What is the Best Formula for Breastfed Babies

By Christina Simpson | Reviews

Sep 17
Best Formula for Breastfed Babies

They say breastmilk is best for babies, but there are instances when moms just can’t give that to their little ones no matter how hard they try. It could be due to health issues, personal preference, a career move, or something else.

There are moms who manage to start off their babies with breastfeeding but can’t keep it up. Most of the time, this is due to the inability to produce more milk to satisfy their growing baby’s needs, but there are a lot of other possible reasons too. During such a situation, the need for formula milk is inevitable.

When it comes to formula-feeding your baby, you have two options. You can go completely breast-free which means you only offer the bottle to your baby, or you can do supplementary or complementary feeding which means offering your baby breast milk first then formula milk afterwards.

The introducing formula to a baby who is accustomed to the taste of breastmilk can be tricky. There are certain things that you need to take into consideration when switching from breastmilk to formula. Of course, as much as possible, you’ll want to give your baby the closest thing there is to breastmilk.

**Below, you'll find more detailed reviews, but you can also click links above to check current prices and read customer's reviews on Amazon.

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What are the options?

With so many baby formulas out in the market today, finding the perfect one for your baby shouldn’t be an issue. At least not if you baby isn’t too sensitive or doesn’t have allergies, that is.

Research is key when it comes to choosing the best formula for your little one, but you should also remember to discuss your choices and options to your pediatrician so she can help you reach the best decision.

So, what are your options for formula feeding your baby? Check them out below.

1. Milk Form

Formula milk for babies comes in three forms: powder, prepared, and concentrate. You may have already heard of powder while prepared and concentrate formula may be something new and interesting to you. To put it simply, you could say that prepared formula is the ready-to-drink kind while concentrate is one that requires less effort to make.

Prepared Formula

bottle milk

For younger and smaller babies, you’ll find prepared formulas in smaller bottles, usually in the recommended amount of about 2 to 3 fluid ounces. The packaging for these formulas is disposable nursing bottles that help avoid the risk of contamination.

Older babies who need more milk get the bigger bottles (usually 6 to 8 fluid ounces) that are individually packaged for one-time consumption as well.

One of the biggest advantages of giving your baby prepared formula is that it’s very easy to use. If you’re a working mom who has to leave your baby to a babysitter or at the daycare, this option is something that you can consider.

With prepared formulas, you never have to worry about your bottle being sterile or the water being clean. It’s also not messy at all to prepare, making it a great option for on-the-go mamas who frequently travel with their babies.

However, prepared formulas are more expensive. You also don’t get to control how much milk to prepare and give your little one which means that if he doesn’t finish what’s in the bottle, it all goes to waste.

Powder Formula

Powder Formula

On the other hand, powdered baby formula is more forgiving. You control how much to make and give to your baby so you can tailor feedings according to your baby’s needs perfectly. Powdered baby formula is cheaper, too, so if you’re on a budget this may be a top choice for you.

The thing about powdered formula, though, is that it can be messy to prepare. It’s quite a hassle to make when you’re out and about with your baby too. As for preparation, clean water and sterile bottles are a must.

If you’re willing to try out innovative baby gadgets and devices, though, you can check out the Baby Brezza Formula Pro One Step Food Maker. It’s a neat little device that can make your baby’s milk for you anytime. All you have to do is load it up with clean water and powder milk formula in the right compartments then plug it in. Come feeding time, all you’ll have to do is press the button and baby’s bottle of milk is ready.

What’s great about this device is that it takes the guesswork out of making your baby’s milk. It features an option that lets you make milk in 2, 4, 6, 8, or 10 ounces. It also works with any formula and any bottle, so you can just use whatever you already have at home.

Breastfed babies are used to warm, fresh milk and the Baby Brezza Formula Pro One Step Food Maker makes milk in the perfect temperature which is about 98 degrees (just a little bit below body temperature) to make sure your baby gets that same feeling of warmth and comfort, especially at night.

Concentrate Formula

Like prepared formula, concentrate formula comes in liquid form too. However, it is not ready to drink out of the container just yet. There is a bit of preparation that needs to be done before you offer this kind of formula to your baby.

It’s much neater to prepare than powder, too, but take a while to get used to if you are using it for the first time. For more information on how to prepare concentrate baby formula, you can click here.

2. Milk Type

Milk Type

After picking whether to go for powder, prepared or concentrate baby formula, the next thing you have to settle on choosing is the milk type. There are tons of types of milk out there and the most common ones that you’ll see on the market are:

  • Preemie Formula
  • Soy based
  • Lactose-free
  • ​Gluten-free
  • Lactose-reduced
  • Hydrolized
  • Cow’s milk
  • Goat’s milk
  • All natural
  • Organic
  • Fortified and many more

With so many choices to choose from, the help and opinion of an expert is sure to come in handy. This is why it is important to discuss your options with your pediatrician.

She will be able to tell you which milk is best suited for your baby, depending on his needs and his health issues if any.Most breastfed babies can get away with drinking just regular cow’s milk as soon as they hit their 12th month. Some babies, however, have special needs and certain health issues that make choosing a formula a bit trickier.

Premature babies, for example, may need a formula that is specially made to help the baby gain more weight. Babies who prove to be a lactose-intolerant need lactose-free formula and babies born with the G6PD deficiency will need gluten-free baby formula.

Premature babies

Aside from health concerns, lifestyle is another deciding factor for many moms when choosing formula for their breastfed babies. Breastmilk is as natural and as organic as baby milk can get, so plant-based and vegan moms may want to find the closest thing to that when choosing formula for their babies.


