing the ingredients list – super helpful! Given that, I’d say that Bimbosan is actually 100% comparable to Lebenswert. I’d rank it right alongside it on my list! Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

  51. Thanks for the info! I’m just wondering why you favour Hipp over Holle? I’m looking to start combi feeding my baby and I was thinking of using holle as I noticed Hipp contains fluoride?!

    • Hi Joanne! At the time Layla was born, I favored HiPP over Holle because HiPP didn’t have maltodextrin, and it had natural DHA/ARA from organic fish oil which I appreciated. Holle Lebenswert (which I think could be even better than, or very comparable to HiPP) wasn’t available when I was buying formula for Layla – so I stuck with HiPP. HiPP doesn’t actually have flouride in the formula. Flouride is listed on the box because most water contains flouride, and therefore – since formula is mixed with water, HiPP is required to list it. You can see HiPP’s ingredients list here. Hope that helps!

      • Thanks Yolanda – great point! And Holle actually has Flouride on the ingredients list – I’d imagine they list it because of the same reason as HiPP (it’s in the water) – but (Joanne) I’d call them to double check if you’re very concerned!

  52. Hi Anjali –

    I purchased HIPP formula after reading your blog. My son is about 3.5 months old and I am thinking about doing both breastmilk and formula when I go back to work next week. I noticed on the Formuland website there was HIPP UK and HIPP Germany. I purchased the one that says HIPP UK. Is there a difference? Thanks! Vanisha

    • Hi Vanisha! Oh that’s great! I don’t think there’s a difference — it’s just differently branded based on the country it’s sold in (the HiPP Germany box probably is in German, for example). I used HiPP UK for Layla – just so I could read the box 🙂 Hope that helps!

  53. If you are looking to get your formula quick and at a great price, I recommended . They are the original Holle sellers in the USA. You receive your products within 1 to 3 days and amazing customer service.

    • Hi Ankur! We did, but honestly it’s totally up to you. I’d just ask your pediatrician whether they would be comfortable with it, and if so go ahead! We used Nordic Naturals Baby DHA for Layla 🙂

  54. I’ve been using Honest Company for a few weeks now and just found this post about the Baby’s Only Whey option. Super helpful!!

    My one question is that my baby is only 2 months old and all their formulas say for toddlers? Am I missing the infant formula? Or is everyone just using this toddler formula for their infants?

    • Hi Lorri! Great question! According to Baby’s Only – their formulas can be used for infants even though they are labeled as “toddler” formulas. Hope that helps!

    • Lebenswert is a great option! It’s better than regular Holle and is on par with HiPP (maybe even slightly better than HiPP!) Hope that helps!

  55. Hello!

    Thank you for all the info on formulas. I am breastfeeding and supplementing my 1 month old with formula. We just switched to Holle Lebenswert stage 1. I notice that Holle Lebenswert stage 1 formula contains fluoride in it. What is your take on that?

    • Hi Shreya! As far as I know, the amount of flouride in Lebenswert is so minimal that it shouldn’t be an issue (and it’s unclear whether they add flouride to the formula itself, or if they add flouride as an ingredient on the box because water has flouride in it – and the formula is mixed with water). I’d ask your pediatrician to make sure it’s not an issue for your baby, but otherwise I wouldn’t worry about it.

  56. After trying other options the Holle Organic Formula is the best. Other formulas gave my son constipation and I don’t think he enjoyed them. He loves the Holle and no more worries about constipation. We buy it at and never had problems.

    • That’s great to know that Holle worked for your baby Charlotte! Every baby is different, so it makes sense that certain formulas didn’t work for your little one 🙂

  57. I have to wean my 10m old over this next month and she hasn’t tolerated formula (meaning she refuses it) since she was in the early weeks and I had to supplement. How did Layla do when you transitioned her?

    • Hi Sally! Layla did great when I transitioned her actually — it might be because these European formulas (HiPP/Holle) taste a lot more like milk vs. like syrup (for the US formulas). It was pretty much seamless – I just switched one of her bottles a day to formula when I started to wean, and slowly increased the # of formula bottles and decreased the # of breastmilk bottles over the course of a few weeks. Hope that helps!

  58. This is so helpful!!! Thank you so much. Not just for the thorough reiview but for constantly updating your review based on what is available in the market. Thanks !!!!!

  59. Thank you so much for this information! We ordered HIPP and were really excited to start supplementing but I recently went to the doctor because of a small amount of blood in my babies diaper on I occasion and she thinks my daughter might have a dairy sensitivity. I’m supposed to go off all dairy, which means no dairy formula and no nights off for mommy while we are on our holiday over Christmas unless we find a non-dairy option. ? Have you done any research on soy formulas or formulas for infants that have a dairy sensitivity from breastmilk when the mother eats dairy products?

    • Hi Monica! Aw man – so sorry to hear that your daughter might have a dairy sensitivity! That sucks – and most of the soy formulas / allergy related formulas out there aren’t great. The best one I’ve heard of is Baby’s Only Lactorelief. The ingredients aren’t as good as the regular formulas, but they are way way better than most of the allergy related formulas I’ve seen! Hope that helps and I hope your daughter does well on it!

  60. Did you take into consideration the studies about the high aluminum levels in hipp when determining your rankings? I know Holle wasn’t included in those studies, so who’s to say their formula doesn’t have high levels as well, but I’m just curious about your thoughts?

    • Hi Delanie! Yes I did — the aluminum issue with HiPP is totally inconclusive (as far as I can tell). Here are the facts:
      – The study was done in 2013 and it’s unclear whether 1) it’s still an issue for HiPP and 2) whether Holle and all of the other formulas had the same issue (since, like you said they weren’t tested)
      – Apparently all of the aluminum levels were all within current guideline limits and there was no evidence they were harmful to children, especially since there is aluminum in drinking water/etc.
      – We contacted HiPP and here is what they said: “HiPP analyses all the critical raw materials for aluminum contamination on a very regular basis and selects the raw materials with the lowest levels possible to ensure we are providing the safest products possible for babies. The level in our products is kept as low as technically and practicably possible. The level of aluminum in raw materials fluctuates widely as it is an abundant metal in the earth, and this is something we have little control over. The levels of aluminum mentioned in the published studies only show a ‘snap-shot’ of levels in products and other batches of products, not tested, could very easily have much lower levels. At HiPP we have done analysis of final products and generally the content of aluminum has been found to below the detection limit of 0.5mg/kg powder (much lower than the values found in the study).” They also sent along a statement issued by the SNE (former: IDACE) concerning aluminum in infant nutrition.
      Based on all of this, I didn’t see the aluminum as a big issue. But ultimately – I’d say go with whichever formula you are the most comfortable with – both Holle and HiPP are great and much better than the options in the US! Hope that helps!

  61. Hi thank you for the info. I have been trying to find the best organic formula online, read so many reviews and they all say the same thing. I wish I didn’t have to feed my son formula, but the pediatrician recommended, he’s not getting enough breast milk, it has decreased. He is almost 6 months, was born premature and this will be first the time I’m giving him formula. I just wasn’t sure which organic formula to give him.

    • Hi Azima! Thanks so much for your comment – I hope this post helped you to find the right formula for your little one. I know it’s hard switching from breastmilk to formula, but please try not to feel badly about it. You are doing the best you can and it’s not your fault that he’s needing more milk than you can give him! If the pediatrician said to give him formula, that is probably the right thing to do. And if you breastfed him exclusively for 6 months that’s still amazing! You should feel good about that 🙂 And just because you have to supplement with formula doesn’t mean you can’t still nurse your little one. Hope that helps, good luck and hang in there!

  62. Thank you for sharing your objective and detailed research. Really saved me hours of time from identifying the best formula for our newborn.

    Quick question, if one goes the HIPP route. do you supplement this formula with additional probiotics, DHA etc.? or is this formula totally complete? [I doubt any product can be that totally complete, but what do I know…]

    • Of course! So glad it was helpful. For HiPP, you don’t have to supplement but you can if you’d like. HiPP already has fish oil in it, so the DHA supplement may not be necessary. We supplemented with Vitamin D mainly, and we also used probiotics for the first 8 weeks because my daughter had terrible gas. The three most common supplements are DHA, Vitamin D, and Probiotics — I’d just chat with your pediatrician to find out whether they feel any are necessary if you are exclusively formula feeding with HiPP (my guess is, they’ll say Vitamin D is the only one that’s necessary as a supplement). Let me know if you have any other questions!

  63. Nice article. Very helpful for FTM like me trying to pick the best formula for my infant. I do want to start baby only whey protein version but the toddler only and comments about stressful for infant tummy are discouraging. No not sure. But do want to move to better option than enfamil newborn which he is on

    • Thanks Sangita! If you’re worried about Baby’s Only With Whey, you can always try the Honest Company formula if you want to stick to a US based formula, or you can order Holle or HiPP from Europe! Hope that helps!

  64. My son is doing awesome on Lebenswert 1. I’ve seen a few different US sellers mentioned and wanted to offer another source as this particular product is often sold out. We order from I’ve tried ordering from a couple of the mentioned sites and purely loved organics has the best prices that ive seen. Anyway, great read and thanks for letting me share:)

    • Thank you for the tip Kim!! I’ve added Purely Loved Organics to the list of retailers in the post. So glad you liked this post too!

  65. The Baby’s Only with whey left my baby VERY gassy and constipated. Can’t afford to move to the HiPP/Holle….any feedback on if the honest brand has shown any constipation? How long should I wait it out before switching? Would the Baby’s Only with DHA/ARA be an option?

    • Hi Shannon! I’m so sorry to hear that your baby had tummy troubles with Baby’s Only with Whey (you’re not alone, other babies have had that issue with this formula!) I don’t know much about the honest company’s formula and how babies do on it (since I used HiPP for Layla) – but I think it’s worth a shot to try the Honest Company formula and see how it goes! The regular Baby’s Only formula I think also can cause tummy troubles for babies — more so than the Whey version. Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions and I hope your baby feels better on a different formula!

