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

The Best Organic Baby Formulas (2019 Guide)

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This in-depth, parent-friendly guide will help you find and buy the best organic baby formulas. You will learn why you should consider organic formula, what ingredients to avoid in formula, and where you can reliably purchase the best organic baby formula. I update this post monthly to ensure that all of the information below is recent and accurate!

Click here to skip ahead and see the 5 best organic baby formulas!

The hidden pitfalls of “breast is best”

We’ve all heard the advice: “Breast is best.” Exclusively breastfeed until your baby is 1 year old. Formula is “poison.” For a few moms, that advice is easy to follow: they had a natural birth, 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 dozens of lactation consultants, and I’m still having problems nursing; etc.

For me, nursing my daughter Layla was one of the most physically and emotionally challenging parts of new motherhood. Many of the early days ended in tears. While it was difficult and challenging every day, I nursed and pumped for the first 6 months, started weaning around 6.5 months, and fully weaned by 7.5 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 as 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.

When I needed formula for Layla, I did a ton of research to find the best baby formula on the market today. I researched online, spoke with doctors, and asked fellow mothers to find the best formula.

What I learned is that most formulas, especially those produced in the US, are loaded with ingredients that aren’t very healthy for your baby.

Fortunately, there ARE a select number of high-quality, organic baby formulas available. Most of these formulas are produced in Europe, but there are a few reliable places to purchase them online.

Below I have listed the top 5 best organic baby formulas I have found. Later in the post, I detail what ingredients to avoid when looking for formulas, provide the best places to buy organic baby formulas, and include a detailed chart that ranks even more organic baby formulas!

The 5 best organic baby formulas of 2019

While there is no perfect formula, the five organic baby formulas below are considerably better than the rest. They are all produced in Europe, which has higher standards than the US. Click on the formula name to go to the best online retailer of the formula.

HiPP Dutch Stage 1
HiPP Dutch Stage 1

The best organic baby formula. It’s has a whey:casein ratio that mimics breastmilk, has no added sugars, contains prebiotics and probiotics, and contains DHA/ARA. It also comes in an easy-to-dispense, airtight container!

hipp pre germany organic baby formula
HiPP PRE Germany

Very close to HiPP Dutch, with the exception of a container that’s harder to dispense from (foil bags vs. an airtight can).

hipp pre baby formula
HiPP UK Stage 1

Close to HiPP Dutch but it has no probiotics (only has prebiotics). It also has container that’s harder to dispense from (foil bags vs. an airtight can).

Lebenswert Stage 1 Organic baby formula
Lebenswert Stage 1

A great option for parents who don’t want pre/probiotics or DHA added to their formula and want to supplement with that separately. I prefer pre/probiotics and DHA added both for convenience, but also because there is no prebiotic supplement sold separately for babies (there are only probiotic supplements available)

Holle PRE baby formula
Holle PRE

Very comparable to Lebenswert with the added benefit of being formulated especially for babies aged 0-3 months (but it can be used throughout the 6 months of life). Also a great option for parents who don’t want pre/probiotics or DHA added to their formula and want to supplement with that separately.

If you’re looking for the best goat milk formula, I’d recommend Kabrita USA. For more details on why that’s my top choice, see my post on the best goat milk formulas here!

Ingredients to avoid in organic baby formula

Unfortunately, the US doesn’t have very strict standards when it comes to organic baby formula. Many organic formulas in the US have harmful ingredients. Below are the ingredients that shouldn’t appear in organic formula as outlined by the National Organic Standards Board and are banned in the European Union, which has much higher standards:

  • 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).
  • 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!
  • Synthetic Preservatives – ascorbic palmitate and beta carotene are the common ones here.
  • 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 about Palm Oil: 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 (among many others) that makes it problematic. 

Unfortunately, almost every single baby formula in the US market has one or more of these ingredients included.

So what’s a mom to do? Order your formula online from the EU where baby formula standards are higher. Hands down, the best organic baby formulas are being produced in Europe. That being said, US 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.

Fortunately, you can order high-quality organic European formulas online!

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 both of my kids, and it worked great for us.

Where can you buy European baby formula in the US?

If you want to buy HiPP, Lebenswert, or Holle online, I have found a 5 online retailers who are either based in the US or ship to the US in a reliable and safe manner! I’m in personal contact with the owners of all 5 of these companies, I feel comfortable recommending all of them to you.

