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Honest Company’s Infant Formula Review

As soon as The Honest Company’s infant formula hit the market, we were flooded with emails asking, “Is this the Good Stuff?” After putting the Honest formula through our research and review process, our answer is…sort of.

Essentially, Honest’s formula is the same as the rest of the Jessica Alba product line: definitely well-intentioned, definitely better than most conventional stuff, not quite Sneaky Stuff, but not quite Good Stuff. When it comes to this formula, here’s what we discovered:

The Good

  • It’s mostly milk. I like that Honest’s formula’s first ingredient is actual organic milk. The only other American-made formula I recommend to clients, Baby’s Only, has brown rice syrup (a sweetener) as its first ingredient, so this is a plus for Honest.Honest Formula
  • It contains lactose. It’s also great that Honest formula contains lactose as a sweetener, which is most similar to breast milk, but which many companies have stopped using because it’s pricier than other forms of sugar. (Unfortunately, Honest also uses corn syrup to sweeten this formula—more on this below.)
  • It skips some synthetics. The synthetic nutrients found in Honest’s formula are less in number than is the case for other organic formula brands. Some of these additives are not allowed in organic products in Europe, so it’s nice to see an American brand leaving them out.
  • It doesn’t contain hexane residue. The biggest plus to Honest formula is that the DHA they use is actual fish oil rather than hexane-extracted oils from algae and fungus (as is the case with most formulas, even organic ones).
  • It’s free of carrageenan. Honest’s formula is free of carrageenan (which is found in some organic formulas). Derived from seaweed, carrageenan helps stabilize formula, but numerous animal studies suggest that it leads to intestinal inflammation and colon tumors. The European Union has outlawed the use of carrageenan in all infant formula.

The Bad

  • Corn syrup. The biggest bummer about Honest’s formula is that it contains corn syrup (cleverly called “organic glucose syrup solids”). Honest uses mostly lactose to sweeten their formula, but I assume they blend with corn syrup because the latter is much less expensive.
  • Soy. Honest formula also contains soy oil and soy lecithin. I’m not into soy for babies, since it is a source of phytoestrogens, which may have negative health implications. Worth noting: Baby’s Only also contains soy, as does HiPP. Holle is the only soy-free formula, which is part of the reason it’s our number one formula pick.
  • Synthetic preservatives. Honest formula contains two synthetic preservatives that some experts say should not be allowed in organic products: beta carotene and ascorbyl palmitate. Baby’s Only doesn’t contain these two, and nor do the European brands we recommend. I’m not convinced these are particularly harmful in the concentrations present in formula, but they aren’t natural and their effects are unknown.

Whichever Formula You Choose…Filter Your Water!

Tap water may be contaminated with chlorine byproducts, weed killers, insecticides, solvents, lead, BPA, phthalates…the list goes on. Fluoride is present in infant formula, and when combined with fluoridated tap water, infant exposure levels can exceed safe amounts. Invest in a good carbon water filter.

What Are the Best Infant Formulas?

After all the research I’ve done (I’ve written about formula here, here, and here), there are only four I would consider feeding my baby, and yes, Honest is among them. In order of preference, the best infant formulas, in my non-doctor opinion, are:

  1. Holle (in particular the Lebenswert variety)
  2. HiPP
  3. Baby’s Only
  4. The Honest Company

While difficult and expensive to obtain, the European formulas win out because they are both made with milk from grass-fed cattle, and have a simpler and more natural list of ingredients. I still consider Baby’s Only the best widely-available formula in this country, but Honest is a pretty close second, only losing out because of the corn syrup and palm oil it contains.

Baby's Only
Baby’s Only remains our top choice amongst American formulas.
Hipp Formula
We feel that HiPP formula is superior to anything you can get in the U.S.
Holle formula
Holle remains our #1 choice for infant formula.
Honest Formula
Honest Formula is better than most organic brands sold in the U.S.














Stay sane,





157 responses to “Honest Company’s Infant Formula Review”

  1. Hello to the team at Gimmie the Good Stuff,

    This resource was a light in a dark place 2 years ago as my wife and I searched for better solutions that on the shelf infant/baby formula’s. Our son just did not have a good enough latch despite our every intention to have him solely breast feed. HiPP addressed our need to supplement and catered to his acute milk allergies.

    My wife and I welcomed a baby girl a few weeks ago and despite our hope she too has struggled latching. It is sadly disappointing for my wife. She is more of any eager eater than our son, but spends hours feeding leaving my wife incapable of doing much else for a few hours. It is getting better, but like our son possibly for different reasons we’d like to use the right formula to aid my wife through this breast feeding journey.

    Given some of the concerns with milk, acidity, calcium depriving, etc. this time around we are hoping to consider a non-dairy option. I notice a non-dairy option wasn’t covered at the time in this article, but wanted to find out since then has any research or thought been given to a finding a non-dairy infant formula.

  2. Hi there, as a health food store owner with a biomedical degree, expecting our first child, I find your website very, very good stuff indeed! The Hipp vs. Holle comparisons especially. I’m hoping to have a few containers of formula handy, just in case my wife has a hard time breastfeeding. You’re making that decision easier.

    Having said all that, I’d like to suggest three corrections. I think you may have misspoke when you called beta-carotene and ascorbyl palmitate “synthetic preservatives.” Also, on another page, it seems as though a lot of people have written in to the comments to say the Hipp-aluminum connection is no longer as much of a concern, and you’ve acknowledged those comments. It may be time to move that acknowledgement out of the comments, and into the body of the article. Finally, when you write Sammy’s Milk, you might want to go into a little more detail on the recall. Our store stocks Sammy’s Milk, and I feel comfortable recommending it. As far as I understand, the product pre-recall and post-recall is the same product. It’s just a legal/labeling issue — and the fact they don’t test for Cronobacter. It’s worth speaking with them directly as to why.

  3. Milk is not good for us especially babies. It actually depletes calcium from our bodies because of the acidic environment it creates and calcium goes from our bones to balance our our body. Also, a ton of hormones are in milk. Milk is for baby cows to grow into a 400 pound cow; it is not meant for humans and cause all kinds of problems and diseases.