    • Hi, Shannon, I always buy Holle formula from, they ship directly from Germany by DHL, it takes about 3 weeks, you can buy 20 boxes or 28 and it will be $11 per box with shipping included (the Lebenswert formula) and about $13 a box for the Holle formula.
      They always arrive in perfect condition and perfectly packaged.
      Actually I think that the USA suppliers buy directly from them, since they are the cheapest and the only pharmacy who send the formulas to USA.

  66. Hi,

    This post is so reassuring since I just gave birth and have low milk supply…I decided to choose baby’s only whey protein to formula feed my newborn baby after reading this blog and researched ingredients myself. But my husband is still hesitant about using baby’s only and asked me repeatedly to switch to other “commercially available” brands…this makes me stressful as i don’t want to introduce other “non-organic” formula to my baby just because one is designed for newborn and the other intended for toddlers…

    What is your opinion on using baby’s only whey protein as newborn infant formula? Or do you know where I can find moms who has tried baby’s only whey protein on their newborn and has had great results?

    • Hi Chan! Thank you so much for reaching out! I’m glad this post was helpful, and I’m so sorry to hear about your milk supply issues. That can be really hard to deal with. But just know that you are doing the best you can for your baby and that is all that matters! Regarding Baby’s Only with Whey — it’s labeled as a “toddler” formula but it can be used as an infant formula. To help your husband get comfortable with it, I’d recommend both of you talking to your pediatrician about the formula — your pediatrician should be able to ease any worries he has so you can stick with it 🙂 You can also call Baby’s Only and they should confirm that their formula does well for infants, and they may be able to point you to resources to see how babies on the formula do longer term (results wise). Hope that helps! Let me know how it goes and let me know if you have any other questions!

  67. Thank you so much for this incredibly informative post and for your continuing research and information!
    My daughter is 14 weeks and my milk supply has been significantly drying up this past week, and today I’ve had almost nothing. I am so sad because I tried everything and worked so hard to keep my supply up but it has been a struggle from the beginning to be honest with you. I have a very small frame and I’m not sure if that has anything to do with it. Also, we did IVF because my hormone levels were not sufficient on their own to keep me pregnant so maybe that is a factor too.
    Anyway, I have a few questions. I started supplementing at night with Baby’s Only LactoRelief a few days ago because I needed to get my hands on something quickly. Whilst she is doing very well with it, I would prefer to switch to Holle or Hipp. Anytime I eat dairy though, we have major projectile vomiting issues. Like, right the way across the room and a huge puddle on the floor, to the point where I wonder if she’s even digesting anything at all. So if she has this kind of a reaction to dairy in breast milk, is she likely to have the same reaction with Hip/Holle or is it different when it is in formula? I would like to place a big order, but am nervous in case she doesn’t tolerate it.
    Also, I see the information about boiling water and using mineral water. Is one better than the other? And does the type of mineral water make a difference? Evian, Voss, Fiji? Once opened, does the rest of the bottle need to be discarded, or will it keep for later use?
    Thank you so much in advance!

    • Hi Emma! Thanks so much for sharing your experience – I’m so sorry your milk supply has been low and decreasing – that can be so frustrating and upsetting!! I remember when my milk supply dropped I got really down so I completely understand where you’re coming from. So regarding your baby’s potential lactose issues — if she’s having an issue with your breastmilk (when you eat dairy), most likely she will have an issue with dairy based formulas. One option would be to try Baby’s Only with Whey (since you can buy just one carton of it in the US) and see if she has digestive issues with it. If she doesn’t then she’ll probably be fine with Holle or HiPP, but if she has digestive issues with the Baby’s Only with Whey formula, I wouldn’t buy the Holle or HiPP. Regarding the type of water you use – I’ve heard that any type of water is fine (filtered, bottled, boiled). For Layla, we did boiled water when she was very young, and eventually switched to filtered/bottled water as she got older. If I used bottled water and didn’t finish all of it, I just kept it in the fridge until we needed it again and it was fine for Layla. But I’d double check with your pediatrician to see what they recommend as well! Hope that helps and hang in there! You are doing great mama! 🙂

  68. Hi Anjali,
    Thanks for all this great info. I just had a question for you on the Baby’s Only formula. It’s labeled for Toddlers, so is it ok to give to infants? I have 3 month olds, and we’ve been giving them Holle 1, but want something with DHA already baked in. I know HIPP has it, but the $ is of course a factor because we have twins! And apologies if this has been addressed already. -George

  69. What about the concern of high levels of arsenic in the organic brown rice syrup? I used to buy baby’s only, but the study they did on arsenic a few years ago scared me away. Now, new baby needs a transition formula…thanks for your info! The EU brand sounds worth the money, it’s only a small amount of time that they are on it.

    • Hi Sarah! I totally hear you on the arsenic concerns, and honestly I haven’t found anything really conclusive on that one way or the other. Baby’s Only with Whey doesn’t have brown rice syrup – so that’s a good option if you’re buying in the US. Otherwise yes, if you can afford it I would definitely recommend going with either HiPP or Holle – it is worth the money if you have the means to buy it! Hope that helps!

  70. I struggled so hard with breastfeeding my son once he reached 5-6 months old, my milk supply just completely deteriorated! I was so worried and scared that I was going to have to give him formula that I know if full of GMO’s and a lot of other things that I can’t even pronounce. After researching the Honest Company’s Formula and finding out that it was also full of a lot of things I didn’t like I can across Holle and decided to give it a try. My son took to it right away and I never had any problems with it except locating a supplier here in the U.S. after importing it directly from Germany and having to wait almost a month just to have it delivered . I thought other mom’s are probably going thru the frustrations I am, so I decided to import it in bulk and make it available to other moms here in the states via my website On my website you can also find useful information and directions, there is also a contact form in case you have any questions.

    • I’m so sorry to hear that you had a hard time nursing but you are not alone! I’m glad you were able to find Holle and that it worked for your son. Thanks so much for sharing your story and providing another resource for getting Holle in the US! That’s so great!

  71. Hi Anjali –

    Did you give Layla stage 2 of HIPP when she turned 6 months? I have to order more formula and noticed you can get stage 2 Hipp suitable for 6 months and up.


    • Hi Vanisha! Yup I got the stage 2 follow on milk after Layla turned 6 months. Technically, I started her on that when she was about 8 months because I had some of the stage 1 formula left over — so I finished that first, and then switched to the follow on milk. Hope that helps!

  72. How much DHA is in the HIPP Organic?
    We unfortunately have to formula feed, and want to supplement with Nordic Natural’s Baby DHA. But we also don’t want to overdo it if the HIPP Organic has a large amount already. I assume the HIPP has the bare minimum amount, but I haven’t been able to find out how much it has! Let alone compare it to the levels found in Breast Milk.

    Thank you

    • Hi Shan! According to HiPP Organic’s nutritional info page, which can be found here, a 100ml feed of their First Infant Milk (made up of 13.3g powder and 90ml water) contains 3.6g Fat, of which 1.2g is Saturated Fat, 0.7g is Polyunsaturated fat, 12.6mg comes from AA, and 7.2mg comes from DHA. I don’t know how that compares to breast milk, but depending on how much your baby is drinking each day, you can calculate how much AA and DHA you might need to supplement with! Hope that helps!

  73. Although I feed my son Holle as well, I do find it a bit strange that nobody have heard about Holle in Germany (at least all of my German friends and their friends don’t)
    And my German friend have helped me looked into this product on OKO test and that’s what she got: Öko-test says:
    Organic Infant Formula 1 ended up in last place among the organic products . an increased fat content of pollutants were detected ( daily tolerance amount exceeded by 2.7 times )and chlorate with increased values ​​. You should also determine spores of sulfite-reducing clostridia . This could indicate a lack of hygiene at the production site .

    I’m so confused with all these positive comments on google but I am missing positive comments from the Germans themselves!

    I’m getting really stressed out with choosing the best formula for my son.

    • Hi Cecilia! That is so strange! What formula do your friends in Germany recommend if they haven’t heard of Holle? I looked up Holle on Öko-test and honestly I couldn’t understand the English translation of what they were saying. Like “Organic Infant Formula 1 ended up in last place among the organic products.” What does that mean? Which organic products? What were they testing for? And which pollutants were they looking at (and what are the levels they found)? All of this was honestly unclear to me. You might want to see if you can contact Öko-test and get more details, to find out what exactly they found and when (and whether Holle made changes based on what they found). Also, if you’re worried about Holle you could always try HiPP! Or one of the US based formulas (Baby’s Only with Whey, Honest Co, etc.). No formula is going to be perfect, but any of these options are definitely better than what’s available in the mainstream US market right now. I hope that helps! Please let me know if you have any other questions!

  74. Thanks for your reply!!!!!!
    I’ve been having so much stress lately hoping to find as much positive comments as possible on Holle and i was curious whether this product is popular in its own country and I do find it quite surprising that nobody knows about Holle. I will have to ask my friend about OKO test tomorrow cause like u said I couldn’t understand their web or their translation.

    I first fed my son Enfamil A+ ready to feed for about 3 weeks and lately he had really stinky gas and he only poo once every other day and he cries a lot at night time so I thought I’m gona give Enfamil Gentlease a try, but thank god I’ve tried it before giving it to him, this product tastes so gross, it smells funny and it’s bitter.

    So my husband and I have decide Changing to Organic formula. My son’s only 6 weeks and he’s been on Holle for about 2 days, he seems more chill but still cries at night although his cries are definitely less intense. His poops have changed from really stinky brown poo (once a day or once every other day) to mustard color and odourless poop (3 times small amount today) his farts doesn’t stink as well. But is it true that it’s better if their fart and poop stinks tho?

    You’re right about no formula is perfect, I wish my milk supply could’ve reached my son’s drinking demand 🙁 I guess I’ll have to trust my instinct and stick for Holle for a few weeks to observe.

