Safe Baby Formula Guide

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1. Loulouka (both cow and goat) / 2. Happy Baby / 3. Kabrita / 4. Bobbie / 5. Lebenswert / 6. ByHeart / 7. Serenity   / 8. Holle / 9.HiPP / 10.Baby’s Only  11. Kendamil


May 2022 Update: Widespread formula shortages are making it difficult for parents to get both European and even some American formulas. Our recommendation for an American formula was already ByHeart, and now we are please to learn that they are fully stocked and accepting new customers (we also love Bobbie but they aren’t taking on any new families right now). You can read more about ByHeart below, under The Good Stuff.


I wrote this guide on how to choose organic baby formula in 2012, and have updated it more than ten times since! The great news is that overall, things have moved in a positive direction on the formula front. Many new organic baby formula brands have come to market–while others have been discontinued.

This guide will review the current organic baby formula options, including European baby formulas, goat milk formulas, and which brands I consider the Best Stuff. (Speaking of goat milk formulas–this post goes into details about why you should consider it if you’re formula-freeding, but it needs to be updated from the 2018 version, mostly to include our new favorite goat milk brand, Loulouka.)

Bottom Line: Best Organic Baby Formula

If I were formula-feeding my infant, I would choose Loulouka. Loulouka Stage 1 is free of palm oil and maltodextrin. You can read more about why I think Loulouka is a superior formula below, under “The Good Stuff.”

As always, my goal with this updated guide is to make choosing the safest product easy. We’ve researched dozens of brands of organic baby formula, and I hope this guide will save you time and anxiety.

Here are two ways the industry has changed for the better over the last decade:

  1. Many companies have ditched corn sugars in favor of lactose. Lactose occurs naturally in cow (and goat) milk and much more closely mimics human milk.
  2. Many organic baby formula brands are using lower quantities of cheap, problematic oils (such as soy and canola). They’ve increased the amount of healthier oils (such as coconut and olive).

The bottom line: infants born today will almost certainly enjoy a healthier formula than did their siblings born even a few years ago.

What About the Baby Bottle?

Here is a cheat sheet to help you choose the safest bottle for your baby, whether you are breast- or formula-feeding! My top pick is this one.

Two important disclaimers before I jump in: 

  1. I am not a medical professional or a nutritionist. I’m just a label-reading mom like the rest of you, here to share what I’ve learned and which organic baby formula I would choose if I were shopping for my own baby.
  2. If I recommend vendors from whom you can purchase European organic baby formulas, I am not guaranteeing that you’ll have a satisfactory experience shopping with them. I’m simply telling you the companies with whom I would feel comfortable were I looking to buy formula myself. I’m also an affiliate partner with some of them, so please read my disclosure page.

P.S. Breastmilk is Better Than Any Organic Baby Formula

breastfeeding

Needless to say, I’m pro-breastfeeding. I have only two kids, but I breastfed for a total of 7 years, so you can do the math.

The reality is that many of my readers and clients— amazing moms with beautiful, healthy children– formula feed at least some of the time. And one thing that all formula-feeding moms want to know is, what is the safest, healthiest organic baby formula I can give my child? I hope this updated guide helps answer that question.

Best American Baby Formula

If you aren’t comfortable getting a European formula, you should consider By Heart. You’ll read more below about why I love this brand below.

What to Avoid in Baby Formula

When it comes to choosing a safe infant formula, it’s as much about avoiding the bad stuff as it is about finding the good stuff. What follows are some of the controversial ingredients and additives that you will find in most baby formula.

Even a few brands that I have deemed Good Stuff contain some of these ingredients–it’s impossible to avoid them all! Some of them are worse than others, but I mention them all here because these are at least worth considering when you are choosing baby formula.

Non-organic ingredients

An organic label alone doesn’t make a formula healthy, but avoiding any non-organic formula is a good start. Conventional formula likely contains traces of pesticides, milk contaminated with antibiotics or growth hormones, and oils extracted with hexane. Organic baby formula is almost always superior to anything conventional.

Organic baby formula cannot contain GMOs or artificial colors/flavors. Organic baby formula from Europe is even better: it must be free of sugar, corn syrup solids, and chemically-extracted synthetic nutrients. In addition, 30% of the calories in organic European formulas must come from lactose.

Soy

Soy formula is usually only recommended if a baby suffers from dairy intolerance.

If you’re buying non-organic formula, the soy is likely genetically modified. Synthetic l-methionine is added to soy formula to meet nutrition requirements. Because it is produced with things like hydrogen cyanide and other air pollutants, it is prohibited in European organic foods. This means that there is no such thing as organic soy-based infant formula in Europe.

Soy-based formula contains soy protein isolates, which my mother the health coach describes this way: “highly processed soybeans that have been chemically altered to no longer resemble a whole food.”

Soy formulas tend to have higher levels of aluminum contamination since soy sucks up aluminum from the soil.

Soy formula also contains high levels of plant-derived estrogens (phytoestrogens). In fact, the concentrations of phytoestrogens detected in the blood of infants fed soy formula were shown to be 13,000 to 22,000 times greater than the concentrations of natural estrogens. The effects of this are simply unknown.

Unfortunately, even most dairy-based formulas contain soy oils or lecithin, but it makes sense to avoid soy-based formulas unless a baby has a true dairy allergy. If that IS the case for your child, you can ask your pediatrician about Baby’s Only’s newer Pea Protein formula. Earth’s Best soy fomula contains corn syrup (as the FIRST ingredient), so this is a hard one for me to recommend even for lactose-intolerant infants.

Palm oil and palm olein

These are commonly added to formula to help replicate the high palmitic acid content of breastmilk. But the structure of the fat molecules in palm oil (and other vegetable oils) is different from that found in breast milk, and the fats are digested differently.

Palm oil and palm olein have been shown to inhibit the absorption of calcium and fat. On the other hand, plant-derived fats that match the structure of the most common fat molecules in breast milk have been shown to promote more healthy bacteria in the gut, reduce colic, gas, and constipation, and allow for fat and calcium to be absorbed better.

From what we know, only one company—Kabrita, which makes a goat milk formula—uses these more beneficial fats (high SN-2 palmitate, a.k.a. “OPO fats,” a.k.a. “structured truglycerides”), which are produced by an enzymatic reaction on a mixture of vegetable oils.

If you want to avoid palm oil, Loulouka doesn’t contain it.

DHA/ARA

Most formulas now boast the addition of essential fatty acids DHA and ARA. DHA and ARA are long chain fatty acids found naturally in human breast milk, which make up the major long chain fats in baby’s brain and nerve tissue.

Nordic Naturals Fish Oil Gimme the Good Stuff

We know that naturally occurring oils from food, food-based oils, and mom’s diet (in breast milk) is highly beneficial, but some studies have shown no benefits when DHA and ARA are added to formula.

The most common types of DHA and ARA extracted by the solvent hexane, a known neurotoxin, although the hexane is removed from the formula after it’s been processed. There are other methods for extraction, but these are relatively new and the jury is out on whether they are harmful, beneficial, or of no consequence at all.

Note that any organic oils in European formula cannot be hexane-extracted.

If you want to avoid DHA/ARA, avoid formulas with these ingredients:

  • DHA oil
  • algal oil
  • cohni oil (DHA)
  • alpina oil (ARA)

If you choose a formula without DHA added, but want to supplement on your own, this is the brand we like.

Note that since February of 2020, all European formulas are required to contain DHA.

Carrageenan

You will find this additive in tons of stuff in your health food store, and infant formula is no exception.

Derived from seaweed, carrageenan helps stabilize liquid 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, but in the United States it appears in both conventional and organic baby formula–typically the ready-made varieties since it functions as a stabilizer to ensure the nutrients are well-mixed.

Preservatives

Synthetic preservatives are sometimes added to prevent the oils in formula from spoiling. Two that have snuck into even organic baby formula: beta carotene and ascorbic palmitate.

Synthetic nutrients

There are several synthetic nutrients that you will find in many organic baby formulas.

Look out for the following:

  • Lutein is hexane-extracted from marigolds.
  • Lycopene is produced with toluene, a neurotoxic benzene derivative.
  • Nucleotides are produced from chemically-treated yeast.
  • Taurine is processed with carcinogenic sulfuric acid.
  • L-carnitine was banned by the National Organic Standards Board because of concerns over carcinogenic properties. As of February 2020, the European Union requires infant formula to contain this nutrient. (The reasoning: the nutrient is present in breast milk and infants with this deficiency can develop a variety of disorders.)

Certain sugars

Breast milk is naturally very sweet, so formulas invariably contain added sugars.

The sweetener that most closely mimics that found in human milk is lactose, but this cow’s milk-based sweetener is expensive. As a result, many manufacturers instead use plant-based sucrose, which was banned by The European Union in 2009 (except for babies with allergies), because of concerns of over-feeding and subsequent obesity. The FDA provides no such regulation on what kind of sugars can be used.

Other sweeteners include maltodextrin (made from rice, corn, or potatoes), and “glucose syrup solids,” which is just a clever name for corn syrup solids.

In 2012, concerns were raised about formulas sweetened with brown rice syrup when Dartmouth researchers found that organic baby formula made with organic brown rice syrup contained six times the EPA’s safe limit for arsenic. (More on arsenic in baby food here.)

Most organic baby formula these days, even the superior European brands, seem to choose maltodextrin as a sweetener, since it’s cheaper than lactose and helps powdered formula dissolve quickly.

My two cents on sugar: I’m not a big fan of maltodextrin, but I do feel that it’s better than white sugar or corn syrup. The best organic baby formula will contain only lactose as a sweetener.

Best Toddler Formula

If I were looking for a formula for a baby older than 12 months, I would consider Kabrita. There is strong evidence that goat milk more closely mimics human breast milk, and Kabrita is the only formula I know of that contains the beneficial type of palm oil (see more on this above).

Kabrita has generously offered 10% off for my readers with code GIMMEKABRITA. 

Buy now from Kabrita

“Sensitive” and Hypoallergenic Organic Baby Formula

HiPP HA Gimme the Good Stuff

For those babies who need a hypoallergenic formula, many pediatricians recommend Pregestimil or Nutramigen (both by Enfamil) or Allimentum (by Similac).

If forced to choose between these, I would go for the Allimentum since it skips the carrageenan and corn syrup. But I can’t call any of these Good Stuff since all three contain ingredients of concern and none is organic. Nutramigen is probably the very worst of these, comprised of 48% corn syrup solids!

If it were my baby, I would choose HiPP HA organic baby formula, which contains no sugar, corn syrup, or maltodextrin, and is full of good prebiotics. You also might want to try HiPP Anti-Reflux formula if your baby has a sensitive stomach. It’s made with 100% whey and no casein to prevent reflux. This site carries these versions of HiPP.

Please check with your pediatrician first if you suspect an intolerance or allergy.

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Other Things to Consider When Choosing Baby Formula

When you’re shopping for an organic baby formula, you’ll also want to be cognizent of the whey/casein ratio, the addition of prebiotics and probiotics, A1 versus A2 milk, and potential aluminum or BPA contamination. Let’s look at these one by one.

Whey/Casein Ratio

In an attempt to mimic real breast milk as closely as possible, formula manufacturers engineer their products to have a specific whey/casein ratio. Not sure what whey and protein are? Here’s the deal:

  • Whey proteins stay in liquid form in the stomach (when exposed to stomach acid)—think the watery whey that separates in a container of natural yogurt–and exit the stomach more quickly. Whey proteins are therefore easier to digest and are rarely a source of allergies.
  • Casein proteins form solids in the stomach (like cheese curds) and empty at a slower rate. They are more likely to cause digestive issues and be a source of allergies.

There is controversy over the optimal whey/casein ratio for a baby formula because the ratios found in breast milk change over time: whey content is high in early lactation (with a ratio of about 90:10), and by late lactation, whey and casein protein amounts are roughly equal.

Goat milk and cow milk both have a whey to casein ratio of about 20:80. Whey protein is added to formulas to adjust this ratio.

So what is the optimal whey/casein ratio? This depends on factors such as how old your baby is (in other words, how developed his/her digestion is), whether your baby has any digestive issues (like reflux, which may be a reaction to too much casein), and whether your baby is sensitive or allergic to casein.

We also don’t really know how much of the whey and casein added to formula actually ends up being assimilated. It’s definitely worth having a conversation with your pediatrician about which formula has the right ratio for your baby, although in many instances the whey/casein ratio isn’t an issue you need to worry about. Most babies do fine on standard formulas.

Prebiotics & Probiotics

Klaire Labs probiotics gimme the good stuff

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria, and prebiotics are food for probiotics. You probably already know that good gut bacteria is key to healthy immune function.

Breast milk has natural prebiotic properties, such as its oligosaccharide content, and breastfeeding introduces lots of healthy bacteria to the breastfed infant’s microbiome. In an attempt to mimic human milk (and ride the wave of current health trend!), many formula manufacturers now add prebiotics and probiotics to their products.

There’s little research to suggest that this offers any real benefits, and the American Association of Pediatrics doesn’t officially recommend it, but they are probably also not harmful to healthy babies.

My two cents: I probably wouldn’t rely on what’s in formulas as an effective probiotic/prebiotic supplement (mostly because of dosage and quality/viability of the organisms). Parents who are really interested in supplementing with probiotics should choose a high-quality product like Klaire Labs Ther-Biotic.

Aluminum in Infant Formulas

Unfortunately, it seems like high aluminum content in formulas is pretty much ubiquitous (studies confirm this in UK and Canadian markets, and there is no research done yet on formulas in U.S. market).

It’s not clear exactly why this is, but there are a variety of modes of potential contamination: raw materials (powdered milk may have aluminum added to prevent clumpiness, for instance), additives (like phosphorous), and manufacturing processes.

It’s important to note that a lot of healthful foods we eat contain more aluminum than even that found in the most contaminated formula (which was HiPP in this study)–including fish, spinach, and many types of tea. I’m not convinced tha the amount in formula is something we need to be overly concerned about.

fiji water gimme the good stuff

We also don’t know is how much of the aluminum that’s ingested ends up accumulating in the body of infants and toddlers. In adults, most aluminum is excreted, but what remains does accumulate and can cause problems in the long term.

There’s little that consumers can do about aluminum in formula, except for:

  • Choosing breast milk if possible.
  • Avoiding soy-based formulas, as these tend to be highest in aluminum.
  • Preparing powder formula with a silicon-rich mineral water—in the U.S., Volvic and Fiji water fit the bill. Experts believe that this could reduce the absorption of aluminum across the gut of the child and also potentially help the child to excrete aluminum in the body via the urine. However, these are areas which are also being researched.

A2 Milk

You will see that some of the Good Stuff formula listed below contains “A2 milk.” Cow milk has two primary types of proteins–A1 and A2 beta-casein. More studies are needed, but there is some evidence to suggeste that A2 milk is easier to digest and less likely to cause inflammation than is A1 milk. The strongest evidence is around lactose intolerance–studies suggests that milk with A1 protein is much less likely to cause gastrointestional distress. Three brands that contain A2 milk are Baby’s Only, Serenity, and Holle.

BPA in Formula Cans

Good news: there is one thing you no longer have to worry about when buying formula, and it’s BPA. The FDA has finally gotten with the program and banned BPA from formula container linings. Of course, I worry about what’s being used in place of BPA, but still this is a small victory!

Toddler Formula for Infants?

I know many parents who have chosen to feed their infants a “toddler” formula. In order to understand why, it might be helpful to know the following:

United States / FDA Infant Formula Regulations

  • The recipe requirements are from the Infant Formula Act of 1980 (which I believe is in desperate need of an update!).
  • Infant formula certification requires multi-year and multi-million dollar feeding studies.
  • Thus, there is a huge barrier to entry for innovative companies or smaller brands. ByHeart is one of the few brands who did their own study (more on them in our Formula Guide and dedicated ByHeart post.) 
  • In early 2022, the FDA recalled brands (e.g., Similac, Alimentum and EleCare) after babies drinking these formulas became ill; this was nearly 6 months after the FDA found out but failed to act on the information. In March of 2022 the FDA finally shut down the facility producing these formulas, which lead to a formula shortage.
  • Members of Congress are questioning the FDA’s ability to effectively regulate the infant formula marketplace.

European Infant Formula Regulations

  • European food standards are among the strictest in the world.
  • The EU updates regulations every few years with modern science and ingredients.
  • Europe does not require infant feeding studies for certification.

If I had been a formula-feeding mom, I would have definitely considered a “toddler” formula for my infant. Most toddler formulas contain the 29 key nutrients that are required by the FDA for infant formula. These formulas are not marketed as infant formula because the brands haven’t completed the infant feeding studies, not because they don’t provide adequate nutrition for infants. Again, ask your pediatrcian to review the nutrition label on any formula you’re considering, but this is worth keeping in mind!

One Important Way to Make Formula-Feeding Safer: 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. I think everyone should Invest in a good carbon water filter, but especially if you have a formula-fed baby in your home.


The Good Stuff

Good Stuff Badge

Baby’s Only Dairy Toddler Formula

baby’s only_Gentle Dairy_formula gimme the good stuff

While it’s not perfect, Baby’s Only, in particular the Gentle variety, is one of the best formulas available in the United States. Here’s why:

  • Baby’s Only makes an organic baby formula with no added DHA. Their other formulas include DHA and ARA extracted from egg lecithin, which may or may not be problematic for babies who react to hexane-extracted DHA.
  • Baby’s Only organic baby formula is made in the USA by a family-owned business that is not publicly traded.
  • Baby’s Only does not contain palm oil.
  • As of 2021, Baby’s Only is using A2 milk, making it an even better choice.

Here are all of the ingredients in the Gentle formula: Organic lactose, organic whey powder, organic nonfat milk. organic canola oil, organic high oleic oil (organic high oleic sunflower and/or organic high oleic safflower oils), organic linoleic sunflower oil, organic whey protein concentrate, organic coconut oil, less than 2% of: organic sunflower lecithin, calcium ascorbate, calcium phosphate, inositol, magnesium oxide, ferrous sulfate, niacinamide, d-alpha-tocopheryl acetate, zinc sulfate, calcium pantothenate, thiamine hydrochloride, vitamin A, copper sulfate, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, manganese sulfate, phylloquinone, biotin, vitamin D3, sodium selenate, vitamin B12. 

Some concerns I have with Baby’s Only:

  • Baby’s Only regular dairy formula contains brown rice syrup–it’s actually the first ingredient. In response to concerns about high arsenic levels, they created a high-tech filter that removes inorganic arsenic from brown rice syrup, reducing it to undetectable levels, as confirmed by the Consumers Union. Still, I recommend Baby’s Only Gentle formula because this one is sweetened with just lactose.
  • Baby’s Only formulas are technically “toddler” formula, because in order to have FDA approval as an infant formula, a company must conduct clinical trials and undergo extensive testing. Many people choose Baby’s Only even for infants, but you should check with your pediatrician before doing so.
  • Baby’s Only contains canola oil (hard to avoid!).

Amazon


Bellamy’s Organic Baby Formula

This Australian formula is very similar to to the European brands. It doesn’t have DHA/ARA or corn ingredients, but it does contain soy and palm oil. It contains 97% organic ingredients, but unlike Lebenswert, the dairy in this formula doesn’t come from biodynamic farms. Unfortunately, we haven’t found a way to get Bellamy in the United States.


 Bimbosan Organic Baby Formula

This Swiss brand of organic baby formula looks similar to the other European brands. I love the lack of maltodextrin, palm oil, corn syrup, and sugar! Bimbosan doesn’t include DHA/ARA. Unfortunately, I can’t find any vendors selling this formula.

 


ByHeart Whole Nutrition Infant Formula

We are super excited about ByHeart, the newest formula on this list, because it’s the only formula to be produced in its own factory.

ByHeart was more than five years in the making. They worked with an impressive array of scientists and pediatricians to build from the ground up–ByHeart has its own ingredient manufacturing and sourcing, and they even ran their own nation-wide clincal trial.

The ingredients in ByHeart are different. For one, they use whole milk (organic and grass-fed) instead of skim. Their formula features a proprietary protein blend that combines the two most abundant proteins found in breast milk (alpha-lactalbumin and lactoferrin) and a whey to casein ratio of 80:20, which mimics colostrum.

ByHeart is free of corn syrup, palm oil, maltodextrin, and soy–all problematic ingredients often found in organic formula. The sole source of carbohydrates is lactose, and ByHeart meets both US and EU regulations.

ByHeart is also the first formula to be certified by the Clean Label Project, and was awarded the highest tier “Purity Award.” Clean Label screens the formula for 400 contaminants, and ByHeart’s internal quality control program screens for more than 700.

Overall, ByHeart focuses not only on optimal infant nutrition, but also on a clean, uncontaminated formula. It engages in more auditing and testing than any other brand on U.S. market.

Buy now from ByHeart


Bobbie Organic Baby Formula

Bobbie-Organic-Infant-Formula-gimme the good stuff

Finally someone is producing a European-style formula that meets all FDA requirements and is now available in the U.S.

Here’s why Bobbie is Good Stuff:

  • The milk used in Bobbie’s formula comes from pasture-raised cows from Organic Valley Farms.
  • Bobbie sweetens their formula with lactose, not sugar or maltodextrin.
  • Bobbie meets the EU levels for iron and is the only US formula to meet EU DHA standards.
  • Bobbie’s formula does not contain palm oil.
  • Bobbie received the Clean Label Project’s Purity Award as well as their Pesticide Free Certification.

Bobbie includes DHA and ARA, and while hexane is used to retrieve the ARA, it is removed and undetectable in the final product. Bobbie formula does not contain prebiotics or probiotics. Bobbie contains some healthier oils (like coconut), but does still contain soy.

You can read my complete review of Bobbie formula here.

Here are all the ingredients in Bobbie: Organic lactose, organic nonfat milk, organic high oleic safflower or sunflower oil, organic soybean oil, organic whey protein concentrate, organic coconut oil, less than 1%: organic soy lecithin, schizochytrium sp. oil, motierlla alpina oil, calcium phosphate, potassium citrate, sodium chloride, calcium carbonate, potassium phosphate, magnesium chloride, zinc sulfate, cupric sulfate, maganese sulfate, potassium iodide, sodium selenite, choline bitartrate, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), ascorbyl  palmitate, inositol, mixed rocopherol concentrate, dl-alpha tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E), niacinamide (vitamin B3), calcium pantothenate, vitamin A palmitate, riboflavin (vitamin B2), thiamine hydrochloride (vitamin B1), pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), folic acid, phytonadione (vitamin K), biotin, cholelciferol (vitamin D3), cynacobalamin (vitamin B12)

Buy now from Bobbie


Happy BABY-FORMULA-S1 Gimme the Good StuffHappy Baby Organic Baby Formula

Happy Baby’s organic baby formula is a great option for parents who want to avoid corn syrup and maltodextrin, but don’t want to order European formulas. I put this brand as a close second to Bobbie when it comes to formulas you can buy in this country.

