The Best Baby Formula

The Best Baby Formula

Our pick

Kirkland Signature ProCare Non-GMO Infant Formula

Kirkland Signature ProCare Non-GMO Infant Formula

The best traditional formula

This formula is the least expensive option we found and is as effective as any other traditional formula for feeding infants. It’s sweetened only with lactose, the same sugar in breast milk, and has many of the same potentially beneficial extra ingredients found in much more expensive formulas.

Buying Options

Buy from Costco

May be out of stock

Because traditional formulas are all required to meet the same basic nutritional standards, we looked for the most affordable formulas that offer the most additional potential benefits. Kirkland Signature ProCare Non-GMO Infant Formula (about 49¢ per ounce), under Costco’s house brand, uses lactose, the sugar naturally found in breast milk, and provides many of the same extra nutrients as formulas that cost two or three times as much.

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Also great

Up & Up Advantage Infant Formula

Up & Up Advantage Infant Formula

A little more expensive, easier to find

Target’s house-brand formula costs slightly more than our main pick but is readily available under other labels in many grocery and drugstore chains and comes in smaller sizes. Like our main pick, it uses lactose as its sole carbohydrate, and it has many of the same extra nutrients as formulas that cost twice as much.

Buying Options

$20* from Target

*At the time of publishing, the price was $0.

Though slightly more expensive than our main pick, Up & Up Advantage (63¢ per ounce) is one of the least expensive formulas we found. Unlike our main pick, this formula is available in smaller sizes. This formula is also sold in grocery and drugstore chains as CVS Advantage, Sam’s Club Advantage, and Walgreens Advantage, among others.

Also great

Earth’s Best Organic Infant Formula

Earth’s Best Organic Infant Formula

The best organic formula

Earth’s Best Organic Infant Formula is the least expensive organic formula we found that uses lactose as its sole carbohydrate and also includes many potentially beneficial extra nutrients.

Buying Options

$44* from Target
Buy from Amazon

*At the time of publishing, the price was $28.

If you want a formula made from USDA-certified organic ingredients, we recommend Earth’s Best Organic Infant Formula ($1.14 per ounce). It’s the least expensive organic formula we found with lactose as its only carbohydrate and has extra nutrients.

Also great

Parent’s Choice Tender Infant Formula

Parent’s Choice Tender Infant Formula

The best “gentle” formula

Walmart’s house brand is the least expensive formula we found that is made with all partially hydrolyzed whey protein, which may be easier for some babies to digest than the intact milk proteins used in our main pick. It includes several extra nutrients also found in more expensive formulas.

Buying Options

$20 from Walmart

May be out of stock

Up & Up Tender Infant Formula

Up & Up Tender Infant Formula

Different brand, same gentle formula

Target’s Up & Up Tender formula is identical to Parent’s Choice Tender and made by the same manufacturer.

Buying Options

$17 from Target

Most babies do well on traditional formula, but if your pediatrician recommends giving your baby a “gentle,” or partially hydrolyzed, formula—containing partly broken-down milk proteins that may be easier for some babies to digest—we suggest the generic Parent’s Choice Tender (62¢ per ounce) or Up & Up Tender (73¢ per ounce). At two-thirds the price of name brands, they’re the cheapest partially hydrolyzed formula we found, but have many of the same potentially beneficial additives. The same formula is also sold under other names in many grocery and drugstore chains.

Everything we recommend

Our pick

Kirkland Signature ProCare Non-GMO Infant Formula

Kirkland Signature ProCare Non-GMO Infant Formula

The best traditional formula

This formula is the least expensive option we found and is as effective as any other traditional formula for feeding infants. It’s sweetened only with lactose, the same sugar in breast milk, and has many of the same potentially beneficial extra ingredients found in much more expensive formulas.

Buying Options

Buy from Costco

May be out of stock

Also great

Up & Up Advantage Infant Formula

Up & Up Advantage Infant Formula

A little more expensive, easier to find

Target’s house-brand formula costs slightly more than our main pick but is readily available under other labels in many grocery and drugstore chains and comes in smaller sizes. Like our main pick, it uses lactose as its sole carbohydrate, and it has many of the same extra nutrients as formulas that cost twice as much.

Buying Options

$20* from Target

*At the time of publishing, the price was $0.

Also great

Earth’s Best Organic Infant Formula

Earth’s Best Organic Infant Formula

The best organic formula

Earth’s Best Organic Infant Formula is the least expensive organic formula we found that uses lactose as its sole carbohydrate and also includes many potentially beneficial extra nutrients.

Buying Options

$44* from Target
Buy from Amazon

*At the time of publishing, the price was $28.

Also great

Parent’s Choice Tender Infant Formula

Parent’s Choice Tender Infant Formula

The best “gentle” formula

Walmart’s house brand is the least expensive formula we found that is made with all partially hydrolyzed whey protein, which may be easier for some babies to digest than the intact milk proteins used in our main pick. It includes several extra nutrients also found in more expensive formulas.

Buying Options

$20 from Walmart

May be out of stock

Up & Up Tender Infant Formula

Up & Up Tender Infant Formula

Different brand, same gentle formula

Target’s Up & Up Tender formula is identical to Parent’s Choice Tender and made by the same manufacturer.

Buying Options

$17 from Target

Source: NY Times – Wirecutter

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