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The Scoop on Infant Formula that Will Blow Your Socks Off

Seriously. You should probably put on shoes, because I am dedicated to PACK this article on infant formula with as much helpful information as I could find. After all, it took forever to research this head-spinning helpful article on infant formula.

For. Ever.

Still, it was on my “Before I Die” bucket list, so I can’t complain.

What?! So I’m the Non-Adventurous Type.

Don’t judge me!  When you die scaling Mt. Everest at age 85 I’ll still be alive researching the best deal on incontinence products.

SO THERE.

Besides, I’m about to put my research-obsession to work and provide you with a happy place of infant formula know-how.

From understanding the differences between the baby formula brands, to learning how to choose the right one your baby (and wallet) will love, I vow that you will end this article as a Certifiable Formula Expert, and be one step closer to achieving inner peace for your baby’s rumbling tummy.

The Not-So-Secret Formula
for Infant Formula

When you come down to it, the formula for infant formula (see how I did that? *pats on back for cleverness*) isn’t really all that special.

Every infant formula will contain four basic things.

  • Carbohydrates
  • Proteins
  • Fats
  • Vitamins & Minerals

Besides these, many brands will throw in extra goodies like nucleotides (like DHA & ARA),  prebiotics (for digestion), rice starch (for spitter-uppers), etc.

But those extras are like the bonus free scoop you can weep your way into getting at Baskin Robbins. (Blubbering works every time. *wink*) Those four basics ingredients are what ties every infant formula together.

Obviously, this begs the question: If they all use the same starter blocks, what makes each can unique?

The Quest for the Perfect Protein

The protein source in your baby’s formula is really important.  Proteins are often the main culprit behind your baby’s tummy-troubles. Her little digestive system is still developing.  This means that some proteins will be harder for her to break down into a form her body can use to grow.

There are four main sources of proteins in infant formula:

  • Cow’s milk
  • Goat’s milk
  • Soy milk
  • Amino acids (the teeny tiny particles of a protein)

Infant Formulas Based on Cow’s Milk

Cow’s milk (and goat’s milk, actually) is made up of two main proteins: whey and casein.  Breast milk is 60% whey and 40% casein.

The whey protein empties faster from the stomach because it stays in liquid form throughout the digestive process.

The casein protein curdles in the tummy (think a gross cottage cheese).  This means it switches to a solid in the stomach.  A solid the body has to break down again in order to use.

Practically speaking, understanding this whey-casein thing can be really helpful when choosing a good baby formula.

  • Good Start is the only baby formula that is 100% whey.  This is why babies requiring a more sensitive formula often do well on Good Start.
  • Similac is 80% whey and 20% casein.
  • Enfamil is 60% whey 40% casein.

If you’re dedicated to staying with an infant formula based on cow’s milk, switching to a different brand may be really helpful. Just watch for these 7 allergy signs!

Infant Formulas Based on Goat’s Milk

Goat’s milk formula is a sister to cow’s milk, in that they both use lactose as their carbohydrate source. Goat’s milk also uses whey and casein. (Which is why you shouldn’t give you child goat’s milk if he has a milk allergy.)

Naturally, goat’s milk has a ratio of 20% whey, 80% casein, but goat’s milk formula has been adapted to be 50:50. This way it can be consumed safely without hurting your baby’s kidneys. (In other words, never feed young children regular goat’s milk without checking with your doctor first.)

The thing I really like about goat’s milk formula, though, is the way it curds in your child’s stomach. Instead of the dense baseball-sized curd of cow’s milk sitting in the tummy, goat’s milk formula creates a looser curd, like a whiffle ball. This makes it much easier for your child to digest. If your child struggles with constipation, a simple switch to a goat’s milk formula like Kabrita can make a huge difference.

Kabrita goat’s milk formulas have also been linked with healing eczema from the inside out! If you’re child is covered with tiny red dots on the backs of his arms and legs, sign up here to get a free Kabrita sample.

You may notice that the Kabrita cans say “Toddler Formula” on them. This is a labeling issue with the FDA. The formula is recommended for any child over 6 months who has already started eating solids.

If you’re interested in giving Kabrita a try, click here for a free sample. (You’re welcome!)

Infant Formulas Based on Soybeans

Another alternative to cow and goat’s milk infant formula is soy. No, there’s no farmer sitting on a stool, milking soybean plants. The process is actually pretty complicated.

Here’s when NOT to use soy formula:

  • If your baby was born prematurely.
  • If your baby has a milk allergy. 10-14% of babies who have a milk allergy will also react to soy, so check with your doctor first.

Using soy formula is not without controversy. In the past, doctors have been concerned that the high number of phytoestrogens in soy formulas may interfere with the immune system, the thyroid, or mess with the reproduction system (especially in boys).

The AAP indicates that nothing is conclusive, but do urge scientists to keep looking into it. If you are interested in soy formulas, talk with your doctor. He will have the most up-to-date information on this subject!