I love that lactose is the first ingredient in Happy Baby’s formula, and that it skips synthetic taurine.

I also like that this formula contains a nice prebiotic blend; in fact it contains nearly four times the prebiotics found in an other organic baby formula in the U.S. market.

The only negatives of this formula are that it contains soy oil and algae-derived DHA.

The complete ingredients of Happy Baby formula stage 1: Organic Lactose, Organic Nonfat Milk, Organic Palm Olein Or Palm Oil, Organic Soy Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic High Oleic (Safflower Or Sunflower) Oil, Organic Galactooligosaccharides (GOS), Organic Whey Protein Concentrate, <1% of: Fructooligosaccharide (FOS), Choline Bitartrate, Potassium Chloride, Organic Soy Lecithin, Calcium Hydroxide, Mortierella Alpina Oil, Calcium Phosphate, Sodium Citrate, Ascorbic Acid, Magnesium Chloride, DHA Algal Oil (Schizochytrium), Potassium Bicarbonate, Inositol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Mixed Tocopherol Concentrate, Vitamin E (Dl-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate), Niacinamide, Calcium Pantothenate, Cupric Sulfate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Riboflavin, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Manganese Sulfate, Beta-Carotene, Potassium Iodide, Folic Acid, Vitamin K (Phytonadione), Biotin, Sodium Selenite, Vitamin D (Cholecalciferol), Cyanocobalamin

Note: Happy Baby makes a stage 1 and a stage 2 formula, both of which are Good Stuff. Happy’s Sensitive Formula is Sneaky Stuff–you’ll see more on this below.

Amazon


HiPP Organic Baby Formula

Hipp-Bio-Combiotik-1_600x600

The major upside to HiPP is the lack of plant-based sweeteners (it uses lactose instead). HiPP also contains beneficial probiotics. Hexane is used to extract the DHA and ARA, but it is removed and undetectable in their formula.

There are actually three versions of HiPP–one from the UK, one from Holland, and one from Germany. They are so similar that I wouldn’t worry about which one you get. The only distinction worth noting is that the HiPP UK does not contain probiotics, only prebiotics. You can read more about my thoughts on pre/probiotics above.

If your baby needs a hypoallergenic formula, I recommend HiPP HA (more on that above, too!).

Complete ingredients in Stage 1 HiPP: Skim milk, Whey powder, Vegetable Oils (palm, rapeseed, sunflower), Lactose, Galactooligosaccharies from Lactose, Whey Protein, Fish Oil, Calcium Chloride, Potassium Citrate, Choline Oil, from M. Alpina, Sodium Citrate, L-Phenylalanine, Calciumorthophosphate, Magnesium Sulfate, L-Tryptophan, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate,  Stabilizer Lactic Acid, Vitamin C, Natural Lactic Acid Culture (Lactobacillus Fermentum Hereditum3), Vitamin E, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Potassium Iodate, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Sodium Selenate, Vitamin K, Maganese Sulfate, Vitamin D, Biotin, Vitamin B12

As with Holle, HiPP can be hard to purchase in the U.S. and expensive to have shipped from Europe. At the moment, these two  retailers have HiPP in stock: Organic Baby Food 24and My Organic Company(for 5% off everything at My Organic Company, use code GIMME5 at checkout).


Holle Organic Baby Formula (with Cow Milk)

Holle Organic Infant Follow-on FormulaThis European brand of formula comes from grass-fed, organic, and biodynamic milk. It doesn’t contain a host of the synthetic ingredients that you’ll find in American formulas. It also doesn’t contain soy or corn ingredients.

I love that Holle formulas are made from milk from Demeter-certified farms. This means that the cows are pastured in organic farms, but goes beyond organic to ensrure biodiversity and sustainability.

Holle’s Bio Pre formula contains no maltodextrin, and is only sweetened with lactose. I like that the Bio Pre line has more milk fat than other formulas. This means it contains fewer vegetable oils. Stage 1, 2, and 3 contains skimmed milk and maltodextrin. (Holle Bio Pre has basically the same ingredients as Lebenswert–more on that brand in a moment!).

The ingredients in Holle Bio Pre: Whole milk**, whey powder* (partly demineralised), vegetable oils* (palm oil*, rapeseed oil*, sunflower oil*), lactose*, skimmed milk powder**, calcium carbonate, vitamin C, potassium chloride, sodium chloride, vitamin E, ferrous lactate, zinc sulphate, niacin, calcium-Dpantothenate, copper sulphate, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, manganese sulphate, potassium iodate, folic acid, vitamin K, sodium selenate, vitamin D

Unfortunately, Holle has not been approved by the FDA, so it’s difficult and expensive to obtain in the U.S. Here are three companies with whom I have affiliate relationships:

  1. BabyKind Market 
  2. Organic Baby Food 24 (based in Germany)
  3. My Organic Company(for 5% off everything at My Organic Company, use code GIMME5 at checkout).

Holle Organic Infant Goat Milk Formula

holle-organic-infant-goat-milk-formula-1-NF

This formula forgoes the most concerning preservatives and the most problematic synthetic nutrients. (Formula 1 does have L-methionine).

I don’t like that maltodextrin is the primary added carbohydrate here, but I appreciate that it is organic. I gave Holle a few points for including lactose. I’m also not a fan of the palm, sunflower, and grapeseed oils, but they are organic in this case.

If you’re debating between Kabrita and Holle goat milk formulas, keep in mind that Holle goat milk does not contain whey. Because of this, Holle goat might be constipating for some infants.

Holle Goat Organic Baby Formula ingredients: Organic Goat Milk Powder, Organic Maltodextrin, Organic Lactose, Organic Vegetable Oils [Organic Rapeseed Oil, Organic Sunflower Oil], L-Choline, Calcium Hydroxide, Algae Oil (DHA), L-cystine, Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium Chloride, Vitamin C, L-tryptophan, L-Tyrosine, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Chloride, Iron Lactate, Inositol, Vitamin E, Zinc Sulfate, L-Carnitine, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Copper Sulfate, Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin B2, Manganese Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin K, Sodium Selenite, Vitamin D3, Biotin, Vitamin B12

Holle isn’t imported to the U.S. so can be hard to purchase. Here are three places with whom I have affiliate relationships:

  1. BabyKind Market
  2. Organic Baby Food 24
  3. My Organic Company(for 5% off everything at My Organic Company, use code GIMME5 at checkout).

Kabrita Goat Milk Formula

Kabrita formula gimmethegoodstuff

For now, Kabrita is approved for 12+ months (although people do use it for infants). The whey/casein ratio is 50:50, making this an ideal option for babies 12 months and older. (Kabrita hopes to debut an infant formula in the U.S. market later this year.)

I like that Kabrita uses non-GMO goat milk (from Missouri and the Netherlands) and has lactose as the primary added carbohydrate.

What really makes Kabrita stand out, however, is the fat blend that they use. From what we know, Kabrita is the only brand that uses plant-derived fats that match the structure of the most common fat molecules in breast milk. These fats (high SN-2 palmitate, a.k.a. “OPO fats”), which are produced by an enzymatic reaction on a mixture of vegetable oils, have been shown to promote more healthy bacteria in the gut, reduce colic and gas, reduce constipation, and allow for fat and calcium to be absorbed better.

For parents with children with coconut allergies, Kabrita doesn’t contain coconut oil (of course, this could change at any time, so always read the label!).

Ingredients in Kabrita formula: Lactose (Milk), Nonfat Dry Goat Milk, Goat Whey Protein Concentrate Powder (Milk), High sn2-Palmitic Acid Oil, Soybean Oil*, Galacto-oligosaccharides (Milk), Palm Kernel Oil, Sunflower Oil, and less than 1%: Tri Calcium Citrate, Mortierella Alpina Oil, Tri Sodium Citrate, Crypthecodinium Cohnii Oil, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Hydroxide, Choline Bitartrate, Sodium L-ascorbate, Choline Chloride, Ferrous Sulphate, L-ascorbic Acid, Zinc Sulphate, Vitamin E Acetate, Inositol, Niacinamide, Calcium Pantothenate, Cupric Sulphate, Retinyl Acetate, Thiamin Hydrochloride, Vitamin B6 Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Manganese Sulphate, Folic Acid, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin K1, D-biotin, Sodium Selenate, Vitamin D3, Cyanocobalamin.

You can read my in-depth review of Kabrita here.

Kabrita has generously offered 10% off for my readers with code GIMMEKABRITA. 

Buy now from Kabrita


Kendamil Organic Baby Formula

kendamil-organic-formula-stage-1 gimme the good stuff

Kendamil is another great European formula, and has been made organically in the UK since 2018. Kendamil uses whole milk from grass-fed cows and doesn’t contain soy or palm oil.

Kendamil formula comes from the milk of English Jersey cows, whose milk is richer in good fats, protein, and calcium. Furthermore, Jersey cows produce mainly A2 milk.

This formula does not contain probiotics, but it does have prebiotics and its DHA and ARA are not extracted with hexane. Kendamil contains taurine, l-carnitine, and nucleotides.

The complete ingredients in the stage 1 Kendamil are: Organic whole milk, Organic demineralized milk whey protein powder, Organic skimmed milk, Organic vegetable oils (sunflower, coconut, rapeseed), Organic galacto-oligosaccharides (from milk), Calcium citrate, Sodium citrate, Potassium chloride, Calcium lactate, Magnesium chloride, Docosahexaenoic acid, Arachidonic acid, Vitamin C, Potassium hydroxide, Choline bitartrate, Inositol, Taurine, Nucleotides (cytidine-5’-monophosphate, disodium uridine-5’-monophosphate, adenosine-5’-monophosphate, disodium inosine-5’monophosphate, disodium guanosine-5’ monophosphate), Iron pyrophosphate, Zinc sulphate, Vitamin E, Niacin, Pantothenic acid, Copper sulphate, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Manganese sulphate, Folic acid, Potassium iodide, Sodium selenite, Vitamin K, Vitamin D3, Biotin, Vitamin B12

One thing that makes Kendamil special is that even their Stage 2 and Stage 3 formulas do not contain maltodextrin—almost every other formula adds this carb beyond Stage 1.

Kendamil also makes a goat milk formula that is Good Stuff.

You can buy all Kendamil varieties at My Organic Company.


Loulouka Organic Baby Formula (Cow)

Loulouka Stage 1 400 gram from Gimme the Good Stuff

As I mentioned above, this newer Swiss formula is the very Best Stuff. Loulouka Stage 1 is free of palm oil, soy, corn syrup, sucrose, carrageenan, and maltodextrin, contains lactose, and is certified organic with milk from grass-fed cows.

Loulouka contains DHA and prebiotics, but does not contain ARA or probiotics.

Please note that the stage 2 and 3 Loulouka do contain maltodextrin. Some parents choose to keep their older babies on the stage 1–this is a decision you should make with the help of your pediatrician, but we do still consider Stage 2 and Stage 3 Loulouka to be Good Stuff.

Loulouka Stage 1 ingredients: Organic Skimmed Milk, Organic Demineralized Whey Powder, Organic Vegetable Oils [Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Rapeseed Oil], Organic Lactose, Galactooligosaccharides (GOS from lactose), Minerals (Calcium Chloride, Sodium Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Magnesium Chloride, Calcium Phosphate, Calcium Citrate, Zinc Sulphate, Sodium Selenate, Manganese Sulphate, Potassium Iodate, Potassium Hydroxide, Copper Sulphate, Iron Sulphate), Emulsifier (organic sunflower lecithin), Refined Fish Oil, Choline Bitartrate, Vitamins (C, E, A, D, B3, B5, B7, B12, K, Folic Acid, B1, B6, B2), L-tyrosine, L-tryptophan, Inositol, Antioxidants (tocopherol-rich extract), L-cysteine, L-carnitine

$49.00 or subscribe and save up to 8%Buy Now


Loulouka Goat Milk Formula

Loulouka Stage 1 Goat From Gimme the Good Stuff

Goat’s milk formula is worth considering if you have a baby with sensitivities to cow’s milk (or maybe even if you don’t). If you’d like to consider a goat milk formula for your baby, our top choice is Loulouka. I like that the primary ingredients in Loulouka’s goat milk formula—goat milk, carbohydrates, and oils—meet a very high, European organic standard. Goat milk formula is not usually organic, so that makes this one special.

It is superior to Holle’s goat milk formula because it does not contain maltodextrin.

The ingredients in this formula are: whole goat milk*, lactose*, vegetable oils* (sunflower, rapeseed), calcium carbonate, trisodium citrate, microalgae oil (MILK), magnesium chloride, L-cysteine, calcium hydroxide, vitamin C, L-tryptophan, L-tyrosin, sodium chloride, iron lactate, vitamin E, zinc sulfate, niacinamide, calcium D-pantothenate, retinyl acetate, copper sulfate, thiamine hydrochloride, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, riboflavin, mangenese sulfate, potassium iodide, vitamin K1, sodium selenite, cholecalciferol, biotin, cyanocobalamin

Lebenswert Organic Baby Formula (Stage 1)

Lebenswert formula is produced by Holle, and is even better.

holle-lebeswert from Gimme the Good StuffOne of the the biggest problems with Holle’s original formula is that it contains maltodextrin. Lebenswert’s stage 1 formula is free of maltodextrin, relying instead upon lactose to lend sweetness to the formula.

Moreover, Lebenswert adheres to Bioland organic guidelines for farmers and manufacturers. These guidelines are even more stringent than the European Union’s Eco-Regulation; you can read more about them here.

Lebenswert also skips soy and a bunch of the synthetic nutrients found in most of the organic formulas in America, but does still contain palm oil and canola oil (called “rapeseed oil”).

Here’s a complete ingredients list of the stage 1 formula: Organic skimmed milk, organic whey powder (partly demineralised), organic vegetable oils (palm, rapeseed, sunflower oil), lactose, potassium chloride, calcium, vitamin C, sodium chloride, ferrous gluconate, vitamin E, zinc sulfate, niacin, calcium pantothenate, copper sulphate , Vitamin B1, Vitamin B6 , Vitamin A, manganese sulfate, folic acid, potassium iodate, vitamin K1, sodium selenate, vitamin D.

Because it’s from Germany, Lebenswert is not FDA approved, so it can be challenging to obtain here in the U.S.

I’ve vetted the several places to purchase this formula, and am happy to have established affiliate relationships with the following sellers (this list continues to be updated as the market changes):

  1. Organic Baby Food 24
  2. BabyKind Market 
  3. My Organic Company(for 5% off everything at My Organic Company, use code GIMME5 at checkout).

PLEASE NOTE: Lebenswert organic baby formula in stages above 1 do contain maltodextrin. While these are still “Good Stuff” and on par with original Holle, Lebenswert stage 1 is superior.


Serenity Kids Toddler Formula

Serenity Kids Toddler Formula Gimme the Good Stuff

Serenity’s new toddler formula uses milk that is not only grassfed and organic but also A2. It contains a lot of the Good Stuff we look for–lactose to sweeten, prebiotics, olive and coconut oils, and non-hexane extracted omega acids. It’s free of corn, rice, and soy.

You should ask your pediatrician about giving this formula to an infant, but it’s worth noting that it’s

These are all the ingredients in this Serenity Formula: Organic Lactose, Organic A2 Whole Milk Powder, Organic Galactooligosaccharides, Organic Whey Protein Concentrate, Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Palm Oil, Organic Cocoa Butter, Less than 2% of: Human Milk Oligosaccharides (2′-fucosyllactose, Lacto-N-neotetraose), Organic Inulin, Algal Oil, Organic Sunflower Lecithin, Organic Egg Lecithin, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Citrate, Sodium Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Nucleotides (Adenosine-5-Monophosphate, Cytidine-5-Monophosphate, Disodium Guanosine-5-Monophosphate, Disodium Inosine-5-Monophosphate, Disodium Uridine-5-Monophosphate), Choline Bitartrate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Magnesium Phosphate, Inositol, Natural Mixed Tocopherols, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Methylcobalamin, d-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, Zinc Sulfate, Calcium Pantothenate, Niacinamide, Ferrous Sulfate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Copper Sulfate, Ascorbic Acid, L-Methylfolate, Kelp Powder, Manganese Glycinate, Phylloquinone, Sodium Selenite, Biotin, Vitamin D3, Vitamin D2.

Use code GIMME15 for 15% off anything at Serenity.


The Okay Stuff

Okay Stuff Badge

Earth’s Best Organic Baby Formula

I am so happy to see that Earth’s Best has gotten rid of the corn syrup in their formula! The only sweetener is now organic lactose, making this formula almost Good Stuff. I’m still only calling it Okay Stuff because of the sheer number of synthetic nutrients.  It also contains several soy ingredients. Earth Best’s sensitive organic baby formula as well as their dairy-free version both have corn syrup solids as the very first ingredients, so those two are Sneaky Stuff.

The complete list of ingredients in the basic dairy infant formula is: Organic Lactose, Organic Nonfat Milk, Organic Oils (Organic Palm or Palm Olein, Organic Soy, Organic Coconut, Organic High Oleic Safflower or Sunflower Oil), Organic Whey Protein Concentrate, Less Than 1: Mortierella Alpina Oil*, Crypthecodinium Cohnii Oil**, Fructooligosaccharide, Lutein, L-Carnitine, Vitamin A Palmitate, Beta-Carotene, Vitamin D (Cholecalciferol), Vitamin E (DL-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate), Mixed Tocopherol Concentrate, Vitamin K (Phytonadione), Ascorbyl Palmitate, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Cyanocobalamin, Niacinamide, Folic Acid, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Ascorbic Acid, Choline Bitartrate, Inositol, Calcium Carbonate, Calcium Chloride, Calcium Hydroxide, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Cupric Sulfate, Magnesium Phosphate, Potassium Bicarbonate, Potassium Chloride, Potassium Iodide, Potassium Hydroxide, Potassium Phosphate, Sodium Selenite, Sodium Citrate, Taurine, Organic Soy Lecithin, Nucleotides (Cytidine-5-Monophosphate, Adenosine-5-Monophosphate, Disodium Uridine-5-Monophosphate, Disodium Guanosine-5-Monophosphate, Disodium Inosine-5-Monophosphate)


Topfer Lacatana Bio

A lot of you have inquired about Topfer, and I like that it’s the very oldest of the German formulas! Still, when I drilled down on the ingredients, I don’t think it’s as good as the other European options. This is really just because it isn’t biodynamic, contains canola and palm oils, and uses maltodextrin as a sweetener.

The ingredients in Topfer are as follows: Skimmed milk, whey powder  partly demineralized, vegetable oils (Organic Palmoil, Rapeseedoil, Sunfloweroil), maltodextrine, skimmed milk powderˡ, starch, oil of Mortierella alpina, fish oil, calcium carbonate,  sodium citrate, potassium chloride, vitamin C, calcium phosphate, iron lactate, vitamin E, bifidobacteria cultures (B.breve, B.bifidum, B.infantis, B.longum), zinc sulphate, niacin, calcium-Dpantothenate, copper sulfate, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, manganese sulphate,  potassium iodate, folic acid, vitamin K, sodium selenate, vitamin D.

(Note: Topfer’s Stage Pre does not contain any sweeteners at all, making it Good Stuff!).


The Bad Stuff

Bad Stuff Badge

Avoid any infant formulas that are not organic, for all of the reasons listed above.

Aptamil Nutura is a British brand about which many of you have inquired. Because it isn’t organic and contains corn syrup, I can’t recommend it.

Gerber’s BabyNes is admittedly super convenient, but there are lots of problems with these pods. For one, they are plastic-heavy, with lots of surface area exposure (as opposed to bigger traditional containers.) They also involve warm water running through plastic tubing and other parts in the machine. You probably know that warmth and plastic equals increased chemical leaching. Plus the pods are super wasteful from an environmental standpoint. And what’s in the pods isn’t Good Stuff anyway, with corn sweeteners and no organic ingredients.

Nan formula is perhaps the best of the Bad Stuff, since it does contain lactose as a sweetener. But this formula, made by Nestle, isn’t organic. And if you read all the way down the ingredients list, you will eventually find the corn syrup!

Two other definite Bad Stuff brands who don’t even make an organic variety of their formula:

  • Gerber Good StartThis should come as no surprise. Their jarred baby food is also Bad Stuff.
  • Enfamil. For some horrible reason this is the brand I chose for Felix when I needed a nursing break due to bleeding nipples and ran out of pumped milk. Wah! Enamel’s Pregestimil and Nutramigen lines (for sensitive or allergic babies) are made up almost entirely of corn syrup and vegetable oils.



The Sneaky Stuff

Sneaky Stuff Badge

Bright Beginnings Organic Baby Formula, owned by pharma giant PMB, contains corn syrup, rather than dairy-based lactose, as well as lots of vegetable oils.

Enfamil Enspire doesn’t have a terrible list of ingredients (it’s sweetened with just lactose rather than corn syrup or white sugar), but nothing is organic and it has a ton of synthetic nutrients and some questionable preservatives.

Happy Baby Sensitive contains corn syrup and maltodextrin. Note that Happy’s regular formula is Good Stuff (see above).

Parent’s ChoiceOrganic Baby Formula contains maltodextrin, as well as all the other bad stuff.

Similac Organic Baby Formula is the only organic formula to contain actual cane sugar, and lots of it. Their ready-to-use formula also contains carrageenan. The only upside? Similac is free of palm oil.

Similac Advance Non-GMO Baby FormulaThis marketing ploy really annoys me. GMOs are the least of the problem with conventional infant formula.
Still, I was surprised to see that there isn’t sugar or corn syrup in this formula. If you’re going for a conventional formula, this is the one to get.

This version of Similac contain galactooligosaccharides, which are prebiotics. It isn’t unlike the Baby’s Only Whey in fact, except it isn’t organic (and btw, organic by definition means non-GMO).

This version is actually better than Similac Organic, but it still contains a significant number of synthetic ingredients.

Similac Pure Bliss is yet another version from this pharma giant. This one uses dairy from grass-fed, antibiotic-free cows, but it’s not organic, and is still loaded with synthetic nutrients.

Vermont Organics Baby Formula, also owned by PMB Nutritionals, contains palm oil, hexane-extracted DHA/ARA, and organic glucose syrup solids (corn), and maltodextrin.

Whole Foods 365 Organic Baby Formula, also produced by PMB, contains palm oil and corn-based sugars.


Infant Formula

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651 responses to “Safe Baby Formula Guide”

  1. Hello,

    Could you please us with a few alternatives in low phosphorus content formula ? Currently we are feeding Similac 60 40 formula and left with a handful of cans due to significant shortage in the market because of the recent recall by Abbott.

    We tried giving cows milk but our baby doesn’t seem to like it and not accepting it.

    Thanks in advance !!

  2. Have you looked at Jovie? For stage 2 goat milk, it looks like ingredients are good, but I’d love your thoughts.

  3. Hi! Happy baby organics stage 1 contains “organic palm oil”. It was making my son really constipated and I had To switch. I noticed Your review didn’t say anything about palm oil in happy baby so thought I would Mention it!