    Thanks for much for the article 🙂

    • Hi Cecilia! So your baby’s poop, in an ideal world, should resemble that of breastfed babies (that’s what organic formula with clean ingredients will give you). So you want a mustard color + odorless poop – that is perfect. Breastfed babies have yellow poop and it doesn’t smell. I know it’s counterintuitive, but farts/poop that doesn’t smell in babies that haven’t started solids yet is actually what you want! Formula fed babies will sometimes have poop that smells because the formula has a lot of waste that the baby can’t use, but the organic/super clean formulas will have the least amount of waste and therefore the least amount of poopy smell! Babies’ poop will only start to smell (and should start to smell) once they start eating solids. I hope that helps! It sounds like Holle is working better for your baby. At 6 weeks, it’s very common for them to cry at night. He’s still adjusting to the outside world and his digestive system is still very immature — so gas/etc. is common at that age too. I’d just watch to see how he does over the next few weeks, my guess is his gas should start to dissipate and his sleep should improve 🙂 Keep me posted and let me know if there is anything else I can do to help!

  75. We used Earth’s best on our kids. As a Doctor I did a lot of research and found it to to be most natural. Also it was the easiest to mix and easiest on our kid’s digestive system.

  76. Hello,
    If I am getting Hipp Bio, and it’s being shipped from Europe, what guarantees would I have that are not irradiated? Irradiation of baby food seems vicious and dangerous. anyone knows about this?

    Thank you,

    • Hi Pedram! Are you asking about, if the formula is shipped from Europe, whether it’s an issue if it passes through the x-ray machines at the airport? Regarding passing formula through security screenings (x-rays at the airport) – it shouldn’t be a problem. The airport security screenings have such low dose radiation that it shouldn’t alter or affect the formula. (e.g. if you are traveling with an infant and bringing formula or breastmilk with you, it will have to pass through the security screening x-rays and it is fine). So I wouldn’t worry about it – but if you’re super concerned just check with your doctor! Hope that helps!

  77. I recently ordered Lebenswert Bio 1 from Purely Loved Organics after seeing them on your list of US retailers. For anyone looking to order Holle or Lebenswert i would recommend them. I was very happy with my order when it arrived! Thanks for sharing, it was very helpful!

  78. Is the baby’s only whey protein formula good to give my two month old? I’m also breastfeeding but not producing enough so I have to give her formula as well, what are your thoughts on giving her that formula?

    • Hi Emma! Baby’s Only says that their Whey formula can be used for infants as well as toddlers, so it should be ok to give to your 2 month old. That said, I’d probably just double check with your pediatrician to make sure they are comfortable with it too!

    • I don’t think so unfortunately, I haven’t seen any ready to feed versions of it at the store or online!

  79. Hi,
    Can you please give your thoughts on plum organic’s new formula? It looks really great, but not too many reviews online yet.

    • Oohhh thanks for the tip Carrie! I Had no idea that Plum Organics released a baby formula! I looked at it and it definitely looks like a great option in that it has no syrup solids. I don’t love that palm oil and soy oil are listed before coconut oil and high oleic sunflower oil on the ingredients label, but that’s my only real critique of it. I think it’s a good option if you want to stick with a US brand — but I think Baby’s Only with Whey is still slightly better because of the order of the oils on the ingredients list (and they don’t have palm oil). Plum Organics formula is way better than the Honest Company’s formula (since HonestCo uses syrup solids in theirs). HiPP and Holle don’t use soybean oil but they do use palm oil! So it’s kind of a toss up whether you’d prefer palm oil + soybean oil, or just soybean oil, or just palm oil in your baby’s formula. Essentially, I’d modify my ranking to be: HiPP or Holle Lebenswert, Baby’s Only with Whey, Regular Holle or Plum Organics, Honest Co, Baby’s Only with Brown Rice Syrup. Hope that helps!

      • Do you have any stance on included DHA/ARA? Baby’s only with whey does not have any however Plum’s does but it is extracted with hexane.

        Also my only hesitation with Baby’s only is the high levels of calcium and phosphorus.. it is a lot more than in comparable infant formulas.

        • I don’t think included DHA/ARA is necessary because you can always supplement with Nordic Naturals Baby DHA. That said, one of the reasons I love HiPP is because they have DHA/ARA from natural sources (e.g. fish oil). Are you trying to decide between only Baby’s Only with Whey and Plum? Or are you open to buying one of the European formulas? Because then I’d recommend HiPP and Holle above these. One of the reasons Baby’s Only with Whey probably has more vitamins than the average infant formula is because Baby’s Only can also be used for toddlers. So if that’s your concern Plum Organics is probably the best option for you! Let me know if you have any other questions, hopefully that helps!

  80. thank you for such an informative post and your helpful, non-judgemental stance which is just what i needed! i feel like i can make a truly educated choice thanks to your research, for my daughter coincidentally named Anjali.

    • I’m so so happy to hear that Natalie! I hope you find the right formula for you and your daughter (so awesome that her name is Anjali too! 🙂 )

  81. HI,

    We are using enfamil enfacare which is recommended for Premies to receive proper nutrition of 22cal. We are contemplating using Hipp or Baby’s only with Whey, do you happen to know the conversion ratio to make these products equivalent to a premie forumula of 22 cal? Thanks

    • Hi Sonal! Unfortunately I don’t — I would just call HiPP and Baby’s Only and ask them directly. Sorry I can’t be more helpful!

  82. Hi I just received my order from Baby Blu Organics of Lebsenswert 2. They have it for the best price I have seen and free shipping over a 100 bucks. Very personal service, I will def order from them again! Good luck!

      • Anjali, Is there a U.S. brand organic formula now that you would recommend that compares to the overseas ones? We want the purest we can get…breastfeeding wasn’t an option for us. Thanks so much!

        • Hi Kellye! For the US brands, unfortunately none compare to the best European ones (there is no comparison to HiPP/Lebensewert/Topfer). That being said, Baby’s Only with Whey is the best in the US, and after Baby’s Only with Whey I’d recommend Plum Organics’ formula. Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions!

    • Thanks for the heads up Beth! I’m not surprised – Earth’s Best, Baby’s Only, and pretty much every other organic formula available in the US has Taurine in it (you can see that in the chart in my post). Which is why I highly recommend the European formulas that don’t contain that ingredient and many others that really shouldn’t be in organic formula! The problem is that the FDA doesn’t have high enough standards when it comes to organic formula – taurine is actually allowed by the FDA in organic formula, which is why Honest Co. has been able to include it in their formula without any issues. I’m glad this suit is taking place, we deserve to have organic formulas available in the US that have as high quality standards as the formulas in Europe. In the meantime I’m going to update this post with an FYI about the lawsuit – if it turns out that Honest Co. loses, then I’ll remove them from this list. Thanks!!

  83. Great article! I’ll definitely be switching my little guy to organic now! I was researching HiPP and Holle and some people were saying they have to be X-Rayed when being sent from Germany to the US, and the tha radiation stays in the powder somehow… Have you heard of this, or is it just exaggerated paranoia? Haha

    • Yay! Thanks so much Lola, glad it was helpful! Regarding the formula being x-rayed when it comes to the US, the radiation cannot stay in the powder as far as I know. First of all, the airport x-ray machines emit such minimal radiation you can pass regular food through it and it’s safe for eating (like if you pack snacks with you to take on the plane), also, if you’re traveling with a baby and carrying formula or breastmilk with you, that will go through the x-ray machine as well. I think it’s exaggerated paranoia — similar to the paranoia around microwaves not being safe in the home 🙂 Hope that helps!

  84. Great article, thanks for your research!! I have a question about the different Stages of formula. I have been feeding my baby Holle Lebenswert Stage 1 since I read this article, but my baby is turning 6 months soon. I wonder if changing to the Stage 2 is necessary or even good, since the second stage has malodextrin in it. Would it be better after 6 months to switch to the Hipp Stage 1 for the remainder, since that is okay to feed until 12 months? Or should I stay with Lebenswert Stage 1 for the entire time, or just make the change to Stage 2? My baby is already eating solids, he is a very healthy 20 pounds and a great eater.

    Thanks for any tips,

    • Hi Elizabeth! I couldn’t find a clear answer on whether Holle Leb Stage 1 is suitable for babies older than 6 months — so I would just switch to Hipp Stage 2 (their follow on milk for babies older than 6 months) after you finish with Holle Leb Stage 1. Hipp Stage 2 doesn’t have maltodextrin in it 🙂 Hope that helps!

      • Okay, thank you. Why have I read some articles stating that the follow on milk formulas aren’t necessary or as good (as close to breastmilk) as the first stage formulas? Do you have any insight into that debate?

        • Hi Elizabeth! The main difference between stage 2 and stage 1 formulas is that stage 2 usually has more iron in it than stage 1, which is important because most babies start to lose their iron stores around 6 months of age. Stage 2 usually has slightly more calories per serving than stage 1 as well. Beyond that, if you’re using a brand like HiPP there isn’t really any major issue with using Stage 2. Although, once your baby turns 1, I recommend moving off formula completely and switching to whole organic milk. Hope that helps!

          • Still wondering about the switch to stage 2 formulas. After seeing the fungi derived AHA and the new soy lethicin additions in 2016 HIPP, I think I may stay with Lebenswert stage 2 even though it has malodextrin. What do you think, malodextrin compared to hexane derived AHA and soy? Does the Dutch version of HiPP stage 2 have the soy? Also, what kind of and how much probiotics did you use with your little one, and how much Nordic Naturals cod liver oil per day?

            Thanks again for all your help!

            • Hi Elizabeth! Between HiPP UK Stage 2 and Leb Stage 2, I’d go with Leb Stage 2. But actually, above both of those I’d go with the Dutch version of HiPP. It’s better than both options (no soy, no hexane derived ARA as far as I know)! You can buy it here (if you buy in bulk you’ll get a discount 🙂 ). For probiotics, we only used them when Layla was 0-8 weeks old because she had really bad gas. We used the Jarrow Formulas one. For Nordic Naturals, we just gave the dose based on the chart on the bottle (it’s based on your baby’s weight: 5-10lbs = 1mL, 11-20lbs = 2mL, 21-25lbs = 3mL, 26-30lbs = 4mL, 31-35lbs = 5mL. Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions!

