10 Best Formulas For Babies in 2017

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We all know how important nutrition is especially for the youngest members of our family. And while experts strongly advise on the use of breast milk as the exclusive source of nutrition of babies in the first 6 months of life, let us just accept the fact that not all of us are gifted with abundant supply of breast milk for that long. For most of us, the longest we can breastfeed is 3 months, 4 months tops. Additionally, women who have excellent professional careers, who will often find themselves up and running several months after giving birth, may not have the time to really sit down and provide a close maternal-infant breastfeeding experience for their babies. Either way, we need to look for infant milk formulations that are as close in nutritional and health value to breast milk; although we know there really is no sense comparing breast milk to any other milk. There simply is no substitute for the natural.

We are not espousing formula feeding, let us be clear about that. However, as we have already pointed out earlier, not everyone can breastfeed. So, this article is for those moms who would like to give their babies the best possible nutrition so they grow up to become healthier and more developmentally functional kids.

We will be sharing with you an in-depth presentation of the differences among the various baby formula brands. Hopefully, this will help you decide on which baby milk preparation you think will be best for your baby.

10 Best Formulas For Babies 

PictureFormulaBrandRating
Earth's Best Organic Infant Formula with IronEarth’s Best 5
Similac Pro-Advance Infant Formula with 2'-FL HMO for Immune Support)Abbott4.9
Nutramigen with Enflora LGG Baby FormulaMeadJohnson4.8
Earth's Best Organic Sensitivity Infant Formula with Iron, 23.2 OunceEarth’s Best4.7
Enfamil Infant Baby FormulaMeadJohnson4.6
Gerber Good Start Soothe Non-GMO Powder Infant FormulaGerber Good Start4.5

1Organic Premium Dairy Infant Formula with Iron by Earth’s Best 

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Specifically formulated to be as near-identical to human breast milk as possible, the Organic Premium Dairy Infant Formula is one of the best baby formula brands you can ever buy for your young child. It has all the right nutrients that your baby needs for optimum brain development, thanks to its right combination of docosahexaenoic acid or DHA and arachidonic acid or ARA, providing a good ratio of omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids, respectively. The whey and casein ratio has also been formulated to mimic what is present in breast milk so that you can be sure your baby gets the right proteins necessary for his or her muscle growth and development as well as other body organs that rely on high quality protein. This instant formula is deemed nutritionally complete and is easily digested, further saving your baby from the discomforts of indigestion or malabsorption. Best of all, it has been certified organic by the US Department of Agriculture so you’ll feel much safer in the fact that your infant will not be consuming harmful chemicals.

What We Like about It – It’s one of the best baby formulas because of Earth’s Best motivation to formulate it as closely identical to what you would personally breastfeed your infant. That alone is enough reason to include this in our top 10.

2Similac Advance with OptiGro by Abbott

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The Infant Nutrition line of Abbott is well-known all over the world and that one of the best baby formula brands you can trust is its Similac line. The Similac Advance with OptiGro contains DHA, vitamin E, and lutein to help develop your baby’s brain, skin and immune system, and eyes, respectively. These 3 nutrients are also found in breast milk and as such this instant formula deserves a spot in our top 10 list. Giving Similac Advance is like giving your young child fish, spinach, and broccoli but in a drinkable solution. You can be sure to help your child develop his or her cognitive abilities a lot better by integrating the value of eye health in his or her sensorimotor development. Of course, it also contains other nutrients which can help stimulate the optimum development of babies.

What We Like about It – Its OptiGro formulation is remarkably useful for the development of babies’ central nervous system. Additionally, it does provide an almost-similar nutrient profile as in breast milk. And with a name like Abbott providing guarantees of quality and excellence, who are we to argue?

