The 10 Best Baby Formulas to Buy 2020

The 10 Best Baby Formulas to Buy 2020

Making sure your baby has healthy, nutritious food is one of the most important things a parent can do during their baby’s first year. Conventional wisdom says that the best way to do this is by breastfeeding, but advances in baby formula have made it so that no parent ever has to feel guilty for supplementing or replacing their infant’s food with formula. A good baby formula provides all the nutrition a baby needs for the first 12 years of their life. Parents have a huge selection of formulas that address a wide variety of health and developmental needs. To help you pick the right one for your newborn, here are the 10 best baby formulas to buy in 2020.

Where can you find popular baby formulas?

What to Know Before Picking a Formula

Formula Basics

The first year of your baby’s life is an exciting time, but it can also be confusing. With so many decisions to make, most parents don’t have the time to research every ingredient in their baby’s food, leading them to fear that they are feeding their babies the wrong thing. Thankfully, baby formula and its ingredients are not as complex as it may appear at first glance. Here are the basics you should know before picking one.

Types of Baby Formula

The first decision parents need to make concerning their baby’s formula is what the base ingredient can be. Here are some of the common ingredients used as a base for baby formula.

  • Cow’s Milk: The most common and least expensive type, baby formulas made from cow’s milk should be most parents’ first choice unless their pediatrician suggests one of the alternatives below.
  • Soy Milk: The most frequently used base for vegan formulas, Soy milk is often used for ethical or environmental reasons. Earth’s Best Organic Soy Infant Formula is our favorite soy-based formula.
  • Lactose-Free: Allergies to cow milk can cause colic, intense crying for three or more hours per day. Enfamil Nutramigen is our pick for babies with allergies

Formula Style

Now that you have an idea what kind of ingredients you are looking for, the next thing to consider is preparation. As a new parent, you will be making lots of baby formula over the course of the next year. You have a few options when it comes to how you’ll be preparing your baby’s formula.

  • Powder concentrate: This is the most common type of baby formula, the least expensive, and the one we strongly suggest most parents choose, especially if they want to order formula online. Preparing this formula is done by mixing equal parts of powder and water in a bottle.
  • Ready-to-use: Usually delivered in individual bottles, ready-to-use formula arrives in liquid form and requires no preparation. While this can be useful in some situations like while traveling or at a theme park, the large increase in cost means that most parents will want to pick powder for their everyday feeding. Our favorite ready-to-use baby formula is Similac Alimentum.
  • Liquid concentrate: The worst of both worlds, liquid concentrate is more expensive and still requires mixing! Especially when buying formula online, be sure to avoid this kind of baby formula.

Added Nutrients and Benefits

Finally, once you have it narrowed down to a few different formulas, you’ll want to make your decision based on the additional nutrients and benefits offered in each formula. Some are meant to address specific conditions and needs, while others are intended to provide a more general boost to your baby’s development. Here are some common additives seen in baby formula.

  • Iron: Iron is an important mineral that aids in muscle growth and bone building. Iron has a reputation for causing constipation, but this is a bit of a misconception as the amount contained in baby formula is usually not enough to cause this.
  • Prebiotics/Probiotics: These ingredients are made to aid in digestion and soothe babies who are having tummy troubles. While most baby formulas contain some of these, formulas like Similac Pro-Sensitive are specifically designed for sensitive stomachs.
  • DHA/ARA: Synthesized fatty acids originally found in breastmilk, one or both of these additives are found in most formulas available. They are important for healthy brain and eye development.

Now that you have a better idea of what to look for, here is our list of the top baby formulas for 2020.

Top 10 Best Baby Formulas 2020

1. Best Overall Baby Formula: Similac Pro Advance

Similac Pro Advance

Why we like it: Similac Pro Advance is our top overall baby formula pick. It is also the only available formula that includes HMO, an immune nourishing prebiotic.