Infant Formulas Based on Amino-Acids

Hypoallergenic infant formulas use amino-acids as their protein source. Remember 8th Grade Biology?  Amino-acids are the building blocks of proteins.

So a hypoallergenic formula is pre-digested, in a way. The protein is broken down so completely that your baby’s picky cell walls don’t even realize they are there. They can walk right into the cell like they own the place!

This means your little gal has less gas, fewer spit-ups, and shorter bouts of screaming.

Amino-acid infant formula is best for babies who have severe protein allergies, acid reflux, or suffer from colic.

Should You Choose an
Organic Infant Formula?

In the United States, there are three levels of “quality control” placed on infant formula.

  1. First, the FDA has strict requirements they have to follow.
  2. Secondly, the International Dairy Federation has a list of “Thou Shalt Nots” when it comes to making infant formula.
  3. Lastly, the different manufacturers themselves have their own internal sets of rules and guidelines they create to try to out-perform their competitors.

When it comes to organic infant formula, we should add a #4 to that list: meeting the USDA’s definition of “organic”.  Personally, I get really confused when it comes to all the nuts and bolts of bureaucratic phraseology, so when it comes to organic infant formula, I ditch all that and do something simple: I head to Europe.

The organic farming standards of the EU are much stricter than here in the US. If you are really committed to going organic, read through my article 3 Reasons Why American Parents are Loving European Baby FormulasYou’ll be amazed with what you learn!

Balancing Infant Formula Cost

Yes, infant formula is expensive. (And the more specialized the formula, the more you’ll have to pay.)

Still, there are some tricks to bring the cost down.  (Or better yet, get some free samples!)

Despite these cost problems, never try to make infant formula at home.  There are too many opportunities for serious oopsies that can leave your child’s life on line.  There are reasons the FDA has such strict regulations for formula manufacturers.

If you really don’t think you can afford your baby’s formula, call your local food stamp office for financial assistance or as your pediatrician for free formula samples.

Oh, and if you’re feeling guilty about using formula…you’ve got to read this. Your heart will be massively encouraged!

Have You Read These Yet?

We ♥  honesty!  This post contains affiliate links that provide extra money for our mutual coffee habits addictions. Click here to learn more.

94 thoughts on “The Scoop on Infant Formula that Will Blow Your Socks Off

  1. My baby is 9 month… i just went back to Organic EARTh’S best Sensitivity after Similac Advance and Enfamil Reguline were giving him diarrhea. Earth Best Sensitivity was giving him (reason to tried other milk) constipation and lots of spits ups… so I just started yesterday, he has no longer diarreha, but began with spit ups… any recommendation???. PEDIATRICIAn just supported us with waiting to see if it was a matter of adaptation to other milks..i think he is not as proactive as I shoulve want him to be. Help pls!!

    1. Hey Karen,

      Thanks for commenting. Heather wrote a really informative article on switching baby formulas that you might find helpful. .

      Hope this helps you and your little guy.

  2. Hi! So my 4 month old has done the best on Similac Total Comfort and it has seemed to help his fussiness the best with everything he’s tried. For a month now, much of the fussiness seems to have gone away due to I suspect his digestive symptom maturing and being able to handle things better like people say. However, I’ve been concerned about him staying on Similac Total Comfort unless he absolutely needs it and also wonder how the transition to regular cow’s milk will go at a year old if his tummy isn’t used to breaking things down since the Total Comfort is broken down already for easier digestion…so I switched him to Similac Advance to see how he’d do. However, he seems to be fussier again like he was the first 3 months although it could be teething…(seems weird though that teething symptoms would just happen to get worse during these 3 days of changed formula.) But anyway, my main question is how detrimental will it be if we switch him back to Similac Total Comfort until he can drink cow’s milk at a year? Also I see that you recommend Gentle Goodstart…We tried this before and he was so constipated. I didn’t feel comfortable giving him baby prune juice everyday when he could poo great on Total Comfort. What are your thoughts??

    1. Onalee, this is a question best answered by your doctor to be 100% sure. I don’t think it would be detrimental at all, but I’m not a doctor. 🙂 Stick with makes him happiest for now, you’ve got several months of good growing ahead of you. 🙂

      As for the Goodstart, that worked well for my kids, but feel confident NOT to choose that for your kids! Every child is different. You are the expert on your baby, and you will know what’s best for him. Sounds like you made a good decision NOT to use that formula, since it was constipating him! Well done! 🙂

  3. If you are looking to get your formula quick and at a great price, I recommended udderlyorganics.com . They also sell Hipp & Lebenswert.  As well as cereals, teas and biscuits.  They are the original Holle sellers in the USA.  You receive your products within 1 to 3 days and amazing customer service.