3Nutramigen with Enflora LGG Hypoallergenic Infant Formula with Iron by MeadJohnson

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Enfamil is one of the most common formulas taken for baby formula comparison because of its superb nutrient profile. One of its truly amazing infant instant formula preparation is Nutramigen with Enflora LGG Hypoallergenic Infant Formula. This is especially designed for infants who may be allergic or hypersensitive to cow’s milk. It has been formulated to prevent and manage colic in very young babies so your child will feel more satisfied after each feeding. It also contains DHA and ARA which are also found in breast milk and which are essential in the development of your kid’s brain and eyes. This helps children grow more optimally. One of the added ingredients to Nutramigen is Lactobacilusrhamnosus GG or LGG, a probiotic which helps to improve your child’s tolerance to milk products made from cow’s milk.

What We Like about It – The inclusion of a probiotic is simply remarkable. This should be beneficial among young children who cannot tolerate cow’s milk-based baby formula brands. At the very least, your kid gets optimum nutrition for optimum development.

4Organic Sensitivity Infant Formula with Iron by Earth’s Best

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When we conducted our baby formula comparison, we had to consider babies who have problems digesting certain nutrients. That’s why we simply had to include the Organic Sensitivity Infant Formula. Made of only the most natural and organic ingredients, the Organic Sensitivity instant formula is gentle and friendly on babies’ tummies while providing them with superb breast milk-like nutrition, thanks to its DHA and ARA content that are closely identical to what’s found in breast milk. It does not contain harmful chemicals like artificial flavoring, preservatives, antibiotics, growth hormones, and other substances. It may not be a soy formula but it does the job of giving excellent nutrition to very young children. Mind you, however, that this is not lactose-free. It is a low-lactose infant formula with a higher proportion of whey than casein providing your baby with a tummy-friendly instant formula.

What We Like about It – The fact that it’s organic is something to be excited about. You will feel much safer in the fact that your baby is not ingesting anything potentially harmful. And with a low-lactose formulation, this is one of the tummy-friendliest formulations you can ever find.

5Enfamil Infant Baby Formula by MeadJohnson

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From healthcare and pharmaceuticals giant Mead-Johnson comes one of the most trusted baby formula brands anywhere in the world. We cannot say just how many kids grew up on Enfamil Infant Baby milk preparation but we know that there’s a lot. Enfamil instant formula features a Neuro Complete formulation that is designed to provide babies with DHA, iron, and choline, the latter of which is essential in ensuring optimum brain development by improving the degree of nutrition in the brain. This system helps ensure that your kids’ motor, social, cognitive, and communication skills will develop in a fully optimized manner. Moreover, Enfamil boasts of two prebiotic systems that have been shown to help boost babies’ immune systems. This helps protect them against some of the more common infections that affect very young kids.

What We Like about It – It’s from MeadJohnson so this alone is something that we can rely on to give our babies optimum nutrition and ensure their full growth and development.

6Soothe Non-GMO Powder Infant Formula by Gerber Good Start

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If your baby always develop colic while feeding, try giving him or her Gerber’s Soothe Non-GMO Powder Infant Formula designed especially for young children from birth to 12 months of age. What makes this instant formula unique is the inclusion of Lactobacillus reuteri, a probiotic that has been proven to reduce colic and help sooth babies by as much as 50 percent. Our baby formula comparison shows that Gerber Good Start has what it calls Comfort Proteins, a proprietary naming for the amino acids that have been included into the product. This makes it easy to digest and therefore, very friendly to the tummy further reducing the incidence of colic. Additionally, it features a carbohydrate blend that is composed of 30 percent lactose to further ease gas and fussiness, soothing your baby in the process.

What We Like about It – Gerber may not necessarily be one of the baby formula brands you’d normally get but the company has been well-known for making superb baby foods. We’re pretty sure their expertise in infant nutrition can also extend well into baby formulas.

