Top 5 Best Baby Formulas (2019 Review)

Looking for the best baby formulas in 2019?

You're in the right place! 🙂

In this guide you can expect to learn the following:

  • What types of baby formula exist?
  • Should you go with powder, liquid, or ready-to-feed?
  • How should I decide based on my baby's profile (e.g., high risk/low risk)
  • Our favorite 5 baby formulas in 2018
best baby formula

There's nothing quite like the deep bonding experience of feeding your baby...

The quiet vulnerability of your little angel is never more apparent than in those hushed mealtime moments.

Nothing has the ability to pull at our heartstrings more than a contently suckling baby, nestled comfortably in our protective arms.

We all want to give our babies only the best possible nourishment and for those who are unable to exclusively breastfeed, or choose not to, there are a host of nutritionally complete formulas to choose from.

In this article we break down the best baby formulas of 2018 to help you make an informed decision.

Our Top Baby Formula Picks (2019 Edition)

Short on time? We understand. Check out this quick overview of our favorite baby formulas.

What're Types of Baby Formula?

Baby formula is a powdered or liquid milk (usually cow’s milk), designed especially for babies. Baby formula can be used in place of breastfeeding or to supplement breastfeeding.

All babies are different and what works for one could cause complications in another. For this reason there are a few basic types of formula:

Cow's Baby Milk Formula

Cow’s milk formula has been around since the very start and some of the earliest commercially available formulas consisted of cow’s milk, wheat flour, malt flour and potassium bicarbonate! Though we've certainly come a long way since then, most baby formulas today are still cow's milk based with added ingredients such as vitamins, prebiotics and fatty acids.

They’re treated to make them more suitable for babies' sensitive tummies. The list of added ingredients varies depending on the manufacturer and you should always read the full list of ingredients on the packaging. While most babies do just fine on cow's milk formula some may experience an allergic reaction to lactose.

Soy Milk Baby Formula

Many babies who suffer from cow’s milk allergies, or are lactose intolerant may find relief from gastric discomfort by switching to a soy based baby formula. Unfortunately, some babies who are allergic to cow’s milk may also be allergic to soy milk and these usually aren't recommended before the age of 6 months.

Hydrolyzed Baby Formula

Extensively hydrolyzed formulas, also known as hypoallergenic formulas, are specifically designed for babies who are lactose intolerant or suffer from cow’s milk protein related allergies. The milk proteins in these formulas have been thoroughly broken down to prevent allergic reactions and discomfort in babies who are unable to digest cow’s milk proteins otherwise.

Partially Hydrolyzed Baby Formula

As the name suggests, the proteins in partially hydrolyzed baby formula aren't broken down as much as those in extensively hydrolyzed baby formula. These larger protein particles may still cause a reaction in babies with severe allergies.

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What Forms Do The Best Baby Formulas Come In?

Powdered Baby Formula

The most affordable baby formula option, powdered formula is mixed according to package instructions - x number of scoops are added to x amount of pre-boiled water. Powdered formula has the longest shelf life and because of this, it's probably the best option for those wanting to supplement breastfeeding. Keep in mind that powdered formula is not sterile.

Although most babies have no problem with this, babies with compromised immune systems might be better off using a liquid form. Pre-mixed powdered formula can be stored in a sterilized bottle in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

Concentrated Liquid Baby Formula

A bit pricier than powdered formula, many consider concentrated liquid baby formula less of a hassle than the powdered variety.

This type of baby formula still requires mixing and generally uses a 1:1 ratio of formula to pre-boiled water. concentrated liquid baby formulas are sterile until opened, after which it's your responsibility to ensure they remain germ free. Open cans may be covered and stored in the fridge for up to 48 hours.

Ready-To-Feed Baby Formula

People are always willing to pay for convenience, and ready-to-feed formulas are definitely the most expensive of the lot. No mixing means no mistakes, meaning baby will always receive just the right amount of nutrients. Like concentrated liquid baby formula, the ready-to-feed variety is sterile. Once the can is open, the remaining formula may be covered and kept in the fridge for up to 48 hours. Any leftovers from baby's bottle should be thrown away after 2 hours out at room temperature.

How To Choose The Best Baby Formula For Your Specific Baby?

Is your baby high-risk?

It's recommended that high-risk babies (e.g., low birth weight, weak immune system or premature) use liquid formulas, if possible.

Are you or anyone else in your immediate family lactose intolerant?

 Food allergies are often hereditary and, chances are, if you're lactose intolerant or suffer from other food allergies, your child might, too.

Is convenience worth the extra cost?

If your baby is perfectly healthy and was born full-term, there probably isn't any need to shell out extra cash for special formulas.

Baby Formula Safety Tips

  • Unused powdered formula can be mixed and stored in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
  • It's best to discard any leftover formula immediately, but if you're unsure if baby is done feeding, leftovers can be kept for a maximum of 2 hours.
  • Do not use an opened can of powdered formula that is older than 1 month.
  • Both concentrated liquid formula and ready-to-feed formulas can be covered and stored in the fridge for up to 48 hours after opening.
  • Always consult your pediatrician if you suspect your baby has a food allergy.

Our Top Baby Formula Picks

We love the absolute convenience this product offers. This ready to feed formula is sheer fuss-free genius. Imagine not having to fumble with tired fingers for those late night feeds? Ah, heaven!

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Pros

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    Fuss-free convenience
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    Liquid formulas are sterile, which is one less thing to worry about
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    Immune system support
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Cons

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    A little on the expensive side

In our opinion, Enfamil Premium Concentrated Liquid Formula is a great mid-priced option and we adore the individual easy open packets!

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Pros

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    Sterile
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    Easy to use and great for traveling
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    Mixes smooth and easy
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Cons

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    Still somewhat expensive

No gluten or corn makes this an excellent option for babies with grain allergies. In a world where harmful additives are the norm, solid assurance that this product is 100% free from growth hormones, steroids and antibiotics has us hooked!

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Pros

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    Affordable
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    Organic
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    Gluten and corn free (yay!)
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Cons

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    Powdered formulas aren't sterile
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    More fuss to mix powdered formula

This product is gentle on baby's tummy thanks to the smaller, easy to digest proteins. A great partially hydrolyzed option! We love formulas that don't make too many demands on baby's developing digestive system. What good is a feed that ends in tears?

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Pros

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    Easy to digest
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    GMO Free​​​​
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    Affordable
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Cons

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    Not sterile
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    Annoying to mix the powdered formula

Extensively hydrolyzed, this is hypoallergenic baby formula is excellent for babies with cows milk allergies. Our favorite feature is the speedy reduction of colic caused by cow's milk allergies.

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Pros

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    Extensively hydrolyzed, which makes it really easy to digest
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    Suitable for babies with cow's mile allergies
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    Contains LGG. which is a probiotic proven to help build oral tolerance to cow's milk
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Cons

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    Doesn't taste all that good
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    Contains corn syrup
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    Another powdered formula

Our #1 Baby Formula Pick!

Although this one is a bit pricier, the convenience it offers is simply unbeatable and we'd choose it every time!

Looking For More Baby Guides?

Want more information on how to best care for your baby? Check out the below guides to get the most helpful baby tips and tricks on the internet. Powered by experienced mom's and dad's, Baby Schooling is here to help guide you through parenthood!

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