What Is the Best Baby Formula?

What’s the best baby formula when breastfeeding isn’t an option? Here are the top recommendations, including homemade organic baby formula options.

What's the best baby formula when breastfeeding isn't an option? Here are the top recommendations, including homemade organic baby formula options.

When it comes to feeding baby, we know that breastmilk is ideal. But what if it’s not an option and you want to find the best baby formula for your child?

If you’re having trouble with nursing, always check in with a lactation consultant (or at least a La Leche League meeting!) before you throw in the towel. Breastfeeding is hard in the beginning for almost everyone, but it does get easier so hang in there!

But, try as they might, breastfeeding simply isn’t an option for some moms and babies. Some babies have anatomical issues (lip/tongue ties or cleft palate) that make breastfeeding very difficult. Some moms don’t have enough glandular tissue, have low milk supply, are on a medication that is not breastfeeding friendly, or have another health issue. Some moms may have work conflicts and can’t find the time to pump their breast milk. And finally, some moms don’t want to breastfeed for personal or emotional reasons. But, all moms want to give their babies the very best nourishment.

Is Conventional Formula the Only Option?


In this post, we’ll explore all of the options so you can decide which is the best baby formula for you and baby.

Best Baby Formula: Donor Milk

If mom can’t provide breastmilk for baby, the next best baby formula may be milk from another human mama.

One of the biggest benefits to breastmilk is that it is a living food. (In contrast, most formulas are shelf stable and don’t “go bad” after a few weeks.) Breastmilk is brimming with live beneficial bacteria, antibodies and enzymes so it’s always best to use unpasteurized.

You can get live (unpasteurized) donor milk from organizations like:

Is donor breastmilk safe?

There are always risks involved with feeding baby anything but his own mom’s breastmilk via direct breastfeeding. Parents have to weigh the benefits of optimal nutrition (which can have lifelong health benefits) with the possibility of disease or pathogen transmission.

That said, any form of feeding besides direct breastfeeding (even feeding mom’s breastmilk via a bottle) has the potential to introduce pathogens, since contamination can happen at any point in the pump, store, bottle feeding cycle.

Pasteurized breastmilk may be even more problematic because it doesn’t have as much good bacteria left (it was destroyed by the pasteurization process) to fight off possible contamination. In other words, bad bacteria can proliferate faster in pasteurization versus unpasteurized milk, because it doesn’t have as much beneficial bacteria to crowd out the bad bacteria.

This study shows that babies fed unpasteurized donor milk were frequently exposed to a lot of bacteria but had no adverse outcomes because of the protective qualities of live milk.

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Store-bought Formula

If you don’t feel comfortable making your own formula (or don’t want to bother with it!), let’s talk about the store-bought options. Unfortunately, the FDA mandates certain nutrients, even in organic ones, which can only be created synthetically. (Interesting to note: None of these ingredients are legal in the European Union. More on this later.)

Here are some of the problematic ingredients:

  • Lutein, which is hexane-extracted from marigolds,
  • Lycopene, which is produced with toluene, a neurotoxic benzene derivative,
  • Nucleotides, which is produced from chemically treated yeast,
  • Taurine, which is processed with carcinogenic sulfuric acid,
  • and L-Carnitine, which was banned by the National Organic Standards Board because of concerns over carcinogenic properties.

If you’d like the convenience of store bought formulas, here are a few options that are more ideal than others on the market.

ByHeart Whole Nutrition Powder Infant Formula

ByHeart Whole Nutrition Powder Infant Formula (where to buy) is the first US-based formula to feature whole, organic milk. Its patented protein blend makes this formula as close to human breast milk as possible. This formula is certified pesticide-free, non-GMO, and did we mention, it’s available at Target!? 

The Whole Nutrition Infant Formula ingredient list is as follows:

Organic whole milk, lactose, organic vegetable oils (organic high oleic sunflower, organic low erucic rapeseed, organic coconut, organic sunflower), organic galactooligosaccharides, organic lactose, alpha-lactalbumin whey protein, whey protein  hydrolysate, less than 1%: lactoferrin, dha algal oil8 (schizochytrium), mortierella alpina oil¥,  vitamin a palmitate, vitamin d3, vitamin e acetate, vitamin k1, thiamine hydrochloride, riboflavin, vitamin b6 hydrochloride, vitamin b12, niacinamide, calcium pantothenate, folic acid, biotin, ascorbic acid, mixed tocopherols, ascorbyl palmitate, l-carnitine, inositol, calcium phosphate, sodium citrate, calcium carbonate, potassium citrate, ferrous sulfate, potassium chloride, magnesium phosphate, calcium chloride, zinc sulfate, cupric sulfate, manganese sulfate, potassium iodide, sodium selenate, potassium bicarbonate, choline  chloride.

It’s free from corn syrup, soy, palm oil, maltodextrin, gluten, artificial growth hormones, and hexane-extracted DHA.

Healthy Alternative: Online European Formulas

If I went with a powdered formula, I’d look into the following European formulations, which don’t have to include various synthetic ingredients per the FDA but are still safe and qualified as baby formula.

They don’t contain funky ingredients or as many artificial nutrients. They don’t contain brown rice syrup either.


Kendamil (where to buy) is an organic, whole milk formula produced in-house with local, grass-fed cows in Great Britain. Kendamil is the only formula made in England, and it’s received the seal of approval from the Royal family — if that’s not a ringing endorsement!

This formula contains prebiotics, vegetarian-friendly sources of DHA, and all of the vitamins and minerals your baby needs. This “farm to formula” design is free from all of the nasty ingredients like GMO’s, added sugars, and synthetic fillers. It’s even free from soy and palm oil. Choose stage 1 or stage 2 for a more precise nutritional content for your baby.