Editor’s Rating:

Amazon Subscribe & Save: Yes
Type: Cow’s milk
Style: Powder concentrate

The Similac Pro-Advance Non-GMO formula is the #1 choice of mothers and the most used formula in hospitals. It contains excellent levels of nutrition that will support healthy growth and development in your baby through the first year.

Ingredients: This is the only brand of formula that contains 2’-FL HMO, an immunity-boosting probiotic that can only be found in breastmilk. The gap that can be found between breastfeeding and formula feeding is narrowed with this product that is the closest match to a mother’s milk.

The Similac Optigrow formula contains healthy levels of DHA, lutein, and vitamin E to promote excellent brain, eye, and bone development. There are no growth hormones in this formula and all its ingredients are tested to contain only the highest levels of nutrition—though the powder does have a slightly off milky order.

Benefits: By developing a strong immune system in your baby, you are protecting them in the most critical stage of their development. The presence of the 2’-FL HMO probiotic is a step ahead of other products in keeping babies safe from infection and viruses.

For the parent’s convenience, this formula comes in a choice of powder or Ready to Use formats. When making the transition from breast milk to formula, parents agree that this product was easy to integrate into their baby’s routine.

Pros

  • Highly recommended by doctors
  • Non-GMO product
  • Easy to transition
  • Reduces gas and fussiness

Cons

  • Has a slight odor

2. Best Budget Baby Formula: Similac Advance

Similac Advance

Why we like it: An excellent choice for parents on a budget, Similac Advance Infant Formula provides complete nutrition for your baby’s first year.

Editor’s Rating:

Amazon Subscribe & Save: Yes
Type: Cow’s milk
Style: Powder concentrate

Similac is the #1 brand of formula chosen by mothers. Similac Advance is a milk-based powder and a nutritionally complete formula made from high-quality ingredients. It features OptiGRO, a proprietary blend of several ingredients proven to assist with the physical and mental development of your child. Because this formula is so affordable and comes in large, convenient containers, this is a great choice for families with multiples.

Ingredients: Similac Advance is made using OptiGRO, an exclusive blend of lutein, vitamin E, and DHA to provide nutrition and a variety of developmental benefits. Similac is a leader in the industry and was the first formula company to eliminate any ingredients that contain artificial growth hormones.

Benefits: Each component of the OptiGRO blend is designed to provide a specific benefit to a growing baby. Lutein is proven to provide a benefit to the eye health of growing babies, vitamin E assists with growth and development, and DHA provides an important boost to the development of your infant’s brain. Parents can feel confident that they are providing their infants with all the required nutrition for their first year with Similac Advance. Unfortunately, some babies with certain needs like allergies or constipation will need a more specialized formula.

Value: At under $1 per ounce, Similac Advance is one of the most affordable complete nutrition formulas available. Parents ordering online can also take advantage of Amazon’s “Subscribe & Save” option to save more money.

Pros

  • One of the most cost-effective high-quality baby formulas on the market
  • Contains OptiGRO, an exclusive blend of nutrients
  • #1 brand of baby formula chosen by moms

Cons

  • Not the best choice for babies with cow’s milk allergies

3. Best Premium Baby Formula: Enfamil NeuroPro

Enfamil NeuroPro

Why we like it: Made with a unique blend of brain-building proteins, Enfamil NeuroPro Baby Formula is our favorite formula for parents looking to enhance their baby’s mental development.

Editor’s Rating:

Amazon Subscribe & Save: Yes
Type: Cow’s milk
Style: Powder concentrate

Enfamil NeuroPro Baby Formula was created in response to emerging research showing the powerful effect that MFGM has on cognitive development in babies. Offering complete nutrition for babies under 12 months, this formula is a great example of why Enfamil is routinely rated #1 among pediatricians. This formula is made using only non-GMO ingredients and each container has enough powder to fill about 18 eight-ounce baby bottles.

Ingredients: The result of years of research by Mead Johnson, Enfamil NeuroPro Baby Formula is the only formula to contain a blend of MFGM & DHA. MFGM stands for Milk Fat Global Membrane. It is a three-layered membrane that is normally found in breastmilk. The MGFM in this formula is made from cow’s milk. There are no artificial growth hormones, but there the formula does contain dual prebiotics.

