The Best Baby Formula

Most babies have baby formula at some point during their first year of life. Some parents choose to feed their babies formula from birth, while others use formula along with breastfeeding. There are various types of baby formula available, and your preferences, as well as your baby’s overall health and any allergies or sensitivities he or she has, will determine which type is best for your family.

We’ve looked at dozens of baby formulas to find the ones that might be best for you. We looked at the ingredients, whether the formulas address any particular needs that your baby might have, and how well parents liked them when feeding them to their babies. We recommend that you talk to your pediatrician before making a final decision on which type of baby formula is right for your little one.

Best Baby Formula Overall
Similac Pro-Advance
This formula is the company’s closest alternative to breast milk.

At the top of our list is Similac Pro-Advance. This is a non-GMO, cows’-milk-based formula that is designed to mimic breast milk. The cows producing the milk do not receive artificial growth hormones. The formula provides immune support and helps with eye and brain development. If you are looking for a conventional milk-based formula, this is a great one to feed your little one. It can be used as a sole source of nutrition or used as a supplement if you are breastfeeding.

The 5 Top-Rated Baby Formulas

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best Baby Formula OverallSimilac Pro-Advance4.6
Best Soy FormulaEnfamil ProSobee3.9
Best Budget Baby FormulaMama Bear Milk-Based Powder Infant Formula4.6
Best Organic Baby FormulaHappy Baby Organic Infant Formula4.4
Best Hypoallergenic Baby FormulaPurAmino Hypoallergenic Baby Formula4.6

*Ratings are from Amazon and might change over time.

Best Baby Formula Overall: Similac Pro-Advance

Similac Pro-Advance made the very top of our list of the best baby formulas. We like that it’s made to be similar to breast milk and that it contains the nutrients that promote good brain development and a healthy immune system. Some of these nutrients include DHA, lutein, and vitamin E. It also contains 2′-FL Human Milk Oligosaccharide (HMO), which helps keep the baby’s immune system functioning like that of a breastfed infant.

This formula can help reduce fussiness and also reduces spitting up, so if your baby is struggling with these issues on a different formula, it might be worth asking your pediatrician if you should try this one instead. This container is a 23.2 ounce can of powder that you reconstitute with water.

Similac Pro-Advance Key Features:

  • 23.2 ounce can of powder
  • Similar to breast milk
  • Promotes eye and brain development
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Can reduce fussiness and spitting up
  • Contains DHA, lutein, and vitamin E

Best Soy Baby Formula: Enfamil ProSobee

Best Soy Baby Formula
Enfamil ProSobee
Feeding is simple with these dairy-free ready-to-use bottles of soy formula.

If your baby needs a soy formula, we recommend Enfamil ProSobee. This is a soy formula that is made for babies with sensitive tummies as well as for those who cannot tolerate dairy or lactose. Plant protein is easier to digest for babies who have trouble with milk protein, so if your little one is spitting up a lot of suffering from colic, ask your pediatrician whether switching to soy makes sense.

This is a box of 48 ready-to-feed 2-ounce bottles, which makes it appropriate for small babies. Once your baby is drinking more than 2 ounces at once, you’ll want to switch to either larger ready-to-feed bottles or to a powdered formula that you mix with water. This contains DHA for brain support as well as iron for optimal blood levels.

Enfamil ProSobee Key Features:

  • 48 2-ounce bottles of ready-to-feed formula
  • For babies allergic/sensitive to dairy
  • Reduces colic and spitting up
  • Contains omega DHA
  • Contains iron

Best Budget Baby Formula: Mama Bear Milk-Based Powder Infant Formula

Best Budget Baby Formula
Mama Bear Milk-Based Powder Infant Formula
High-quality milk-based formula at a lower price than some of the popular brands.

Baby formula is expensive, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. Mama Bear Milk-Based Powder Infant Formula is our top choice of the budget-friendly options out there. This is Amazon’s brand, and it is cows’-milk-based. Amazon works with a leading formula company to manufacture and supply this brand, so you can be assured of its safety and high quality.

This brand contains DHA for brain development and prebiotics for a stronger immune system. These nutrients are also in breast milk. The ingredients are all non-GMO, and it’s proven to support growth and development. This is a 12.5 ounce can of powder that you mix with water. You can also purchase it in a larger tub.