7Similac Sensitive Infant Formula with OptiGro by Abbott

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One of the signs that babies have colic is increased fussiness, if not crying, after feeding. One of the baby formula brands that we have identified to be particularly helpful in this respect is Abbott’s Similar Sensitive instant formula. It may not be a soy formula but it does provide a safe and tummy-friendly breast milk substitute. It features Abbott’s proprietary OptiGro nutrient system that combines Vitamin E, lutein, and docosahexaneoic acid or DHA. These provide for optimum nutrition of the brain so that kids will be able to develop their full cognitive potential. Our baby formula comparison showed that Similac Sensitive is particularly beneficial to young kids who may be a bit sensitive to lactose. It provides an instant formula that is easy to digest helping babies to feel a lot more comfortable after feeding.

What We Like about It – Abbott’s OptiGro system guarantees optimum brain development for infants. It’s one of the best alternatives to the complete nutrition provided by Mom’s breast milk.

8Soy Organic Toddler Formula by Baby’s Only

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Especially formulated for babies who are allergic to gluten or corn, Baby’s Only’s Soy Organic Toddler Formula is a special blend of soy formula to help young children obtain all the correct nutrients without having to worry about corn and/or gluten allergies. This is an instant formula that is great for vegetarian families. It contains the essential fatty acids linoleic acid and alpha linolenic acid which can be converted by the baby’s body into usable forms of ARA and DHA, respectively. This helps ensure optimum growth and development of the brain and the eyes which are necessary for the enhancement of cognitive and sensorimotor skills.

What We Like about It – It doesn’t contain GMO ingredients, corn syrup, or gluten so this should be idea for families who would like to start their babies on a vegan diet.

9Enfamil Gentlease Baby Formula by MeadJohnson

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Enfamil is one of the well-known baby formula brands alongside the other baby instant formula products in our list. Our extensive baby formula comparison revealed that two out of three pediatricians typically recommend Enfamil Gentlease for babies who may be lactose intolerant or easily develop colic. The Gentlease system has been clinically proven to mitigate or reduce babies’ crying, gas, and fussiness within 24 hours. It contains easily-digestible proteins so baby will not be prone to developing gas while maintaining optimum nutrition. Aside from proteins, it also contains DHA and choline for superb brain development helping ensure that your kid’s cognition will progress at a steady pace.

What We Like about It – MeadJohnson has always been known for its quality infant nutrition products and Enfamil is clearly one of them. The addition of the Gentlease – short for gentle release – system helps ensure baby will be well-fed, builds his or her nutrition, and be free from fussiness associated with colic.

10Grow Well Organic Infant Formula with Iron by Plum Organics 

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Made of organic lactose obtained from the non-fat milk of grain- and hay- fed cows, Grow Well Organic Infant Formula is Plum Organics contribution to healthy instant formula for babies. It is rich in Vitamins A, D, and E which closely resemble those found in Mom’s breast milk. It doesn’t contain corn syrup for sweetening because the natural sweetness of lactose is enough to provide the gustatory stimulation for babies. It also has the right combination of whey protein and casein to mimic those found in breast milk making Grow Well one of the top 10 formulas for infants this 2016.

What We Like about It – Plum Organics may not be like the other more popular baby formula brands in this list but it does provide exceptionally safe and high quality product for babies. The safety in organic ingredients is what really motivated us to include it in our list. Add to this the excellent nutritional profile that is almost similar to breast milk and you now have one of the best foods you can give to your baby.

How We Chose the Top Infant Milk Formulations in Our List

We are not nutritionists. Neither are we experts in the field of child’s nutrition. However, it is our passion and commitment to serve Moms and Dads out there to become better parents for their children that have motivated us to conduct a research into the top 10 instant milk preparations for infants or babies this 2016. It was a tough one but we were able to come up with a shortlist. And here’s how we did it.

First, we had to read a lot about infant nutrition and the best baby formula comparison is that of breast milk. We strongly believe in the fact that breast milk contains all the right nutrients and in the correct amounts especially geared for babies’ optimum development. We had to make sure that the nutrients found in breast milk are the standards to which the different baby formula brands have to be measured against. So, the closer the nutritional profile of the infant nutritional product to breast milk, the better are its chances of getting included in our top 10 list. Moreover, if there are additional nutrients that are not found in human breast milk, we had to study these ingredients and determine if they provide a significant developmental benefit to infants. If so, then these are also factored in. For example, soy formula will have a slightly different nutrient profile from cow’s milk although both are instant formula preparations. These examples of baby milk nutrient formulations will have a slightly healthier advantage to certain babies.

