Best Hypoallergenic Formula | Baby Journey

A Parent-Friendly Guide to Choosing the Best Hypoallergenic Formula 2021

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 baby 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 formula is your only hope for giving your baby the nutrients they need.

In this article, we discuss the best hypoallergenic formula options and tips on how to find the right one for your baby. To start us off, my overall best is the EleCare Hypoallergenic Powder.

Understanding Hypoallergenic Baby Formulas

Hypoallergenic formulas are specially processed baby formulas for babies that have a hard time digesting milk protein or are allergic to milk protein. Below are the main varieties of hypoallergenic formula that you may come across. 

Hypoallergenic baby formula nourishes and protects babies without side effects.

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 Formula

This type of formula is processed such that the milk protein is partially broken down into smaller molecules that are easier for babies to digest. 

Extensively Hydrolyzed Formula

Extensive hydrolyzation breaks down the milk protein into even smaller molecules than those of partially hydrolyzed protein formula. It is easy 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: 

  • Goat’s Milk Formula – This is processed from goat milk and has much smaller protein molecules thereby making it easy for babies to digest.
  • Amino-Acid-Based Formula – 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 vegetable oil, healthy fats, vitamins, 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. This type of formula does not contain lactose which is a type of sugar found in dairy.

A Review of 10 Top Hypoallergenic Formula Options

So far we have established that there are different types of hypoallergenic 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 I would send you on your way without some pointers, did you? 

EleCare Hypoallergenic Powder
Gerber Extensive Hypoallergenic Formula
Neocate Syneo Infant Formula
Kabrita Goat Milk
Earth's Best Non-GMO Soy Formula
10 Best Newborn Pack and Play & Playard for your Baby 2021 | Baby Journey
Gerber Extensive HA Hypoallergenic Powder Infant Formula with Iron for Cow's Milk Allergy, 14.1 Ounces
Neocate SyneoTM Infant, 14.1 oz / 400 g (Case of 4 cans)
Kabrita Goat Milk Toddler Formula, 28 Oz
Earth's Best Non-GMO Soy Plant Based Infant Powder Formula with Iron, Omega-3 DHA & 6 ARA, 23.2 oz.
Type
Amino-acid-based formula
Extensively hydrolyzed formula
Amino-acid-based formula
Goat-milk-based formula
Soy formula
Lactose
Soy content
Recommended for
Infants with CMPA and soy allergies
Infants with CMPA and lactose intolerance
Infants with CMPA, soy, and multiple food allergies
Infants with lactose intolerance
Infants with lactose intolerance
EleCare Hypoallergenic Powder
10 Best Newborn Pack and Play & Playard for your Baby 2021 | Baby Journey
Type
Amino-acid-based formula
Lactose
Soy content
Recommended for
Infants with CMPA and soy allergies
Check Latest Price
Gerber Extensive Hypoallergenic Formula
Gerber Extensive HA Hypoallergenic Powder Infant Formula with Iron for Cow's Milk Allergy, 14.1 Ounces
Type
Extensively hydrolyzed formula
Lactose
Soy content
Recommended for
Infants with CMPA and lactose intolerance
Check Latest Price
Neocate Syneo Infant Formula
Neocate SyneoTM Infant, 14.1 oz / 400 g (Case of 4 cans)
Type
Amino-acid-based formula
Lactose
Soy content
Recommended for
Infants with CMPA, soy, and multiple food allergies
Check Latest Price
Kabrita Goat Milk
Kabrita Goat Milk Toddler Formula, 28 Oz
Type
Goat-milk-based formula
Lactose
Soy content
Recommended for
Infants with lactose intolerance
Check Latest Price
Earth's Best Non-GMO Soy Formula
Earth's Best Non-GMO Soy Plant Based Infant Powder Formula with Iron, Omega-3 DHA & 6 ARA, 23.2 oz.
Type
Soy formula
Lactose
Soy content
Recommended for
Infants with lactose intolerance
Check Latest Price

Partially Hydrolyzed Formula Brands

1. Gerber Goodstart Soothe

Gerber Good Start Soothe (HMO) Non-GMO Powder Infant Formula, Stage 1, With Iron, 2’-FL HMO and Probiotics for Digestive Health and Immune System Support, 30.6 Oz

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.  