  4. My son is 11 months old now and was breastfed 2 months from birth. My supply diminished 2 1/2 months in due to high levels of stress and becoming pregnant again back to back. I started him on Kabrita toddler formula at 3 months old and he did horrible on it. He had Major constipation and pain for 2 months that was not worth it. I switched to the Mt.Capra homemade Infant goat milk formula which helped some what but still he remained severely constipated for months in that I had to start him on a strong garden of life probiotics as well. The pprobiotics worked great just the gas that comes before the big poop was painful for him. Finally these pass few weeks I gave up goat milk for him and switched him to Babys Only Organic Dairy and Whey with DHA ARA and let me tell you the major difference in bowl movements. His poop is softer and gas is less. He is doing great on it. I wish I knew about the Babys Only Dairy Whey with Dha and ARA before all this would have saved him the stomach stress.

    • Thanks so much for sharing your story! Glad to hear that you finally found something that works for your son!

  5. Bobbie’s website says that they use water, not hexane, to extract their DHA. You mention above that they use hexane, but it is removed from the final product. I just wanted to get some clarification if you have any? I’m hoping they are not being deceiving in their marketing.

    • Their DHA is extracted with water, but Bobbie formula also contains ARA (on the label as MORTIERELLA ALPINA OIL), which IS hexane-extracted.

  6. I don’t see any reply’s here but hopefully you can answer my questions….you stated above that hipp contains coconut oil but I don’t see that on the ingredients list? Also wondering if formula would have casein listed if that’s in it? I don’t see casein on hipp label.

    • Hi Allison-
      You’re right–they removed the coconut oil. You will not see cassein listed on any labels.

  7. Bobbie formula has just relaunched. Any thought? It lists soy and soy oil in the ingredients so I am guessing not good stuff any longer?

  8. What are your thoughts on Organic Similac new and improved formula? Definitely looks like they updated the ingredients for the better. Thank you!

  9. Natures One has changed their Formula. Sadly rice syrup is now the #1 ingredient instead of milk. Consequently, there is now an additional gram of sugar and one less of protein. So disappointing.

  10. Hello,

    My LO was on Happy Baby Organics but has developed a milk allergy. Which Hypoallergenic Organic Baby Formula would you recommend? I would like to avoid Allimentum, if possible.

  11. Hi Maia, Thank you So much for the insight, I am reasing this for the 3rd day, (desperate Mama here). I have been using Hipp stage 2 for my 9 mo old for the past 3 months… I switched formulas twice before… my baby seemed to have severe constipation, especially on hipp. The only time she showed improvement is when she was on similac pro-advance, but I don’t feel comfortable feeding her that knowing the synthetic ingredients. I am going to start loulouka now but I am afraid things won’t change. I had very high hopes for hipp as well but didn’t work.
    Any suggestion? Thanks!

  12. Hi,
    I recently bought Happy Baby for my one month old– he’s been drinking it for 3 weeks now. Well, yesterday I decided to taste the formula to see what she was drinking and the metal/metallic taste was extreme. I assume it was aluminum? Has anyone else had this problem with Happy Baby or know of them having excessive amounts of aluminum in their formula? I’m going to switch brands. Thanks

    • Hello, In my experience most formulas have a metallic taste and smell. Not an expert here but it’s probably because of the vitamins.

  13. Hi there – in CND I cant really find most of these. Where does Good Start regular and organic fit into this? its a huge brand – just curious
    thanks

  14. A dear friend recommends Baby’s Only Organic, so I did some research and talked to our pediatrician. The very 1st ‘not-so-great’ things you listed for Baby’s Only Organic doesn’t seem to be true. In fact, they are 1 of the very few organic formulas that does NOT contain any synthetic nucleotide if you’ve examined their ingredient lists on the label. I’ve also called them to verify. Interestingly, they didn’t even use that as one of their claims.

    Not sure where you get that info but would like to know if you have proof before we start using it. I’d really appreciate it. If verified it to be NOT true, it would be nice if you can update this article (as I see you did constant updates on other brands too which is very helpful).

    Thanks,
    -Peter

  15. Hi,
    Quick question regarding Loulouka formula, is it kosher?
    I’m tempted to try it for my new born but want to confirm the if it’s kosher.
    Thanks,
    Shaella

  16. I know you said that the Happy Baby Organics is “good stuff” however, I noticed on their website they state they use RSPO-certified sustainable palm oil. Even thought it has the palm oil do you still consider it “good stuff? Thanks!

  17. I have been using Holle for my baby girl, She seems to enjoy it and is growing fast.

    I was at first buying formula from local store at first but then i started buying from formulaRUs website. It’s so much easier to choose on this website and Im getting good bundle deals.

  18. You may have addressed this already, but any thoughts on Honest Company formula? Thank you so much for all of your hard work in providing these awesome guides for us!! 🙂

  19. Can you suggest me THE BEST baby formula? I have already ordered HIPP from this online store. They are pretty responsive and answering to all my questions but still I am worried that i might end up giving my baby girl something that i shouldn’t. I am new to all this.. Also i wanted to ask how much formula should i feed my baby per day? And what are the ideal time gaps between feeds?

    • Katherine, I recently started our newborn son on the HIPP formula and it’s done wonders for him. He’s gained a healthy weight, no longer consolidated, and his poops look like he’s being breastfed. I, too, was initially worried about the “high aluminum levels” mentioned in this article, so I did further research and came across this article which you may find to be helpful as I have – https://pickyeaterblog.com/truth-behind-aluminum-hipp-formula/ . As an alternative to HIPP, Loulouka is the best one. I agree with what’s been said on this article. A friend of mine uses it for her newborn and she’s highly recommends it. I’ll have our son try it once he’s finished his HIPP supply.

      Hope all of this helps!

  20. i think the organic start website is now back in business.

    thank you so much for this article! i used it with my first daughter and bought the european brand and now with my second daughter and corona virus, im picking the american brand that you recommend because i think it will be easier to get

  21. I want to thank you for this resource! It’s invaluable and you manage to navigate this topic so well. You’re factual that the “healthiest” food for infants (scientifically speaking) is breast milk but without missing a beat you recognize that so many wonderful mothers/caregivers need to, for whatever reason, use formula- and you’re here to help them figure out the healthiest ones! Your approach to this topic has always stood out to me. I’ve been following this guide for years, and as a mother who is very thankful to have been able to breastfeed my children I have always felt a sense of peace knowing if that changed, whether I chose not to or couldn’t, you’ve done the hard work of helping me find the best alternatives. I’m on here now as a potential foster mother 🙂 Keep up the AMAZING, life-changing work!

  22. Thank you for the information. I’m wondering why you felt it important to emphasize that you breastfeed and do not use formula. The women reading this obviously need to use formula for a reason, in my case no supply. You don’t need to shame others and boast yourself up with your breastfeeding accomplishments. Those of us who need to use formula are used to comments like yours unfortunately. The information is appreciated – your judgement is not.

    • Those who breastfeed and talk about it are likewise used to comments that imply they should “keep it to themselves.” Not breastfeeding whether by choice or because you couldn’t do so does not make you a bad mom. Talking about breastfeeding “accomplishments” in the arena of the healthiest foods for infants does not make the author judgemental towards those who formula feed. I understand that this topic brings up a variety of emotions and rightfully so, it’s important… you’re clearly here because you want the best for your baby. Don’t we all? The author shows respect for those who formula feed for whatever reason and is here to offer this FREE resource as a support. I think that shows where her intentions truly are!

  23. You should edit your article! Bimbosan is now easy to find 🙂 Hollehippos.com, anewyorkbaby, and many more sites carry it now.

  24. Thank you very much for sharing such an interesting article with us. I enjoyed reading this article and I’m looking forward to reading such more articles in the future as well. Keep on sharing more this kind of articles.

    • I love your guides! I’m now looking for formula to supplement and immediately thought to check here. I was sold on Loulouka but stumbled across Kendamil. I was wondering if you heard about that brand or had any insight. I love how all the stages had lactose as the only sweetener and were free of palm oil. Do you feel that they are a reputable brand?

  25. So I’m getting from this article that there are just no good soy based options? It is my absolute last choice to use soy, my doctor is claiming that my son had become temporarily lactose intolerant due to a lingering virus. I was given samples of prepared Enfamil soy and I’m desperate to even find an OK option for the time being until we can go back to our Holle.

  26. Hi! I’ve used Holle in the past, and I’m very curious if you’ve determined the supply chain for Loulouka or found any independent test results of this newer brand? Thank you.

  27. Thank you so much for writing this article! So much research has gone into this, and I thank you for saving me the hours I would have spent researching formulas and reading ingredients. I will have to supplement for a few months as my supply has plummeted since getting pregnant again. I tried everything, pumping around the clock, herbal supplements, even a two week nursing holiday! These measures helped a bit, but sadly it just isn’t enough for us to stay EBF. I’m about to run out of frozen milk so this information was very much needed. Thanks again for your hard work!

  28. This one is probably one of the best articles I have ever come across. Thank you very much for sharing this stuff, I have enjoyed reading this amazing article. Thank you very much for sharing this with us and I’m looking forward to reading more such articles in the future as well.

  29. Thank you very much for sharing such outstanding article with us. I was searching for such amazing article and I have ended up here. I really enjoyed this article and I’m looking forward to reading such amazing articles in the future as well.

  30. I was searching for such article and I have ended up here. Thank you very much for sharing such important stuff with us. I’m looking forward to reading this kind of amazing articles in the future as well.

  31. Organic Start is no longer selling formula. None of the other companies you recommend sell Loulouka. I did find that “moo moo organics” sells it. Do you know anything about this company?

  32. Is it important to move your baby from Stage 1 to higher stages as they get older? Can I just leave my baby with the Lebenswert Stage 1 up until twelve months since it has better ingredients?

    • FYI- my first son had milk protein allergy and I supplemented with HIPP hypoallergenic formula- he didn’t do great with it but his allergy was mild. I found out with my second son that this formula is not broken down as much as US hypoallergenic formula and is not intended or appropriate for milk protein allergy. My second son had a terrible reaction to it (as well as regular US hypoallergenic formulas) and had to be put on an amino acid based formula, all of which have horrific ingredients. He refuses to nurse due to severe reflux and continues to have bad reactions to pumped breastmilk even though I eliminated dairy and several other major food groups from my diet. I am curious about Bébé Mandorle, a rice based French formula but a bit nervous to try it. I can’t believe no companies in the US make an organic formula for milk protein allergic babies. I would pay so much money for a better quality formula.

  33. What is your opinion on Kabrita Infant formula? We need to switch to goat milk for my 7 week old preemie and I’m having a hard time deciding. She is extremely colicky and already has constipation which I read the Holle brand is known to cause. Thanks for your insight!

    • What are we to do? It is shameful that mothers in the US are not offered infant formula without soy and these other harmful ingredients. Formula is NOT regulated by the FDA….this should not be! Some EU countries have very strict rules for infant formula, and so should we!

    • I used Kabrita for my son starting at 2 1/2 months old and it constipated him to the point he couldn’t poop without enemas. If you are going for the Kabrita Toddler formula just go for the Babys Only Organic dairy/whey with DHA and ARA. My son is on that now at 11 months old and honestly I wish I had found it sooner. He always was constipated on Kabrita and Mt.Capra homemade goat milk formula but for some reason the switch to babys only Organic helped with the constipation relief.

  34. I was searching for such an article and I have ended up here. Thank you very much for sharing such amazing article with us. I’m looking forward to reading such interesting articles in the future as well.

  35. Hi Maia,
    I breastfed my daughter for 8 months and I am now searching for the best formula. Would you still recommend Loulouka for this age? Thank you for all your research and info to help mamas give their babes the best!

    • I’m in the same boat, need to start supplementing my 10 month old and hoping to get my hands on Loulouka. I noticed that the Stage 2 has maltodextrin though (which is for 6-12 months) so not sure if it would be safe to stay with the maltodextrin-free Stage 1 even though he’s older? Really appreciate your insight!

      **also, I know I need to refer to my paediatrician and you may not want to give ‘advice’ but I would certainly love to hear your ‘opinion’! ?

  36. Hello, Thanks for the great info. I was going to buy the Happy Baby Organic based on your review, but are you saying that it is not FDA approved? And therefore people/peds feel more comfortable with Plum organics instead? Why is the lack of FDA approval not listed under your drawbacks about the Happy Baby formula? I almost bought it, but was glad I kept reading the rest of the article and realized that this is the main reason people buy Plum instead.

    • Please disregard my question! I just re-read the Plum section and realized you were saying Baby’s Only is the one that is not FDA approved for infants, not Happy Baby. Thanks!

  37. Hello! Thank you so much for this list! My LO is 13 months now and I want to stop pumping. However, I’ll still nurse at night and in the morning. During the day, I want to supplement with formula. It seems that your recommendation would be Kabrita but why not Loulouka stage 3 (as you recommended it for stage 1)?

    • Simply because I have a slight preference for goat milk over cow. Loulouka stage 3 is also a great choice!

  38. At what stage do you stop Lebenswert stage one and switch? What do you recommend switching to?

    • I’d have to defer to your pediatrician on when exactly you should switch. I’d be going to Kabrita, were it my toddler.

  39. Thanks for these great tips on how to find the right baby formula. I agree that avoiding nonorganic ingredients and things soy would be really helpful for your child. My sister is unable to breastfeed her child, so she’ll have to find a good formula for her baby.

  40. Hi Maia,

    Thank you for all this incredible information. This momma, values your opinion and research more than you can ever imagine!

    I love lebenswert stage 1 formula. It worked so well for supplementing my first born. Expecting my second and researching again to make sure nothing has changed in the two years. I noticed another European brand, Loulouka. Would you be able to review it and see which category you would classify it? Thanks!

  41. Hi Maia,

    Wondering if you know the type of folate in the infant Euro formulas. I’m specifically looking for one that uses methylfolate or folinic acid and methylcobalamin. The term folic acid is ambiguous and doesn’t tell the whole story. I have several people that are also looking for methylated B vitamins in a formula. Any help is appreciated.

  42. Hi Maia,
    At first, thank you for this amazing guideline. To speak the truth, I don’t like the baby formula so much. But as my baby is growing up so I want to give him some extra. This guideline has cleared many of my confusion. I have bought the “Kabrita” baby formula. And now I’m really happy with this.

  43. Hi Maia,
    Thank you so much for all of the work that you did on this. I had a lot of issues producing enough breast milk and this blog gave me a lot of knowledge and peace of mind as I was choosing a formula for baby. We ended up going with Kabrita and she did great on it. She’s almost 12 months now, so I was about to purchase the Kabrita toddler formula that you recommend, but then I saw that Kabrita has made a Stage 3 formula (for 12 months+) in addition to the Kabrita toddler formula (package says for 12-24 months). I couldn’t tell what the difference was between the two so my husband emailed someone at Kabrita. They responded and simply said that Kabrita stage 3 follows the EU guidelines for formula while the Kabrita toddler follows the US guidelines for formula. Which of the two do you recommend?

    • Hi there- Well, I tend to think Europe is better than we are when it comes to food and health regulations, so I’d probably try the Stage 3 were it my baby! Glad she’s done so well on Kabrita:).

    • Wow! This one actually totally looks like Good Stuff, but it’s also sold out on its website as well as Amazon–I wonder if the company folded?

  44. Why European formulas are better than organic non gmo American ones?? From your article it isn’t clear at all. ALL German formulas contain maltodextrin! Most of them contain fluoride! You must be kidding telling that it’s the best stuff)) .
    Plus, people, do you understand that all your orders traveling by airplane. All orders go through X-ray! If not, would be surprised, then it’s still on a airplane where level of radiation is huge. We all know it.
    Think twice before ordering European formulas…
    Natalie

  45. Thank you so much for this wealth of information. Our baby will be born via gestational surrogate and I want to make sure we have HIPP Ready-to-Feed stage 1 on hand in case we can’t get enough donor breast milk. Have you heard of the vendor Formulaland.com?

  46. Hi! If anyone reading the comments would like to try some of the Holle Stage 1 goat milk formula, I am selling two boxes of it. Expiration date 1/30/2019. Selling for $15/box or best offer (usually retails online for roughly double that, give or take; I just want them to go to a good home, so I’m flexible on price). Originally purchased from Organic Baby Shop ( http://organicbabyshop.com ). Tried the goat formula when baby was four months old, but it caused constipation for our little’s particular digestive system and we had to switch back to cow’s milk via Lebenswert Bio. Reply to this comment if you’re interesetd and we can exchange email addresses so I can happily send the two boxes to you with free shipping. Barring that, if you are reading this comment and know anywhere else that I could potentially sell these two boxes, please reply and let me know! I feel like it would be so wasteful and terrible to just throw these two unopened, sealed boxes out! I’d rather they go to a home where they will be used or sampled and nourish a child! Let me know–thanks!

  47. I’ve had my baby on Lebenswert Bio since the first few weeks of life, we realized that formula would be necessary in light of my poor milk supply. We have been happy with the results–no constipation (whereas we experienced constipation with Earth’s Best and even Baby’s Only, the first two formulas we tried). The child is now almost one year old and thriving. However, I am concerned now about the use of “rapsol”–rapeseed oil or canola oil?–in the Lebenswert and other European formulas. From what I am reading, canola oil was not GRAS (generally recognized as safe) by US regulatory bodies until the last couple of years, and I see all these articles about canola oil causing fibrous lesions in the heart and dementia. I wanted my child on the European formulas to avoid the soy oil in American organic formulas, but now I am fearful that I have made a mistake in the opposite direction by using a formula with a different problematic oil. Any thoughts or research or links on this? Is the “rapsol” in the European formulas the same as canola oil? Why did and does Europe allow this oil when the US did not? I wish I or anyone could quiet all of the fear and anxiety, to the point of terror, I have experienced about my child’s diet since I was unable to fully and properly nourish using my own milk.

    • Oh, hugs to you! We all are familiar with the terror of keeping our kids healthy! The oil is definitely the biggest problem behind sugar in baby formula, and I wish I had a definitive answer for you on the soy vs. canola issue. Considering the age of your baby, why don’t you look into Kabrita? (see above)

  48. Hi Maia,

    I just tried to purchase the Kabrita formula and it looks like your coupon has expired. Do you by chance know anything about this? Perhaps there is another code I can use?

    Thanks very much!
    Evelina

  49. Just checked the Happy Baby formula ingredients and it lists palm oil. Would you still recommend it?

  50. I plan to continue breastfeeding my child hopefully until a least 2 years ( currently 7 months old) but once she reaches her first birthday and eats more solids, she probably won’t breastfeed as often and I don’t like the idea of giving her cow milk very often and I ideally would want to give her raw milk but wouldn’t know where to find that. The Dr doesn’t think young children should eat much dairy and I agree. So is Kabrita a good drink to serve with meals occasionally or should I pump breastmilk to give with meals or give water with meals and breastfeed throughout the day? ( Of course this is after she turns 1) I don’t like that Kabrita has folic acid instead of folate and I do not know how I feel about palm oil. Thank you!

    • Hi! Nothing is as good as breastmilk, ideally straight from the breast, so if that’s an option, I say do that for as long as you can! If not, Kabrita is a good second choice…

  51. This is a great resource of information. I just looked at the ingredients for happy baby organics stage 1, the US brand you recommend. My question is without US brand is there had any brand for this that is also useful too? Thanks in advance for your answer also for your informative article.

  52. Thank you so much for this! I gave my 2.5 year old Baby’s Only (dairy, DHA+ARA) when she was a newborn and I couldn’t breastfeed for a few days. It was the formula I chose for supplementation when needed (approved by her pediatrician). I’ve been waiting to read your newly updated reviews, but since I wasn’t having another baby, I didn’t need it. Well, here I am! Baby #2 on board and while we have tons of time to worry about formula, I am so thankful for this list. I will definitely consider Happy Baby along with Baby’s Only, should I need some formula this time. I know how much research you do and I am just so appreciative of this site.

  53. Hi Maia,

    Thanks for the great article!

    I will have to start supplementing with formula soon but my 6mo old son has a milk protein allergy (I’m not eating any dairy nor soy just to make sure). Now I dont know which formula would be best. Soy might be my only option, but wanted to hear your thoughts on which formula would be best for an infant allergic to milk protein.

    Thank you so much!
    Sejla

  54. Hi,

    Thank you for the great resource of information​! What are your thoughts on Kabrita stage 1 and 2… They sell them in Europe and I could have access to them. I am looking for a formula for my 10 m old baby.

    I used to buy Hipp but it doesn’t seem like you’re​ a fan of it anymore and the one you recommend overall is for stage 1.

    Thanks!

    Angelica

  55. Maia
    The hospital started my sister’s bay in Similac Pro Sensitive for immune support non gmo. What are your thoughts on this formula? Please advise and thank you ?

  56. Hi Maia,

    First of all thanks for being s resource for new moms, there is a lot of conflicting information on the internet. I have a few questions about what you’re promoting with the organic formulas and specifically the European formulas.

    1. Do you care about scientific research? The one thing that I’ve found with some of the larger companies (Enfamil, Gerber, and Similac) is that they at least have research to show that the ingredients in their products are bioavailable and for some of the companies – Similac & Gerber – they test their formula against the breastfed infant to see how close the formula is performing to the gold standard of the breastfed infant. Is this less important to you than having an “organic” label on something?

    2. I like that you support Baby’s Only Organic and the fact that it’s a US company. There’s not enough emphasis on supporting US based companies these days. Also, that means in case of recall formula is well-documented with the FDA vs. purchasing European formulas which don’t have the same regulations as far as tracking disbursements of product. I think it’d be good to do an update on your site with the recent recall of Lactalis and the horrible contamination of Salmonella.

    3. I’ve currently been feeding my baby Similac’s Pure Bliss and Similac’s Pro-Advance and I’ve been very pleased! I did a lot of research and I wanted to share it with you so you could update some of your information.

    I loved that Pure Bliss comes from grass-fed cows – I’m waiting to hear back from the company to see if the farms are Demeter certified like the Hipp and Holle farms. At least I know it’s non-GMO and the cow’s aren’t treated with growth hormones of any kind. I also inquired if they will apply for the Organic certification. I found out that it has the added vitamins and minerals for baby, but actually has natural ingredients like natural lutein, vitamin D, E, and DHA (not synthetic) and of course is palm oil free.

    Similac Pro-Advance is the latest version of the formula and like you said above it has a very similar make-up to Baby’s Only Organic. It has the same natural vitamin D, E, lutein, and DHA, is palm oil free, and has human milk oligosaccharides.

    I wanted to know your take on these HMO’s? I did some research and they seem like a great ingredient – very abundant in breastmilk. Is this another marketing ploy? Do any other formulas have the human milk oligosaccharides?