1. Huggable

screenshot of Huggable - where to buy the best organic baby formula

Huggable is the most reliable, reputable, online retailer for buying healthy, organic European formulas. Huggable is based in the Bay Area and founded by a mom who (just like me) was looking for healthier baby formula options for her little one. Madhu, the owner, is committed to making the first year of feeding your baby as easy and stress-free as possible.

After extensive research and conversations, I feel confident in recommending Huggable as the best place to purchase European baby formulas, including HiPP, Lebenswert, Holle, and Holle Goat.

Huggable formulas ship free on orders over $50 and arrive at your doorstep in 1-5 business days! And, they truly care about the comfort and happiness of both mom and baby. They have a baby satisfaction guarantee, where if a formula isn’t right for your baby, they’ll send you a box of another to try, 100% FREE.

Huggable makes it easy for you to see the ingredients in each of the formulas you buy. For HiPP: You can see the ingredients here, For Lebenswertyou can see the ingredients here, and For Holle: you can see the ingredients here.

Huggable also supports single moms — they recently launched the The Huggable Supermom Scholarship, which awards $2,000 and a year of free baby formula to single mothers who are on their way to achieving degrees!

2. DutchExpatShop

DutchExpatShop - where to buy the best organic baby formula

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 get any products from Holland and Belgium through their site (even stuff for mama like yummy snacks, fresh cheesesbeauty products, body care and more!)

3. Organic Baby Food

Organic Baby Food - where to buy the best organic baby formula

Organic Baby Food is a reputable, online retailer based in the EU who has fast shipping to the US! They sell HiPP, Lebenswert, and Holle, along 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!

4. Bottles & Burps

Bottle & burps - where to buy the best organic baby formula

When it comes to affordability, Bottles & Burps is the lowest priced US retailer I have found that sells HiPPHolle, and Lebenswert. I met with Courtney and Blake, the co-owners, and learned that they had the same experience as I did when trying to find healthy formula for their little one. They are committed to bringing high quality, European formula to parents in the US.

Bottles and Burps has bulk pricing discounts which start at 2 boxes of formula for a 5% discount and increase to a 15% discount for 8 boxes. They offer FREE shipping for orders over $15, and orders arrive between 1-3 days in the US (same day for NYC!) Bottles & Burps is also offering a $10 discount code using the code PICKYEATER10 (just enter it manually in the checkout process!)

5. Kabrita USA

Kabrita USA - where to buy the best organic baby formula

Kabrita USA is one new option for Goat Milk that I recommend. 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. Also, Kabrita is offering 10% off all ordes with the coupon code GENTLEKABRITA.

Best organic baby formulas, ranked from best to worst

Below is a detailed chart ranking all of the best organic baby formulas. 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 October 2019. All updates are listed in detail (by date) below the chart as well! 

best organic baby formulas chart ranking all formulas both european and us

For anyone looking for a goat milk formula specifically, I have a separate chart in What’s the Best Goat Milk Formula for Your Baby?

Final Thoughts

  • There is no perfect formula, but some are still much better than others. If you can afford it, the best organic baby formulas are HiPP, Lebenswert and Holle – so I’d recommend shipping your formula from Europe whenever possible!
  • 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.
  • 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 part of my best organic baby formulas list (since they are not technically organic). 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!

Additional Information

What about the best Vitamin D, DHA and Probiotics Supplements for babies?

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). I also like Klaire Labs’ powdered probiotic. For infants 0-3 months of age, I recommend BioGaia’s probiotic. For older kids, Garden of Life also has a kids’ chewable probiotic if you need and option that doesn’t require refrigeration, and I take their adult capsule daily.

Baby Food: For those of you transitioning to solids and looking for homemade baby food recipes, I have a bunch of easy recipes you can try here! But in those instances when you’re on the go and looking for a healthy, organic, pre-made option, my list of the healthiest baby food pouches should help.

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 the best organic baby formulas on this list. 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!

Detailed Updates by Date Below!

Update as of 7/22/19: Organic Start has unfortunately shut down due to regulatory issues with the FDA, so any updates below referencing Organic Start have had the links to their website removed. This was not the fault of Organic Start, and their formula and company is still reputable and the formula they were selling was high quality.  All of the other retailers of organic formula listed above are still selling European formula and I can vouch for all of them! Something similar happened in July 2017 (which you can see in my update list below). Note: Loulouka was a formula made by Organic Start, so that is no longer available as well.

