For every new parent, whether a first-timer or not, the first thing that comes to mind is to provide their child with the basic needs of life. To feed and protect one’s baby is an instinct as old as time. It’s no brainer that the regular way to provide your child nutrients is to breastfeed.
But in a case whereby that isn’t an option for the mother, what then happens? Should the child be allowed to starve? No.
There are so many reasons as to why some mothers cannot breastfeed their children and its understandable. There are many options for formulas in the market, but choosing the best infant formula powder is where the difficulty lies.
All formulas are not the same, although they are all manufactured to meet the basic requirements of nutritional guidelines, still, it varies.
Today, we would be providing an in-depth review of everything you should know about the best infant formula powder.
Table of Contents
Which Milk Powder Is Best For Infants?
Quick Pick on the Best Baby Milk Powder For Infants
Reviews of the Best Infant Formula Powder
1. Best Infant Formula Powder – Similac Pro-Advance Non-GMO Infant formula
There are a whole lot of factors to put into consideration when getting the right formula for your infant, and this one ticks all the right boxes.
It is made with HMO, Human Milk Oligosaccharide—a probiotic which nourishes the immune system and it is very similar to the one found in breast milk. HMO is essential in any infant formula, as it feeds good bacteria to the gut and this is where most of the immune system is found.
It also contains essential vitamins and nutrients that aid in the development of the eyes, brains and other cells. Similac Pro-Advance doesn’t contain any artificial growth hormones and it is also Non-GMO. In addition, it helps to reduce gassiness and fussiness in infants.
Similac is the number 1 brand of infant formula almost any hospital would recommend. So, it is highly possible that if you get to start using the formula from day one, then the hospital already has some samples for you to get started on.
2. Infant Milk Powder – Enfamil NeuroPro Baby Formula Milk Powder For Brain Building
Enfamil NeuroPro is the right replacement if you are thinking of not breastfeeding your baby at all. Due to the fact that it contains the overall nutrients found in breast milk, most mothers would find it an option to consider. It contains 50% more DHA and ARA found in regular standard infant formula—for eye and neural development. This formula also has partially hydrolyzed non-fat milk, which would aid digestion, making it easier and faster.
3. Best Milk Powder For Infants – Happy Baby Organic Milk-Based Powder with Non GMO
The brand is founded and operated by moms, which gives them an edge because they should know one or two about breast milk. It also means they should know what it tastes like, and what formula would achieve that, or come very close to it.
In case you are bothered or very conscious about your surroundings and you want your baby to lead a pure organic life, then you may want to consider this organic formula.
The Happy Baby Organic formula is non-GMO and it doesn’t contain any artificial sweeteners or corn syrup solids, making it easier to digest. This particularly sets it apart from other formulas, plus it has a BPA free making, making sure your baby is free from any BPA related complications. However, it contains organic soy lecithin, which might not be so good for kids who are extremely sensitive or have allergies, but overall babies seem to enjoy the taste. It contains essential fatty acids like, ARA and DHA and lots of vitamins and minerals that are found in breast milk.
Plus, it contains GOS and FOS, these are the two probiotics that mimic the natural probiotics found in breast milk—it aids the baby in keeping an appropriate and healthy amount of gut bacteria. That’s the best addition because these probiotics help the food digest easily and relive your infant of any tummy related troubles.
4. Best For Premature Baby – Similac NeoSure Infant Formula with DHA and Rich Iron
This formula is the right pick for babies born prematurely for obvious reasons, it contains additional calories. Since your baby is not fully developed, you need a formula with nutrients like magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus as well; this is to help your baby grow well in the first year. The Similac NeoSure is specifically designed to ensure that premature babies catch up in growth better than they would when using other standard infant formulas.
There is a bit of scarcity with this infant formula, so you may need to order yours online and have it delivered to you. It is also important that you talk to your doctor and discuss whether it is right to use this formula and how long to use it because some doctors would recommend you switching formulas after a few months.
5. Best Advanced – Similac Rich Nutrition Infant Formula Powder
Similac Advance Formula is usually termed one of the best formulas for infants in terms of how close it is to breast milk. It can serve as a substitute for mothers who for one reason or the other cannot breastfeed. Besides, there are also an appropriate amount of calories and nutrients in their right proportion, so as to provides all the essential nutrients and vitamins required for the maximum development of infants during their first year. Nutrients like DHA and ARA, which are crucial in the brain and eye development of infants, are also present in the Similac Advance formula.
Similac Advance contains an important antioxidant known as carotenoids which are known to prevent various forms of cancer and also protect the infant’s cells. The level of nucleotides found in this formula is much higher than almost all other standard formulas. This means that your baby would be less cranky and sleep for longer periods peacefully.
Also, it comes in a bottle free of BPA, so this protects your child from any complications that may arise as a result of using BPA related products.