  4. my 7 week old is doing great on Gerber Good start Gentle. However wic o ly lrobides enfamil and silimac…What would be the similac version of good start gentle? And do you think that the whey amount is closest and if I added probiotic drops to it it would be close to good start…

  5. Thanks Danielle,

    I have been reading as much as I can and made the decision to try liquid Gerber Good Start Gentle. Hopefully this will be the answer to his tummy troubles.
    thank you for all the helpful information!

  6. Looking for help suggestions regarding my son he is 9 weeks has silent reflux and currently taking Zantac. He has been doing much better with eating since starting meds. I have him on Similac sensitive liquid. The problem we are having now is with constipation and extreme gas. He has visible stomach pain daily, the doctors have not wanted to change formula yet because the want to continue to monitor his reflux progress. I am ready to make a change at this point because it is painful to watch him struggle daily. I have been consistently burping him, holding him upright, doing leg exercises/tummy rubs and give him 2ml of prune juice daily. Has anyone had the same issue and give me some insight. I am also using gripe water for hiccups and tried gas drops. Please help with any advice

    1. Melissa,

      We have a brand new article about constipation that should help! Also, you are the mama so follow your own gut on this one. If you try the constipation options and they aren’t working go ahead and change his formula. Take a look at this article about making the change (just in case you need it)

  7. what brand of FM you feed your child? is it suitable for him? bcz I heard that FM is the main reason that caused constipation. If home remedies doesn’t work at all, I suggest you try to change FM brand

  8. I heard prune juice and other P- fruits(pears, peaches, plums) are very good for constipation and seems prune juice can be mixed with milk also. Btw, gripe water helps in stomach relief.

  9. I’m so sorry that you have this problem, my sister’s LO did too. She fed him fennel tea with carol syrup and it helped him a lot. He had a terrible time going and she would often help him with the thermometer but I think that can create a bad habit of him needing you.

  10. My DD is suffering in constipation for almost a week already! I fed her lots of food with high fiber, fruits and also prune juice but still the same! My SIL told me that formula milk is the main reason that cause kids constipation, is it true? Is there any formula milk may prevent constipation? I totally have no idea what to do.. Please help me!! Millions of thanks

  11. don’t think so about no sugar. i guess mamil came with no sucrose, not no sugar. right? sorry if i made mistake. yeah, already used mamil before this when my daughter got constipation. my friend suggested me to try out mamil. after a week, her constipation prevented.

  12. for me, the ingredients  is one factor when choose the formula milk. the main reason is the ingredient will be in the kids body so that’s why i concerned about that. for me mamil was the best formula for the kids because it contained no sugar and full level of DHA

  13. My daughter has been on sensitive formulas for months now. She is at 7 months old using Earths Best Sensitivity. She is a very happy baby on this formula, barely cries, etc. BUT she is still waking up 1-2 times per night to eat. Seems very hungry. Plus solids. Is it possible that the sensitive formula is leaving her hungry? Is it safe to try the EB regular formula now that she’s 7 months old?

    1. Christine,

      There are lots of reasons why babies can be waking up at night – weight, medical issues, habits, etc. etc. – so I can’t really tell you why she’s waking up without a longer conversation and more information. I would definitely talk with your doctor about how he feels her weight/feedings are going and get his perspective on what her nightfeedings should look like. Start there with that.

      You could switch to a different formula, absolutely, but I have my doubts that the formula is not filling her up. I suspect that other factors are at play – perhaps she’s just still needing those feedings at night, or perhaps it’s because she’s had a 3am snack everynight for 7 months…like I said, it’s hard to tell without a full assessment.

      Start with having a conversation with your doctor, and if you still feel she shouldn’t be waking up as much, I’d be happy to look over a health assessment and talk with you during a Sleep Coaching Workshop on different gentle methods you can use to wean her off nightfeedings and get her sleeping through the night, if that would serve. xo

  14. Hi!
    You mentioned that Similac consists of 80% whey and 20% casein. Is this the same for Similac Sensitive? so far we have tried Similac, Enfamil, Enfamil sensitive, Enfamil Newborn, and now we are going to try Similac Sensitive. If Similac Sensitive doesn’t work out then we’re going to try Good Start Gentle. There seem to be minor side effects with each formula, so we are trying to find the one that best suits baby MiaClaire because I can’t imagine that having diarrhea, being bloated, spit ups, and having excessive gas is it in any way comfortable for a baby. I know that as a grown person, I would feel miserable.

    1. Yesenia,

      I couldn’t find information about whether Similac Sensitive is 80%/20% as well. It has 98% less lactose then their regular Advance formula, if that helps. I think heading to Gerber Good Start is a good idea. The formula has probiotics for one, something I would recommend you try either way. I don’t know how hold your little one is but we recommend probiotic drops for under six months and this probiotic powder for over six months.
      I hope this helps your little one!

