Baby formula is a parenting essential.
It comes to the rescue when mothers experience breastfeeding challenges and is great for children when they have been weaned off breast milk.
Unfortunately, in some instances, regular formula may not work out for your baby. You may notice that they experience adverse reactions after feeding and generally do not tolerate the formula well.
When this happens, hypoallergenic baby formula is your only hope for giving your baby the nutrients they need.
In this in-depth article, we discuss the best hypoallergenic formula options and tips on how to find the right one for your baby.
- Understanding Hypoallergenic Baby Formulas
- A Review of 10 Best Hypoallergenic Baby Formulas
- Partially Hydrolyzed Formulas
- Extensively Hydrolyzed Formulas
- Amino-acid-based Formulas
- Goat Milk Hypoallergenic Formulas
- Soy Formulas
- Tips on How to Choose the Best Hypoallergenic Baby Formulas
Understanding Hypoallergenic Baby Formulas
Hypoallergenic formulas are specially processed baby formulas for babies that have trouble digesting regular formula with milk protein or are allergic to milk protein.
Below are the main varieties of hypoallergenic baby formula that you may come across.
Hydrolyzed milk formulas are ideal for children that are not necessarily allergic to milk protein but have a hard time digesting it. There are 2 main kinds of hydrolyzed formula:
Partially Hydrolyzed Formulas
This type of formula is processed such that the milk protein is partially broken down into smaller fat molecules that are easier for babies to digest.
Extensively Hydrolyzed Formulas
Extensive hydrolyzation breaks down the milk protein into even smaller molecules than those of partially hydrolyzed protein formula. Extensively hydrolyzed formulas make it easier to digest and absorb and, consequently, gentler on babies’ tummies.
For babies that suffer from cow’s milk protein intolerance, it would be best to choose a formula that does not contain any cow’s milk protein. Consider exploring options such as:
- Soy-Based Formulas – Soy formula is made from highly nutritive soy protein or soy milk that can substitute cow’s milk protein.
- Organic Goat Milk Formulas – Goat milk formulas are processed from goat milk and has much smaller whole protein molecules thereby making it easy for babies to digest.
- Amino-Acid-Based Formulas – This type of formula is made up of milk-free amino acids (proteins) that are processed into singular molecules as opposed to complex protein chains which are hard to digest.
They also contain refined vegetable oil (medium chain triglycerides), healthy fats, vitamins, milk (Casein Hydrolysate), and minerals to provide well-balanced nutrition.
If your pediatrician diagnoses your baby to be fully lactose intolerant, they will likely suggest a lactose-free formula. Amino-acid-based formulas do not contain lactose which is a type of sugar found in dairy.
A Review of 10 Best Hypoallergenic Baby Formulas
So far we have established that there are different types of hypoallergenic baby formula for different lactose digestion issues or allergies.
Now that we are all on the same page on that, let us talk brands. You didn’t imagine we would send you on your way without some pointers, did you?
Partially Hydrolyzed Formulas
1. Gerber Goodstart Soothe
Gerber Goodstart Soothe is formulated to be as similar to breastmilk as possible. It consists of broken-down proteins that are easy to digest and are fully non-GMO.
This brand goes even further to ensure that your baby has an easy time digesting Gerber Goodstart Soothe. The formula includes probiotics which are good for your baby’s tummy because they aid in digestion. Gas and colic cries may very well become a thing of the past in your home.
My favorite part about this brand though is that Gerber Goodstart is a whole line of baby feeding products.
This means that if the infant formula works for your baby, you will have a ready option when you need to advance to hypoallergenic toddler formula.
Sometimes maintaining the same brand with largely similar ingredients makes switching formula less stressful for you and your tot’s health.
- It contains probiotics that can help make it easier for your baby to digest milk protein
- It contains DHA which boosts neurological development
- It has a gentle formulation that is highly nutritious
- There are no GMO ingredients in this formula product
- The scooper provided with this formula is a bit large and can make it hard to dispense formula into infant feeding bottles.
