Are you searching for a formula that taste like breast milk? You’ve come to the right place!
With the three kids I raised, I’ve tried almost all available formulas out there in search of the closest formula to breast milk for my kids.
I’ve monitored the ingredients list, texture, and taste and found several closest breast milk-like formula.
Keep reading to find out all about my product reviews – perhaps along the way, you can also learn how to pick the best formula to supplement breast milk, to help your child transition from breastmilk to formula, or mix with it for your little one!
- What Makes Formula Taste Similar to Breast Milk?
- My Top Five Picks
- The 13 Best Formula Closest to Breast Milk
- #1 Enfamil Enspire Infant Formula – Best Tasting Baby Formula, Closest to Breast Milk
- #2 Gerber Good Start, Infant Formula A2 Milk
- #3 Similac Pro-Advance Non-GMO Infant Formula – Best to Transition from Breast Milk
- #4 Enfamil Premium A2 Infant Formula – Best for Babies with Sensitive Gut
- #5 Gerber Nestle Nan 1 Pro Infant Formula
- #6 Earth's Best Organic Baby Formula – Best Organic
- #7 Happy Baby Organics Infant Formula
- #8 Enfamil NeuroPro Infant Formula
- #9 Similac Pure Bliss Infant Formula
- #10 Baby's Only Organic Sensitive LactoRelief Toddler Formula – Best for Lactose-Intolerant Toddlers
- #11 Similac Organic Infant Formula with Iron
- #12 Similac for Supplementation
- #13 Gerber Good Start Soothe
- Types of Baby Formula
- Formula Ingredients
- How to Make Formula Taste Like Breast Milk?
- Why Does Formula Taste So Bad?
- How to Make Baby Formula Taste Better?
- How Long Will It Take for my Baby to Adjust to Formula?
- What Can I Do if My Baby Won’t Drink Formula?
What Makes Formula Taste Similar to Breast Milk?
Human breast milk has a unique personalized taste due to the mother’s nutrition. Even though many baby formula products are created to resemble (or mimic) the benefits reaped from breast milk, for most products, the taste still falls short behind.
With that in mind, product manufacturers have been paying close attention to the taste and are trying to create a formula that tastes exactly like breast milk. Similar tastes are especially important for babies who use formula as a nutritional supplement.
The formula closest to breastmilk taste is sweeter than regular breast milk and the scent tends to be pleasant and mild.
There aren’t significant differences in taste between organic and non-organic formulas. However, parents should be aware of the fact that organic formulas are free of hormones and chemicals,  so the texture will be slightly thicker than non-organic formulas.
You may be interested in: Milk Tongue VS. Thrush
Apart from the taste, the formula most similar to breast milk should resemble the texture of breast milk as well. When it comes to breastfeeding vs formula, human breast milk is known to be slightly thinner, lighter, but creamier than cow’s milk.
Long story short, it’s not easy to completely mimic and replace breast milk.
My Top Five Picks
If you are in a hurry, check this table below to find all the necessary information you need to decide on what’s best! I included a wide selection of 13 formula closest to breastmilk and offered some great alternatives for special cases.
The 13 Best Formula Closest to Breast Milk
Which baby formula is closest to breastmilk? Let’s find out together!
You’ll find a comprehensive review of the best formulas on the market considering their nutritive value, taste, and structure.
Hopefully, by the end of my review, you’ll find the perfect breast milk substitute product for your baby!
#1 Enfamil Enspire Infant Formula – Best Tasting Baby Formula, Closest to Breast Milk
Enfamil Enspire Infant is the formula closest to breast milk in taste, texture, and ingredients. But, keep in mind that it is created using proteins from cow’s milk. So, it won’t be suitable for babies that are lactose intolerant.
The ingredient list is the closest to human milk content. Some of the most important ingredients are Lactoferrin protein and Milk Fat Globule Membrane (MFGM). Both ingredients are found in breast milk. The protein supports a healthy immune system, and MFGM supports cognitive development in babies.
The Enspire formula comes in powder form, and it is suitable for babies younger than one year of age. Another thing worth mentioning is that all ingredients are non-GMO.
