It takes effort to feed a baby no matter how you do it. The additional difficulties of understanding lengthy ingredient lists and differentiating among the several brands and varieties exist while using formula. Additionally, the prices of different formulations might vary greatly, which can increase confusion and cause stress.
We interviewed pediatricians and other specialists, reviewed more than 20 scientific studies and journal articles, and conducted more than 60 hours of research on formulae. We also discovered that all infant formulae manufactured for healthy, full-term babies are safe and nutritionally sufficient for a baby’s normal growth and development from birth through the first year. Then, we looked at more than 60 formulations’ constituents to determine which ones, in our opinion, provide the highest value and advantages supported by data.
We recommend Kirkland Signature ProCare Non-GMO Infant Formula from Costco, Member’s Mark Infant from Sam’s Club, and Up & Up Advantage Infant Formula from Target—all generic options that are just as nutrient-dense as name-brand alternatives but a great deal less expensive. Additionally, we suggest the generic versions of Up & Up Hypoallergenic Infant Formula, Earth’s Best Organic Infant Formula, and Parent’s Choice Tender Infant Formula, which is the least priced truly “gentle” formula we’ve discovered (an affordable organic formula). Additionally, we have details on FDA-approved “European-style” formulas and what parents should know about so-called toddler formula for older babies (short version: experts disagree).
We sought for the most affordable formulas that offer the most additional potential benefits because conventional formulas must all adhere to the same fundamental dietary requirements. Lactose, a sugar naturally present in human milk, is used in Costco’s Kirkland Signature ProCare Non-GMO Infant Formula (around 50 per ounce, and a little less if you’re a Costco member) (breast milk). Additionally, this formula offers many of the same additional nutrients that are present in formulas that are two or three times as expensive.
Expert-recommended components, such as lactose (the carbohydrate found in human milk), are included in Sam’s Club’s Member’s Mark Infant (around 50 per ounce, and a bit less if you’re a Sam’s Club member), along with a few enticing additions. It is simple to locate this formula because it is also marketed under the names Up & Up Infant, Parent’s Choice Premium Infant, and Mama Bear Infant, among others.
Up & Up Advantage (around 60 per ounce) is one of the most affordable formulas we researched, although being slightly more expensive than our top recommendations. This formula comes in a smaller, 35-ounce bottle than our top choices. It is also simple to locate because it is sold online as Amazon’s Mama Bear Advantage and in a number of grocery and drugstore chains, including CVS Advantage, Sam’s Club Advantage, and Walgreens Advantage.
If your doctor advises using a hypoallergenic infant formula, Up & Up Hypoallergenic Infant Formula is comparable to Enfamil Nutramigen and Similac Alimentum but costs less (around $1.46 per ounce). It is also kosher and non-GMO. It is identical to other store-brand hypoallergenic infant formulae, such as Parent’s Choice Infant Formula, Mama Bear Infant Formula, Walgreens Well Beginnings Infant Formula, and CVS Health Infant Formula, among others.