  15. I think organic is the way to go for infant formula, and Nature’s One now has now best formula in the U.S. market in my opinion! The Baby’s Only WHEY formula in which the whey/casein ration is 60%/40% more like breast milk (it varies in breast milk throughout lactation… 60/40 is average). No more constipation for our baby after starting this formula!  It is only available through Nature’s One website so far because this formula is brand new.  All of Baby’s Only formulas are labeled “toddler formula” but only because the company encourages breastfeeding through the first year of life – all the formulas meet the FDA’s guidelines for infant formula. So don’t let that label trick you. I am so glad the company made an organic whey formula!

  16. My daughter has been having so much troublewith feeding. She had a NG tube since she was 2 mo old. Since then I have had to supplement with formula. First she was on Similar advance but she kept throwing up. They didn’t swich her formula until she was 3 1/2 mo because she needed surgery and they didn’t want to make too many changes prior to surgery. She was gaining some weight but not as much as they wanted. So they put her on Similar sensitive and gave her omeprazol ( a reflux medication). And it worked for a little while but then she started vomiting again. She has had 8 hospitalizations and she is only 6 mo old. Mostly due to this vomiting issue. One of her upper GI tests she had significant delay in stomach emptying. However she had another one and that one was normal. I know something isn’t right with my daughter and although I take her to the 6th best Children’s hospital in the country they are trying to tell me they don’t know why she is doing this and telling me to tough it out. I however am not taking that for an answer and was wondering if anyone else has any ideas. They mentioned she may possibly have difficulties breaking down the fats/ may be sensitive to the amountof fats in her formula. But that is all iI have to go off of. She now has a g tube and is ilon continuous feeds. Any input about which formula would be a good fit is greatly appreciated!

    1. Elaina, it’s so hard to watch our children suffer and then not be able to figure out WHY and HOW to fix it! That said, friend, you have been WONDERFUL in helping to advocate for her needs and asking all kinds of questions she can’t ask. What a blessed baby she is to have you as her mother!

      To your question – perhaps ask your doctor about using Pregestimil or Neocate. I mention both those formulas in this post.)

      Pregestimil specifically is designed for babies who struggle with fat absorption – definitely ask your doctor about that one for sure. I hope this can at least give you something else to work through. Hang in there, friend. You’re being SUCH a great mom.

  17. Hello,

    Thank you for all the wonderful
    Information on formula. My newborn was started on enfamil newborn and did wonderfully for the first two weeks (never spit up once and was eating up to 3 oz every 3-4 hours) then onto the third week and all hell broke loose 🙁 he has been projectile vomiting, arching his back, crying constantly even while feeding, only eating 1-2 oz max and wanting to eat hourly. The pedi started him on Zantac twice a day and enfamil AR, but the enfamil AR is constipating him, & he’s vomiting more times a day with the AR than he was with the newborn formula. Any suggestions on what formula to try next?

    1. Jen,

      So sorry your little guy is having trouble!

      I recommend that you try another brand. Sometimes switching brands can make all the difference. You might consider Gerber Good Start Soothe or Gentle since they contain probiotics in the formula.

      I’m sure the pediatrician has mentioned this already but you want to make sure that you keep his head elevated for 20-30 minutes after each feeding. A baby carrier is great for this! Also, if you aren’t already using it, a Rock N Play is a good choice for babies with reflux since it keeps the head elevated too.

      I hope your little guy finds a better formula for his tummy. One other thing, you can take a look at this article for suggestions on how to make the switch. I also recommend this article as a good reference for all the major brands of formula.

  18. Hello! I am using an organic brand (Baby’s Only) lactorelief that has a 80% caesin to 20% whey ratio…The LO is doing fine, but has one runny bowel a day. Should I switch to a higher whey formula or would this cause baby to have worse runny bowel movement? I also don’t know if  baby is doing okay that changing formulas would be bad for her. I appreciate your help- Thank you

    1. Karina,

      I would take this question to your doctor. We like to leave balancing the diet to the pediatricians since they have more of a complete picture and can better decide what to try next.

  19. I am currently feeding my 4 month old Nutramigen A+ as the paediatrician suggested to try it because his stool was green and had undigested formula in it. He is also very cranky after eating. I also have him on Zantac for reflux. I’m wondering if it would be worth trying the good start formula?

  20. Wondering what info you have on the new Similac formula Total Comfort. It is a total whey product, broken down into the smaller protein particles and I had great luck with it for our 2 month old who cried and fought every feeding with Similac Sensitive, but Dr wanted me to try Alimentum because she was more familiar with it. However it is an all casine protein and from the second bottle, we are back to squirming and bating the bottle and crying with and Inbetween feelings. Really think I will be switching back to the new Total Comfort by Similac.

