Resource Alert: Bobbie Organic Baby Formula Helping All Families Choose Which Baby Formula is Right for Them

Resource Alert: Bobbie Organic Baby Formula Helping All Families Choose Which Baby Formula is Right for Them

Resource Alert: Bobbie Organic Baby Formula Helping All Families Choose Which Baby Formula is Right for Them

Whether your feeding journey involves exclusive formula feeding for your newborn, switching from breastmilk to formula, or combination feeding with both breast milk and formula, this decision feels like a big one. Do you prefer going the organic, non-GMO formula route? Is powder a better choice for your family than ready-to-use? Do you want to use a European-style formula? See— lots of important questions to discuss.

There are so many brands and types of baby formula available on the market and we want to make the choice as easy as possible. In this article, we will go over everything you need to know about how to choose infant formula, so you can feel confident in your decision.

Powdered vs. liquid vs. ready-to-use: How to choose a baby formula type?

Starting with the basics, baby formula comes in three main types: powdered, liquid concentrate, and ready-to-use. All infant formulas provide babies with the nutrients they need to grow, but there are some key differences between each type:

  • Powdered baby formula is the most commonly used and typically the most affordable option. It comes as a dry powder that you mix with water. 
  • Liquid concentrate is similar to powdered formula, but it comes in a liquid form that you mix with water. It's generally a bit more expensive than powdered.
  • Ready-to-use is the most expensive of the three options. This liquid formula is easy to use because it doesn't require mixing and is considered commercially sterile, but it can be less economical in the long run.

Dr. Régine Brioché board certified pediatrician and Bobbie Medical Advisor shares that each type of formula meets the same nutritional standards, so ultimately, the decision comes down to what works best for you. "No one type is better than the other," she says. "It's a matter of cost, personal preferences, and ease of use."

It's also helpful to know that all formula sold in the U.S. is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure that it meets specific standards for nutrients, regardless of the type.

How to choose formula for newborn babies

The first step in choosing a formula is to have a conversation with your pediatrician. They will be able to give you personalized recommendations based on your baby's health and any special needs they may have. If your baby is healthy and is recommended a routine, or standard, formula, there are many brands available to you.

Once you have a general idea of what type of formula you want to use, there are other considerations to keep in mind:

Organic and GMO-free formula

An organic baby formula means that at least 95 percent of the ingredients come from organic farms or producers. According to Dr. Brioché, organic formulas will be free of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or other harmful chemicals. They also can't have synthetic ingredients like artificial sweeteners and tend to include high-quality nutrients.

Organic formulas will also be free from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). GMOs are crops or animals that have been modified in a lab to have certain traits, like resistance to herbicides.

Non-GMO infant formulas are not necessarily organic, as they can still contain synthetic ingredients, but all organic formulas must be GMO-free.

European infant formulas

There's been a lot of interest in formulas made in Europe in recent years. Dr. Brioché explains that part of the reason for this is that European infant formulas offer options not easily found in the U.S., including goat's milk or milk from pasture-raised cows. 

The EU also has different regulations about what is okay to be added to the product. "European formulas do not contain corn syrup, and at least 30% of the carbohydrates come from lactose,"  Dr. Brioché shares. Corn syrup is a type of sugar that is sometimes used in formulas as a sweetener, but it is not found in human milk. Lactose, on the other hand, is a type of sugar found in both human milk and cow's milk.

"European formulas also require DHA typically in higher levels than what is found in U.S. formulas," she shares. E.U. formulas are not regulated by the FDA. Although a few EU brands have been allowed into the US to help with 2022’s formula shortage, they may or may not be legal in the U.S. long-term. You can, however, find FDA-regulated, European-style infant formula made in the U.S. 

Milk vs. soy-based formula

Some parents may think that dairy or milk should be avoided when choosing formula for a baby, but in reality, milk-based formulas are the most similar to human milk and are recommended as the first choice for most babies.

"The only time milk-based formula should be avoided is when an infant is confirmed to have a milk protein allergy," Dr. Brioché explains. But even if this is the case for your baby, she says often soy-based formulas aren't advised because of possible cross-contamination. Your pediatrician can help you find the right hypoallergenic formula.

How to choose infant formula for combination feeding

Combination feeding means that you are giving your baby both breast milk and formula. Sometimes parents make this choice to support a lower milk supply or to make feedings possible by other family members. If perhaps your baby needs a little help with feeding and growing, formula can help add extra calories and nutrients.  

Dr. Brioché explains, "If the reason for combination feeding is due to limited breast milk supply or difficulty with nursing, starting with breastfeeding before bottle feeding is key. In this scenario, you are working towards preserving your milk supply while supplementing with formula."

She continues to explain that if your lifestyle changes— like going back to work— allowing a partner to feed the baby formula at night or when you are away is a great solution when it works for you or when breastmilk is unavailable. 

No matter the reason, discuss your plan with your pediatrician to make sure your baby gets the right amount of nutrition. 

How to choose formula after breastfeeding

If you've been breastfeeding and need or want to switch to baby formula or begin supplementing with formula, choosing a formula that is most similar to breast milk is ideal. There are two types of proteins in breast milk called whey and casein. A higher ratio of whey to casein (like 60:40) is closest to breast milk. As long as your baby doesn't have an allergy to milk, a formula that matches this ratio could be a good choice.

Dr. Brioché also says it's helpful to transition gradually over two to three weeks when possible. "Infants have very sensitive taste buds which may result in formula refusal, especially if the only milk they have been accustomed to is breast milk," she explains.

How to choose a formula brand that's right for your baby

There are so many choices of formula brands, and it can be tough to figure out which one is right for your baby. 

If organic and non-GMO are important to you, there are formulas that fit those needs. While European formulas are technically illegal because they aren't FDA-regulated long-term, there are formula options that source ingredients with similar standards to what's used in Europe. 

Start by researching and talking to your pediatrician to help you feel good about the choice you are making for your baby. 

To stock up on all your feeding essentials with great brands at the best prices:

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