In terms of providing enough nutrients required for a baby, breastfeeding remains the gold standard for babies, but the hard reality is that it might not always be possible due to the individual circumstances parents find themselves in.
But the big common question a lot of parents especially moms who are considering switching to a formula is, what formula taste closest to breast milk?
Well, this isn’t a problem at all. As you all babies are different and react differently to ingredients in formulas.
When choosing a formula, try choosing one that is modeled after breast milk as much as possible, this helps your baby get the necessary nutrient he or she would have gotten from breast milk
In this review, we will be looking at formulas that taste closest to breast milk to enable you to make a better choice.
Things To Look Out For When Picking A Formula
When choosing formulas, there are basic ingredients that you should look out for before introducing your baby to the formula and they include
Most formulas in the market include these ingredients. DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) and ARA (Arachidonic acid) wondering what they mean? Chill, these are fatty acids that are naturally present in breast milk.
Their function is to promote the development of the eyes and brain. Though in recent times there has been controversy surrounding these essential fatty acids because of how they are sourced.
Probiotics and Prebiotics
These are good bacteria that belong to the GCAS (Generally considered as safe) group of microorganisms.
They are naturally found in breast milk, and they help in ensuring that the digestive system is healthy and they also help with immunity.
Sweeteners are the primary source of carbohydrates. Breast milk is naturally sweet so, in other to give formula the sweet taste of breast milk, manufacturers sweeten their formulas using lactose.
And since lactose is quite expensive, some brands substitute with plant-based sweeteners like maltodextrin sourced from potatoes, rice, corn or use organic brown rice syrup or glucose syrup solids. The choice of sweetener should be evaluated critically.
These are synthetic nutrients that are added to meet the nutritional requirements for the development of the eyes, brain, nerve cell activity, and other body systems.
Nucleotides are the building blocks of DNA and they are found in breast milk. They play a huge role in the growth and also help with immune function.
Essential vitamins and minerals
They play a huge role in the development of strong bones, teeth, blood, and robust growth.
Read Also: How To Dry Up Breast Milk
What Formula Taste Closest To Breast Milk? 13 Best Formula
1. Enfamil Enspire Infant Formula with MFGM & Lactoferrin
- It contains lactoferrin, a very important nutrient in the colostrums which is very are essential for the development of a child’s immune system and also supports the intestinal system.
- It is also formulated with MFGM (Milk fat globule membrane) which is a key ingredient for your baby’s cognitive development.
- The formula is formulated from cow milk, and all the ingredients used in its manufacture are non-GMO.
- It comes in powder form in a 20.5-ounce tub and can be used for babies from 0 to 12 months.
- It does not use artificial sweeteners and also it mixes well.
- It is expensive in comparison and not suitable for lactose intolerant babies or those babies with cow milk allergies.
If you’re looking for a formula that tastes closest to breast milk, I recommend you try this one first.
2. Enfamil NeuroPro Infant Formula
- This formula contains 6 – 20.7 ounce containers of baby formula milk powder.
- This formula is the only baby formula that contains a fat-protein blend of MFGM and Omega 3 DHA, which are constituents of breast milk and play a significant role in brain development.
- Research has shown that MFGM in formula plays a huge role in cognitive development, although more research is still needed.
- NeuroPro formula is designed to offer 100% nutrition for babies from 12 months and below.
- It is free from GMOs and contains essential prebiotics. It also contains nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D3, and taurine.
There is a gentle formula for babies that are prone to tummy sensitivity called Gentlease. You can also use NeuroPro Sensitive if your baby is lactose intolerant.
3. Gerber Good Start A2 Milk
Gerber Good Start is made from A2 milk. In ‘A2’ we refer to casein (a protein found in milk), and milk that has high levels of A2 beta-casein composition is called A2 milk.
Some experts believe that A2 milk is healthier than regular milk, and isn’t as difficult to digest in case of lactose intolerance.
- Best baby formula for advanced digestive support. Research has shown that many parents whose babies have struggled with recurring gassiness and spit-up find this formula helpful.