    Thanks in advance for your answers!!! I’m just trying to be the most educated in a constantly changing world! My fellow baby-mama’s thank you for your reply!

  57. Would it be best to use Fiji bottled water to mix with happy baby formula? Is the Fiji bottle safe or should I transfer the water to glass container?

    • I’d never heard of it! Definitely looks like great ingredients, but I would want you to check with your pediatrician for his/her opinion.

  58. Hi. Thank you for this wonderful post. I just looked at the ingredients for happy baby organics stage 1, the US brand you recommend, and it lists palm oil as an ingredient (ORGANIC PALM OLEIN OR PALM OIL). I am confused why it is your top choice for US brands.

  59. I would recommend Holle cow milk formula. Holle is one of the best formulas on the baby food market and carry one of the strictest and highest organic certifications, Demeter. I would recommend either stage pre or stage 1, as both of them are suitable for babies from birth to 6 months. The main difference between the two stages is that stage pre contains lactose and stage 1 contains maltodextrin. OrganicBabyShop carry both.

  60. I am overjoyed that I found your site!! Such great information.. I was starting to feel discouraged at formula options! I recently took out my breast implants and although I plan to breastfeed, I may have damage to my milk ducts making it difficult, so I’ve sought out some “back-ups”.. I was wondering if Lebenswert and Holle had instructions in english and what is the typical shipping time? Thank you!

  61. What are your thoughts on the new infant formula from The Honest Company that has lactose as a sweetener and contains probiotics?

  62. Hi,
    I’m in the US in CA. I’m due in January 2018. I’m confused, maybe more overwhelmed, as to which European Formula is best of its two, HIPP OR HOLLE? I got overwhelmed reading your thought and dislikes from the two. In the end which of the two brand European formulas you would choose for a newborn? And just to clarify, you would chose that European brand over US brand happy baby organic?
    Thank you so much I would very much appreciate your advice, my ped always recommends enfamil or similac but I’m not deciding to go that route.

  63. Hi! I appreciate your extensive research on these topics. I was wondering where Töpfer rates among these brands.
    Thank you!

  64. Love your site!! Thank you for your research!
    Which is better, Alimentum or Alimentum RTF?
    RTF has no corn and way less soy, but also has carrageenan. The regular does not.
    Can’t decide which is worse- more soy/corn or carrageenan?
    Are there any organic formulas that work for babies with milk protein issues?

  65. I have recently started using The Honest Co. Infant Formula. I read your post about the different formula brands. I think that Honest Co. may have updated their ingredients, because what we have purchased from Target no longer has “glucose syrup solids” on the ingredient list. We purchased some from Amazon, and it was older (the expiration date was much sooner than what we bought at Target) and it DID contain glucose syrup solids. We were encouraged to find that it no longer has corn syrup. Would you rate this as good stuff? Or would Happy Baby still be a better option?

  66. Hello! Brilliant information–thank you so much! So, if my baby has been breastfed for 6 months and I’d like to begin supplementing, which formula would you recommend? Just a little confused since she will be older when getting started.

    Thanks!

  67. Hi,
    I was wondering what your opinion of NannyCare goat milk formula was. I’ve been back and forth with the ingredients, and they seem to fit the bill, but I wanted to consult an expert.

    Thanks a mil!

  68. Hey there! Love your articles. I wanted to get your thoughts. Have u noticed the honest company formula has no syrup solids anymore. Do you think this is a good formula now? I’m between this and happy baby formula. Please let me know. Would love to hear from you. Thanks so much.
    Holly

  69. This is such a great blog post Maia! Thank you so much for all this helpful information!

    I am one of those moms that had a crazy challenging time breastfeeding. It’s my third child and we literally tried everything including multiple lactation consultants, tongue/lip clipping, etc but my supply kept dropping and he kept losing weight.

    All this being said, we eventually moved fully to formula around 5-6 weeks and we went with Lebenswert Stage 1 because it was still super good but much cheaper per ounce when bought in bulk online.

    My son has been thriving on it but is about to be 6 months old so I know we need to move to Stage 2. Unfortunately, Lebenswert Stage 2 has different ingredients, one being maltodextrin instead of lactose. I also didn’t like that they have both a Stage 2 and 3 which means I can’t get it as cheap since I will need less of each type in bulk.

    So I went to try Hipp Dutch Stage 2 even though it costs more. The ingredients are great so I had high hopes! Of course, my son just started it and is refusing the bottle, I believe, solely on taste.

    I also noticed it doesn’t dissolve well in the water I put in the bottle (usually lukewarm) and so I have to put the nipple on and shake it to mix it after every 2-3 scoops…which is kind of a pain when making an 8 oz bottle when I have 2 other children to attend to or when I take him to any type of childcare/nursery at church or otherwise where they have to make his bottle.

    Now I’m at a loss as to which way to turn. Do I try Hipp UK and hope he is OK with the taste and it dissolves better into the water? Do I go back to Lebenswert even though their Stage 2 has maltodextrin and I have to buy it for more money in order to get less of Stage 2 since I’ll soon need to move to Stage 3??

    I’d love your advice!! Thank you!! ?

  70. Hi!! I was wondering what you would recommend as far as water goes for formula. We purchased the trio water filter through your site. But I was wondering is that good or would something like Fiji be better in your opinion?

  71. What do you think of Deumil? I found their website and on amazon, but can find no other information or sale sites. Thank you.

  72. Hi Maia,

    Thank you so much for this article. It has been super helpful for our daughter. She has a dairy and soy allergy. After eliminating all those foods from my diet my supply dropped. We have used HiPP HA for a month now but she is not tolerating it. Our pediatrician is recommending an amino acid based formula at this point such as Neocate or Elecare. In your opinion which is the lesser of the two evils here? Thanks so much!

    • What did you end up going with? I am in this boat now.. have been feeding my son elecare but i really want to make a switch to something more organic.

  73. Hi! Would you recommend Happy Baby Organic or plums organic? Also was wondering you had a review on bottle sterilization machines on which one is best or what you used to sterilize your baby’s bottles?

    Thanks so much, I’m due in Jan so just want to get everything ready. So thankful for you and your blog. It helps moms SO MUCH (:

    • You should ask your pediatrician about sterilization; I believe they are no longer recommended. If it were my baby, I would proabably go with Happy Baby:).

  74. Hi, thanks so much for this list! I came upon it because my pediatrician told us today we have to start supplementing. At my baby’s 3 month check up she only weighs 8lbs 12oz (only gained 2 oz since her two month check up). She gave us some samples of the Similac non gmo ready made formula. I came home and did my research and found out how bad it is. But I love the ready made aspect of it! So my question is are there any ready mades that you would put on the good stuff list? 🙂

  75. Hi! I am using Holle formula for my baby and i love it! I knew all about it from this post so thanks to you! But my baby turned 1 this month and i wanna switch to whole milk now. Do you know any organic whole milk from europe that is available here in US? Or any organic whole milk brand you are familiar with or that you trust? I found one article that says Berchtesgadener Land Bio- Alpenmilch has the highest rating in Germany and the milk is from a Demeter farm, but I dont know where to buy it from. Hoping you can help me with this. Thank you!

  76. hi,

    i was wondering if there is anywhere i can get some samples of Hipp, lebenswert or holle for my 4 month old boy. my wife is worried that her breastmilk supply is start to decrease and that we won’t have enough milk to feed him. We both want to give him the best natural and organic formula there is if we do have to supplement formula with breast milk. We tried happy baby over the weekend and he didn’t like it one bit and for shits and giggles we tried some slimac organic which my sister had on hand and he did like that. We don’t want to give him slimac unless that’s the last resort. That’s why we are hoping to find some samples of hipp and lebenswert to see if he will like it before we have to stick to slimac

  77. Maia,

    Thank you so much for all your product guides! I cannot tell you how much you have helped me in choosing everything from nipple balm, to dish-soap, to our family’s first crib mattress.

    I just have a couple of questions regarding the hypoallergenic Hipp formula:

    -You mentioned that the powdered form of Hipp contains high levels of aluminum; does that mean you would not recommend using Hipp HA in its powdered form (I ask because it is proving VERY difficult to purchase the liquid form from here in the US)?

    -What are your thoughts on the different Hipp HA formulas: PRE HA, HA 1, and HA 2? My daughter, Willow, is now 7 months old, and I’m just not sure what the best option is for her. What is up with the starch, for instance?

    Thank you in advance for any response you might have!

    Laura
    Sarasota, FL.

  78. Another important factor to consider is grans of protein per 100mls. To mimic breastmilk it needs to be quite low. However a formula such as bellamy’s has 1.7gm per 100mls which is significantly higher than most conventional brands. I wonder if you looked at this and considered it in your recomm./findings.

  79. Hi! Would you recommend baby’s only or plums organic? If you had to choose a formula sold in US. Or is there a better formula sold in stores in most US stores? Also was wondering you had a review on bottle sterilization machines on which one is best? Thanks so much, I’m due in Jan so just want to get everything ready. So thankful for you and your blog. It helps moms like you don’t even know (:

  80. I typically respect your work as it is very difficult navigating what is truly safe and healthy for our families and I appreciate anyone who is truly trying to help others in the journey. However your comments regarding the ‘precautionary principal’ have me confused on your actual views, and make me question if I should continue to trust the information you provide. For reference, this is the passage I find bothersome:

    “To gain deeper insight into the formula manufacturing industry, check out an article written by Charlotte Vallaeys, who is the Director of Farm and Food Policy at The Cornucopia Institute. Her article was immensely helpful as we worked on this Guide. And while I really trust and respect her work, the tenor of her perspective tends to be more alarmist and she is more heavily on the “precautionary principle” side of the spectrum (versus “ingredient is innocent until proven guilty” approach), which isn’t always practical.”

    I do not know Ms. Vallaeye ,however you seemsto insinuate that you do not agree with the precautionary principal, which she apparently follows. And you claim is is not ‘always practical’.

    To say something isn’t (always) practical gives the impression you think someone who does it is foolish. I believe a more appropriate term is “inconvenient” because it is never impractical to do your best to protect yourself and your family from potential threats. However poor US regulations certainly have made it inconvenient for an American to simply try and be healthy and raise healthy family.

    And yes there are times- as an individual having to live within our means- we have to ‘give in’ and say, let our children be exposed to plastics at public schools. Or maybe we can’t afford to buy ALL our food organic but we get as much as we can and maybe give that to our kids while we eat conventional.

    Maybe I’m misunderstanding what it means to actually practice the ‘precautionary principal’ but I thought it was about practicing it to the best of your ability, which may not be perfect but it certainly isn’t foolish or impractical. And it does surprise me that you would have that view (if you do) because it seems to completely go against the point of your website.

    I stopped following another healthy living blogger because she made the ignorant comment that “humans are always more important than nature” when humans- like all lifeforms-are a PART of nature, so it’s only logical (not even mentioning the moral side of it) to keep our planet healthy if we want to be healthy.

    It was really disappointed she turned out to be like that and again I had to navigate the web trying to find people and information that went with my principals and I could truly trust, because it’s difficult enough navigating food labels and finding ingredients in non food items.

    I know we are all responsible for our own education and choices, but that is exactly what I am trying to do-find credible information to help me make the best choices I can for myself and future children.So if you could clarify your position on the precautionary principal I would appreciate it, so I can decide if your website is a good fit for me. Thank you in advance for reading my comments and concerns.

  81. In regards to taking DHA supplements when pregnant or nursing, what is the best kind to take? Should I avoid ones that say “algal oil?”

  82. I was breastfeeding until my baby was 6 months because it was tough for me to pump every hour and a half at work (I work in retail). It broke my heart to put her on formula but this article and the constant updates made me feel a little bit better. I decided to put her on plum organics formula even though you hadn’t reviewed it at the time because you encouraged me to read the labels. It was the best one I could afford (my family is on food stamps). It was available locally, and sometimes Target would give you a gift card for purchasing multiples. It’s still a little pricier than most commercial formulas in the US, but it was a sacrifice I was willing to make to ensure the baby was receiving the best. We just scrimped on other items to be able to afford it. She’s now 16 months old and has never had any stomach issues (like my older one did on multiple commercial formulas), and is a happy, healthy baby. Thank you so much for all the awesome information.

  83. Re: Bimbosan Organic Infant Formula
    This Swiss brand of formula looks similar to the other European brands. I love the lack of maltodextrin, palm oil, corn syrup, and sugar! Bimbosan doesn’t include DHA/ARA. Unfortunately, I can’t find any vendors selling this formula. Please comment below if you know of a reliable source to purchase Bimbosan.

    Hi All,
    My name is Ursula Overstreet. I am happy to let everyone know that I live in Switzerland and therefore have a direct access to Bimbosan formula. I’ve been sending it to Chicago to a friend of mine Alicja and her baby son Jake for about 6 months. I buy the formula at the local pharmacy and send it by Swiss post. After trying many formulas, both Alicja and Jake are happy with Bimbosan, and I decided to open an Internet shop featuring Bimbosan and other European brands.

    My website is currently under construction and will be operating soon.The Bimbosan brand is a well known and respected brand here in Switzerland next to Holle which is also Swiss, not German as most people seem to believe. The Bimbosan company was established in the 1930s as a family business and has been running ever since. Beside traditional powdered milk the Bimbosan brand offers options like AR and HA, a variety of paps for different conditions i.e. loose or hard stools, hearty appetite, etc. It is well worth checking their website. The website is available in English http://bimbosan.ch/en/home/. It provides detailed product information plus there is a hotline number also available in English. A friend of mine used the number and was happy with the service. They don’t deliver to the USA.

    I have also written to Maia with the request to verify me as a vendor. I hope this can happen soon.
    Ursula

  84. Hello,

    My son, Jacob has been on Bimbosan Swiss formula since he was about two months old. He’s nine months now. Jacob was born at 35 weeks and weighed 3 lbs 11.7 oz. At first, not knowing any better, I gave him enfamil gentle ease as per my pediatrician because he had a terrible acid reflux. As a first time mom, unable to breastfeed ( I only breastfed Jacob for two weeks while he was in the hospital) I was completely devastated and felt incredibly guilty. I wanted my baby to have the best, most natural formula. My friend, Urszula, who lives in Switzerland started sending me Bimbosan formula and my son has been thriving on it. He’s 9 months now and weighs 14 lbs. My pediatrician is amazed each time we go for a visit. I did show her the formula and honestly, she told me whatever I’m feeding him, it works because he’s doing great. I feel at ease, knowing that even though I’m unable to breastfeed, my baby is getting the best possible formula and he’s thriving on it. My friend will be selling bimbosan and holle. Her website is currently under construction. Also, bimbosan recently released acid reflux specific formula. Currently, my son is on bimbosan paps. They have paps for evening and morning, for loose stool and constipated babies. I love all of their paps and formulas. I am happy to have found it through my friend. I wish more mothers educate themselves about this wonderful, family owned Swiss company.

    Alicja

  85. I sifted through some comments to make sure I wasn’t duplicating. I see your updated list, but curious about your thoughts on the Munchkin Grassfed formulas. Currently only stage 2 for toddlers is on market but supposedly stage 1 (newborn to 1) out soon.

  86. I’ve been working in the supplement industry for 8 years. Just so everyone is clear….all of the USA and EU baby formulas contain synthetic B vitamins and minerals. The same goes for multi-vitamin capsules/tab for adults and children, even the “whole-food based” ones. I agree that the EU baby formulas are using less synthetics than the USA and the “nasties” Maia mentions at the beginning of the article. It is worth asking each manufacturer the country of origin for their USP (United States Pharmacopeia) synthetic vitamins and minerals. Almost all synthetic vitamins are coming from China since they dominate the market. Very few manufactures use non-Chinese vitamins because the cost can be much higher however there are a few supplies out there if companies choose to source from somewhere else besides China. Use the chart in the link below to understand how to spot synthetic and natural nutrients on a label.
    http://rightwayvitamins.net/page22.php
    The probiotics suggested in the article might be good but they really should be listing the strain numbers after each probiotic listed. This is critical for probiotics and a real flaw in the supplement industry that some are trying to correct. See the link below for more insight. The website below is run by supplement industry insiders that know the tricks the supplement industry uses to sell you cheap junk at expensive prices. I would argue Natren offers the best baby probiotics on market because of their vast experience/knowledge, cold supply chain, strains used and in-house manufacturing.
    http://vitaminworkshop.squarespace.com/supplements-of-merit/probiotics.html

  87. Hello,
    Could you please comment on the use of Toddler Formula versus switching to organic Cow’s Milk after 1 year old? Thank you!

  88. Hi Maia,

    Thank you for your diligence. However, looking over the revised guide, I was disappointed to see Baby’s Only Organic Soy no longer on the list anywhere. While I understand the debate about soy, for some it is an option of last resort for “when all else fails” with a milk protein allergy. I came to your website a year ago looking for information on the best soy formula I could give my daughter since we were out of options (even all of the hypoallergenic formulas now contain hydrolyzed milk protein). We settled on Baby’s Only Organic Soy and have been very happy. If I was in the same place again today looking for answers on soy, your updated guide would not have the information I was seeking.

    You may consider putting a note under your review of Kabrita Goat Milk toddler formula. Its packaging is a bit deceiving as it is marketed as goat milk formula not goat milk formula with cow milk proteins. A few months ago, I picked up a can in Whole Foods to look for an allergy statement and I am glad that I did. Sure enough, Kabrita is not suitable for infants and toddlers with a cow milk protein allergy.

    Also, technically HiPP HA is not truly hypoallergenic. It too, contains hydrolyzed milk protein. It may help sensitive bellies, but beware if you have a child with a true milk protein allergy.

    PS I also found the old list much easier to navigate in terms of grouping all milk based together, soy based together, and other like goat milk together.

    • Thanks for your feedback! I actually never listed Baby’s Only soy version in this guide, so maybe we emailed directly or you are thinking of another post or emailed response. That said, I’m going to re-organize this to be easier to navigate, and add a note about both HiPP HA and Kabrita. Thanks again!

  89. Thank you for the such helpful article, esp for moms who face issue to choose the best for their babies after the breast of course. Please advise by any chance did you research if Kabrita is using hexane extration method for dha and ara added to the formula?

    Thank you
    Yuliya

  90. Thanks for the updated guide!! My daughter (now 18 months) always seemed to have had issues with the powdered formulas (gas/digestive discomfort) and we had better luck with the ready to feed formulas. Unfortunately I can only find similac and enfamil in liquid forms. We ended up using similac organic ready to feed. We asked our pediatrician if there was a difference in ingredients in ready to feed vs powdered versions and she said no they should be the same but also said that a lot of parents complain of the same digestive issues with the powdered formula. Any insight on ingredient difference between powdered vs ready to feed? Baby due in Oct so going over all baby info again 🙂 Thanks!

    • I have not found it to be true that powdered and liquid are the same. Often, the ready-made contains additives like carageenan. Congrats on your upcoming arrival!

  91. Thank you for the updated info on formula! based on reading your posts i wanted to try lebenswert stage 1 because it has fewer ingredients than most and uses lactose as the sweetener. However, when i noticed that there are also lebenswert stages 2 and 3 that made me wonder if there is something in those that an older infant would need ( i know they have maltodextrin and i want to avoid that). but as a general question, why are there different formulas for later stages?; what are the differences?; would it be ok or even preferable to just use stage 1 until one year? my baby is now 8 months and i am trying to wean ASAP. Have had problems with bottle refusal, and with taste and digestive issues with baby’s only. She takes in very little breast milk in a day (probably max 15 oz) but is thriving and chunky. just doesn’t like much volume. so i suspect that my breastmilk is pretty rich, and also that i need to find a formula she will accept that is nutritious because she is unlikely to drink more volume wise than she already does.

    • you can have your pediatrician weigh in, but the bottom line is that there is a different mix of vitamins, minerals, and whey/casein ratios in the formulas from stage 1-3. It seems unclear, however, if this really matters, as many babies do fine on level 1.

  92. hello make
    first of all, i want to thank you for all the guides!
    I read through all the comments but I wanted your opinion on choosing one.
    we just put our 9 month old son on babys only dairy formula and he seems to be doing ok. we thought he had dairy allergy and pediatrician said to try the dairy now at 9 months (bc it says toddlers formula) since I asked him about the baby’s only formula. (I hated putting him on nutramigen but had no choice. he’s been supplemented with formula and exclusively formula fed since 8 months old)
    would you go with
    baby’s only whey dairy with or without dha&ara or plum?
    thank you so much!

  93. So what would you deem the very best one of them all for an 18 month old?? She’s so picky when it comes to eating so I really want her to have a toddler formula.. thank you so much!

  94. I’m breastfeeding my twins but need to supplement. In the NICU they used Neosure but now that we’re past term we can use standard formula rather than preemie formula. The girls were too gassy and in pain on the Neosure so the pediatrician recommended Similac Alimentum. They are still gassy but better. Problem is I want a better option and am not sure what to go with since all the European options seem to be cow’s milk and not hypoallergenic. Are you aware of any other options for mom’s with babies who can’t tolerate standard dairy but who want a purer formula?

  95. Hello,

    I was wondering if you had any thoughts on Similac Pure Bliss. I know it is not organic, but I like that it has lactose vs. the brown rice syrup found in Baby’s only. I don’t like that it has hexane extracted DHA and ARA (and also lutein) but these are less than 2% and the brown rice syrup is the first ingredient in Baby’s Only. Having a hard time deciding which is more important to me. I would go with Lebenswert, but I really don’t like that it has palm oil.

    Your advice is greatly appreciated along with your article! 🙂

  96. I have a 6 month old and we’ve been using HIPP stage 1 Dutch. Now I am seeing concerns about aluminum in the HIPP formula. I went ahead and purchased HOLLE instead this time. I am just very concerned that I have messed up my baby from using the HIPP in the first place. I did all of my research and thought I was doing right. We are starting foods, and keeping formula to 24-30 oz of formula at this point. Please let me know what to do.
    Thank you

  97. Hi there,

    When will the updated guide be released? I’m specifically interested in seeing how some of the new entrants in the marketplace (i.e. Plum) stand up to brands like Holle and Hipp.

    Thanks – the information you provide is extremely invaluable and I appreciate it so much!

    Stephanie

  98. Hello,

    You recommended the baby’s only organic formula but warned against brown rice syrup. However, This is the very first ingredient in it! Help!

  99. Hello I have a 12 month old who has a milk allergy. She is currently on Baby’s Only soy toddler formula, which I am not fond of her being on soy. She also has an allergic reaction to almond milk so I have no idea what to switch her on now that she is 1. I could put her on coconut milk but it lacks some of the nutrients she needs. She is also teething and refuses food often. I am at a loss. Any advice? I know it’s recommended that babies with food allergies stay on formula till age 2 so is there a formula holle or hipp offers for milk allergies?