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 a reputable retailer to my site who I have been able to communicate with and understand the ins and outs of their company! They are DutchExpatShop – the cheapest seller of HiPP Dutch that I’ve found. 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 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.

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

1,010 responses to “The Best Organic Baby Formulas (2019 Guide)”

    • Hi Justin! HiPP uses natural DHA from fish, but synthetic (hexane extracted) DHA/ARA from algae. I wouldn’t worry about that too much though – given the research on using hexane to extract DHA/ARA it doesn’t seem like a major issue (you can see the details on why in my post). Let me know if you have any other questions!

  1. Great job. I’ve been doing quite a bit of online reading and the various websites out there are all over the place in terms of reliable info and science!
    My wife and I live here in the US and need to supplement formula with breast milk for our newborn (due to many of the reasons you cite). Our hospital gave us Similac Pro Advanced and I’ve been using it (suspiciously) for the first week of life. I’m wary of buying overseas formulas because if I happen to run out, I’ll have to feed my child something else in the meantime and I’ve heard it can be bad to switch formulas.
    That being said, I see you like the Baby’s Own with Whey. But all their formulas are listed as being for Toddlers. Our baby is only a little more than one week old.
    I like what you say about Hipp and I like that they have different formulas for different babies (eg., stages, hungry baby, good night milk, etc). Generally speaking, how long does it take to get them shipped here to the US?

    • Hi Dave! Great questions! For such a young baby I’d recommend HiPP over Baby’s Only with Whey (which is listed as a toddler formula only because the company wants to support breastfeeding for the first year of life). Getting HiPP shipped to the US can actually happen in less than a week if you go through Huggable. They are based in NY so they are able to ship very quickly to anywhere in the US! I’d highly recommend them if you decide to go with HiPP!

  2. Hi Anjali,
    Just wondering if you have any thoughts on HiPP Stage 1 v. Stage 2 formula? My son is 6 months old and just starting on solids, but doesn’t really ‘get’ eating yet (i.e., he probably swallows only a small amount of what we try to feed him but it’s hard to tell because so much ends up on the table, his hands, his bib…). He is consuming about half breast milk and half formula and we will try to occasionally feed him a high iron food like liver. The reason I ask is because I am considering ordering in bulk as so many online shops seem to be out of the formula.
    Thanks!
    Erin

    • Hi Erin! If your son isn’t eating a ton of solids (which is totally normal at this age!) you could switch him to Stage 2. My son at 8 months still hasn’t quite gotten the hang of solids and we are vegetarian so I switched him to Stage 2 around 7 months. Alternatively you can keep him on Stage 1 and just supplement with iron drops (but you have to be careful with that to make sure you don’t end up giving too much iron). I’d just ask your pediatrician what they’d be comfortable with given how your son is currently eating. Stage 1 still has iron in it, just not as much as Stage 2. Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions!

    • Yes! The chart is updated as of this week! Kabrita has moved up significantly. Thanks for asking Justin!

  3. Thank you so much for the helpful information! My 5 month old baby has reflux and is very sensitive. Much to my chagrin, we’ve been supplementing with Similac Sensitive because she can tolerate it but I really would like to switch to an organic formula. I tried Baby’s Only with Whey but it upset her reflux and gave her stomach pain so we won’t be using it again. Which formulas would you recommend for sensitive babies with reflux? We live overseas so have to purchase from sites that ship to APO mailing addresses.

    • Hi Jennifer! I’m so sorry to hear about your baby’s reflux! That must be so stressful! There are two formulas you could try: 1) HiPP AR – Anti Reflux – which is made specifically for babies with reflux and 2) HiPP HA – which is a hypoallergenic formula that babies with sensitive tummies do well on. Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

  4. Thank you so much for sharing the very helpful and informed perspective and resources! I’m only able to produce ~4 oz/day say we’ve had to supplement with formula from the start. While taking and eating everything to increase my supply, your blog helped us choose Hipp stage 1 infant milk. I’ve read the Hipp-Dutch has the probiotic and comes in canisters (vs. UK pouches), but do you see any other differences that swayed you into making Hipp-Dutch your #1 pick? Also, our baby girl needs to burp often – throughout naps and the night. Have you or anyone else experienced this? Wondering if it’s the formula.