It includes vitamin C, D, and E, Omega 3 DHA, and Choline. Omega 3 DHA is a common nutrient found in breast milk, and its role is to support eye development.
Because it includes PDX and prebiotics, young babies won’t have an issue with digestion. I found that when used with Dr. Brown’s Original Baby Bottles the baby was less gassy!
I also love how the formula has lactose sweetener to help mimic the taste of breast milk. Apart from making it tastier, it is a much-needed carbohydrate source for my kiddo.
- Nutritive value is almost the same as breast milk
- Sweet taste
- Supports gut health
- Includes Omega 3 DHA
- Contains palm olein oil
- Pricier than other infant formulas
Enfamil Enspire Infant Formula
- The only formula in the U.S. with a blend of Lactoferrin & MFGM components
- DHA and Choline — brain-nourishing nutrients also found in breast milk
- Dual blend of prebiotics to support immune and gut health
- Vitamins D, C &E and nucleotides which are associated with immune health and development
#2 Gerber Good Start, Infant Formula A2 Milk
The Gerber Good Start, Infant Formula A2 Milk is another cow’s milk-based baby formula – meaning you’ll have to skip it if your baby has a cow’s milk allergy!
The ingredients are non-GMO and include a combination of A2 milk, prebiotic and probiotic. This particular mixture supports gut health and eases digestion.
You can use this formula from birth until 12 months. I also like that the formula includes DHA, and has milk Oligosaccharide, just like breast milk! The taste is slightly different from actual breast milk, but the ingredients list is top-notch.
- Includes DHA
- Supports gut health
- Has HMO (Human Milk Oligosaccharide)
- Non-GMO ingredients
- Not as sweet and tasty as breast milk
- INFANT FORMULA FOR ADVANCED DIGESTIVE SUPPORT: Our most complete infant formula to promote baby's gut health features the exclusive combination of A2 milk, probiotic L.reuteri & prebiotic 2'-FL HMO.
- NATURALLY EASY TO DIGEST: A2 milk contains a special, high-quality protein that's easy to digest. All of our A2 milk comes from cows that are carefully selected & naturally produce only A2 milk.
- NON GMO: Not made with genetically engineered ingredients; no artificial growth hormones* (*no significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rbST-treated & non rbST-treated cows).
#3 Similac Pro-Advance Non-GMO Infant Formula – Best to Transition from Breast Milk
The Pro-Advance is the Similac formula closest to breastmilk. It is a product suitable for babies from birth to 12 months.
The formula has the prebiotic found in breast milk, which is essential for gut development. Other than that, let’s not forget to mention that DHA is another mutual ingredient that Similac Pro-Advance Non-GMO Infant Formula and breast milk have in common!
Other ingredients may include lutein, vitamin E, and lactose sweetener. Because of the latter ingredient, the Similac formula is slightly sweet and could be the best formula to transition from breast milk.
The Pro-Advance by Similac is formulated without palm olein oil. It means that the formula closely resembles breast milk and increases babies’ calcium absorption.
- Available in ready-to-go bottles
- Sweet taste
- Includes a variety of ingredients the same as breast milk
- No palm olein oil
- Supports strong bones development
- Could be too heavy for babies with difficulties with digestion
- Coconut oil in the formula may cause diarrhea
- BRAIN & EYE DEVELOPMENT: Our exclusive blend of DHA, Lutein, and Vitamin E – nutrients also found in breast milk – helps support baby’s overall growth and brain and eye development
#4 Enfamil Premium A2 Infant Formula – Best for Babies with Sensitive Gut
Enfamil Premium A2 Infant Formula is excellent for babies that have trouble digesting most infant formulas. This one has A2 protein, which is easier to digest than the A1 ones that are commonly found in most baby formulas.
This Enfamil closest to breast milk formula works wonders for babies with sensitive gut – it is light and doesn’t contain corn as a sweetener. Instead, it uses lactose as a carbohydrate and a sweetener.
Related: Corn Syrup in Baby Formula
The formula is available in powder and liquid ready-to-use formula options which is great for busy families.