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • The scooper provided with this formula is a bit large and can make it hard to dispense formula into infant feeding bottles.
Gerber Good Start Soothe (HMO) Non-GMO Powder Infant Formula, Stage 1, With Iron, 2’-FL HMO and Probiotics for Digestive Health and Immune System Support, 30.6 Oz
1,794 Reviews
Gerber Good Start Soothe (HMO) Non-GMO Powder Infant Formula, Stage 1, With Iron, 2’-FL HMO and Probiotics for Digestive Health and Immune System Support, 30.6 Oz
  • 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 Formula

2. Enfamil Pregestimil Baby Formula

Enfamil Pregestimil Baby Formula | Best Hypoallergenic Formula | Baby Journey

Enfamil Pregestimil is a hypoallergenic infant formula for babies that are lactose intolerant. It 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. More than half of its fats are derived from MCT oil that is less dense and easier for your baby to absorb. 

Pros:

  • Extensively hydrolyzed proteins are easy for your baby to digest and absorb
  • It helps low-weight babies with fat malabsorption 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 

Cons:

  • 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 | Best Hypoallergenic Formula | Baby Journey

Enfamil Pregestimil Baby Formula

  • Hypoallergenic suitable for someone with lactose intolerance
  • 55% of the fat from MCT oil
  • Designed for infants with fat malabsorption problems

3. Gerber Extensive Hypoallergenic Formula

Gerber Extensive HA Hypoallergenic Powder Infant Formula with Iron for Cow's Milk Allergy, 14.1 Ounces

Gerber Extensive HA is made up of extensively hydrolyzed proteins to save your baby from the pains of indigestion, bloating, and constipation. It is further fortified with iron and is lactose-free.

Gerber recommends this formula for babies with milk allergy (Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy/intolerance). The protein molecules are broken into such small molecules that your baby’s allergies are unlikely to get triggered by this formula. Like other Gerber hypoallergenic formulas, Gerber Extensive HA also contains probiotics.

Pros:

  • It contains digestion-promoting probiotics [1]
  • It is fortified with iron which is essential for your baby’s blood health
  • It contains DHA to aid brain development
  • The fatty acids in this formula have a less complex structure and are easy for your baby’s digestive tract to absorb

Cons:

  • This baby formula is not fully organic
  • Formulations of this product vary between countries
Gerber Extensive HA Hypoallergenic Powder Infant Formula with Iron for Cow's Milk Allergy, 14.1 Ounces
Gerber Extensive HA Hypoallergenic Powder Infant Formula with Iron for Cow's Milk Allergy, 14.1 Ounces
  • Hypoallergenic Nutrition: This hypoallergenic formula is designed for babies with cow’s milk protein allergies (CMPA). If your baby is suspected to have or is diagnosed with CMPA, your baby’s doctor might recommend changing from a routine formula to a hypoallergenic extensively hydrolyzed infant formula
  • For Cow's Milk Protein Allergy: Cow’s milk protein allergy is the most common allergy among infants. This formula features 100 percent high-quality whey protein, broken down into tiny pieces and is designed to be well-tolerated
  • 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

4. Enfamil Nutramigen With Enflora LGG

Enfamil Nutramigen With Enflora LGG | Best Hypoallergenic Formula | Baby Journey

Enfamil Nutramigen with Enflora LGG is a suitable formula for babies with milk lactose intolerance. It is 100% lactose-free and is made using extensively hydrolyzed protein. It is available in infant formula and toddler formula variations. 

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. 

Pros:

  • It has a fast-acting formula
  • It is fortified with DHA and ARA which boost infant development
  • Probiotics boost infants’ immunity against the possibility of future allergies
  • Its extensively hydrolyzed protein is easier for babies’ digestive system to absorb

Cons:

  • It has a rather thick consistency even when mixed properly
  • The smell of the formula is unpleasant and causes equally pungent-smelling burps
Enfamil Nutramigen With Enflora LGG | Best Hypoallergenic Formula | Baby Journey

Enfamil Nutramigen With Enflora LGG 

  • Clinically shown to reduce colic due to cow’s milk allergy within 48 hrs
  • #1 Pediatrician Recommended Formula Brand for Cow’s Milk Allergy
  • Helps reduce the incidence of future allergies+

Amino-acid-based Formula Brands

5. Enfamil PurAmino

Enfamil PurAmino | Best Hypoallergenic Formula | Baby Journey

Enfamil PurAmino is available in both infant formula and toddler formula variations. It is made up of proteins that are fully broken down into individual amino acids. 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.

