Should you use baby formula or should you not? If you can breastfeed your baby without any inconvenience on a daily basis, more power to you. However, if that is not possible, the nourishment packed in baby formulas can and does help. So what formula is closest to breastmilk?
There are millions of women choosing the formula route. It’s because these formulas work. But this doesn’t mean you go about picking any random brand or product. You have to choose a healthy and safe baby formula. In short, any one of the 10 I’ve shortlisted for you right here in this article.
What Formula is Closest to Breastmilk? These 10 Certainly Are!
Breast milk contains essential nutrients. And not every formula on the shelf delivers all such health benefits. But there are a few advanced options that come close. Much like the 10 you see below.
1. Similac Advance for Neuro Support Baby Formula Powder – Top Choice
It’s only natural for me to pick the best non-GMO powdered baby formula as my top choice. It’s none other than the Similac Advance for Neuro Support Baby Formula Powder. The primary ingredients consist of mineral salts, sugar, milk protein, and corn syrup. These natural ingredients are best for lactose intolerant babies.
It’s a milk-based, which is great. Since cow’s milk comes closest to breastmilk. Plus, the powdered formula is also iron-fortified. It’s got a combination of vitamin E, DHA, and lutein. This blend is what supports your little one’s eye and brain development. And it’s got no artificial hormones for growth, in case you’re wondering.
Similac is certainly the #1 brand for many reasons, as you might already know.
2. Gerber Good Start Gentle Powder Infant Formula – Best For Easy Digestion
Comfort protein; that’s what your baby’s delicate tummy gets. From the Gerber Good Start Gentle Powder Infant Formula. Comfort proteins are small proteins that digest easily. And encourage soft stools. No wonder this formula is such a popular option.
It doesn’t contain GMO ingredients, which is another piece of great news. What’s also worth noting is the blend of healthy ingredients to promote good digestion. These include probiotics, prebiotics, and DHA. They are components largely found in natural breastmilk.
The gentleness and complete nutrition are what stand out. In the case of this Gerber powder formula.
3. Earth’s Best Dairy Baby Formula Powder – Best Organic Baby Formula
Now here’s a first. The Earth’s Best Dairy Baby Formula Powder is an organic product. This automatically implies that there are no genetically modified ingredients. In fact, the organic compounds present in here are good for eye and brain development. They also provide immunity support and promote overall growth.
It’s a soy-based, non-DHA powdered baby formula. This suggests the product is suitable for babies that have a lower tolerance to lactose.
But what makes it the closest to breastmilk is the addition of Omega 6 and Omega 3. These fatty acids are abundantly present in breastmilk. After all, they are a part of the essential nutrients that help in developing the nervous system.
And lastly, since it’s organic, the formula is not tough at all on the digestive system.
4. Similac for Supplementation Infant Formula Powder – Best For Breastfed Babies
If your little muffin gets most of his or her nourishment from you. That means you require a baby formula for supplementation. In that case, don’t look beyond the Similac for Supplementation Infant Formula Powder. It’s what you can feed without a concern between your two breastmilk feedings.
The formula powder is packed with essential minerals and vitamins. That promotes growth naturally. The boost comes in the form of fat, protein, and carbs. The protein is derived from cow’s milk.
There is prebiotics, lutein, vitamin E, and DHA as well. All of these components are a part of your breastmilk. So you don’t have to worry about a thing.
5. Baby’s Only Organic Dairy Toddler Formula – Best For Toddlers
Why should you or anyone consider buying Baby’s Only Organic Dairy Toddler Formula? Cause it’s organic. Cause it’s 100 percent natural. Also because it contains the same nutrients found in breastmilk. So your precious baby or toddler gets the opportunity to benefit from the nutritional value as that of breastmilk.
Non-GMO and organic. This should rule out any possible concerns you might have about your baby’s health. Moreover, the formula contains minerals such as phosphorous and calcium. These promote the development of strong bones.
It gets your newborn on the correct nutritional track. Without compromising on nourishment or purity!
6. Enfamil Premium Newborn Infant Formula Powder – Best For Newborns
Is there any specific formula created for newborns? Yes, it’s the Enfamil Premium Newborn Infant Formula Powder. You can feed this to your baby from birth. All the way till he or she turns 3 months old.