- The formula also contains reuteri, an important probiotic for a baby’s digestive health.
- This formula includes prebiotic 2′-FL Human Milk Oligosaccharide (HMO), which occurs naturally in breast milk, a prebiotic that is essential for the development of a healthy digestive system.
- It is free from GMOs.
4. Similac Pro-Advance Non-GMO Infant Formula With Iron
- Best baby formula immune support. The prebiotic 2′-FL HMO, contained in the formula helps your child’s gut health and immune system.
- Contains zero artificial growth hormones.
- Among the contents of Pro-Advance is OptiGRO, which is a mix of DHA, vitamin E, and lutein, and together, these nutrients support your child’s brain, eyes, and overall growth.
5. Gerber Nestle Nan 1 Pro Infant Formula Powder
- This formula contains prebiotics, probiotics, DHA, iron, vitamins & minerals. All these unique nutrients give the baby a good start.
- Nan 1 Infant Formula is very beneficial for a baby’s growth.
- Best probiotic formula. This formula is enriched with 2’-FL HMO and L. reuteri, so it wouldn’t be difficult for your little one to digest.
Many parents have found that the fussiness that usually arises due to gas or indigestion goes away when their baby drinks this formula.
Read Also: Best Formula To Keep Baby Fuller Longer
6. Pure Bliss by Similac
- The absence of any form of artificial growth hormones, antibiotics, or palm olein oil is an added advantage that makes it stand out amongst other formulas.
- Pure Bliss contains the important omega-3 fatty acid, DHA, and omega-6 fatty acid, ARA, in addition to the many other key nutrients like lutein and vitamin B12. These nutrients are very important for a baby’s brain and eye development.
- The pleasant taste makes it suitable and likable for babies who are used to breastfeeding.
7. Earth’s Best Organic Dairy Infant Powder Formula with Iron
If you’re thinking of an organic formula to introduce to your baby, then Earth’s Best is a good place to start.
Earth’s Best Infant Powder is certified organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), so if you’re unsure, be rest assured that it is organic.
However, we’re not trying to say that other formulas are bad if they’re not organic – there are certain nutrient requirements that all infant formulas must meet, and the company must inform the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before putting the formula on the market.
- This formula is enriched with iron, which is needed for a baby’s healthy growth and especially brain development.
- It also DHA and ARA (arachidonic acid), these two acids play a huge role in the neural, eye, and brain development of the baby.
- Earth’s Best infant formula is also enriched with organic lactose, organic whey protein concentrate, and organic corn syrup solids.
- Earth’s Best infant formula also offers plant-based formulas that will be easier for babies from (12 months of age) to digest.
A lot of parents who have transitioned from breastfeeding to Earth’s Best formula haven’t had many issues with gas, acid reflux, or the baby throwing away the formula because of taste.
8. Enfamil A2 Premium Infant Formula
- The formula contains DHA and is free from GMOs.
- A good choice for a baby with a sensitive tummy.
- Enfamil A2 premium is also easy to mix and tastes good.
Read Also: Best Formula For Acid Reflux and Gas
9. Happy Baby Organic Infant Formula
- Happy Baby formula is certified organic by the (USDA)S. Department of Agriculture.
- Does not contain any GMOs. It has zero maltodextrins, which is a sweetener that is often derived from rice, wheat, or corn.
- This formula also has ARA and DHA, which play a huge role in brain development along with many other essential nutrients for your baby’s growth.
- Happy Baby formula has 2 prebiotics– galactooligosaccharides (GOS) and fructooligosaccharides (FOS). They feed the good bacteria in the stomach and aid in the baby’s digestion.
This unique feature makes Happy Baby one of the best formulas for gassy babies, so if your baby is having tummy issues, be sure to give this formula a try.
10. Baby’s Only Organic LactoRelief with DHA & ARA Toddler Formula
- This formula is the 1st and only formula using Organic Certified DHA & ARA derived from organic egg phospholipids. DHA & ARA plays a huge role in brain & eye development.
- It contains zero pesticides, corn and glucose syrup, antibiotics, and many other ingredients you probably wouldn’t want to offer your baby.