The Kendamil formula ingredients include:

Whole Milk , Demineralized Whey Powder enriched in alpha-lactalbumin (from Milk), Vegetable Oils (Sunflower, Coconut, Rapeseed), Lactose (from Milk), Galacto-oligosaccharides (from Milk), Skimmed Milk Powder, Calcium Citrate, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Lactate, Sodium Citrate, Choline Bitartrate, Magnesium Chloride, Docosahexaenoic Acid, Sodium Ascorbate, Potassium Hydroxide, Inositol, L-Tyrosine, Arachidonic Acid, Taurine, Nucleotides (Cytidine-5’-monophosphate, disodium Uridine-5’-monophosphate, Adenosine-5’-monophosphate, disodium Inosine-5’-monophosphate, disodium Guanosine-5’ monophosphate), L-Phenylalanine, Iron Pyrophosphate, L-Carnitine, Zinc Sulphate, Vitamin E, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Copper Sulphate, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Manganese Sulphate, Folic Acid, Potassium Iodide, Sodium Selenite, Vitamin K, Vitamin D, Biotin, Vitamin B12

Kendamil Goat Milk Formula

For babies that need a goat milk option, Kendamil provides an organic goat milk option. The Kendamil Goat Milk Formula (where to buy) features the same high-quality clean ingredients as the cow milk formula but with goat milk instead. This formula features 100% full cream goat’s milk that is loaded with prebiotics — and all of their goats are fully loved and cared for without any antibiotics or hormones.

Full ingredient list includes:

Whole Goat Milk, Demineralised Goat Whey Powder (from Milk), Vegetable Oils (Sunflower, Coconut, Rapeseed), Galacto-oligosaccharides (from Milk), Lactose (from Milk), Calcium citrate, Choline bitartrate, Potassium chloride, Calcium lactate, Sodium citrate, Magnesium chloride, Sodium ascorbate, Docosahexaenoic acid, L-Tyrosine, L-Phenylalanine, L- Tryptophan, Potassium hydroxide, Inositol, Arachidonic acid, L-Isoleucine, Taurine, Calcium phosphate, Nucleotides (Cytidine-5’-monophosphate, disodium Uridine-5’-monophosphate, Adenosine-5’-monophosphate, disodium Inosine-5’-monophosphate, disodium Guanosine-5’ monophosphate), Iron pyrophosphate, L-Carnitine, Zinc sulphate, Vitamin E, Niacin, Calcium pantothenate, Copper sulphate, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Manganese sulphate, Folic acid, Potassium iodide, Sodium selenite, Vitamin K, Vitamin D3, Biotin, Vitamin B12.

And finally… the best commercial formula…

A2 Whole Milk Toddler Formula

A2 Whole Milk Toddler Formula (where to buy) is by far the best commercial formula, but keep in mind that it is only for toddlers. As the name suggests, A2 Whole Milk Toddler Formula contains A2 beta-casein, which is far easier to digest than the A1 casein that’s found in most cow milk formulas. A2 beta-casein is also less inflammatory than A1 casein. All of the milk comes from a family farm in northern California.

Its ingredients include:

Organic Lactose, Organic A2 Whole Milk Powder, Organic Galactooligosaccharides, Organic Whey Protein Concentrate, Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Palm Oil, Organic Cocoa Butter, Less Than 2% of: Human Milk Oligosaccharides (2′-Fucosyllactose, Lacto-N-Neotetraose), Organic Inulin, Algal Oil, Organic Sunflower Lecithin, Organic Egg Lecithin, Calcium Carbonate, Sodium Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Nucleotides (Adenosine-5-Monophosphate, Cytidine-5-Monophosphate, Disodium Guanosine-5-Monophosphate, Disodium Inosine-5-Monophosphate, Disodium Uridine-5-Monophosphate), Choline Bitartrate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Magnesium Phosphate, Inositol, Natural Mixed Tocopherols, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Methylcobalamin, Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, Zinc Sulfate, Calcium Pantothenate, Niacinamide, Ferrous Sulfate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Copper Sulfate, Ascorbic Acid, L-Methylfolate, Kelp Powder, Manganese Glycinate, Phylloquinone, Sodium Selenite, Biotin, Vitamin D3, Vitamin D2.

Homemade Baby Formula Recipes

If donor milk or store-bought formulas don’t sound appealing, know that some parents make their own “live” formulas. These parents tout that DIY formula is better than conventional pasteurized formula because the milk is raw and alive, just like breast milk. Homemade formula can also be less expensive than store-bought options.

You can find recipes for both cow milk and goat’s milk formulas:

Before creating your own formula, you should always talk with your pediatrician as DIY formulas have inherent risks that could be harmful to baby.

Breastmilk and Homemade Formula Nutrient Comparison

You may be wondering how these homemade formulas match up with breastmilk. Here’s a great chart that compares nutrients of all the Weston A. Price formulas.

These nutrient comparison tables were derived from standard food nutrient tables and do not take into account the wide variation in nutrient levels that can occur in both human and animal milk, depending on diet and environment.

Breast Milk Cow’s Milk
Goat Milk
Calories 766 856 890 682
Protein 11.3g 18g 18g 15g
Carbohydrates 76g 79g 77g 69g
Total Fat 48g 52g 54g 36g
Saturated Fat 22g 28g 30g 16g
Mono Fat 18g 16g 16g 12g
Poly Fat 5.5g 5.6g 5.7g 5.6g
Omega-3 FA .58g 1.3g 1.2g 1.0g
Omega-6 FA 4.4g 4.2g 4.4g 4.5g
Cholesterol 153mg 137mg 166mg 227mg
Vitamin A* 946IU 5000IU 5000IU 20,000IU
Thiamin-B1 .15mg 1.05mg 1.1mg .19mg
Riboflavin-B2 .4mg 1.2mg 1.2mg 1.9mg
Niacin-B3 1.9mg 2.5mg 4.4mg 14.2mg
Vitamin B6 .12mg .51mg .60mg .65mg
Vitamin B12 .5mcg 1.9mcg 2.8mcg 39mcg
Folate 57mcg 236mcg 284mcg 159mcg
Vitamin C 55mg 57mg 59mg 62mg
Vitamin D 480IU 450IU 525IU 460IU
Vitamin E*** 9.9mg 6.2mg 4.7mg 4.9mg
Calcium 355mg 532mg 548mg NA**
Copper .57mg .38mg .58mg 1.9mg
Iron .33mg 1.4mg 2.2mg 5.4mg
Magnesium 37.4mg 91.3mg 96.1mg 34.5mg
Manganese .29mg .034mg .12mg .24mg
Phosphorus 151mg 616mg 729mg 344mg
Potassium 560mg 949mg 1228mg 750mg
Selenium 18.8mcg 15.4mcg 18.7mcg 31.1mcg
Sodium 186mg 308mg 320mg NA**
Zinc 1.9mg 2.8mg 2.7mg 2.5mg

* Vitamin A levels in human milk will depend on the diet of the mother. Nursing mothers eating vitamin A-rich foods such as cod liver oil will have much higher levels of vitamin A in their milk. Commercial formulas contain about 2400 IU vitamin A per 800 calories.