  4. For whatever it’s worth, you can get the Lebenswert formula for 26 a box, delivered via subscription every 2 weeks, from http://www.organicbabyshop.com . They package the product very safely, always have a nice handwritten note with the product, and it’s the real deal. They are from Brooklyn, and I’m in southern N.Y. So when I order, I get it very quick. The other vendors that you have suggested are more money, and that adds up. I really trust these guys and have never had an issue and have had about 5 deliveries from them thus far.

  5. Thank you so much for all the research and information. I’m a little confused. The Baby’s Only brand says toddler formula on the container. Is this safe for babies? I have a 6 month old.

  6. Hi Maia,

    Have you vetted my-german-depot? I’m trying to determine if it’s safe to purchase Lebenswert formula from them and if it’s authentic. Their prices are much lower than Baby Kind Market. Please advise.

    Thank you!

  7. Thank you for this! It was very helpful, I just purchased holle, after using honest co for the last month.

  8. Hi Maia,
    Thank you so much for these great blogs on formulas! My stored breastmilk is getting low, so I’m figuring out which ones I want to start experimenting with, and your research is incredibly helpful!

    I was wondering, why is Holle your #1 choice over HiPP, specifically the UK version? Both have palm oil, so wouldn’t the lactose in HiPP over maltodextrin in Holle, give HiPP a bit of an edge?

    1. Oh and do you have any thoughts on the distributor 3 C’s Organics (3csorganic.com)?

    2. I explain my rationale here: https://gimmethegoodstuff.org/hipp-versus-holle-which-european-infant-formula-is-healthier/

      As for 3 C’s Organics, I don’t know that one–sorry!

    3. She recommends the Lebenswert brand as #1, which has lactose as it’s sweetener (not maltodextrin like Holle). HiPP is similar to Lebenswert but it’s more money because of the prebiotics.

  9. My daughter is having problems finding a formula that she can afford for her 6 week old baby who seems to be very gassy. She has tried every type of formula she could find for sensitive stomachs or spit up formulas (also a problem), finally changing to soy formulas in case it was a lactose intolerance, since I had had that problem with her. It seemed like it helped somewhat, but not completely. Do you think she should try the Honest Company formula for sensitive systems? I would greatly appreciate your opinion.

    1. Unfortunately, I feel like this question needs to be posed to a pediatrician. Best of luck!

  10. I am using Holle Stage 1 and I noticed on the box the nutritional chart says it has flouride?? This is quite concerning!! What are your thoughts??

    1. It’s naturally-occuring fluoride, so no worries!

      1. Thank you for letting me know!

    2. It’s occurring fluoride, so no worries!

    3. It’s naturally-occurring fluoride, so no worries!

  11. I ordered from beyondorganicbaby.com. Can you let me know if it is authentic. I looked and found it very authentic similar to organicmunchkin.com

    I am planning to buy from http://www.biologisch24.com/. what are your thoughts?
    Also, you were mentioning there is a official sellers list on the product website. Can you post the link as I couldn’t find it

    1. Of the three you mentioned the only one I am familiar and comfortable with is Organic Munchkin. And it looks like the official sellers list has been removed.

    2. My friend always buys from beyond organic baby for her boy since she had him. It’s legitimate, authentic Holle. I just don’t use them because it took forever to get my package and it was pretty banged up when I got it. I much prefer organicbabyshop

  12. Hi! How do you feel about Topfer? It’s supposedly like a combo of Hipp and Holle.

    1. We haven’t done a full review of Topfer but yes, it looks to be similar to Holle.

  13. After seeing the sellers in the US with such high prices, we did some research and found a seller in Germany. You can buy all the good formulas including the Lebenswert formula in bulk from My-German-depot. I bought 20 boxes at $11 a box received order in 2 1/2 weeks straight from Germany. great customer service.

  14. my husband was looking for CT Sales & Use Tax Resale Cerfiticate earlier this week and was informed about an online service that has lots of fillable forms . If others need to fill out CT Sales & Use Tax Resale Cerfiticate too , here’s a https://goo.gl/m8fD4p.

  15. I have a question on preparing formula. Labels on powdered formula indicate that the product is not sterile. Should preparation include boiling the water, independent of water quality, with the purpose to kill any microorganisms that may be present in the powdered formula?

  16. i noticed that baby first is for toddler 1 year and up.. what would be best recommended for new borns?

    1. Hi there-Some people choose to feed their infants Baby’s Only with good results; you could talk to your pediatrician about the specific nutrients, or you could try Plum Organics new formula or Sammy’s Milk (if you aren’t interested in getting one of the European formulas).

  17. Hey All!
    We carry carry Holle Stage 1 $24/Box and Stage 2 $30/Box and have FREE priority shipping!

  18. Hi
    I was wondering if you have a preference between the Hipp Uk line of formula or the German line because each contain different ingredients. I have tried both in stage 1 and my baby was happy with both but I am on stage 2 of the German line and it is leaving a weird oily film on the bottles and I can’t figure out why ? From my research… I know stage 2 has more iron and possibly starch ?
    Any tips would help… Thanks

    1. My preference is the UK version (sold by Little World Organics).

  19. i think that its nuts that so many people want to buy this formula from Europe b/c of one review.

    1. It’s really not just one review… The Internet is flooded with information and reviews on European formula as well as the truth about ingredients used in American formulas and how much money each leading formula brand has spent to cover it up. Nestle has spent more than 1 million to not have the fact that they use GMO listed on their labels but what’s 1 million to them when they bring in a billion every year? It’s a sad world we live in to think that there are no standards for our babies formulas and it’s all about making a dollar. With that being said, we all have used those formulas at one point or know someone who has and we all turned out fine but keep in mind these days if there is a cheaper way to save a buck and make more money these companies won’t hesitate to replace an ingredient and who would know ? Nobody can understand half of the words in the ingredient list! When you look them up you can see all of their health impacts and compare an American brand ingredient list with a European list you will see a list of 30-40 ingredients in the American brand probably all unneeded Chemicals and the European list is usually under 10. With the knowledge and power of research we have today, I don’t even think twice about my decision in choosing a better formula for my baby. I have been breast feeding and supplementing with Hipp since my baby was 2 months old and my babies stools have never changed in consistency nor has he had any other issues. I have used British Super Stores and feel they are a good company.

