10 min. read

The Best Baby Formula for 2023

The best baby formulas to help you provide wholesome nutrition for your little one.

The Best Baby Formulas

From birth right up to the sixth of life, all a baby needs is milk. While breastmilk is strongly recommended because of its nutrient-rich contents, breastfeeding presents many challenges. Some mums develop mastitis, other women may lack the necessary support from a spouse or partner, and every new mum out there could testify to not getting adequate sleep. All these can be very challenging and it’s totally fine because there’s such a thing as baby formula.

Baby formula is manufactured to bear a resemblance to the nutritional composition of breast milk. From milk-based, vegetarian-friendly, and soya-based options, we have found the best baby formula to help you meet your baby’s nutritional needs.

 

How We Picked

  • Ingredients

    Here we considered formulas that contain key ingredients to support your baby’s growth and development such as protein, fat, linoleic acid, fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, B Vitamins, Vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, manganese, copper, iodine, selenium, sodium, potassium, and chloride.

  • Form/Consistency of Formula

    Baby formulas come in three different forms; liquid concentrate (you add water as directed and shake), powder (comes with a scoop and you mix with water), and ready-to-feed liquid (can be served straight from the pack). We independently researched each of these forms to recommend the best formula for your infant's nutrition.

  • Age of Baby

    It is important to choose a formula that matches the age and needs of your baby. Formulas are usually needful from birth up to the time when babies are weaned (around one year up). As such, we selected formulas specifically designed to meet the nutritional needs of infants aged zero to 12 months.


  • Cost-Effectiveness

    A slew of factors affects the prices of baby formula. More expensive brands add premium ingredients and adhere to safety measures when producing their formula while cheaper formulas may not be of top quality and may have lower health benefits.

Our Top Picks

Best Pick

Enfamil NeuroPro Baby Formula

Enfamil NeuroPro Baby Formula

Closest infant formula to breastmilk ever.

Every child deserves a chance at the best possible start. Enfamil NeuroPro Baby Formula offers that chance, with a complete source of vitamins, minerals, and carefully selected nutrients to support rapid growth and development.

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Enfamil Enspire Infant Formula earned our top pick because it ticks off all the nutritional boxes regarding what your baby requires to thrive. It provides all the required brain-building nutrients and comes highly recommended by pediatricians. Inspired by breast milk, it offers complete nutrition with easy-to-digest proteins. It has also been reported to reduce babies’ spit-up episodes by up to 50%.

Runner Up

Gerber Good Start Baby Formula Powder

Gerber Good Start Baby Formula Powder

A magical formula that reduces fussiness, crying, gas, and spit-up within 48 hours.

Gerber Good Start GentlePro offers well-rounded nutrition, is easy to digest, and it is readily available.

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Gerber Good Start Baby formula is molded after the gentleness of breastmilk to offer all-around nutrition for your growing baby. It is the first and only infant formula made with a combination of prebiotics and probiotics to help support your little one's digestive health. It comes with the ultimate expert-recommended DHA that encourages healthy brain and eye development.

Most Cost-Effective

Earth's Best Organic Dairy Infant Formula

Earth’s Best Organic Dairy Infant Formula

Contains some of the extra nutrients found in formulas that are twice the price.

Earth's Best promises only lactose is used as its sole carbohydrate — a thing no other formula offers at this price.

Buy Now for $32.49 ($1.55 / Ounce)

Earth's Best Organic Dairy Infant Formula is made with organic milk from grass and grain-fed cows that have never been given artificial growth hormones. As far as organic formulas go, Earth’s Best is very affordable and it claims to be the closest formula to breastmilk with no corn syrup or other added carbohydrates. Besides, it also has whey protein in addition to casein, prebiotics for immunity, DHA and AA which are essential for brain and eye development, and lutein which is very important for eye health.

Everything We Recommend

Best Pick

Enfamil NeuroPro Baby Formula

Enfamil NeuroPro Baby Formula

Closest infant formula to breastmilk ever.

Buy Now

Runner Up

Gerber Good Start Baby Formula Powder

Gerber Good Start Baby Formula Powder

A magical formula that reduces fussiness, crying, gas, and spit-up within 48 hours.