  85. Thank you for adding us to your list of Holle (and Lebenswert) retailers here in the US. I work with several reliable Holle distributors in Germany that deal directly with Holle (as Holle DOES NOT distribute directly to the US). I’m so happy to be another reliable source for families wanting to purchase safe, organic baby formula. For discounts please email me directly at or follow us on IG and FB. THANK YOU again for the mention!

  86. Hi there, my 6 month old has been diagnosed with a multiple protein allergy and is currently on a prescription hypoallergenic formula called Neocate. I really hate that this formula’s main ingredient is corn syrup solids though. Are there any other formulas you would recommend for a baby with protein allergies? I was thinking about tying the goats milk Holle and seeing how she does on that..? I really want to find a better formula for her. Thank you!

    • Hi Emma! So sorry to hear about your little one’s allergy issues! So yes, most of the allergy-friendly formulas in the US have terrible ingredients lists. I’d definitely recommend Goat’s Milk Holle! I think that’s probably your best bet! I’d love to hear whether it works for you if you try it, so please keep me posted on how it goes!

      • Hi Anjali, thank you so much for your response.
        So i tried the goats milk Holle yesterday with my now 7 month old. I mixed just 2oz in with her regular bottle of the hypoallergenic formula Neocate. So 4oz of Neocate and 2oz of goats milk Holle mixed together. Two hours later she was having such a violent reaction to it that i thought i was going to have to call an ambulance! I thought she was going into anaphylactic shock, it was so scary. I’m so sad because i was really excited about the prospect of her tolerating other formulas. So we are back to exclusively on the Neocate. Aside from the worrisome ingredient list, the other downside is that this formula costs $40 per can. And 1 can lasts 2-3 days! I can’t keep her on this indefinitely, so i really need to try to find other options. Have you any suggestions of what else i could try? We have started solids, but she also had a reaction to oats, so we are being very cautious and going very slow. So far the only things we have had total success with are avocados and bananas. Even peas, broccoli and carrots didn’t go down that well (in terms of keeping it down). Also, do you know of any great baby allergy resources? I was thinking about seeing if i could find some kind of baby nutritionist specialist. Do you know of any in the LA area? We are already seeing a GI doctor, but i was wondering about trying to find someone who specializes in blood type analysis or something like that as our GI doesn’t seem to have many answers. Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated!

        • Hi Emma, I’m so so sorry to hear about your daughter’s allergic reaction – that must have been so scary!! I can’t even imagine how stressful this has been for you. But honestly, it sounds like your daughter’s allergies are so severe that keeping her on the Neocate is the only thing you can do right now. The fact that she’s having reactions to oats/broccoli/carrots – which are not typically allergy inducing – makes me concerned about trying other types of non-allergy-specific formulas. I’d ask your pediatrician and GI doctor if they have other recommendations for formulas that are allergy-friendly and more affordable (or with better ingredients) – but the most important thing aside from the ingredients and all that is that your daughter doesn’t have allergic reactions and stays healthy and happy. Unfortunately I don’t know of any baby nutrition specialists in the LA area or online resources – I was lucky in that Layla didn’t have allergies, so I didn’t end up doing much research around that topic :/ Sorry I can’t be more helpful! My recommendation would be to join a few moms groups in your area — they will probably be your best bet in terms of support and resources/recs that will help you. Keep me posted on how things go, I hope you are able to find something that works for your little one and that you don’t experience any other scary allergic episodes!

  87. Hi! May I ask, how about bellamy’s organic milk? my baby is 8 months we are now looking for more alternatives as Holle is always out of stock and sold only in limited groceries store. Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Cham! Great question! I actually hadn’t heard of Bellamy’s Organic Formula – but their ingredients list is great! They do have palm oil, but they have a bunch of other oils too which are good, and the rest of their ingredients list is perfect. I’d definitely say they were an equivalent option to Holle or HiPP. Hope that helps!

  88. I really appreciate how you have updated this list through the year. I took a visit to this page months ago when I was trying to find a soy free formula for my then two month old. Along with the other information I came across, it was very influential in my choosing Lebenswert for my baby. Unfortunately, the cost is getting too high so I have been looking into a US alternative. I’ve used the Honest brand when waiting for a shipment but I think I’ll be trying the Nature’s One with Whey if I can find it in store. I hope the FDA makes a change soon in what is allowable for our babies to consume. It makes it difficult to find a healthy alternative to breast milk. Thank you again for keeping this post updates, especially about the Honest Company’s lawsuit.

    • Hi Chels! No problem at all! I’m so glad you’ve found this post helpful and that Leb worked out well for you! I agree that the EU formulas can get pricey, but I have actually found a US based seller of Lebenswert that has a lower price per box than Honest Co does! You can buy Leb here for about $28 per box, vs. $34 for Honest Co. Although, Baby’s Only with Whey is cheaper at about $15 per box. Completely agree that the FDA really needs to have tighter regulations on what babies can consume, but in the meantime at least there are some good options out there. Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions!

    • After leaving my comment I found the Plum formula is more available to me where I live so I will be giving that a try, switching over from Holle. I’ll give it about a week and leave another reply on how it goes!

        • After more than a week and a container of Plum formula, it didn’t work out. My son did really well in all aspects with it other than he has been VERY constipated. I give him Nordic Naturals Fish oil and Garden of Life Kids probiotic, between the two they keep him pretty regular but they haven’t helped. So I’m starting him on the Honest brand which he’s done well with in the past, until I can try Nature’s One. I was really hoping Plum would work out. I would definitely still recommend other parents giving it a try though.

          • Aw man, sorry to hear that Chels! The constipation issue is common with formulas, and it’s just random – some babies get constipated on some formulas that other babies are totally fine on. Makes sense about switching to the Honest brand for your little one. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  89. Thanks for all the great info! Just curious, why did you change your recommended list of vendors? You used to have British superstore direct on there and you no longer list it. Just curious?

    • Hi Nikki! Great question! My original list had a bunch of vendors on there that had high shipping costs or super long times to delivery – e.g. 2+ months (because many of them were not based in the US) and/or didn’t always have the formula in stock (e.g. some based in the US couldn’t guarantee formula). I decided to prioritize the list of vendors by those based in the US, and whom I have spoken to so I know that their prices are competitive, their shipping times are fast, and they have guaranteed to have the formula in stock on a regular basis. For your reference, this was the list of vendors that were included before that I removed (most are based in Europe) — For HiPP: BritishSuperstoresDirect, LittleWorldOrganics, BritishCornerShop, OrganicBabyFood, Formuland. For Holle: Formuland, LittleGreenHome, OrganicBabyFood, NaturalBabyOrganics, BabyBluOrganics, LittleWorldOrganics. I kept OrganicMunchkin, MyOrganicFormula, and PurelyLovedOrganics on the list because I have spoken to all three of them personally, they are based in the US, have fast shipping times, competitive prices, and always have the formula in stock! Hope that helps!

  90. We are using HIPP and Holle per your recommendations! (we started on Hipp, but noted less spit up with Holle Lebenswerst, so transitioned to that).

    We are supplementing with probiotics and the Nordic Naturals Baby DHA.
    However, we have some concerns that we still are not supplementing enough.. for example, what about Omega 6s? Adults get too much Omega 6, but these infant formulas have zero? What about cholesterol and other fats found in Breast Milk?

    I found some purveyor on the web who sells Goat Colostrum and Goat Ghee…. what would you think those additions would add to supplementation? I imagine the Colostrum should have more probiotics.. and the Ghee will have Omega 6s and other fats.

    I acknowledge in advance your website is NOT providing medical advice and any response CANNOT be assumed or followed without following the advice of my pediatrician. I am merely talking out loud with another human being who may have personal thoughts on the above!

    Thank you

    • Hi Shan! I’m glad Holle Leb has been working out for you guys! To be honest, I wasn’t too concerned about Omega 6s and other fats — since formula already has fat in it, and with the DHA supplement I felt comfortable. I wouldn’t feel comfortable giving Goat Colostrum to a baby, especially from an online seller that I hadn’t vetted myself, since Goat Colostrum is essentially raw Goat milk and I’d worry about bacteria/infections/etc that could result from that. Goat Ghee (or any Ghee for that matter) would be ok to give to a baby that’s older than 6 months who has already started on solids, but I wouldn’t give it to a baby younger than 6 months and I wouldn’t give it in large quantities (maybe like 1/2 tsp a day mixed into food) to a baby older than 6 months. For Layla, we were good with HiPP + probiotics + Nordic Naturals. She was never underweight, always at the 50% percentile, and did really well with it, so that worked for us and I didn’t see the need to supplement any further! Also, once your baby starts solids (if you haven’t started solids already), they will get as much fat as they need from the foods they eat (avocado, nut butters, flax seed, whole milk dairy, etc.) as well as the formula + DHA. Hope that helps!

  91. Hi there! Which Stage 1 Hipp formula would you recommend purchasing from the Organic Munchkin website? I see they have 3 choices – Dutch Version, UK Version and one other that is not specified. Is there a difference in the ingredients? Thank you!!

    • Hi Morgan! I’d recommend the UK version — all 3 versions are essentially the same, but the UK version will have the directions and ingredients in English, which is always a plus 🙂 Hope that helps!

    • Hi Morgan,
      dont they send english translations and instructions along with the german or dutch products?
      I always order Hipp BIO STAGE 1 on the myorganicformula website (great price when on subscription) and they always send out additional english directions and ingredients with every product
      JFY there is a substantial difference between the German and UK formulation. The German Bio line of HiPP is similar to the Combiotic line but is a slightly different formulation with no prebiotics and no probiotics. The Bio line contains starch solids, whereas the Combiotic line (at least the British formulation) does not.
      hope this helps

  92. I recently switched to Baby’s Only Whey, I had been using the lactoRelief one but did not like the fact it had brown rice syrup; since then she’s been a little constipated… Besides probiotics that she already takes is there anything else I can do and should I get supplement for RHA DHA?