    • Hi Yvette! I’m so glad this post was helpful to you! So yes, the two main reasons I like HiPP Dutch over HiPP UK is that it contains probiotics (UK only has prebiotics), and the cans for HiPP Dutch are so much easier storage wise and convenience wise than HiPP UK. Also I think HiPP Dutch gives you more per can than HiPP UK gives you per box. As for your little one needing to burp often – that’s really common with infants – even those who are exclusively breastfed may need to burp a lot because their digestive systems aren’t fully developed! So for that I wouldn’t worry about it being the formula. As long as your little one has normal poops / isn’t constipated and isn’t screaming in pain from gas constantly, it’s likely just normal digestive development that she needs frequent burps. Both of my kids needed frequent burps and they were on mostly breastmilk for the first 6 months of their lives – so unless your baby is getting super super uncomfortable I wouldn’t worry about it!

      • Hello,
        I find your blog very interesting. From the beginning my little guy has had an intolerance to soy an dairy. I went on a soy an dairy free diet when he was two weeks old. He is now 5 months old and though I’ve tried every trick in the book, once I went back to work my milk supply has slowly dwindled. I am now having to supplement with 50% formula. The pediatrician recommend Nutramigen Hypoallergenic Infant powder formula which we have been using. I know that it wont be long and my milk supply with have dried up and my little guy will need to be on 100% formula. I want to try and have the best possible formula for him also keeping in mind his soy and diary intolerance. To me its about a healthy solution. Do you have any suggestions for what the best American Made formula out there for a soy and dairy in tolerate infant would be? I do want so bad to use Hipp but again the pediatrician says to be careful using formula that is not manufactured in the US. I do feel a little uneasy about it. Thank you for your blog it has really put formula in perspective for me.

      • Hi Dani! Thanks so much for reaching out! I’m so sorry your little one has a soy and dairy intolerance, that can be so tough. Have you tried goat milk formula for him? If not, you might want to try Kabrita – which is a really high quality goat milk formula sold in the US. Other than that, there are actually no good hypoallergenic formulas available in the US – something like Nutramigen is the only option. So if you’re open to the European formulas I’d recommend HiPP HA which is a really high quality hypoallergenic formula. Your pediatrician probably is just more conservative than most, as I know many pediatricians in the US who do recommend the European formulas to their patients. Europe is actually a more tightly regulated market when it comes to food products than the US, so if anything I’d trust the European brands more than the US ones 🙂 Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

  5. Thank you so much for this informative post! I’ve found it so difficult to find information on organic formulas and your post has made it easy to understand the common pitfalls and tradeoffs. Do you have a view on homemade formula? The Weston C. Price foundation has a cow’s milk recipe that I’ve considered trying out. Thanks again!

    • Hi Erin! No problem at all! I’m so glad it was helpful! Regarding homemade formula – I have seen the Weston C. Price Foundation recipe and it looks good to me. The main reason I didn’t make my formula from scratch is I was just worried about messing something up, or the formula recipe not being sufficient, and my baby getting sick as a result. I just didn’t want to risk it, and since there were good organic formula options available, I opted to go with that. But I do know people who have made their formula using that Weston C. Price recipe and their babies have done fine on it! I’d just ask your pediatrician to make sure they’re comfortable with you using that recipe for your baby’s formula before you try it. Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

      • Hi Anjali,
        Makes total sense! Thanks again so much, your blog is such a service to new moms and a lifesaver for me. I’m going to be checking back regularly!
        Sadly, the HIPP formula seems to be sold out for the moment, so I may test the waters with homemade formula.
        Thanks again!
        Erin

      • I just realized I should have said your blog is a lifesaver for new moms and dads! I know there are a lot of dads out there needing this info too! Thanks again!

      • Awwww great point!! Definitely – this post is for all parents of little ones everywhere 🙂 Thanks Erin!

      • Thank you so much Erin I’m so glad it’s been helpful!! Hmm yes it does look like HiPP Dutch is sold out, but if you don’t want to make your own formula, you can buy HiPP PRE – which literally has the same ingredients as HiPP Dutch so it’s a perfect substitute! If you do make your own formula, I’d love to hear how it goes and how your little one does on it!

    • Hi Austin! I wouldn’t recommend Neolac because the very first ingredient is glucose syrup powder – which is basically just sugar. Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

  6. I am thankful for these informations.. I did some research prior to your site but this is incredible.. Up to date lists, ingredients everything is there.. Thank you so so much ????

