While breast milk with rich nutritional value and immune-boosting properties is still the best nutrition source for infants, several baby formulas that you can find on the market can also supply your child's nutritional needs. They serve as a safe and healthy alternative, especially for moms who can't breastfeed.
However, since the infant formula market comes with endless options, parents, especially new ones, can get easily overwhelmed. To help you with that, we've listed down 10 trusted baby formula recommendations like Nan, Enfagrow, and Enfamil. We'll also walk you through some of the things you should consider when buying online. We asked pediatrician Dr. Joey Cuayo-Estanislao to fact-check and share some tips, so don't miss out on that!
Dr. Joanna Pamela Cuayo-Estanislao is a pediatrician and child health specialist based in Metro Manila. Doc Joey is passionate about health education and empowering families to become informed advocates of their children's health and wellness. She uses social media to educate and raise awareness about important issues and topics in the field of pediatrics and child care.
Our recommendation articles are carefully researched and crafted by the mybest Philippines team of writers and editors. To stay true to our company’s mission and vision to help users’ selection process easier, we also collaborate with experts from various fields to ensure that our content stays factual and useful.
The expert oversees the Buying Guide only, and does not determine the products and services featured.
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Here are some key points to consider:
For more detailed information, read through our buying guide below.
New parents may be surprised to know that aside from the popular cow's milk, there are other kinds of formula milk including soy and protein hydrolysate. To know more about all of them, below are the different types of formula bases that you can choose from according to your baby's needs.
The majority of baby formula sold commercially is cow milk-based. Widely available in the market, their main ingredient is cow's milk, which has been modified to taste and feel like mother's milk and make it easily digestible.
While this formula is the go-to for most parents, note that some infants have an allergic reaction to cow's milk. Thus, make sure to check with their pediatrician first to confirm whether they'll benefit more from formula milk with a different base.
If your baby is allergic to cow milk-based formula, an alternative that pediatricians may recommend is the HW or hydrolyzed whey milk. Basically, hydrolyzed whey undergoes additional processing to break the milk proteins into smaller fragments that make it easier for babies with allergies to digest milk.
An alternative to animal-based or cow milk is the soy-based formula from the soya plant. It is made using soy protein and it uses corn syrup along with other components that are specially formulated for easy digestion. Soy-based formula is ideal for babies that are lactose-intolerant or allergic to cow's milk.
It is also important to note that most soy products are genetically modified, so looking for a non-GMO one with an organic label is crucial. The only downside of this type of formula milk is that since it is not popular as cow-based ones, fewer brands offer it, making it more expensive.
Soy-based formulas are lactose-free, but some infants allergic to cow’s milk protein may also be allergic to soy protein, so it's good to partner with your pediatrician before and while exploring these options so they can help you evaluate your baby's response and needs.
There are various specialized milk formulas available for babies with special nutrition needs. Generally, this type of milk is usually prescribed for premature babies or those with certain illnesses.
The primary difference between preemie formulas and formulas for term babies is that preemie formulas are made to have more calories, protein, vitamins, and minerals than regular infant formulas. They are also designed to help underweight babies grow faster.
Baby formula manufacturers have already developed some options on how parents can prepare and serve the formula milk to babies. There are three kinds that you might want to take a look at - powdered, ready-to-use, and liquid concentrate.
The popularity of powdered milk comes from its convenience and long shelf life, making it the most commonly used of all forms. It is also widely available in most supermarkets, groceries, and online shops, so you won't have a hard time finding it.
However, since the powder milk requires to be mixed and diluted in water, you have to measure and make sure that you're putting in the right amount according to the instruction. Due to this, preparing it can take time, making it less preferred for on-the-go parents.
The concentrated-liquid type is a liquid-based formula for babies. It is pre-mixed in a concentrated formulation, so all you need to do is add equal parts of the liquid concentrate and water then mix it before serving. While not as costly as ready-to-feed formulas, this type is still more expensive than powdered formulas. It also has a shorter shelf-life and it needs to be refrigerated.
Open and serve; this is the concept behind the ready-to-feed formulas, making it the most convenient form. Coming in a pre-mixed liquid formulation, RTF can already be fed to your baby as is. Thus, these formulas are perfect when you're outside or for on-the-go parents.
The convenience they offer, however, makes them more expensive than others. Apart from the more hefty per-unit cost, they also have a shorter shelf-life. They need to be refrigerated at all times, and they must be consumed quickly before they go bad.
Formulated and designed to simulate the taste and nutritional value of breast milk, different formula-milk brands use different manufacturing processes, ingredients, and additives to create their products. And as a parent, it is important to understand what ingredients are found in the milk you buy. Below are some of the additives that could give your baby some benefits as they grow.
DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) and AHA (Arachidonic acid) are essential fatty acids that are naturally found in human breast milk. Thus, to simulate and replicate their benefits, manufacturers add these in formula milk. They are known to promote optimal eye and brain development in babies.
However, because of their artificial origin, the chemical structure of DHA and ARA additives in powdered formulas isn't the same as the one in breast milk. Still, many manufacturers are now using natural and organic sources to make this vital additive even safer for babies.