Next, we had to look at the company that manufactures these infant milk nutritional products. Some are well-known in child and infant nutrition while others are just beginning in this industry. We had to look at the manufacturing practices of these companies and whether their facilities have the necessary and appropriate certifications for producing nutritional products for babies.

Unfortunately, we cannot rely on customer feedback simply because, like us, their knowledge about infant nutrition and making baby formula comparison may be limited or perhaps even flawed. Our search for the top 10 baby milk brands has been one of the most objective researches we have ever undertaken. Nevertheless, we did it.

Breast Milk is Best for Babies, But…

As we have already said earlier, nothing beats the benefits children can derive from natural milk from Mom. Breast milk is well-known to:

  • Provide young kids with the perfect and ideal mix of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats including vitamins and minerals necessary for healthy growth and development;
  • Provide a form of nutrition that is easily digested so it’s friendly to your baby’s tummy;
  • Contain maternal antibodies that help to protect children against certain bacteria and viruses that commonly infect children of young age;
  • Lower the risk of allergies as well as asthma by strengthening the immune system’s ability to distinguish harmful substances from the not; and
  • Lower the incidence of ear infections, diarrhea, and respiratory infections including colds and flu.

Moreover, breastfeeding has been documented to:

  • Help improve the cognitive abilities of children, as measured by their IQ test scores;
  • Help provide babies the sense of emotional security through the physical, skin-to-skin, and meaningful eye contact that occurs during breastfeeding; and
  • Help ensure progressive and healthy weight gain of infants while also preventing the likelihood of obesity in the future.

Clearly, there are a lot of benefits to breastfeeding. However, not every Mommy can and should breastfeed. The following Mommies should never breastfeed their babies.

  • Those who have been diagnosed with AIDS or are considered to be HIV-positive
  • Those who have active as well as untreated tuberculosis
  • Those who are receiving medications or treatment for cancer
  • Those who are taking certain drugs used in the management or treatment of arthritis, migraine headaches, and/or Parkinson’s disease
  • Those who are using illicit or illegal addicting substances such as heroin, marijuana, or cocaine
  • Those who have babies who are diagnosed with galactosemia

Among mothers who cannot breastfeed because of certain conditions that prevent them from doing so, it can be an emotional burden. Moms only want the best for their children and everyone knows that breast milk is the best nutrition for children especially in the first 6 months of life. So, if they cannot breastfeed it can be particularly devastating. For mommies who are in this predicament, they can do the following to help them get over the fact that they cannot breastfeed.

  • Don’t blame yourself for your inability to breastfeed. Situations like this happen a lot even to people who are deemed healthy. It is ok to be sad or even be mad but it should never take the energy off your task of caring for your baby. Remember, if you dwell on the negative emotion for so long, you might end up neglecting your infant.
  • Take time to talk to a lactation expert about your feelings. They can provide you with additional tips on what you can do. Don’t underestimate the value of your spouse’s support or even your family’s assistance and your friends’ listening ears.
  • Would you want to consider donated breast milk? There are milk banks throughout the nation that provides Moms with the breast milk they need to feed their kids even though, technically, the milk came from another Mom. You can talk to your baby’s pediatrician if it’s possible for you to use donated milk on your baby.

The Bottom Line

Infant nutrition is crucial to ensuring optimum child development. Breast milk provides the most complete nutrition for babies. Unfortunately, not everyone can or like to breastfeed. As such, our list of the top 10 infant milk formulations should be of great use.

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Selina Marie
Selina Marie is our head of content for MyKidNeedsThat.com, mum of two and a self proclaimed toy geek. When she isn't juggling the madness at home, on a school run or baking her world famous blueberry muffins, you will find her product researching and keeping the site freshly updated with the latest toys and fun for our readers!

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