  100. Hello,

    I started giving my baby Baby’s Only Dairy with Whey. I noticed she was very fussy so I assumed she had a reaction to dairy. Then I started giving her Baby’s Only Lactorelief formula. I noticed she was a lot less fussy. However, at the same time I stopped taking fenugreek (my baby drinks breast milk and I supplement with formula when needed). After a month, I resumed fenugreek (still avoiding dairy and using Baby’s Only Lactorelief) and I noticed her fussyness returned thus, concluding that fenugreek was causing her issues. Now that I have pinpointed her issue to fenugreek…should o switch to Baby’s Only Dairy Whey?
    My pediatrican says if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. Meaning if she likes the Lactorelief just keep giving her that. However I am wondering if I’m giving her less nutrition or more unnecessary additives by using the Lactorelief. What do you think?
    Thank you so much!

  101. My little guy, 6 months old, does not tolerate dairy or soy (if I eat them). I am not able to keep up with him recently and our freezer supply is dwindling, so we need to find a formula. What do you think about the HiPP HA (Hypoallergenic)?

    Thanks for providing this resource!

  102. Hello!
    Thank you for all your research!!! It has helped so much.
    From reading through the literature on organic infant formulas, it seems Holle Stage 1 Lebenswert is the best option.
    Can you site any scientific literature on the oils (and their affects on babies) used in Holle Stage 1L? Also, I do not see the nutrition label on the Holle package, does it contain all the vitamins and minerals needed for proper growth as defined by the USDA? I know it’s not an American brand, but I want to make sure my LO is getting everything he needs! where can I find the % daily values of the vitamins and minerals in this formula?
    Is the fat and protein content the same as most American formulas?
    We have just ordered Baby’s Only, unfortunately before we recognized there was soybean oil in it. It also uses brown rice syrup , which I’m not sure about.? Do we know how brown rice syrup affects insulin response and blood sugar levels in babies? Also, does Baby Only have more or less sugar than regular formula? Thank you!!

  103. Can you advise how many ounces a box of Lebenswert makes? I am using Baby’s Only right now but looking to switch. A review on the Baby’s Only site claims Lebenswert was cheaper, but my math is showing that it would double my cost. So I am not sure if I am not doing a conversion right or something.

  104. Hi I can really use your help.
    My son 1 year old suffers from bad stomach pain and gas.he burps a lot and usually poop ones a day after he’s formula holle stage 3 (he’s on holle for 6 months now) but always poop hard black small balls.(sorry)
    My son was diagnosed with Autism Red flags and fun trying to put him on a diet that is GF SH CF but the formula is hard to take him out off.
    I would really appreciate if u can recommend something that u think will be easy on his stomach with no added sugar because we think he got Yeast Overgrowth.
    PLEASE I need your help.
    Your web site is a big help for me !!!

  105. My baby is currently 5 mos. I was exclusively breastfeeding but my milk supply has gone way down since starting work again. I have had to supplement with formula. Our son has been somewhat colicky and fussy since the introduction of formula. We have had him on enfamil gentlese but he doesn’t seem to like the taste, takes him extra long to finish a bottle. Would you recommend the Baby only lactorelief dha & rna or another type? What is the difference in the whey formula for baby’s only? Also, how long should you trial one type of formula to see if it will work for your baby?

  106. Hi, my baby boy has 3 months and he is lactose intolerant. Which is the best formula for him? We prefer not to give him soy based formula. PLEASE HELP!! 🙁

  107. Hi Maia,

    Really appreciate the great work you’re doing with your site. I noticed that you have a new recommendation for a retailer of the Holle and HiPP products – BabyKind. Although you’ve described it as a European retailer, from its website, it looks like a company based in Long Island in New York. Could you please tell us a bit more about this retailer, including your process for vetting this company? Also, I note that you’ve disclosed an affiliation with BabyKind – could you please provide more information about that?

    Many thanks – and keep up the great work you’re doing on behalf of kids and parents!

    Steve

  108. Maia,

    My daughter was born in August 2016 and sadly I had struggled with breastfeeding (multiple issues) and had to supplement. My first choice was, obviously, donor breastmilk. But after we were unable to find a long-term donor I realized we needed to go to formula. I agonized over what type to buy.

    All that to say, this post SAVED me. We started out with Baby’s Only but unfortunately it made my daughter extremely constipated (we tried several versions). Then we tried Plum Organic’s formula and it constipated her as well. By this time, I realized that she was taking after me. My mother had to make my own formula when I was a baby because everything constipated me.

    I finally gave in and paid the high price from Holle…and while it did constipate my daughter, it wasn’t nearly as bad as the others. She’s done great on it!

    Thank you again for working to hard to provide useful information for those of us trying to raise healthy children!

  109. H! Due in September and looking forward to your formula update! Have you heard anything good about munchkin grass fed formula…supposedly coming out Spring 2017 yet I haven’t found it yet.

  110. Hello,

    My 6 month old son has acid reflux. I’ve been giving him Bimbosan formula. It is a completely organic formula straight from Switzerland. The company is family owned since 1930’s. My son loves it and thrives on it. Bimbosan just released Acid Reflux formula. They also sell paps. I purchase this formula directly from Switzerland from Swiss Baby Brew company.

    Alicja

  111. Good morning,

    My son is 6 months old and I was told at Organic Start, that it is recommended to use Stage 2, even though Stage 1 is fine.

    I had been using Lebenswert Stage 1. However, Lebenswert Stage 2 contains Maltodextrin.
    Looking at this chart is supposed to help, but it is making me more confused and anxiety stricken. https://organicstart.com/comparison-chart-hipp-holle-lebenswert-topfer-nannycare/

    Is there a formula you recommend for Stage 2?

    Thank you! I greatly appreciate your input.

  112. What do you think about Earths Best OrganicFormula w/o DHA/ARA? When did they introduce this one? They went back to using lactose and now provide an option with no DHA/ARA – wanted to get your thoughts.

  113. Hi Maia,
    I see you were planning to get an updated write up on safe formulas out mid-March, but I can’t seem to find it. Am I missing it, or are you still working on it? I’m particularly curious about your thoughts on the Baby’s Only with whey protein, as well as new formulas that have come on the market.
    Thanks for your part in helping all of us moms do the best we can for our kiddos!

    • Hi Kat-
      You’re right; we are super delayed on this formula update, but it really is happening in May!

  114. Hello. I have a EBF 6 month old. With my supply dropping, I fear I will need to switch to formula soon. My baby is a chunker 🙂 but I would prefer a formula that is heavy in Omega 3 fatty acids for brain development. I am between Plum Organics, Baby Only Whey, Lebenswert & Kabrita. Please help me chose! Thank you for supporting all the mama’s out there!!!

  115. Hi Maia, thank you so much for this article. You mentioned that you recommended Munchkin as one of the venders you trust but you didn’t mention why. You spoke mostly of the other vendor. Munchkin sells lebenswert formula a lot cheaper so I was debating on whether to order from them or not vs the other company you recommended. You seemed to like the other one better. Can you give me more info on Munchkin?

  116. Hi Maia – I just saw that Happy Baby came out with a formula. I’ve really valued your reviews on other formulas and am now pregnant with my second, so I’m curious to know your thoughts on this one and how it compares to other formulas that are readily available in the US?
    Thanks!

  117. Hi Maia,
    I’m interested to know why you would choose Holle1 and Lebenswert 1 over Baby’s Only Whey Protein formula, even though both Holle and Lebenswert contain palm oil? I’m stuck in my decision between Lebenswert and Baby’s Only!

  118. Does anyone know what the ratio of palm oil to other oils in the Holle and Lebenswert? Im trying to decide now if I want to get Holle/Lebenswert or Baby’s Only (which does not contain palm oil, but does contain added taurine) H/L don’t contain added taurine right?

  119. Hi, thank you so much for this post. It was very helpful! I have a 2 week old at home and unfortunately my milk didn’t come in. So now I find myself scouring the internet searching for a safe infant formula. I started with Earths Best because that was the only infant formula my local grocery store offered. But now I’m reading several things that are dis-concerning. I like the idea of Holle and Hipp and am willing to pay extra, but I guess I’m just wondering why they are not FDA certified in the US. Any idea?

    • Hi Justine-
      The only reason they aren’t certified is that the companies haven’t undergone the arduous task of obtaining FDA certification. Also, it’s worth noting that Earth’s Best has actually recently improved their formula, so it’s a much better option now;).

  120. I saw somewhere before on your blog where you described how you prepared your formula, with a bottle warmer instead of boiling water to kill any bacteria. But now I can’t find it. Can you explain how to use the bottle warmer instead of boiling water for me. Thank you.

    • I didn’t formula feed, so you must be thinking of a reader comment or another blogger. Sorry about that:)

      • Oh, it must have been another comment! I tried looking through them on a couple of your posts but couldn’t find it 🙁 Thank you though!

  121. Hi! Im desperate to know what you think of Gerber Non GMO Formula. My peditrician doesnt recommend Hipp because she knows nothing about it and wants me to use Gerber. What do I do???

  122. Hello, my daughter has a breast-milk allergy which we were never able to resolve so has had to move onto a hypoallergenic amino-acid formula (Nutricia Neocate Infant Formula). After reading your guide, I am worried about whether this formula is safe or not. Hoping it is as I don’t have any other option at the moment. But either way, would like your unbiased feedback on it.

    Thank you.

  123. My baby has to be on Hypoallergenic formula and the only one I see is HIPP (HA) I really wanted to use Lebenwerts formula because I see it’s the best, and I also cannot find any ready made formula on organic munchkins what would your advice be?

  124. My son was born 6 weeks early and despite trying everything I could for 3 months, he would never latch. I pumped and supplemented with Baby’s Only until my supply dwindled and eventually dried up. He has constipation and reflux so I have tried switching to Baby’s Only lactorelief and then Whey protein, none of which have helped. My pediatrician has recommended trying a soy formula. I’m just curious, what are your thoughts on Baby’s Only Soy formula? Thank you!!

  125. Hi there!
    Any updates on Honest’s infant formula? My little guy (7 months old) is on Plum Organic but he has major spit up issues so I was thinking of switching him to Honest’s Sensitive Organic formula. Would love to know what you think. Thanks!

  126. Hi im wondering what your thoughts on similac pure bliss are? I am hoping to use natures only but am waiting to see the pediatrician next. Im looking for a second option if that one does not work out for us.

  127. 7 month old with allergy to coconut oil…. do you know of a formula that does not have coconut oil? Thank you so much!!!

  128. Hi there,

    I’ve been and continue to primarily nurse my daughter but when my production has occasionally dipped, I’ve had my daughter’s daycare or partner try to feed her Baby’s Only dairy (DHA & ARA free) formula but she’s never accepted it, preferring instead to hold out until I arrive. Now that she’s just over one years old, we want to consider opting out of dairy milk as we have our misgivings about her drinking animal milk. Any good resources for ensuring she gets proper nutrition while consuming plant based milk? And other things we should concern ourselves with that she doesn’t over-consume from plant milk (such as estrogen)? I have limited bandwidth for very academic materials but would appreciate any sound practical advice or other educational resources. Also, she hasn’t really taken to really solid foods yet (prefers mainly pureed food or breast milk) so any tips on encouraging consumption of solids would be great. Thanks!

    • Hi Lily-
      Would you consider goat milk? Otherwise, I am sorry to say that I don’t really feel comfortable dispensing anything that might be considered medical advice–I’m not an MD or a nutritionist. I can tell you, however, that my first-born had pretty much zero interest in solid foods until he was 18 months old (although he was still nursing), and I never really found a way to get him to eat. I wish I had just chilled out about it rather than stressing so much! Overall, I think you would benefit most from a holistically-minded pediatrician you trust.

  129. Can any of these brands be made ahead of time and stored for up to 24 hours? The organic munchkins site implies that this is not possible in its instructions section. Also, any thoughts about using Baby’s Only for an 8 month old? It only has FDA approval for toddlers.

  130. Baby’s Only Organic Formula was great. Due to some milk supply issues, I started supplementing formula when my daughter was about 4 months old. After doing quite a bit of research, my top choice was the HIPP brand, which I had my family bring over for me when they could (they live in Europe, and it is ridiculously cheap to buy off the shelf there compared to the $40 a box it costs to import it). When that wasn’t possible, Baby’s Only was the only other brand I would give me daughter. It has the best ingredients and was rated the highest, and I thought the price was quite reasonable

  131. Out of both whey baby only formulas, would you personally go with the option with added DHA/ARA or without? Thanks!

  132. What do you know about ordering Holle from Beyondorganic.com. I am recently needing to supplement and ordered a box to see how my son does. I am still breastfeeding morning and night.

    Thank you and by the way your thread is incredibly helpful as a first time mom!

  133. Hello! I second the question about Enfamil’s new lactose only Enspire formula. Looking forward to your updated guide in March.

  134. babys only jet.com info listed ~Not intended for infants under 1-year of age unless specified by a healthcare professional

  135. babys organic jet.com info listed ~Not intended for infants under 1-year of age unless specified by a healthcare professional

  136. Hi! I just found your site, and I’m loving it. Thank you! I wanted to check about Earths best – it looks like they don’t have corn syrup solids anymore. Do you think this is ok now?

    • Yes I am so happy to see the changes Earth’s Best has made! Will include a more thorough investigation when we update this guide (in early March).

      • Hi! I know you are updating all the details in March but I really need to know now to make the decision for my baby…. please help!!! If it was for your baby, out of all the current formulas here in the US, which one would you pick? Thank you soooo much!!!!! <333

  137. Hi there,

    Thanks so much for this! I’ve read through all the comments but still have one question. What two/three formulas would you recommend trying for a baby that has reflux and one wanting to avoid constipation? We are looking for the purest, cleanest, safest formula too. Thanks so much!!

  138. Hi there! Apologies if this has already been mentioned in one of the
    comments, but I just got back from buying Baby’s Only based on
    your review, but then looking at the FAQ on their own website they
    discourage use for infants whereas you mention they said that
    because they believe in breastfeeding. Now we aren’t sure if we
    should return it and go for Earth’s Best which seems to have been
    the next best formula that was relatively easy to find…
    https://naturesone.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/201491456-Infant-use-Baby-s-Only-Organic-toddler-formula-

  139. What are your thoughts on Target’s Up & Up? It isn’t organic, which is not ideal, but it doesn’t appear to have some of your major no-nos like corn syrup.

      • Would you maybe think about doing a review for Australian products ? My son is breast-fed but I’m looking to wean him , I would appreciate any suggestions .thanks

  140. Hello,

    Earth’s Best Organic Formula has recently removed the corn syrup solids, when you are able to, can you take a look at it again and possibly update the review of it?

    Many Thanks,
    Ali

    • I saw that too! Unfortunately it still has the DHA and soy, for one thing. It looks like it’s pretty similar to Plum Organic formula (can find it at Buy Buy Baby and Babies R Us) now, which I have been using but I’m definitely heading to a Whole Foods to pick up some of the Nature’s One Baby’S Only formula instead now. I don’t want my little boy to have hormonal issues due to soy and I partially breastfeed so I can probably pass along some natural DHA, if just a little. I am also curious if the DHA supplement made by the Honest Company or any others can be recommended. And though it’s kind of unrelated, the Honest Company also sells a probiotic my pediatrician said she would recommend (baby experiencing intermittent bloody stool) because she said that the bacteria (lactobacilli) is one of the few strains that has been vigorously tested on infants. I would like to know if there is any information on what probiotics are recommended now. Thanks so much!!

  141. Hi – I am interested in your thoughts/review on the Similac Pure Bliss Infant formula. Is it better/worse than the regular Similac Advanced Non-GMO? Trying to get an idea of which category you think it falls into. Thanks!

      • Roughly when in February? We are due the day before yesterday and trying to choose a safe formula. 😀

        We like the baby’s only stuff, but my only concern is that our pediatrician recommended the first ingredient on any formula be milk/lactose. The only one for which that is true is the Whey protein formula for sensitive stomachs. The standard Non GMO and DHA/ARA both start with BRown Rice Syrup. Nonfat milk is second.

  142. Maia, do you recommend switching to Stage 2 or 3 as babies get older? Do they have different nutrition levels that are more appropriate for babies nearing 1 year? I have been giving my daughter Lebenswert Stage 1 since she was 2 months and we have absolutely loved it. She is now 9 months and I was just about to place my usual reorder and noticed that on Organic Munchkin the description of Lebenswert Stage 1 recommends using it till 6 months and then switching to stage 2. But I see Stage 2 has maltodextrin instead of lactose… what are your thoughts on that?

    P.S. at her recent 9 month appointment with pediatrician he said her health and growth rates are absolutely perfect, and to “keep doing what you’re doing!” Which was so encouraging and I feel like that is largely thanks to YOU!!! I just love how hard you work at helping us mamas do the best we can for our babes. <3

    Also he mentioned recent research showing baby skin care products (or breathe-easy rubs like Maty's and The Honest Company's) containing lavender are raising estrogen levels in babies. Yikes!!! Guessing you already know that but it was a shock to me, considering how many products out there for babies contain it for "calmness" and to help them sleep.

    • Hi there and thanks so much for your kind words! I know people who do both successfully—switch to Stage 2 or stay with Stage 1 because of that vexing maltodextrin. I don’t feel qualified to answer questions about specific nutritional needs of babies, so I suggest you run it by your pediatrician. As for the lavender issue–my understanding is that only at very high levels would this be a concern, but I do think it’s worth being aware of when choosing products.

  143. HELP!!! My daughter drinks Holle level one, she is with her grandparents this weekend a I forgot to pack them a scoop. If anyone out there uses this too, what is the volume of that scoop? For now grandma is using a level table spoon.

    • You’re right! This version is sweetened with lactose, which is awesome! Thanks for bringing to my attention. 

  144. Maia, thank you so much for doing the research and saving me so much time. I’m not sure if you can help further but it would be amazing if you could. What do you know about hemp milk? My supply is starting to slow down and my husband wants to supplement with hemp milk and switch to hemp milk completely when I can no longer produce. Can hemp milk be used in place of formula?
    We have preemie twins that are now 5 months old.

    • Hi there! Unfortunately, I don’t feel qualified to answer this kind of nutritional question, and would have to defer to your pediatrician. Congrats on your babies and best of luck!

    • I think this is Okay Stuff based on my cursory research. I will address this more when I update the Safe Formula Guide soon!

  145. Please Help! So I needed formula as an emergency and I know Holle is one of the best but I would need to order online (which I will ) but I needed formula now and so I ended up getting Baby’s Only since it was your next on the list that’s located here in the US. The only thing is that the one I got says “whey protein” under the word organic (on the front of the label). When I read the back it says ” when transitioning from breastmilk to a formula, a child may experience stooling issues. The use of whey as an additional protein may aid digestion and often results in softer stools”. So seems like it’s even better than the regular one that you have picture of since I heard some babies get very bad constipation with regular one..But my question is, is this type of formula safe for my 3 month old??? She was always breastfed and never had formula and neither did any of my other 4 children (they all were only breastfed) and when I got sick my milk dried up so now I had to get formula for my 5th baby and I know nothing about formulas at all! This is all brand new to me and a whole new other world! So I went online to check which one is best and when I stummbled upon ur website I saw all the bad stuff in formulas I’m now freaked out and scared to give the stuff to my baby but know I have no other choice :(. So is this formula safe for my 3 month old? (with the whey protein). Or would yourecommend goats milk instead? I heard it’s the next closest to breast milk and some moms give it to their babies but I dont know like I said this is all new to me since all the other ones and her to this min were only breastfed.. I’m so scared!! I dont know what to do 🙁

    • Unfortunately I’m not a medical professional and can’t provide any specific. I would recommend you see your pediatrician to find out what would be best for your baby.

  146. Any recommendation for a dairy and soy free formula? With my first i supplemented with holle as needed and planned to do the same with my second but at 7 months she was just diagnosed with dairy and soy intolerance so she can’t use any of my freezer stash and I can’t buy holle for supplementing. Doctor suggested similac alimentum but not crazy about the ingredients..

    • HiPP sells a hypoallergenic formula called Combiotik that may be worth a try. I would still check with your pediatrician to make sure this is a good alternative for your baby.

  147. Good Morning & thank you for providing honest, and informative information. My 11m old son is still breastfed, although due to working (& not getting anything worthwhile when pumping), I’m going to have to supplement. Due to continuous ear infections we have recently removed dairy to see if this helps. Any recommendations on a formula? I was thinking the Baby’s Only LactoRelief, but wasn’t sure if that was truly dairy-free? Any advice is appreciated. My pediatrician would likely tell me I’m nuts for assuming the dairy is impacting his ear infections, so I don’t really want to go there with him.

  148. Hi, I just ordered the baby’s only and I went and spoke to
    Someone at my sons daycare who said baby’s only has soy? And she has her baby on holle. I do not want to supplement but have to because my supply is tanking. The thought of giving my 9m old something with ingredients I can’t even pronounce scares me. Is it true that baby’s only has soy? And that is not good for my son. I am so confused reading all the stuff about holle and what’s good and what’s not and the difference in lebenswert? I need clarification. I just want to do what’s best and healthiest for my son. I will still be BF as much as I can. Help.

    • Baby’s Only has both a dairy formula and a soy formula, and it’s true that even their dairy version contains soy oil. Holle does not contain any soy ingredients. Since I’m not a medical professional, I can’t tell you what’s best for your son specifically. I recommend seeing your pediatrician and going over the best options for supplementing. You could also look into the relatively new formula from Plum Organics, although this also contains soy oil!

  149. I know you picked Holle as your top pick. Can you do a review of the plum organics. Since it’s easily available in the USA. I wanted to know if it’s better than baby’s only.

    • Hi! I haven’t conducted an official review of Plum but it definitely looks like Good Stuff:). Since it’s approved for infants and Baby’s Only is technically a toddler formula, a lot of people are choosing Plum.

  150. HI!
    Came across your website and I am having trouble finding reassurance that Baby’s Only is in fact OK to feed to babies under 12 months of age. My little one is BF and I have been using Holle Goat milk as back up when we get busy or go out etc. She also has been weaning. It is very expensive and sadly, I need another alternative. When I called Nature’s One they told me to call my doctor regarding feeding the formula to my LO. Any thoughts? Also, what do you know about Plum Organics?

    Thanks!

    • I actually would probably go with Plum over Baby’s Only if it were my baby. But Baby’s Only is a really good brand, too, but it is not FDA-approved for infants (to get approval, the FDA requires clinical trials, etc.). I agree you should run the ingredients by your pediatrician to make sure they meet the requirements for your baby.

  151. My two month old isn’t gaining weight properly even after trying block feeding and also pumping them putting her on, ad the LC maybe thought overactive letndown. Anyways. I can’t have dairy while BF her or she gets nasty mucus poo :/ then pediatrician recommended doing maybe two bottles a day mixed with breastmilk. What formula do you recommend that isn’t dairy. I hate using soy but :/

  152. I’m looking for something to have on hand in case I need to supplement like I did with my last child. I bought the Baby’s Only, but after I bought it, I noticed it says “Toddler Formula” and upon further searching, found they all said Toddler Formula, but your post says it’s an infant formula. I’m hoping I don’t have to supplement at all, but I wanted some in the pantry just in case. Can you advise? Thanks!