  7. Thank you so much for this, it has been incredibly helpful. I have two questions. First, why do you prefer HiPP- Dutch over HiPP (Germany)? They seem pretty similar on the chart. Also, I recently switched from breastfeeding my 8 month old to using HiPP formula (Germany). After two days, she’s experiencing painful constipation. I know that this is a common issue with switching to formula, however, I’m not sure if I should switch to HiPP comfort (which doesn’t have any of the desirable attributes other HiPP formula’s have) or Baby’s Only Whey and DHA formula (which they claim is good for constipation) and then switch back to HiPP (Germany) when this passes. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,
    Suzan

    • Hi Suzan! The reason I prefer HiPP Dutch over HiPP Germany is because HiPP Germany adds starch to their Stage 1 formula (which can constipate babies!) and HiPP Dutch does not. That’s the only difference between the two! My guess is your little one is having constipation issues because of the starch in HiPP Germany (and also because of transitioning to formula). I’d recommend trying HiPP Dutch, or HiPP Germany PRE – which is identical to HiPP Dutch in terms of ingredients. Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions!

  8. Hello,
    My little one will be 6 months soon. I am exclusively breastfeeding, however, I am now only able to pump 10-12 oz per day at work and she is taking about 15-18oz per day when I am at work. I think I might have to start supplementing when my frozen milk supply runs out. I plan to supplement only 4 days/week, probably just one bottle a day. I planned to use Baby’s Only with Whey, however, it is labeled as a “Toddler Formula.” Also, the website states that it should e used for children after 1 year. Can I start using this for my little one at 7 months?

    • Hi Jennifer! Baby’s Only with Whey markets itself as a toddler formula because they want to support exclusive breastfeeding for the first year of life. That said, I know tons of parents who have used it for their infants with no issues. It should be fine for your 7 month old, but I’d just double check with your pediatrician to make sure they’re comfortable with you using it (most pediatricians are!)

  9. Wow! That’s a lot of great information. Thanks a lot.
    I was wondering if your ranking is just for stage 1 formulas. I’ve been using Lebenswert stage 1 and I am very happy with it but now that it’s time to move to stage 2 I am not sure if I should change brands since Lebenswert uses maltodextrin. What is your opinion? Would you switch to Hipp for the following stages?
    Thanks again.

    • Hi Vanessa! That is a great question! So yes, while my ranking is based on Stage 1 formulas it is pretty accurate for stage 2 as well. I recommend HiPP over Leb for stage 1 and that goes for stage 2 too – just for different reasons! 🙂 So I’d use HiPP Dutch Stage 2 or HiPP Germany PRE instead of Leb Stage 2. Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

      • Hi Anjali, somehow I missed your reply and just submitted the same question again, please disregard.
        Thanks a lot for your reply! One last question, in your opinion it is ok to use HiPP Germany PRE until baby is 1 year old? would you switch stages at some point?

      • Hi Vanessa! No problem at all! So yes, you can use HiPP Germany PRE until your baby is 1 year old. The main difference between PRE and Stage 2 is that Stage 2 has more iron – which your baby will need after 7 months of age. But if your baby is a great eater and is getting enough iron from solid foods, then you don’t necessarily need it in the formula. I’d ask your pediatrician if they are comfortable with your baby staying on PRE (since PRE still does have some iron in it) until age 1 based on the other foods in your baby’s diet. Let me know if you have any other questions!

  10. Hi Anjali,
    Great insights. The blog really helped me.
    II am currently looking for a good formula for my 11 month old. I plan on transferring him to whole milk, but would like to have a formula available esp for the times when we are travelling and/or when organic milk may not be available. I was looking at Holle/Hipp/Lebenswert ingredients. for 10 months + and Hipp has the DHA extracted with hexane, while Holle and Lebenswert have the organic maltrodextrin. I know you wrote about maltrodextrin being more critical and better be avoided than hexane extracted DHA/ARA- but I wanted to get your take on a good formula for 10 months+. Also, are the US formulas close enough for older babies?

    Thanks!
    Divya

    • Hi Divya! So glad this post was helpful for you! Regarding your 11 month old, I’d still recommend HiPP over Holle (since it has maltodextrin) and Leb stage 2 (which also has maltodextrin). The hexane extracted DHA/ARA is not a big red flag in my opinion given the research I’ve done on it – the hexane seems to be completely eliminated before the DHA is added to the formula. You can also use Baby’s Only with Whey which is a US formula that is a good option for a toddler! Hope that helps!