Mama Bear Milk-Based Powder Infant Formula Key Features:

  • 12.5 ounce can
  • Amazon’s brand
  • Contains DHA
  • Contains prebiotics
  • Non-GMO ingredients

Best Organic Baby Formula: Happy Baby Organic Infant Formula

Best Organic Baby Formula
Happy Baby Organic Infant Formula
This is made with cows’ milk from organic dairy farms and closely models human breast milk.

Is an organic lifestyle important to you? If so, you might want to try Happy Baby Organic Infant Formula, which earned the top spot in our organic baby formula category. This is a formula based on cows’ milk from cows who live on organic dairy farms. All of the ingredients are non-GMO.

This formula contains prebiotics that occur naturally in breast milk to support your baby’s immune system and gut health. It also contains DHA, IRA, iron, vitamin D, and other important nutrients. It’s easy to digest, too, and shouldn’t cause stomach upset or spitting up in babies who can digest cows’ milk. It doesn’t contain corn syrup or gluten.

Happy Baby Organic Infant Formula Key Features:

  • 21-ounce container of powder
  • Organic
  • Non-GMO
  • Contains prebiotics
  • Contains important nutrients
  • Easy to digest

Best Hypoallergenic Baby Formula: PurAmino Hypoallergenic Baby Formula

Best Hypoallergenic Baby Formula
PurAmino Hypoallergenic Baby Formula
A gentle, nutritious formula for babies with severe food allergies.

If you have a baby with a severe food allergy, you might need a hypoallergenic formula. PurAmino Hypoallergenic Baby Formula is at the top of our list in this category. This is a 14.1 ounce can of powder that you mix with water to make the formula. It doesn’t contain cows’ milk protein, so it is appropriate for babies with a severe allergy who cannot tolerate soy formula. You should only use a hypoallergenic formula if your baby’s pediatrician tells you that it’s necessary.

PurAmino is based on amino acids. It is appropriate for babies with certain serious digestive disorders such as protein malabsorption, chronic diarrhea, and short bowel syndrome. It contains DHA and ARA, which are nutrients found in breast milk that help the baby’s brain and eyes develop. It can be used as your baby’s sole nutrition until he or she is about six months old and can be continued to be used until your baby is two years old, if needed.

PurAmino Hypoallergenic Baby Formula Key Features:

  • 14.1 ounce can
  • Doesn’t contain milk protein
  • Good for babies with severe allergies and digestive conditions
  • Contains DHA and ARA
  • Based on amino acids
  • Can be given for up to two years

Who Should Buy Baby Formula

If you are a parent-to-be and you plan on feeding your infant baby formula, then you should have some on hand before the baby is born. It is a good idea to purchase only a small amount at first, however, because you won’t be sure that he or she will be able to tolerate the type you buy. Most babies do just fine on regular baby formula, but some require hypoallergenic formula, formula without lactose, or formula made for premature babies or for those with certain health conditions. Here are some more tips on getting your home ready for a baby.

Even if you plan to breastfeed, you might consider keeping a can of formula on hand in case of an emergency. For example, if you were to be caught away from home for longer than you expected or if you had to take a medication that interfered with breastfeeding, you might need to use the formula for a short period of time. Another option is to keep plenty of pumped breast milk handy in your freezer. If you think this is an option you’d like to explore, check out our article on the best breast pumps.

Best Baby Formula Overall
Similac Pro-Advance
This formula is the company’s closest alternative to breast milk.

Important Features to Consider

When shopping for the right baby formula for your little one, it’s important to keep a few key features in mind. Here’s what to think about while you search for the perfect way to feed your little one.

  • Ingredients. If your baby has any sensitivities, then, of course, you will need to find a formula that does not contain any potentially offensive ingredients. For example, if your doctor has diagnosed your baby with a dairy allergy, then you will need a dairy-free alternative, such as soy formula.
  • Ease of digestion. Does your baby have reflux or does he or she tend to spit up a lot? An easy-to-digest formula might be right for your little one.
  • Type of packaging. Most baby formulas come as a powder that you mix with water. Some come in liquid concentrates that you mix with water, and others are available in ready-to-feed bottles. Many come in all three varieties. Think about whether you will be home to mix the formula or if you will need something you can keep in your diaper bag and feed on-the-go.
  • Your doctor’s recommendation. Talk to your pediatrician before deciding on baby formula, especially if you are choosing soy or hypoallergenic formula for health purposes. Also, contact the doctor if you think your baby is reacting to the formula. He or she can help you decide whether switching to a different type might be helpful.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you need for formula feeding?