Non-milk-based formulas are often lactose-free, so as a consequence, they lose the benefits of the natural ingredients found in regular milk. As a response to this concern, the essential ingredients, iron & calcium, are often added to non-milk-based formulas to still provide the required vitamin and mineral content that lactose-free milk typically lacks.
Integral to a baby's health is a well-functioning digestive and excretory system. Prebiotics and probiotics play a role in developing their digestive system because they are food sources for their gut's healthy bacteria and yeasts.
These healthy bacteria assist in the proper digestion of proteins and breakdown of food to help eliminate disease-causing bacteria inside the gut. While these ingredients are not required, they may help improve your baby's gut health, especially if they're formula-fed.
Probiotics in formulas can help promote a good balance of bacteria in your baby's intestines and help prevent the growth of "unfriendly" organisms that could cause infections and inflammation. On the other hand, there is currently not enough scientific evidence to support the routine use of or need for prebiotics in formula milk, although prebiotics added to infant formula do not appear to be harmful to healthy infants.
It is important to consider this because your baby's dietary requirements change at every stage. When buying a baby formula, it is vital to check the number label that indicates the age group it is suitable for.
It is also vital to consider that some parents choose not to change, primarily if their baby is used to or happy with particular infant formula. This is acceptable, and it is safe to continue feeding infant formulas to babies six months up. What's crucial is you don't give an infant Stage 2 or Stage 3 milk.
Click to purchase
NAN Infini Pro HW
Loaded With Vitamins A to K to Aid Your Child’s Growth and Development
Mead Johnson Nutrition
Enfagrow A+ Four NuraPro
Infused With MFGM and Brain-Boosting DHA to Support Your Child’s Cognitive Development
Bonakid Milk Supplement
Helps Support the Nutritional Needs of Your Child Yet Remains Budget-Friendly
Mead Johnson Nutrition
Enfamil A+ Gentlease
Provides Digestive Comfort for Babies With Tummy Troubles
S-26 Promil Gold 3
A Formula That You Can Trust to Meet the Needs of Children Aged 1–3
A Certified All-Organic Milk for a Healthy Baby
Hypoallergenic and Lactose-Free Formula Infused With Lutein, AA and DHA
NIDO Junior Advanced Protectus
Contains a Probiotic That Strengthens Children’s Respiratory Defenses
Mead Johnson Nutrition
Formula Milk for Stronger Bones and Boosting the Immunity
Aptamil Regurgitation Tailored Nutrition
Tailored Formula for Preventing Regurgitation and Reflux
For babies ages six to twelve months, a follow-up formula is greatly advised by pediatricians. Nestlé's Nan OptiPro HW Two is among the popular choices for milk supplements in this age group. Now that your baby is starting to build muscles and develop the brain, proteins and essential acids are needed - and this milk formula has all that.
In this formula, vitamins A to K are included with specific minerals for your child's growth and development. It also contains OptiPro, a high-quality but lower-quantity protein that could support age-appropriate weight gain and progress. It also has human milk oligosaccharides and probiotics to help strengthen the immune system with no added sucrose.
Enfagrow A+ Four NuraPro is trusted by many parents for a reason. Infused with the highest DHA and MFGM Pro levels, it can hone your child's eight signs of brain development and emotional intelligence. On top of that, it can also keep your child strong and healthy when paired with proper nutrition.
Apart from cognitive and physical development, it also boosts your child's immunity. It is a high source of iron, iodine, and zinc. It also has high amounts of calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus, and magnesium to help them develop a healthy set of teeth and bones.
If you're looking for the right milk supplement for your active toddler, the Bonakid Stage 3 Powdered Milk Drink should be your top choice. It is specially designed for toddlers aged one to three to support their formative years. It is made from cow's milk that is full of essential proteins and is packed with several vitamins and minerals.
The Bonakid brand is part of the Wyeth line that caters to the different needs of every Filipino child. It is reasonably priced to make it available to every family without sacrificing the quality and nutrients that your toddler should get. You can prepare it like any other powdered formula or if doing it for the first time, follow the instructions indicated in its packet.
If your baby is experiencing tummy troubles during feeding, it will be helpful to switch to a gentle and tummy-friendly formula like Enfamil A+ Gentlease. Formulated to be mild, it contains a blend of protein that is patterned after breast milk. It also has been partially broken down for easier digestion.
Apart from that, it contains DHA for improved brain functions. And although made gentler than other formulas, it remains nutritionally complete. Unlike different gentle formulas that completely discard lactose, this one has reduced lactose levels only. It is because lactose can help with calcium absorption and promote the growth of healthy bacteria in your baby's gut.
If you're looking for a formula that can sustain the increasing nutritional needs of children 1-3 years old, Promil Gold Three is an excellent pick. It is specifically designed for children with that age bracket, and it contains DHA and ARA, essential building blocks for your growing child's brain and eyes development.
Since kids ages 1-3 tend to move a lot, you'll also be happy to know that this formula contains calcium that supports the development of their strong bones. On top of that, it has folic acid that contributes to normal immune system function and choline that helps support their overall mental functions.