** Calcium and sodium values for homemade broth are not available.

*** Vitamin E values are derived from commercial vegetable oils. The vitamin E levels for homemade formulas will be higher if good quality, expeller-expressed oils are used.

What About the Dangers of Homemade Formula?

As with drinking raw milk, kombucha, or other fermented or natural products, there are risks associated with homemade formula.

You do not want to experiment or try to devise your own, as this can be very harmful for baby. Homemade formulas have led to nutritional deficiencies, dehydration, and even death.

However, the three Weston A. Price Foundation formulas mentioned above were specifically and carefully designed to recreate (as closely as possible) the nutritional composition of breastmilk. One of the formulators of the recipes was Dr. Mary Enig, who had a Ph. D in Nutritional Sciences. Over the 20 years these formulas have been in print, it is estimated that 10,000-20,000 babies have drunk these formulas safely.

Healthy Formula Supplement: Ready, Set, Food!

A host of new studies suggest early introduction is key when it comes to preventing food allergies in babies. But what’s the best way to introduce your little one to foods like eggs, peanuts, and cow’s milk?

I recommend a program, like Ready, Set, Food!, an allergist-developed system that allows you to gradually and gently introduce your baby to the most common allergens—peanuts, eggs, and cow’s milk—before they’re ready for solids, as early as four months.

You simply mix the pre-portioned powder into baby’s formula. It couldn’t be easier—there’s no concern about whether you’re introducing the right amount and there’s no need to calculate your own timeline.

Ready Set Food reduces the risk of developing food allergies by up to 80%

Steer Clear of Soy Formula

Regardless of which formula you chose for baby, just say no to soy-based formula. These formulas consist of soy protein isolates and include significant amounts of phytoestrogens of the isoflavone class (source).

Total isoflavone concentrations of soy-based formulas ranges from 32 to 47 mg/L, versus only 5.6 +/- 4.4 microg/L in human breastmilk. Infants fed soy-based formulas are exposed to 22-45 mg of isoflavones compared with barely any in breast milk. So, this makes me pause, if breast milk doesn’t have it, why are we including it?

Soy is problematic for so many reasons but the top few include:

  • Over 90% of the soy produced in the U.S. contains GMO’s
  • Soy is extremely high in anti-nutrients like saponins, phytates, protease inhibitors, oxalates, and goitrogens. Some of these can interfere with enzymes that help baby breakdown protein.
  • Soy is also high in phytoestrogens which mimic the hormone estrogen in our bodies. There haven’t been enough studies to show how this can affect a baby’s developing reproductive health.

Even the American Academy of Pediatrics states “In term infants, although isolated soy protein-based formulas may be used to provide nutrition for normal growth and development, there are few indications for their use in place of cow milk-based formula.”

If your child is sensitive to dairy, you can try the homemade Liver Based formula mentioned above or a lactose-free formula.

Weaning Off Formula

You can start slowly weaning your baby off of formula starting at around 6 months. For each child, it will be slightly different. If you make the homemade formulas, after 6 months, you can be more flexible about adding all of the ingredients (like acerola), as long as baby is eating solids and getting a nutrient-dense diet from other sources.

Here are some great ideas for baby’s first foods.

Wait until baby is 6 months old before adding in solids, especially egg yolks which can set up allergies. If you’re doing baby led weaning, you will want to add in some smoothies, shakes, and soups to be sure they’re getting extra nutrition if you’re cutting way back on formula. Most doctors agree that once baby reaches one year old, he can go onto plain milk. Once my daughter Paloma was one year old, she just drank plain, raw cow’s milk. Some children do better on goat’s milk. And some, just get their nutritional needs from food. You can experiment to see which is best for your child.

Best Baby Formula: Bottom Line

Though your breastmilk and colostrum is a perfect food for your baby, sometimes it’s not possible to exclusively breastfeed. That’s when donor milk, homemade formula, and as a last resort, certain organic formulas, can help you keep baby thriving.

How About You?

If you had to supplement, what was the best baby formula for you? Share with us in the comments below!


  • http://www.realmilk.com/safety/campaign-pasteurize-breast-milk/
  • The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. 6th Revised Edition. La Leche League International. 1997. 340 – 341
Genevieve Howland

About the Author

Genevieve Howland is a childbirth educator and breastfeeding advocate. She is the bestselling author of The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth and creator of the Mama Natural Birth Course. A mother of three, graduate of the University of Colorado, and YouTuber with over 130,000,000 views, she helps mothers and moms-to-be lead healthier and more natural lives.


  1. The homemade raw milk formula looks great. I would omit the sunflower oil, being that it’s a pro inflammatory seed oil. My thoughts are the coconut and olive oil with the butter, cream and raw milk provide plenty of essential fats. One of the main reasons to avoid store bought formula is the seed oils. Does anyone feel differently about seed oils? Is it possible when that recipe was created we didn’t know as much about the harmful affects of seed oils in the human body?

  2. Our doctor advised us to use Hipp ha formula. I found a store where I can order several packs at once for a good price – https://organicsbestshop.com/products/hipp-ha-2 . This is the first try to switch to formula. Has anyone already ordered from this store? And does it make sense to order a 12-pack at once?

    • We used Lolouka formula and both of my babies did well on it. We would order from that site (organics best) and always had a good experience. We would usually order 12 cans each time and it always arrived quickly. Last I checked they no longer sell Lolouka unfortunately. But I have heard good things about hipp too. Just very expensive and I’ve heard that the way all formulas turn the milk into a powder isn’t the best. We’re switching to the homemade formula.

  3. Why on earth is there sunflower oil added to even the healthy, homemade baby formula? Can it just be left out? Honestly, I’m shocked. Seed oils are so bad for us it’s no wonder our children are so unhealthy. When I look at formula ingredients sold in stores, I want to cry for our babies.♥️

    • I’m concerned about the sunflower oil as well. I plan on not including it and just putting in a little more of another oil. The video I watched on their website mentioned that if the baby has an allergy to a certain oil that you could omit it from the recipe, so I’m hoping it’ll be fine.

