11 Best Baby Formula Pampers Parents 2021
Editor’s Note: Due to the current Covid-19 climate, the formula may be harder to find than usual. We know it can feel overwhelming to see things you need unavailable, but please know that baby product are considered essential items, and retailers are working to restock these items, and companies are making them (for example, Enfamil and Similac are continuing production at full scale).
Is there a formula shortage?
Manufacturers say there’s no shortage—they’re producing plenty of formula. So why the empty shelves? Shops order items based on the quantity they typically sell. Recently, panicked shoppers grabbed more formula than usual, which made it difficult for others to find what they need right now.
Infant formula will be restocked at your local grocer or store as soon as possible, but it takes time to get from factories to store shelves. Call the store manager to see when a new shipment is expected to arrive.
Where can you find baby formula in the meantime?
Many manufacturers offer store locators on their websites, which can help you find nearby places that stock your favorite formula. Drugstores and baby supply companies often carry formula as well. But call ahead to make sure it’s there before you go since you want to limit going out as much as possible right now. Also, you might be able to purchase formula directly from a manufacturer’s website or see if it’s available for delivery from retailer websites.
Here are direct links to formula on popular retailers:
NOTE: There are social media rumors telling people that if they call the phone number on the back of the formula container, the manufacturer will send you formula free-of-charge. This is simply not true.
What should you do if you can’t find your favorite formula?
In general, try to stick with a formula that is similar to the one that you’ve been using, advises Rebekah Wheeler, Certified Nurse-Midwife and Lead Family Guide at Cleo (an online health and wellness service).
If you can’t find your favorite formula, it’s safe to switch formulas unless your child requires a special type of formula (in that case, check with your pediatrician first).
In the U.S., infant formula is overseen by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which ensures that all infant formula meets specific nutrient requirements. You can be confident that any formula you find here will be safe and contain the vitamins, minerals and proper ratio of carbohydrates and proteins to help your baby thrive.
If you’re still having trouble locating baby formula, talk to your pediatrician, says Wheeler. Your doctor may have samples. You can also ask friends who are formula feeding if they can lend you an unopened container or call 211, a hotline that can help you find local food banks, women’s shelters and other food-assistance organizations that may have formula available.
How to Choose a Formula
There are many benefits to breastfeeding, and it’s recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) as the optimal source of nutrition through your baby’s first year of life. But breastfeeding doesn’t work for every family, and you may need or choose to use formula full-time or give it in addition to breast milk.
The best formula for your child is the type your pediatrician recommends and your baby accepts. The good news is that all formula is heavily regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and has to meet the same basic nutritional requirements. Formula is designed to mimic breast milk, but ingredients can differ. There are three main types of formula:
- Cow’s milk formula has been treated to make the protein more easily digestible and is the most prevalent type of formula on the market.
- Soy formula is a vegan option that’s only recommended by doctors in rare situations, such as when your baby is allergic to the protein in cow’s milk.
- Specialized formula provides sustenance for children who have particular needs, such as premature babies or babies with a high risk of developing allergies.
Formula also comes in three forms:
- Powder that you mix with water
- Liquid concentrate that you also mix with water
- Ready-to-feed bottles that don’t require mixing
For the full lowdown on formula ingredients, review the information on choosing a formula by the AAP.
Gerber Good Start SoothePro Powder Infant Formula. SHOP NOW AT Amazon. Enfamil A.R. Infant Formula. Enfamil Gentlease Infant Formula. Enfamil Reguline Infant Formula. Similac for
Supplementation. Similac NeoSure.
Enfamil Nutramigen with Enflora LGG Powder Infant Formula. Earth’s Best Organic Sensitivity Infant Formula. Gentle, Sensitive, Low-Lactose or Lactose-Free Formulas · Similac Pro-Sensitive Baby Formula · Gerber Good Start Soothe Powder Infant Formula.