    1. Melanie,

      I think you should follow your mama instincts on this one. It does get good reviews and if it was helping your little one…

  21. Hi!

    I’ve been having some issues getting this formula thing right with my nearly 3 month old son. I wasn’t able to breastfeed longer than a week and began using Similac Soy formula, since that’s what I used for transitioning my daughter from breastmilk to formula. He was doing well on that formula for a little over a week (gaining well, regular BMs), and then at his 2 week check-up, the doctor suggested I try a milk-based formula first.

    I went with the Similac Sensitive (Orange) because I had also used this with my daughter and thought it might be gentler. Immediately after, he broke out all over his body in what the Ped said appeared to be a prickly heat rash. Shortly after that, eczema patches developed on his face and arms and he began projectile vomiting what to me seemed to be entire bottles of formula.

    At his 2 month check-up, he was diagnosed with silent reflux, but not prescribed any meds. Instead, his doctor gave me Enfamil A.R. to see if his symptoms improved. Two bottles later and after reading the reviews, I freaked myself out worrying about constipation and infant digestion and decided that that wasn’t the formula for him.

    Back to square one, after he gagged and vomited four times in one feeding, his clothes reeked of bile and were splattered with what looked like cottage cheese, I went back to the Similac Soy formula hoping to find my saving grace.

    Bad idea! His system seemed to totally reject it. His vomiting was much worse, got to the point of throwing up only clear bile. He was coughing and gagging in his sleep and his eczema began to flare. He was extremely lethargic after only two bottles of the Soy and now, his stool is loose with mucous still 4 days later and having switched back to the Sensitive. Any advice? I’ve already scheduled a follow-up appointment with his Ped. I just want him to be ok :(.

    1. Bridgette,

      Has he seen his pediatrician yet? If he’s lethargic you need to take him in immediately!

      Oh, this is so hard, you do just want your little one to find the nourishment he needs. Switching to a different brand if the first one (in this case Similac) isn’t working is a good idea. Just make sure you give the new formula a week before you decide if it’s the right one for your little one. Now, having said that, it’s super important to keep your little guy hydrated so if he’s not keeping it down obviously you can’t wait a week to find something better. If you are switching from dairy to soy you need to take your time on the switch. Try the 75/25, 50/50, 25/75 approach where you start with 75% of the old formula and only 25% of the new and after a couple of bottles try 50%/50%. If things are going well after a few bottles try the 25% old and 75% new and then after a few more switch to 100% of the new. This gentle approach will help your little one’s tummy adjust. Take a look at this article for more information on how to make the switch.

      Talk this over with your doctor but I recommend trying a very gentle, dairy based formula like Gerber Good Start Soothe. The proteins are small and it has probiotics that will aid in digestion (these are proven to help acid reflux too). If this does not improve the situation then talk to your doctor about whether your little guy might need to switch to a hypoallergenic formula. Take a look at this article for information on hypoallergenics. Also, talk to your doctor about the possibility of whether your little guy has acid reflux. Notice whether your son tends to spit up or fuss a lot 20-30 minutes after a feeding (a sign of reflux).

      I hope this helps and that your little guy will be in a happier place with his feeding soon!

  22. HiI,
    Im a new mom from malaysia, I just want some advice about my 3 n half months baby boy, resently he didnt drink his milk regularly and thats my worry bcos he lower down his wieght right now,, im planning to switch his formula maybe he didnt like the taste already,, is it ok if i change his milk to other brand? Please give me some advice how I suppose to do right now…

    Sincerely yours

    1. Alexa,

      Yes, by all means! Sometimes switching brands can really help your little one. Take a look at this article to see how to make the switch. Make sure to stay in touch with your doctor during all of this if possible. You really need to guard against dehydration.

      Also, have you tried building your milk supply? Drinking lots of water is important and trying to create a stress free environment when you nurse. You can try power pumping, after you nurse wait for 10 minutes and then pump for 10 minutes. This will tell your body that you need more milk and the supply will increase. Just remember that it takes 3 days for a change in supply. Hope this helps!

  23. This is really helpful for next time. With our first, we had an awful time swtiching formulas- we were basically just trying one after the other, blind. Our pediatrician refused to help (“Babies NEVER need to switch formula!” -direct quote), we didn’t know anyone who knew about it. Similac Advance was the best. At least that we found.

    The whey:casein is really really interesting to find out, I think casein was part of the problem, our toddler is now on a low-dairy diet. I also think the corn syrup was part of the problem for him, but I never knew that there was a different whey:casein ratio. Very helpful!

    1. So glad you were able to find a formula that works with your little one (and sorry you didn’t get the help you needed from your pediatrician!). Make sure to check out some of Heather’s other formula articles for additional information. For example, she has a good article about how to make the switch from one brand to another if needed.

      Our own children are the best motivation for reading and research, aren’t they!

  24. Hi heather, I have been feeding my 11 week old breast milk and formula (50/50) since he was 5 weeks old. We started with enfamil newborn but it made him grunt and strain, he was miserable. After reading your article and discussing with our pediatrician we switched to good start soothe. It helped instantly, but after a few days the grunting, straining, and discomfort resumed, but a lot less than before he was also constipated. After 2 weeks we switched to alimentum and voila no more grunting or straining and he is very regular ;however, he is spitting up like never before. Should I switch again or is there a thicker formula?