    • Couldn’t agree more. I think the recipe just needs to be updated to reflect our current knowledge of seed oils. I would 100% omit the seed oil. It seems there are plenty of fats already included with the other ingredients. Maybe add tallow if you wanted to do a swap.

  4. Anyone have experience with Bobbie Organic Infant Formula?

    • We started using the Bobbie Organic the moment we left the hospital; our son was diagnosed with jaundice and had lost more than ten percent of his birth weight. I was unable to produce enough breast milk to supplement the weight loss. After a lot of research, my first instinct was to purchase European formula, I was hesitant due to the lack of import regulations and decided on Bobbie, which simulates the European formula but made and regulated in the US. Our son has done extremely well on it he gained all his weight plus more (he’s now four months) we didn’t have any issues with protein allergy, colic, gas, constipation, baby acne, or anything.

      • I had the same experience as Joanna for my son, it really helped us to clear the jaundice when my milk didn’t come in yet and he had an extra marker for it so I’m glad I bought some before I delivered. The only thing he has had from the list above is baby acne but it’s very minimal and common so I don’t think that’s related to the formula. They have a good deal on the first 2 cans so you can try that and if baby has any issues and needs a gentler formula, they do have that option as well.

  5. Curious on your take on the European brand, Loulouka. It was recommended above Hipp and Holle in another article I read on best organic formula.

  6. My baby has been on formula since birth. From birth to 6 months he was on combination feeding, and then refused to breastfeed at all. But from birth our pediatrician recommended us an organic formula Holle, I read a lot about it and decided to still try https://thebestfromjapan.com/holle-cows-milk-formula-3-baby, there is an excellent selection of baby food. I was very worried that my baby would not get enough vitamins for proper development. But I realized that for nothing, Holle milk formula contains vitamins for immune and neural development. And now my baby is 1.4 years old and I continue to give him this age-appropriate formula.

  7. Desperate NICU mom here!
    Is there a healthier ‘human milk fortifier’ option?? My baby is exclusively fed breastmilk mostly via tube but needs additional nutrition for weight gain. Her doctor recommends Similac fortifier to add to the milk. Its cow based (which is fine with me) but has a bunch of synthetic vitamins, folic acid, hydrolized protein, soy and other sketchy ingredients. I would LOVE and NEED to know about any better alternatives. Please help!!! Thanks so much <3

  8. I looking to give to my baby HA formula. I found there are quite few versions for this formula. A friend of our family from UK gave us an advice and said the best is Hipp HA . Seems quite easy to get to USA , this website offer it https://organicsbestshop.com/ but not sure.
    I wanna know all before try. Somebody can advice me more Hipoallergenic formula easier to get it and good quality? Or share your expirience please. Thank you

  9. I came to know about Wikisheets for comparing protein powders. It helped me decide the best whey protein in India 2021 for me. I kept in mind factors like scoop size, protein content, quality, third party testing, etc.

  10. Thank you for this!!! I went for the Kendamil one because it doesn’t have palm oil. However it also doesn’t have fish oil or probiotics which the other two European ones do.. so I should add these to Kendamil right? Out of the three European brands, is there one you think is best? Holle, hippe, Kendamil

  11. Having recently launched the Vassaburg Kosher Cod Liver Oil Company, I was most pleasantly surprised last week when a parent called to order Cod Liver Oil as an ingredient for their infant formula.

    This inquiry led me to investigate the ingredients in homemade baby formula and low and behold, I was quite impressed with the information as well as this website!

    Will be visiting this site again for level headed approach to healthy living and well researched information.

    In appreciation.
    Avigail from Vassaburg

  12. An excellent formula that I have found which was not mentioned in this review is Loulouka: Netherlands made, European organic product very similar to HiPP and Holle formulas but uses coconut oil instead of palm which can be harder to digest.

  13. I used the cow milk recipe for 3 months with my first and she loved it. I had to start again with my second when he turned 9 months but I’m having a much harder time with him. He loves the the formula but unfortunately has intense diarrhea after drinking it. It usually doesn’t come right away but about 7 hours later. He was more sensitive to dairy when I was nursing so my concern is that its a non-dairy tolerance. Is the broth formula my only option or have you discovered newer solutions since you first published this post?

  14. I used and my baby did well!!

  15. Are you all able to find raw cow’s milk in your state? I can’t find this anywhere.

    • Google raw milk finder

  16. Any thoughts on Organics Happy Family formula?

    • It’s good

    • There are some more options on the market now. Can you update this post?

  17. Is Holle formula vegetarian ? As Hipp formula isnt.

    • I did’t know this about HIPP. Thanks

  18. I was unable to make enough breastmilk to feed my little one. On top of that, we realized she was lactose intolerant. After A LOT of research, we decided to go with Nanny Care Goat Milk formula. It’s pricey, but my little girl has thrived on it. One of the reviews we read was from a biochemist who broke down what’s in it and how it compared to breastmilk. This stuff is as close as possible. We still put lactase in it, but the goat milk was the winner with us.

  19. God! Thank you so much for this. Your articles are always so well – researched and informative, as was your book which helped me to have a totally natural pregnancy! Hoping to pump enough breastmilk to not need formula at all when i return to work soon, but so happy to make the best choice for my backup formula.

  20. I am actually looking to give to my baby HA formula , cause of his allergies . I saw there are quite few versions for Hypoallergenic formula . A friend of our family gave us an advice and said the best is Hipp HA . Seems quite not easy to get to USA , this website offer it https://www.organicformula.net/product/hipp-formula-stage-pre-bio-combiotik/ but not sure about the shipping time . Somebody can advice me another Hipoallergenic formula easier to get it and good quality ? Thank you

  21. Hello Genevieve,

    We tried the Baby’s Only Organic which our baby rejected. I then made a batch of the cow’s milk formula published in your article. My baby is rejecting that as well, but I believe it is b/c of the coconut oil. I am contemplating removing the coconut oil from the recipe but have not been able to determine the function of the coconut oil so that I can be sure to add that in to his diet. Can you explain the role of the coconut oil in the recipe? My baby is going on 10 months and is starting to wean himself from mom but isn’t quite taking in enough solids to replace mom’s milk all together. We are aiming for about 50% mom’s milk, 40% formula, 10% solids while ramping up formula and solids and getting mom’s milk to 0% all by 13 mos. Thanks so much! and great blog post.

