Organic baby formula is a better choice for your baby than conventional baby formula. If you are looking to supplement or formula feed, invest in the best organic baby formula that you can afford.
There are many valid reasons you might choose or need to use baby formula. Maybe you had to go on medication and won’t be able to nurse as expected. You might be experiencing postpartum depression.
Maybe you aren’t producing enough milk and need to supplement with formula. (For many moms that are committed to breastfeeding, struggling to breastfeed or produce enough milk can be a big disappointment. If you are having a difficult time nursing, please see a certified IBCLC lactation consultant for assistance. Seeing a lactation consultant in your early days of nursing is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your baby.)
No matter the reason exclusively breastfeeding isn’t an option, how do you choose the best organic baby formula for your baby?
There’s a lot to consider when choosing the best organic baby formula for your baby!
How Do You Choose the Best Organic Baby Formula For Your Baby?
The first thing I want you to know is that there is no such thing as the perfect baby formula—organic or not. Breast milk is far superior to anything else, and if you are in a position to breastfeed, I would encourage you to do so—even partially. There are significant health and safety benefits to your baby if you breastfeed even just once a day.
But typically, you’ll find that organic baby formula brands contain far better ingredients than traditional brands. And you’ll also find that European baby formulas are made with higher standards than most American formulas.
If your little one is going to be on formula, I would encourage you to choose one of the best European organic baby formula options if that’s within your budget.
What your baby consumes directly impacts their health and well-being, and sadly, traditional formula made by the likes of Enfamil, Gerber, and Similac, among others, contain harmful, unnecessary ingredients, including corn syrup, maltodextrin, and GMOs. Even some organic formulas are made with unnecessary ingredients that aren’t good for a baby’s developing digestive system, so please choose your baby’s brand of formula wisely and carefully.
Ingredients to Avoid in Baby Formula
Just some of the unhealthy ingredients that should not be in conventional baby formula (but are) include:
- Carrageenan (a potential carcinogen that is prohibited in the EU)
- Sweeteners such as brown rice syrup
- Palm Oil (which is difficult on the digestive system)
- Synthetic DHA and ARA extracted with neurotoxic hexane
- Synthetic preservatives
- Synthetic nutrients
- Genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
Take a close look at the ingredients list on any traditional brand of formula, and you’ll probably cringe.
Baby Formula Options – What Can You Give Your Baby?
If breastfeeding isn’t an option and you aren’t open to using donor milk (or can’t afford it), there are some safer organic brands of baby formula available.
Your choices for baby formula boil down to the following:
Cow’s milk formula: Dairy-based formula is the most common type of formula given to babies, although dairy can cause gas and fussiness in many babies that are intolerant to milk proteins. There are several organic cow’s milk formulas on the market today, giving you many options.
Goat-milk formula: While dairy can cause inflammation in the body, goat’s milk is less allergenic and much more easily digested. Goat’s milk formulas are a great alternative to dairy-based formula, but are typically not recommended for babies who are allergic to dairy. They may work just fine for babies who are displaying a “sensitivity” to cow’s milk proteins.
Soy-based formula: An alternative to cow’s milk, soy-based formula is another option. However, unless your soy-based formula is organic, you can assume the soy is GMO (in which case it is not safe for babies in my opinion). I do not recommend using soy-based formula for babies.
Hypoallergenic baby formula: Hypoallergenic formula is for babies with milk and/or soy-protein allergies, and contains highly broken down milk proteins which are easier for babies to tolerate.
Homemade baby formula: Another option is to make your own baby formula using this recipe from the Weston A Price Foundation or this recipe from Mt. Capra; discuss this with your pediatrician before making your own formula. I don’t know about you, but I don’t trust myself to make my own baby formula, although I did consider it at one point. If you’re more confident than I am and ready to make your own formula, this company carries a lot of the ingredients you need.
The 7 Best Organic Baby Formulas
As we said above, there is no perfect option when it comes to buying baby formula. But here are some of the best organic baby formula brands currently available on the market. Please thoroughly review this list, weigh the pros and cons, and decide on the best formula for you.
Here are some of the best organic baby formula options currently on the market:
Loulouka, a Swiss-made baby formula, tops our list of the best organic baby formula brands. Loulouka’s infant formula is made with full-fat organic cow’s milk sourced from Switzerland along with many other essential ingredients and nutrients for your baby’s development.
What makes Loulouka unique is that this formula uses coconut oil rather than palm oil and contains absolutely no soy. Switzerland has very high-quality organic foods and is known for their strict regulations; every step of the process from the farm to the warehouse is inspected and regulated, so you can be assured that this formula is clean and provides optimal nutrition for your little one.
Choose between three stages of Loulouka formula:
- Loulouka Stage 1 First Infant Milk (from birth onward)
- Loulouka Stage 2 Follow-on Milk (from 6 months onward)
- Loulouka Stage 3 Follow-on Milk (from 10 months onward)
If you decide that Loulouka is the right formula for your baby, order in bulk at a discount through Organic Start’s wholesale program.