It is important to remember that Similac Advance contains the right proportion of Calcium to support proper bone development of infants, and it doesn’t contain palm olein—known for its harmful and negative effect on calcium and fat absorption.
6. Best Gentlest – Enfamil NeuroPro Infant Baby Formula For Sensitive Babies
The Neuro-Pro line has been known to have undergone years of scientific research on breast milk and the connection to brain-building qualities. The Enfamil NeuroPro Gentlease is the only formula that has the Milk Fat Globule Membrane, MFGM—a three-layered membrane that was formerly found in only breast milk which aids in brain development. Enfamil Neuro Pro also contains proteins, DHA, vitamins and baby probiotics that help to boost and strengthen the immune system.
Every baby gets gas related problems no matter how well-fed they are, so when you see your baby thrashing around and grunting after being fed, then most likely gas is the problem. Most parents love to opt for this formula because it drastically reduces gassiness, colic, and fussiness in kids, leaving them to have a sound sleep at any time. Enfamil NeuroPro Gentlease is made with lactose lower in quantity than the standard infant formulas, making it easier for your kids to digest.
7. Best Breast Milk Supplement – Earth’s Best Organic Gentle Iron Milk-Based Powder
The Earth’s Best Organic formula is made with easy to digest protein, very suitable for babies whose stomachs are sensitive to lactose, or who have difficulties digesting proteins. This formula contains Omega-3 DHA and Omega-6 ARA found in breast milk, and it helps in brain and eye development of infants, which occur pretty fast in the first year, and it doesn’t contain any artificial growth hormones.
The brand uses an organic formula that is made without any prohibited fertilizers and none of the ingredients present in the formula are genetically modified.
Earth’s Best Organic formula aids in relieving kids who are usually fussy or have gassiness. You can opt for this formula if you want to supplement breastfeeding, and also if you want to go exclusive. It meets all the FDA requirements and contains all the necessary nutrients needed for the growth and development of your infants during the first 12 months. Best of all, it doesn’t have a sugary taste or a nasty iron taste, making it one of the best organic formula for supplementing.
8. Best Milk-Based Formula – Enfamil Gentlease Sensitive Baby Formula
Enfamil NeuroPro Gentlease is the perfect start for babies with sensitive stomachs, the formula helps to ease fussiness, gas and crying in babies, although they are common feeding issues, sometimes it just gets quite overwhelming. It is made with broken-down protein suitable for infants with sensitive tummies. This formula constitutes of essential nutrients and minerals like DHA and Choline, needed during the first 12 months of age, in order to support the cognitive development of your infant.
9. Best Non-GMO – Love & Care Infant Milk-Based Powder with Basic Nutrients
Love & Care infant milk contains all the necessary nutrients your baby needs to develop properly during the first year. It acts as a great supplement to breast milk, as it provides the basic nutrients. This formula features a fatty acid, which is responsible for the development of your baby’s eye and brain cells. Also, it contains choline that is naturally found in breast milk, and aids brain and eye development as well.
One interesting fact about this formula is that it contains Inositol. Colostrum which is the first breast milk produced during pregnancy is well abundant in Inositol, so you can be sure your infant isn’t missing out on anything if you plan on sticking to formula from the first day.
It also contains probiotics and other minerals and vitamins that would boost the overall immune system and digestive health of your infant.
10. Best For Colic Baby – Enfamil Nutramigen Lactose Free Baby Formula
Obviously, not all babies can digest cow’s milk protein, some can be sensitive to it and would need a hypoallergenic formula—a formula where the protein has been broken down partially or extensively.
This particular infant formula is sucrose and lactose-free, ideal for children that are lactose intolerant, and who can’t drink soy-based varieties. Enfamil claims fast management of colic for infants who use this formula. Colic disease often causes gassiness and stomach issues in babies. Most babies who use the Enfamil Nutramigen experience from the level of relief from their allergies within as little as 48 hours of consumption.
Enfamil Nutramigen strengthens the immune system to traditional milk protein formula without steering up any form of allergy. It can also help to reduce future allergies—this fact is according to Enfamil sponsored research. However, you should not that Nutramigen might not offer any form of relief to your baby if their issues aren’t allergy-related.
Different Types of Infant Formula Powder
If you are planning on opting for a powdered formula for your baby, you should know what types are available to choose the best. Commercial infant formulas all follow strict guidelines of the Food and Drug Administrative. There are 3 major types available, so choose which you feel is appropriate and needed for your infant to be healthy.
Cow milk protein-based formula
These days, most formula is made using cow’s milk, however, it has been altered to have a high resemblance to breast milk, that way you can be sure your infant is getting the right nutrient. And to top it, it is very easy to digest. Babies love cow milk, but as usual, some are allergic to that, and therefore they need other types of infant formula.