    • I certainly know people who use this formula for their infants, and nutritionally it meets the requirements. However, Baby’s Only has not gone through the clinical trials and such that are required to be certified by the FDA as an infant formula. My advice is to have your pediatrician take a look and weigh in.

  153. Hi,

    We are a vegan family. I’m planning to breast feed but just in case that doesn’t work, is there any non dairy formula that’s recommended?

    Thanks!

  154. My baby will be 10 months old in a few days and is not so interested in nursing anymore witch witch is causing a drastic drop in my supply. She eats a full diet of solids but I know she should have more breastmilk or formula. I’m very nervous to switch but feel I have no choice…any suggestions on which formula might work best? I am a fan of the Holle brand from what I can read about it.

    • Hi Melissa! This sounds like something you should take up with your pediatrician. As long as baby is getting around 16 oz. of milk a day, you shouldn’t be too worried. But again, pedi knows best! If it were my baby, I would go with Holle’s Lebenswert brand or one of the goat formulas.

    • I have to say this ingredients list isn’t so bad! It contains lactose as the sweetener, which is a happy surprise:).

    • Similac also has a “Non-GMO” version and an Organic. How does this compare to the Pure? Would you recommend one over the other? Or non at all…

  155. My baby has a cows milk intolerance. We were on holle but I’m wondering if you can recommend a non cows milk or non dairy formula?

    Thank you!

  156. Hello, has there been any new formulas since this article was originally written in 2015 that would be at the top of the article if it were written now? Just curious. We just started our 5 month old on baby only organic dairy yesterday. I just want to make sure she is getting the best. Also, thank you for taking the time you research, write the article and respond to the hundreds of questions!

  157. Hi! Are there any ready-to-made formulas that would be acceptable other than the European brands? My daycare would like us to put some in my baby’s “emergency kit” so this would only be used in an emergency (and hopefully never used!!). I currently 100% breastfeed.

    • Hi there! Yes, if it were my baby, depending on his/her age, I would consider Baby’s Only, Plum Organics, or Kabrita.

      • Hi and I also missed out on thanking you in my below comment as well, so sorry! I have loved your site (and you for the conscientiousness and care you put into keeping everything on it [and us] updated)! I have revised it a number of times. I’m curious, following up this thread comment if you might elaborate on what you think might be best for what age ranges? We were using Plum Organics but I’d like to skip the DHA and soy. Even so, if there is something I’m missing on the suitability of these for various ages then I would like to know your thoughts, and if you know there is a suitable version (at least without soy for each stage?). Again, I just truly want to thank you so much for everything you do! You’re amazing!

        • Hi! Thanks so much for the kind words. I wish I could help with this question, but since I am not a medical professional, I feel like I need to defer to your pediatrician on the specific nutritional needs of your child at various ages. 

  158. I love the Baby’s Only Whey! After a few other formulas which were not so great, my baby has been having it since he was an infant and he is very happy and healthy!

  159. How is Baby’s Only “far and away the best widely available infant formula option”?

    First ingredient is brown rice syrup instead of milk! Contains Taurine (likely processed with sulfuric acid and aziridine), and soybean oil!

    North American formulas seem to add way too many toxic synthetic ingredients

  160. Hi Maia-

    I have been supplementing with Baby’s Only. Baby suffered from constipation from the Baby’s Only, I started weighing the formula before adding to water, still hasn’t helped :/ do you now recommend Earth’s Best? Or what about Plum Organics? Any help is appreciated. Need to help my little girl, she’s uncomfortable.

    Thank you 🙂
    Jess

    • Hi Jess,

      Which baby’s only formula do you use? My SIL had the same problem with the regular one but switched her daughter ro Baby’s Only – Whey Protein formulation and worked wonders on her 🙂

      Candice

  161. Ugh! Maia I’ve been giving my son Gerber Good Start Gentle for 6 months now should I be worried?! 🙁 he’s almost 1 and in a week I transition him to regular milk, are there any brands of milk that you recommend?! Thanks so much

  162. Hi Maia,

    Thanks for the really in-depth article! It is super helpful as we are needing to switch over to formula. My son had some pretty intense medical issues recently and developed issues with breastfeeding, so we are needing to supplement to help him gain weight. Though disappointing for me, it is what’s best for now.

    Prior to finding this article, I did some research on my own and ended up doing Earth’s Best Organics with DHA/ARA. This was in part because it seemed a little better than some of the others, and also the convenience as it is sold at our local store. My question is, you mentioned that this formula contains carrageenan? This is concerning. I am looking at our tub of formula now and don’t see it as a listed ingredient. Is there another name it is hiding under?

    • I haven’t had a chance to review these in detail, but because they are not organic, I doubt they will receive a Good Stuff designation when there are much better brands on the market.

  163. IMPORTANT:

    My 7 month old son spent 3 weeks at a children’s hospital due to hypercalcemia and his kidneys were full of calcium that this may take years before his kidneys return to normal. They ran all sorts of tests and he’s gotten full body MRI, X-rays, PICC line in his neck. He saw all sorts of specialists including neurologists, endocrinologists, oncologists, and list goes on. We still do not have answers on the cause. He had been on Baby’s Only Whey Protein formula since one month of age. He did very well at first and I was so happy with the formula. First signs showed soon after: constipation, little spit ups here and there, trouble sleeping through the night. These symptoms seem pretty benign and common his pediatrician was not worried. At seven months, I felt something was really off and took him in to Children’s Hospital. He has been on low calcium formula since. There’s a reason why Baby’s Only Formula says its for Toddlers. Even their online comparison charts show the level of calcium is way higher than other formula and even breast milk. Looking at other blogs and posts, there have been concerns about Baby’s Only by other people’s pediatricians due to high level of calcium. I was shocked to read another baby had similar story like mine due to hypercalcemia on same formula. That mother was told by the doctors that it was due to the formula.

    Also for those who have ordered Holle/HIPP,
    I initially ordered Holle formula from a European vendor who have been mentioned by other moms here. Going with my gut instinct I spent over $100 on shipping them back. My gut was right. The address and the company was bogus as the package came right back to me since no one was there to claim the package even after I let the vendor know I was shipping it back since he never followed upon his word to send me a rerun shipping label since no one has ever requested to ship back. I looked up the address on Google and it was some apartment complex. I’m just so reluctant now about giving formula that is not approved here and our doctors know nothing about. We need to have this conversation with our kids doctors and go based on solid evidence based science and recommendations.

    I am frustrated we don’t have good options here.

    http://www.naturesone.com/pdf/BOO%20DAIRY%20DHA%20Chart.pdf

    http://community.babycenter.com/post/a48550327/babys_only_organic_formula?cpg=2

    • Thanks for the info. I was on the fence about transitioning over to Babys Only Whey since it’s more accessible in US. After reading I’ll hold off till my LO is 1yr. I hope your LO gets well soon.

  164. Hello everyone,
    If anyone is looking to try Holle Stage 1… I have one box that I purchased thru organic munchkin if you want at no charge. I transitioned my LO to Lebenswert a while ago and did not realize I had a box of Holle stage 1 left. Expiration is 12/30/2016, has German labeling & has not been opened. I’m from Long Island, NY All inquires please be in USA as I’m not charging you anything but do not wish to spend an arm & leg in shipping to you. I mean that in the most kindest way so please don’t be offended.

    BTW my LO did great on Holle stage 1… I only switched because my husband preferred lactose to maltodextrin.

    Best wishes 🙂

  165. Hey Maia,
    We have a two week old girl that we started on Baby’s Only but she has been very constipated. She was on Enfamil for her first 4 days while we were in the hospital and seemed to do OK on that but we wanted to switch her to something more Organic at home. Over the past 10 days on Baby’s Only she has gotten more and more constipated. The doctor said not to worry yet but we were wondering if you have any suggestions for how to proceed. Should we 1) Ride it out for a while longer to see if she adjusts 2) Change to another formula like Honest or 3) Try to add something to the formula like a probiotic to see if that help. Heard that she may be to young to add a probiotic to the formula though.

    Any advice you can offer would be great. We don’t want to keep her on this too long if it is not working with her system. But we don’t want to give up on the good formula before we need to.

    • Since I am not a medical professional, I’m going to have to defer to your doctor in terms of what is best for your baby. I do know that constipation is really normal at her age–even among breastfed babies. If it were my baby I might try experimenting with another Good Stuff formula–Kabrita and Plum Organics are two that you could run by your pediatrician:).

  166. Many of us can’t breastfeed because we are adopting, so please be sensitive to that! Also, soy is terrible for anyone, including children. It has been proven (just google it) to cause reproductive issues because of its estrogen content, among other things..

    • And many of us have babies/kids who are allergic to dairy and cannot breastfeed. What option then do we have when goat’s milk based formula is not available/an option? Babies have to eat.

  167. What do you think of Pure Bliss by Similac? it’s not organic but it is Non GMO and grass fed cows are used. I have been using Plum Organics but I noticed Pure Bliss is much cheaper! Thanks so much!

    • I do think organic is important when it comes to formula, but otherwise, I have to say this ingredients list isn’t so bad! It contains lactose as the sweetener, which is a happy surprise:).

      • I don’t see Similac Pure Bliss listed in your list of good, bad or sneaky. I’d love to know if Similac Pure Bliss is safe to give a 3 week old? I’m now concerned about it not being organic…what exactly would that mean could be in it that is harmful? Thank you so much in advance for your help!

        • I would not give an infant a non-organic formula, so no matter what else is (or isn’t!) in the Similac, I won’t be able to call it Good Stuff. (Meanwhile, before I started researching any of this I gave my own son regular old Enfamil when he was an infant!).

          • Thank you Maia, I appreciate it!! We’ve been using Lebenswert but it is definitely hard on the budget so I’d love to know how Earth’s Best or Plum stacks up as the next best option?

          • Earth’s Best is more cost effective than Plum and their current ingredients list appear to be almost identical so I am leaning towards EB. What do you know about EB’s DHA + ARA? Is that dangerous? That is not listed in Lebenswert and neither is Soy Oil which also is in Earth’s Best.

            Also, how much worse is it that Lactose is the first ingredient in Earth’s Best instead of the second ingredient like in Lebenswert?

            It’s difficult to swallow that I can buy EB for $.97/ounce vs. $1.48/ounce for Lebenswert (and that’s when buying in CRAZY bulk up front).
            Appreciate your feedback!

  168. hi!
    I am trying to decide on a formula for my 3 week old son who has milk protien and soy allergies/sensitivities. We bought Sammy’s Milk only to have the recall take effect 3 days after he started eating it. Which would be better: Holle Goat 1 or HIPP PreHA (we want to avoid the starch in the regular HA)?
    I’ve been looking at the Organic Munchkin site to order. Anyone know how long the shipping times are?

    • I meant to add he has had allergic reactions to Plum Organics, Baby’s Only Soy, and Similac Alimentum. For this reason, I am heavily leaning towards the Holle Goat. He was doing very well on Sammy’s and did not spit it out or react to it.

      What are your thoughts?

        • Sorry- I answered my own question. Earth’s Best Soy contains glucose solids and palm oil. This would put it into Sneaky Stuff, I assume.

      • You should definitely check with your pediatrician, but if it were my baby and was doing well on goat formula, I would porbably try Holle or Kabrita.

        • I did look into these.
          Kabrita contains cow milk ingredients in the lactose and GOS {whatever that is}. It also contains glucose syrup solids. My source was the main Kabrita website.

          I am waiting to hear back from HOLLE about the lactose source in their goat milk formula. I am not holding my breath that it isn’t cow.

    • I also wondered if you knew what type of starch (corn, wheat, potato) and if the added lactose is dairy-based in the Holle and HIPP formulas.

  169. Ugh, such great information but so hard to make the right AND economical choice. Both of my boys fell into danger around 3 months exclusively breastfed, amidst a plethora of feeding problems both on their end and mine, and we had to resort to formula both times. My youngest is almost 6 months old and with both boys we used Earth’s Best Organic Sensitivity formula, but I was horrified when I turned it over and read the first ingredient. Since then I’ve been so confused as to what to do…. Any thoughts on the Earth’s Best formula? I have an order of 6 cans coming in tomorrow!

      • I have been reading the comments and I am trying to decide between Earth’s Best and Plum Organics. I only ruled out Baby’s Only because of my doctor’s recommendation to wait till he is one year old to use that. Should I be concerned that Plum Organics doesn’t include a prebiotic? That seems important to me and Earth’s Best has prebiotics.

        • This is a toss-up. At this point Earth’s Best seems to have removed all the corn syrup and carageenan, which is awesome!

  170. Thank you so much for posting this information! I was able to breastfeed my first baby 12 months and bypassed formula completely, but my supply is dropping at 9 months with baby number two, and I had no idea where to start on what to look for, and not a lot of time to spend researching. I also REALLY appreciate that you include links to your sources. That link to the report on DHA was very enlightening (and infuriating.)

  171. Hi Maia
    First off, I am so, so appreciative of all of the information on this website.
    I’m trying to decide goat milk VS cow milk based formula as I know cow’s milk is harder for babies digestion.
    My Conundrum is that the only brand that has a goat’s milk option is the Holle, but I was really hoping to go for the Lebenswert. From everything that I have read it sounds like Lebenswert is the best. Would you go with the Hollee goats milk base and sacrifice some of the purity or go with the Lebenswert cow’s milk base to avoid some of those questionable ingredients?
    Thanks for your input!

  172. Hi Maia,

    Thanks to your page I was able to find the best option possible for my baby since my milk dried up. We buy it from Organic Munchkin and they have been wonderful. They are now advertising a new formula that they have just been able to import, Topfer brand. They said its the best of the best and I was wondering what you thought of it. Here is the link to the Topfer website and organic munchkin’s.

    https://www.toepfer-babywelt.de/en/
    https://organicmunchkin.com/topfer/

    My little one will be 6 mo in Oct so we will be changing to stage 2 soon and I was thinking of making the switch, but was wondering about your input.

    Thanks for everything, you are my go-to site for all my baby needs. I have changed so many things for the better thanks to you.

    Erin

  173. Thank you for this! A helpful collection of the top formulas I was researching. My baby has been EBF now at 8months old, with solids started at 5.5months. I want to use Baby’s Only because it is so much cheaper…but can’t decide if I should worry about the rice syrup solids? Is he old enough that I shouldn’t stress on that? I will continue to breastfeed as long as I can, so this is just for supplementation, and he gets tons of great homemade purees. I just can’t decide between the Baby’s Only and Holle.

      • Hi Maia!! First of I LOVE LOVE LOVE your work!! This site is a godsend, so thank you!!

        I was feeding babys only whey to my almost 7 month old, but have recently seen you think plum is better.. what are your reasons why plum is better than babys only? Thank you and I’m hoping you publish the infant formula update soon! I love reading this site daily!!

        • Thanks for your kind words:). I really think Baby’s Only and Plum are both great options, and am hard pressed to choose one over the other. In the end, I might go with Plum if my baby didn’t have constipation issues (that’s why whey is added to BO formula).

          • Thank you!! I’m enjoying the detox e-book and even have my mom starting to detox her life! We’re loving your research down here in Texas!

  174. Hi!!
    Question, you mention the Similac Organic ready-to-use contains carrageenan, does this also apply to their powdered formula? Would you recommend it?

    Thank you!

  175. I love people with no tangible credentials telling others how to make choices based on non-facts. Moreover, criticizing other people whose studies do not fall into their beliefs. Some many people have become sheep to the public view with no real knowledge. So afraid that their choice will be criticized as wrong or even the mere idea that it is not actually best, that they recoil with a barrage of non-facts to scare off any doubters.

    Time to wake up. Breast is best people always run to the Antibodies right off the bat. Fact – the baby gets most antibodies from the placenta. The antibodies from breast milk are Never passed into the blood at all and the actual benefits are overstated. Fact – the mothers health is not a perfect science. Whatever is being taken in by the mother is likely going to be passed on to the newborn. There is no firm science on how long alcohol stays in the breast milk, nor medications, nor recreational drugs. The reality is that almost anything a mother puts in her body while breast feeding has a chance of making it into the newborn child. Fact – this is not the same formula from years ago. Over the last 10-15 years there have been many advancements in both the contents of formula and the varieties available.

    I am not a pro formula person per-say. My wife breast fed both children, but she got mastitis and could not feed my youngest well. I don’t need someone trying to down on anyone for using formula. I was formula fed and have done numerous tours overseas, never get sick, and feel like I hang with the most intelligent people out there.

    Make you own choice and don’t listen to people that don’t have actual background of case study to back up their claims. I am not an expert, but I have read the studies. The Journal of the American Medical Association, British Medical Journal, and The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition have all gone public on studies saying that breast milk benefits are “modest” at best. Some UK publications have gone further to state that it is of no benefit at all. The truth is in the eye of the beholder. Find what works best for your child and don’t let the Breast is Best campaign way your decision on bias.

  176. Hi I was wondering when you will be posting your blog on goats milk formula? I wanted to know your thoughts on Sammy’s Milk vs the European formulas. I was also curious since this was last updated in 2015 if you still consider Baby’s Only Organic to be your number one choice available in the US or if you since have found a better option. Would really love your feedback. Thank you!

    • Hi! All of my formula posts need updated, and I appreciate everyone’s patience! (Nothing that I say is Good Stuff is now Bad or Sneaky, but other Good Stuff options have emerged!). I actually think at this point I would put Plum Organics formula above Baby’s Only (this one: http://amzn.to/2bEKbMQ). But really both are great options. As for goat–Sammy’s is definitely Good Stuff, but a lot of people have said their pediatricians are not comfortable with goat’s milk formula, so I would check with yours!

      • Hi Maia I was wondering if you could please help me out. I had to start supplementing because of low milk supply. My son will get 1 to 2 bottles of formula a day and the rest breastmilk. I tried Baby’s Only Dairy and found it gave my baby gas and made him irregular so I decided to switch to Sammys Milk. I loved the pure ingredients and heard goats milk can be easier to digest but I am having a terrible time with my baby getting constipated from it even more so. We added some extra water as the owner said some babies do get constipated with the transition but it has not helped. She suggested adding molasses, prune juice or pear juice to offset the protein but I don’t feel comfortable adding more to his diet since he is only 4 months old and have not started solids. I also don’t feel I should have to keep altering the formula just so he can have regular bowel movements. He never had this problem before when he was just on breastmilk and he is such a happy,content baby I hate to see him struggling and in pain to have a bowel movement and some days he will go without any. I don’t want to keep giving him the Sammys Milk if it will continue to happen but I still need to supplement. My question is do you know of a formula that babies have done better on who tend to get constipated from formula? Should I try the Baby’s Only Whey or Plum Organics or do you know of something else others have had success with? I’m just at a loss of what to do and hate to keep switching and adding new things to his little system. Any input would help. Thanks so much!!

        • Just an update. I did eventually decide to try adding a little less than a tsp of molasses to my son’s bottles of Sammy’s Milk and it did help with the constipation. I thought about it and decided this was an easy fix and better then switching to a different formula that had an ingredient in I wouldn’t be happy with or not knowing how he would react to something new. I think Sammy’s Milk is by far the best out there as its ingredients are so pure 🙂 Looking forward to your formal review on it.

  177. Why is the Holle goat’s milk recommended as a follow one milk only? What does that mean? My baby will be four months in five days and i unfortunately need to supplement the majority of his milk with formula. He will only be getting 2-4 oz of breast milk per day until six months when it will be all formula.

    • Some people do feed exclusively goat formula, but you should ask your pediatrician if he/she is comfortable with that.

  178. Hi! Wanted your input on kabrita goat milk formula. My son is 13 months old and has been weaned onto organic whole milk but I want something with more nutrients and vitamins. What’s your opinion on kabrita goat milk formula for toddlers? Thanks so much!! I love your blog and really value your opinion and insight! 🙂

    • I like that Kabrita uses non-GMO goat milk and has lactose as the primary added carbohydrate. Kabrita forgoes the most concerning preservatives and most synthetic nutrients (they do add L-carninite and taurine). I don’t like that they use glucose syrup solids, but there is only a small amount (it’s used as a carrier for other nutrients, not a source of carbohydrates), and it’s from non-GMO corn. I’m not a fan of the palm-based oils and soybean oil that are part of their blend of added fats. They add hexane-extracted DHA and ARA but claim that hexane is not present in the finished product. Overall, yes, I like Kabrita:).

      • Wondering whether you have an opinion on Kabrita vs Baby’s Only Soy or their lactose sensitive one (forgot the name) for a baby who has shown some dairy sensitivity… Do you like the non-dairy Baby’s Only lines?

        • Before a soy formula, I would probably try a goat milk one (Kabrita or Sammy’s Milk), but you should of course check with your pediatrician.

  179. Hi,
    Thanks for this website and all of the comments. As a new mom researching formula has been a challenge. There are so many out there and I just want to feed my daughter the best. I wanted to breastfeed her for a year, but she had trouble latching on. After three months of struggling she decided she didn’t want to breastfeed anymore. I tried to pump without any supplementing but couldn’t keep up. I’m still pumping but she is getting older and I am giving her more formula. I started out with the free samples the hospital gave me of Enfamil for Supplementation until I started to do more research. I have since used Similac for Supplementation (both powder and liquid) and Earth’s Best. I thought that by switching to Earth’s Best I was doing the right thing. Until I found this website. I checked the formula that I bought from Earth’s Best and I don’t know if it’s something new but it says it has no added corn syrup solids and is both organic and non GMO and doesn’t have carrageenan. Does it still make “The Sneaky Stuff” list? If not then how would you rank it against Plum Organics?
    https://www.earthsbest.com/en/products/dairy-infant-formula-23-2oz-1/

    • Yes, Earth’s Best has improved their formula! (And I do need to update that Safe Product Guide). In fact, based on the ingredients list you just sent me (which has changed even since when I last looked a couple months ago), it looks like it’s very similar to Plum (with lactose as the sweetener). I want to do a little more digging, but it looks like Earth’s Best might now be Good Stuff. Please note that the Sensitive formula lists corn syrup solids as the very first ingredient.

  180. While I hear Holle is the best, since it’s not FDA approved and shipping it from another country introduces its own risks, been looking at the US options. Plum Organics appears to be better than Honest, which is better than the other available options. But as you noted, DHA is extracted from Hexane but is it still better to have that downside than the other downside the other options have?

    And finally is Plum Organics a better option than Sammy’s Milk or does Sammy’s have all the benefits of Plum, plus not having the downside of hexane extraction?

    • Yes, I agree with your assessment and ranking of the formulas. In terms of Sammy’s vs. Plum: there is some evidence that goat’s milk might be more similar to human milk. But some pediatricians are really not into goat milk formula. I would ask yours.