- Gentle formula
- No added corn
- Mild and sweet taste, similar to breast milk
- Suitable for traveling with a baby
- Thinner in texture compared to other formulas
- Expires soon after opening so using it to supplement breastfed babies isn’t practical
Related: How Long is Formula Good for Once Opened
Enfamil Premium A2 Infant Formula
- Naturally easy to digest A2 protein for tiny tummies
- Premium milk protein sourced from Europe
- Global expert recommended amount of DHA
- Unique dual prebiotics blend for immune health support
#5 Gerber Nestle Nan 1 Pro Infant Formula
Gerber Nestle Nan 1 Pro Infant Formula is suitable for babies from birth to 12 months. It includes a range of different ingredients found in breast milk, such as HMO and prebiotics.
Besides, it includes iron, vitamins A, D, E, and K, and other ingredients important for healthy development.
What I personally liked about this product is the fact that it is a product that supports babies’ immune systems and development.
The turn-off for some people could be because it is based on cow’s milk, so babies with lactose sensitivity might have trouble digesting it.
- Iron-fortified formula
- Easy to digest
- Formula doesn’t clump easily
- Includes Linoleic acid
- Contains palm olein oil and soy
- May be difficult to mix
- Probiotic Formula: Nan 1 formula features probiotic L. Reuteri that supports digestive health
- Give Your Baby A Good Start: Nan 1 Infant Formula features prebiotics, probiotics, DHA, iron, Vitamin & minerals
- Nutrition For Growing: Like your baby, we're always growing & learning. More than ever we're committed to being your partner in parenthood with quality ingredients, nutritious food & expert guidance.
#6 Earth’s Best Organic Baby Formula – Best Organic
If you are searching for an organic infant formula close to breast milk, you might want to consider the Earth’s Best Organic Baby Formula. The formula is formulated based on cow’s milk, and the cows are organic grass and grain-fed.
It is an iron-fortified formula that meets FDA requirements for infant nutrition.
The Earth’s Best formula also includes DHA and ARA fatty acids, known to support brain and eye development.
Overall, it is packed with all necessary ingredients for healthy baby development and doesn’t have any controversial corn-based ingredients.
- No corn syrup
- Contains Lutein
- Non-GMO ingredients
- No added artificial hormones
- The product may clump in the box
- INFANT NUTRITION: Our closest formula to breast milk, this easy-to-digest organic formula is made with wholesome ingredients and nutrients that support immunity, brain development, and eye development
- EASY TO PREPARE: Simple-to-follow directions on the back of the formula container help you prepare your little one’s baby bottle with the right water-to-formula powder ratio for their feeding needs
- FIRST 12 MONTHS: Support development and nourish your baby from their first day to their first birthday
#7 Happy Baby Organics Infant Formula
Happy Baby Organics Infant Formula is a USDA-certified organic product made with non-GMO ingredients. Looking at the list of ingredients in this formula, the Happy Baby formula closely resembles the content of breast milk.
It has GOS and FOS prebiotics (Galactooligosaccharides and Fructooligosaccharides) known as important nutrients of breast milk. GOS and FOS aids digestion while vitamins and minerals support healthy development and the immune system.
Some of the ingredients worth mentioning are choline, iron, folic acid, vitamins C and D.
One notable mention about this product is that it has DHA and ARA harvested from organic algae. Like other great infant formulas, it contains lactose as a sweetener to enhance the overall taste.
- No hexane
- Contains helpful prebiotics for digestion
- Ingredients are close to breast milk
- No corn syrup
- Texture is foamy and doesn’t come close to that of regular breast milk
- Modeled After Breast Milk & made with carefully sourced premium ingredients, this formula is made with organic lactose the principal carbohydrate found in breast milk Our formula provides key vitamins and minerals that are found naturally in breast milk
- With 4X More Prebiotics than most other organic infant formula, our formula delivers 2 prebiotics, GOS & FOS, Fibers that mimic the function of prebiotics found naturally in breast milk, which promote healthy gut bacteria in infants No corn syrup solids
- Happy Baby: We provide organic, delicious options for your baby's nutritional journey; Happy Baby offers baby food pouches, organic cereals, teething wafers, baby snacks and more made for your little one
#8 Enfamil NeuroPro Infant Formula
Enfamil NeuroPro Infant Formula is a great infant formula that is very similar to the winner of this list – the Enspire version.
