Best Baby Formula Like Breast Milk: Mothers have two options when they want to feed their newborn baby: breast milk or infant formula. If you choose instant formula, you have many choices. There are different types of instant formula on the market today: milk-based, soy protein-based, formulas for colicky babies, and generic formula. It can almost make your head spin.
Our top pick for the best baby formula like breast milk is Enfamil Enspire Infant formula. It is the closest replica of breast milk on the market, and it contains ingredients you can't find in other top picks. Another standout of this product is the lactose it uses as its sweetener as against the corn-based ingredients found in different baby formulas.
Here are some tips on how to choose the best baby formula like breast milk and some of the best products on the market today.
Table of Contents
- Best Infant Formula Like Breast Milk Comparison Table
- What to Look For?
- Types of Infant Formula
- 5 Best Baby Formula Like Breast Milk
Best Infant Formula Like Breast Milk Comparison Table
What to Look For?
Many mothers may feel pressure when choosing a formula, so how do you decide which one to use? Like all pediatricians will say breastfeeding is the best way to feed an infant if it is possible, but you have to look at the mother-child combination, the circumstances they find themselves in, and what’s the best way for them.
So, what is the closest formula to breast milk? All infant formulas are mostly the same when it comes to nutrients, but some brands have included some beneficial ingredients that can help with your baby’s developmental needs.
- DHA/ARA: DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and ARA (arachidonic acid) are fatty acids that are naturally found in breast milk. They are added to the formula to help with the proper development of the eyes and brain.
- Probiotics/Prebiotics: They are good bacteria that are naturally found in breast milk. They help to keep the digestive system healthy.
- Choline/Taurine/Lutein: These nutrients are essential for the development of the brain, nerve cell activity, and the eyes respectively.
- Nucleotides: They form the building blocks of the DNA, and they are found in the breast milk. They work to enhance growth and improve immune function.
- Iron: Iron is very essential for a baby’s overall development, so it is important always to buy an instant formula that contains iron.
- Sweeteners: The primary source of carbohydrate in breast milk is lactose, so you should always look out for this when buying. Some brands use corn-based sugars or sucrose in their formula.
- Non-GMO: These are instant formula made from non-genetically engineered ingredients.
Types of Infant Formula
A) Milk-based Infant Formula
Some of the most common formulas are those based on cow’s milk.
- They are nourishing, abundant, and affordable. One important note though while cow’s milk-based formulas are safe for infants, cow’s milk is not.
- Since an infant’s organs are not yet capable of fully digesting the unprocessed proteins in cow’s milk parents should wait a full year before serving the cold white stuff to their little ones.
B) Soy Protein-based Formula
- They work in a similar way to cow’s milk-based formulas, so deciding which one to give your baby depends on your preference.
- If your infant is premature and has low birth weight soy-based formula is not an option. Soy formulas just don’t contain enough calcium and phosphorus to allow for healthy bone development. So, we do not recommend soy formulas for premature infants.
C) Hypoallergenic Formulas
- The proteins and hypoallergenic varieties are broken down into elementary forms and are suitable for infants who have significant digestive problems or who are severely allergic to cow’s milk or soy.
- However, these are also the most expensive infant formulas, so you shouldn’t start your child on one without first consulting your pediatrician.
- If there has been a severe reaction, then you really need to work with your physician because all the hypoallergenic formulas aren’t equally hypoallergenic.
D) Generic Formulas
- Be sure to talk with your pediatrician before switching from one product to another and whichever formula you choose make sure it’s iron-fortified.
- We can prevent some long term developmental and cognitive disorders that have been found in babies who became iron deficient, and there has never been any scientific proof that iron-containing formulas cause any ailments.
5 Best Baby Formula Like Breast Milk
1. Enfamil Enspire Infant Formula
- It is regarded as the closest replica of breast milk by the brand.
- It contains lactoferrin and (MFGM) milk fat globule membrane.
- This formula uses lactose as the only sweetener. It has Choline and DHA for brain nourishment.
- It has a thick and creamy texture, and the taste is not too sweet.
- It is designed to provide complete nutrition for babies, and it is a non-GMO formula.
- Other nutrients include pro- and prebiotics, nucleotides, and other fundamental minerals and vitamins regulated by the FDA.
2. Gerber Good Start Gentle Infant Formula
- This best tasting formula for breastfed babies contains the recommended DHA that supports eye development.
- It has corn maltodextrin and lactose as its sweetener.
- It is suitable for kids with lactose intolerance. It has no strong odor, and it is gentle on little tummies.
- It is a formula with HMO (Human Milk Oligosaccharide), and probiotics as well as iron.
3. Earth’s Best Organic Infant Formula
- It contains Omega-6 ARA and Omega-3 DHA, as well as prebiotics for immunity and lutein for the eyes.
- It is easy to digest as it doesn’t contain corn syrup solids.
- It is USDA certified as an organic formula.
- This formula contains iron for better blood health.
- It is Kosher certified as it is not made with synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.
- The Earth’s best baby formula is an ideal option for babies with acid reflux and colicky babies.
- It doesn’t contain harsh solids that may be too hard for a baby to digest overall.
- This formula uses only organic lactose as a sweetener and nothing else.
4. Similac Pro-Advance Infant Formula
- It uses 2′-FL HMO to help improve a child’s immune system.
- The HMO in this formula is prebiotic that is very similar to that found in breast milk.
- It contains nutrients that are found in breast milk such as Lutein, DHA, and Vitamin E.
- It is made with natural ingredients that help to ease gas and fussiness in babies with lactose sensitivity.
- It is iron fortified and milk based, and it contains all the necessary nutrients for a baby’s development.
5. Plum Organics Infant Formula
- It has ARA and DHA that helps to support a child’s development.
- It also doesn’t contain solids or syrups, making it easy to digest.
- The lactose in this formula is from cow’s milk which is all natural.
- It is also USDA approved as a non-GMO and organic formula for babies.
- It is made with organic plant-based oils, and it has sufficient minerals and vitamins for your child’s health.
- It contains choline for healthier eyes and iron for better blood health.
- It doesn’t contain maltodextrin and glucose commonly found in commercial formulas.
The decision to feed your baby with an instant formula is a personal choice, so you shouldn’t feel sorry for any arrangement you made that you think is the best for you and your baby.
Regardless of your choice amongst the products reviewed, we are sure it contains the essential ingredients your baby needs.
- “Baby formula: What are DHA and ARA?”. Accessed March 01, 2019. Link.
- “Probiotics and prebiotics: What you should know – Mayo Clinic”. Accessed March 01, 2019. Link.
- “Formula Milk : What are Choline, Taurine, Lutein and Nucleotides?”. Accessed March 01, 2019. Link.
- “Nucleotides in human milk: sources and metabolism by the newborn infant. – PubMed – NCBI”. Accessed March 01, 2019. Link.
- “Iron in Breast Milk – Breastfeeding Support”. Accessed March 01, 2019. Link.