    • I’m not an expert on this but I remember hearing that gelatin could cause diarrhea. I wonder if trying a batch without it would help. I’d recommend looking into it and seeing if it can be omitted from the recipe.

  22. Hi!
    Is it safe to freeze the homemade 36oz formula for later use?

  23. Can you give your thoughts on the honest company formula?

  24. Hi!

    Thanks so much for this great information. One question. My baby has been breastfed exclusively for 6 months, but my supply is way down and pumping isn’t helping, so I need a solution quickly! I don’t see myself making my own formula, and hear that goat milk is easier to digest, but what are your thoughts about European goat milk formula? Nanny care? Holle? I am just trying to make the most informed decision I can.


    • i have the same question. im looking into goat milk formulas. can you please give us your thoughs on nanycare, kabrita. holle??

      • I’m going to try kabrita, a friend uses it and loves it. it’s made with goat milk, so it is super gentle. they give out a free tin on their website http://www.kabritausa.com. oh and it’s made in Europe!

  25. Hello , we need an advice to choice the best hypoallergenic formula for our baby . , We heard is better once the baby suffer a bit of anemia to give him the HA formula of Hipp . Is Hipp Ha the best solution for this for this kind of problem ?
    We actually find the product in this website but is ship from Germany https://www.organicformula.net/product/hipp-formula-stage-pre-ha/ .

  26. Hi
    Anywhere else I can buy HiPP? Seems as though they are out of stock on everything :/

    • You can try organicstart.com they have exclusive warehouses in Europe to ensure import, also you can buy wholesale. The price stays a bit high though, but a couple dollars less than elsewhere.

    • I have been buying hipp formula from Formuland for my twins. They are based in California, so I’ve been able to get my orders fast.

      • Hipp is not registered with the FDA. So its technically illegal to buy in the US. This is recent. I used Hipp last year (2018/2019) from organicstart.com. Organic start stated they would longer be selling to US customers. I tried Enfamil but it made his poop smell soooo bad. We tried Hipp and it went back to a breastfed status. He did sooo well on Hipp. I am so upset that Hipp is no longer available for my second baby.

  27. Thank you for the helpful blog post! I have a few questions, please offer advice on any if you can. Thank you.

    1a) DHA/ALA & Omega 6: Do I want all three? I’m interested in Lebenswert Stage 1, but there are no Omegas, so I was going to add Nordic Natural drops. However, the drops only contain omega-3s.

    1b) DHA/ALA & Omega 6: Do you know how the omegas are sourced in the HiPP Stage 1 UK formula?

    2) My baby has severe eczema. Before finding EU brands, she was on Alimentum as we weren’t sure if it was a dairy allergy. Her eczema persisted! Do you have any insight on formula ingredients that could cause eczema, or what EU formulas you know have helped others with eczema? Even if not formula related, if you have any insight on eczema triggers, please let me know – looking for answers.

    3) Is there a concern over protein levels in goat’s milk? I read that somewhere.

    4) Pre/Probiotics: If a formula contains prebiotics, should I add probiotics? I purchased Smidge Infant Probiotic Powder. Or, if a formula contains neither pre or probiotics, should I add both, or just probiotics?


    • Those are great questions for a nutritionist and the companies themselves. Best of luck to you!

  28. Can you comment about the Honest Company’s baby formula? Is it also a great one to use?

    • Check out the ingredients and see how you feel about it.

  29. I’m looking into the Holle Stage 2 and 3 formulas. I don’t see in the ingredients that it contains iron. Would I need to supplement? I thought all branded formulas contained iron.

  30. The Weston Price homemade formula has been a blessing to us. I highly recommend it. I was shocked to discover that after breast feeding my first two children, I was unsuccessful at it with my third. After hours of research, my husband and I decided that commercial formula was not the best option for our daughter. Making our own formula was terrifying at first. I carefully researched each ingredient which gave me more assurance that I was making the right choice. We have been feeding our daughter the raw milk recipe for 3 months and she is doing extremely well. She is growing beautifully. For anyone who is leery of commercial formula, I can only encourage you to give this a try. I do have one question. I make the formula daily and realized that I may be killing the good bacteria in the probiotics as well as in the raw milk when heating each bottle. Do you have any opinions regarding this?

  31. Do you know of a good, organic formula that sells single serving sizes? My daughter is exclusively breastfed but my husband would like the option to use an occasional bottle of formula if I’m not at home and there is no breastmilk in the freezer. I was going to purchase the Holle Organic Goat Milk formula but the shelf life is only 2 weeks, so the majority of it would go to waste. Any help is much appreciated!

    • Keep in mind Holle is made in Europe, therefor the dates are in the form of day/month/year. So for example 1/6/18 is actually june 1st 2018.

    • Sammy’s Milk goat milk based formula makes single serve packets that are available to order on their website. US shipping so came in 3 days. They have a free sample pack of 3 individual 4 oz bottle packet and you just pay shipping of $5. I think you can order as many samples as desired for $5 per every 3 units. It’s called Toddler formula because of certain FDA regulations requirements. I gave it to my breastfed 7 week old baby as an occasional bottle when at Gramma’s house. No problems. Good taste. Baby loves it. Good luck.

  32. I did a lot of research on what the best formula was and then once I found out Holle, I did a lot of research on where to buy it and my research led me to OrganicBabyShop.com. Shipping was fast and my son did great in it. I ordered it a second time and I’m getting ready to place my 3rd order! I’m definitely glad that I found a reliable source for great formula!!

    • There are plenty of websites out there offering the same products. Lately i have used oBaby since they were quite nice and responsive. I got a big discount for my order. I highly recommend https://obaby.org/collections/hipp

  33. Do you have any comments on Honest Formula?

  34. Is there a good store bought formula out there that doesn’t contain cows protein or soy? My baby is EBF, but he has severe colic and reflux. I’ve tried eliminating numerous things from my diet for a month (and still am eliminating them), but nothing seems to be helping. I also tried probiotics for a week and it seemed to make it worse. I’m considering doing a trial run with formula (and pumping to keep my supply up in case it doesn’t help or makes it worse), but I can’t find a decent one. My son’s ped recommended Alimentum, but the ingredients in it make me a little nervous.

