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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)”

  1. Is kabrita still the top USA brand you would recommend based on current ingredients? Do they still use soy oil? I breastfeed but I like to have formula as a back up and for babysitters. She usually gets about 1-2 formula feedings a week.

  2. Hi,
    Loved your article.. My baby boy is 14 months old and I give him Enfamil neuropro premium and Enfamil premium toddler 50%-50% for better digestion as he gets loose motion with toddlers formula alone.. I want to go organic.. Which formula is best for 14+ months baby because hipp Dutch stage 2 is for 6-12 months.. I need that extra calcium and other important stuff needed for older babies.. If there is any vegan non soy milk option please also suggest that.. M planning to turn us vegan.. But if it’s in anyway inferior to cow milk formula I will wait for a while to turn him vegan.. Can you also please suggest when I can do so? And if at all at what age can I take him off milk completely?

    • Hi Mini! For babies over 12 months of age, I’d recommend HiPP Stage 3 formula. But is there a reason you’re still giving him formula altogether (like does he need extra nutrients because he’s not eating solids well?) If he’s eating solids well, you can transition him off formula and move to organic whole milk. There aren’t many good vegan non-soy milk options for babies because the alternatives – almond, oat, hemp, etc. all have very few nutrients and very little protein/fats that babies need. There is pea protein milk (e.g. Ripple) but that is not organic so I wouldn’t recommend it. You should ask your pediatrician whether they would recommend a vegan diet for your toddler. I think age 1-2 is too early to start on a vegan diet, but going vegetarian at that age is totally fine. Babies at that age still do need calcium, but can get it from yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, buttermilk, kefir, etc. and don’t necessarily need to be drinking milk in the same quantity they were drinking formula before the age of 1. I hope that helps and makes sense! Let me know if you have any other questions!

  3. I just started ordering Holle Bio Stage 2 for a 6 month old last month because of this article. The baby loves it and she sleeps better and is much more satisfied. Gas problems are now gone and my peace of mind is present. (Thanks Anjali). I did order from Huggable which has an option for free shipping from Las Vegas.

  4. Thank you for this! I have referred back to the graph several times. I’m wondering if you have any specific comments for formula 6+ months? Your recommendations seem to be for 0-6 month formulas. I decided on Holle Pre and have been very happy with it!

    • Hi Amanda! So glad this post was helpful for you! All of the formulas on my chart can be used for the entire first year of your baby’s life, which is why I didn’t differentiate between 0-6 and 6-12 month formulas. Also, for the most part, Stage 2 of these formulas falls in the same ranking as Stage 1, and so if you were using HiPP Dutch Stage 1 until 6 months, you can switch to Stage 2 with no issues. Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

  5. Hello! Thank you so much for posting about organic formula. This has been extremely helpful. I have a 5 month old and he has been getting 3 formula and 3 pumped bottles a day. I’m currently giving him happy baby formula but I find it way too sudsy and I am not happy with the palm oil. My babe is tolerating it fine. Do you think it would be an easy transition to HiPP Dutch? I’m worried about being able to get it.

    • Hi Katie! I think you could definitely transition to HiPP Dutch easily — I’d recommend doing it over a period of 7-10 days where you slowly increase the amount of HiPP Dutch in each bottle every day (e.g. day 1 you use 1oz HiPP Dutch, rest Happy Baby per bottle), day 2 you go up to 2oz HiPP Dutch) — and then it should be fine! You should also let your pediatrician know you’re planning to switch formulas so they’re aware of it. As for getting HiPP Dutch, between Huggable and DutchExpat you should never have a problem getting it! Hope that helps!

  6. hi,
    how come other packaging has Holle Bio and the other just Holle without Bio on the box? are there any difference or just the packaging and labeling ?

    and also i use water bottle for my baby but still warm up the water. u mentioned u don’t warm or heat up your formula?
    i am currently using Holle Bio stage 1 for my son, and it’s a hassle for us waking up in the middle of the night or early morning to warm up his formula, and need to cook it down.
    you said you don’t warm up ur formula just use water bottle is fine?

    • Hi Lee! I don’t think I’ve seen Holle without the “Bio” on the box. There’s a difference between Holle PRE and Holle Stage 1/2, but all of those Holle formulas have Bio on the box (see here). For my kids I didn’t boil the water before mixing the formula — I just used filtered or bottled water heated slightly in the microwave before mixing so that it wasn’t super cold for my kids to drink. The EU recommends boiling the water first because that helps to sterilize the formula (since when you touch the scoop, technically, the formula is no longer sterile). But if your baby isn’t immuno compromised or a preemie, and you practice good hand washing before touching the formula scoop, and your pediatrician doesn’t require that you boil the water before mixing the formula, you should be fine to use filtered or bottled water for your baby’s formula. Hope that helps!

  7. I wrote a very long post, it seemed like it was posted and now I don’t see it or your reply. Am I missing something? Please help!

    • Hi Heather! I just replied to your other comment! Comments take 24 hours to post unless I approve them manually, so don’t worry I saw it! Let me know if you have any other questions and how else I can help!