Buy Now

Most Cost-Effective

Earth's Best Organic Dairy Infant Formula

Earth’s Best Organic Dairy Infant Formula

Contains some of the extra nutrients found in formulas that are twice the price.

$32.49 ($1.55 / Ounce)

Buy Now

Who This Is For

The products advertised here are designed to provide complete nutrition for babies from day one through the first 12 months of their lives or whenever they are weaned.

Why You Should Trust Us

With dozens of infant formulas available on the market, it might be tricky to decide which one is a perfect fit for your baby. Each formula comes with its composition. Some may contain more calories and protein with higher levels of vitamins and minerals while others may be designed to handle allergies or digestive issues in babies. We independently searched for the best quality infant formula for your baby.

How We Picked

First off, be rest assured that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) strictly regulates the core components found in a baby formula so each one is acceptable in terms of nutrition. However, all the available baby formulas come in different consistencies, and the tiny bits of variations in the recipe might make a significant difference in the end.

To save you from the migraine of analyzing the different prices and nutritional components of tons of available baby formulas, we completed hours of research to root out the best baby formulas. To do this, we studied various expert-recommended formula guidelines from health organizations like Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), then we ensured that all of the baby formulas on our list are in agreement with the criteria provided by them. Next, we scoured through several forums like Babycenter, Mumsnet, etc with millions of parents and caregivers and noted the formulas that worked best for independent families and what they recommended to each other and went further to study each of these picks to select the best formulas.

Benefits of Powder vs Ready-to-Use Formula
Selecting a baby’s formula today is a bit more complicated than it was a couple of years ago because of the different forms, types, and nutritional elements which are now available. While Ready-to-feed formula is sterile, safe, nutritiously concentrated with no room for human error due to measurements and more convenient, we discovered that most parents who feed their babies formula opt for powdered rather than ready-to-feed because the powdered formula is significantly cheaper, can be stored longer ( up to one month after opening), is environmentally friendly and widely available.

When Can You Start Using Baby Formulas?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), you should feed your baby formula or breastmilk exclusively from the first day of their birth right up to the sixth month. Formulas come in two stages; stage 1 infant formulas are suitable for infant feeding from birth until 12 months of age and stage 2 follow-on formulas are suitable for babies aged six months and older.

Our Picks For You

Our Top Pick - Enfamil NeuroPro Baby Formula

Our Top Pick

Enfamil NeuroPro Baby Formula

Enfamil NeuroPro Baby Formula

Closest infant formula to breastmilk ever.

Every child deserves a chance at the best possible start. Enfamil NeuroPro Baby Formula offers that chance, with a complete source of vitamins, minerals, and carefully selected nutrients to support rapid growth and development.

Buy Now

Who It’s For/Why It’s Great:

Excellent everyday nutrition option for babies aged zero to 12 months. Enspire has NeuroPro, a substance that contains a blend of brain-building milk fat globule membrane (MFGM), DHA, prebiotics, and immune-supporting lactoferrin, a protein that is found in colostrum and breast milk.

Potential Flaw/s:

No organic versions are available and it has a foamy texture that might not be accepted by all babies but apart from that, it has key ingredients that aren't available in any other formulas out there.

Other Options/Price/Durability:

Enfamil’s Gentlease formula is partially hydrolyzed and contains a dual prebiotic blend of GOS & polydextrose which works to foster the growth of beneficial bacteria throughout the large intestine, making it easier for babies to digest. It is widely available, contains a triple prebiotic immune blend to support your infant's immune health, and comes at a reasonable price. It has the EnfaCare option for babies born prematurely and is sold in both Ready-to-feed and powder form.

Our Runner Up - Gerber Good Start Baby Formula Powder

Our Runner Up

Gerber Good Start Baby Formula Powder

Gerber Good Start Baby Formula Powder

A magical formula that reduces fussiness, crying, gas, and spit-up within 48 hours.

Gerber Good Start GentlePro offers well-rounded nutrition, is easy to digest, and it is readily available.

Buy Now

Who It’s For/Why It’s Great:

Designed for infants aged zero to 12 months, Gerber Good Start GentlePro baby formula contains small, easy-to-digest proteins to help provide succor for your little one’s tummy. It is packed with DHA to support healthy brain and eye development.