  20. hi, i ordered hipp from a website called mariposa uk… i think there was already a comment about this site but does anybody has any experience with them?
    worst case it was money in the bin i guess.

  21. what an ignorant post.

    the honest formula is made by PBM. get the walmart organics brand instead and save major money. it is the same stuff.

    1. I wasn’t aware that Walmart had a private label formula?

  22. Oops, I saw my typos and awkward sentences in my comment after posting it. Here it is again with the corrections.
    My baby responded great with Holle. His poop was also mustard colored like a breast fed baby. When he was on other formulas he either had constipation or dark colored poop. So of all the formulas that he had, Holle was the one that he was best on. I also tasted all of the formulas before I gave them to him. Holle tasted good unlike some of the conventional American formulas with all the additives. He hasn’t tried Hipp so I can’t comment on that. Holle would have been almost perfect other than having the palm oil but one other ingredient that I really disapprove of is the fluoride. It’s a known neurotoxin and has been shown to lower children’s IQ. Most of us in the US don’t have the choice to not have it in the municipal water but to also get additional fluoride in the formula is not good. I used a fluoride filter in my water filter to minimize his intake of it. I suppose overall, choosing Holle is still the lesser of the evils compared with the other formula options.

  23. My baby responded great with Holle. His poop was also also mustard colored like a breast fed baby. When he was on other formulas he either had constipation and when he finally went it was dark. So of all the formulas that he had, Holle as the one that he was best on. I also tasted all of the formulas before I gave them to him. Holle tasted good unlike sooner of the conventional American formulas with all the additives. He hasn’t tried Hipp so I can’t comment on that. Holle would have been almost perfect other than having the palm oil but one other ingredient that I really disapprove is the fluoride. It’s a known neurotoxin and has been shown to lower children’s IQ. Most of us in the US don’t have the choice to not have in in the municipal water and to also get additional fluoride in the formula is not good. I used a fluoride filter in my water filter to minimize it. I suppose overall choosing Holle is still the lesser of the evils compared with the other formula options.

  24. Are you able to give any of the above mentioned formulas before 12 months? It appears Honest is the only one? The others say toddler milk for after 12 months?

    1. Some people do use these formulas after 12 months–you should bring this up with your pediatrician!

  25. To add to my come by above , the only bad thing that Holle has is palm oil and the only Bad thing Babys only whey has is soy… Which of these two would you recommend to feed after age 12 months?

    1. It’s a toss up, honestly. I’d probably go with Holle. Also you could ask your pediatrician about Lebenswert stage 1 beyond a year.

  26. I read through your notes above and I just have one question. In regards to palm oil it appears that Hipp, Holle also contain it but babys only does not. I’m struggling between Holle and babys only?

  27. Hi! I was unable to breastfeed my baby which was very heart breaking for me cause I desperately wanted to breastfeed him but I had to put him on formula due to lack of supply in breast milk and we started him on the honest formula however after reading all the research you’ve done it seems there are even better formulas out there for him . Which formula would you choose to put your baby on if you needed to ? I read a lot of comments on the new baby’s only whey n holle . Wondering what your opinion is … Thanks !!

    1. Hi Sarah-
      Please see my comment below to Aida:).

  28. hi maia,

    i have been using baby’s only whey protein formula for about 6 weeks with my now 5 month old. yesterday a friend of mine who works with a nutritionist said she is worried about the amount of protein in baby’s only whey for infants. my pediatrician didn’t seem to have any concerns when she glanced at the label of ingredients and nutritional facts, but now i am worried about the protein content and the effects that too much protein can apparently have on kidneys.
    the nutritionist said to look phos, calcium, potassium and fat and compare to other formulas. the phos seems to be double in baby’s only. she suggests earth’s best with iron because it is formulated for infants while baby’s only formulas are for toddlers (even though they say that is because they want women to breastfeed for first year). do you have any opinion about these concerns?



    1. Hi Aimee-
      First of all, on Baby’s Only’s claim that they call their formula a toddler formula because all babies should be breastfed for a year—this sounds nice, but I don’t think that’s why they market it as toddler formula. I think they don’t want to go through the FDA’s arduous process for getting an infant formula approved. Toddler formulas as not subject to the same regulations. That said, I do think that the toddler’s formula is safe for infants. As for the protein and phos issue, pediatricians seem to think it’s fine, and as I am not a doctor, I always recommend people defer to theirs. That said, my understanding is that toddler formulas do often contain more phosphorus and calcium than infant formulas. I have a message in with Baby’s Only to try to get more info on the protein and will report back.

      1. Hi Maia,

        Did you ever get a response from Baby’s Only about the protein content?

  29. I recently bought hipp formula off eBay . How can you tell if it’s a fake I had bought one from Germany brand and one that came from the UK but the seller is out of New York.

    1. Hi Carla-
      I am sorry but I have no way of verifying the authenticity of the formula, but I know many people who have successfully gotten formula from eBay.

  30. Hey there,

    My 3 month old daughter is on the baby’s only whey protein (2 bottles a day) and breastmilk for all her other feedings. My breastmilk freezer stash is getting low and want to find a formula that will work for her before I run out of breastmilk. Every formula I’ve tried so far seems to make her constipated, she won’t poop for up to 5 days even though she still gets breastmilk most of the time? I like baby’s only whey and would preference her be on that than the other non organic brands. But she’s been on baby’s only for 4 days now and hasn’t pooped.. She doesn’t seem uncomfortable or in any pain though and is sleeping good, eating good, and still peeing. Should I try a different formula or stick with baby’s only whey? I of course will talk about it with her pediatrician, but she’s very judgemental about me discontinuing pumping because I keep getting painful infections and constantly on antibiotics. My daughter was also a little premature (37 weeks and 4 lbs 15 oz at birth) so maybe this formula is too hard on her kidneys? I can’t find any other formula that doesn’t do the same thing as far as not pooping. I’ve tried similac sensitive and enfamil gentlease but I don’t like the chemicals and gmos. Could this be symptoms of a dairy allergy? Sorry for all the questions. Need some advice!