    • Hi Paula! We supplemented Layla with Nordic Naturals for Babies — which we were really happy with as a DHA supplement. I’m sorry to hear that your little one has been constipated on Baby’s Only with Whey! Sometimes some formulas just don’t work with some babies — there isn’t much you can do if she’s already taking probiotics with the formula. If she continues to be constipated, you’ll probably just have to switch to a different formula. I’d give it a few days to adjust and if she’s still constipated/uncomfortable – maybe try Plum Organics or Honest Co or one of the European formulas (HiPP/Holle) and see how she does? Hope that helps, keep me posted and let me know if you have any other questions!

  93. Hello I was just wondering if you know more about the plum organic I ordered the baby only normal not the whey but I was wondering about the plum if it’s new might have some issues. It’s all confusing I have 10 month old and trying to supplement because I am tired or brestfeeding sorry to say.

    • Hi Bethany! I completely understand what you’re going through – all of the options are definitely confusing and you have every right to stop breastfeeding when you feel like you are done! Regarding Plum Organic’s formula – it is new so I haven’t heard too much about it, but everyone who I know who has used it hasn’t had any issues with it. I’d definitely try that before the Baby’s Only with Brown Rice Syrup. If your baby does well with it, just go with it! Hope that helps, let me know if you have any questions and keep me posted on how it goes!

    • Hi Lisa! Yes, Plum Organics Formula does have whey protein concentrate as one of the ingredients. I don’t think whey protein helps babies poop better – I haven’t seen any correlation between whey protein and babies pooping (or not pooping!) Hope that helps!

        • Hi Lisa! I don’t know the exact ratio, but it sounds like Plum Organics tries to mimic the Whey to Caesin ratio of breast milk — here’s a quote from their product info page: “Whey, and its best friend, casein, are two types of protein found in both cow’s milk and human breast milk. These two powerhouse proteins help support many different functions including growth and development. While cow’s milk is higher in casein, the opposite is true for human breast milk, which is relatively higher in whey protein. Whey protein is easier for babies to digest than casein. All infant formulas, including ours, are created with the intent to be gentle on baby’s digestive system.” <-- so my guess is that if they're making their formula easy to digest, they're using more whey protein vs. caesin in the formula - similar to breastmilk. Hope that helps!

    • That’s good to know Jane! Thank you so much for the update! The good news is you can use HiPP stage 1 for the entire first year of life — so if you’re using HiPP and like it, you may not have to switch to stage 2 at all 🙂

  94. Hi Anjali,

    Very informative post, thanks for all the information on a very confusing topic. I was curious about your opinion of DHA/ARA supplementation in general, the studies I’ve read are pretty non-conclusive leaning towards some mild benefits or no statistically significantly benefits at all. I was planning on using the Baby’s Only Whey, but the lack of DHA/ARA has me a little concerned. And best I can tell HiPP has DHA/ARA and Holle does not.

    Also it appears that Baby’s Only is the only brand that doesn’t use a fungal derived ARA, the ingredients for UK HiPP list “vegetable oil from Morteriella alpina” (from which I believe is generally ARA extracted from Morteriella fungi using hexane among other things as a solvent. Would this fact change your ranking for HiPP? Thanks again for all the very useful information, it’s been a great help in figuring this out.

    • Hi Rajeev! Thanks so much for reaching out and I’m so glad you found this post helpful! Regarding DHA/ARA — my main reason for wanting that as part of the formula is because DHA/ARA exists in breastmilk — so when looking for a formula that’s as close to breastmilk as possible, DHA/ARA are a “nice to have” ingredient, but as you said, not critical. Regarding Baby’s Only with Whey — you’re right that they don’t seem to use fungal derived ARA. It is too bad that HiPP derives ARA from fungi, but at least their DHA comes from fish! The only issue I’ve found with Baby’s Only with Whey is that it doesn’t really have much Choline in it (it only has 12mg per 100 calories, and infants need up to 150mg choline per day). HiPP has more choline and will meet any infants choline needs. As for the rankings – honestly it’s just a question of what you feel more comfortable with: a formula with enough choline but with fungal derived ARA (HiPP), or a formula without adequate choline with non-fungal-derived ARA! They are both good choices, but neither one is perfect. I hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

  95. I’m in Canada, and currently use Holle lebenswert stage 1 and transitioning to stage 2. Do you know of a reputable place to order from that ships to Canada? I am nervous of ordering baby formula online and want to make sure I am getting the best and safest formula.

    • Hi Megan! I have two options for you 🙂 1) Organic Munchkin is my #1 recommended seller of Leb and they ship to Canada — they will pass the shipping cost onto you – so the cost of shipping depends on where in Canada you live and how large your order is. 2) MyOrganicFormula is another reputable seller of Leb who ships to Canada. They offer free shipping for orders greater than $280 USD (so if you’re buying in bulk they’re a good option!) If your order is less than $280 USD, they charge $49 for shipping. Both of these sellers are great and I know them both personally. And depending on how much formula you are planning on ordering, Organic Munchkin could be cheaper or MyOrganicFormula could be cheaper on the shipping front. Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions!

      • Thanks for getting back to me. I actually emailed organic munchkin and they don’t ship to Canada, I hope the other place still does, even though they have a higher price it way work out in the shipping. Have you heard of beyond organic baby at all?

        • Although I don’t know why they told me they don’t.. I see its an option to ship to there as well as lots of other places .. Hm weird

          • Just tried to order from organic munchin and even though you can select Canada as an option to ship they don’t actually ship here 🙁

            • Aw man! That’s frustrating – so sorry about that! MyOrganicFormula definitely ships to Canada, so I’d recommend ordering from them. They are great as well and if you buy in bulk you’ll get free shipping! Let me know if that works!

  96. Hello,
    I’m from Burnaby BC and we get our formula from
    They are located in Germany and have extremely good prices.
    Takes about 2 weeks to get the parcel but we get used to order in time and save a lot of money on Holle formula now.

  97. Hi,

    Great blog. I want to be sure everyone knows about Holle & Lebesnwert formulas. I use these for my baby and oh my, the difference was amazing. It feels so good to know he’s not sick all the time anymore!!!!! I found an amazing supplier, . They ship so incredibly fast and they answer all my questions, love them. But more then anything, I love love love holle.

    • Thanks so much Mary! And thank you for sharing your experience – so glad Holle has worked for you and your baby! 🙂

  98. I really love your research!!! Do you know if Holle Lebenswert stage 1 is ok to use for babies 6 months and up?

    • Thanks so much Lisa! From what I’ve heard, Leb stage 1 is best for infants 0-6 months old. My guess is that Leb stage 1 doesn’t have enough iron in it for babies older than 6+ months (since after 6 months, infants lose their iron stores they’ve had since birth). Hope that helps!

  99. Hi Anjali!

    so after reading your blog, I’m leaning on trying HIPP. My LO is 6 months old now and will try stage 2. What is the difference between the bio combiotic and the regular bio one? don’t both have prebiotics?


    • Hi Lisa! HiPP is great! We used that for Layla and she did really well on it. So I’m guessing you’re asking about the difference between HiPP UK (which is just regular Combiotic), and HiPP Bio Combiotik – which is the German version of the formula? You are right, both have prebiotics. The main difference is that Bio Combiotik uses “Starch” as an ingredient instead of “Lactose”. Regular Combiotic (the UK version) uses Lactose as the carbohydrate/sugar. Given that I’d recommend the UK version (regular Combiotic) vs. the German version (Bio Combiotik). Hope that helps!

      • I was on the HiPP Organic UK site and they announced a product update as of May 2016 that their follow on milk now contains soya. Is that a bad thing?

        • Hi Lisa! I saw that update too but I have been unable to find an updated ingredients list for their follow on milk – so it’s unclear where the soy is being included. If they’re using soy lecithin, that’s a thickener, so it’s not ideal but not terrible. If they’re using another soy product like soy protein, I wouldn’t recommend it. To be safe you might want to just buy the Dutch version of the follow on milk for HiPP or go with Stage 2 of Holle Leb!

  100. Thank you for such informative analysis.

    Will you recommend Holle Goat Milk based formula for my 1-month old? I don’t get what are the differences between the 3 stages. I looked up and just found that they contain larger amount of iron from each stage beyond.

    Have the ingredients changed since 2014?

    • Hi Nicole! Holle Goat Milk Stage 1 should work just fine for your 1 month old. You’re right, the main difference between the stages is the amount of iron. That’s because infants 0-6 months old retain their iron stores from birth, so they don’t need as much iron in their formula. But infants older than 6 months lose their iron stores, so they need more iron in their formula. Given that I’d stick with stage 1 until your baby is older than 6 months, and then you can switch to the other stages. For the ingredients, I don’t believe they have changed. You can find the latest ingredients list here. Hope that helps! 🙂

      • Hi Anjali, thanks for answering my questions. I have started feeding formula to my 2 month. I still got a couple of questions that I couldn’t find from credited sources. I hope you can help me out from this one.

        I ordered the Hipp Bio Combiotik the first time on Germany version. It came in paper box. The second time I ordered the Dutch version Bio Combiotik because it is easier to prepare from the hard container. However, I noticed some nutrients from both contained different amounts of nutrients that indicated on the table. Should I be concerned? (Let me know if I can send you the pictures I took on both to show you.)

        Also, I started to concern if those formula from overseas ever have counterfeit on the market. Is it safe to buy from Organic Munchkin and any other sites from above? And how do those owners keep their stocks to prevent the formula exposing to heats or other possible factors to cause the product go bad. And making sure the quality is in safe condition to sell?

        Sorry if those questions got irrelevant. I’m a new mom who doesn’t have much knowledge on baby food yet. Please guide me. Thank you for your valuable time.