- Soothing Nutrition: Modeled after the complete nutrition and gentleness of breastmilk, this formula offers nutrition for babies up to 12 months experiencing colic, excessive crying, fussiness and gas
- Probiotic Formula: Good Start Soothe formula features prebiotics, Comfort Proteins and probiotics that improve the good bacteria in tummies and promote soft stools; It's our closest formula to breastmilk
- Give Your Baby a Good Start: Your baby’s nutritional needs evolve over time. That's why we created the Gerber Good Start line. Made to comfort your baby's tummy and available in a range of products
Extensively Hydrolyzed Formulas
2. Enfamil Pregestimil Baby Formula
Enfamil Pregestimil is a hypoallergenic infant formula for babies that are lactose intolerant. This special formula contains extensively broken-down proteins that are much easier for your baby’s digestive tract to handle.
This formula brand is also recommended if your baby has difficulty absorbing complex fats provided by a standard formula.
More than half of its fats are derived from MCT oil that is less dense and easier for your baby to absorb.
- Extensively hydrolyzed formulas proteins are easy for your baby to digest and absorb
- It helps low-weight babies with fat absorption challenges get stronger and healthier as its fats are easier to absorb
- It works well even for preemies
- It mixes well and maintains a great consistency despite the protein being extensively hydrolyzed
- Pregestimil can be hard to find as it is only distributed by a handful of suppliers
- The formula does not taste great and some children may not take to it very well
Enfamil Pregestimil Baby Formula
- Hypoallergenic baby formula suitable for someone with hypolactasia
- 55% of the fat from MCT oil
- Designed for infants with fat malabsorption problems
3. Gerber Extensive Hypoallergenic Formula
Gerber recommends this formula for babies with milk allergy (Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy/intolerance).
The molecules in protein are broken into such small molecules that your child’s allergies are unlikely to get triggered by this formula. Like other Gerber hypoallergenic formulas, Gerber Extensive HA also contains probiotics.
- It contains digestion-promoting probiotics 
- It is fortified with iron which is essential for your baby’s blood health
- It contains DHA to aid brain development
- The modified fats in this formula have a less complex structure and are easy for your baby’s digestive tract to absorb
- This product is not a fully organic hypoallergenic formula
- Formulations of this product vary between countries
- CLINICALLY PROVEN TO BE HYPOALLERGENIC: Extensive HA is designed for babies with cow’s milk protein allergy (CMPA);
- HIGH QUALITY PROTEIN: Contains 100% whey protein broken down into tiny pieces designed to be well-tolerated by most babies with CMPA and ultra-filtered for low residual allergenicity
- SUPPORT FOR TINY TUMMIES: Extensive HA is the only hypoallergenic formula made with probiotic B lactis; a probiotic similar to those found in breast milk to support digestive health
4. Enfamil Nutramigen With Enflora LGG
Enfamil Nutramigen with Enflora LGG is a suitable formula for babies with hypolactasia. It is 100% lactose-free and is made using extensively hydrolyzed protein.
The Enflora LGG component in this baby formula is a probiotic that helps your baby’s digestive system process the hydrolyzed protein with ease.
It can also be credited with relieving pre-existing colic fast and helping babies’ digestive systems to eventually become resilient enough to process milk protein.
- It has a fast-acting formula
- It is fortified with DHA and ARA which boost infant development
- Probiotics boost infants’ immune system against the possibility of future allergies
- Its extensively hydrolyzed formulas protein is easier for babies’ digestive system to absorb
- It has a rather thick consistency (possibly from the corn syrup solids) even when mixed properly
- The smell of the formula is unpleasant and causes equally pungent-smelling burps
Enfamil Nutramigen With Enflora LGG
- Clinically shown to reduce colic due to cow’s milk true allergy within 48 hrs
- #1 Pediatrician Recommended Formula Brand for Cow’s Milk Allergy
- Helps reduce the incidence of future allergies+
5. Enfamil PurAmino
This type of protein does not trigger allergies in babies with Cow Milk Protein Allergies.