    1. Hi Hannah-
      I definitely think a pediatrician could (SHOULD!) be able to help you with this , and if yours is so judgmental, perhaps you need a new pediatrician! For what it’s worth, my clients who switch to the European formulas swear that their babies’ poop resembles that of breastfed infants again. So it might be worth a try. I know that going as long as a week without pooping can be normal for breastfed infants, so that alone might not even be a concern if she’s otherwise well.

  31. Maybe they call carrageenan something else in the ingredient list?

  32. Hello – I was looking for carrageenan on the Earth’s best formula box, and couldn’t find it. I couldn’t find it listed on their website too.


    Do you think they removed it? Also, their first ingredient is listed as organic lactose (vs. organic glucose syrup) — that should be a good thing, no?


    1. Hi Randy!
      Thanks so much for letting me know this! I just took a look, and it indeed looks like Earth’s Best has made some changes. I will update my guides and blog posts accordingly! Carrageenan is gone, and yes it’s good that lactose is the first ingredient…unfortunately the glucose syrup solids are still there. Thanks again for your research:).

      1. No problem – I’m just glad it doesn’t contain it anymore. We just learnt about carrageenan recently and were feeling bad for not knowing earlier.. I think here is where I saw carrageenan on your blog:

        “Earth’s Best Organic Formula used to contain organic lactose, but the company has slowly phased it out and it now ………as well as palm oil and carrageenan”

        So unless they have carrageenan listed under a different name (possible?), I think the only big thing against the Earth’s best formula is they still use palm oil, no? I guess Baby’s only is still better because of that reason, no?

  33. Baby’s Only now has a whey protein formula that has lactos instead of brown rice syrup. I am ordering a sample of that to try on my LO.

  34. Hi Maia,

    Firstly, I’d like to say thanks for the effort you’ve put into reviewing all these formulas. It has helped me so much and I’m sure a lot of other moms out there too.

    I just wanted to comment on the Baby’s Only Whey formula. It’s been harder for me to find, I’ve had to order it directly from Nature’s One, but I’m so happy I ended up trying it. At around 3 months postpartum I underwent treatment for an autoimmune disease that I’m pretty sure sent my body into shock. I suddenly lost my milk supply. It decreased incredibly over the course of about 7-10 days, I did research and tried all recommendations I came across to try and bring my supply back (diet, herbs, lactation pills, etc) but unfortunately it didn’t work. When my baby stopped latching, I pumped till the very last drop! I ran out of frozen pumped milk fairly quickly as my supply was never abundant. So my LO started formula. At first we tried Baby’s Only Dairy, which caused her to vomit and a lot of GI trouble, I then tried Baby’s Only Lactorelief which caused acid reflux, changed to Nutramigen which didn’t help the reflux or spitting up and finally went to Earth’s Best on a whim which was the only formula she tolerated. The downside is that she is incredibly constipated when she only has Earth’s Best. It became so severe she would try to pass a bowel movement daily but couldn’t, turning bright red and bearing down so much. When she would finally have a BM, with a lot of us moving her legs and using unpetroleum jelly, she would scream and cry so much. It is unbearable to witness.

    I found out about Baby’s Only Whey by reading the comments from other readers on this article. I purchased a can directly from the manufacturer and started her on one bottle per day alongside her Earth’s Best. She is now regular again. She has a bm after every Baby’s Only Whey feeding. It has helped so incredibly much. Her stool is even seedy and mustardy colored when she has a bm after Baby’s Only Whey, just like when she was nursing. I can’t believe how much better she is doing. Thank you for posting articles like this and for creating a forum where curious or concerned parents can ask questions, share experiences and gain a lot of knowledge about formula feeding their babies. I appreciate it so much! I will increase the amount of Baby’s Only Whey to two bottles per day and slowly try to get rid of Earth’s Best all together. I really hope it’ll be the right thing to do and I don’t mess up her GI even further. I’m almost tempted to leave things as is and not disrupt what seems to be going so well… just wondering what your opinion would be. Thanks again!

    1. Hi Elaina-
      I’m so glad Gimme the Good Stuff has been helpful, and I think your plan for your daughter sounds like a good one. I would recommend you talk to your pediatrician to make sure–but I think you’re moving in the right direction, and your daughter is lucky to have such a conscientious momma!

  35. Can you feed a 1 month old infant the holle stage 2? What about the baby’s only organic dairy (even though is says toddler formula on the can)? I know you show images of both of these above and the topic is best “Infant formulas”, but based upon other sites I’m confused by the various stages? I need to supplement my breastmilk to get his weight up given I’m underproducing right now…any help/response tonight 8/8 would be great, I’m feeling anxious about which of the three to use: honest, baby’s only dairy, or holle stage 2 follow on (don’t have stage 1 yet).

    1. Hi Amanda-
      My recommendation for choosing between these three is to talk to your pediatrician. In my opinion they are all good choices, so in terms of specifics of which is best for your baby, I recommend having a doctor look at the nutritional info.

  36. I recently ordered from britishsuperstores.com….i got the link from hippusa website. Does anyone know if this formula is the real deal? Im nervous to feed it to my baby.

    1. I got the hipp first infant formula

    2. Hi Brenna-
      I don’t know that company and the URL isn’t active (unless it’s under a different name?)

  37. Any idea when you will be posting your review of Baby’s Only Whey? We are currently using the honest company and LO is suffering from terrible constipation. 🙁

    1. Sorry to hear that. I have done enough of a review of BO Whey to now recommend it over Honest formula:).

  38. Does soy oil and soy lecithin contain phytoestrogens? And if so, what are the levels? I feel like I’ve seen conflicting info on this. One place said that there were no phytoestrogens in soy oil. Do you have any input on this? Thanks!