- Baby’s Only formula is also enriched with Organic Low-Lactose Dairy which helps babies who are lactose intolerant or sensitive.
- The formula has a good taste.
Read Also: How To Thicken Baby Formula Without Cereals
11. Similac Organic Infant Formula with Iron – Ready to Feel
- Similac Organic formula has no palm olein oil, GMOs, or antibiotics, either.
- It is also enriched with essential nutrients such as DHA, vitamins A and E, iron, and lutein.
- It is USDA-certified organic formula.
12. Similac For Supplementation
- Similac is a popular brand chosen by parents and it’s the first leading formula brand with no artificial growth hormones.
- Contains plenty of prebiotics to support your baby’s gastrointestinal system.
- It is also free from palm olein oil.
- The formula is gentle on the baby’s stomach. It doesn’t cause gas or constipation.
- It is enriched with essential nutrients like magnesium, iron, and vitamin C.
13. Gerber Good Start Soothe
- This formula was specifically designed for babies who suffer from colic or gas.
- The formula is also enriched with proteins that are mild on the baby’s gastrointestinal system.
- It contains the probiotic L. reuteri and DHA.
- Has a pleasant taste, so your baby isn’t likely to reject it.
- A bit high in price, but it will be worth the money if it manages to soothe your baby.
Other Formula Feeding Related Questions
Do Formula That Tastes Like Breast Milk Exist?
Sometimes finding that brand of infant formula that tastes like your milk is not easy considering the taste of your breast milk can change due to certain factors, like…
- The food you eat during the day (a lot of moms dislike eating onions during pregnancy or while breastfeeding for example to avoid digestive problems or a fussy baby).
- Certain mediations
- Whether milk is fresh or defrosted.
Keep in mind, that baby formula has a consistent taste. Breast milk is sweet, so if your baby doesn’t like the taste of the formula you offer, it could be because it’s simply not sweet enough.
In this case, you should try a sweeter brand or one that tastes closest to your milk but you must be mindful of the sugar content.
When transitioning from breast milk to formula, It’s best advised you begin with brands that are enriched with nutrients similar to your milk.
As a nursing mom, this is far more important than the taste of the formula, and you might notice that your baby doesn’t mind how the formula taste.
Online parents and caregivers will also help give you insight into how the taste and smell of a particular brand of the formula are like. Some formulas have a stronger taste than others, however, that depends on whether your baby is a picky eater or not.
Read Also: How To Store Formula Milk For Night Feeds
How Do I Make Formula Taste Like Breast Milk?
1. Add breast milk
Research has shown that mothers who still have expressed milk or who can express milk can include their milk in the formula while preparing infant food. By doing this, you’re improving the taste thereby creating a familiar taste for the baby to ingest.
2. Use sterile milk
The brand of formula milk you use with your baby plays a vital role in its overall taste during preparation. Try and make a great choice since it can affect and improve the taste of the formula.
Also, using sterile milk on babies has shown to be a preventive measure against cross-contamination because it allows the baby to have a whole nutritious meal every feeding time.
3. Use half-and-half
If you notice that your baby is refusing the formula probably because of the taste, you should try the half and half method. This method works best when you have transitioned from one infant formula to another and your baby is refusing to accept the new formula taste.
To do this properly, just mix the old formula with the one you are using presently until your baby becomes comfortable with the new taste again.
4. Try not to overheat
This is one method you should adhere, to ensure the overall taste of the formula is not altered. Avoid using a microwave when heating the formula to prevent creating lukewarm and hot portions. Alternatively use a bottle warmer to warm your baby formula, this method is better and faster too.
5. Mix the formula properly
When you’re preparing your infant formula, be sure you swirl to mix and avoid shaking forcefully. Doing this could lead to the formation of bubbles which may result in stomach issues for your baby.
How Long Will It Take My Baby To Adjust To This Formula Transition?
If you’re breastfeeding exclusively up till now, It’s ok to worry about how long it might take your baby to accept formula without hassle.
Going cold turkey is not always recommended because it won’t be easy for both you and your baby. Taking it slowly and allowing your body enough time to adapt usually around a month should do the trick.
