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The Best Formula for Breastfed Babies, Tried and Tested

We reviewed and ranked all the best formula for breastfed babies—you're welcome!

The Best Formula for Breastfed Babies, Tried and Tested

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Breastfeeding can be a challenging part of having a newborn. Even if you pump and give your child a bottle for breastfed babies, there are many reasons why you might need to supplement with formula. Whether you underproduce, are back to work  or simply prefer a more convenient choice, choosing the best formula for breastfed babies is important.

And if you're new to parenting, you'll want to add at least a can or two to your newborn checklist.

What to look for in the best formula for breastfed babies

While every baby is a little bit different, Dr. Whitney Casares, MD, MPH, FAAP, suggests choosing a formula that’s FDA-approved. “This ensures they go through rigorous testing protocols before they ever hit consumer shelves. It also means they are held to the highest standards possible for contamination and expiration concerns.”

Dr. Casares recommends looking for a formula that has prebiotics. “Maintaining a healthy microbiome is of ultimate importance,” explains the pediatrician. She advises choosing a formula that has Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (ARA), which are the fatty acids found in breast milk.

“These positively influence neurodevelopment and immune function.”

To provide energy and good bacteria in the gut, Dr. Casares notes that Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMOs) are also critical formula ingredients. High fructose corn syrup is what you should stay away from. According to Dr. Casares, older formulas used this ingredient more frequently, but it can still exist in some modern formulations.

Best formula for breastfed babies 2023

Best overall

Bobbie Organic Infant Formula

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Although this mother gives Bobbie her combo-fed baby, there are so many reasons to go with the eco-conscious baby brand. The best of all worlds, this organic formula is made to both American and European standards. Made without corn syrup, Bobbie contains both DHA and ARA, which help with baby's growth.

With milk sourced from grass-fed Organic Valley cows and iron among other ingredients, you can feel good knowing you are giving your baby a high-quality product.

Bobbie's subscription model is also incredibly helpful for busy parents. Since it's customizable, whether your milk supply increases or decreases, they have you covered. They even offer a formula calculator so you can figure out how much your breastfed baby will need.

Pros

  • Available at Target in-store
  • The first FDA-regulated baby formula to receive the prestigious Clean Label Project Purity Award as well as Pesticide-Free Certification
  • Excellent subscription model

Cons

  • More expensive than drugstore brands


Best organic

Happy Baby Organics Infant Formula

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If an organic baby formula is a priority, you’ll love this one from Happy Baby Organics. Modeled after breastmilk, this formula is made for babies 0 to 12 months—so once you know if baby likes it, you can easily stick with it.

Per Dr.Casares’ suggestions, it contains DHA and ARA as well as prebiotics. Better yet, the packaging doesn’t have BPA, BPS or phthalates, making it an extra safe choice. In addition to lactose, the principal carbohydrate found in breast milk, it also contains soy—babies that might be sensitive to soy should use a different formula.

Pros

  • Organic ingredients
  • Great price
  • No corn syrup
  • Eco-conscious packaging
  • Makes it easy to switch between breast milk and formula without upsetting bellies

Cons

  • Some reviewers noted it was harsh on their babies’ stomachs


Best budget

Mama Bear Infant Milk-Based Baby Formula Powder

mama bear instant formula powder, best formulas for breastfed babies Merchant

There are so many expenses when having a baby. If you can find a high-quality product for good value, go for it! Mama Bear's formula powder is offered at an affordable price—you can save even more money with a subscription! This formula is strictly regulated by the FDA, meeting or exceeding all standards.

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With DHA, omega-3 fatty acids, plus more than two dozen vitamins, iron and prebiotics—your child will get more than adequate nutrition. 

Pros

  • Subscription option helps save money and time
  • Transparency with ingredient sourcing
  • Excellent price
  • Kosher-certified
  • Dissolves easily for seamless bottle feeding

Cons

  • Can only be purchased from Amazon

Best for milk allergies

Bubs Goat Milk Infant Formula Stage 1

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Learning your baby has a milk allergy can be frustrating. Choosing a goat milk formula such as Bubs' Goat Milk Infant Formula can be a smart alternative to traditional cow's milk options. Bubs has an excellent recipe that’s nutritionally complete, non-GMO and naturally gentle.

Each drop contains prebiotics, DHA, ARA and oligosaccharides, the latter three being ingredients Dr. Casares recommends for baby formula. Made in Australia, this formula meets FDA standards and is made in an FDA-registered factory—so there’s no need to worry about quality issues.

Pros

  • No artificial flavors, colors or preservatives
  • No corn syrup
  • Meets FDA and European regulations
  • Goat milk-based formula may be easier to digest for sensitive tummies
  • Makes formula feeding easy for lactose-intolerant babies
  • Dissolves easily in lukewarm water, makes preparing formula on the go a simple task

Cons

  • This formula is only for babies up to six months old

Best rated

Enfamil NeuroPro Baby Formula

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It’s hard to decipher what's good and what's not these days—but you can trust over 8,000 parents, who rated Enfamil NeuroPro Baby Formula an average of 4.8 stars. With key ingredients to build the brain and support immunity, this brand is the top one recommended by pediatricians.

In addition to a reusable tub, this formula is also available in single-serving packets, a refill box and ready-to-feed bottles. It’s an ideal choice for parents trying to reduce household waste as well as those who live an on-the-go lifestyle.

Pros

  • Contains DHA and ARA
  • The only brand to have a triple prebiotic immune blend
  • Well-known brand in the baby world
  • Available in different formats
  • The most readily available formula for breastfeeding at drugstores and supermarkets
  • Supports healthy brain and eye development

Cons

  • On the pricier side

Best Walmart

Parent's Choice Advantage Premium Powder Baby Formula with Iron

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Parent’s Choice is Walmart’s private label brand designed to mimic top-selling major brands. But don’t be fooled, just because it’s a good value doesn’t mean it’s not a great choice. With 4.5 stars and more than 500 ratings, it is clearly favored by many parents. This formula includes DHA, ARA, lutein, and Vitamin E, making it nutritionally complete.

Better yet, with ingredients comparable to Similac Pro-Advance, this formula supports your baby’s development while saving you money. It's a great choice for supplementation in between pumping breast milk.

Pros

  • Great price
  • Ideal ingredients
  • Subscription option available
  • Makes feeding your baby and introducing formula a budget-friendly task thanks to Walmart pricing

Cons

  • Only sold at Walmart

Best for constipation

Enfamil Reguline Baby Formula

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Having an infant with constipation can be tough—a baby formula like Enfamil Reguline is essential to helping the situation. With a dual prebiotic blend, this formula softens baby’s stool within the first week of use.

Once you start using this formula, it’s just a short time until there’s some relief. With more than 1,300 ratings and an average of 4.9 stars, parents truly touted the benefits of this formula! 

Pros

  • Has DHA
  • Results within the first week
  • Subscribe and save option available from Amazon
  • A favorite of reviewers and moms beginning to return to work

Cons

  • Expensive compared to other infant formulas
  • Contains corn syrup solids

Experts:

This article contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.

This article was originally published on Nov 21, 2023

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