    • I am in this exact same boat- what did you find?? We are in 8 months of this..

  35. Hi, I have IGT and PCOS so I only produce about 6-8 opd of milk. While I continue to nurse (baby is 4 months) I do have to supplement at least 75% of his daily intake, which I do at breast using a homemade supplemental nursing system. We have been blessed to be able to supplement him almost exclusivly woth donor milk, but when we do have to use formula we chose Baby’s Only Whey. It has a different whey to casein ratio, so it’s a little easier to digest. More importantly for us the whey formula uses only lactose, no brown rice syrup. So for me that is definitely better than the palm oils in the European formulas.
    I do wonder however, do the probiotic in breastmilk survive freezing? If not does the amount of milk I make fresh (6oz or so) provide enough or should continue to add in the daily dose of upspring probiotic + colostrum or is there another probiotic that would be better?

  36. Hello
    I know this is an old post but I was hoping for some help. My son has been exclusively fed with breastmilk(pumped as well as breastfed) for 7 months. I recently found out I need to go on a medication that they say is fine with breastfeeding but I am not convinced. At this point he is eating solids but we only started a month ago so we have not introduced a ton of food. I am leaning towards a European brand for forumla but I am not sure what is appropriate for a 7 month old on solids. Typically he still drinks around 25 ounces of breastmilk a day. Any advice would be appreciated.

    • Our breasts do a pretty great job of filtering. If your provider says it’s safe to breastfeed and be on this medication, it is likely safe. Check out this website for more info:https://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/newtoxnet/lactmed.htm

  37. We have my sweet adopted son on Lebenswert and the Dr is concerned about it having skimmed milk in it. After much research I actually can’t find any organic formula (American or European) that doesn’t use skim milk or whey. I suppose the oils are supposed to supplement healthy fats? Do you have concerns about not using whole milk in ages under 6 mos? My nurse said it would be fine once we can supplement with solid foods like avocado. We have 3 mos to go until that and don’t want to hinder his brain/spinal development since he was premature. Thanks!

  38. Can the cow’s milk recipe be frozen and stored, similar to pumped breastmilk?

    • The Weston A. Price website says: “We recommend making the formula fresh daily—this is part of your new baby routine. The exception might be when you are traveling and yes, you can set the jars in warm water to thaw. However, raw milk may be frozen with no ill effects. Many parents must drive long distances to pick up their raw milk, and the solution to this is to obtain it in large quantities and freeze it. When the raw milk thaws, there will be small clumps of cream that can be smoothed out with a whisk or by putting the milk in a blender”.

  39. Does anyone know anything about or have used Kabrita formula? I saw it at my local health food store. I currently feed Lebenswert Bio which I have to import and I was wondering if it was as good Holle, Hipp or Lebenswert?

    • I have a friend that uses the kabrita for her 1-yr old, he loves it, won’t even drink whole milk because he likes it so much. However according to babyformulaexpert’s YouTube it’s a high calorie formula.

  40. Great article! I exclusively pumped for my second daughter, who did not latch at the breast ever (possibly because of tongue tie). When we needed to supplement, I used different organic formulas and got donor milk. This kind of blog post is exactly what I needed when doing research for what our options were.

  41. I was so glad to see this article. I have a grandson due in 3 weeks. & we are trying to give him the best start. I’ve talked for yrs about alot of these formulas ( 22 yrs) & side effects to child.The only studies I have are hands on raising children (40 yrs). I do wish you had included more on canned milks-evaporated,goats,etc. Alot of the newer generation have gone back to the older ways (small towns doing this)& are using canned evaporated milk diluted. It would be of interest to see compared to other products. Thank you for all the time & research you have put into this & shared with the public. I can’t help but wonder if the trash put in formulas is a direct connection with the newer rate of small children with anger issues & mental illness. Everyone pointed a finger at shots a few yrs ago,but what if it was not the cause? Or a combo of chemicals in each. This is what the government pushes/forces on parents now. Look at W.I.C., they are strict in what you you can get.A poor parent is at the mercy of their state! Texas also forces shots!….Articles like yours are a way to enlighten the public. I know from your article what to do to give ny family better. THANK YOU.

  42. Thank you so much for this article! Perfect timing ? I just ordered the HIPP formula and am excited for it to arrive so I can try it!! I appreciate all the time and research you put into your posts ?

    • Angela, how did you like the Hipp? I am EBF right now but am looking to start supplementing my 8.5 month old. Thanks! Nikki [email protected]

      • What formula did you go with?

  43. Hi other Mommas! If you have to go to formula, Gimmethegoodstuff.com has a really good safe formula guide. My almost 6 month old has been on Holle Lebenswert for almost 4 months and that stuff is amazing! Her poop looks just like breastfed baby poop and she is super healthy and thriving. We order through organicmunchkin.com and they have been wonderful! Also, if you want to purchase a USA formula, Plum Organics now has an infant formula that looks pretty good. It constpated my baby, but everybody is different. The price of European formula is actually not a whole lot more than the good stuff here (and I really do think it is better). I hope this helps!
    To all the broken hearts reading this right now because you have to put your baby on formula: You’re not alone. I know how hard you tried because I did it too. Both times. I know the pain you feel and the judgement you beat down on yourself. Your baby needs you far more than she needs that breast milk. Nutrition can come reasonably priced in a can. You are priceless and can not. I understand to hurt, be mad, cry, be terrified that every breastfeeding mother that sees you with a bottle will just assume you don’t love your child and your selfish and lazy. They might. Who knows? But that is a lie. She does not know your story and she has not walked in your shoes. Truly, are you doing the best thing for your family? Then that is beautiful! Don’t fall prey to all the lies and hatred Satan is spewing at you. You love your family the best you can and if that means going to formula, rock on! I could write a lot more. I just wrote this because I’ve been there (still kind of am) and I know how much it means to know someone else understands. I’m praying for you. Now go love your babies!