Top 5 Formulas for Breastfed Babies

There’s really no universal best formula for breastfed babies that will magically adapt to every single child’s needs and issues. To find the best formula for yours, you have to think of what your child really needs, how often he will be having formula milk, and whether or not you will be giving him breastmilk with it as well. However, there are a few ones that are highly recommended by moms and pediatricians alike. Check them out below.

**Below, you'll find more detailed reviews, but you can also click links above to check current prices and read customer's reviews on Amazon.


If you are introducing your breastfed baby to formula with plans of merely supplementing and not totally wearing him off the boos, a supplementing milk like Enfamil for Supplementing is a great choice. It comes in powder form and in a combo pack, too, so it’s much more affordable compared to other ready-to-drink supplementing formulas.

Enfamil for Supplementing

This is a great option for mamas who have breastfed babies that are very particular with the taste of their milk.


  • PROS
  • CONS
  • Not easily accessible
    One of the biggest cons, however, is that you may find it to be a little difficult to locate. It is not as widely spread as other Enfamil products, and you may need to purchase it online.

If you’re looking for a formula that you use for your preemie baby, then try Similac Expert Care NeoSure. It is specially formulated for babies who were born prematurely and it helps babies gain weight faster and easier so they can catch up to the right weight at a healthy pace.

For a pack of 96, you only pay $102, bringing the cost of a single feeding to about $1.06. That’s relatively affordable and not as expensive as other prepared formulas for preemies. You can also buy packs that come with nipples on them, in case you don’t already have any on hand​

This is a great option for moms who can’t continue to breastfeed because they have to leave their preemie babies at the hospital. It’s safe and sterile, convenient, and easy to use. The individual disposable nurser bottles also make keeping track of your baby’s feeding schedule a lot easier.


  • PROS
  • CONS
  • Causes constipation
    One common issue among moms who use this formula with their babies, though, is that it causes their little ones to get constipated, so remember to watch out for that one. It doesn’t, however, cause colic or acid reflux which is an excellent thing for preemies.

One common problem that breastfed babies have when switching from boob to bottle is colic and gassiness. These two issues are caused by different things, but most new moms will notice that there are similarities in the symptoms: crying, passing wind, interrupted sleep, irritability, etc.

Gerber Good Start

If your baby has a sensitive tummy and you are planning on giving him formula (from being breastfed), you might want to check out Gerber Good Start. The Soothe variety, in particular, is designed to help eliminate colic and fussiness from babies. Gerber Good Start is a non-GMO milk-based powder.

If you’ve been struggling with a breastfed baby who just can’t take other formulas without his tummy getting upset, this might just be what you are looking for


  • PROS
  • CONS
  • Delicate handling and preparation
    Be careful when preparing this formula, though. Since it contains probiotics, it is very delicate. Using water that is above 38 degrees Celsius can compromise the probiotic cultures and the formula’s effectivity in preventing colic and gassiness.

When it comes to all things baby, Earth’s Best is a brand that most mamas trust. As far as their milk goes, it is one of the most highly recommended by breastfeeding moms who are starting to introduce formula milk to their little ones. Their Premium Formula with Iron is a great choice for breastfed babies and here’s why:

Gerber Good Start

Earth’s Best Organic Premium Formula is great for breastfeeding mamas who are looking for organic options for introducing their babies to formula.


  • PROS
  • CONS
  • Strong odor and taste
    One of the most common complaints that moms have against Earth’s Best Organic Premium Formula is the strong odor and taste that is present in this milk. Since it does not contain artificial flavoring, the odor and taste can be a little overwhelming. If your baby is picky about his milk, this may not be a good choice for you.

Holle is a European brand that has recently become popular in the US, and for good reason. Their Growing Up Milk is an excellent choice for babies who were breastfed and is slowly being introduced to formula.

Gerber Good Start

Holle Growing Up Milk is a great choice for those who want organic goodness for their babies with sensitive tummies


  • PROS
  • CONS
  • Expensive and hard to come by
    Since it is a European brand, it’s not quite easily accessible to US residents yet. It is available online, but the price tag is a bit on the steeper end.

Conclusion

If you ask me, personally, I would say go for Holle Growing Up Milk. It may be a little more expensive than what you would normally find at your local grocery or supermarket, and it may not be as convenient as prepared formula but it is made with the highest quality ingredients and is packed with nutrients that your growing baby needs.

It is also of Demeter quality, EU certified organic, and CO2 neutral so you know you are giving your child nothing but the best. Holle Growing Up Milk comes in four different kinds, each one being tailored for different age groups.

Remember that when it comes to finding the perfect milk to give your breastfed baby, it’s always a matter of trial and error. Let your baby try different formulas to see which one works best for him.

I would advise you to start buying small while you haven’t found the best formula yet to avoid wasting money on unused milk and then eventually working your way into the bigger combo packs that let you save more and get more value for your money once you know what works.

Are you a breastfeeding mama who’s thinking of introducing her little one to formula? Which one(s) from the list are you interested in giving your baby? If you have comments, suggestions, or questions, be sure to leave them in the comments section below!

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About the Author

I’m Christina Simpson and I am a mother of 2 little princesses and a dear little boy. I like to write stuff on PassionMommy, a blog about parenting and motherhood that aims to help other moms in distress (that is, when I’m not at a tea party with my girls or looting treasures with my little pirate boy).