Pros:

  • It has a gentle formulation and most babies adapt to it 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

Cons:

  • This formula is rather pricey
  • Some babies may have a hard time adjusting to the taste
Enfamil PurAmino | Best Hypoallergenic Formula | Baby Journey

Enfamil PurAmino 

  • 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 | Best Hypoallergenic Formula | Baby Journey

EleCare Hypoallergenic Powder is a dairy-free and soy-free infant formula. It is a great option if your baby is allergic to cow milk proteins like whey and casein but also can not handle soy protein alternatives. It is made up of 100% free amino acids with no protein chains thereby making nutrient absorption a breeze for your little one. 

Pros:

  • ula is gentle for most babies tummies
  • It has extra essential nutrients including DHA, ARA, and iron
  • It is fully hypoallergenic
  • There are advanced options for toddlers that you can transition your infant to

Cons:

  • The taste and smell of this formula takes some getting used to
  • It is quite costly 
EleCare Hypoallergenic Powder | Best Hypoallergenic Formula | Baby Journey

EleCare Hypoallergenic Powder  

  • IMPROVED SYMPTOMS: Well-tolerated formula clinically proven to help improve symptoms of severe food allergies and other GI conditions
  • SUPPORTS GROWTH: Complete nutrition specially formulated to help growth & development in infants who need it most
  • AMINO ACID-BASED FORMULA: Made with 100% free amino acids as the protein source for infants who cannot tolerate intact or hydrolyzed protein

7. Neocate Syneo Infant Formula

Neocate SyneoTM Infant, 14.1 oz / 400 g (Case of 4 cans)

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, Neocate Syneo is arguably the best formula for milk allergy, milk protein-related acid reflux, and multiple food allergies all in one.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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 quite expensive
Neocate SyneoTM Infant, 14.1 oz / 400 g (Case of 4 cans)
Neocate SyneoTM Infant, 14.1 oz / 400 g (Case of 4 cans)
  • Hypoallergenic, amino acid-based infant formula with prebiotics and probiotics in a powdered form.
  • Effectively resolves food allergy symptoms
  • - Supports growth & development

8. Similac Alimentum 

Similac Alimentum, 6 Count, Hypoallergenic Infant Formula, for Food Allergies and Colic, Starts Reducing Excessive Crying Within 24 Hours, Easy to Digest, Lactose-Free Formula Powder, 12.1-oz Can

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.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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
Similac Alimentum, 6 Count, Hypoallergenic Infant Formula, for Food Allergies and Colic, Starts Reducing Excessive Crying Within 24 Hours, Easy to Digest, Lactose-Free Formula Powder, 12.1-oz Can
Similac Alimentum, 6 Count, Hypoallergenic Infant Formula, for Food Allergies and Colic, Starts Reducing Excessive Crying Within 24 Hours, Easy to Digest, Lactose-Free Formula Powder, 12.1-oz Can
  • 24-HOUR DIFFERENCE: Our hypoallergenic formula starts reducing excessive crying due to protein sensitivity within 24 hours
  • EASY TO DIGEST: Lactose-free formula has broken down proteins that are easier to digest for babies with food allergies
  • MOST RECOMMENDED BRAND: #1 pediatrician recommended brands

Goat Milk Hypoallergenic Formula

9. Kabrita Goat Milk

Kabrita Goat Milk Toddler Formula, 28 Oz

Kabrita Goat Milk formula is 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.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • It is a great hypoallergenic milk formula but can still trigger cow’s milk protein allergies
  • It contains soybean oil which further restricts it to babies with no soy allergies
Sale
Kabrita Goat Milk Toddler Formula, 28 Oz
Kabrita Goat Milk Toddler Formula, 28 Oz
  • Naturally easy to digest, premium non-GMO goat milk formula, ideal for weaning and supplementing.
  • May be a solution for children with cow milk sensitivity*.  Tummy troubles, congestion, and eczema may be associated with cow milk sensitivity. *not suitable for children with cow milk protein allergy
  • Kabrita Goat Milk Formula has a mild, sweet and fresh taste and smell. A safe, effective and nutritious alternative to homemade goat milk formula recipes.