It has MFGM and DHA among other common ingredients found in breast milk. I like how it is especially gentle on babies’ stomachs and easier to digest for their little developing bodies!
Therefore, if your baby spits up often and has trouble keeping food in, you may want to try this NeuroPro version.
I’d personally suggest using also gripe water for babies in addition to this formula.
Mommy’s Bliss Original Gripe Water is what I usually use to help relieve additional symptoms of gas and colic on my babies!
The formula is available in powder form for home use and liquid for on-the-go occasions.
It isn’t the most popular Enfamil formula – but it sure is a quality product packed with all essential nutrients needed by a growing baby. From my past experience with this product, I’d recommend for you to order it online as this one can be difficult to find in the stores.
- Great for babies with frequent spit-ups
- Packed with DHA, MFGM, vitamins, and minerals
- Non-GMO ingredients
- Great as a supplement for breastfed babies
- Difficult to find
Enfamil NeuroPro Infant Formula
- #1 infant formula brand recommended by pediatricians
- Has expert-recommended Omega 3 DHA
- Naturally occurring MFGM components*
- Triple Prebiotic Immune Blend that includes 2’-FL HMO†, PDX, and GOS. Each of these prebiotics have been shown to support immune health (based on parent feedback)
#9 Similac Pure Bliss Infant Formula
Pure Bliss formula by Similac includes iron essential for babies’ neurological development. The formula is suitable for babies from birth to ten months.
Similac Pure Bliss Infant Formula has some excellent components, including DHA and ARA, which support healthy brain and eye development.
It is packed up with Lutein and vitamin E as well. Moreover, all ingredients in the formula come from non-GMO sources and don’t include antibiotics, artificial growth hormones. I also love that it is a gluten-free, kosher, and halal-friendly formula.
There are no known allergens, except for cow’s milk protein.
- No palm olein oil
- Excellent nutritive value for newborns
- Sourced from grass-fed cows
- No corn syrup
- May make the baby gassy
- Resembles fresh milk more than breast milk
Related: Best Formula for Gassy Babies
- GENTLE NUTRITION MODELED AFTER BREAST MILK: Pure Bliss by Similac infant formula is thoughtfully crafted nutrition that’s easy to digest and gentle on little tummies
- NO ARTIFICIAL GROWTH HORMONES & NON-GMO: Similac is the first leading infant formula brand with no artificial growth hormones. Pure Bliss also has no antibiotics or palm olein oil and is non-GMO
- SUPPORTS BRAIN & EYE DEVELOPMENT: Our formula has DHA and ARA to support brain and eye development
#10 Baby’s Only Organic Sensitive LactoRelief Toddler Formula – Best for Lactose-Intolerant Toddlers
The Baby’s Only Organic Sensitive LactoRelief Toddler Formula is suitable for babies over 12 months of age. The formula is USDA-certified for organic content.
What makes this formula stand out is the DHA and ARA sourced from organic eggs similar to the original ones found in breast milk. It is also one of the best organic infant formulas.
Additionally, as the name suggests, LactoRelief is suitable for a toddler that is lactose intolerant. The lactose is reduced, and there isn’t corn syrup, glucose, or palm olein oil in the formula. Instead, the sweet taste comes from organic rice syrup.
- Suitable for lactose intolerant toddlers
- Formulated without controversial ingredients – hexane, palm olein oil, and corn syrup
- DHA and ARA are close to the ones in the breast milk
- Has choline
- Lacks some nutrients found in other formulas such as lutein
- QUALITY ORGANIC NUTRITION: Our Sensitive with Organic DHA and ARA Toddler Formula* is the first organic milk-based formula intended for children with a sensitivity to lactose or those who have experienced a gastrointestinal illness
- NATURAL SOURCES: Our DHA and ARA is hexane free, unlike the DHA and ARA derived from algae or fungus sources
- FEATURES: Nature’s One strives to always make organic better, and in doing so, we actively seek the highest quality organic ingredients that meet both consumer needs and our demand to continuously improve our formulas
#11 Similac Organic Infant Formula with Iron
The ready-to-feed formula by Similac is a practical solution for feeding your baby when you are on the go.