Benefits: Because Enfamil NeuroPro Baby Formula is so closely inspired by breastmilk, it also offers many of the same benefits. The MFGM & DHA combine for a boost to your baby’s mental development. Additionally, the prebiotics has an HMO effect on your baby’s immune system. This formula is also easy to digest.

Value: Sold at a moderate price, Enfamil NeuroPro Baby Formula is a great choice for parents who are willing to pay a few extra dollars on their baby’s formula in order to give their brains a developmental boost.

Pros

  • Contains MFGM
  • Promotes positive brain development
  • Boosts baby’s immune system

Cons

  • More expensive than some other baby formulas

4. Best Baby Formula For Sensitive Stomachs: Similac Pro-Sensitive

Similac Pro-Sensitive

Why we like it: Similac Pro-Sensitive uses only non-GMO ingredients to address lactose sensitivity issues with your newborn. Great for easy digestion and happy babies.

Editor’s Rating:

Amazon Subscribe & Save: Yes
Type: Cow’s milk
Style: Powder concentrate

This Similac Pro-Sensitive formula is the only product on the market that has 2’-FL Human Milk Oligosaccharide (HMO). This is a prebiotic that helps to boost the immune systems of infants and could only be found in breast milk. This allows some of the immunity function gaps between formulas and breastmilk to become much smaller.

Many parents are hesitant when they find they need to use formula with their babies. Whether you are unable to breastfeed or are going through the transition that comes with going back to work, this formula can help make things go a lot smoother.

Ingredients: All ingredients in this formula are strictly non-GMO and include no trace of artificial growth hormones. It’s formulated with the Similac patented Optigrow ingredients of DHA, lutein and vitamin E, supporting brain, eye and rapid cell development.

This milk based infant formula is specifically designed to address issues of lactose intolerance in infants. By breaking up the lactose proteins into tiny particles it makes it much easier to digest without a harsh reaction. It is not for use for children or babies with galactosemia, and it has been known to cause constipartion.

Benefits: Found to reduce the occurrence of feeding time spit ups, this formula helps babies improve their tolerance for lactose products and is gentle on their stomachs. Less mess equals more food staying in your baby’s tummy.

This is the #1 brand that is recommended by moms. It comes in a choice of plastic refillable container or a classic cardboard and tin can. Both options have a convenient scoop holder on the outside so the scoop doesn’t have to be put back into the powder.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Widely available
  • High nutritional value
  • Easily on sensitive stomachs

Cons

  • Can cause constipation

5. Best Baby Formula For Colic: Enfamil Nutramigen

Enfamil Nutramigen

Why we like it: Enfamil Nutramigen Hypoallergenic Colic Baby Formula is our favorite for babies who suffer from colic due to allergies. It also contains many ingredients designs to assist your baby’s development.

Editor’s Rating:

Amazon Subscribe & Save: Yes
Type: Cow’s milk
Style: Powder concentrate

A colicky baby can be incredibly stressful. More than simply crying, a baby suffering from colic may scream so intensely that it seems like they are in pain. Babies affected by colic may cry three or more hours every day. One of the most common causes of colic is food allergies. Enfamil Nutramigen Hypoallergenic Colic Baby Formula is lactose-free and provides quick relief for babies who have an allergy to lactose.

Ingredients: Enfamil Nutramigen Hypoallergenic Colic Baby Formula is the only formula with Enflora LGG, a compound that assists in managing colic that occurs as a result of allergies. This formula also contains ingredients designed to boost your baby’s development in a variety of ways. This includes iron, DHA, and ARA.

Benefits: Enflora LGG is proven to relieve colic caused by cow’s milk allergy in less than 48 hours. This can be an absolute lifesaver for parents who are being kept up at night by crying babies. Additionally, because babies who are allergic to cow’s milk are more susceptible to other kinds of allergies as they grow older, LGG is formulated to help reduce the chance of future allergies by up to 50%.