    1. Neysa,

      You might want to clarify with your doctor why your little guy is on Alimentum. Constipation isn’t usually a good reason to switch to such an expensive formula (but maybe there is another reason). If you end up switching back to an non-hypoallergenic formula I recommend trying probiotic drops. The probiotic drops help with gas in the intestines. I also recommend you try adding a little prune juice to his bottles to help with the constipation. Check with your doctor on dosage for that.

  25. Hi! Thank you for the info on this site! It’s a lot easier to understand than other sites! It’s actually comforting! . My 4 month old started with breast milk, then supplemented with similac supplementation at about 2 weeks since baby wasn’t satisfied with my milk. Then I went to similac advance as I produced less and less breastmilk and since my older boys had similac advanced as babies with no issues whatsoever. Unfortunately I noticed that when my baby poos, it irritates his skin! He had a huge, red rash around his private areas for longest time! The dr. Prescribed some ointment and it didn’t work! For a month he had this sore red huge rash and he would cry and scream every time I changed him:( a friend suggested maybe it’s the milk. (Done with breastmilk at this point)I stopped using similac advanced and rash went away. I did use lemongrass spa healing balm, a more natural cream since he’s been using everything from desitin to neosporin to a prescription ointment and it didn’t work. Anyway rash went away in a few days!!! So I switched to Gerber good start! (No rashes ever since)He was doing good for close to 2 months now but I noticed he wakes up in the middle of the night so hungry! So I added rice cereal to his formula. It made him fussy. So I stopped. This last week he’s been really fussy and gassy esp at night and has been spitting up a lot which was never an issue before. Am I over feeding him? I’m still using Gerber good start but I’m afraid to keep changing his formula! I’m not sure of this is just a fluke week or it’s time to try something else. And what? Any suggestion would really help. Thanks!!!

    1. Di,

      Getting the right timing and the combination of food vs. formula can be tricky! From the symptoms you mention you may want to consider acid reflux. Take a look at Heather’s article about reflux and finding the right formula for babies that have it.

      Hope this helps your little guy!

  26. Heather, thank you for this information! Do you know of an organic formula that is 100% whey protein, like Good Start? I am finding this incredibly difficult to find. My babies are doing much better on Good Start, after switching from Earth’s Best, but I would prefer to use organic. I have found that other countries (e.g. UK) offer organic 100% whey formula, but I cannot find it here…Thanks!

  27. My daughter is 3 months old (3 months and 1 week) and from birth I have been breastfeeding her and also formula feeding (mixed feeding) because my breast milk is not enough. The formula I have been feeding her from birth is called “Similac AI Q Plus” but 2 weeks ago I decided to change her from this Similac formula to “Dairy Goat DG1” formula as after researching about formulas I concluded that Goat’s milk formulas are better for babies as Goat’s milk is the closest milk to human breast milk. In the first week of switching formulas, i was giving her only 1 goat’s milk formula feed per day and the rest all similac feeds and she seemed to be adapting ok but this last week I increased to 2 goat’s milk feeds a day and at week’s end I noticed that she now spits up 3 or 4 times after every feed..this also happens after the Similac feeds. What do you make of this? Could she be developing an allergy to the Goat’s Milk? And if this is the case, why does she also spit up after having the Similac formula? She hardly ever spit up on the Similac formula before starting the switch to goat’s formula. Please help me I don’t know if the increase in spitting ups is related to the process of switching or the goat’s milk? And should I continue to switch to goat’s milk formula or go back to feeding her only the “Similac AI Q Plus” formula? FYI i am still breastfeeding before every formula feed. Thanks

    1. I’m personally not a fan of using goats milk as a milk replacement for young babies. It’s much higher in protein, so it can be harder on the kidneys. I’ve personally known a few babies who have failed to thrive or struggled with nutritional deficiencies who were on a goat’s milk diet. . THAT SAID (hear me shouting), there are some instances where goats milk may be the best solution – babies who struggle with a lot of skin issues, for example, may benefit from goats milk. I can’t tell you if it’s related to the goat’s milk change, but I would absolutely talk that over with your pediatrician and get their full support with whatever you end up feeding your baby – goat’s milk, or whatever. My main point is this: The first year is VITAL for the growth and development for your child for the rest of her life, so make sure you have the backing of a doctor’s opinion either way. If you have your doctor’s support, then awesome. :- Go with the goat’s milk. If you don’t have your doctor’s support, I wouldn’t use it.

      Now that I’ve added that little caution/disclaimer, I have to be very unhelpful about your question…because I can’t diagnose whether the spitting up is being caused by the goats milk. The doctor will be best suited to answer that. Sorry I can’t be more helpful!