The packaging is practical and easy to use, and the formula is well-balanced.
The included ingredients are Lutein, Vitamin E, DHA, and other necessary nutrients for wholesome baby meals.
Moreover, this Similac formula is a certified organic formula, which means that the ingredients are sourced exclusively from chemical and artificial hormone-free sources.
Similac Organic Infant Formula with Iron doesn’t contain any palm olein oil and is gluten-free.
The product doesn’t come with nipples for feeding, but you can find Similac nipples and rings to use with the ready-made formula.
- Pleasant odor
- Free from GMO
- Contain DHA and ARA that promote eye and brain health
- High vitamin A content
- Probiotics help with digestion and constipation
- Bitter taste
- Thin when mixed
- 48 BOTTLES: Get a total of 48 2 fl oz bottles of Similac Organic Ready-to-Feed formula
- NEW AND IMPROVED: Infant formula, modeled after breast milk; made with lactose
- ORGANIC FORMULA: Easy-to-digest baby formula that’s USDA-certified organic
#12 Similac for Supplementation
Similac for supplementation is a wholesome product designed for breastfed babies. It is packed with helpful prebiotics and non-GMO ingredients.
The three most important ingredients for brain and eye development – DHA, vitamin E, and Lutein are also present in the formula.
The mild and sweet taste closely resembles the taste of breast milk, so this product is good for parents who want to transition to formula. One packaging contains four tubs of formulas – so it is classified as a complete infant nutrition product.
- Non-GMO ingredients
- Gentle formula, easy on baby’s tummy
- Easy to mix
- A formula like breast milk in terms of taste and texture
No products found.
#13 Gerber Good Start Soothe
Gerber Good Start Soothe might be a good option for babies prone to colic, gas, and fussiness. Because of the hydrolyzed whey protein, the formula is easy to digest – not to mention the prebiotics support digestion and help relieve gas.
The components in the formula worth mentioning are DHA and a mixture of essential nutrients found in breast milk. The formula is available in powder form and is reinforced with iron – a fundamental mineral in the first months of a baby’s life.
The packaging is practical and easy to use – perfect for busy parents!
- Gentle formula-based
- Hydrolyzed whey protein is easy to digest
- Includes important prebiotics for digestion
- Non-GMO ingredients
- A combination of corn syrup and lactose is used as a sweetener
No products found.
How To Pick The Best Baby Formula?
As you can see from my reviews alone, many excellent baby formulas taste and contain similar nutrients to mimic actual breast milk. So, the question is: how do you pick the perfect one?
Types of Baby Formula
Take a closer look at the three types of baby formula based on their compounds recognized by the FDA.
- Cow-milk based – well-rounded formula with proteins from cow’s milk
- Soy-based – suitable for parents who don’t give their babies animal-based proteins or babies allergic to cow’s milk
- Hydrolyzed protein milk formula – proteins are broken into smaller sizes, which makes them suitable for babies with protein allergies, suitable for babies allergic to soy and cow’s milk
DHA and ARA
DHA and ARA fatty acids are important compounds found in breast milk. However, these acids are difficult to formulate on their own. Some manufactures source them from hexane, which is a somewhat controversial ingredient. There isn’t scientific evidence that hexane in baby formula is harmful, but high doses of hexane are believed to be neurotoxic. 
There is scientific evidence that DHA and ARA from breast milk promote healthy eye and brain development. That being said, there isn’t any proof that artificial DHA and ARA from formulas do the same. At the same time, there is an ongoing debate about the sourcing of these ingredient.
The manufacturer of organic formulas source it from organic algae and eggs. However, there isn’t evidence that hexane or algae and eggs are better sources so far. At the end of the day, it is up to us parents to decide what’s good for our babies.