The HiPP company is known worldwide for producing organically-sourced raw materials for food industries. Since the company's inception in 1901, the brand has been synonymous with being a sustainable organic organization that is nature-friendly and environmentally responsible.
As certified by the Organic Certification Center of the Philippines, HiPP Organic Infant Formula is manufactured with all-natural and organic raw materials. It is produced under the strict compliance of never using synthetic chemical pesticides, artificial or growth hormones, antibiotics, and GMO food.
The milk supplement is also free of gluten ingredients, artificial flavor or color, and soy protein. So if you're looking for an all-natural and organic alternative to your baby's milk, give HiPP Infant formula a chance.
If feeding intolerance is an issue for your child, you're better off with gentle and easy-to-digest formulas like this one by Abbott. It possesses a TummiCareTM system, making it hypoallergenic and lactose-free, suitable for lactose intolerant babies. It is made of 100% partially hydrolyzed whey protein broken down into smaller pieces for easier nutrient absorption.
Apart from that, this formula is also armed with the EyeQ Plus System that packs a unique combination of nutrients to aid in your child's eye and brain development. It has AA and DHA that serve as building blocks of the brain and eye development. It also contains lutein that can help improve your child's visual processing.
Another trusted brand by many Filipino parents, Nido does an excellent job of ensuring that your child receives ample nutrients that should help them grow healthy. This particular Nido formula is fortified with Lactobacillus rhamnosus, a probiotic that is said to help strengthen your child's respiratory defenses to protect them against various sicknesses.
But aside from that, this milk formula is also a known good source of calcium that helps your little one develop and maintain healthy bones and teeth. Since it also has DHA, it can contribute to developing your child's mental functions and visual acuity.
Lactum is a local brand under the Mead Johnson company. It is formulated to primarily fulfill the three-meal daily recommendation under the Philippine Food Pyramid guideline as indicated by the Department of Health.
During the 90s, it was introduced into the market as a better alternative to whole cream milk, as it contains better vitamins and minerals. The Vitaminized Lactum for children ages six to twelve months is a budget-friendly follow-up milk choice that is equally good as the leading brands.
Since it is loaded with calcium and other minerals, it can boost immunity, build stronger bones, and develop brain cells in growing babies. It also helps fill in the gaps of food nutrient deficiency for a healthier and happier baby.
If your infant is experiencing regurgitation and reflux, the Aptamil Regurgitation milk should be your go-to formula. This product is designed to reduce and prevent the severity of regurgitation- and sometimes with gas, in bottle-fed babies. It has a thickened composition that stays down in the stomach to manage frequent regurgitation and reflux incidence.
This milk formula makes it easier for your baby to digest and break down the milk. Newborn or weaning babies could take advantage of its best nutrients without experiencing the regurgitation and reflux from using other milk formulas. Additionally, although it offers tailored nutrition, it stays nutritionally the same as standard milk formulas.
Breastmilk is still the best and most complete food for babies less than a year old, and breastmilk is still beneficial to kids even after their first birthday. However, we understand that not all moms will be able to breastfeed (or do pure breastmilk feedings), and it's fortunate that we now have a lot of formula milk options to choose from.
Do communicate and check with your pediatrician regularly so they can help you find the best means to nourish your child, especially if they may have certain conditions that would warrant special formulas.
Below are some of the most asked questions on the web answered by the mybest team.
As recommended by doctors and medical experts, breastfeeding is indeed the best form of nutrition for babies, but if a mother's milk is unavailable or inaccessible, formula feeding is also a good alternative for infant nourishment. Some benefits include:
While it is understandable that parents would want to give warm milk to their babies, there are disadvantages to using a microwave to do so. Studies have shown that with the way microwaves heat, there is a chance that baby formula can be heated unevenly, risking potential scalding to a baby's mouth and throat.
As each baby is different, the amount to feed will vary. But on average, about 1.5–3 ounces (45–90 milliliters) every 2–3 hours. This amount gradually increases as your baby grows older and is able to consume more during feeding. However, make sure not to force your babies to eat more than what they want.
Ideally, a baby formula must be consumed within a short period after being prepared. It is considered safe for up to 2 hours at room temperature, but leaving it untouched for a more extended period risks having the milk develop harmful bacteria which is bad for the infant.
Keep your babies healthy and happy with some awesome products that you can purchase online. Click on the links below and find out the best merchandise for your little bundles of joy!
Author: C. Lacson
Re-editor: R. Victoriano
Our buying guide was carefully researched and crafted by the mybest team of writers and editors, in collaboration with the expert featured in this article. We used the buying guide as a basis for choosing and ranking the product recommendations, and we looked at reviews and ratings from different E-commerce sites like Lazada, Shopee, and more.
No. 1: Nestlé | NAN Infini Pro HW | Two (6-12 Months)
No. 2: Mead Johnson Nutrition | Enfagrow A+ Four NuraPro | 3+ Years Old
No. 3: Wyeth | Bonakid Milk Supplement | Stage 3 (1-3 Years Old)
No. 4: Mead Johnson Nutrition | Enfamil A+ Gentlease | 0-12 Months
No. 5: Wyeth | S-26 Promil Gold 3 | 1-3 Yrs Old
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