  28. Hi Heather
    I love your site and have found this very helpful…
    We have a 7 week old who is formula fed with silent reflux. The doc just keeps saying “every baby has reflux” which I do agree with however it seems to be really bothering him, after feeds in particular and then closer to the next feed. Ongoing grunting (not to mention the grunting wakes him up all the time) coughing and arching back just kind of flayling side to side when it’s coming up with ongoing swallowing (you get the picture).. I don’t want to do meds so I wanted to try a different formula. He is currently on enfamill and from a tummy perspective (gas, stools) seem to be working well however for his reflux it is the worst! We did try goodstart which helped substantially with reflux however gave him terrible gas and made him very constipated (hard pebble like stools).. We then tried the enfamill concentrated which also helped a lot with the reflux but again constipated him to the max!
    We are back now with the enfamill powder and trying to deal with the reflux. My next thought was a hypoallergenic formula as I read that a lot of babies with reflux also suffer from a protein allergy… Thought I would write on here to get your thoughts based on your experience with the formula! I don’t want to mess with his little system more than I probably have! I also saw that Similac has a sensitive formula with whey protein similar to goodstart and thought about giving this a shot to see if like goodstart was good for reflux but didn’t cause the severe constipation that goodstart did!
    Have you heard any feedback on either?

    1. Katie,

      Somehow I missed this comment. Sorry for the delay! You could stick with the Good Start, but add a little prune juice to the bottle to try to soften things up (1tsp or so – your doctor will know how much). Hypoallergenic formulas have been shown to help with refluxing babies, but they are pretty expensive. So perhaps try Similac Total Comfort (which is similiar to Good Start Soothe) for a week, and then if that’s not helping you could try Similac for Spit Up (which is prethickened) and if that doesn’t help you could go with a hypoallergenic.

      It’s hard to know how a baby will react to a formula until you try it. Some babies will get constipated on Good Start, while others do fine. The same goes with Similac, you just never know, unfortunately. I hope this can help you though!

  29. Hello, this was very helpful for me. I’m a breastfeeding mommy but I need a formula to give my baby when I’m at work, I’m not making as much milk as I use to. I want an organic formal only but which would be best for her stomach? I don’t want anything that would upset or make her gassy. She also eats home made baby food (I don’t know if that’s something you need to consider) also which is more like breastmilk? I’m worried she may reject formula due to taste or texture

    1. Kristin, that’s a great question. It’s hard to know until you try something how your baby will react to. I would do some research, purchase a small container, and then give it a week and see what happens. You’re still breastfeeding, and she’s eating solids, so you can do some “Formula guessing” without much fear of nutritional deficiencies. Hope this can help!

  30. Heather,
    I cannot thank you enough for this post! You’re the only website to have done any sort of research and post it for stressed out mommies to turn to. Even Consumer Report’s article on the subject just lectures about the benefits of breastfeeding over formula instead of putting them side by side or explaining how they’re made.

    Thank you so much again for just the time you’ve spent writing this and researching it for us. The information here is invaluable!

    1. So glad it’s been helpful to you Jen! Thanks for taking the time to comment, I really appreciate it. Please don’t hesitate to let me know if there’s a subject or issue you’d like me to research and write on! 🙂

  31. awesome articles! they have helped me immensely! my 4 month old is currently on a hypoallergenic formula and mixed feed but I’m finding she is getting very hungry at night so reading your articles helped understand my options to curb her hunger and give mummy and daddy some sleep! cheers!!! 🙂

  32. Are you familiar with European formulas such as Holle? Certain studies show that American made formulas have a ton of chemicals in them that Europeans counterparts don’t…just wanted to get your opinion..

    1. Emily, thanks for commenting! Unfortunately, I’m not familiar with that formula brand! I’ve had on my “do this list” to start researching other European brands to include on these pages. I will add Holle to the list. Are there others you recommend I look into as well?

      As for the chemicals, I can’t speak to the differences between the American/European formulations. I know that every country has it’s own standards that baby formula has to meet in order to be sold in that country. I guess it depends on the country. I would go to the manufacturing websites and start my research there. Wish I could be more helpful on that one!

  33. Thanks you for all this great information. I was at a loss, on what to put my son on. I just had him 2 weeks ago, and have been trying to breastfeed, but he’s just not having it.

    The doctor sent me home with similac advanced, and I’m probably having him stay on that. He doesn’t seem to have any problems with it and mostly because they send out a generous amount of coupons and can find it in sale.

    1. Glad you’re enjoying the blog, Kailee! Coupons and sales are a great way to start out with formula…anyway you can help defray the cost a bit! 🙂

  34. Heather,

    Is it possible that a baby does okay with a small amount of one type of formula, but then, as you increase the amount over time, that it’s too much for the baby’s tummy. We’ve been slowly increasing the amount of formula that my son takes in each bottle over the course of a few weeks, and just last week (when we started to give more formula than BM), he became very gassy and unsettled. I can only presume it’s because he can’t process that much formula. Is that possible?