While it’s not the most expensive formula we reviewed, parents do have to pay a premium for the hypoallergenic ingredients in this baby formula. We still think it’s an excellent value for parents of babies with allergies.

Pros

  • The best formula for babies who are allergic to cow’s milk
  • Provides relief for colicky babies
  • Contains DHA, ARA, iron, and Enflora LGG

Cons

  • More expensive than other formula options

6. Best Probiotic Baby Formula: Gerber Good Start Soothe Powder

Gerber Good Start Soothe Powder

Why we like it: Gerber Good Start Soothe Powder is specially formulated with Comfort Proteins to be extra gentle on sensitive tummies.

Editor’s Rating:

Amazon Subscribe & Save: Yes
Type: Cow’s milk
Style: Powder concentrate

Babies only start using their own digestive systems after they are born. Prior to birth they are solely reliant on the umbilicus to provide them with their nutrients straight from their mother.

After babies are born, it can take some a little while to adapt to eating differently. Some time is required to allow the digestive system to adapt. It can take some time for the proper bacteria to accumulate in the digestive tract causing some sensitivity to some formulas.

Gerber Good Start Gentle Powder is specially engineered to protect sensitive stomachs from any harsh ingredients that may be irritating. Gerber uses their patented Comfort Proteins that have been broken down to help ease the digestion process. Smaller particles are easier for the new digestive systems of infants to digest making them less fussy and unhappy, though it may cause some light gas or constipation.

Ingredients: This formula is closely modeled after natural breast milk. It is the only one that has DHA, pre- and probiotics as well as antioxidants to aid in the breakdown of protein. The formula is milk-based and is formulated using only non-GMO ingredients.

Benefits: There is no strong odor with this product that is commonly found in other powder formulas. Sometimes a strong odor from a formula can translate to the taste causing your baby to reject it. It is suitable for infants from birth to 12 months without having to change up a level.

It can greatly reduce the amount of spit up accidents during feedings. This helps ensure that your baby is getting the proper amount of nutrition and not wearing most of a bottle on their bibs.

Pros

  • No messy feeding times
  • Mixes smoothly with no bubbles
  • Affordable and widely available

Cons

  • Occasional constipation
  • Can cause gas or fussiness

7. Best Organic Soy Baby Formula: Earth’s Best Organic Soy Infant Formula

Earth’s Best Organic Soy Infant Formula

Why we like it: One of the few Kosher organic formula options, Earth’s Best Organic Soy Infant Formula provides excellent levels of nutrition and uses only organic ingredients.

Editor’s Rating:

Amazon Subscribe & Save: Yes
Type: Soy
Style: Powder concentrate

The Earth’s Best Organic Soy formula is easy to digest and is formulated after natural breast milk. It is nutritionally complete and complies with all FDA requirements and is suitable for infants from birth to 12 months.

Ingredients: This soy-based formula is enriched with iron and completely lactose-free and gentle on fussy stomachs. Lactose intolerance in infants is what generally causes gas build-up resulting in unhappy and fussy babies. It is a great option for babies with allergies while still providing maximum nutrition. For parents that wish to promote a vegan diet to their infants, this is an excellent option. Soy infant formula has not been scientifically found to be unsafe, but many parents still prefer to avoid it, so only buy this formula after reading the debate surrounding this controversial ingredient.

It contains twice the level of DHA fatty acids that is found in other milk-based formulas. The high amount of this quality protein will help ensure the proper development of the brain and eyes.

Benefits: This formula is certified by the USDA to contain only the highest quality and inspected organic ingredients. There are no artificial colors, preservatives, GEI, pesticides or herbicides in any parts of the contents. This ensures that parents are only giving their baby the best the earth can offer.

