Best Baby Formulas to Supplement with Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is the healthiest way to feed your baby. But when it's not enough, baby formulas can make life a easier on you and your baby.

Best Baby Formulas

Breastfeeding has many benefits for both mother and child, and it’s the optimal source of nutrition for babies through their first year of life. Maybe your baby has trouble latching. Breastfeeding doesn't always work for every family, so you might want to supplement your baby's diet with formula.

Exclusively breastfed infants receive the best nutrition for their bodies because the iron, vitamins, protein and antibodies present in breast milk. However, it can be difficult for some babies to digest breast milk since it's difficult for them to break down the amino acids and valines. This can result in constipation or upset tummies. Breastfeeding supplements are safe for babies because they contain natural and high-quality ingredients. We've rounded up the best baby formula to supplement with breastfeeding

Mama Bear's organic baby formula nourishes with Vitamin E, Lutein, DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid; it supports your baby brain and eye development and growth; more than 25 vitamins and minerals will provide nutrition for your little one to grow.

This baby formula is the perfect alternative for breastfeeding moms who need to supplement their babies' diet with a nutrient-rich for the first year of life. It is made from 100% organic and non-GMO ingredients to support baby's healthy growth, development and immune system.

Best Formula Most Like Breast Milk

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This non-GMO formula is one of the best to supplement with breastfeeding because it is designed for babies from birth to one-year-old.

It contains ingredients similar to those found naturally in breast milk such as probiotics, prebiotics, and key nutrients like calcium, vitamin D3, DHA, zinc, and choline. It also include iron, folic acids, vitamin D3, and more. Natural formulas are incredibly hard to come by, but this babies formula gives a sweet taste that is often vaguely reminiscent of being fed by mom. And it's completely safe for your child- and with high quality ingredients to boot!

The Nutramigen Baby Formula is just the thing for infants suffering with colic. The proprietary blend of key nutrients like DHA and ARA, as well as LGG probiotic culture, provides healing results for your baby that last up to 9 months.

Research shows that the digestive health of your baby is affected by what they eat as a baby before reaching one year of age. Breast milk has many important nutrients including lutein, DHA, and ARA. These nutrients support a baby's brain development and immune system to return to milk without an allergic response.

Earth's Best Organic Baby Formula is the closest formula to breast milk and contains 18 essential vitamins and minerals that support your baby's health. It is a powdered, dairy infant formula with iron, omega-3 DHA, and omega-6 ARA. The formula is specially formulated to maintain the natural balance of your baby's immune system. It’s is the only formula that has been clinically shown to support good vision, alertness and brain development.

Combining Breastfeeding and Formula Feeding

The benefits of breastfeeding are plenty, including protecting them from some short- and long-term illnesses. Breastfeeding is beneficial for reducing the risk of asthma, obesity - type 1 diabetes, and SIDS. Breastfeeding babies are also less likely than bottle-feeding babies to get ear infections and stomach bugs, according to research.

It is totally fine to give your baby powder formula as well as supplement with breast milk! Many families choose these kinds of methods; whether it is because they have a low supply, because they are convenient or simply just because they prefer it. Sometimes, formula feeding might be recommended by a doctor because of medical reasons.

Reasons for Supplementing With Powdered Infant Formula

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the initial 4 to 6 months of age and continuing to breastfeed up until at least one year of age, along with introducing solid food. There's really nothing right or wrong here-- breast milk, formula, it doesn't matter what you feed your baby as long as you're comfortable with it. The decisions are solely up to the parents and their reasoning for doing either.

When is breastfeeding not recommended?

Breastfeeding is one of the best ways to provide nutrients and antibodies to a baby. Certain infectious or contagious diseases may make breastfeeding unhealthy, so it's important to know whether it's the best option for you.

Many moms have a lot of doubts about breastfeeding while taking medications, and it's vital that you talk to your doctor about every medication you take and any health conditions you may have. It's also important to make sure you understand the process, so that your baby is safe and healthy.

Some infants with certain rare genetic diseases and prematurely born babies may need different or extra types of nutrition. Some babies may not be able to nurse at all, and others might just need a source of extra nutrition for a short time.

Alternative to breast milk if I can't breastfeed

There are a lot of different supplements for different reasons. Most of the time, you may have to stop breastfeeding because of sickness, but we have some great supplements for when you just want a little extra help  (e.g., if you want to offer a bottle of pumped breastmilk, use pasteurized donor breast milk, etc.), there are pros and cons to each option.