    • Thank you so much for your wonderful words. God through you gave me strength. Thanks for letting us all know that we are not alone. I will be praying for you too! God bless you : )

    • Thank you for your comment, Julie!
      Do you know if the folacin in the Plum organics formula is folate, or synthetic folic acid?

  44. Thank you for your recommendations! I am not making much breastmilk so I needed something to help out and I recently purchased the HIPP forumula from the UK and we are very pleased with it.My son is a month old. My baby’s gas issues went away and he is more satisfied after eating. He now sleeps 5 hours straight at night and then eats every 2-3 hours after that. The formula is powdered and when you make it you can notice the difference and it doesn’t smell sweet like US brand formulas. My baby is more alert when he is awake and is steadily growing and gaining weight the way he is supposed to. My first child was formula fed and she gained a lot of weight fast, not good. I bought the HIPP formula from Mariposakids.co.uk and they ship to the USA and it only took about 11 days to get here! The first formula i used before i found this site was enfamil newborn and it made him so gassy he was always in pain. Not anymore, i don’t even notice when he poops since he isnt crying over it anymore. Im so happy with my HIPP formula!

    • I’m trying to buy the Hipp brand following the link in this article, but can’t seem to find the right one. The instructions on the Hippformulausa.com site say to get the box that does NOT say ‘Bio’ on it, and also says it’s an 800g box.
      When I’m on the BritishSuperstoresDirect.com site, a box with that description isn’t available.
      Can anyone tell me which I’m supposed to be buying? (I know I want stage 1)

  45. What about “honest ” brand formula as a supplement??

  46. How much do you spend on a gallon of raw milk? Because everywhere I’ve looked around here it’s $16 a gallon. SIXTEEN flipping dollars, I have to drive miles out of my way to find it too. No way is that going to be less expensive than store bought formula. I feel like I’m missing something here. I can buy a 2lb canister of non-GMO formula from Costco for the same price, which makes throwing away unused formula less painful(because it happens a couple times a day). I might consider raw milk more if it didn’t cost as much as taking my husband and I out to lunch. At least my formula days are quickly coming to an end.

    • $16 per gallon is pretty flipping expensive indeed! ? Ours is $7 per, which I think it pretty fair.

  47. Hi

    Do you have any suggestions for homemade vegan or plant based formulas? I have a couple recipes that I have found, ( ie hemp seed/ coconut meat milk with seamoss, bananas or dates) but wanted to know if there were others who had success with them as well and what formulation worked for you?
    I plan on breastfeeding of course but just in case! And we don’t eat animal products outside of honey.

    • I would think vegan or plant based formula would be missing some major nutrition. Whole coconut milk could be a possibility, but you would need to add a whole bunch of other nutrients and foods to make this complete. I would only do under the care of a doctor with very specific instructions.

    • Hemp seed or coconut milk would be my first choices but I don’t know if you can get away with them without the liver.

  48. Mama natural,

    I’m looking into the the HIPP formula but it looks like it does contain palm oil. You mention that it’s from sustainable organic production. Does that make it better ? I know there’s no perfect formula but my choices are HIPP or baby’s only and I feel as though i have to choose between to evils, palm oil or brown rice syrub , which sucks !!!

    • Palm oil can be healthy if it’s not overly processed. I’d choose palm oil over brown rice syrup.

      • Thank you for your reply ! This is very good information

      • Thank you!

  49. What is a good infant probiotic? I plan on ordering Holle formula but liked that Hipp included probiotics.
    Thank you!

  50. Thank you so much for this information:)))
    It helps a lot ?

  51. I fed my son earths best and I really saw lots of mile stones hit before others who were on similac or something else.
    I was very happy with earths best.
    Target was the cheapest place to buy it and sometimes on sale with the cartwheel app

  52. I was wondering if you’d ever seen this recipe: https://www.mtcapra.com/homemade-goat-milk-formula-2-0/

    There is an old version of the formula as well, using low fat goat’s milk. The man who created it supposedly holds degrees in food science and human nutrition, but I haven’t dug that deeply into his street cred.

    I used this formula for my current youngest because he was sensitive to dairy, and I cannot exclusively breastfeed due to IGT. He was a little older when we started (around 8-9 months), but it is supposed to be okay for younger infants as well. He did very well on it.

    The reason I wanted to post it, is because I feel like it’s still a more natural alternative to store bought formulas, but it has ingredients that are more affordable and easier to acquire than the Weston A. Price versions. There are also those parents who, for whatever reason, will just not feel safe giving their infant raw milk. It also offers alternative ingredients if someone can’t find/afford the first choice items, and most of them can be found in your typical grocery store (including the goat milk powder itself). So you at least still have some control over the ingredients and the quality of the ingredients used.

    I have no idea how many kids have safely used this formula, but there are random blogs floating around all over of parents reviewing/praising it and the site itself has plenty of testimonials. My doctor also gave his blessing for using it (although to be fair, he didn’t painstakingly go over the ingredient list… as again, my son was a little older when we switched him over).

    • Thanks for sharing Erin. I’ve never heard or seen this one before. The issue with goat formula is that goat products are naturally low in folic acid and vitamin B12, both of which are essential for baby’s development. Maybe that’s why they add a multivitamin to it?

      • FYI – I also used this formula for my daughter from 6months-1 year as I was tired of pumping after 6 months due to her being on a feeding tube in the beginning.

        IT IS FANTASTIC!!! I cannot say enough good things about this formula. I didn’t want to do homemade formula in the beginning because I thought it was too much work and figured if I was going to do that I might as well keep on pumping. But I knew two friends of friends that used this one with their kids for various reasons and raved about it.

        This was so easy to make, ingredients are easy to get at grocery stores and is chock full of nutrients. My daughter THRIVED on it! I plan to use it with my next baby as well as a supplement or as needed.

        Yes, the multivitamin is added for extra folic acid. Also, I used Meyenberg Goat Milk powder – its available at Whole Foods and Walmart. I also used Maple Syrup instead of Sugar. I used Country Life Maxi Baby care vitamins although they hard to find lately.

        We also calculated that this was SO much cheaper than regular formula and its full of nutrients. This did wonders for my daughter on a feeding tube – she just thrived like I said and we loved knowing she was getting real food.