It has been shown that this lactose-free formula can help reduce eczema as well as colic caused by allergic reactions to milk products. Keeping your baby free of gas and much more comfortable and happy after feedings is important to the comfort of the whole family. This is not specifically a treatment for allergies but a reliable option for those that are dealing with the symptoms of colic and cow milk intolerance

Pros

  • Reduces gas and fussiness
  • Treats eczema
  • Vegan alternative

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Some parents may want to avoid soy

8. Best Ready-To-Feed Baby Formula: Similac Alimentum

Similac Alimentum

Why we like it: Similac Alimentum is The #1 doctor recommended formula for the treatment of allergies in infants.

Editor’s Rating:

Amazon Subscribe & Save: Yes (only available in the quart size)

Type: Cow’s milk

Style: Ready-to-feed

Similac Alimentum is a hypoallergenic and lactose-free formula option for babies that are suffering from allergies to the sugars found in cow’s milk.

While still providing excellent nutrition to your baby, the lactose-free formula will calm your baby’s gas, fussiness and eczema symptoms within 24 hours. Keeping babies happier and letting parents get a little well deserved rest.

Ingredients: This fortified formula has added iron and is Omega-rich with DHA and ARA proteins that help aid in normal organ, brain and bone development. There is no need for parents to be concerned that this formula for allergies is lacking in any nutrition for their babies.

Although it is lactose-free, the Similac Alimentum formula contains a milk protein that is vigorously broken down to the tiniest particles. The proteins are so small that they can eliminate any allergic reactions for babies that are intolerant to cow’s milk—though some minor constipation may occur.

Benefits: The formula contains no palm olein oil and is corn product free. The larger size packaging can provide you with 60% more 6 oz bottles than with most formulas, making it last longer with fewer trips to the grocery store. Because the Similac brand name is known around the world, you will not have any problems picking up your formula at any store or online.

Pros

  • Lactose-free
  • Widely available
  • Gluten-free
  • More bottles per can

Cons

  • Slightly more expensive than average
  • Can cause constipation

9. Best Baby Formula For Constipation: Enfamil Reguline

Enfamil Reguline

Why we like it: Constipation can be a painful experience for babies and parents alike. Enfamil Reguline is our top baby formula pick for providing constipation relief.

Editor’s Rating:

Amazon Subscribe & Save: Yes

Type: Cow’s milk

Style: Powder concentrate

Babies who are constipated are in pain, and most parents will try and do whatever they can to help relieve that pain. Thankfully, Reguline baby formula from Enfamil is a great solution that can ease your baby’s digestive issues in just one week. More importantly, this formula can be used every day in order to promote soft stool until they are ready to begin adding solid food to their diet. It also contains 30 nutrients for growth and immune health.

Ingredients: The key ingredient in Enfamil Reguline that is used to promote healthy digestion is the patented dual-prebiotic blend. Additionally, this formula is made using only easy-to-digest proteins. It is also packed with vitamins and nutrients intended to promote the development of their baby’s mind and body.

Benefits: Of course, the primary benefit of Enfamil Reguline is that it contains a proven prebiotic blend that can help relieve your baby’s discomfort caused by constipation. This blend works by feeding good bacteria with a carbohydrate that can also be found in breast milk.

Only slightly more expensive than most value-priced baby formulas, Enfamil Reguline is a bargain for parents with babies that have digestion problems. Unfortunately, unlike other Enfamil products, there is not a larger value size.

Pros

  • Relieves digestive issues within 1 week
  • Promotes soft stool
  • Good price

Cons

  • No value size available

10. Best Generic Baby Formula: Love & Care Advantage Infant Formula

Love & Care Advantage Infant Formula

Why we like it: A baby formula does not need a fancy brand name to be a healthy, beneficial choice for your child. The nutrition in this generic brand of baby formula is comparable to Similac PRO-ADVANCE and the price is great.

Editor’s Rating:

Amazon Subscribe & Save: Yes

Type: Cow’s milk

Style: Powder concentrate

Sold under the “Love & Care” brand name, this baby formula is a good choice for parents who want to offer their babies superior nutrition without paying a premium price. Each large container contains 23.2 ounces of milk-based powder and contains no artificial growth hormones. Love & Care formulas are produced in Vermont and Ohio in the USA. We encourage parents with any budget to try a generic formula once as it can save you a lot of money in your baby’s first year.