By doing this, you’ll be ready to overcome any challenges that l might occur, and your chances of experiencing any uncomfortable conditions like breast engorgement are limited.
You can also mix formula and breast milk for the time being before transitioning completely to formula, this helps your baby get used to the strange taste without rejecting it.
What Can I Do If My Baby Refuses To Drink Formula?
If you’re having a hard to finding that brand of Infant formula your baby likes, well I think it’s best to look at the factors that could be making your baby reject taking a bottle.
Here’s a quick overview:
- Infant formula is not warm enough.
- Baby dislikes like the bottle or the bottle nipple. Maybe the size needs to be switched
- The baby is already feeding on solid foods and is too full for a bottle-feeding.
- The baby is always distracted during mealtime.
- Baby is sensitive or is reacting to the brand of formula you’re offering him.
- Baby doesn’t feel comfortable drinking while being held by mom.
- Delaying until your baby is too hungry to offer formula.
- Introduce your baby’s ready-to-feed formula rather than powder formula.
Always check the temperature of the formula for offering it to your baby. Some babies may like to drink their formula while cold or at room temperature, others may prefer it warm.
Since the temperature of freshly expressed milk is the same as the body temperature that is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, so it’s recommended to warm the formula to this temperature and see how your baby reacts to it.
Also, you can traditionally warm the bottle in a pot of water, or use a portable bottle warmer to make the job faster and easier. Avoid using warming your baby bottle in a microwave, as it doesn’t distribute the heat evenly.
Sometimes the issue may be from the bottle. So always have a look at the flow of the bottle nipple to see whether it’s too slow for your baby and if it, upgrade to a faster one.
Another reason could be that your baby just dislikes the bottle, so you might need to look for another brand.
Another reason to consider that might contribute to why your baby is rejecting formula could the introduction of solid foods.
If your baby is already feeding on solid foods, there’s a chance that he or she is not hungry enough to drink a full bottle.
By any chance you notice your baby being too distracted to focus on feeding, you should find a quiet environment where you can give him the bottle – sometimes to have a fun-filled nursing hour, all you need to do is create a quiet space without loud noises and bright lights.
Another reason why your baby may reject the formula is if the baby is reacting to the formula you use.
Babies’ tummy is sensitive and most of these formulas are made from cow’s milk. If your baby is allergic or lactose intolerant drinking such might make him fussy and cause gas, along with other uncomfortable symptoms.
In this case, it’s best advised to switch to a lactose-free formula – your doctor will be able to give you more details on this.
It’s also important to note that sometimes babies may refuse to drink from a bottle if they’re being held by their mom. This usually happens when the baby was exclusively breastfed.
If you’re going through this, you can have a partner or someone else give the bottle to the baby while you leave the room. With you, out of the room, the baby might feel more comfortable while focusing on the task at hand.
You can also try a change your environment, especially if your baby feels uncomfortable with bottles. You can take a stroll, get some fresh air, and give the bottle to your baby when you notice he’s comfortable and relaxed.
It’s important not to wait until your baby is starting to offer a bottle of formula, as a hungry baby is usually irritated and not in the mood to try anything new.
If you notice your baby has started smacking his lips, turning around to find your breast, or sucking on your hands, then it’s time to feed your baby. In the end, you can try introducing your baby’s ready-to-feed formula rather than powder formula.
A lot of reviewers have found that ready-to-feed formula goes down without any issues, but when they give their baby powder formula they noticed that the baby doesn’t drink it as fast or even rejects the bottle altogether.
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We hope this article has given an in-depth discussion to answer your question, what formula taste closest to breast milk.
It is important to know that baby’s formula that tastes like breast milk is usually on the sweeter side, but this shouldn’t be a deciding factor.
Always take a look at the ingredients and know-how they compare to other brands, while keeping your baby’s digestive issues in mind (if there are any) so that the best choice can be made for your little one.
Finally, always remember to take it easy and be patient, parenting can be a daunting task at times. We advise you to take a break if you ever get frustrated and try again!