Soy-based Hypoallergenic Formula

10. Earth’s Best Non-GMO Soy Formula

Earth's Best Non-GMO Soy Plant Based Infant Powder Formula with Iron, Omega-3 DHA & 6 ARA, 23.2 oz.

Earth’s Best Non-GMO Soy formula is recommended 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, Earth’s Best is fortified with vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids.

Pros:

  • It is free of harmful chemicals such as pesticides that can have developmental side effects [2]
  • It has no overpowering scent and babies may have an easier time tolerating the taste
  • It contains fortifying nutrients
  • It contains digestion-assisting prebiotics

Cons:

  • 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 side-effects with prolonged use
Earth's Best Non-GMO Soy Plant Based Infant Powder Formula with Iron, Omega-3 DHA & 6 ARA, 23.2 oz.
Earth's Best Non-GMO Soy Plant Based Infant Powder Formula with Iron, Omega-3 DHA & 6 ARA, 23.2 oz.
  • Soy Plant Based formula that is easy-to-digest and nutritionally complete for baby's first twelve months
  • High quality protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals & essential fatty acids (DHA & ARA) to help support baby’s brain & eye development
  • Lactose-free

Tips on How to Choose the Best Hypoallergenic Formula

Now that you know what your hypoallergenic formula options are, how do you identify the best one 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 milk proteins
  • Allergic to milk protein- i.e they react adversely to milk protein and exhibit diarrhea, eczema, tummy aches, or even breathing issues after consumption

The best way to diagnose these issues is by seeking medical advice. Once you have a diagnosis, your pediatrician will likely recommend hydrolyzed formulas for easier digestion or lactose-free and amino-acid-based formula options for allergies. This will give you a precise direction on the type of formula that is best for your baby.

Babies can cry inconsolable due to gastric discomfort if they have milk allergies.

Formula Brands

As you may have noticed from the list above, you will encounter numerous hypoallergenic formula brands. Take your time to compare 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.

Age

Some hypoallergenic formulas are limited to either infants or toddlers. Be sure to pick one that corresponds with your child’s age. Toddler formulas might be too complex for an infant’s digestive system.

Product Ingredients

The foods that infants and toddlers consume have dire consequences on their development. Aim for hypoallergenic formulas that are free of toxic chemicals like herbicides and pesticides. Distinctions like non-GMO and fortifying ingredients like iron and essential fatty acids are equally a plus even if such products may cost more. [3]

Product Certifications

It is easy for brands to claim to be non-GMO or organic 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 say they are non-GMO, pesticide/herbicide-free, or that they are organic. 

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.

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 flavors better than you expect. 

Your pediatrician can advise you on how to best improve the taste hypoallergenic formula. Source: Pinterest

FAQs

How do I know if my baby needs hypoallergenic formula? 

A baby that is lactose intolerant or has Milk Protein Allergy usually exhibits adverse symptoms when they breastfeed or are fed ordinary milk formula. 

Look out for:

  • 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 stool, blood in stool, runny or mucus-laden stool
  • Failure to thrive
  • Spit up and/or vomiting 
  • Your baby arching their back(indicates stomach discomfort) 
  • Your baby crying in the fetal position often after feeding

Mention these symptoms to your pediatrician for a more concise diagnosis.

Can my baby be allergic to hypoallergenic formula?

It is unlikely.

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 system. Try and identify a different brand with different ingredients with the help of your pediatrician. 

How quickly does hypoallergenic formula work?

Some hypoallergenic formula 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.

Conclusion

It is not easy to find a hypoallergenic baby formula that works for your baby and 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 I had to choose one best hypoallergenic baby formula, I 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

I would love to hear about your hypoallergenic baby formula journey and how you are coping. Do chime in in the comment section.

Best Hypoallergenic Formula | Baby Journey

Last update on 2021-07-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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