Pumping your own milk is a great way to provide important health benefits for your child. Of course, if you are unable to breastfeed due to medication, there are other ways that may be better for you and your baby. Infant formula may be the best option. Your lactation consultants can help you understand your options and what’s best for you and your child.

Which formula is best for a breastfed baby?

If you were already nursing, it's probably because of the health benefits for your child, and you want to continue doing what's best for your baby. Even if you weren't able to breastfeed, it's still important to know which type of baby formula is best for your baby so you can make the best nutritional choice.

Is infant-powered formula safe?

Infant formulas that meet FDA regulations for safety are legally sold and marketed throughout the United States. The FDA sets minimum levels for 30 nutrients and maximum levels for 10 of those nutrients in infant formulas. The AAP recommends against using any kind of formula for babies under six months old. This includes European baby formula.

What is the different type of formula?

  • Cow’s milk formula is different from any other types of milk you may be used to. It has been treated with a technology that makes it easier for babies to digest. Collectively, cow milk formula are the most popular type of formula because its nutritional content is based on cow’s milk and they account for 80% of the market share.
  • Hydrolyzed formulas are either partially or exclusively hydrolyzed and are often marketed as "calm" or "gentle." They're a great option for those with digestive problems, as they help break down protein and carbs into smaller proportions so that the body can easily digest them. These types of formulas are intended for babies who cannot tolerate cow's milk, soy-based formula or for babies with a food allergy.
  • Soy formulas are made from protein and a carbohydrate - they are processed and made safe for babies with allergies. They're perfect alternatives to cow's milk.
  • Specialty formulas are available for babies who have a certain medical need, such as preemie and allergic babies.

There are three types of baby formula:

  • The powdered formula that you mix with water.
  • Concentrated liquid formula is also mixed into water.
  • Ready-to-use formula that is a prepared formula and doesn't require adding water.

Best formula for a breastfed baby?

Most breastfed infants should be given an iron-fortified formula. This helps to prevent iron deficiency anemia in babies who aren't breastfed or only partially breastfed.

Although some conditions may make your baby's body unable to digest milk-based formulas, soy-based alternatives are an option. If you are concerned about feeding your infant a milk-free alternative, then they should be considered.

Vegan families may also choose soy formula for their babies. Infants with a milk allergy may require special consideration when choosing a formula with soy protein. Some healthy babies with milk allergies may be allergic to soy. Therefore, an hypoallergic formula is recommended for them.

Baby Formula FAQs

Which formula milk is easiest to digest?

First infant formula is composed of 2 types of proteins: wheys and caseins. It was based on the protein that's thought to be more easily digested - whey protein, but it also contains soy.

What formula is best for colic and gas?

Many formula brands can help soothe babies and reduce their symptoms. Babies will often feel better from colic and gas within 24 hours and that’s because the formula is made with extensively-hydrolyzed ingredients, a protein broken down into tiny, easy to digest bits.

How do I know if formula isn't agreeing with baby?

Infants can experience changes in the number of bowel movements and gas-related symptoms such as abdominal bloating, constipation, or diarrhea. These factors are usually symptoms brought on by a trigger, like what you have eaten, or if the formula needs to be changed.

How long should I try a formula before switching?

Give your baby enough time to test the new formula, usually 3 to 5 days. Some babies will adjust immediately. Other people may experience minor changes in their stool pattern, gas, or spitting up until they get used to the new formula.

Will changing formula affect my baby?

Switching types of formula for your baby can be tricky and not all brands are created equal. While it's a good idea to take their doctor's advice, the taste may vary somewhat and your baby may balk at the change, but you won't harm them by switching brands.

What kind of water do you use for baby formula?

You must use filtered, bottled, or purified water, but not tap water to prepare liquid-concentrate or powdered formula. The public water system is contaminated with fluoride which is toxic for your baby's health. Do your research on the purity of your water supply.

There are so many amazing powdered formulas out there that it can be hard to settle on one for your baby. You might have to try different formulas until you find one he likes.

Babies usually prefer the ones that taste familiar to them. If your baby has had stomach problems, then go for the one that is soothing to make the baby feel better. Every baby is different, so you'll need to stay alert and choose wisely. But when it comes down to it, powdered organic formulas are the safest options.