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The Best Organic Baby Formula for Your Little One

We get it—choosing the best organic baby formula for your little one can feel overwhelming. Here’s what you need to know.
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By Emma O'Regan-Reidy, E-Commerce Editor
Updated June 13, 2023
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It’s no secret that parents want the best for their little ones, and of course that includes feeding. Whether you’re supplementing or exclusively bottle feeding, organic baby formulas offer infants a dependable, well-balanced nutritional source from the very beginning. Are you a lover of all things organic? Or maybe just curious about how these formulas differ from the rest? Either way, we’ve got you covered. Below, read pediatrician-backed advice about the ins and outs of organic baby formula—then, shop our favorite options currently on the market.

What Is Organic Baby Formula?

First things first, what exactly is organic baby formula? According to Lauren Crosby, MD, a pediatrician and an official spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), “this type of formula is made without antibiotics, pesticides and growth hormones.” Moreover, it’s free from artificial flavors, coloring and preservatives and is non-GMO, she adds. Formulas that are classified as organic have to meet production and manufacturing standards set by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Plus, at least 95 percent of the listed ingredients must be organic, says Alexis Phillips-Walker, DO, a pediatrician at Memorial Hermann Medical Group Pediatrics in Atascocita, Texas.

Keep in mind: Organic baby formula isn’t suitable for all infants. As per Phillips-Walker, babies who require speciality or hypoallergenic formulas shouldn’t use organic options. Signs that your child may have trouble digesting cow’s milk-based formulas include milk intolerance, reflux and colic, to name a few. If you’re unsure whether organic baby formula is the best choice for your child, get in touch with baby’s pediatrician to double-check.

Benefits of Organic Baby Formula

You may be wondering: Are there any benefits to feeding baby organic formula over other types? The main advantage is that the former has to meet specific standards. “A baby being fed organic formula potentially has less exposure to some pesticides, hormones, antibiotics and other chemicals,” explains Crosby. Phillips-Walker notes that pesticide exposure has been shown to affect cognitive and behavioral development in children. However, the actual amount of exposure to these chemicals in standard formula is debatable and may not be linked to any clinically significant effects, Phillips-Walker continues.

That being said, when it comes to picking out a baby formula for your little one, the choice is largely down to preference—if your child doesn’t have any specific dietary requirements or medical conditions, of course. Crosby reminds parents that there’s currently no scientific data or long-term research that shows that organic baby formulas are nutritionally better for infants than other options. “Baby will grow and thrive well on a formula even if it is not organic,” adds Crosby.

What To Look For in Organic Baby Formula

Shopping for an organic baby formula isn’t all too different than choosing non-organic options. Factors like age rating, ingredient lists and value should all still be considered. Most organic formula for babies is made from cow’s milk, but some are made from goat’s milk or soy, says Phillips-Walker. Additives like AHA, DHA, prebiotics, probiotics and whey protein also help formulas mimic breast milk. Phillips-Walker reminds parents: “It’s always best to choose a formula that is closest to breast milk!”

The main difference to consider when picking out an organic baby formula comes down to the label. Check that the organic baby formula you have your eye on meets U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements and that it’s USDA-certified organic, advises Crosby.

Best Organic Baby Formula To Buy

Not sure where to start when it comes to choosing the best organic baby formula for your little love? Don’t worry—we’re here to help. Below, browse our top picks for several categories, including a formula for sensitive tummies and a budget-friendly option.

Overall best organic baby formula

Happy Baby Organics
Image: Walmart
What We Love
  • Features dual prebiotics for easy digestion
  • Has DHA/ARA to promote eye and brain development
  • Stage 1 offers complete nutrition throughout baby’s first year
Things To Consider
  • Contains palm oil
  • Foamy, according to some reviewers

What makes HappyBaby’s organic baby formula stand out among the rest? Let us explain: It’s modeled after breast milk, featuring key vitamins and minerals like iron, omega-3 and calcium, to name a few. Thanks to the formula’s dual prebiotics and DHA contents, you can count on it to support baby’s digestion, while also promoting eye and brain development. Parents will also love how this USDA-certified pick is exclusively made from the milk of cows that have been raised on organic farms, and that its packaging is free from BPA, BPS and phthalates, to boot. This organic baby formula offers a nutritious food source for little ones between the ages of 0 to 12 months old.

