You hear it all the time, people saying “breast is best.”
And yes, breast is awesome. There is nothing more beneficial, more nutrient-filled, more customized, more nourishing, more filling, and healthier for your baby than breastmilk.
However, there are some cases where moms of newborns cannot or do not want to breastfeed their children. Everyone’s body and circumstances are different, and sometimes supplementation is absolutely the best choice.
For me, I have always been gung-ho on breastfeeding. I was (gratefully) able to breastfeed my daughter until she was 14 months old. However, with my son, it was a whole other ballgame.
He was much larger than she was as an infant. Much hungrier, too. While I had an over-abundance of milk supply with my daughter, that wasn’t the case with my son.
Every time he would eat, he would take everything I had from both of my breasts. And by the time my body filled up enough to pump and save, he would wake up ready to eat again. I just – could NOT – keep up with that little linebacker boy of mine.
I tried it all, too. Lactation cookies, diet changes, consulting, the works. But my body was just like, “Nope! Not doin’ it!”
While it devastated me, I knew I had to find another way to feed my son while still breastfeeding him as much as possible. But I didn’t want to give him just “any ol’ formula,” ya know? I wanted to give him the best, the healthiest – something that would be as close to my breastmilk as possible.
I also knew that I would only go the organic infant formula route. Non-organic formulas are known to have ingredients that are not only questionable but downright scary. Between pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides based from sulfates, corn syrup solids, and vitamins derived from petroleums, I was not willing to have my son exposed to toxins that could ultimately damage his body, immune system and overall development.
So, after tons of research and lots of ingredient-dissecting, these were the top 5 organic infant formula brands I was the most comfortable with:
1. Baby’s Only Organic Formula
One of the main things to notice about this formula is that it boldly advertises that it contains non-GMO ingredients. This is important for your baby because formulas containing GMOs can lead to all kinds of health issues for your baby. They also have formulas that contain hexane-free DHA and ARA, which are important for boosting brain and eye development. There are also gluten-free, lactose-free, and dairy-free options for your baby, too, if you choose this brand.
One thing to notice about Baby’s Only is that the formulas are all labeled as “toddler formula” at the top of each container. According to the company that markets this formula, this is done to encourage breastfeeding until age 1. However, if you needed to use formula before age 1, this formula meets the same nutritional standards set forth for infant formula.
2. Earth’s Best Organic Formula
This formula was most available in the stores near us, so we found ourselves getting this brand for our son the most often (though we have used all of the brands listed in this post, and loved them all!) It has no corn syrup solids, lutein for eyes, prebiotic for immunity, iron fortified for red blood cell development, and also meets the standards for infant nutrition. They also have formula options that are for sensitive tummies to combat fussiness and gas, as well as non-DHA and soy options, too. Our son struggled with gas issues in the first couple of months, so the sensitive option was great for him.
3. Happy Tot Organic Formula
This formula is a great organic option for moms who are either unable to breastfeed altogether, or who choose to not breastfeed their baby. Happy Tot has different “stages” of formulas – Stage 1 is for ages birth-12 months, Stage 2 is for 6-12 months, and Stage 3 is for 1 year and up. Stage 1 is easy to digest for little bellies, Stage 2 contains tailored nutrients for growing infants, and Stage 3 has DHA and ARA to support brain health. All of the formulas come from cows raised on organic farms, are non-GMO and gluten free, and contain no corn syrup solids.
4. Holle Organic Formula
Holle is the most popular European infant formula. Because of the lack of options in the United States, it’s gained international popularity. Holle’s claim to fame is the meticulously sourced German ingredients. Holle is available in cow milk, goat milk, and sensitive formulas to meet various children’s needs.
Holle can get really expensive and has to be purchased through specialty retailers instead of easily at the grocery store. Plus, there are pediatrician warnings about purchasing non-FDA-approved European formulas through third-party vendors. Because the canisters and instructions are not in English, we recommend being especially careful about research and preparation if you chose to go this route (or with any European formula).
5. Kabrita Goat Milk Formula
Kabrita is a popular, organic goat milk formula that can be found in the US and abroad. In the United States, it is only sold as a toddler formula. Many families look to third party retailers to find the infant formulations. These are similar and often the same as those for European formulas discussed above.
Goat milk is an excellent choice for lactose-sensitive babies and those with cow’s milk sensitivities.
Organic infant formula is not only a great way to supplement your baby if you’re unable to breastfeed, but it’s also a nutritional transition for your babies when you’re trying to wean them. And when you pick formulas that are formulated as close to breastmilk as possible, without ingredients that can be potentially harmful, it’s a win-win for you and your growing baby!
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