This formula is extremely useful if you plan on taking away animal protein from your infant’s diet. It can also be used as an alternative, if your child is cow’s milk intolerant or allergic, or even to lactose in general – a carbohydrate naturally contained in cow’s milk. Note that, it’s also possible for your child to be allergic to soy milk and cow milk at the same time.
For babies who are born prematurely or facing illness, metabolic-based infant formula is usually prescribed by the doctor.
Protein hydrolysate formula
What happens if your child is both cow’s milk and soy milk intolerant? That’s where protein hydrolysate formula comes in. These formulas contain protein that has already been broken down into very small sizes, and it is suitable for infants who are allergic to cow’s milk and soy milk. For children who are allergic to the protein, then the extensively hydrolyzed formula is an option.
This type of infant formula powder is recommended for babies who are lactose intolerant. Instead of lactose, it uses starch syrup.
How to Choose the Best Infant Formula Powder
Before choosing a particular brand of formula powder, you should receive a suggestion from the doctor.
Most doctors would recommend you feed your child with cow’s milk; a lot of formulas on the market today are made from that. But if your baby is allergic to the formula, your doctor would probably suggest a formula made with soy.
When choosing a powdered formula for your child, you should make sure you go for one that contains probiotics.
In case you aren’t clear on that, probiotics are the “good guys,” even though they are bacteria—they live in some yogurts and the gut. To keep their intestines healthy, infants should be fed with formulas containing probiotics, as it is the same bacteria that breastfed babies have.
Another thing to look out for is the addition of iron to your infant formula.
Unless your doctor says no. American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children who aren’t breastfed should endeavor to use formulas that contain protein until the age of 1. The essence of this is to prevent anemia, which occurs when there is a low level of iron in the blood.
BPA in Infant formula
BPA or Bisphenol A is a questionable chemical used in making polycarbonate, and it is used to line metal-based food like infant formula powder. The basis of this is to prevent rust thereby increasing shelf life in the process.
BPA can easily be transferred to the food in the metal container—infant formula. It doesn’t end there, according to recent studies; it can further be transferred from plastic baby bottles and plates to the food. Over time, it has been a thing of concern to parents, who have insisted that the presence of BPA leads to aggressive behavior among other health this. Parents have backed up this claim because the system of infants is still in its developing state, so they are more prone to the effects of BPA.
In 2012, the U.S Food and Drug Administration banned the use of BPA in the manufacturing of baby bottles, and over time many infant formula manufacturers discontinued the use of BPA in their cans containing formula, on their own accord.
According to the FDA, BPA is safe at the low levels found in infant formula, but they still believe that in-depth study hasn’t been done to look closely at the behavioral and developmental effect of BPA in infants. The most recent research has shown that BPA may have effects on the prostate glands of babies and even slow down their brain development.
Continuous research is still being carried out, but for now, the FDA recommends taking adequate steps to minimize the exposure of an infant’s diet to BPA.
Formula and Breast Milk Health and Safety Tips
Safety tips for Infant Formula
There are certain microorganisms like Cronobacter sakazakii and Salmonella which are harmful that occur naturally in an environment. Most times it might even be present in powdered infant formula, although manufacturers take strict measures to prevent contamination, powdered infant formula isn’t sterile. There are a few tips to help you store powdered infant formula safely to protect the health of your children.
- Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water, plus food contact surfaces.
- Carefully wash and sterilize feeding equipment, and use sterile tongs to remove the bottles in order not to re-contaminate the clean equipment.
- If possible, always make a new bottle of infant formula at every feed.
- Make sure the preparation of the infant formula is in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications.
- Always, check the temperature of the infant formula before feeding –you can do this by placing a drop on your palm/wrist.
- If it’s not to be used immediately, the already made formula should be stored in a sterilized bottle at the coldest part of the fridge
- Throw away any un-used infant formula after 24 hours if refrigerated.
- It’s not recommended to use a microwave to rewarm formula because they heat unevenly, rather place it in heated shallow water for about 15 minutes.
Keeping Breast Milk safe
It’s a good thing that more and more mothers are breastfeeding their infants. Yet, sometimes it is highly impossible to breastfeed them—when you should be at work. So, the ideal thing to do in such a situation is to pump their breast milk and store it for later consumption. The task that comes with this procedure is how to store it.
As with any other food, proper storage and handling are very important in order to keep up the high quality of the food. There are a few ways to safely pump breast milk and store it properly:
- Always keep your hands clean and free of germs before pumping and handling of breast milk.
- Make sure to use the right equipment to store breast milk, use only clean feeding bottles. Try not to use bottle liners, because they aren’t designed to store milk, and as such it might leak.
- Before reusing storage bottles, it should be cleaned, but storage bags are not to be used more than once.
- Do not mix fresh breast milk to already frozen breast milk in a container.
- Once thawed, breast milk should not be kept for more than 24 hours; any breast milk that exceeds this time frame should be disposed of, no matter the quantity.
Top 3 Best Infant Formula Powders
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