Size: 21 oz. | Servings per container: 17.2 | Age rating: 0 to 12 months old

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Best sensitive organic baby formula

Earth's Best Sensitivity Organic Powder Baby Formula with Iron
Image: Walmart
What We Love
  • Low-lactose blend with prebiotics for easy digestion
  • Contains essential nutrients, like DHA and omega-3
  • Offers complete nutrition throughout baby’s first year
  • Kosher
Things To Consider
  • Contains palm oil
  • Foamy and leaves behind residue, according to some reviewers

Does your little one suffer from a sensitive stomach? Then this organic baby formula offers a gentle feeding solution. The low-lactose blend is whey-dominant, meaning it will be easier for your little one to digest. Complete with omega-3 and DHA, it closely resembles breast milk and can support your child’s growth from birth until their first birthday. What’s more, this organic formula for babies also contains lutein to promote eye development, as well as prebiotics to further aid digestion.

Size: 21 oz. | Servings per container: 31 | Age rating: 0 to 12 months old

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Best organic formula for easy digestion

Organic Gentle Infant Formula
Image: Bobbie
Buying Options
Bobbie|$112
What We Love
  • Made with partially hydrolyzed proteins to support digestion
  • Offers complete nutrition throughout baby’s first year
  • Free from corn syrup and palm oil
  • Earned a Clean Label Project Purity Award
Things To Consider
  • Smaller cans than other options on our list
  • Expect a thinner consistency and darker color than other formulas
  • Only availble in multipacks

Another way to support your infant’s digestive system: Look for a gentle organic baby formula. Take this option from Bobbie, for instance. Rest assured knowing that it contains partially hydrolyzed proteins to aid baby’s digestion—in addition to calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron and essential vitamins. The result? A nutritionally balanced blend that will help your little one grow big and strong as they approach their first birthday. What’s more, you can easily stock up on this organic baby formula, thanks to Bobbie’s multipack options.

Size: 14.1 oz. | Servings per container: N/A | Age rating: 0 to 12 months old

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Best European-style organic baby formula

Bobbie Baby Organic Powder Infant Formula
Image: Target
What We Love
  • Free from corn syrup and palm oil
  • Offers complete nutrition throughout baby’s first year
  • Discounted subscription options available when purchasing on Bobbie’s website
  • Earned a Clean Label Project Purity Award
Things To Consider
  • Smaller container than other options on our list

Looking for a European-style organic baby formula that’s easily accessible in the US (and USDA-certified organic)? Then you can’t go wrong with this option from Bobbie. You’ll appreciate that the milk is thoughtfully sourced from grass-fed cows, and how it’s complete with all the essentials, such as DHA, omega-3 and calcium. You can also expect easy digestion after feeding, as this blend has a 60:40 whey to casein ratio. Another highlight: This top-notch organic formula for babies is also free from corn syrup and palm oil—what’s not to love?

Size: 14.1 oz. | Servings per container: N/A | Age rating: 0 to 12 months old

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Best budget-friendly organic baby formula

Baby's Only Organic Premium Dairy Powder Infant Formula
Image: Target
Buying Options
Target|$19.99
What We Love
  • Free from palm oil and corn syrup
  • Offers complete nutrition throughout baby’s first year
  • Earned a Clean Label Project Purity Award
  • Affordable price point
Things To Consider
  • Some reviewers say their children don’t like the taste of this formula

Opting for an organic baby formula doesn’t mean you have to spend a small fortune. Case in point: This budget-friendly option from Baby’s Only, that rings in at under $20 for 21 oz.—score! It contains all the essentials you can expect to find in breast milk, like iron, omega-3, vitamin D and calcium. Other highlights: It’s also free from palm oil and corn syrup, and every batch is tested for heavy metals, to ensure a pure feeding source for your child every time.

Size: 21 oz. | Servings per container: N/A | Age rating: 0 to 12 months

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How We Chose the Best Organic Baby Formulas

With all the options on the market, deciding which organic baby formula is the right fit for your child can be challenging. To streamline your shopping experience, we did the bulk of the research for you, so you don’t have to spend hours scrolling through online retailers. We sourced the formulas in our roundup from leading brands and reliable retailers, and considered a list of criteria, such as USDA certification, ingredient lists and value. We also read user reviews, and didn’t consider any organic baby formula with less than an average four-star rating.

To make sure we’re highlighting products that are safe and effective, we chatted with two pediatricians to understand essential features and safety considerations to keep top of mind as you shop. What’s more, we also looked for certifications from key organizations, such as the USDA and the Clean Label Project.

Interested in learning more about our editorial process? Read about how our team develops and reviews all articles here.

Expert sources:

Alexis Phillips-Walker, DO, is a pediatrician at Memorial Hermann Medical Group Pediatrics in Atascocita, Texas. She earned her medical degree from Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Athens.

Lauren Crosby, MD is a board-certified pediatrician, and a member of and official spokesperson for the AAP. She earned her medical degree from the UCLA School of Medicine, and previously served as chief resident at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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