        • Hi Nicole! Good questions. So yes, the ingredients for HiPP Dutch vs. HiPP Germany vs. HiPP UK are all slightly different, because of the different regulations/etc. in each country. I prefer the HiPP Dutch version among the 3 because I think the ingredients are the best. As far as the nutrients, they should all be fairly close in terms of quantities — they might be slightly different between the 3 but I’d be surprised if they are drastically different – so I wouldn’t worry too much about that. The two sites I recommend above: Organic Munchkin and MyOrganicFormula are highly reputable. They purchase the formula directly from distributors in Europe, and Organic Munckin’s formulas are not irradiated because they ship through containers and not air 90% of the time. Organic Munckin has sent me pictures of their shipments and I have seen the labels – and I have seen pictures of their storage facilities and massive warehouses to ensure that the formula is safe to sell and consume. That’s why I only list Organic Munchkin and MyOrganicFormula in this post – because I have spoken to the owners of both companies in detail and feel confident that their supply chain is authentic and that their formulas come straight from Europe to homes in the US! Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

      • Is the Bio Combiotik from Hipp okay for babies who are not required for additional nutrition or special needs? Since it already contained Vitamin D from stage 1, do I need to add extra to it? When do I need to shift to the next stage and next?

        And what is the difference between hungry infant and first infant compared to the Bio Combiotik? Why do they have different country versions? Are the ingredients still be the same? I still got very confused on this one after reading on the sites.

        • Hi Nicole, If your baby doesn’t have any allergies or special needs nutritionally, HiPP Bio Combiotik is a great choice for your baby. Breastfed babies are generally the ones who need to supplement with Vitamin D, because that’s the one vitamin missing from breastmilk – but if your baby is exclusively on formula you probably don’t need to supplement. I’d double check with your pediatrician on that one though! The hungry infant milk is for babies who either need more calories or for overnight feeding – but it’s not necessary. You can just go from Stage 1 to Stage 2 (which is called “follow on milk”) after 6 months. The main difference between stage 1 and 2 is that stage 2 has more iron in it, because infants lose their iron stores after 6 months of age. So I’d recommend doing Stage 1 from 0-6 months, and Stage 2 from 6-12 months. After your baby turns 1 you can switch to organic cow’s milk. Hope that helps!

  101. Thanks so much for the info! I’ve recently started my 9 week old on lebenswert. He is also bf. Can you tell me if I need to be giving him dha and/or probiotics?

    • Hi Daniela! If your 9 week old is also breastfeeding you may not need to give him DHA or probiotics. I’d say if he’s doing over 50% breastmilk, then he is probably fine. There’s no harm in adding in extra DHA/probiotics, but I don’t think it’s necessary if you’re breastfeeding. But if you see him having digestive issues (gas/etc.), you can always supplement with probiotics. Hope that helps!

  102. Hi Anjali,

    I’m so confused on how to prepare baby’s formula? I just bought Holle and the instructions say to use boiling water after it’s cooled for 30 minutes. Does warm water kill bacteria? Or should I use water that is boiling hot to make sure we kill any pathogens that may be in the formula since it’s not sterile?

    Also, the US formulas don’t include boiling water in their instructions.


    • Hi Lisa! Yes all of the EU based formulas recommend boiling the water, cooling it, and then using that to mix the formula — mainly for killing bacteria like you guessed. It’s just because the EU has higher standards for food than the US does (which is why the US instructions don’t insist on boiling water). You can probably mix the boiling hot water with the formula but it’s not necessary and I also wouldn’t pour boiling hot water into a plastic baby bottle. I’d recommend just boiling the water, cooling it and storing it in the fridge in a container, and then using some of the water every time you mix formula. But bottled water or filtered tap water will work just fine as long as you have a good water source for your home! Hope that helps!

    • Hi Kat! Baby’s Only Lactorelief is an ok option for lactose sensitive babies. It’s not bad but the first ingredient is brown rice syrup which isn’t ideal. But honestly none of the allergy friendly formulas are great because they all end up with more thickeners/syrup solids/etc. than the milk-based versions. MyOrganicFormula has a bunch of lactose-sensitive/allergy friendly/reflux friendly options that are better than Baby’s Only in my opinion! I’d recommend choosing one of the formulas from this page. Hope that helps!

  103. We noticed that Hipp formula contains calcium carbonate (sheetrock) that our bodies do not recognize as the calcium bodies need. Why do they use it, or are they playing on peoples ignorance?

    • Hi Del! Thanks for reaching out! Calcium carbonate is actually the most widely used and common calcium supplement. It’s not sheetrock (I think you might be thinking of Gypsum). The only issues you might face with calcium carbonate is that it can be constipating if it’s taken in too high of a quantity compared to the other types of calcium, and it’s best absorbed by the body when taken with food. But in formula that’s not an issue because formula is food 🙂 All of the top organic formulas use calcium carbonate: HiPP, Holle, Topfer, BabyLove, etc. This article from the Mayo Clinic is a good read on the different types of calcium supplements out there and why calcium carbonate is nothing to be concerned about. Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions!

  104. Is there a phone number to contact Organic Munchkin? I mistakenly overordered Lebenswert and I want to change my order, but do not see any contact phone number in their website. Thank you.

    • Hi Sameer! I only have the personal cell phone number of the owner of Organic Munchkin (which I’m not at liberty to give out 🙂 ), but I do know if you contact them via this link, they will get back to you asap. Hope that helps, let me know if you run into any issues contacting them! Thanks!

      • Thanks Anjali. I contacted twice using the email address but could not get their reply, and they already shipped it.

        • Hi Sameer! So sorry to hear that – I’ll contact you via email and will give you their info and I’ll also reach out to them myself. You’ll hear from me shortly! 🙂

          • Hi Sameer! I just sent you an email as well but wanted to provide an update here: I just heard back from the owner of Organic Munchkin and he never got an email from you — so there may have been a technical issue either on your end or on their end. He said their contact form is working though – because he has received hundreds of emails through his form every day in the past week. So it may have just been an issue with your order! :/ He said that he could see your order in the system and could see that it shipped, but he has no record of an email associated with your order. Unfortunately Organic Munchkin doesn’t accept returns of their baby formulas because they have to protect the integrity of their inventory (accepting returns after losing “chain of custody” on the products just wouldn’t be safe). So sorry about that but it sounds like an innocent technical glitch. Let me know if there is anything else I can help with!

            • Thank you very much, Anjali for your effort to contact them about the issue. I used their email address to contact them.

              Anyway, they already shipped it. I decide to go with Hipp (although my son liked Lebenswert taste better, I liked Hipp because it has DHA also). Now, I have extra Lebenswert which I overordered and I don’t want to waste it. Can I mix Hipp with Lebensert? Or, is it a bad idea to mix two formulas?

              • Hi Sameer! Ah ok that’s helpful – that email address should have worked! Not sure what happened. But yes I agree you should definitely use the Leb – no point in wasting it – it’s still a great option for your son! I wouldn’t recommend mixing HiPP and Leb – but what you can do is alternate the bottles of them. So, for example, if your son drinks 4 bottles of formula a day – you could do 2 HiPP and 2 Leb, or 1 HiPP and 3 Leb – depending on how much of each you have. Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions!

  105. Thank you so much for creating this blog and updating it! It helps us mothers who want the best for our babies. My baby is 11 months and still breastfeeding (no formula). I want to start weaning him off breastmilk and want to try a formula. My eye is on Hipp. My question though, is there another version of Hipp formula for older babies like 12+ months? Which would be suitable for my baby? If so, which one? Or should I just buy the regular one but then I read in the description it’s only up to 6mo. Thank you for your help!

    • Hi Yvanna! If your baby is already 11 months and you’re going to wean him by the time he’s 12 months, you don’t really need to switch to formula at all! You can just give your baby organic whole milk once he’s 12 months old. If you start weaning now and you don’t have enough breastmilk, then you will want to supplement with formula for 1 month (until he turns 1 year old). And in that case, you should buy HiPP’s follow on milk here. Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions!

  106. Babys Only says its made for toddlers….woukd u still recommend after weaning a 6-month year old? And thank u for updating ur blog woth info about HIPP. We were thinking of buying that from the UK, but with those added ingredients I think we may try Babys Only.

    • Hi Gennine! So yes, Baby’s Only does say it’s made for Toddlers but it can also be used as an infant formula according to the company. I think it should be fine for a 6 month old, but I’d also just check with your pediatrician to make sure they’re comfortable with it too. I’d recommend Baby’s Only with Whey vs. the regular Baby’s Only formula. Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions!

  107. Hi Anjali,

    Was hoping you would know the answer to this, but I just noticed that the second ingredient listed in the HIPP Stage 2 formulas is vegetable oils, where as the Stage 1 formulas list whey as the 2nd ingredient. Does that mean Stage 1 uses less vegetable oils, and does that make Stage 2 inferior to Stage 1?


    • Hi Lisa! Good question! The reason Stage 2 has a different order of ingredients than Stage 1 is because HiPP creates Stage 2 for babies 6 months or older (vs. Stage 1 which is for babies 0-6 months old). Babies who are older than 6 months have different nutritional needs than babies who are younger than 6 months. For example – you’ll notice that the quantities of vitamins/minerals between Stage 1 and 2 are different as well – for the same reason. Stage 1 is great for babies 0-6 months old, and Stage 2 is great for babies 6-12 months old! Neither one is inferior to the other 🙂 Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions!

        • Hi Lisa! Vegetable oils are important because babies need healthy fats – lots of it – to help them grow and for brain development! The oils contain essential omega-3 fatty acids, which are critical for brain and nerve cell development. Hope that helps!

  108. Hello, do you have any comment on the new Enfamil Enspire? Thanks! I found your article to be one of the most informative I could find.