Key features: Gerber claims that Good Start SoothePro has the “gentleness of breast milk” and helps with anything from excessive crying episodes to fussiness and gas. It contains just 30 percent lactose, which the brand says may ease the baby’s stomach (though research into this is lacking). It also contains a blend of prebiotics and probiotics.
Considerations: Parents generally like this formula, but some feel it can be a bit clumpy and hard to dissolve in the bottle. A few say that SoothePro smells bad and that their babies don’t love the taste and occasionally refuse to drink it.
Best baby formula for reflux
There are formulas on the market that are thickened by rice. They may help decrease the frequency of spit-ups and don’t have any long-term safety concerns.
Key features: As with other thickened formulas, Enfamil explains that their A.R. formula meets reflux guidelines set by the AAP. It contains rice starch to help thicken and settle better in the baby’s stomach. The manufacturers of this formula supported a study in 2003Trusted Source that showed it can reduce babies’ spit-up episodes by up to 50 percent.
Considerations: You’ll want to speak with your pediatrician before offering thickened formula to your baby. While some parents swear this is the best formula they’ve ever tried, others share that this mix really didn’t help their baby’s spit-up issue enough.
Best baby formula for gas
Those toots may be cute at first. But your baby may have a lot of discomfort with gas. Keep in mind that severe gas may be a sign of allergy or other medical issue. So, if switching formulas doesn’t help, head in for a check-up.
Key features: Enfamil claims that in clinical trials this formula reduced gas and associated fussiness and crying in just one day. This formula also contains a high amount of DHA to help nourish and develop your baby’s brain.
Considerations: Many parents are pleased with this formula and feel it does seem to help their babies. A few noted that they didn’t like the packaging and that the formula left an oily residue in the bottle after feeding.
Best baby formula for constipation
There aren’t many formulas specifically marketed to help with constipation. Constipation is more common in formula-fed babies than in breastfed babies, since breast milk is easier to digest. It’s normal for formula-fed babies to have stools between two and threetimes a day before starting solids and two times a day after starting solids.
Or, your baby might have a different normal. But if they seem to be straining and passing hard stools or suddenly start going longer and longer without a dirty diaper, they may be constipated. You can try a different formula, and speak to your doctor about other ways to get things moving.
Key features: Enfamil claims the formula will help your little one poop more comfortably within a week of use. It contains iron and a special blend of probiotics that Enfamil says aids with digestion. Like other varieties, this formula is gentle enough that it can be used every day.
Considerations: Reviews are mixed on whether or not this formula is a magic fix for constipation. A few parents note that their child’s stools turned dark green while using this formula. Others say it gave their babies diarrhea and more gas.
Best baby formula for supplementation
Maybe baby will receive formula only part time in combination with breastfeeding. In this case, you may want to find a formula specifically designed for supplementation.
Key features: Similac claims that this formula provides a “gentle introduction” to formula for breastfed babies. It includes the OptiGRO blend of DHA, lutein, and vitamin E — all nutrients found in breast milk. It also includes more probiotics than any other type of Similac formula on the market.
Considerations: A good number of parents share positive reviews of this formula. That said, some others share that this formula gave their babies loose stools and other digestive issues, like gas.
Best baby formula for preemies
Human milk is the ideal choice for preemies, however, it may not always be available. Babies born prematurely may need additional support nutritionally.
As a result, formulas for preemies focus on higher calories — usually 22 to 24 per ounce versus the standard 20 — to help boost weight gain. They may also help promote long-term growth and development.
Key features: This product includes additional calories — as well as nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus — to help the baby grow in the first year. Specifically, the enriched formula aims to help premature babies “catch up” in growth better-trusted sources than they might with standard term formulas.
Considerations: While most parents explain that this formula truly did help their babies catch up, some shared it came at the price of constipation, gas, and other digestive issues. This formula isn’t sold at all stores, so you may need to order it online. And talk with your doctor about whether to use the formula with extra calories and how long to continue with it — some recommend switching to term formulas after a few months.