In addition to formula consumption challenges, Enfamil PurAmino is also recommended for babies that suffer from: short bowel syndrome, poor nutrient absorption and protein allergies.
- It has a gentle formulation that babies adapt to quite well
- Despite the proteins being fully broken down, this formula still delivers a wholesome nutritional profile
- It helps resolve multiple dietary challenges in babies including fat malabsorption
- It contains DHA and ARA which are both essential in baby development 
- This formula is rather pricey when likened with other formulas
- Some babies may have a hard time adjusting to the taste
- Expert-recommended amount of DHA*—an important nutrient that supports brain and eye development
- Free amino acids—building blocks of protein—eliminating allergic potential when used as a sole source of nutrition1
6. EleCare Hypoallergenic Powder
EleCare Hypoallergenic Powder is the best product in our list – it is a dairy-free and soy-free infant formula.
It is a great option if your baby is allergic to dairy proteins like whey and casein but also cannot handle soy protein alternatives on the other hand.
It is made up of 100% free amino acids with no protein chains thereby making nutrient absorption a breeze for your little one.
- ULA is gentle for nearly all babies’ tummies
- It has extra essential nutrients including DHA, ARA, and iron
- A completely hypoallergenic baby formula
- There are advanced options for toddlers that you can transition your infant to
- The taste and smell of this formula takes some time getting used to when compared to other amino-acid-based formulas
- It is quite costly
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7. Neocate Syneo Infant Formula
Neocate Syneo Infant Formula is hypoallergenic and made up of amino acids.
It additionally contains a patented formula of prebiotics and probiotics which promote and regulate healthy bacteria in your baby’s gut.
This helps to improve the workings of your baby’s digestive system and resolve allergy-related symptoms.
Due to its unique formulation with minimal synthetic nutrients, Neocate Syneo is arguably the best formula for milk allergy, milk protein-related acid reflux, and multiple food allergies all in one.
- The prebiotics and probiotics in Neocate Syneo greatly improve babies digestion
- It mixes well and does not have a sticky cumbersome consistency
- It is easy for babies to absorb nutrients in this formula and attain their recommended growth milestones
- It addresses a broad range of formula consumption and digestion challenges
- A doctor’s prescription is often required for every purchase which is great for regulation but can make your regular purchase process cumbersome
- It is more expensive than standard formulas
- Contains corn syrup solids which may trigger an allergic reaction
Related: Corn Syrup in Baby Formula
- MEDICAL FOOD: Dairy free hypoallergenic formula for use under medical supervision
- BLEND OF PREBIOTICS AND PROBIOTICS: Contains Syneo, a patented blend of prebiotics and probiotics
- WITH NUCLEOTIDES AND DHA/ARA: DHA/ARA to support brain and eye development
8. Similac Alimentum
Similac Alimentum is made up of amino acids, DHA, and AHA nutritional fortification.
It is lactose-free and is thus great for babies that cannot tolerate cow’s milk protein.
Its ingredients are equally highly nourishing and work well for babies that need a nutritional boost to achieve their weight milestones.
However, it is important to note that this formula contains 8% of soy oil. It may, therefore, not be ideal if your child has soy allergies.
- It is effective in improving the health of babies that are failing to thrive
- It contains less complex fats that are easy for infant digestive systems to process and absorb
- Research indicates that most babies show improvement within short periods of use
- It does not contain palm olein oil which often causes loose stool
- It is easy for it to become lumpy if you are not conversant with how to mix it well
- The smell and taste are not pleasant
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Goat Milk Hypoallergenic Formulas
9. Kabrita Goat Milk
Kabrita Goat Milk formulas are recommended for toddlers. It is developed from goat milk which is naturally easy to digest because it has naturally smaller protein molecules.
It is a non-GMO product with a sweet taste and palatable scent, unlike most hypoallergenic formulas.
