6 Best Non-Dairy Baby Formula Alternatives [Dairy-Free]

baby formula

When it comes to certain foods, allergies may show up right away in your baby or perhaps further on down the line. Since no one really wants to take chances, though, there’s no harm in finding a non-dairy baby formula that works for your little one from the start.

In other instances, milk-based formulas might not react well with your baby’s tummy, and if that’s the case, then there’s no harm in choosing one that’s made with either soy based formula or goat milk instead. Of course, there’s no guarantee that either option will be better for your child’s digestive system, but for some babies, the formulas are a lot more gentle.

There may be more options when it comes to milk-based infant and toddler formulas, but there are still a handful of non-dairy formulas that could work for formula-fed babies.

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  • Gentle for the belly
  • Certified Organic, Non-GMO, and Biodynamic
  • Have been in business for 30+ years.
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Best Ingredients
  • Is dairy and soy free
  • Free of pesticides, herbicides, growth hormones, and antibiotics
  • Completely GMO-free.
Best Soy
  • Good essential ingredients like DHA, Chlorine and protein.
  • Good for healthy bowel movements
  • Healthy for brain development

Best Cow’s Milk Formula Alternatives for 2021

First, let’s clarify some important distinctions.

Main Difference Between Lactose-Free Formula vs Dairy-Free Formula

These two terms are frequently confused or used interchangeably. They are different. For some, it’s an unimportant distinction, but for others, it can have serious consequences.

The main difference between Lactose-Free Formula vs Dairy-Free is: Lactose-free products are made from real dairy but with the lactose REMOVED, whereas dairy-free products have no milk products of any kind and are generally made from plants like nuts, grains, soy (plant milk).

Baby with CMPI Symptons

CMPI (Cow’s Milk Protein Intolerance) can display the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Rash
  • Eczema
  • Wheezing
  • Constipation

Up to 7% of formula fed infants are allergic to cow’s milk. This is considerated a genuine allergy and should be diagnosed and determined by your babies healthcare provider.

Lactose Intolerant Baby

Whereas CMPI is specific to milk protein from cows, a lactose intolerant baby struggles to digest ALL lactose, reqardless of the animal. 

Whether your baby is lactose intolerant vs CMPI is a key determining factor for whether goat milk formula (for example) might be an appropriate substitute or not. Goat milk still contains lactose, but not cow’s milk protein.

As always, speak with your physician to determine the root cause here. It could be lactose intolerance, CMPI, or something else entirely. 

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Non Dairy vs Non-Cow’s Milk-Based Formula 

Upfront, I’ll caveat by saying that Goat formula is still technically dairy, but it’s obviously not cow’s milk-based. Many of the allergies to dairy are ACTUALLY allergies to cow-based milk products. Check with your pediatrician first and perhaps test for this distinction. Otherwise, the main option will be soy-based formula (see the options below the goat picks).

For a professional medical opinion on goat vs milk, check out this resource.

1. Holle Goat Based Organic Formula

You might not have heard of Holle organic formula before, but that’s because it’s a European-based company. They have been in business for 30+ years, but only recently have European brands like Holle been catching on in the US and Canada.

So what’s the big deal?

Basically, EU standards are a lot more stringent than US standards. Further, Holle is certified Organic formula, Non-GMO, and Biodynamic (kind of like the “new” Organic, but more intense).

Holle features a number of cow-based formulas, but also has a great goat-based line.

Goat by-products have long been cited as being easier to digest than cow’s milk, while still retainer similar milk-like taste, texture, and nutrients. It’s also a great soy formula alternative, for parents concerned about soy-based formulas.

Holle features Stage 1, Stage 2, and Stage 3 goat formulas, depending on the age of your little one(s).

  • Main Ingredients: Goat milk base with much less lactose than standard milk-based formula. They use a vegetable oil blend for binding (palm oil, rapeseed oil – canola oil -, and sunflower oil).
  • Where to Buy: Not available in most health food stores, you will have to try your luck online. I’ve found it at MyOrganicCompany.store and use code THEBABYSWAG to take 5% off your order OR direct via HolleUSA here (bigger bulk containers). Also, try LittleBundle.com where you can use code TBS5OFF at checkout for 5% off OR try OrganicBabyShop.com here with code BABYSWAG5 for 5% off.
  • The Best Part: Gentle on the belly and made with the highest quality ingredients and certifications.
  • The Worst Part: Goat still contains lactose (even if it’s not cow-based dairy), so if it’s a legitimate dairy allergy be sure to check with your pediatrician first. It’s also considerably more expensive than generic formula options.
  • Price: As previously mentioned, it can vary. Our family uses HolleUSA direct here, MyOrganicCompany.store (use code THEBABYSWAG for 5% off) and LittleBundle.com where 1 container (400 grams) sells for around $32 as of 2020 (PLUS take 5% off with code TBS5OFF).
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Where to Buy Holle Goat
  • You can now order DIRECT via HolleUSA (now FDA registered), typically the lowest cost for larger containers.
  • Otherwise, MyOrganicCompany is a great option for individual packs + bulk packs. They've offered 5% off for our readers. Just use code THEBABYSWAG at checkout!
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Has This Product Been Recalled?

There are no recalls for the Holle Goat Formula so far. 

2. Dairy Free Soy Formula: Enfamil ProSobee Soy-Based Infant Formula

Enfamil is a well-trusted trusted formula brand and the Enfamil ProSobee Soy Infant Formula is a solid replacement for any milk-based formula that may be rough on your baby’s stomach.

It’s completely free from lactose and milk, so lactose-intolerant infants won’t be subject to watery stools or constipation, and there is still plenty of nutrition in the formula for your baby’s growth and overall health. In addition to DHA for healthy brain development, it also has Choline to benefit your child in the long term.