Made with organic ingredients and with milk from cows raised on Demeter-certified biodynamic farms, Holle is one of the most popular European brands of organic baby formula. Anecdotally speaking, many moms say their baby’s colic symptoms eased up when switching from an American formula to Holle. This is one of the highest quality organic baby formula brands available.
Choose between three stages of Holle Baby Formula:
If Holle Organic Baby Formula is the right option for your baby, you can save a lot on your formula costs by ordering in bulk from Organic Start’s wholesale program.
Lebenswert is another great organic baby formula brand to consider, especially since this brand does not contain any maltodextrin or starches. It does, however, still contain such vegetable oils as palm oil, rapeseed oil (canola), and sunflower oil. Lebenswert is gluten-free and certified organic to Bioland standards.
Lebenswert is available in three stages:
Lebenswert is also available through Organic Start’s wholesale program, offering you a deep discount when you order 5 or more boxes.
HiPP is a European brand that ranks high up there in quality, as well, and it contains no gluten, maltodextrin, or soy lecithin. HiPP makes slightly different versions of their organic baby formula for the UK, Germany, and the Netherlands. For example, some contain probiotics and starches while others do not, and the Dutch version comes in a can and has a longer shelf life, while the others are in a box. Choose the version that is best for your needs.
HiPP comes in three main versions:
- HiPP German: the company’s original formulations; HiPP German includes prebiotics and probiotics
- HiPP Dutch: comes in a can and has a longer shelf-life
- HiPP UK: comes in a slightly smaller box than HiPP German formulas
If HiPP is the right brand for your little one, you can definitely save on formula through the bulk ordering program at Organic Start.
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If you’re looking for an American-made (and easily accessible) organic baby formula, consider Baby’s Only. This is a good choice because it is easily accessible and does not contain palm oil or hexane-extracted DHA/ARA. If you get the version that contains DHA, you can feel comfortable knowing that it is safely extracted from egg yolks.
Some families use Baby’s Only from birth, though it is labeled as a toddler formula. Check with your pediatrician to make sure it has all the necessary nutrients for your baby.
Baby’s Only comes in a few different versions, including:
Happy Baby is another good choice for American baby formula because it is easily accessible, certified organic, and contains probiotics and a prebiotic. I know a few families who have really loved it.
Happy Baby comes in three stages:
- Stage 1 Organic Infant Formula (0-12 months)
- Stage 2 Formula (6-12 months)
- Stage 3 Formula (12+ months)
In addition to their cow’s milk formula, Holle also makes organic goat milk formula for babies using 99% organic ingredients certified to
Holle organic goat milk formula comes in three stages:
Holle organic goat milk is also available for bulk orders through Organic Start.
Hypoallergenic European Baby Formula
Now that we’ve gone over the best organic baby formulas, I also want to alert you to the possibility that your baby may not take that well to your formula of choice. Some experimentation may be necessary to find a brand your baby is comfortable with.
Related: The Best Probiotics for Babies
If your baby has reflux, food allergies, eczema, or food sensitivities, you may want to consider a hypoallergenic baby formula. Talk to your pediatrician or gastroenterologist about whether this is the best option for your baby.
HiPP is the only European manufacturer that makes hypoallergenic baby formula. However, due to the need for hydrolyzed proteins, HiPP’s comfort/hypoallergenic formula are not organic.
There are three specialty formulas made by HiPP:
This contains partially hydrolyzed whey proteins and can be gentler for sensitive babies. The whey to casein ratio is 60:40 similar to breastmilk, but the casein is not hydrolyzed, making this option less effective for the most sensitive tummies.
This formula is made using locust bean gum as a thickener, making it easier for your baby to keep it down. It contains non-synthetic vitamins and minerals. As with choosing any formula for a sensitive baby, discuss this with your pediatrician before trying it. If this formula works for your little one, you can save by ordering it in bulk.
This is closest to American hypoallergenic formula and has reduced
If your baby doesn’t tolerate European hypoallergenic formula, you may need to switch to an American hypoallergenic formula like Alimentum, Neocate, or Nutramigen. Your pediatrician or pediatric gastroenterologist (who you should see if your baby has reflux) can help you choose which formula to use. I know many babies who did much better on a hypoallergenic formula.
(If you suspect that your baby might be sensitive to corn, I have heard that the Alimentum Ready-to-Feed v
While there are no “perfect” baby formula options out there, I think there are a few good ones to consider. Did you find an organic baby formula that you’re comfortable with? Hopefully one of these options will work for you!
Founder and CEO | The Gentle Nursery. Yasmine is a wife and mom of 2 boys, and the CEO of Biomeology, a company on a mission to end postpartum depression. She is a graduate of the University of Southern California, a doula in training, and a Functional Nutrition Coach. With a background in research, analytics, and leadership for a Fortune 100 company, Yasmine applies the same attention to detail to every article she writes and researches.