You hear it all the time, people saying “breast is best.”
And yes, they are absolutely right. 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 are not able to or do not want to breastfeed their child. 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, with my son that simply wasn’t the case.
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.
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 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:
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 GMO 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 who 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.
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.
This formula is also one we were able to find quite easily at our local Sprouts or health food store. It’s famous for all of the “healthy things” listed above with the other two formulas, and it also promotes the fact that they use milk from cows not treated with rBST (a synthetic hormone given to cows to help them produce more milk). They are also kosher dairy and gluten free, and certified to be a great organic formula perfect for infant consumption.
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.
This brand is very vocal about lactose being something that is essential for baby’s growth and development, providing a great source for carbohydrates in breastmilk. Because of this, nonfat organic milk powder is the main ingredient in their formulas. Though they don’t have a lactose-free option for babies who struggle with intolerance, they do have a sensitive option that contains 65% less lactose.
There’s something about this formula that was very interesting. Honest chose not to include DHA in any of their baby formulas. According to the Honest Company website, the only DHA approved by the FDA for use in infant formula does not meet their rigorous Honest standards. As an alternative, they offer our Baby DHA – a non-chemically extracted, pure, premium fish oil, for you to use separately, instead.
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 babe!
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