    1. Hi Sunny!
      While I don’t know specific levels for oil or lecithin specifically, it is my understanding that all unfermented soy products carry risk of phytoestrogens. But my concerns with soy also include the fact that most of it is GMO (if not organic), and that the extraction process may involve hexane. Vegetable oils (including soy) also contain unhealthy amounts of omega-6 fatty acids.

  39. I was concerned about the calcium and phosphorus too because my son is on the new baby’s only whey I counted our pediatrician today and this was his response:

    “The short answer is that I would not be concerned. The absorption of Calcium and Phosphorous can vary greatly depending on the other ingredients used in a formula. As a result, there is a lot of variation between formulas in the amount of Calcium and Phosphorous added. Typically these variations are to adjust for the differences in absorption between the different brands. All formulas are regulated by the FDA to make sure that they do not contain unsafe concentrations of nutrients and minerals. I have no concerns about the formula you are using. I have never seen or heard of an infant having problems related to high levels of Calcium or Phosphorous in the formula. The only reason this would be a concern is if the child had a kidney abnormality or if the child was premature. Otherwise I have no concerns.”

    I am no concerned about it especially since he gave the ok.

    1. Thanks for sharing this!

    2. Yes! Thanks for sharing this!

    3. Hi! Thank you for this information from your Pediatritian. I just started using the whey formulas as well but my Pediatritian is not a fan because it doesn’t need to be regulated by the FDA for infants so there is no way of knowing if it truly contains the ingredients it says. Your Pediatritian said that all formulas are regulated by the FDA but since this is technically a toddler formula it isn’t regulated. Is that correct? Thanks!!!

      1. Yes, Mari, this is correct. Holle and HiPP are also not regulated by the FDA (as they are not sold here). If you want an FDA-approved brand, I would opt for Honest.

  40. Hi in regards to recommending Babys Only or Baby’s only with whey as a safe infant formula…have you taken into consideration the high levels of Calcium and Phosphorus which is almost twice the amount in any Infant formula including Hipp and Holle? This could be really hard on an infants kidneys, no? http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2693646

    Are you sure you still recommend Baby’s Only for infants?

    1. Hi there and thanks for sharing the link! Yes, the high calcium and phosporus levels are something to consider…and part of the reason I still believe Holle is the best formula option, followed by HiPP. I do still think on the whole that the new Baby’s Only (whey) is the best formula you can get in the U.S. And if I haven’t already said this enough–breastmilk is vastly superior to any of the above.

  41. I recently found a site and ordered Holle from there and it came perfectly sealed and pretty fast! it’s called Mariposa Kids if you google and I found it by just scouring the web. They are in the U.K and use DHL for shipping. hope this helps!

  42. Hi, FYI Nature’s One now makes the perfect formula. It’s the Baby’s Only Whey. Its whey/casein ratio is 60/40, there’s no taurine and the sugar is lactose like in breastmilk, there are no synthetic nutrients and there’s no DHA/ARA which in my opinion is good because I add 1.25ml of Nordic Naturals childrens fish oil using a Tylenol syringe to a bottle a day. The amount of DHA/ARA in most formulas are not enough to reach the daily recommended dosage anyway.
    My 2 month old got constipated in the older dairy version. Not a single problem with the whey one. Much better than Hipp and Holle which both, if I’m not wrong, contain Palm oil.

    1. Yes! I have not researched this formula yet, but am eager to do so—I agree with you, it sounds really promising (and I hadn’t heard about the lack of taurine…this is more great news!). I will weigh in as soon as I look more closely.

      1. I can’t wait to hear your opinion on Baby’s Only new Whey Protein formula! Do you know yet when you will get the chance to research this new formula?

        Thank you!

        1. Hi Alicia-
          I have looked into the formula but haven’t written the blog post about it yet. I love that it uses lactose as a sweetener! It does, however, contain soy oil and soy lecithin (also found in the other Baby’s Only dairy formula). But yes, I would recommend this as the best Baby’s Only formula—just check with your pediatrician if your baby is under a year old to make sure it fulfills nutritional requirements. Thanks!

          1. Thanks so much Maia! I can’t wait to read your blog post about it!

  43. Hi. I recently found a website “biobaby24” for ordering Holle formula, but didn’t know if it is legit or if anyone has had success ordering from them. Also, recently every time I go to the website it says the formula is sold out, so it may not matter anyways, just wondering! I had been ordering Hipp from artisana.com but got caught up in the big mess of them apparently going out of business and never getting my formula! Thanks for the help!

    1. Based on the conversations I have now had with these various retailers, I am most comfortable with Little World Organics for buying HiPP and Holle. You can order here: http://littleworldorganics.com/

      1. Okay just saw this. its funny they listed this website as an option for “where did you hear about us”. If you trust it i’m in.

        1. yes, I trust Lacey of LWO. Like I said, I am not selling the formula myself, so I cannot put any guarantees on the experience or product. However, if it were my baby and I were buying Holle or HiPP, I would feel most comfortable getting it from LWO.

  44. Maia –
    Do you have any updates? Have any of the companies gotten back to you about legitimate sites to get Holle in the US? I was hoping one of the websites listed on Holle’s site would ship to the US, but its been hard to go through that all myself.
    Also, can I have your opinion on Baby’s only Lactorelief? We’ve been on Baby’s only dairy and my baby still suffers from gas/fussiness/constipation. We put a little prune juice in her bottles (as directed by our Pedi/or we could put sugar), which I hate doing… but it seems the only way she doesn’t suffer from horrible bouts of constipation.
    I’ve tried one can of the Baby’s only whey, but I honestly could not tell a difference. I’m going to order a case of the whey and try it if the lactorelief does not work out well. I was just curious if anyone has any feedback on lactorelief and what you think of it as well. Thanks!

    1. Hi! I am having the last round of calls this week and will be making a recommendation shortly! Thanks for your patience. And I am a fan of Baby’s Only (all varieties) over any of the other organic formulas you get in the US.

      1. How will you let us know? I’m so eager to hear. Do we just check back on this site?

  45. How do you feel about making your own formula ? Sometimes that sounds like the best option because this formula thing is so frustrating!

  46. This site does not look like it is affiliated with the HiPP corporation at all. I imagine it’s another reseller–possibly fine, but no way to know for sure.