Other options: The Centers for Disease Control and PreventionTrusted Source suggests that liquid forms of the formula may be safer for preemies and babies with compromised immune systems. Why? In rare cases, the powdered formula may harbor a germ called Cronobacter Sakazakii that can lead to infection. Speak with your doctor if you have concerns and for specific formula suggestions.
Best baby formula for allergies
Some babies may be allergic to cow’s milk protein and need hypoallergenic formula — specifically, one where the protein has been broken down either partially or extensively. These formulas are also called protein hydrolysate formulas. They’re for babies who can’t drink milk- or soy-based varieties.
Best organic baby formula
Formulas labeled organic must meet certain standards, like being made without contaminants like prohibited synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. Organic formulas are also free from artificial flavors and colors, growth hormones, preservatives, and other additives.
Key features: Earth’s Best’s Sensitivity blend is made with 95 percent less lactose than standard formulas. This means it may be more easily digested by babies who are sensitive to lactose (which is very uncommon). Its dairy ingredients are organic, coming from grass-fed cows, and the formula also contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, lutein, and prebiotics to support your baby’s immune system.
Considerations: Some parents explain that they like the formula, but that it can be inconsistent from batch to batch (some more foamy, for example). Others like that this formula tastes like milk, but a few note that they’re unhappy with the high corn syrup solids content. It’s worth noting, though, that corn syrup solids, also sometimes called “maltodextrin,” is a common ingredient in most infant formulas.
Best plant-based baby formula
Fun fact: Around 25 percent of all formula sold in the United States is soy-based. These formulas are free of both lactose and cow’s milk protein and maybe better digested by some babies with certain medical conditions.
Talk with your doctor before switching to soy, however. Some studies show that preterm babies fed soy gain significantly less weight than those on standard formulas.
Key features: Gerber claims that their soy formula can help ease the fussiness and gas babies experience with cow milk allergies. The formula includes soy protein, vitamin D, DHA, and added calcium to support growth and development.
Considerations: Soy may not be the magic answer for all babies. Some parents share that this formula made gas and colic issues worse with their little ones. Others say the powder is lumpy and difficult to mix.
Key features: This lactose-free formula doesn’t contain any genetically modified ingredients or artificial additives, like colors, flavors, or pesticides. It’s made from organic soybeans and contains both DHA and ARA — two fatty acids that are naturally found in breast milk.
Considerations: Some parents say this formula is hard to find at local stores and that ordering online can be tricky to remember. A few others say this mix made their babies constipated more than other soy brands.
Best budget baby formulas
Your baby drinks a ton of formula in the first year. So, you may just be thinking of the bottom line. Good news for you — beyond the well-known formula manufacturers, there are some solid generic options that provide the same nutrition and safety on a dime.
Key features: Kirkland’s blend contains 2′-FL Human Milk Oligosaccharide, which is a prebiotic found in breast milk. This prebiotic may help support your little one’s immune system, according to research Trusted Source. The dairy-based formula comes from cows that were not treated with artificial growth hormones.
Considerations: Some parents share that this formula is a bit more chalky and foamy than Similac. With older children, this new non-GMO formula may cause more gassiness.
*Note: You can only purchase this formula if you have a club membership to Costco. If you don’t have a Costco near you, you can always join the
What is the closest formula to breast milk? Infant Formula Milk Based Powder with Iron
Fed is best, so if you’re looking for an organic formula that closely mimics breast milk, Happy Baby is a good choice.
What is the best formula for a newborn? Enfamil NeuroPro
The makers market this as a good choice for very young babies, including those who also have breast milk. This formula is made with non-GMO ingredients. It contains probiotics, which may benefit digestion in adults, though the benefits in children and babies are unknown, and the research is limited.
What is the closest formula to breast milk in South Africa?
It is very important to highlight that the only acceptable alternative to breast milk is commercial infant formula.
Is Enfamil better than Similac?
Safety of both brands. The good news is that both Enfamil and Similac are safe for your baby and meet all your infant’s basic nutritional needs. The Food and Drug Administration regulates all infant and baby formula brands in the United States.
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