If you want to formula feed your baby, you will need bottles, nipples, baby formula, clean water, and a way to clean the bottles and nipples. You might also choose to purchase a bottle warmer, but this is not necessary if you have another safe way of warming bottles.

How do you prepare baby formula?

It is very important to read and follow the directions on the package of formula you buy. Some require you to mix the powder or liquid with a specific amount of water, and others are ready to feed. Mixing baby formula improperly can make your baby sick, so always double-check the instructions, particularly if you are using a different type of formulation than you usually do.

When should a baby stop formula?

Most babies stop drinking baby formula and switch to cow’s milk (or soy or goat’s milk) at one year of age. Some babies continue with a formula for a while longer. There are toddler formulas on the market for babies over one year of age. Talk to your pediatrician if you are unsure when to wean your baby off of baby formula.

How much is formula for a baby?

The prices of baby formula vary substantially depending on the type and amount of formula you purchase. Powdered formula is usually less expensive than liquid concentrate, and the ready-to-feed formula is the most expensive type of the three. A formula that is based on cow’s milk or soy is less expensive than hypoallergenic or other specialized formulas. Organic formula is usually more expensive than conventional formula. Also, the size of the container you buy will make a difference; often, buying a larger can or container will be less expensive per ounce of formula. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, the average cost of feeding a baby formula is between $1,200 and $1,500 per year, or a bit over $100 per month.

Other Baby Formulas We Reviewed

Best Baby Formula Overall
Similac Pro-Advance
This formula is the company’s closest alternative to breast milk.

With so many baby formulas out there, it can be hard to make a decision! In addition to the ones that made our top 5 list, we also reviewed 20 others, which you’ll find below, separated into categories. The information you’ll need to compare them is included with each listing.

Milk-Based Baby Formulas

Enfamil Enspire

Enfamil Enspire

This is the first baby formula containing lactoferrin and MFGM, which are two ingredients that make it very close to the nutrition of breast milk.

Key Features:

  • 20.5 ounce can
  • Contains lactoferrin just like breast milk
  • Provides immune support

Cost: $40

Enfamil Gentlease

Enfamil Gentlease

This is a gentle, milk-based formula that is great for babies who have colic, gas, and fussiness. It contains iron and other essential nutrients.

Key Features:

  • 27.7 ounce can
  • Eases gas and crying in 24 hours
  • Contains DHA and choline

Cost: $35

Gerber Good Start

Gerber Good Start

This is a formula modeled after breast milk that contains prebiotics, DHA, and comfort proteins, which are easy for little tummies to digest.

Key Features:

  • 20 ounce can
  • Easy to digest
  • Good for immune support

Cost: $25

Love & Care Infant Milk-Based Powder

Love & Care Infant Milk-Based Powder

This milk-based formula is great for the immune system, brain development, and overall nutrition. It is designed to be close to breast milk.

Key Features:

  • 22.2-ounce container of powder
  • Complete nutrition
  • Non-GMO

Cost: $20

Pure Bliss by Similac

Pure Bliss by Similac

This formula is based on milk from grass-fed cows. It doesn’t contain any growth hormones or antibiotics, and it’s non-GMO.

Key Features:

  • Six 24.7 ounce cans
  • For brain and eye development
  • Milk is from grass-fed cows

Cost: $155

Soy-Based Baby Formulas

Earth’s Best Soy Formula

Earth's Best Soy Formula

This easy-to-digest formula is nutritionally complete and is made with non-GMO soybeans. It’s lactose-free and contains essential fatty acids.

Key Features:

  • 23.2 ounces
  • Kosher and non-GMO
  • Lactose-free

Cost: $30

Gerber Good Start Plant Based Protein Formula

Gerber Good Start Plant Based Protein Formula

If your baby can’t drink milk formula or you prefer a plant-based approach, this soy formula is easy to digest and contains vitamin D and calcium for strong bones.

Key Features:

  • 20 ounce can
  • Contains DHA
  • Lactose-free

Cost: $25

Hypoallergenic Baby Formulas

Enfamil Nutramigen

Enfamil Nutramigen

This is a hypoallergenic formula that is for babies with an allergy to cows’ milk. It can reduce crying and gas pains quickly.