  181. Hi –
    I started ordering Holle 1 from a site called beyond organic baby. I am not sure where I got the website from. Do you know the site and would you recommend? Their products are directly shipped from France.

    Thank you!
    Joanne

    • Unfortunately, I was not able to get a clear enough sense of BOB’s supply chain to recommend them (I’m not saying they aren’t legit, just that I didn’t get clear answers from them).

  182. Hi,
    I was wondering if you’ve come across baby’s only for infants?
    My baby is 7 months old and I seem to only see baby’s only for toddlers (it says on their labels recommended for 12 months and up.)
    Thank you!

    • Yes, it is marketed for toddlers, but I do know people who give it to their newborns. You’d have to check with your pediatrician.

  183. Hi my son is a month old and seems to have a milk allergy. He was on Nutramagin and we saw small bits of red blood in his poop twice. Our Doctor changed us to similac altumitum and I am concerned about the corn syrup etc. is there an organic option for sensitive babies to milk and has gas/fussiness? My doctor said no to baby’s only because it read as a toddler formula. I have though about goat milk?

  184. Hi Maia,

    Your blog is very helpful and thank you. My 4 months old has been feeding Baby’s only formula for 2 months now. His pediatrician wants me to switch him to an infant formula because of the iron, calcium and phosphorus level. She said it’s for toddlers and can be harmful for infants. I really like Baby’s only formula and I’m thinking about switching to Plum Organics formula. What do you think? Thank you.

  185. I live in South America, my baby always fed Holle Lebenswert (and breast milk, more of the former), which we get from Germany, I travelled to the US and had to extend my travel by 4 days, although I had taken an extra box, he finished all of the formula 3 days before we got home. I looked for the next best thing reviewed on this site – Baby’s only. He simply hated it, The formula smelled a bit like fish, I tasted it, the taste was unbelievably unbearable – gross, tasted like smelly fish, really terrible. He would not budge, he kept spitting it out, he is 4.5 months, he has never done that with Lebenswert. I went to Whole Foods & bought Earth’s Best organic formula, he is drinking even more than lesbenwert. Once we get home, I will switch him back to Lebenswert, but it will be interesting to review Earth’s Best.

  186. I’ve read your thoughts on the aluminum issue with HiPP powder but on the organic munchkin site they have a stage 1 Dutch HiPP powder that comes in a tin can. I’m wondering what you know about this and if you think its safe?

  187. Hello, im breastfeeding exclusively do to my baby only wanting to take the bottle after I went back to work however, I’m not producing enough Milk. I started to Supplement Formula but it’s not going so well. I started off with enfamil, similac and enfamil gentleness which he hated. Now I’m on similac non Gmo for sensitive tummy but I’ve been reading on so many death happening because ofbaby formula. I wondering can that happen with organic formula to.

  188. Hi Maia,
    On your post you recommend to get a ready-made HiPP instead of powder, where can I get those?
    Also which one is better Plum or Sammy’s milk?

    Thanks.
    Renny

    • I think the ready-made is available at Organic Munchkin and Little World Organics? As for Plum vs. Sammy’s, I would defer to your pediatrician, but Plum is a great option for cow formula, and Sammy’s if you want a goat milk formula.

  189. Hi, has anyone heared of milywayorganics.com ? They sell all 3 German formulas. I have asked for a purchase proof and I received an invoice from Netherlands. I was talking to a guy from the company on Facebook messanger and he explained everything to me, but still, did anyone checked it?

  190. thank you so much for what you do on this page. I check it for everything my family uses now. I try very hard to research what I use for my family, especially for my 4 month old daughter. I have been supplementing breastmilk with formula since I haven’t been able to make enough since I went back to work. I’ve never been able to try the Lebenswert or the Hipp because it is too expensive for us to order and we are on food stamps. Of course, I still want safer products for the baby so we’ve been going with Plum organics since it’s readily available. I would like to try the baby’s only but I’m concerned that it says it’s a toddler formula and their website is not specific about its use on infants. What are your thoughts on this? Please be assured that I will probably still not use it until she’s a toddler..I just wanted to know your thoughts.
    On a side note, my so lives in Austria and we attempted to have him ship the Lebenswert just for her personal use, and it was a bust. She still doesn’t have the formula after 8 weeks and no one knows what happened to it, so I don’t recommend anyone trying that unless they’re traveling with a baby into the US themselves.

  191. Hi,

    Thank you for this informative and helpful breakdown of formulas. I have 8 month old twins and at this point they are getting half formula and half breastmilk because of my supply. One of them is on Baby’s Only Organic and the other is on Holle. I have been reading some UK studies drawing attention to dangerous levels of aluminum in infant formulas (like Hipp) because of the packaging. Holle uses the exact same packaging as Hipp, and Baby’s Only is lined on the inside with aluminum as well. I was wondering if you had any insight or opinions on this.

    Katie

  192. I’ve found your site to be so helpful! I’m curious when you plan to do a full review of Plum Organics Formula. Should the DHA extraction method be a concern or the fact that it does contain soy and palm soil? I was considering Baby’s Only (Whey) but am not sure I trust that they just market towards toddlers. For that reason, I want to choose Plum but am looking for your advice compared to the other options available in the US. Thanks!!

      • Great! When will your review be ready? I need to transition my baby to a stage 2 formula, she has been on Holle Stage 1 since birth, and we are trying to choose a follow up.
        We have been buying from Organicmunchkin.com, by the way, from the start, and can’t say enough GREAT things about their service! Bulk pricing, FAST delivery, friendly service.

  193. I want to know abt Bellamy as here it is the only organic formula available.or any best option you can suggest to get in Australia.
    Many thanks

  194. Hi Maia,
    I have 5 1/2 month old who will be going to formula in about 2 weeks.
    I wanted to breastfeed until he was about a year old but he hates it and wants a bottle instead 🙁
    So after 5 months of stress and him screaming at me – I’ve switched to bottles of my breast milk and tried to keep up. My supply is almost gone though and I’m running out of my frozen milk to give him…

    I was wondering what your thoughts on Earth’s best organic formula & Vermont Organics formula are?
    I have been doing some research on both of those companies…

    Thank you for doing so much research & offering help to all of us mommas!
    – Lindsey

    • Hi Lindsey-I don’t like Earth’s Best or VT Organics (you’ll find them under Sneaky Stuff in the Safe Formula Guide and can read about why). Plum Organics is new on the market and is Good Stuff:)

  195. Have you ever reviewed Topfer Pre? I jut got an email promoting it from Organic Munchkin and they said it’s as good as Holle and Hipp but with the added benefit of DHA. We started feeding our 3 month old Lebenswert which she is doing great on, but I had been concerned about the DHA because our pediatrician told us to get formula that has it. So I have been trying to supplement with the Honest Co. baby DHA since you said it was extracted the good way, but she hates the taste! She spits it back out from the dropper, and refuses to finish a bottle with it mixed in because it doesn’t really mis it’s just like any oil and floats to the top of the milk so it’s at the end and she just won’t finish it.

    So any thoughts on Topfer?

    • Not unsafe, no. Soy isn’t ideal, but there is no perfect formula, and I still consider HiPP a good choice.

  196. Hi Maia

    I was a Lebenswert monthly member through LWO and I believe it’s been discontinued through the website. I am looking into more cost effective alternatives and I came upon 2 websites, I just don’t know if they are legitimate. Have you heard of either?

    http://biologisch24.com/product_info.php?info=p3909_Lebenswert-bio-Organic-Infant-Formula-1-500g.html&XTCsid=682389b6ae103d7eacf8350ea5858f08

    https://www.my-german-depot.com/epages/78360477.sf/en_US/?ObjectPath=/Shops/78360477/Products/118400-10

    Thanks!

    • I used to buy from Organic Munchkin…but the formula is kinda of expensive from them. Even though they’re great to deal with it was hurting my pocket. I found http://www.organicbaby15.com/ and they are definitely more cost efficient and great to deal with fast customer service. Awesome totally recommend them.

      • Holle is best, then plum, then earths best. Holle isn’t FDA approved because as far as I know they haven’t sought FDA approval (which is an extremely arduous process)

        • Hi Maia-
          This is such helpful information! I was wondering how Baby’s Only with Whey would compare to Holle, Plum and Earth’s Best as well as I am trying to make a similar decision. Would love your insight!
          Thanks so much !

          • The Lebenswert (Holle) is still top IMHO. Plum and Baby’s Only tied for second:)

  197. Plum organics contain soy which is not a good choice for anyone plus the fact that their dha is derived from hexene is disgusting, if you don’t know what that means please research for yourselves. I don’t see anything that makes them a better choice than the European brands. I was hopeful but unfortunately it’s another let down.

  198. Hi,

    What do you recommend between Plum Organics, Baby’s Only Whey and Lebenswert stage 1?

    I like Plum and lebenswert but both contain Palm oil. I like that baby’s only doesn’t have palm oil but its for toddlers. Our ped did not recommend.

    • If you want to avoid BO because it’s technically a toddler formula, I would do Lebenswert. But Plum Organics is a solid option as well (really the only downside is that they use hexane to extract DHA/ARA).

      • Is the amount of palm oil in Lebenswert less than the amount in Plum Organics?

        Do you know why Baby’s Only markets formula for toddler and not infant other than the reason of promoting breastfeeding? Also any reason why a toddler who can drink cow’s milk at that age would drink formula?

        • I did some research and Baby’s Only is not FDA approved as an infant formula, it’s a much more rigorous process which includes numerous checks on their facilities. If you google Natures One Baby’s Only FDA you will come up with a link on the FDA site showing where they were warned because they had been marketing it otherwise. Saying that it’s because mothers should breastfeed for the first year is a marketing ploy. We have been using Baby’s Only Whey but recently switched to Lebenswert when I found that out. Our daughter didn’t seem to like the taste at all which helped make that decision even greater. Google what I mentioned earlier and you will see. You can also google FDA infant formula and see what the requirements are.

  199. Maia,

    I finally received Lebenswert 1 from Organic Munchkin and my baby has been drinking it for about a week now and man its been incredible. She has made a complete 360 and is so different, much happier. Baby’s Only Lacto Relief was good but like I said before it did make her a lil constipated. But this formula has just been a blessing I am so happy I did the research that brought me to you and then Organic Munchkin. My pediatrician hadn’t even heard of it…I told her about it after she complimented our baby on how happy and healthy she looks. She looked up the formula while we where there and looked at our baby and was like wow this is really good stuff you are very lucky to have the parents you have. She definitely said she would recommend it from now on. I couldn’t be happier.

    Thank you so much,

  200. Hello! I’ve been supplementing with Baby’s Only Dairy formula. Today, I noticed that the store is carrying another option, Baby’s Only Lactorelief. My daughter may have a milk sensitivity, and I don’t want to use the soy option. Do you have any insight into Baby’s Only Lactorelief?

  201. Do you have any information on the Plum Organics Formula. I recently switched my infant from Honest Company to Plum Organics as it seems comparable, but sligthly superior due to the fact that it lacks any corn syrup or glucose syrup solids. The only other major difference between the two is that Honest has taken DHA out of their formula (and sells it as a separate supplement ) and the Plum still contains DHA. I was just wondering what your opinion is regarding the Plum Organics. Hopefully this was a good switch?
    Thank you,
    Kendall

    • I think this was indeed a good switch. The big advantage of the plum is that it’s sweetened with just lactose. The DHA/ARA are extracted using hexane in the Plum, and this is really the only downside.

  202. I’m a first time mom that had to supplement and then fully transition to just formula since I didn’t produce much breast milk. I was so happy to stumble upon your website a month and half ago while searching for a new formula for my baby because she was suffering and I was in desperate need to find something good for her. When i found out how bad Similac and Enfamil where I felt so bad that I had been giving her both of them and understood why she was being extra fuzzy and having these diaper explosions.

    After reading this guide I quickly switched her to Baby’s Only Diary with DHA/ARA since it was easier to obtain at the Sprouts store near me. It was better but she seemed not to take it fully well so I switched to the LactoRelief DHA/ARA and it worked out even better. Shes been now taking it ever since and loves it. But she recently started having some minor constipation. I read from you here that you have also heard that. So yesterday I decided to order her Stage 1 Lebenswert (even though it has lactose I wanted to give it a try since European cows are obviously better than American ones) and I also bought a box of the Holle 1 Goats Milk just in case the lactose in Lebenswert still gives her minor constipation.

    If I do end up sticking to one of these European brands I am highly considering adding Nordic Naturals Baby DHA to the formula since I believe its very important for her to obtain.

    I hope you can finally post your review on Goats Milk Formula too…I heard Sammy’s Milk is also good. But I ordered the two European Formulas from Organic Munchkin because they offer free shipping and its crazy to me that even though Sammy ‘s Milk is in Newport Beach, CA which is about an hour or so away from me they have a flat rate of $10 on shipping…or I have to drive there to save on shipping. That was my only thing.

    Anyways thank you so much for all of your product guides I visit your site on a regular I’m so happy for coming across it love obtaining all this knowledge.

  203. Hi Maia,
    I have to start supplementing my baby with formula and I have been stressing about which to go with. Would you please give a recommendation between Baby’s Only (whey vs dairy Dha), plum organics, and Sammys milk?

  204. Great article and comments. I am adopting a newborn in September and the only known health issue of the birth mom is lactose intolerance which affects her whole family. So we would like to be ready for that assuming the child will also be intolerant. However a soy-based formula doesn’t enthrall me because I have terrible endometriosis due to being estrogen dominant. I have finally gotten it in check thanks to a very controlled diet without dairy, soy or gluten so I am very conscientious that you are what you eat and it can affect you long term. Is there a dairy-free low soy option or should we look at goats milk?

    • Ask your pediatrician about Sammy’s Milk. I’m really excited about what I’ve learned so far! If you do end up doing soy, I would say Baby’s Only is the best bet. Again, as your pedi:) And congrats!

      • So that adoption fell through but we did end up adopting a sweet baby boy in July who was quite a bit premature and in the nicu for a month. He’s an eater which is great and we have recently switched him from Enfacare which had the added calories to Lebenswert. However our pediatrician is concerned about Lebenswert’s use of skimmed milk, which it appears Holle and Hipp do too. She said she wouldn’t be concerned if he was over six months old and eating solid foods when we could supplement healthy fats like avocado, but wanted to get me to use a full fat/Whole milk formula. Are there any full fat suggestions? I can’t tell if the whey protein in the HA formulas would fit the bill. Thanks!

  205. Can I have your thoughts on Vermont Organic formula? I am an exclusive pumping momma who is slowly losing her supply and struggling between similac organic or honest company organic, with the recent lawsuit I am not sure what to do. My ped won’t allow Baby’s only until 9 months. Suggestions???

    • Unfortunately, I don’t love the Vermont Organic formula. It has plant-based sweeteners rather than lactose (which more closely resembles human breast milk). You should check out the new Plum Organics formula, or better yet Sammy’s Milk if your pediatrician would be cool with a goat formula.

  206. Hi again,
    My daughter was on Holle Stage 1 for her first few months then we switched to Lebenswert Stage 1. She took to both formulas very well! We switched simply because of the maltodextrin. Which wasn’t the end of the world for us but since both formulas were at the same price point Lactose won! She will be 6 months soon and we’re debating between Holle Stage 2 or Lebenswert Stage 2 both have maltodextrin and seem to have very similar ingredients. Any thoughts on which one to go with Holle2 or Lebenswert2? Or for that matter would you recommend another brand altogether for Stage 2 formula? (Our Pediatrician already approved both formulas to move ahead with so it’s left us scratching our heads lol)

    • As far as I can tell, Holle and Lebenswert Stage 2 are identical. Some people choose to just keep their babies on Stage 1 Lebenswert–you could ask your pediatrician.

      • Thank you for your response! We didn’t even think to keep her on Lebenswert Stage 1 (this would be optimal). We’ll definitely be discussing this option with our Pediatrician!!

  207. Hello!

    After doing loads of research, I decided to go with Holle Goats Milk 1 as a supplement for my 5 month old daughter (unfortunately, I had to return to work and I respond poorly to the pump).

    Anyway, I’d like to know if anyone has experience with this formula. Baby likes it a lot (I tend to feed it mixed with breast milk so it’s not such a “shock”) but I find it’s quite thick and creamy and tends to leave a bit of residue in the bottle. Is this normal? I worry because I have read about palm oil and gut issues.

    Secondly, does anyone have experience with http://www.organicbabyfood24.de? I placed an order there to check it out and my formula arrived in perfect condition, proper batch numbers, exp date in december 2016, 4 boxes to a sealed carton, everything in German (as it should be) and I also received samples of holle porridges and coupons. Even with shipping (DHL and USPS once stateside) the formula was CONSIDERABLY cheaper than what I’ve seen being resold in the US.

    Is there a reason folks aren’t buying directly from Germany? I am worried that I am missing something. . .

    • Nope your not missing anything. People are just weary in general. I’ve ordered from organic baby 24 several times and they are great. Nothing different from the U.S. sellers expect their prices are much better, US sellers over charge because they can. I love their free samples too, extra nice of them. I’ve also ordered holle biscuits and several varieties of cereals. Everything is great!

  208. Hello,
    Have you made any research on the new Gerber Nes formula in pods or heard anything about it?
    They dont disclaim any of the ingredientes in their website so i wonder whether anybody knows if this is a good quality formula?
    Thank you!

    • I haven’t done deep research into this, but since it’s from Gerber, not organic, etc., I am pretty sure I won’t call it Good Stuff. All I see at first glance is so much plastic!

  209. Hi,

    Loved your article and very informative. I’ve transition my 8 month old to formula because, long story short, he started biting my nipple really hard and as much as I kept trying he wouldn’t stop. We think he has a dairy intolerance because he has really bad eczema. Out of all the formulas you mentioned are there any hypoallergenic?

    Thank you,

    Leti

    • HiPP makes a hypoallergenic version, yes. It’s called HiPP HA. As I mentioned elsewhere, the vendors I have vetted are Little World Organics and Organic Munchkin.

  210. Hello!

    I have recently transitioned my 8 month old to formula and decided to go with Holle. I noticed on your very informative article that you recommend to purchase from either LWO or Organic Munchkin- but you seemed to prefer LWO more. I noticed that it is very difficult to get an order in with LWO, while Organic Munchkin is much faster and “easier” to order from (and cheaper).

    I just want to make sure both companies can be relied upon as far as authenticity and quality of the product…

    Thanks so much for your help!

    • Both companies are legit. I would feel completely comfortable ordering from OM if it were my baby!

  211. Does the Hipp Organic Bio Combiotik (Dutch version) formula contain high levels of aluminum as well? Im kind of thinking about eventually switching to Hipp when my baby gets older but the high aluminum levels incident scares me! Can you maybe look further into this and update your formula blog? I noticed on the Hipp USA site it talks about what happened with the high aluminum study and insists that the formula is still safe for consumption. However, I find this information confusing as I’m torn between some saying Hipp is the best and aluminum isn’t an issue and some saying the aluminum levels are unsafe.

    • I’m sorry that I don’t have an answer for you on the HiPP Bio Combiotik aluminum levels. When I do more formula research, I will look into it.

  212. Hi –

    My 7 month old has eczema and an allergy test just came back positive for dairy, eggs and peanuts. So, we are putting him on a formula while I can eliminate any of these out of my milk. I am trying to also find a formula with out coconut as the doctor said the peanut sensitivity could extend to coconut (and indeed when I put coconut oil on his legs, he has a flare up). Even the Baby’s Only seems to have coconut. DO you know of any organic, non-dairy that do not have coconut?

    • Check the labels to be sure, but I don’t think Sammy’s Milk contains coconut, and I really like what I’ve learned about this company!

  213. Hi Maia,

    What are your thoughts about Nanny Care Goats Milk Formula? How does that compare to Holle Stage 1 Goats Milk Formula?

    Thanks

  214. Hi,

    I was curious if you have any thoughts on Plum Organics baby formula? I was able to breastfeed with my first off and on for about 10 months. I am currently pregnant with my second, and while I plan to breastfeed I want to have a back up choice we feel comfortable with. We used honest company with my first.

    • Bottom line on Plum;
      The DHA/ARA are extracted using hexane. This is the only downside to this formula
      .
      The HUGE advantage, over Honest formula and others, is that this is sweetened with
      JUST organic lactose. No corn syrup solids, no glucose solids, no maltodextrin.

  215. Thank you so much for this-very helpful! My son is 7 mons and eating solids all day and I’m back to work…so we are going to supplement with formula.

    Apologies if someone else already asked about this, but I recently heard Sammy’s Milk praised. Any thoughts on that one? It’s goat milk based. http://www.sammysmilk.com/

    Thanks!

    • Hi Erin-
      Yes! I love what we’ve learned about Sammy’s so far…will be doing a full review soon;).

    • Yes, Plum formula seems like a great option. Only issue is that the DHA/ARA are hexane-extracted. But on the whole, I would call this Good Stuff;)

    • Yes agreed, I would stay away from any DHA/ARA formula, just that the company is ok with adding it should be a warning sign of their quality standards.

      • Ive asked this lady here, the website about the hexane issue. She answered me via Facebook and told me that Plum seems to be honest about how they obtain their DHA. So basically its a safer method. Im using Plum Organics when Im not using Lebenswert stage 1. To sum it up, Plum Organics is the way to go regarding U.S formula.

  216. Hi,
    I enjoy reading your blog and it has helped me choose wisely when it comes to feeding my baby.
    Sadly, my doctor didn’t approve “Baby’s Only,” formula so she has been on The Honest Company formula since day one. (she is 6 months).
    Did you happen to see the lawsuit regarding: “The Honest Company Formula?” Can you please clarify?
    I have a lot of family members who give me hard time about feeding my baby organic and they are always trying to find something that I use against me- so I know this will be one of them.
    I appreciate it!
    Thank you! 🙂

  217. I have twin infants that use formula. They are currently on enfamil but have terrible tummy pain. I purchased Baby’s Only whey protein but my pediatrician did not recommend it due to it being a toddler formula and was not appropriate. I really wanted to try Baby’s only but I’m afraid that the minerals are to high for their body to intake. Is there a formula that you would recommend for them?

    • Hi June-
      Yes, I am in the process of putting together a blog post on Goat Milk Formula! So far I’ve been most impressed with Sammy’s Milk:)

    • I have fed all my children the Goat milk formula from HOLLE
      Sammy’s is not organic so it was a no brainer for me no to use, we all know how much crap goes in pastures, animal feeding etc… It’s just the best out there there’s no comparison.
      Someone had sent me a picture of the farms they use milk from and it was like 20 cows operation, very human and manageable compare to what we have here.
      Good Luck 🙂

  218. Hi Maia,

    have you looked into Bellamy’s Organic Infant formula and a2 Platinum Premium Infant Formula yet?

  219. hi, first off, love your site and thanks for this valuable info. have you looked into sammy’s milk yet? i really like the ingredient list, and i have heard good things from families in SoCal.

    thanks!