Ingredients: Even at the low price, Love & Care Advantage Infant Formula contains many premium ingredients that are often only found together in premium baby formulas. These ingredients include DHA, the probiotic HMO, zinc, Lutein, and vitamins A, C, and E.

Benefits: Love & Care Advantage Infant Formula provides complete quality nutrition for any baby between 0 and 12 months. One area where this formula does not perform as well as its brand-name counterparts is taste. While there are many babies that take this formula with no complaint, babies tend to reject it at a slightly higher rate.

Value: For babies who like it, Love & Care Advantage Infant Formula carries the best nutritional bang for the buck of any of the baby formulas we reviewed. Parents using this formula instead of a comparable brand name can expect to save over $300 in the formula during their baby’s first year.

Pros

  • Excellent value
  • Lots of premium ingredients
  • Supports physical and mental development

Cons

  • Babies tend to reject the taste of this formula slightly more than other brands

Guide to Buying the Best Baby Formula

baby drinking formula from bottle

For many parents of newborns, there can be a high level of anxiety that comes with the desire to provide only the best products for their babies.

Science is still unable to fully replicate the undeniable benefits of breast milk but it is coming closer every day. Many parents that are starting the transition to formula feeding can be overwhelmed by the sheer options that are available on the market.

Knowing the facts about formulas and the ingredients that will be most beneficial to your baby is the best place to start. Every formula is required to meet specific nutritional guidelines, but not all products are equal.

Some products are engineered to address certain infant issues like lactose intolerance, or difficulties in proper digestion. Each baby has very different needs and having all the information about your choices can make your decision a bit easier.

Let’s take a look at some of the basic information about formulas. The different serving styles, formats, and specific formulations. Getting to know what will work the best for your baby’s needs will save you time and headaches and help keep your baby happy.

Formula Base

Infant formulas come in a variety of base ingredients. From cow’s milk to lactose-free mixtures there are several options to choose from. Most babies are content with a cow’s milk formula, however, the following options are also available to meet the specific needs of your baby and lifestyle.

It is important to not switch formulas too often. If your little one is having difficulty with a certain brand, talk to your doctor about the symptoms, and get a recommendation as to what may work better. Having constant changes in a formula can make digestion difficult and cause tolerance issues to become worse.

Cow’s Milk:

  • This is the most common formulation in formulas and contains an altered milk protein that makes it easier for infants to digest without gassiness or spit ups.
  • Often the most economical choice and is widely available in stores and online

Soy Milk:

  • This is a popular choice for families that are living a Vegan lifestyle
  • Contains altered plant proteins that are broken down for easier digestion
  • An option for babies who are intolerant to lactose causing them issues

Lactose-Free:

  • This type of formula is used for babies that are lactose intolerant or have allergy issues
  • It is not readily available in all brands and can be slightly more expensive
  • Corn syrup is used instead of lactose to provide needed proteins

Hydrolyzed:

  • Newborns have very sensitive digestive systems that are often still developing and can be sensitive during protein digestion
  • The hydrolyzation process breaks down the proteins into tiny particles that allow babies to more easily digest the formula with less discomfort
  • Often used for infants that have protein absorption issues or allergies

Metabolic:

  • Generally prescribed by a doctor for babies that are ill or premature
  • Specifically designed enzymes, hydrolyzed proteins, and added nutrients can be necessary for proper development in babies that may be struggling

Though many babies can benefit from soy milk and lactose-free formulations, hydrolyzed and metabolic formulas are only needed in rare cases.

Formula Serving Options

Powder formulas used to be the only option available to parents, but with changing times, and advanced technology, many brands come in a variety of serving options. With lifestyles that are on the go, having more choices in the preparation of formula can be a great time saver for parents.