The content of vitamin D is what encourages the growth of healthy and strong bones. Then there’s the non-GMO blend of ingredients. The prebiotics boost immune health. They also provide good bacteria, which aids in digestion.
DHA, choline, and iron are also added to the mix. Since breastmilk offers plenty of those. You don’t have to worry about facilitating the healthy development of the nervous system. Just because you’re opting for powdered baby formula!
7. Enfamil Enspire Baby Formula Milk Powder – Best For Its Lactoferrin Protein
The one unique characteristic here is the inclusion of lactoferrin protein. Along with MFGM, which is the milk fat globule membrane. These two nutrients in breastmilk support the immune system, gut health, and brain development. So if you want to know what formula is closest to breastmilk? It’s this one right here.
Your little one on this milk powder reaps nearly the same health benefits as a breastfed baby. The inclusion of choline and Omega 3 as well contributes to brain support. To top it off, clinically proven probiotics promote healthy digestion.
In all, it’s the perfect recipe for complete nourishment.
8. Plum Organics Organic Infant Formula – Best For Its Lactos
It’s not just the “organic” part that’s eye-catching here. The Plum Organics Organic Infant Formula uses lactose as a sweetener. And not corn syrup or any other plant-based sweetener.
Not that there’s anything wrong or unhealthy about plant-based sweeteners. It’s just that breastmilk tastes sweet because of lactose. Lots of it that too! So the fact that this organic formula also offers lactose makes it the closest to breastmilk.
Furthermore, the protein comes from whey with plant-derived oils. The whole blend is free of genetically modified ingredients. And the milk-based powder is easy even on the most sensitive tummy. It’s a complete win-win situation if you ask me.
9. Happy Tot Organic Toddler Milk Based Powder – Best For Picky Toddlers
You know what’s important; the quality of food. The type of fat, carbs, and protein included in the formula is what matters the most. Along with the quality of the essential minerals and vitamins! Keeping that in mind, the Happy Tot Organic Milk Based Powder is suitable for fussy toddlers.
This blend contains 20 percent of the daily iron intake. And 35 percent of the daily calcium consumption. Plus, it’s got ARA and DHA to promote and support brain health. On top of that, the ingredients are organic and GMO-free.
The formula tastes good when mixed with cold water. And here’s another piece of information that might make this your favorite option. The content of sugar added to the mix is low enough to not encourage a knack for sugar as your child gets older. So you can rest assured knowing that this is quite a healthy treat for your picky toddler.
10. Gerber Extensive HA Hypoallergenic Powder Infant Formula – Best For Babies Allergic To Cow’s Milk
Sadly, your little poodle is highly sensitive to cow’s milk. So what do you do at such times? I mean how do you pick what formula is closest to breastmilk? The answer presents itself in the form of the Gerber Extensive HA Hypoallergenic Powder Infant Formula.
So if cow milk is not the protein source, then what is? Whey protein is used instead. Babies can tolerate whey. In fact, they even enjoy it. This whey protein is broken down. And that’s what makes it so easy to tolerate and digest.
If you’re deciding to buy this Gerber Goodness, go ahead. Because it’s got whole ingredients. That fulfills your allergy-prone newborn’s nutritional needs.
Guide to Choosing the Best Baby Formula for Breastfed Babies
It goes without saying that you first take into account the age and specific needs of your baby. More often than not, parents choose the milk-based formula. As a full-time alternative or for supplement breastfeeding.
In these formulas, the addition of soy and corn derivatives is common. They contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). This is inevitable since 90 percent of American crops grow from seeds genetically altered.
However, that doesn’t mean you don’t get non-GMO milk-based formulas as well. The proof of that lies in my reviews section. I have also included treated formulas. These make the protein easily digestible for your tiny muffin.
As for helping you decide what formula is closest to breastmilk. Here’s a helpful guide for that. It’s better to feel confident about what you’re feeding your baby. After all, his or her health is your topmost priority, no doubt.
Types of Baby Formulas Available Today
- Ready-to-Use or Instant Formula
All you have to do is open the container’s lid and feed. These types of baby formulas are given in hospitals. It’s where quick feeding calls for attention. Generally speaking though, if you’re planning on using these when traveling. Don’t mix outside water with it. As that may not be such a safe decision to make on your part.