Choline, Taurine, Lutein
Choline, taurine and lutein are common ingredients in breast milk, but not all formulas contain them. Lutein is an antioxidant while choline promotes brain function. Taurine improves fat absorption in infants and supports their healthy liver function.
Therefore, these nutrients help your baby to process the toxins from the external environment.
There is insufficient research on the effects of GMO ingredients in baby formula on further newborn development. Nonetheless, because of increased interest and research about the effects of GMO foods on humans, pediatricians and parents are concerned.
Further research is yet to be done, but most experts suggest that you may choose a non-GMO formula to prevent the risk. Better safe than sorry!
The most common sweetener used in baby formula is corn syrup. Corn syrup is a safe ingredient in baby formula,  but there is more to it.
BUT! If you decide to pick any baby formula with corn syrup, make sure that it is sourced from non-GMO corn, as corn is one of the most GMO foods in the USA.
Also, corn syrup is known to increase the level of sugar in the blood. This is precisely why some parents choose alternatives such as organic brown rice syrup as a sweetener.
Essential Vitamins and Minerals
Whether your child is using formula as a supplement to breast milk or you are feeding it exclusively with baby formula, it is advised to ensure that the product you choose offers complete nutrition.
What this means is that your baby formula should come with all essential vitamins and minerals vital for babies’ early development. Those include:
- Vitamins: A, B, C, D, E,
- Minerals: calcium, phosphorus and iron
All manufacturers clearly label the components of baby formula on print, so make sure to analyze the ingredient list carefully before making a purchase.
Prebiotics & Probiotics
A baby’s digestive system is still developing after birth. Therefore, some babies have trouble digesting certain formulas. Probiotics and prebiotics in baby formula support healthy gut development and a healthy immune system.
Does your baby have milk sensitivity or lactose intolerance? It is something you should discuss with your pediatrician if you notice symptoms in your baby, such as tummy swelling and diarrhea.
If your pediatrician confirms milk allergy, pick a soy-based formula or the one with a reduced level of lactose in the formula.
Further reading: How to Tell if Your Baby Needs Soy Formula
Frequently Asked Questions
Having a lot of questions about the baby formula is normal and understandable. Here are some answers to the most commonly asked questions that bother most parents:
How to Make Formula Taste Like Breast Milk?
There are a few things to try if you are transitioning from breast milk to formula and you want to ensure the formula tastes as similar to breast milk as possible.
Try adding a little bit of human breast milk and don’t overheat it. Try not to overshake the formula to prevent air bubbles that may cause gassiness.
Why Does Formula Taste So Bad?
Formulas with hydrolyzed milk proteins often come with a bitter and sour taste. It is because these formulas have a high content of amino acids significantly higher than that found in breast milk. 
Also, other ingredients may also affect the taste of formulas – some of which may include sweetener and iron levels.
How to Make Baby Formula Taste Better?
In my experience with my babies, you shouldn’t add anything to the formula.
Even though some parents recommend adding a hint of vanilla to improve the taste, I personally think that adding artificial sweetener or aroma to improve the taste is a big no.
You should avoid using sweeteners and rather try other formulas to see if your baby enjoys the taste better.
Related: How to Make Baby Formula Taste Better?
How Long Will It Take for my Baby to Adjust to Formula?
On average, a baby needs between three and five days to adjust to a new formula. However, because all babies are different, slight variations in the adjustment period are normal and expected.
What Can I Do if My Baby Won’t Drink Formula?
Patience is the key. Try different feeding positions, use distractions during feeding, change the feeding schedule, use baby bottles nipples that mimic breastfeeding, etc.
Ultimately if nothing seems to be working, you can switch formulas to see if other formulas might be a better choice for your baby.
I hope everything is clear so far! Do you have more unclarified questions about baby formula? Don’t be shy and share your doubts in the comments!
My top pick is Enfamil Enspire Infant Formula. It is a well-rounded formula free of controversial ingredients and is easy for baby’s tummies. On top of everything, the taste is similar to breast milk!
Do you agree with me? Why or why not?
Last update on 2023-06-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API