7 Best Baby Formulas of 2019

Best Baby Formulas of 2019

May 24, 2019

Best Baby Formulas of 2019

Best Baby Formulas of 2019
Whether you are supplementing with formula or using it full time, here are the seven best baby formulas.Best Baby Formulas of 2019

While everyone is in agreement that breastfeeding is ideal, it just doesn’t work for every family. Some parents need or choose to use formula full-time while others give formula in addition to breast milk.

Breast milk or formula should be your child’s only source of nutrition for about the first six months. From six months to 12 months, breast milk or formula will continue to be the primary source of food as your little one slowly transitions to solid food.

How to Choose a Formula

The best formula for your child is the type your pediatrician recommends and your baby accepts. The good news is that all formula is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and has to meet the same basic nutritional requirements. Formula is designed to mimic breast milk, but ingredients can differ. There are three main types of formula:

  • Cow’s milk formula has been treated to make the protein more easily digestible and is the most prevalent type of formula on the market.
  • Soy formula is a vegan option that’s only recommended by doctors in rare situations, such as when your baby is allergic to the protein in cow’s milk.
  • Specialized formula provides sustenance for children who have particular needs, such as premature babies or babies with a high risk of developing allergies.

Formula also comes in three forms:

  • Powder that you mix with water
  • Liquid concentrate that you also mix with water
  • Ready-to-feed bottles that don’t require mixing

For the full lowdown on formula ingredients, review the information on choosing a formula by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

How We Chose Our Best Formula Picks

We asked thousands of real Babylist families about the formulas that worked best for their families. We took the top ones they shared with us and added our own research and insight to tell you about the best formulas.

Do you think this content is helpful? Let our editors know!

Huge Favorite

Why We Love it

Enspire is the top of the line cow’s milk formula from the found-anywhere Enfamil brand. Touted as the line’s closest match to breast milk, it contains milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) and lactoferrin—both extras found in breast milk, but not required by the FDA to be in baby formula. We also love that unlike other formulas that use corn-based sweeteners, the only sweetener in Enspire is lactose, a naturally occurring sugar found in milk.

In addition to Enspire, Enfamil offers two other popular formulas: Gentlease and Enfagrow.

NeuroPro Gentlease uses an easy-to-digest protein to help bottles go down easy, as well as MFGM and DHA. Parents whose babies get fussy and gassy after eating swear by Gentlease.

Enfagrow is designed for when your child reaches one-year old. It can help ease the transition to regular cow’s milk because it has 21 important vitamins, minerals and other nutrients like prebiotics (an ingredient that promotes the growth of probiotics or good gut bacteria).

Enspire has non-GMO ingredients (ingredients not genetically modified), while Gentlease and Enfagrow come in regular and non-GMO versions.

Keep in Mind

Some parents report that Enfamil has a stronger smell than other brands.

What Babylist Parents Say

“We used Enfamil Gentlease. She really enjoyed it and caused her less colic.” -Nohelia

Stomach Soother

Why We Love It

Unfortunately, when it comes to babies who have extra-sensitive tummies, finding the right formula can be a bit of trial and error. Some parents find that this non-GMO Similac formula is the one that finally eliminates their babies’ painful bouts of gas and bloating.

Safe for lactose-sensitive babies, the formula aims to boost the immune system and includes a special prebiotic naturally found in breast milk but not in other formulas.

Keep in Mind

The Similac Pro-Sensitive is a bit more expensive than Enfamil Gentlease, also made for babies with trouble digesting formula.

What Babylist Parents Say

“We used the formula from the time our daughter was a month old until a year. This was the only formula where she did not spit up as much.” -Kristi J.

For Breastfed Babies

Why We Love It

If you are only giving your baby formula on a part-time or occasional basis, try this one designed for breastfed babies. One complaint about formula is it can make baby poop much harder (think: constipation) than breastfeeding. This formula has more prebiotics than any other Similac kind, which studies show produces a softer stool similar to breastfed babies. Another bonus? It doesn’t contain any corn syrup or sugar.

Keep in Mind

It’s pricier than a standard formula which you could also use to supplement breastfeeding.

What Babylist Parents Say

“My baby was exclusively breastfed until six months. Similac Supplementation was a seamless transition.” -Lauren R.

On-Demand Organic

Why We Love It

This dairy-based formula uses organic milk, which means the cows didn’t receive added growth hormones or antibiotics. And there’s zero corn syrup in the ingredients list. Like some others, Honest Co. has added prebiotics to this formula for its immune-boosting benefits.

For wee ones with touchy tummies, they also offer a reduced-lactose formula that’s easier for some babies to digest. And while many gentler formulas contain corn syrup, the one by Honest Co. uses glucose syrup instead.

Keep in Mind

The option to place an reoccurring order ensures your cabinets stay stocked with formula without even having to think about it.

Affordable Organic Option

Why We Love It

Similar to the Honest Co. but less expensive, all of the ingredients that go into Earth’s Best formula are organic and non-GMO. They also carry an organic, reduced-lactose version for sensitive tummies (although it does have corn syrup in it) as well as an organic soy option.

The Earth’s Best line has a non-DHA formula option (it’s hard to find formula without it these days) for parents who want to avoid the chemical used in making the supplement, which is usually added to formula to support brain and eye development.

Keep in Mind

Just because these formulas are made with organic ingredients doesn’t guarantee they’ll be a good match for your baby’s digestive system or taste buds.

What Babylist Parents Say

“We tried a variety of formulas before settling on Earth’s Best Organic as much for the fact that it was organic and easy on our baby’s tummy, as for the fact that we could buy in larger containers. That meant saving more money and fewer trips to the store.” -Mary Ashley

Best Value

Why We Love It

Surprise, surprise—Costco’s generic formula stacks up nicely against major brands. It’s ingredients are non-GMO, the only sweetener is lactose (a milk sugar) and it contains prebiotics like many other formula brands. Plus, since you’re buying it in bulk, you get a great deal per the usual with Costco.

Keep in Mind

There is only one kind of Kirkland formula, so if you have a kiddo with a sensitive tummy or special needs you’ll have to look elsewhere.

What Babylist Parents Say

“It’s much cheaper, and I can order it in bulk. It’s comparable to Similac Pro Advance.” -Megan B.

For Toddlers

Why We Love It

If you have a picky eater, you know what it’s like to worry that they’re not getting enough of the good stuff that will make their body and brain grow. Go & Grow is designed to help toddlers get the nutrients they need with 25 vitamins and minerals in each eight-ounce serving. Some parents use Go & Grow as a transition step between ending breastfeeding at one year and starting regular cow’s milk.

It comes in plain and unflavored versions, and has non-GMO options for both the standard Go & Grow formula and a formula for children with lactose sensitivity.

Keep in Mind

Once your child turns one, it’s fine for most kids to start drinking regular cow’s milk.

What Babylist Parents Say

“It was a great option for the transition from breast milk to formula. Our child took to it right off the bat and had no stomach or reflux issues.” -Lauren C.

Choosing What’s Right for You

While selecting a baby formula may feel like a super-weighty decision, the reality is that every formula has the key ingredients your child needs to thrive. Getting your pediatrician’s advice on what’s best for your baby, and having your little one weigh in on the taste will quickly help you pick the right one.

This information is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. We do not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here. Babylist may earn compensation from affiliate links in this content. Learn more about how we write Babylist content.