Potential Flaw/s:

As much as we love this formula, it only comes in powdered form and could be more prone to contamination.

Other Options/Price/Durability:

Gerber claims that its GentlePro is the first and only baby formula that is made with a blend of prebiotics and probiotics with only 30% lactose which is effective in keeping the stomachs of infants healthy and promotes softer stools. It is said to have the gentleness of breast milk and relieves infants who are fussy, colicky, and cry excessively. Gerber Good Start GentlePro earned our Runner Up because it is widely available, earns very high marks across the board for its complete nutritional profile, and comes at a reasonable price.

Our Most Cost-Effective - Earth’s Best Organic Dairy Infant Formula

Our Most Cost-Effective

Earth's Best Organic Dairy Infant Formula

Earth’s Best Organic Dairy Infant Formula

Contains some of the extra nutrients found in formulas that are twice the price.

Earth's Best promises only lactose is used as its sole carbohydrate — a thing no other formula offers at this price.

Buy Now for $32.49 ($1.55 / Ounce)

Who It’s For/Why It’s Great:

Nourish your little one without any artificial colors or flavors!! Earth's Best Organic Dairy Infant Powder Formula is fortified with Iron, Omega-3 DHA, and Omega-6 ARA, and has its recipe crafted with USDA-Certified Organic and non-GMO ingredients to support the healthy development of infants from zero to 12 months.

Potential Flaw/s:

Some reviewers on Amazon claim it has an unpleasant smell and taste. Besides, the low lactose content might be unnecessary since lactose intolerance is very uncommon among infants.

Other Options/Price/Durability:

With over 30 years of infant formula production, you can be confident that Earth's Best is one you can trust when it comes to providing exceptional quality. It claims to be the pioneer of organic formula and its formulas are made from organic cow's milk. They contain no GMOs, artificial growth hormones, or corn syrup solids. Its composition includes DHA and ARA, two fatty acids found in breast milk that aids brain and eye development along with prebiotics. It is the cheapest Organic Dairy Infant formula we found that has many of the same potentially beneficial additives as other expensive baby formula brands.

Our Almost Made The Cut - Similac Pro-Advance Infant Formula

Our Almost Made The Cut

Similac Pro-Advance Infant Formula

Similac Pro-Advance Infant Formula

A reliable all-time favorite and it's available as a powder or ready-to-feed.

Its unique combination of specially selected ingredients gives your baby the nutrition that enables him or her to grow strong enough to withstand disease and stay healthy.

Buy Now

Who It’s For/Why It’s Great:

With over 90 years of baby formula production, Similac applies decades of research to its products and offers standard varieties of baby formulas. From a sensitive tummy to babies needing specialized nutrition, Similac has your little one covered with Similac Pro-Advance infant formula specially designed to cover your baby's nutritional needs from zero to 12 months.

Potential Flaw/s:

Similac Pro-Advance infant formula is not widely available and parents/caregivers might have some difficulty finding it in stores.

Other Options/Price/Durability:

Similac Pro-Advance claims to be the number one brand fed in hospitals. It comes in powder but is also available in ready-to-feed formats for families who prefer to take that route. The brand’s Pro-Advance formula is an exclusive blend of DHA, Lutein, and Vitamin E to help support your baby’s overall growth and brain and eye development.

Care and Maintenance

Once your baby’s formula is prepared, ensure to feed immediately or cover and store in a refrigerator at 35 to 40°F for no longer than 24 hours. Use boiled water cooled to body temperature to dilute the concentrated formula.

Remember that as soon as the powdered formula has been mixed with water, it must be consumed within an hour. If your baby is unable to drink all the formula in a bottle, do not save it for later. Throw leftovers, wash the bottles and nipples with soap and warm water, and do not use a microwave oven to heat the prepared formula as it can create hotspots that can burn your baby’s mouth.

It is important to always wash your hands thoroughly before handling baby formula and to mix the formula safely using the directions on the label. Any foul odor, discoloration, or separation of baby formula liquid components can be a sign that the formula needs to be discarded. Lastly, make a gradual change to your baby formula option if your baby begins to spit up excessively or stops adding weight.