  47. It looks like HiPP formula is now available in the USA. http://hippformulausa.com/buy-hipp-formula/
    Does anyone know if it’s the same formula?

  48. Hi, What is the name of the new Baby’s Only formula free of brown rice syrup?

    1. baby’s only whey protein:)

  49. I am so lost! I am trying to figure out the best option for my baby should I need to use formula (I am quickly running out of milk that I have frozen for my baby). I still breastfeed, but can’t keep up with what my 9 month old consumes in a day. Since she is under a year old, should I choose options that don’t have dairy? I was always under the impression that cow’s milk shouldn’t be introduced until a year of age.

    1. I would recommend a dairy-based formula over a soy-based, even at that age. But you should of course check with your pedi. Baby’s Only has a new formula free of brown rice syrup that looks great!

  50. So how do we get Holle here in the states? What is a trusted website to order from?

    1. Hi Aida-
      I’m in the process of figuring this out–have been having calls with various online vendors and am asking for proofs of purchase (to confirm that they are getting it from real distributors), etc. It’s a bit of a process but I will have a recommendation soon I hope!
      Thanks for your patience.

      1. awesome. I myself tried to reach out Holle but they are being really weird about giving any info. They have a few Online vendors listed on their website and I emailed them as well. One thing I did ask Holle is if the following link below was their vendor and the said no.

        We look forward to your findings.


        1. Strange because I just recieved my first order from them and the formula was in packages of five. Each package had Lebenswert holles packaging/address info on it. Looks pretty legit. These boxes contain the same packaging as LWO and organic munchkin, as I have ordered from both.

  51. I was wondering your opinion on Baby’s Only Organic Dairy with Whey Protein Formula? I don’t see any reviews and am wondering if it’s a new product? Wondering if you think this would help with constipation issues? Also no brown rice syrup as the first ingredient is organic lactose. We tried Honest Company and he is so constipated and am worried it will be the same with the regular baby’s only. I know I’ll have to run this by my pediatrician since he’s 4 months old and I know it’s a “toddler” formula, not sure if it’s the same nutritional makeup as the regular baby’s only dairy. Any insight would be appreciated!

    1. Hi Elizabeth-Yes, this very well might help with the constipation, and I like that it doesn’t contain brown rice syrup at all. Definitely ask your pediatrician if it’s appropriate for an infant, and best of luck!

      1. Hi Maia. Thank you so much for writing about finding the safest organic infant formula. Not being able to breastfeed has been a very emotional experience – I have been researching endlessly to find the best possible alternative to breastmilk for my little one. I appreciate your efforts to help those of us mamas who can’t breastfeed, or who need to supplement, make the best decision!

        I, too, was curious about your opinion on the new Baby’s Only with Whey Protein and how you think it stacks up against Holle and Hipp. I was originally sold on Holle – the aluminum thing with Hipp freaked me out – and I really do admire their farming practices, but I’ve recently been intrigued by the new Whey Protein formula by Baby’s Only. I contacted their customer care, and they sent me a nutritional comparison chart and according to that, it seems to be pretty good. I also like that it uses lactose rather than brown rice syrup, or maltodextrin like Holle, and that the whey/casein ratio is 60/40 instead of 18/82 like the other Baby’s Only formulas. It also doesn’t contain palm oil like Holle and Hipp. My babe is currently on their LactoRelief, due to what is suspected to be temporary lactase deficiency following gastroenteritis, but I’m hoping to possibly switch her to the new formula soon. I plan on adding Nordic Naturals DHA and Flora Udo’s Choice Infant Probiotics.

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

        1. Hi Sage!
          I am doing a little bit more digging on the new Baby’s Only but it looks promising! So far I haven’t found anything to suggest it’s no the best American formula you can get–possibly it will even turn out to be better than Holle/HiPP for the reasons you say. I just need to do a bit more due diligence before I want to officially say so:)/

          I personally allow my children to drink raw milk when at my parents’ house (they get it from an Amish farmer they trust), but this is of course a personal decision. I will say that if I weren’t breastfeeding I would probably not be brave enough to go this route (again for the reasons you mention!)–but I know people who do and have not heard of any bad outcomes.

          1. Can’t wait to see your findings.

          2. Maia, thanks so much for your reply! I look forward to reading your findings after you do a bit more digging on the new Whey Protein formula. I just ordered my first six cans.

            I, too, grew up drinking raw milk from a local trusted Amish farm. I might give it to my babe when she’s a bit older, but being that she is under a year, I think it worries me a bit too much right now.

  52. Anyone know the whey to casein ratio for Holle????

    1. Did you ever find this out? I’ve been trying to find the same. Esp for Holle Stage 1 in specific.

  53. I am having a hard time keeping up with the Spam comments on here from http://www.biobaby24.com. I am deleting the comments from them as I see them, but just be aware these are not real reviews.

  54. Hi Tahlia-
    A quick look makes me think it’s pretty good–but I need to do some more digging to say for sure. Thanks!

  55. I’m interested to know what you think of Bellamy’s Organics sold in Australia. Thank you for this article, it’s made the decision on formula much easier!

  56. I noticed recently that the Baby’s Only website lists the source of carbohydrates as only 65% organic brown sugar and 35% organic lactose. I used this formula a couple years ago for our first child and didn’t see this information back then. Still not perfect, but sounds like they are balancing it out.


  57. The struggle to find a good formula is real 🙁 i recently started the Honest Company formula and baby seems ok so far, but its still too early to tell. I wanted to start HiPP few weeks back, I was SO happy that i finally found a site that sold it here in the US but then read that the aluminum content is high since the packaging is made of aluminum and it seeps into the formula, any thoughts on that? for that reason I decided to start Honest instead. Wondering if i made the right choice.