  11. Hello,
    We are giving our 4 moth old HIPP Dutch Stage 1 formula. Unfortunately, they are sold out everywhere! Question 1: Do you know the reason for this?
    Question 2: Is HIPP UK the closest to the Dutch?
    The HIPP from Germany has starch and I noticed that my son was gassier when I had given it to him.

    • Hi Gustavo! Yes, unfortunately HiPP Dutch is having production issues and is having trouble keeping up with demand! HiPP Germany PRE (not HiPP Germany Stage 1) is the closest to Dutch, then HiPP UK Stage 1. HiPP Germany PRE has basically the exact same ingredients as HiPP Dutch so it’s a good option. Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

  12. Hi Anjali – Reading online that the German HiPP PRE formula is the same as the Dutch Stage 1. Do you have any insight, per chance? Ingredients seem the same to me, although the Dutch label notes LCPs and DHA/ARA separately, while the German label only mentions LCPs. Looks like there’s no starch in the PRE version either.

    Interested because German HiPP Pre is available for shipment to the US from Amazon.de.

    Thanks a bunch!

    • Hi Josh! Great question! German HiPP PRE is the same as Dutch Stage 1! The ingredients are almost identical – both have DHA/ARA. And yes, there is no starch in the pre version. You can absolutely order this in place of HiPP Dutch Stage 1. Let me know if you have any other questions!

  13. The Hipp dutch version has a new label and I think it says New formula. Can you help me with understanding this. Is it still the same ingredients?

  14. What made you decide to rank babys only after the european brands? I was hesitant about palm oil. Also, do you recommend to add probiotics to babys only for infants under three months old? Thank u so much for all this great info…its helped tremendously

    • Hi Jin! So glad this post was helpful for you! To your questions: Overall, I’d prefer palm oil vs. soy oil (which is what Baby’s Only has) because I wouldn’t recommend babies having so much soy on a regular basis. That’s the main reason why I rank Baby’s Only after the European Brands. And yes! You can add probiotics to your baby’s formula when they are under 3 months of age. For 0-3 months of age, I recommend BioGaia’s probiotic. Let me know if you have any other questions!

      • Thank u! Ive decided to try hipp but when i go online to buy, there are several different versions..which one should i try first? Theres stage 1 thats already made in the box shape and theres the powder in the round canister. Also, i see hipp infant organic combiatic 1, hipp organic pre, hipp organic combiatic pre. Which do i start with? What are the differences

      • Hi Jin! The different names you see are the different HiPP Stage 1 brands in each region (HiPP PRE is German, HiPP BIO Combiotik Stage 1 is Dutch, etc.). Currently, HiPP Dutch (my top choice) is out of stock so I recommend HiPP Germany PRE, which has the exact same ingredients as HiPP Dutch and it is in stock! If HiPP Germany PRE is out of stock, then the next best choice is HiPP UK Stage 1. Let me know if you have any other questions!

  15. All I can say is amazing! Thank you so much for the time and energy put into compiling this information. I’m extremely disappointed in having to supplement with formula but feel more empowered to choose a brand that aligns with what I had hoped for in providing my LO. Thank you!

    • I’m so happy to hear that Kei!! I hope that over time you don’t feel as bad about having to supplement. You are doing the best you can and really a FED baby is all that matters 🙂

  16. Like many others I want to take the opportunity to express deep gratitude for the information you’ve complied and made available. My EBF son who already suffered from reflux began experiencing seizures. I suspected medication/food allergies from my own diet as the culprit and started supplementing him with Baby’s Only (which was the best formula I was familiar with at the time). Noticing a positron correlation- I eliminated nursing and began Ft formula feeding and the seizures disappeared. But reflux, constipation and eczema worsened. Searching for something better I came across this blog. After switching to Hipp his eczema and reflux cleared in days- and he went back to having soft EBF stools. Such a happy baby! Thank you so much!!!

    • Hi Kacy! Omg what a scary and stressful journey you and your son have been on! I can’t imagine what that must have been like, especially with the seizures. I’m so glad this post helped you to find a formula that worked so much better for him!

    • Hi Nydia! It’s really up to you. I’d choose the one with DHA because I like that it’s included and I wouldn’t want to have to supplement with DHA separately. It’s just more convenient to have it included in the formula. But it’s totally up to you! You can either get Baby’s Only with DHA, or get the one without DHA and supplement with it separately. It’s just an extra step you’ll have to do if you choose the one without DHA. But other than that they are identical so you can’t go wrong with either one!

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