    Thanks much!

    Erin

    1. That’s totally possible, Erin! I’ve learned that with babies…you never really know until you test out your theory. 🙂 Go back to the ratio you were using before while he settles back down for several more days. Then go up again and see if you notice a change again. That will give you a good idea if your theory is correct. If it IS correct, I would recommend using a gentler formula and trying the process again. 🙂

    2. Thanks very much, Heather. We’re currently using Good Start Soothe. What would you consider a gentler formula? Maybe organic or should we go straight to a hypoallergenic formula?

    3. The only thing gentler than Soothe would be to choose a hypoallergenic formula. Firstly perhaps Nutramigen. Then if that’s not helping, go the next step with Amino Acid formulas like PureAmino, Elecare, or something else. You can see more about those formulas in this article. Hope this can help Erin!

  35. Hi Heather, I have just read a lot of info on your website and have found it very helpful, so thank you! However, I have a 3 month old who is currently on Similac Isomil Soy. Since she started soy around 5 weeks it has caused her stool to be rather hard, she also only has 1 BM about every other day. For about the last two weeks she has bouts of screaming…very heartbreaking! She will pass gas and then be fine! I feel like the soy is causing her discomfort but am afraid to switch, she started on Advanced, to Sensitive then Alimentum…all either caused terrible gas, projectile vomiting & spitting up. What do you recommend? I kindof want to switch after reading the hormone controversy, but could the recent discomfort (screaming bouts) be caused by her growing digestive system? She was also prescribed Zantac at 5 weeks but I do not give it to her anymore due to not seeing a change and I have put Karo in her bottle to help with bm…

    1. Carla, firstly regarding the constipation, my first go-to solution is prune juice. Try that instead of the Karo for a while. Karo is so sweet, you don’t want to get her used to sweet things until she’s old enough to know she likes sweet things… 🙂

      Regarding the formula, I would encourage you to try Good Start Gentle or Good Start Soothe and see how that goes. In my (unpaid) opinion, Good Start formulas are the most gentle, so I usually recommend starting there first.

    2. Thank you so much for your response! I bought some Gerber soothe today and gave it to her a couple of hours ago, hopefully it helps. She wasn’t too crazy about drinking it but I’m sure only because it’s something different. Thanks again!

    3. Karo is a very bad solution for constipation, not only because it’s a highly concentrated sugar (fructose) which has been shown to interfere with the plasticity of the brain, but also because it produces unnecessary weight gain.  My solution was to change from a milk (casein) based formula to a whey based. The gas, bloating and constipation disappeared as if by magic.

  36. When I had troubles breastfeeding my first we started suplementing with whatever the hospital had given us on our way home. I think it was enfemil newborn. Then as I began to produce less and less I started frantically researching formulas as it would soon be my baby’s only nutritional source. We ended up sticking with Earth’s Best. That was back in 2010. She never had any troubles with it and has stayed in the upper percentiles and slept thruogh the night at 2 months. This time around I did months and months of research on bfing as well as as formula just in case. Unfortunately, even after all my research and talking with several lac consultants, peds and nurses I had the same troubles. So onto formula. I tried babys only and vermont farms ir whatever its called but still ended up with earths best. And now she is a very active happy baby whi is now 2 months and sleeping 6 hours at night. 🙂
    Thank you from all of us parents who have to (or want to) use formula for a *GUILT-FREE* article. Very informative.

    1. Thanks Michelle! I’m so glad it was able to help. I’ve heard some good whispers about Earth’s Best, so it’s nice to get a physical review added to the site! Thanks for the comment!

  37. When my daughter was born I used Similiac Advanced and I also tried Enfamil Newborn. Both seemed to upset her stomach with gas and constipation. She also spits up a lot after a feeding. The Dr. prescribed Zantac for a reflex. I am currently using Good Start Gentle for my 2 month old. She is still having really bad gas and her tummy gets upset. Any suggestions on which formula I should try next?

    1. If she has reflux, I would try one of the thicker formulas designed specifically for reflux. I’ve heard good reports on all of those. The negative is that they are more expensive. The good side, though, is that your baby is more likely to keep them down and grow, and you usually only need them for a few months, until she gets older and her digestive system fully forms. Here’s the article that discusses those acid reflux formulas. I hope they can help!

  38. Well I no longer need formula since my baby is on her way to being 2 years old, but I found this article very interesting. Thank you for all of your research. I usually spend my excess time researching they rather quirky and misunderstood thyroid diseases. I ended up using Similac sensitive for my daughter. They were usually good with coupons and rebates. They carried at the warehouse clubs which was much less expensive. I only bought it at other places when it was on sale and I had coupons. Thanks again for a superior article and exhaustive research.

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