  58. Aww thanks to all of you wonderful Mamas, makes me feel better to have support and empathy. And you ladies are right. I usually am not such an alarmist or worrier, but for some reason this one is bugging me. I need to just relax about it all and realize I am doing my best. He does handle the Earth’s Best so well and I guess it’s better than conventional formula. I asked Honest to give me the casein / whey ratio and it seems high on the casein side just like Baby’s Only. So….I just need to be ok with it all and be happy that he is so happy and healthy. Good luck to everyone and no matter the reason for needing to use formula, it’s all ok and good. 🙂

  59. Well said, Antonia! And Elena–I know, it’s really hard to dig into the research and not start to get freaked out. But keep in mind that the risk of any of the worst-case scenarios is extremely low, whether your baby is fed formula or not! If you read the safety studies of all of the ingredients in many things we eat, you could freak yourself out–even if you’re just talking well-browned toast (contains carcinogens, and my kids live on toast). The idea is to be informed and make the best choice…and then let it go and not lose your mind over it. Easier said than done, I know.

  60. I hear you mamas! I went through the same frustration in the start with my now 6 1/2 month old. I was only able to breast feed for a month due to my MS. I had a relapse an my neurologist urged me to stop breast feeding and switch to formula.. Very difficult to settle with especially because she latched beautifully and I was producing a TON of milk. BUT what good was I to her if I wasn’t healthy and present to take care of her. The road to finding the “perfect” formula(NO SUCH THING) for your precious little one is not an easy one. The fact that you are researching what’s in your baby’s food is a HUGE plus. So give yourself some credit mamas. You can drive yourself into a knotted ball of stress reading the “risks” associated with consuming harmful ingredients in these formulas. How to get to an end result and find the “perfect” formula is solely based on your baby. You can find the IT formula and your baby’s itty bitty digestive system will still not agree with it. So BREATH moms.. They will survive and they will thrive on one formula or another! You are not a bad mom by choosing one evil over another. You are doing the best you can and the fact that you are on this website now reading/researching is all we can do is moms. Is try our best!

  61. I’m so tired and frustrated with this whole formula thing. No matter what you pick, you are somehow causing harm to your baby. I tried Baby’s Only and my baby became horribly constipated and spit up like never before. I believe it’s due to the whey/casein ratio. So I then went back to Earth’s Best since I can’t seem to find a way to order Holle or HiPP. He seems to handle Earth’s Best completely fine but now I may be causing him to have colon tumors?!! For Pete’s Sake! It’s enough that I have guilt from not being able to produce my own milk for my baby but now this. So I’m wondering if I should give Honest a try, but wait, I’m STILL going to be causing him harm with most notably the added palm oil and soy. And I’m wondering what the whey/casein ratio is in that since I would hate to go through the constipation and spitting up large quantities all over again. UGH. Can’t a lady and her baby get a break?! :/

    1. elena-i feel your pain we tried honest for a week or so and have horrible constipation. i think its the corn syrup and palm oil. we should all get together and start a formula with no corn, soy, palm oil or sugars. I don’t care if it was expensive i’d buy it!

      1. Ha, Jamie…I keep saying the same thing to my husband!

      2. Heck yeah! It can’t be THAT hard!! 😉

    2. I have been able to get Hipp through torafoods.com if that helps! We use Baby’s Only when we forget to order since it takes a week or two 🙁 and UGH the syrup solids that congeal in the bottle make me sick! And the fact that the #1 ingredient is organic brown rice syrup…yuck. Better than other options but still makes me feel guilty. I haven’t been able to produce enough milk too so I really feel your pain. He gets about 1-2 bottles of formula a day. And yeah like the others said below, we have to give ourselves a break because there are so many things that are bad out there that we just can’t avoid. We’re doing our best.

      1. I have ordered Holle more than once from http://www.biobaby24.com. Least expensive and fast delivery! Too bad took me a while to find them.

        1. I’ve ordered from http://www.organicbabyfood24.com 🙂 My twins love Holle, very good packing, on time delivery, need some more. Will highly recommend!

          1. WARNING – it seems organicbabyfood24 is trolling every blog and shilling their site. They also have a very bad reputation also! They’re not in the US. I think they even copied BioBaby24…lol

          2. I just ordered from organic baby24 and my order came packaged perfect and quicker than expected. Shipping isn’t free like the U.S. sellers but you still pay less because the U.S. Sellers are over charging!!! I personally had a great experience ordering from organic baby and will order again in a couple of months when I start to run low and start on cereal/porridges.

    3. I order from here http://www.artisana.co.uk

      Hope this helps!

      1. ooo thanks. That site is cheaper than torafoods. 😀

      2. Thanks, Angie!
        I just ordered some of the HiPP formula. The whey/casein ratio is like Earth’s Best and how it “should” be – 60/40. I checked with Honest and they said theirs is 30/70, which seems really high on the casein side. Baby’s only was high in casein and I really think that’s why he was having so many problems. So we shall see! I have high hopes, I’ll make sure and come back on here to say how he handled it.

      3. I ordered from artisana.co.uk on Feb. 5th and still have yet to receive my shipment! Anyone else having this problem?

        1. Did you ever receive your shipment? Mine hasn’t arrived yet either and I ordered on 2/17. But it has taken 5 weeks before, I haven’t panicked yet.

          1. I meant 2/27…not the 17th. Sorry!

        2. Did you ladies receive your formula? I had the same problem! Holle is by far *the best* formula for my daughter’s severe GERD. I first ordered from Artisana via Amazon, and the next time skipped Amazon and ordered directly from Artisana. Both orders arrived in 10-14 days.

          I ordered 2 more shipments from Artisana in February and March (realizing I needed to start ordering more in bulk to make up for shipping time) and NEITHER shipment ever came. Great customer service, though. After 8 weeks of waiting, I just emailed them last week and they responded right away, offering me a refund or to reship the lost items. I opted for the refund, since I had TWO consecutive shipments fail to show up and the odds seemed high that it would happen again. I desperately want to find a way to get some more Holle. I am tempted to try ordering again, but I don’t dare yet. And now EVERYWHERE is “out of stock” for Holle. Where has it all gone? Something is up, but I don’t know what.

          Anyone else??