Key Features:

  • 19.8 ounce can
  • For babies with allergies
  • Makes 35 4-ounce bottles

Cost: $40

Enfamil Pregestimil

Enfamil Pregestimil

This is a pack of six 16-ounce cans of powdered formula designed for babies with fat malabsorption problems. It is lactose-free and iron-fortified.

Key Features:

  • Six 16-ounce cans
  • For babies with fat malabsorption issues
  • Contains MCT oil

Cost: $170

Similac Alimentum

Similac Alimentum

This hypoallergenic formula comes in six convenient 32-ounce bottles that are ready to feed to your baby. Just pour in his or her bottle and go!

Key Features:

  • Six 32-ounce bottles
  • Do not add water
  • Contains DHA and ARA

Cost: $60

Organic Baby Formulas

Baby’s Only Dairy with DHA & ARA

Baby's Only Dairy with DHA & ARA

This is an organic formula that is for older babies and toddlers. It contains DHA and ARA, and it’s Kosher certified.

Key Features:

  • Six 12.7-ounce cans
  • Packaging is BPA free
  • Contains dairy, soy, and coconut

Cost: $90

Earth’s Best Organic Dairy Infant Formula

Earth's Best Organic Dairy Infant Formula

This formula is easy to digest and made with non-GMO, Kosher, organic ingredients. It contains iron to prevent anemia in your baby.

Key Features:

  • Four 23.2-ounce cans
  • Easy to digest
  • Similar to breast milk

Cost: $75

Love & Care Organic Infant Formula

Love & Care Organic Infant Formula

This certified organic formula comes from cows who have been fed certified organic grain, hay, and grass. It is for babies up to 12 months old.

Key Features:

  • 23-ounce container
  • Contains DHA, lutein, and vitamin E
  • Non-GMO

Cost: $25

Mama Bear USDA-Certified Organic Milk-Based Powder

Mama Bear USDA-Certified Organic Milk-Based Powder

This is Amazon’s brand of organic formula based on cows’ milk. It is proven to support your baby’s growth and development.

Key Features:

  • 23.2-ounce container
  • Complete nutrition for the first year
  • No artificial growth hormones

Cost: $23

Plum Organics, Organic Infant Formula

Plum Organics, Organic Infant Formula

Organic lactose is the main source of protein for this baby formula. It is easy for sensitive little tummies to digest and all ingredients are non-GMO.

Key Features:

  • 21-ounce container
  • Modeled after breast milk
  • Contains DHA and ARA

Cost: $35

Similac Organic

Similac Organic

Most baby formulas contain A1 milk protein, but this organic formula contains A2, which is produced only by certain cows.

Key Features:

  • 23.2-ounce container
  • Supports brain and eye development
  • Contains no palm olein oil

Cost: $30

Other Baby Formulas

Enfagrow PREMIUM Non-GMO Toddler Transitions Formula

Enfagrow PREMIUM Non-GMO Toddler Transitions Formula

Use this formula to begin transitioning your baby onto a diet made up of more whole foods and less formula. For ages 9 to 18 months.

Key Features:

  • 20 ounce can
  • Supports brain development
  • Triple health guard blend

Cost: $19

Enfamil NeuroPro EnfaCare Premature Baby Formula

Enfamil NeuroPro EnfaCare Premature Baby Formula

Premature infants often have different nutritional needs, and this formula is meant to meet those needs with extra nutrition.

Key Features:

  • Six 12.8 ounce cans
  • Also available in ready-to-feed formula
  • For premature babies

Cost: $120

Kabrita Goat Milk Toddler Formula

Kabrita Goat Milk Toddler Formula

This is an easy-to-digest formula for babies who are not ready to drink cows’ milk. It should be used from 12 to 24 months.

Key Features:

  • 28 ounce can
  • Good for children with cows’ milk sensitivity (not cows’ milk allergy)
  • Non-GMO

Cost: $35

Similac NeoSure Infant Formula with Iron

Similac NeoSure Infant Formula with Iron

This formula can help premature babies grow and catch up to their peers. It is easy to digest and has increased protein to meet a preemie’s special needs.

Key Features:

  • Four 22.8 cans
  • For premature babies
  • Contains DHA, lutein, and vitamin E

Cost: $120

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