        If in doubt about making your own formula – do this one you won’t regret it! The Mt. Capra site has a FAQ page with tons of info on the formula, tweaking it, substitutes and other info. We can’t recommend it enough!!!

        • P.S. to what I said above…once my daughter was eating more solids, I also started adding liver powder to the recipe a few times a week and also started adding gelatin powder (Vital Proteins etc). I did this closer to her being 1 though. I would probably add the gelatin or collagen peptides to the recipe regardless to help babies gut.

          • Oops! Didn’t notice you’d already answered the folic acid question! lol. Glad you had luck with it too! I’m considering it for the baby we’re expecting this December, but I admit I’m still iffy on any homemade option for a newborn just because I think I’ve been conditioned to believe you just HAVE TO HAVE a store bought formula if you can’t breastfeed. I plan to use an SNS and stock up on supplements to try and boost my supply as much as I can this time, but I’m sure some supplementation will be needed for awhile. My boobs each have like three “pockets” where milk comes in, and the rest don’t seem to have any ducts at all. 🙁

      • It is. Someone brought up the same thing on the guy’s website, and he said that IS why the multivitamin is added. It fills in any gaps the goat’s milk and other ingredients don’t fill. Some of the comments gave additional info on good food based vitamins various moms had used for those who don’t want to use the one he had posted on the website.

        It’s obviously not breast milk! But he created it specifically because a lot of people wanted to do a homemade formula, but simply couldn’t find or afford the ingredients in the more popular WAP versions. So it was made to be practical for anyone on a serious budget (it was less expensive than store bought formula overall, because the oils and such last forever) or who don’t have free access to raw milk. So thought I’d throw it out there.

        • E – to answer your reply to my reply…:)

          Yes we had wonderful success with it – Also, regarding giving it to a newborn, I think this is addressed in the FAQ on the Mt. Capra page. I believe at first he was not recommending but I think may have changed his mind, can’t remember. I do know there were parents on there that asked about it and also gave feedback that they did use it for newborns. I personally would probably not give that exclusively to a newborn but I don’t know I’d have to research it more. I think if I could not breastfeed I would probably switch off with that and a store bought formula daily in the beginning to cover all bases and then after maybe 4 months or so I would just do the homemade Mt. Capra formula. I’m no expert, just a mom! Like I said, I started this after 6 months of breastmilk because I was so tired of round the clock pumping.
          Good luck!! It is a good nutrition!

          • Yeah…that is one reason we didn’t switch him sooner. I think my son was 9-ish months when I used it. I am a little paranoid I won’t mix something properly with a newborn! He does say it’s safe now, but it still makes me nervous with all the ingredients and newborns being so fragile. By 9 months, my boy’s kidneys were way more developed, etc… I’ve looked into donor milk, but it’s hard to come by and gets snatched up quickly. So I may have to order some of the better commercial formulas until I trust myself to mix this one up. lol.

          • E – yeah maybe wait a few months after the newborn stage and then do the goat milk – like he says on the site, breast milk varies in nutrition from day to day so don’t beat yourself up about mixing it all right – it is good nutrition and you don’t have to get the ingredients measured perfect! Everyone knocks formula and I agree breast milk is best, but when moms can’t do that I always say the best thing you can do for your kid is give them love and a safe home – so if you have to do commercial formula, bless it with prayer and then move on! My mom is one of 6 kids and my gma never breastfed any of them because that was “out of style” in the 50s….well they are all super healthy and doing great and they never had an ounce of breastmilk! Kids are resilient, do the best you can for your situation. I pray about things and when God gives me peace then I know its right for my situation, regardless of what others are doing. You baby will be great!

  53. What about studies that say that homemade formulas can be dangerous for babies? Since they can become contaminated easily or not have the appropriate nutrients that a baby needs for a growing brain?

    • Feel free to share those studies here. There are definitely dangerous DIY or homemade formulas as you don’t want to mess around with feeding baby. It can lead to nutritional deficiencies, dehydration and even death. A popular homemade formula in the 60-70’s included evaporated milk and karo syrup?!

      However, the three Weston A. Price Foundation formulas that I share in this post were specifically and carefully designed to echo what’s in breastmilk. Dr. Mary Enig, who had a Ph. D in Nutritional Sciences, it was specifically and very carefully created to mimic what’s in breastmilk. Over the 20 years these formulas have been in print, it is estimated that 10,000-20,000 babies have drunk these formulas safely.

      However, every mother and father needs to make their own decision regarding safety of products from homemade formula to raw milk to making their own kombucha.

      • The WP formulas are not all safe. Aside from the questionable ingredients like raw milk, the liver recipe has dangerously high levels of vitamin A. Homemade formula is a dangerous trend and I hope you will look at this topic again and edit your post. https://firststepnutrition.com/blog/homemadeformula/

  54. Love this article promoting Sally Fallon’s homemade formula. Due to complications with breastfeeding, I had to switch my son to formula around 2 months. I was very sad to need to do it but I felt so at peace knowing the raw milk homemade formula would provide for my son the nutrients he needs. I now have a very chunky happy 10 month old. His skin is just perfect and he has slept through the night since 3 months. I am slowly weaning him off of the formula so he’s starting to get more whole raw milk. I hope to have him completely on milk by the time he’s 1. I would definitely recommend this formula and as you mentioned, it’s not as intimidating as it looks and can be stirred together in 10-15 min once you have it down pat. Miller’s Organic Farm in Lancaster, Pa is a good co-op to source organic cream and whey. They also carry cod liver oil for a very reasonable price…both Blue ice fermented and Rosita brand.

  55. You may want to edit the ingredients in goat milk formula. Small typo “raw goat milk, preferably from pasture fed cows” should probably be goats? I know what you meant though.
    I Supplemented my firstborn using goat milk formula at around 9 months. Supplemented for about 2 months at most and got my supply back up :). He really enjoyed it. I did try conventional formulas but he didn’t like them and would throw up ( not spit up, THROW up).

    • Post updated, thanks Evelia! Awesome that your boy liked the goat’s milk formula — and that your supply boosted back up. ?

  56. What about Nature’s One Baby’s Only formula?

    • That’s what I used and my daughter loved it! She did very well on it and it was easy to find at health food stores. 🙂

    • She mentioned that one in the article.

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