          1. I decided to take the hit and pay the upcharge on the Holle formula by ordering on ebay, just to test it out to see how my son would react to it. He seemed to digest it well so then I ordered 10 boxes using http://www.biologisch24.com. However the first order did take 6 weeks to come in. I recently placed a second order about 2.5 weeks ago and am waiting. I’m now running low on supply that I do have left so I’m also looking for another option with faster delivery. I’m using Earths Best at the moment (I know it’s the Sneaky Stuff, but that’s the only other brand that my little one can stomach).

          2. You may want to initiate a chargeback! They have gone out of business and its been months and our shipment has not arrived. There are TONS of mom’s in the same boat just hoping the milk will come. I think if you wait too long you may lose the chargeback window too, so something to consider. I initiated ours a few days ago and we are waiting to hear back.

      4. Cheapest and fastest out there is biobaby24. Trust me I did EXTENSIVE research! Located in NY!

    4. You can order Hipp and Holle from artisana.co.uk. They offer free shipping to the US. They used to be a vendor for Amazon until some entity forced Amazon to drop European formulas. The details on why are sketchy. The bad news is that you will wait 3-5 weeks for your shipment to arrive. The good news is since you know that, you predict when to order it. I order 6 boxes of Hipp at once each month. They are approximately $25 each for 800 grams, which beats the price of most of the garbage formulas produced here in the US. Artisana accepts PayPal, so that makes paying very simple. My baby loves Hipp! He is very regular also. We started supplementing BF due to poor latch right out of the hospital. He was pretty gassy in those days, but now at 5 months it’s a non-issue. He uses Hipp exclusively now, so it could have been my milk. The bottom line is if you’re going to use formula, this is the way to go. It seems cumbersome, but once you order all you have to do is reorder from your history the next month. It takes 5-10 minutes to order a month’s supply. But give yourself 5 weeks every time. Getting caught without it because you thought you had time is no fun!

      1. Funny, you sound like you work for artisana!

        1. I’m sure she does, Ali. So much spam in the comments here–I can’t keep up with deleting it all! But the companies that are choosing to spam all my blog posts about formula have taken themselves out of the running in terms of who I will ultimately recommend to my readers! My number one concern is any sort of sketchiness from these formula importers!

  62. Thank you for this article. Is it very informative. We tried the Holle but unfortunately it made my son very gassy (maltodextrin) and it is very thin so was contributing to his reflux. We then switched to the Baby’s Only and he seems to like this one. I choose the lactose free version as the calcium/phosphorous ratio is more similar to the infant formulas. I don’t love the casein to Whey ratio, but there will always be a downside to either you choose. Such as the Palm Oil, a little scary to think that may lead to malabsorption?! Why is it in EVERY formula!! Ugh!

  63. that is my hesitation with baby’s only….they say it is free of inorganic arsenic. also the protein ratio of whey and casein is exactly that of cow’s milk which can be hard for little ones to digest. we are trying honest and it may end there. now he is extremely constipated and spit ting up too. there honestly is not a good choice here in the us.

  64. I am wondering about your thoughts on the brown rice syrup in baby’s only and arsenic. Any thoughts?

    1. While I don’t love that it’s the first ingredient in Baby’s Only, they have independently tested their brown rice syrup and it is free of arsenic.

      1. Holle does not contain added rice syrup! My baby loves it and we have never had any problems with it. No spitting up and no gas or colic. I love that is is organic and from boidynamic farming. Glad I found it on http://www.organicbabyfood24.com 🙂 USA needs to be a lot more strict on what they allow in our foods, especially baby formula!

        1. How can you be sure the formula is not a fake. I am so afraid of buying it online from place I am unfamiliar with because I wouldn’t know if it were fake.

          1. Hi Lark-
            Yes, this is a concern, which is why I am in the process of talking with a bunch of sellers, asking for proof of purchases from the manufacturers, etc. I am hoping to have an official recommendation within the next week!

          2. Lark/Maia –
            THIS is my exact concern, I too want to make sure it is a legitimate product. Ordering from some random European company, and not able to get my hands on it in any other way to even “know” what the package and milk should even look like. I’ve done a lot of blog reading and research, and quite a few people have said they get it from: http://www.biologisch24.com/
            Maia – Is this one of the companies you are checking into? I would LOVE to have your official recommendation. I have a month old baby, so I’m definitely nervous branching out of the “box” anyway, let alone buying from overseas and having it shipped in. Also, I’ve read concerns about the product getting x-rayed in customs and absorbing that, do you have any thoughts on that? Thanks!!

          3. Hi Gigi-
            I am trying to go with the companies listed right on Holle’s website first–since clearly these ones are “official.” I will look into the one you suggested, too. I am having a hard time scheduling all these calls with time differences, etc., but I know people are eager for an answer so I am trying to make it happen quickly!

      2. Have you looked into simple truth infant formula? Is it the good stuff? My husband and I are going to adopt so breast feeding is not an option.

        1. HI Alyssa-
          I can’t find anywhere online that lists the ingredients for that formula.

          1. Thank you for your article. I am also interested to know more abut the Simple Truth Formula. Here is a link with the label information. It is said to contain DHA on the front label.


          2. I wouldn’t call this Good Stuff, unfortunately (it has corn syrup, for one thing). 

    2. I’ve been ordering Hipp from artisana.co.uk which has come through in the past within 5-6 weeks but this time is taking even longer and I ordered on March 29 and now apparently their website is “down for maintenance” and you can no longer access their Facebook page…shady
      My baby has done so well with it but this has been way too long!

      1. We ordered HiPP from Artisana too and they were great. Our last order was placed on March 16th and we still have not gotten it. I don’t think we ever will since the company has gone out of business and there are lots of people posting on Google that they never received the infant milk they paid for around the same time. I’ve had to initiate a chargeback with my CC company. You may want to look into doing the same!!! I hate that this has happened to so many moms who want to do what is best for their babies 🙁

    3. Is this a legitimate website to buy hipp? Hippformulausa.com I when to their org website and they don’t list America or United states . I’m interested in purchasing some.

      1. I am not familiar with that website, Ali. I recommend purchases from Little World Organics.

        1. Hi Maia,
          I ordered from organicmunchkin.com as well beyondorganicbaby.com, do these sites seem valid to you?
          Thanks for your help!

          1. Organic Munchkin does, yes!

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