  8. Hi Anjali,
    Thank you for all the informative articles you post. I am a first time mom and find myself VERY overwhelmed with trying to feed my son. My son has been on HIPP UK Stage 1 for about 3 months now- this was recommended to me by the lactation consultant at the hospital after I had given birth and quickly realized I wouldn’t be able to breastfeed. When I came across your blog and read that HIPP DUTCH had both a pre and probiotic I decided I’d give it a try. I made the switch on 9/7/2019. I started noticing that he was eating less but didn’t really think anything of it. Two weeks later we started daycare and he, as expected, got sick. The following week we had our 4month check up and the pediatrician told me we were falling behind in weight. He was at the 9th percentile during his 2month check and now had dropped to 4%. Our pediatrician attributed the loss of appetite to him being sick. We’ve since gotten over the cold but he is still only drinking 2-3oz’s 4 max if I’m lucky every 3-4hrs. I’ve transitioned him back to the UK version but again he is still eating very little. I’ve tried changing the nipples on our bottles, buying two different kind of bottles and feeding less but more frequent 2oz every 2hrs but nothing is working. He usually wakes up three times at night to feed and last night he refused to eat and just wanted to sleep. He will turn 5months in two weeks and we have started trying solids- peas, carrots and oatmeal but as you mentioned at this point this is more for “taste and practice” and not so much for caloric intake. He doesn’t show signs of being hungry so I try and offer milk every 2hrs but it’s always a struggle. My pediatrician recommended that we keep and eye and see if this is because he was sick and not feeling well or if it’s something that is going to need follow up/blood work. We have an appointment for weight check in one month, but in the meantime I’m feeling super anxious and guilty trying to figure out what I can do to make this situation better, constantly hearing “he’s so small for almost 5months” makes me worry so much more. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
    Thank you!

    • Hi Heather! I’m so so sorry to hear about all of your struggles with feeding your son!! That must be so incredibly stressful, I know it would be on my mind every minute of the day if I was in your position. But honestly, it’s going to be hard for me to give you advice without being able to see your son and talk to your pediatrician, since this doesn’t seem solely formula related — it seems like there could be multiple things going on here. It sounds like the two weeks between when you switched to HiPP Dutch and when he started daycare is the only time he wasn’t sick with a cold/etc. and he had already started eating a little less during that time? That could have been due to the switch in formula, just because HiPP Dutch and HiPP UK do taste slightly different. But the rest of it, I really can’t say what’s going on, and I’m so sorry I can’t give you a better answer. If he’s drinking 3oz every 3 hours, that’s about 24oz in 24 hours which isn’t a TON, but it’s not out of the range of normal either from what I can remember (although you should double check that with your pediatrician). I think at 5-6 months, my kids were drinking around 28oz in 24 hours. There are only a few things I can think of that you can try, but you shouldn’t try any of these without getting your pediatrician to provide their opinion and approve first. 1) You could try switching formulas to goat milk which has a distinctly different taste, which might incentivize him to drink more. 2) You could try some of the healthy stage 1 baby food pouches I outline in this post — which are more calorie dense and are still liquidy enough for babies starting solids. 3) Once he really gets comfortable with solids and is eating regular meals, you can add high fat foods like avocado, olive oil, full fat yogurt and cheese, etc. to his meals to increase the calorie content. 4) Go with your gut. If you feel like something is really wrong, get a second opinion and get him evaluated by another pediatrician, or ask for an occupational therapy consult since they specialize in feeding as well. I hope this helps! And I really hope you figure out what’s going on soon! Let me know what you end up finding out and keep me posted on how things go!

  9. Hi there!

    What are your thoughts on Bimbosan vs. Loulouka? I know the ingredients lists are VERY similar, so I guess what my question is, are there any certifications that one has that the other doesn’t? How do the companies who own these formulas compare? How do their standards compare?
    Which one would you choose if you made the choice?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Ryan! To be honest, Bimbosan and Loulouka are almost identical both in terms of ingredients and in terms of nutritional info. I think they are both actually produced by the same parent supplier (Hochdorf) in Switzerland. This one pager should be helpful in breaking down the differences between them – but really, I’d say they are interchangeable. If I had to pick one, I might lean towards Bimbosan just because it’s been around for longer and might be easier to get but you’d be fine going with either one. I hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

  10. Hi Anjali,

    Thank you so much for this post!! It really helped me find a formula because I needed to start supplementing one feeding a day for my 6 month old son. Unfortunately my supply is just not keeping up with his needs. I tried the Hipp Dutch stage 2 and he HATED it, I believe it’s the chalky taste he didn’t like, it made him gag and he refused to eat at least 1-2 meals a day, this went on for 2 days straight. I then purchased the Holle stage 2 and he likes that one much better, I tasted it myself and it taste like milk. My concern is the Maltodextrin, how bad is it? I know there is no perfect formula, but would you mind elaborating more on this. He’s starting to get little exema patches and I’m concerned it may be from the formula. However, he was already getting a little dry skin prior to starting formula, so I’m not sure. I see that both the Holle and Lebenswert stage 2 have Maltodextrin In it. Your input is much appreciated!!

    Thank you!