However, Kabrita does not recommend this formula if your baby has a cow milk protein allergy. In other words, this would only be a good choice if you are looking for an alternative to a hydrolyzed formula.
- The taste and smell is way more appealing than most hypoallergenic formula options
- It does not contain hormones or toxic chemicals and is certified as pesticide-free
- It is fortified with numerous folic acid, AHA, and DHA which are all fundamental for neurodevelopment
- It is gentle on babies tummies
- It is a great hypoallergenic milk formula but can still trigger cow’s milk formulas protein allergies
- It contains soybean oil which further restricts it to babies with no soy allergies
- Not strictly an organic goat milk formula
- Your Toddler Will Love It: Made with premium Dutch goat milk, Kabrita is easy to digest and is specially created for your 12-24 month (1 to 2-year-old) toddler. Our naturally A2 milk formula will help keep your little one comfortable while supplementing, weaning, or when changing formulas due to tummy troubles.
- Gentle on Sensitive Tummies: Kabrita is a great cow milk alternative for children who experience minor issues associated with cow milk consumption. Its mild, sweet taste makes it a popular choice, even among picky eaters. We also use an adapted whey-to-casein protein ratio for even better digestibility.
- 24 Vitamins and Minerals: More than just plain goat milk, our A2 formula is fortified with important micronutrients recommended for use in baby formula. These include vitamin D, vitamin C, DHA, iron, and much more to support your growing child’s nutritional needs.
10. Earth’s Best Non-GMO Soy Formula
Among all the soy formulas on the market today, Earth’s Best Non-GMO formula is my top recommended product for infants. It is made up of protein derived from soy plants and hydrolyzed milk proteins.
This brand plants and harvests soy that is non-GMO, and free of herbicides and pesticides.
To create a wholesome nutritional profile (and their soy formulas), Earth’s Best is fortified with vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids.
- It is free of harmful chemicals such as pesticides that can have adverse effects on baby’s development 
- It has no overpowering scent and babies may have an easier time tolerating the taste compared to other soy formulas
- It contains fortifying nutrients
- It contains digestion-assisting prebiotics
- This formula contains lactose and can be difficult for babies with a lactose sensitivity to digest
- Some studies link soy to high estrogen content which could have hormonal developmental long term effects with prolonged use
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Tips on How to Choose the Best Hypoallergenic Baby Formulas
Now that you know what some best hypoallergenic baby formulas options are, how do you identify and drill down to just one option for your baby’s needs?
The truth is, your decision will come down to multiple factors. Here are some of them.
Your Baby’s Condition
Your baby could be:
- Lactose intolerant – i.e. they have a hard time digesting dairy proteins
- Allergic to milk protein – i.e. they develop allergic reactions adversely to milk protein and exhibit diarrhea, runny nose, eczema, tummy aches, or even breathing issues after consumption
- Dealing with food intolerance – i.e. they develop physical discomforts such as colic, upset tummy or reflux due to sensitivity caused by food intolerances
The best way to diagnose these issues is by seeking professional medical advice.
Once you have a diagnosis, your pediatrician will likely recommend hydrolyzed formulas for easy digestion. Lactose-free and amino-acid-based formulas options for child’s allergies are also plausible.
This will give you a precise direction on the type of formula that is best for your baby.
As you may have noticed from the list above, you will encounter numerous self-proclaimed best hypoallergenic baby formulas. Take your time to compare different types of hypoallergenic formulas and their ingredients, prices, and availability before you commit to one.
Where possible, aim for a brand that has formula options for the toddler stage to ensure continuity.
Some hypoallergenic formulas are limited to either infants or toddlers. Be sure to pick one that corresponds with your child’s age. Formulas for toddlers might be too complex for an infant’s digestive and immune system. 
The foods that infants and toddlers consume have dire consequences on their development.
Aim for hypoallergenic formulas that are free of neurotoxin solvents and chemicals like processed or refined sugars, growth hormones, herbicides, and pesticides.