    • Hi Chad! From an ingredients perspective, Enfamil Enspire isn’t bad in the sense that they use lactose as the carbohydrate (no glucose syrup solids which is great!) I don’t know how they source their DHA/ARA and whether it’s extracted using hexane, but my main issue honestly is that the ingredients are not organic. Given all of the pesticides/hormones fed to non-organic farm animals, I think it’s really important that baby formula is organic. And often times the organic formulas are not really more expensive than the non-organic ones! I’d recommend browsing Organic Munchkin’s formula options and picking the one that will work best for you and your family. Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

  109. My son and his partner wanted to give their daughter the best start they could and opted for breastfeeding but wanted to supplement this with formula. After spending hours searching they found Holle Organic. After using it for a week, my son was horrified when he picked up the packet and read the ingredients. Fluoride. Why? Why put that in baby’s formula? It’s a poison. VERY disappointed and now have a bin full of very expensive Holle.

    • Hi Bridgette! I have contacted Holle about this in the past and they have stated that Holle does NOT have fluoride added. The reference to fluoride in the list of nutrients in the formulas is a declaration of fluoride trace content. It’s there because it’s what naturally occurs in the milk derived from the biodynamically/organically raised cows that supply the milk to produce the baby formula. Fresh milk naturally contains traces of fluoride, as will most foods – just like many other trace elements. The UK has much more stringent guidelines for declaring trace ingredients than the US does, and that’s why fluoride is listed. So you don’t have to worry about fluoride being an ingredient IN the formula – it’s not – and it is perfectly safe to give your granddaughter! Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions or concerns!

    • So happy to hear that Bridgette! Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any other questions or concerns!

  110. Thank you for your help! I decided to still breastfeed him until he turns 1 (which will be next month!) and then give him organic whole milk. But I can still BF him after 1yr and combine with whole milk right? Im so happy I reached my goal to EBF 1 yr!

    • Hi Yvanna! No problem at all! That makes sense 🙂 And yes, you can still BF after 1 year and combine it with whole milk. Congrats on EBF for a year – that’s amazing!

  111. Great post! I have a question in regards to Hipp or Holle american versions. You are recommending the European versions which are quite expensive. If you couldn’t afford the European versions would you still pick American Hipp or Holle as #1 choice? Thank you!!!

  112. I appreciate this post so much. It’s very difficult to decide on a formula, especially if you feel guilty about having to supplement at all. I had problems finding thorough cost comparisons and estimated costs for the first year per formula, so I did some math to figure it out on my own. If you are interested in adding this information to your post, I’d be happy to share it with you. Let me know. Thanks,

    • Hi Anna! I’m so glad this post was helpful to you! I’d love to see the information you collected about costs — go ahead and email it to me at: Thanks so much for sharing!

  113. Hi! Thank you so much for this great post. I have a 3 week old baby, he was born a premie and I haven’t been able to get my milk supply in very much. I want to switch him from the premie similac formula the doc has had him in since it looks like breastfeeding will be off the table now, but was curious your thoughts on formula for that young. I would like to stick with something easier to get, but from a concenience and price side (though I would love to do the hipp or holle) so I we going to to the baby’s only whey but it looks like it’s for ages 1 and up. Thoughts on what I could look into for my little one? Thank you so much!

    • Hi Elle! No problem – I’m so glad this post is helpful! And congrats on becoming a new mama! 🙂 For Baby’s Only with Whey – they market it as a toddler formula, but Baby’s Only says that it can be given to infants as well. That being said, I would ask your pediatrician if they’re comfortable with that before giving it to your 3 week old, given that your baby is so young. Another good option is Plum Organic’s formula, which is for infants. Or you can buy Holle in bulk – which, if you buy it in bulk is only a couple dollars more expensive (per box of formula) than Baby’s Only with Whey. Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions!

  114. Hi Anjali, I have been trying to find the hexane derived ARA ingredient on the stage 2 hipp organic packs but i cant find it. Is it disguised under a different name?

    Also would you happen to know where the Holle Leb can be purchased in the UK/ or a webiste that delivers to the UK? Thanks x

      • Thanks Anjali! With regards to holle leb, the stage 2 contains maltodextrin where as stage 1 does not.. Which one would you say is the safer option now when comparing the hipp stage 2 to holle leb stage 2 in your opinion?

        I am actually going to start with stage 1 milk, but i would rather continue with the same brand in the long run just incase baby doesnt like the taste or has a recation if i change the milk after 6 months, hence im trying
        To decide which one will be better in the long run.

        PS Your post is amazing. I have learnt so much in the space of 2 days!

        • Awww thanks so much Farah! I’m so glad this post has been helpful! Regarding the difference between Holle Leb Stage 2 and HiPP Stage 2, I’d still go with Leb Stage 2 (I’d pick maltodextrin over soy). Hope that helps! Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any other questions!

  115. Hi! Do you happen to know if the tin can that comes with the Dutch version of Hipp is made from aluminum or steel? Just curious if the use of tin reduces the aluminum issue that was previously raised by the 2013 study.


    • Hi Lisa! Yes absolutely – it’s supposed to be steel and is also supposed to reduce the aluminum issue. If you order it and it is an aluminum can, let me know because that would be contrary to what I’ve heard. Thanks and hope that helps!

    • Hi Lisa! Great question! Honestly – they are actually pretty identical. I would rank them all the same 🙂 Leb is the cheapest, then Topfer, then HiPP Dutch, so that might be the best way to rank them! 🙂 Hope that helps!

        • Hi Lisa! Honestly, I think they are all pretty comparable. I haven’t heard or read anything about one farm that the formula milk is sourced from as being better than the other for these three formulas. I think you’d be good no matter which one you picked!

  116. Thank you so very much for this article! I have been researching and researching what organic formula I would like to introduce to my baby as a supplement. You have done an absolute amazing job with not only the article, but with the many updates that followed the original article.

    I can not thank you enough! Thanks to your article, I have finally picked one formula to proceed forward with.

    • Of course!! I’m so glad this post was helpful to you Dennise and that you were able to find the right formula for you and your little one!! Thanks so much for letting me know!

  117. I see this article hasn’t been updated in a bit, what is the best US organic formula as of now? I would like something I can buy at a co op or something so I’m not completely screwed if I run out and waiting for a shipment.

    • Hi April! Since Plum Organics and Honest Formula released their formulas, there haven’t been any new US organic formulas on the market that I’ve heard of. So right now I’d recommend Baby’s Only with Whey or Plum Organics if you are buying a US based formula! Hope that helps!

      • Hi Anjali, Great article! Immensely useful. I was wondering what you thought about Swiss Bimbosan and how it compares to the likes of the others on your list.

        • Thanks Rae! To your question regarding Bimbosan: It looks like the only two less-than-ideal ingredients it has are palm oil and maltodextrin. HiPP and Lebenswert don’t have maltodextrin, but they both do have palm oil. Holle has palm oil and maltodextrin. So essentially, I’d say Bimbosan is comparable to regular Holle – which isn’t bad! HiPP and Leb are slightly better than Bimbosan. Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions!

  118. Hi Anjali,

    I gave my daughter enfamil (free sample can) at a few days old and then again at 2 months and she took it w/o too much trouble. Now that she is 4.5 months and we are looking to supplement breastfeeding with formula, I decided to try Lebenswert and noticed a little redness on her chin and bottom of face for an hour or two. She did not seem bothered otherwise but wanted to get thoughts on what this might mean as nothing else changed. Doesnt Enfamil also have cow milk so my guess is that shouldnt be the culprit.

    • Hi Priya! Thanks so much for reaching out! Did the Leb cause redness on her chin every time she drank it? Or was it only the first time? If it happens every time it could be an allergic reaction — and yes Leb is made with cow’s milk so if she was fine with the Enfamil she should be fine with the Leb (although some kids can develop allergies later on in infancy). I’d just monitor it to see if the Leb keeps causing the same redness and if so, I’d ask your pediatrician to see if she can test your daughter for a cow’s milk allergy or milk protein allergy. Hope that helps!

      • We actually tried again yesterday and there was no redness or any other symptom as of now. Wonder what caused the redness initially but happy it did not occur again!

        • Oh that’s great!! It honestly could have just been random – I wouldn’t worry about it since it didn’t happen again 🙂 Glad you can use Leb! You will love it!

  119. Just wanted to thank you for comparing all the organic formulas! I’ve been trying to decide for days which formula to purchase and this helped tremendously!! Thank you!

    • Hi Katy! No problem at all!! I’m so glad this post was helpful for you in finding the right formula for your little one! 🙂

  120. Hi Anjali,

    I have a 4 months baby and I have been using Plums organic but she started to have a really bad constipation and colic
    I really need some advice. Can you help me? Which one do you think it is better? Hipp, Holle or Topfer? What is the difference between HiPP UK, Germany and Dutch?

    • Hi Carol! I’m so sorry to hear your baby is having trouble with Plum Organic’s formula! She shouldn’t have any issues with HiPP, Lebenswert or Topfer. The Dutch version of HiPP and the UK version of HiPP are pretty comparable for Stage 1. The only difference is that the UK version of HiPP adds soy to their stage 2 formula, so the Dutch version has “cleaner” ingredients since it doesn’t have soy. The German version of HiPP adds starch to their formula which is why I prefer the Dutch version, but you can’t really go wrong with any of them! Dutch HiPP, Lebenswert and Topfer are honestly all very very comparable – I wouldn’t say one is necessarily better than the rest – so I’d just pick the one that’s the most affordable and available and see how it works for your little one! Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

      • That’s a great point Natalya! Carol – just for your reference, HiPP has a much gentler Whey/Casein ratio (60/40) – so your baby shouldn’t have any issues with it!

        • I’ve been trying Happy Baby formula and am wondering if there are more tummy issues because of it. If I have someone bring back some from the UK in their suitcase is that ok? I heard it shouldn’t go through the scan system?

          • Hi! Happy Baby is supposed to have a gentle whey/casein ratio but it does have soy oil and palm oil which may cause tummy issues. Every baby is different though and I’ve heard that most babies do well on Happy Baby. But Happy Baby is sold in the US so you don’t need anyone to bring it back from the UK! If you are choosing a European formula (HiPP/Holle/Leb) then you can have someone bring it back from the UK but it will have to go through the x-ray system at the airport, and the total amount purchased should be less than the daily import limit to the US (which is $800). If it’s more than $800 in formula you will have to pay an import tax on it. Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

  121. Thank you so much for this super helpful post!

    I am going to try Baby’s Only with whey. Do you believe that’s a better option than the lactorelief (assuming my 3 month old has no milk allergies)?