Powder:

  • By far the cheapest option available
  • With containers primarily made from recycled cardboard, this is the most environmentally-friendly option available
  • No refrigeration required
  • Has the longest shelf life
  • Easy to mix equal parts water and formula
  • Widely available in stores and online

Ready To Use:

  • If you are concerned about the water quality where you live this is a safe option to use
  • Convenient pre-filled bottles that require no mixing or measuring
  • Safe to use from birth to 12 months
  • This is the style that is used by many hospitals to save time
  • They have a short shelf life and must be refrigerated

Liquid Concentrate:

  • A slightly cheaper option than the Ready to Use format, but more more expensive than powders
  • Not available in all brand names
  • Requires an equal mix of water and concentrate
  • Needs to be refrigerated
  • No messy powder

Nutritional Additives

Formulas are designed to provide the closest to breast milk nutrition for your baby. Although this is generally good enough on its own, many brands have added certain minerals, probiotics and nutrients to enhance the benefits of their formula.

DHA/ARA:

  • Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids that are associated with proper brain and eye development
  • Found naturally in breastmilk

Iron and Calcium:

  • Fortified formulas have higher levels of vital Iron and/or Calcium
  • These are often added to formulas that are non-milk based to balance out the lack of natural ingredients found in lactose
  • There are low iron formulas that are available but can cause an iron deficiency in some infants if used long term

Prebiotics and Probiotics:

  • Developing digestive tracts in babies can struggle with not having enough healthy bacteria to aid in proper digestion of proteins
  • Pre/Probiotics help in the breakdown of foods and keep babies more comfortable
  • These are not necessary if you are only supplementing with formula as they are naturally found in breastmilk

Keep These Tips in Mind When Shopping For Formula

Most parents want to be as prepared as possible for the arrival of their child. Stocking up on things like diapers and onesies is a great idea, but be careful not to invest too much in pre-bought formulas.

It is impossible to predict what type of formula will work best for your baby. Take advantage of the samples that are given out by hospitals and find out what type of formula is already being given to your baby.

Once you find a formula that works well, it’s time to shop in bulk. Powder formulas have the longest shelf life and are easy to store with no refrigeration required. Keep an eye out for product sales and brand coupons to help you save some money.

Make sure to check the dates on all of your formulas. If you are buying in larger quantities, you don’t want to end up having a stockpile of formula that won’t be good for very long.

Consider using a store brand of formula. Most of these options are highly recommended by parents and physicians and can help cut the costs of feeding your baby. Keep in mind that milk-based powder formulas are almost always the cheapest option.

BPA

Many brands of formula will list directly on their packaging as to whether their product is free from BPA. This is a chemical that is used in manufacturing to produce the container lining.

In certain conditions, this lining can break down and contaminate the package contents. You are more likely to find BPA-free options in formulas that come in cardboard tins than in plastic containers.

You’ll also want to ensure that the bottle you’re using is free of harmful chemicals, so don’t forget to look at our list of the Best Baby Bottles available today.

Homemade Recipes

Although there are many family recipes that can be found for infant formulas, they are not recommended for regular feedings. There is no way to know if the levels of nutrition are sufficient enough to provide proper nutrition to your baby. The lack of certain nutrients and proteins in homemade formulas can potentially cause harmful effects.

Preparation Tips

For first time parents and for those using formulas for the first time keep these guidelines in mind to ensure safe and proper preparation of your formula.

  • Thoroughly wash your hands and the preparation surface before starting to mix formulas
  • Follow all of the directions on the brand label
  • Boil water before mixing. Bottled water is not recommended.
  • Do not try to stretch out your formula as it can lead to issues of malnutrition
  • Mix as you go. It is wise to only make one days worth of bottles as they should only be kept for up to 24 hours
  • Keep all bottles clean and sanitized (Check out our guide to the Best Bottle Sterilizers for product recommendations and tips)
  • Unfinished bottles should never be reheated or put in the refrigerator for later. If feeding is not finished it is best to throw it out.