Distinctions like non-GMO and fortifying ingredients like iron and essential fatty acids are a plus even if such products may come with a higher price. 
Have something specific on mind? Gluten-free, soy-free, or anything of the sort? This is when you have to be extra careful when going through the list of ingredients!
Related: What’s In Your Milk Formula? Baby Formula Ingredients You Should Know!
It is easy for brands to claim to be non-GMO or organic formula, but official certification is the only way to authenticate these claims.
Look out for certification from the United States Department of Agriculture in products that claim they are non-GMO, pesticide/herbicide-free, or that their product is an organic formula.
For European hypoallergenic formulas, Demeter and Bioland certifications are the gold standard.
Scents and Flavors
Hydrolyzation and other processes used in manufacturing hypoallergenic formula for babies can cause them to have strong scents that are not necessarily appealing.
The flavors may also not be tasty by any measure, though they vary across different types of hypoallergenic formulas.
If your child is repulsed by the taste or scent of a formula that works for them, consult your pediatrician on whether you can mix it with anything.
Keep in mind that babies’ taste buds are not well developed so they might be able to tolerate poor and artificial flavors better than you expect.
How do I know if my baby needs hypoallergenic formula?
A baby that is lactose intolerant or has milk protein allergy usually exhibits clear medical symptoms when they breastfeed or are fed ordinary milk formula.
Some common symptoms may include:
- Inconsolable crying that goes on for prolonged periods of up to or more than 3 hours a day
- Negative changes in stool such as green stools, bloody stools, runny or mucus-laden stools
- Failure to thrive
- Spit up and/or vomiting
- Your baby arching their back(indicates baby’s stomach discomfort)
- Your baby crying in the fetal position often after feeding
- Runny nose, eczema, difficulty in breathing, and other symptoms
Mention these symptoms to your pediatrician for a more concise diagnosis.
How quickly does hypoallergenic formula work?
Some claimed best hypoallergenic baby formulas brands promise results as quickly as within 24 hours. However, while this assertion might be true, each baby is unique.
It is best to give it a few days and monitor how your child’s health responds to the formula you choose. Sometimes the change of formula in itself can be rough but your baby should begin to show improvement in a day or two.
What makes hypoallergenic formula for babies so expensive?
The production of hypoallergenic baby formula involves more technical processes compared to regular formula products.
These processes disintegrate heavy nutrients you would find in milk formula to basic ones so that your baby can digest them easily.
Can my baby be allergic to hypoallergenic formula?
It is unlikely for hypoallergenic formulas to trigger an allergic reaction.
However, keep in mind that even hypoallergenic formulas in the same categories (hydrolyzed or amino-acid-based) have different ingredients.
Subsequently, when most babies react to hypoallergenic formula it is because one or more of the ingredients does not agree with their immune system. Try and identify a different brand with different ingredients with the help of your pediatrician.
What to do if my baby dislikes hypoallergenic formula?
Your baby’s refusal to drink it could be due to the typically unpleasant odor and flavor which comes with these hypoallergenic baby formula products.
However, you can opt to dilute it with breastmilk or try incorporating fruity flavors, PROVIDED THAT you get the pediatrician’s green light to do so.
Alternatively, you can also dilute it with cereal meals. This should help your baby like it more.
It is not easy to find the best hypoallergenic baby formulas that work for your baby.
Even when you do, the cost can be so high that it feels punitive. Nevertheless, in my opinion, all the hustle is worth it if it will help your baby become more healthy.
All options considered if we had to choose one best hypoallergenic baby formula, we would recommend the EleCare Hypoallergenic Powder. It is:
- Amino-acid-based and contains no soy making it fully hypoallergenic
- Fortified with essential nutrients
- Reasonably available than most brands
- Gentle on babies’ tummies
- Available as a full range for infants and toddlers
We would love to hear about your hypoallergenic baby formula journey and how you are coping. Do chime in in the comment section.
Last update on 2024-02-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API