    Also, I would also like to supplement her bottle with DHA and probiotics. Do you have a recommendation on brand? And do you use it for every bottle or once a day?

    • Hi Pamela! No problem at all! I’m so glad you found it helpful! If your baby has no dairy allergy I’d definitely go with the regular Baby’s Only with Whey vs. Lactorelief. For DHA – I love Nordic Naturals for infants – that’s the one we used and we were happy with it! For probiotics: Garden of Life, Jarrow Formulas, Little Remedies and BioGaia all have good options for infants. We used both DHA & probiotics once a day, mixed into my daughter’s milk and eventually her breakfast. Hope that helps!

  122. Hi- my son is almost 3 months old and I have exclusively breastfed. While he has had no problem gaining weight, I have been unable to pump significant amounts of breastmilk to store through pumping, and this has caused me great anxiety as I am going to have to leave him while I’m working. I have decided to supplement my breast milk with a formula; however, I wanted to begin with the right “first-choice” because I loke most mom said want to avoid switching too many times. I had decided between Baby’s Only with whey and had considered Earth’s Best; however, after reading a few comments, I am concerned about my possible constipation and hardening of my baby’s stool. Somewhere in the comments- I think you said some parents have complained that the Baby’s Only with whey formula had caused some constipation. My son has normal looking stools for breastfed babies, but at times he seems so uncomfortable when he has bowel movements and is often gassy. My pediatrician says this is normal (we may be switching pediatricians)–that some babies don’t like the sensation and get grumpy. I am concerned that he may be a little sensitive. This makes me so afraid of formula. My question to you- is which is a good starting point? What is it about the Baby’s Only Whey causing the discomfort in babies? Is there any indication that a baby will have a dairy allergy? I know Babies are gassy, but are some formulas better than others to begin with for gassy babies?

    • Hi Rai! Thanks so much for sharing your experience! I totally understand the struggle to pump enough – it can be really hard!! For Baby’s Only – I have heard that it can cause constipation but the reason why is unclear – it could be because of a dairy allergy, it could be because that particular formula just didn’t react well with that particular baby’s digestive system. Constipation in infants is super finicky — for example – my daughter randomly got constipated when she was exclusively breastfed! But if your baby is already gassy, I’d recommend one of the European formulas over the US ones. The EU formulas seem to be more gentle on the baby’s digestive system — from my own experience and what I’ve heard from other parents. My daughter was super gassy as an infant, but she had zero issues with HiPP (which was the European formula I chose to use). So if you’re really worried about your son’s transition to formula, I’d try one of the EU formulas first because those are the least likely to cause problems! Hope that helps!

  123. Hi Anjali. I have a question. What is the ratio of whey to casein in HiPP Stage 1 Organic (Bio) Combiotic Infant Milk Formula Dutch Version?

    • Hi Natalya! For HiPP Stage 1, the Whey/Casein ratio is 60/40. In the follow on milk (which you’d use after 6 months of age), the ratio is 40/60. Hope that helps!

      • After more than a week of Plum formula, my son has been VERY constipated. I learned that it’s due to the fact that Plum formula has 30% whey and 70% casein. Plum formula doesn’t have any OligoSaccharides. I’m going to buy HIPP !!!

        • Oh yeah that would definitely cause the constipation! Your son won’t have any issues with HiPP — I’m sure it’ll work a lot better for him. Keep me posted on how it goes and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any other questions!

  124. Hello, I would like to know what is your opinion about the growing up Formula called NanyCare from New Zealand? I have used mostly Hollé and Hipp but now that my toddler is 19 months I started giving him the NanyCare and he has tolerated it very good. I made the switch because neither Hipp or Holle states that their milk is for kids up to 3 years old like this one does.

    • Hi Yazmin! Did you mean “NannyCare” (with two n’s?) I couldn’t find any info on NanyCare — but I did find the NannyCare formula (which is a goat’s milk formula from the UK). The NannyCare formula is good — it has taurine in it but that’s the only sub-optimal ingredient. However if your toddler is over a year old I’d actually recommend switching him to Organic Whole Milk completely. He doesn’t need any formula after 1 year of age unless he has some significant allergies or nutritional deficiencies. Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions!

      • Yes, I meant NannyCare Growing Up Goat Milk for 1 to 3 years. I heard giving toddlers growing up milk is better than regular milk due to its vitamin content. My 19 month toddler doesn’t have any allergies or nutricional deficiencies, he is a very good eater and has a good weight, but ocassionally he can be a picky eater and giving him growing up milk gives me peace of mind because at least I know he is getting good nutrients with it as compared to Organic Regular Cow milk.

        • Hi Yazmin! The increased vitamin content from formula is actually only necessary for toddlers with allergies, nutritional deficiencies, or who are underweight. If your toddler is a good eater and has a good weight, then I wouldn’t worry too much about his nutrition. You can of course, keep giving him formula, but it’s really not necessary and it’s better for him to get the vitamins/minerals from food vs. formula at this point. You can always keep the formula on hand and give it to him on days when he doesn’t eat well if you’re really worried about it! But on days he does eat well I’d just go with Organic Whole Milk (unless your pediatrician recommends otherwise). That’s just my opinion but ultimately you have to do what feels right to you and it sounds like you are! Hope that makes sense!

  125. Has anyone had experience w hipp pre vs stage1? I’m due this winter w my first and will be strictly formula feeding and can’t figure out if I should stock up on pre or stage 1. Hipp company told me the only difference is that stage 1 has starch in it – which I would imagine will fill the baby up more. So would I use stage 1 for evening bottles? And pre for the rest of the day? Any guidance would be very helpful. Thank you!!

    • Hi Lee! So HiPP PRE only comes in the German version (the UK and Dutch versions start at Stage 1). The HiPP Stage 1 German version does have starch in it, but the UK/Dutch Stage 1 versions don’t have starch – which is actually better in my opinion, since you don’t really want a baby who hasn’t had solids yet having starch in their formula. HiPP PRE German also doesn’t have as much iron as Stage 1, so I wouldn’t use it past 4 months of age (while HiPP UK Stage 1 and HiPP Dutch Stage 1 both have more iron in them so they’re suitable to use for longer). HiPP PRE German is equivalent to HiPP Stage 1 UK/Dutch (with the exception of iron). So basically, I’d just go with HiPP Stage 1 (UK or Dutch) from 0-6 months, and then switch to HiPP Follow On Milk (UK or Dutch) for 6-12 months 🙂 I probably wouldn’t use PRE at all, unless you want to use it for just the first month or two. Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions!

      • Hi Anjali,
        I saw your post about the iron lacking in the HIPP PRE. How can you tell that it doesn’t have iron? I see Iron Sulfate listed in their ingredients. Would you happen to know if Topfer Pre also lacks iron?


        • Hi Lisa! Good catch – sorry I mistyped above. It’s not that HiPP PRE has no iron, it just has less iron than Stage 1. Less to the point where if your baby is 4+ months and starting solids, then the Stage 1 or Follow On formulas are better since they have more iron. I’ll correct my comment above! Topfer PRE has iron in it, but I’m having a hard time finding how much because I couldn’t find a clear nutritional panel online. My instinct would be to just start with Stage 1 unless your baby is a preemie or has an especially sensitive digestive tract where maybe the increased iron would be a little more irritating. Hope that helps!

  126. I am due in January and going crazy trying to decide on a formula for my new little one. (My luck the one I pick won’t agree with him). I was all set on Baby’s Only. I ordered different samples to be prepared, but now my pediatrician says he doesn’t recommend it because it states “Toddler Formula”. I know other people that still give it to their infants, but as I stated my pediatrician doesn’t recommend it. I was reviewing your chart (which I love!) and was ok with going with Earth’s Best however I did see that you praised Honest Organic Formula until they were being sued. Do you know if that issue was resolved because at the bottom of your review you have Honest listed above Baby’s Only? Thank you for all your hard work and information to help keep us up to date. 🙂

    • Hi Jessica! First – congrats on the soon-to-be arrival of your little one! So exciting! 🙂 So yes, some pediatricians don’t like to recommend Baby’s Only because the Whey/Casein ratio isn’t as close to breast milk as HiPP, Holle, Topfer, or Lebenswert are. (Baby’s Only is 30/70, HiPP and the rest are 60/40). And sometimes that heavy-casein in the formula can cause constipation in infants (not in toddlers). I haven’t found any info on the whey/casein ratio in Honest Formula, but if you’re not doing Baby’s Only, Plum Organics is the best US option, followed by Honest Co. But if you can afford it I’d recommend getting one of the EU formulas — HiPP, Lebeswert and Topfer are all amazing and your baby won’t have any issues digesting any of them! Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

    • Hi Katy! The best US formula right now is Baby’s Only with Whey Protein (No Brown Rice Syrup). Plum Organics is #2 🙂 Hope that helps!

    • I agree!! I don’t like the idea of soy in any baby formulas, especially with the estrogenic effects of soy.

    • That’s true Jessica — most US formulas have that whey/casein ratio — which is one of the reasons why I prefer the EU ones!

  127. Hi Anjali,

    I wanted to ask iof your opinion on the Hipp organic ready made cartons. I believe they contain emulsifier lecithin (Soya) in them. Whats your view on this ingredient? Also do you know if there are any other differing ingredients in the cartons in comparison to the powder? They are so easy to have on the go but im not sure if they are as good as the powdered formula. Any help would be much appreciated.


    • Hi Farah! So yes, the HiPP Organic Ready Made cartons are not as good as the powder – because they do have to add emulsifiers and thickeners to keep the formula shelf stable and to preserve it (so it doesn’t go bad). I’d say they’re fine if you’re on the go and in a bind, but if you can just take the powdered formula with you and mix it on the go, that would be better. Hope that helps!