    • Hi Christina! Thanks so much for reaching out and I’m so glad this post was helpful to you! To your question — I’m so sorry he didn’t like HiPP Dutch, but so glad Holle is working out! Regarding maltodextrin – the reason I’m not a fan of it is it’s basically a high glycemic stabilizer/thickener (so it can cause a spike in blood sugar the way table sugar would), and it helps increase the shelf life of packaged products. That being said, Holle is still way better than most of the other formulas out there so if that’s the only one that works for him then I’d just continue to use it! You could try HiPP UK or HiPP PRE since those have slightly different formulations and don’t have maltodextrin, but if he’s just not into HiPP in general then just stick with what works! Hope that helps!

      • Hi! Yes you can – Stage 1 is technically ok to use until 12 months of age. The main difference between Stage 1 and 2 is the iron content, but if your baby is a good eater once you transition to solids then they may not need the extra iron Stage 2 provides! (I’d double check with your pediatrician on that just to be sure that’s the case for your baby.) Hope that helps!

    • Hi Stacey! I’d recommend trying HiPP Comfort which has a reduced lactose content and is hypoallergenic. You could also try Kabrita since goat milk tends to be easier to digest than cow’s milk (depending on how severe your baby’s lactose intolerance is)! Those would be my top 2 recs!

  11. Hi there,

    I am debating using Loulouka, I found a reputable supplier online. What do you think of it? I know you recommend Hipp, but wouldn’t having increased coconut oil and not having palm oil in Loulouka be a big benefit? I could always supplement DHA and probiotics, but I am mostly breastfeeding and only supplement one bottle per day. Would it be best to get a formula with NONE of the yucky ingredients since my baby is getting natural dha and pre/probiotics from my milk? Or is the palm oil and hexane dha not as big of a deal and Hipp is still worth getting?

    • Hi Ryan! I think Loulouka is great and certainly the lack of palm oil is a plus! If you’re mostly breastfeeding and only supplementing with formula once a day, then I think Loulouka would work. Because while you can add DHA and probiotics to formula, you can’t add prebiotics — and HiPP Dutch has all 3. If you were using formula for more than one bottle a day I’d say go with HiPP Dutch to get the prebiotics – but since your baby is getting that through your breastmilk, it should be fine to use Loulouka! Hope that helps!

  12. Hello! Thank you so much for the updated post! I was just wondering with all the talk recently on folic acid vs folate, if you might consider this as a factor or do all use the synthetic folic acid?

    • Hi Olivia! Unless your baby has an MTHFR mutation — folic acid should be ok for them, and all of the baby formulas I’ve found (both European and US) use folic acid. Hope that help!

  13. Hi! I’m currently feeding my baby lebenswert bio. We are planning on traveling soon. I’ve been boiling the water as recommended and waiting for it to cool down. I know a lot of women don’t boil American formula…. is it truly necessary that I boil lebenswert? I’m dreading the flight and hotel situation and the need to boil water for his formula 🙁

    • Hi Christine! The EU recommends boiling water before preparing formula to help sterilize the formula (since technically, no formula is “sterile” since you use your hands to touch the scoop that then, touches the formula). But unless your baby is immunocompromised or your pediatrician recommends it, you don’t need to boil water for EU formulas. I never did – I used filtered or bottled water for my kids. So if your pediatrician doesn’t think your baby needs the boiled water, you should be fine without it! Hope that helps!

  14. Hello,
    My DS has been having tummy issues and now a severe bottle aversion. He’s refusing feeds so we went to see a GI. The GI told us to start using neocate formula as he suspects it’s a milk intolerance. The first Ingredient in the formula is Corn syrup solids (51%) {cue in tears} and I just don’t feel right giving him this. I want to use Hipp HA but wanted to get your opinion on the Neocate formula. Perhaps you understand something I don’t. I’m assuming that’s the case as why else would the GI recommend it??

    • Hi Zoe! Did your GI run an allergy test on your little one and is the milk protein allergy confirmed? If not, I’d ask for that test to be done just so you can get a sense of what allergies your baby has (it could be milk, but it could also be other allergies). Neocate is for babies with severe cow’s milk protein allergies that have been diagnosed (typically) — because it’s an amino acid formula so it’s the most broken down of all the hypoallergenic formulas out there. HiPP HA is only 86-87% hydrolyzed, which works well for some babies with a milk protein allergy, but not for babies with severe allergies who need amino acid based formulas. Depending on the severity of the allergy, the formulas I’d recommend go in this order (from least severe allergy to most severe allergy): HiPP HA, HiPP Comfort, Alimentum or Nutramigen, Neocate or Elecare. I hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

    • Hi there! I’m torn between the HIPP Dutch or UK. I am exclusively breastfeeding but would like the option to have formula as a backup. My baby is 8 weeks old and super gassy especially at night. Do you think one is better than the other?

      • Hi Lexie! I like HiPP Dutch better than UK for a couple reasons: 1) It has pre + probiotics included, whereas HiPP UK only has prebiotics. 2) The container is bigger and easier to use/dispense the formula from (HiPP Dutch comes in an airtight can, HiPP UK comes in foil bags). Hope that helps!

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