Ready-to-use or instant formulas are expensive, mind you. The cans they come in are quite large. So the formula inside remains well protected. And once you open the container, 48 hours is the time you get to finish off the formula before it spoils.
- Liquid Formula
A liquid concentrate version is also an expensive option. But, in terms of the convenience you get access to, this cost is reasonable. Mix water and formula, in equal parts, to prepare it. What this does is reduce your measuring time. You also get to prepare the formula very quickly.
Just the container, in this case, is not as large as the instant, ready-to-use ones.
- Powdered Formula
The greater population of parents opts for the powdered baby formula. Particularly if regular feeding is what’s on your mind! This formula is very convenient for carrying around. It’s also quite affordable and long-lasting. The latter applies even after you open the container. The only downside is the preparation.
When preparing powdered formula, you have to measure in the correct amounts. To mix the powder with water. Instructions are provided by the manufacturer. So it’s best to follow them strictly. This might sound easy. But it’s really not when you have to feed your baby at 2-3 in the night.
Six Tips to Choose the Best Baby Formula for Breastfed Babies
What formula is closest to breastmilk? And also, what is the best tasting formula for breastfed babies? Here’s the answer to these two frequently asked questions.
1. Know that all formulas are safe
Believe it or not. The government ensures that baby formulas are 100 percent nutritionally acceptable products. This means every commercial formula contains basic ingredients like carbs, fats, and protein. Along with essential minerals and vitamins!
There are many that offer beneficial bacteria and extra fatty acids as well. And the greater part of baby formulas is also fortified with iron. This is strongly recommended by most medical professionals.
So don’t be too suspicious regarding the best formula to switch to after breastfeeding.
2. Powdered formula is the most popular choice
It’s also the most affordable and cost-effective option by the way.
Now you should know that the ingredients are much the same. Be it ready-to-feed, powdered, or liquid concentrate. They’re virtually identical.
It’s just that liquid concentrate and instant formulas offer more convenience. You can opt for them when you don’t have access to clean water. Otherwise, they’re not as cost-effective as the powdered type.
3. Pick a formula with lactose as a sweetener
Much like grownups, babies too prefer sweet treats. Breastmilk sweetness comes from lactose. However, lactose is an expensive product. So many brands instead use plant-based low-cost sweeteners. Such as glucose syrup, cane sugar, sucrose, corn syrup, maltodextrin, etc. Now, these alternatives aren’t necessarily bad. It’s just that you want to know what formula is closest to breastmilk, right? So I’m pretty sure you prefer lactose too.
Also, the plant-based sweeteners in a few formulas are present at higher levels. And this increases the chances of your infant developing a knack for too much sugar as he or she gets older. And that’s their link to obesity.
4. Prioritize easy digestion when choosing formulas
What ingredient in a formula is responsible for promoting easy digestion? There are two; a healthy ratio of whey-casein and hydrolyzation. Formulas that are partially hydrolyzed encourage the tiny tummy of your newborn to break down proteins. They are the best for babies with an irritable digestive system.
There are two other healthy ingredients as well that help with digestion. The first is prebiotics, which strengthens the immune system. And the second probiotics, these ease out digestion. And both of them are naturally a part of breastmilk. In huge quantities that too!
5. Choose a non-GMO formula
Expect GMO-free ingredients in all organic baby formulas. But this doesn’t mean other companies haven’t caught on.
However, why am I stressing on picking non-GMO formulas? It’s because glyphosate is deemed as a possible carcinogen. So you and your child are better off without such potential risks. Posed by even the tiniest amount of pesticide leftover!
6. Check the variety of sources for protein
The most common protein sources present in baby formulas are protein hydrolysate, soy, and cow’s milk. Breastmilk and cow milk might not be the same. But the latter definitely comes the closest to the former.
But what if your baby is lactose intolerant? Then your next best option is to pick a formula that’s soy-based.
If you’re still confused about what formula is closest to breastmilk, then it’s best to speak with your doctor. Nobody knows better than a medical professional when it comes to stuff like this. And to be honest, that’s whose opinion you should trust anyway.
A child’s healthy development does depend on receiving the right amount of nutrition. That’s why I’ve picked the Similac Advance for Neuro Support Baby Formula Powder as my top choice. It complements breastfeeding like no other. And it offers the perfect, healthy balance of nutrition for your precious little baby.