      • The only part we didn’t love about this one is that is that it isn’t FDA approved and don’t produce in an FDA formula facility. It also hasn’t gone through any clinical trials to see if it is safe for infants. So for example, shelf life testing, bacterial contaminant testing, contaminants in sourced ingredients, running through a metal detector..etc. I would just feel too nervous about feeding it as a sole source of nutrition.

  220. Hi Maia, First off, LOVE your website. Saved me so much time and needless googling 🙂

    My daughter has been EBF and is 6 months old, I want to keep some formula at home as backup incase I fall short on pumping at work. Which Baby’s Only would you recommend as a supplementary formula, knowing that they baby is getting BM primarily, and will get only 2-3 oz of formula? The ntire with DHA and without DHA options are confusing me right now 🙂 Thanks!

  221. I noticed the plum organically baby formula today. Have you looked at it? The first ingredient is organic lactose.
    We are needing to supplement our 11 week old for weight gain.

    • Hi Lindsey,
      I haven’t done a thorough review, but at first glance, this new formula looks really promising!

  222. I wanted to bring to light something else I felt was very important to watch out for in baby formula; aluminum.
    Although these organic brands are made with healthier ingredients, many of the organic formulas (including one on this list) are also extremely high in aluminum (I’m talking about 500x higher) compared to others.
    Unfortunately we have to choose from a lesser of two evils.
    Here is the source
    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/10/formula-milk-babies-aluminium-health

  223. I know this is a guide for infant formula, but how do you feel about Happy Tot Grow & Shine Organic Toddler Milk compared to Baby’s Only Whey Toddler Formula?

  224. Love this guide! My son has struggled with gaining weight since birth, but I continued to breastfeed. At his 4 month check up; however, his head circumference and weight took a dive and the doctor said it was time for formula. I’m currently giving my son Holle Goat’s Milk formula, and would love to hear your thoughts!

  225. Hi Maia,
    I had issues with breast feeding and couldn’t produce enough milk so I wound up giving my daughter formula. Your site was extremely helpful in a stressful and difficult time! I opted for the Baby’s Only Dairy because it was sold locally. I read that DHA and ARA can be harmful to babies? What are your thoughts?

    Also, it seems the new whey formula is promising do you think I should switch? My daughter is 6 months now and has been only the Dairy version since she was a few weeks old.

    Thanks!

  226. I would love to hear what you think about Sammy’s Milk! It’s relatively new to the market and is getting a lot of buzz

    • Hi Katie!
      I’m working on a goat’s milk formula review right now and yes, so far I am really impressed and excited about what I’m learning about Sammy’s!

      • I am so so sad. Just discovered them and tried it out. Good stuff and I got word, the fda won’t let them sell it any longer. Now I don’t know what to get for my sensitive guy!

        • Hi Kat my son was also on Sammy’s Milk and it is my understanding that they are taking the necessary steps and working with the FDA to get it back on the market so hopefully that is the case and it won’t be long! In the mean time I wasn’t sure what to do either as nothing here matched up to Sammy’s simple ingredients so I decided to order one of the European formulas through Organic Munchkin. I’ve always heard great things about the quality of the formulas in Europe along with Maia’s reviews. Waiting for my shipment to arrive and hoping my son will do well on it. It’s stressful having to switch so I know how you feel. Hoping you find something that works for your baby!

  227. My newborn baby had bad colick n gas screamed for hours. Tried original baby’s only and she was a tiny bit better but still suffering n spitting up bad. I also didn’t like how gritty it was. so I switched to hipp first infant milk she started getting better but still had some bad episodes here n there.so I tried the ready made liquid hipp and it helped her so much it was amazing! After she was 3 months old switched to hipps powder form and she’s been great ever since! Now she’s 7 months. I kinda wanna switch to lebenswert new formula you think that’s ok? Also when do you think is the best healthiest time to start fully giving your baby organic whole milk? Can you still give formula over a year? Anyways I recommend people to use hipps ready to go liquid formula in the first 3 months it seems more gentle and easier to digest. I hope holle lebenswert comes out with a ready made liquid one!

  228. I ordered some Holle Goat Formula 2 from Organicmunchkin and had a few questions. I posted them on the website and the owner (Peter) got right back to me within minutes. Also, they offer free 2 days shipping? This kind of customer service seems almost too good to be true. Have you had recent experience with this company? Are they honest? Thank you!

  229. Hi there

    do you have any recommendations from where to purchase Holle in Canada or ships to Canada?(i’m in Montreal) Recently moved from UK, didn’t realize not available here

  230. My wife did not breast feed either of our daughters. We used Baby’s only from the first hour with great results. Dr. Browns bottles were also used. We had no problems ever and our daughters were almost never sick. I too called the manufacturer and then the labs where the ingredients were sourced. This was the best I could find and the results speak for themselves.

    No agenda here just trying to help.

    Will

  231. Hi Maia,

    I just ordered from https://www.neogno.com before coming across your site, and now I’m a bit worried… Is that a legit site? This is the first time I’ve ordered Holle and decided to order it in bulk (24 count) because the sale price was amazing! I’m hoping that it’s the real product. Could you confirm? Also, do you know if what I ordered is the most recent version of the Holle formula Stage 1 Lebenswert formula? Or did I just order the old version? =(

  232. Can you please do a review on plum organic’s new formula? Do baby’s like the taste? How does it stack up to Baby’s Only Whey?

    My pediatrician said baby’s only whey’s level of iron, calcium and phosphorus is way too high for an infant and hard on their kidneys. I’m shocked that it’s so widely recommended for babies. I’m looking for an alternative and I’m currently using Earth’s best but I know it’s not the best formula out there.

  233. Thank you! I’ve looked up both, it seems sammys does not contain any soy. Unfortunately his pediatrician says enfamil is fine and shouldnt be changed. I will look into some customer reviews in regards to sammys, if there is any.

    • Pediatricians are stuck in their ways and drones of the government. 😉 they will most likely give you issues. Also they give out these samples just like samples of medication from pharmaceutical reps and we all know how that works. I’m just saying there might be an agenda. Sometimes as parents we have to make the hard decisions on our own. I love my son’s doctor but when it comes to his formula we can agree to disagree.

  234. I’m so confused on what to get my 2 month old son. My wife is not producing much breast milk anymore, and I am furious over feeding him enfamil. She works as well, so holle and hipp are out of the question due to heating water pre-feed. I’m thinking of getting baby’s only whey formula with no brown rice. Any thoughts?

    • Hi Alan-
      I’m about to publish a review of goat milk formula and have been very impressed with Sammy’s Milk. Plum Organics also came out with a new formula that looks promising. I’d suggest you run these two options by your pediatrician!

    • Alan just wanted to let your know that all formula should be heated like holle and Hipp recommend. It’s because the powder is not sterile and there’s a small chance of baby getting sick. Again all formulas are the same only here in America it’s not a known practice but you will see it in fine print. Europe has much stricter health regulations than we do. Also it’s only recommend that you boil for the first four months. I use distilled water now but you can premake batch for the day and refrigerate to make it easier.
      I’ve used holle, lebenswert for the past 7 months and now waiting on hipps dutch version. Most people think hipp is one brand but it’s actually made in the UK, Germany, Netherlands,etc. all versions are different and made by different companies. They contain similarities but different packages and sizes. Some with soy, some w starch. You have to research which works best for you. If you want a dairy free, try holles goat formula. Fyi Hipp holle and lebenswert all come in the same foil packages. I done believe one is safer than the other. I personally prefer this to plastic containers. Unfortunately there is going to be some drawback to every formula. I just personally trust the European standards much more than the United States which is sad as a U.S. citizen. Hopefully one day our fda will care about our health but I won’t hold my breath and just continue to order from Europe.
      I’ve ordered from organic munchkin, l.w.o(way too expensive and inconvenient, sorry) beyond organics and organic baby 24. All great customer service. You have to decide if you want to over pay for fast delivery or not. I prefer to buy in bulk from organic 24 because it’s a fraction of the price even with shipping.

      To all those asking , Yes you can buy baby’s only or earth best cause it’s easy to pick up locally but does that ease your mind?? I swear it’s just as easy to purchase a large quantity online. if you want to give your child a quality organic formula try Hipp or holle and see the difference for yourselves. I could tell the difference immediately just by how it smells and mixed so easily. I’m not trying to be anything but helpful and sincere. I know this experience can be a trying one, I wish everyone good luck.

  235. What about Kirklands infant formula? I know it isn’t organic but I don’t see and palm oil or corn syrup. Is plum also good stuff?

  236. Hi-
    I’ve been feeding my LO Lebenswert stage 1 (& Holle stage 1 when there’s a shortage on Lebenswert stage 1 lol) Looking at stage 2 formulas now and wondering which would you recommend Holle stage 2 or Lebenswert stage 2? Also would you say Holle jarred food is good stuff?

  237. Spoke to my pediatrician who does not recommend the baby’s only formula, she recommended similac organic which is on your no no list. With that said it looks like I will have to choose between honest co or earths best, which would you go with? My 2 month old has had terrible gas problems on enfamil newborn and I am just now starting to investigate the ingredients.

  238. Hi Maia,

    Asking for a friend of mine who is concerned about the calcium levels in the Baby’s Only Whey for her infant and is not interested in HiPP or Holle despite telling her about how much we love HiPP and ordering from LWO (after your recommendation). Needless to say, she’s on the hunt. What do you think about Plum’s new formula?

    Thanks!

    Erica

    • Hi Erica-
      Wow I didn’t know about Plum’s formula, but I just did a quick look and it’s definitely promising! Will do some more digging. Thanks!

          • Excited to know that you are reviewing Plum. Definitely would like to know where it ranks compared to Babys’s Only. Eagerly awaiting your updated post.

  239. Our daughter is almost 5-months old and has an extreme intolerance to Dairy. I’ve been on a strict diet and exclusively pumping, but need an option to supplement as I have to travel for work. I tried Nutramagin and she had a horrible reaction, so I was preparing to try Soy until finding this post. The only other alternative I have discussed with my doctors is Elecare that is a completely broken down amino acid based formula but it smells like vomit and I’m certain she isn’t going to drink it. The GI specialists have said the food intolerance is usually the casein protein and not lactose, so a lactose free or Goat option wouldn’t help. If Soy is our only option, what is the best Soy option? Baby’s Only? Help please- after reading this I’m feeling horrible about the idea of using Soy at all, but making our own formula is just not realistic for our working family.

    • Yes, I would look in Baby’s Only Soy for sure (ask your pediatrician first, of course)–sounds like your daughter is truly dairy intolerance, so thank goodness for soy formulas!

  240. Would you say Baby’s only whey is better or just as good as HIPP that it now doesn’t have brown rice syrup and also no nucleotides? I am on HIPP ,but would like to try it considering it’s easier to get .

    • Hi Karisa-
      Yes, Baby’s Only with Whey seems really promising…I really apologize to everyone for the delay in an official recommendation and comparison to the European brands, but I promise it’s coming!

  241. Hi Maia (Love your name by the way!), thank you for writing such a informative article!.

    I have a 10 month old that I have been able to provide breast milk so far but my supply is dwindling. I looked at the options under “The Good Stuff” Tab and noticed that you didn’t include Earths Best Formula here but you added it under the “Sneaky Stuff” Tab. It seems to be ok considering it has lactose in it as the first ingredient? Am I missing something else that deems it not so good? What is your take on Earths Best Organic Formula and comparison to the other formulas you mentioned under the “the Good Stuff” tab? In your opinion is Earths Best good or not so good?

    I also noticed that you recommend filtering water to make formula safer for infants. I have a plain Brita filter and was wondering if that would be just fine? I noticed in the store that they offer “Nursery Water”. Is that what can be used? Whats the difference between filtered water and nursery water?
    also, it seems like the only brand that does not include palm oil is Baby’s Only. Is there a way of determining the amount of palm oil added to the various organic formula brands?

    Since my daughter will be on formula for a very short amount of time, I was wondering what are your thoughts on transitioning to milk (whole milk vs coconut milk vs almond milk vs rice milk, etc.)?

    Thank you once again for writing such a great article!

    • Hi Julie-
      Earth’s Best did improve their formula, but the third ingredient is corn syrup, so I can’t really call this Good Stuff:/. Baby’s Only with Whey or the European formulas (Lebenswert, Holle, HiPP) would be better, in my opinion.

      Here’s some info on water filters (including Brita): https://gimmethegoodstuff.org/water-water-everywhere-nor-any-drop-to-drink/

      And here’s some on milk/almond milk: https://gimmethegoodstuff.org/easy-almond-milk-recipe

      • I did a lot of research on formula, and I agree that Baby’s Only with Whey looked better on paper, and we tried it but it didn’t agree with my daughter and they didn’t have it when my son was born. I can’t speak to what these ingredients do or don’t do for your baby. I will say that I gave both of my children Earth’s Best, the one with the red label. Corn syrup was a concern and so was the process they use to create their DHA. Since breast milk is the best solution and nothing will reach that standard we settled for EB. Also EB was alot easier at the time to get as Target sold it locally. We initially did BM with both of them and then half and half as long as possible until finishing off with just formula. Results for us was 2 healthy and intelligent kids. That was my experience, take it for what its worth.

  242. Is there a good DHA supplement to add to formula? We use the Holle formula stage 1 but have heard we may need to supplement with DHA since Holle doesn’t contain any. We heard that the brand Nordic Naturals is good because its derived from fish oil rather than hexane. Just wanted to see what youo’ve heard? Thanks!

  243. Hi Maia,

    We just starting researching Sammy’s Milk after reading about it on another blog. Any thoughts?

    Thanks!

    • We are in the process of writing a blog about goat milk formula that will be published in the next few weeks!

  244. Hello,
    My daughter is 9 weeks old, and I’m not producing enough BM to keep up with her needs. Thus leading me down the path of researching formulas. After extensive reading we decided to go with Holle Stage 1 since Lebenswert was not available at the time (BTW I’ve ordered from both Little World Organics & Organic Munchkin : they’re both GREAT…excellent customer service & quick turnaround!!). However, I’ve recently been looking into Baby’s Only since it’s available at my local market. My question is out of the 3 which would you say is the best???
    1. Baby’s Only Organic® Dairy Toddler Formula
    2. Baby’s Only Organic® Dairy with DHA & ARA Toddler Formula 3. Baby’s Only Organic® Dairy with Whey Protein Toddler Formula

    P.S. As a 1st time mom your website has been very helpful and I’m very thankful for the time you dedicate to educating us Moms on safety issues.

  245. Hi Maia,
    How do I know for sure if there is any irradiation done on the formula that has been shipped to me? I ordered off of a website that ships from Germany. I’m using Lebenswert.
    Thanks,
    Cristina

  246. Any reviews of Sammy’s milk ? I just started supplementing with Lebenswert Bio Stage 1 but just noticed Sammy’s available in my local health market.

  247. Hi Maia,
    We have been using Lebenswert 1 for our 7 week old pretty much from the start. We were concerned that she was spiting up a lot so the doctor recommended Enfamil AR. Do you know if there is an equivalent organic version of this that you would recommend (extra points for German brand)? Thank you for all your research and support – you are truly my go to source on nutrition.

      • This may be a repeat of my prior reply but I do not see it listed so I will try again just to be sure. I apologize in advance if that is the case.

        I have not heard of HiPP HA but I did look it up and I think it may work. Given that this does not come in liquid form, will this product also be plagued by excessive aluminum like its sister product?

        BTW, thank you for the extremely prompt response to my original post!!

  248. If I am breastfeeding my 3 wk old; and feel the need to supplement with baby’s only- dairy toddler formula is it safe??

    • Hi Darcy-
      My advice is to bring the ingredients/nutritional info to the attention of your pediatrician and get his/her advice.

  249. The article complains about algae based DHA oil being extracted using hexane.

    The author is quite misinformed. Pretty much the entirety of edible oil industry uses hexane as extraction solvent. Ranging from vegetable oil to fish oil, it is industry standard to process the oil using hexane.

  250. We’ve been using Kabrita formula and really love it. After reading the amazon.com reviews we tried it for my son with reflux, after 1 day we saw major changes and he is now happy and spit up free. I like their Non-GMO and European sourcing, it’s not organic but seems like it is pretty close and from family farms.

  251. Maia- thanks so much for this article and for answering questions! this guide has become like a bible for me. I am very happy with 3 boxes of Lebenswert 1 I ordered from LWO before they run out of it. However, I don’t manage to find a way to feed my 3MO with this formula while on the go (because of the warm water/cooling process) or when he wakes up crying in the middle of the night due to the time it takes to prepare it (with warm water ready in a thermos). I’ve been using plain old Enfamil for those occasions (bought baby’s only but I’m terrified with those constipation comments).

    I’m wondering if your or any other user have tips and tricks on how to use Lebenswert while on the go or for quick midnight feedings.

    Thanks!

    • Hi Andrea!
      I’m so glad this guide has been helpful! I am hoping some readers will chime in here with some tips, but have you considered HiPP ready-made formula?

      • Andrea,
        I hope this helps… I purchased a “Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Perfect Prep Formula Machine”. When you add the predetermined amount of formula to the bottle, the machine will initially shoot a burst of boiling water to kill any bacteria that may be present in the formula. The next step would be to cover and shake the bottle until mixed. The bottle is placed back to the machine and you hit the button again to complete the process resulting in the perfect temperature to feed the baby. It takes less than a minute and can make various sized bottles. When I go out I pre make a bottle and place it in an insulated bottle bag. I haven’t been out too often with the baby, but when I do go out, it’s to my mom’s. She lives 45 min away so the pre-made bottle is usually consumed within one hour and thirty minutes or stored in the refrigerator for later use. Below is a link to the machine I use.
        http://www.tommeetippee.us/product/perfect-prep-machine/

    • Andrea,
      I hope this helps… I purchased a “Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Perfect Prep Formula Machine”. When you add the predetermined amount of formula to the bottle, the machine will initially shoot a burst of boiling water to kill any bacteria that may be present in the formula. The next step would be to cover and shake the bottle until mixed. The bottle is placed back to the machine and you hit the button again to complete the process resulting in the perfect temperature to feed the baby. It takes less than a minute and can make various sized bottles. When I go out I pre make a bottle and place it in an insulated bottle bag. I haven’t been out too often with the baby, but when I do go out, it’s to my mom’s. She lives 45 min away so the pre-made bottle is usually consumed within one hour and thirty minutes or stored in the refrigerator for later use. Below is a link to the machine I use.
      http://www.tommeetippee.us/product/perfect-prep-machine/

  252. Hi – Thank you for putting up such a useful source for concerned parents! I have a question regarding the amount of soy in these forumulas. Is there one that contains no soy? From reading it seems that Holle would be the best option.

    Thanks for any input

  253. Great information! I am currently comparing Enfamil and Baby’s Only (which is obviously the one you recommend!), but my question is:

    Baby’s Only’s first ingredient is the brown rice syrup, meaning it has more of that than milk.

    Enfamil’s first ingredient is milk, and it’s sweetener is lactose (which is agreed that that is better than syrups).

    Is there that much “bad stuff” in Enfamil that those first two main ingredients are negated? I realize the big issue is the palm oil, but palm oil seems to be pretty consistent in all organic formulas (the exception being Baby’s Only.) Just some thoughts I noticed and would love your feedback about the true evils of Enfamil 😀

    • Hi CJ-
      Great question:). One big issue with Enfamil is there is no organic option. And as you said, the palm and soy oil aren’t great. Soy lecithin is also bad, especially when not organic (extracted with hexane). However, as you said—the fact that it is mostly milk and doesn’t contain sugar or corn syrup is actually better than most formulas. If it were organic, I dare say it might be Good Stuff;). Oh, except for the fact that it was found to have high levels of perchlorate (rocket fuel): http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2009/04/rocket-fuel-found-infant-formula

    • I am currently using hipp first infant milk, I love it . I have tried lebenswerts and hipp (Germany) but baby spit up horribly. I was wondering when you would be doing a full review on baby’s only whey ? Since it’s a lot more easy to get .

  254. Thank you so much for this article. The information in it has been extremely helpful to me making a decision for my baby and I have shared it with other moms I know. I did want to ask if you’ve had any experience with purchasing Lebenswert or Holle from the Biolagisch site in Germany (http://www.biologisch24.com)? Because LWO has been sold out for a while (and it is so hard to nab from them in the few minutes the site has the order form open), I really need some other options. I tried Organic Munchkin – the box was totally damaged but the inside bag seemed ok but I didn’t like that ideally it may have been thrown around a lot. Your thoughts would be welcomed on ordering from Germany. Thank you for all you do!

    • Hi Erin-
      At this point, the only two companies I feel comfortable recommending are LWO and OM. This definitely doesn’t mean that other importers (or the German company you mentioned) are doing anything shady, but I just haven’t been able to vet them.

  255. Hi Maia,
    Thank you for this article. I have been a concern dad worrying if our baby is getting enough and worrying if my wife can make it through a year with his healthy appetite.
    We have recently found out that our bay has a milk allergy, our very good hearted, paediatrician has given us ‘Enfamil Nutramigen’ in a means to top our boy up without the ill effects of milk based formulas due to his allergy.
    As you can figure we definitely do not want to use it and we would like to stay clear of the soy as well.

    Do you know of a healthier option we can look into?

    Thank you

  256. I found a website that carries all Holle/Hipp/Lebenswert formulas, including their goat milk formula. It’s called beyondorganicbaby.com Are you familiar with them, and if so, are they a reliable source?

  257. Hi Maia- have you researched Kabrita goat’s milk formula, i.e. Where does it fall on your recommended formula list? Is it suitable for infants?

    Thanks,
    Deanna

  258. hi maia,
    I ordered 10 boxes of holle2 from beyond organic baby and they shipped half holle2 and half lebenswart stage 1. my daughter is almost 8 mos. – are the two similar enough that she won’t be able to tell the difference? ive desperately tried to get in touch with beyond organic baby and they have not returned any of the emails and they are not reachable by phone. (I called and talked to Suzanne to get your thoughts on this company – she called me back, thank you)

    should I try lebenswart stage 1 when I run out of the holle2?
    thanks so much – your website is awesome

    • Hi Sarah-
      I’m sorry about your disappointing experience with BOB. I also have not had great luck hearing back from them, which is why I am no longer advising my readers to buy from them! I think you should ask your pediatrician about whether or not your daughter will notice the difference or what to look out for when switching formulas–I don’t feel comfortable giving individualized advice like that as I have no medical training.

    • I ordered a can of Hipp from BOB for my 4 month old to try but then decided to stick with a U.S. brand formula so I haven’t opened the Hipp yet. I am not able to get ahold of BOB about returning the Hipp because they are in the middle of “reorganization”, very frustrating!!!! I’ve left messages and even tried leaving an emergency message but still no response! My concern Is is it safe for me to give my baby the Hipp that I ordered if I have him on a diff