Speaking of which, the Enfamil ProSobee can be used through your child’s first year, from infancy all the way up to 12 months old. Because of its absence of lactose and milk, the formula may be the answer to your child’s gas and fussiness too, so it’s a win-win all around.

  • Main Ingredients: The most essential ingredients in the formula are DHA, Choline, and plant-sourced soy protein.
  • Where To Buy: You can purchase the formula on the manufacturer’s website and Amazon or in-store at Walmart.
  • The Best Part: Even if your baby isn’t intolerant of dairy, the Enfamil ProSobee can be beneficial in helping produce more solid stools rather than watery or loose ones.
  • The Not So Great: Although it’s good for healthy bowel movements, your baby may spit up a bit more with this formula.
  • Price: Check the Enfamil online store directly here for online discounts & bulk formula order.
Special Discounts
How to Save on Enfamil

Enfamil can actually be ordered in BULK directly from the main brand. Because it's direct to consumer, this means extra savings for you, plus if you have any product quality issues it's MUCH easier to deal with Enfamil directly.

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Has This Product Been Recalled?

There are no recalls for the Enfamil ProSobee Soy Infant Formula to this day.

3. Kabrita Non-GMO Goat Milk Toddler Formula

Kabrita Goat Milk Toddler Formula
$19.99 ($1.43 / Ounce)

Proudly crafted in The Netherlands with no GMO ingredients, Kabrita Goat Milk Toddler Formula is naturally easier to digest than cow milk, mild in taste, and rich in critical nutrients.

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The Kabrita Non-GMO Goat Milk Toddler Formula is another goat milk-based option that can be used in place of milk formulas.

This particular one is formulated for toddlers from 12-24 months, but it could be what your baby has needed all along, even if they don’t have an official dairy intolerance.

It’s naturally easy milk to digest, especially for toddlers who are sensitive to milk-based powders, and has 22 different vitamins and minerals, including folic acid, iron, ARA fatty acids, and DHA, which are all nutrient your growing child needs.

The formula is also, as to be expected, free from any additives or genetically modified ingredients and the milk comes from goats on a free-range farm. It has a sweet smell and taste as well, which can make it a lot easier for little ones to take down and keep down.

Has This Product Been Recalled?

No. The Kabrita Non-GMO Goat Milk Toddler Formula has not been recalled to this date.

4. Mt. Capra Goat Milk Lactose Powder  

Mt. Capra Goat Milk Lactose Powder | Amazon
$15.00

Comes from goat milk which is easy to digest, low allergy, and is an A2 milk. Goat Milk is a safe alternative to cow milk and soy milk/

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07/21/2021 01:39 pm GMT

Whole soy-based baby formulas are certainly an option, the Mt. Capra Goat Milk Lactose Powder is another healthy alternative for infants. Instead of using either cow’s or soy milk, you can opt for 100% goat’s milk for your infant.

It’s made with the same kinds of nutritional benefits as milk-based powder formulas, and it’s free of pesticides, herbicides, growth hormones, and antibiotics, which make it as safe as possible to use for your little one.

Yes, there is the chance that he or she may not like the taste or that it doesn’t agree with their stomach, but it’s still one of the great cow’s milk alternatives in case your baby can’t have dairy or can’t tolerate soy.

There are also no corn ingredients (e.g. corn syrup solids which are commonly found in infant formula), and all of the ingredients it does have are GMO-free.

  • Main Ingredients: It is 100% dairy-free goat milk.
  • Where To Buy: You can find it on the manufacturer’s website and Amazon.
  • The Best Part: If it’s not only dairy but also soy that your child is intolerant to, then this could be the right formula for your baby.
  • The Not So Great: Some babies may still have reflux or spit-up issues with the powder formula.
  • Price: Check out the latest price on Amazon.

Has This Product Been Recalled?

There are no recalls for the Mt.Capra Goat Milk Lactose Powder to this date.

5. Similac Soy Isomil Infant Lactose Free Formula

Similac Soy Isomil Infant Formula with Iron | Amazon
$147.96

Similac Soy Isomil Infant Formula is the #1 formula for complete soy nutrition. Our baby formula is a nutritionally complete, soy-based infant formula that is iron-fortified and naturally lactose-free.

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07/21/2021 01:38 pm GMT

The Similac Soy Isomil Infant Formula is specifically designed to comfort and soothe sensitive stomachs. Its crowning achievement and the main benefit is its unique blend of vitamins and minerals in what Similac calls OptiGro.

The formula of nutritional ingredients are DHA, Lutein, and Vitamin A, among others. The mixture of nutrients and vitamins is designed to help with your child’s brain and physical development while also remaining gentle on their tummy when other milk-based formulas can’t offer that part.

The formula also has the necessary prebiotics, which is beneficial to help build your child’s immune system right from the start. Plus, the formula is suitable for your baby’s first year.

  • Main Ingredients: The Similac Soy Isomil has a blend of the brand’s OptiGro nutrients for your baby’s overall development.
  • Where To Buy: You can buy it on Amazon or in-store at Target and Walmart.
  • The Best Part: Its special blend of nutrients makes this particular soy-based formula perfect for your baby’s development from the very beginning.
  • The Not So Great: The lid on the plastic tub might easily break off or become loose, making it harder and harder to secure closed.
  • Price: Check out the latest price on Amazon

Has This Product Been Recalled?

There are no recalls for this formula to this date.

6. Dairy Free Soy Formula Gerber Good Start Soy Non-GMO Infant Formula

Gerber Good Start GentlePro | Amazon
$39.97

Gentle Nutrition: Modeled after the complete nutrition and gentleness of breastmilk, this formula offers complete nutrition for babies up to 12 months.

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07/21/2021 01:39 pm GMT

Gerber has a variety of different formula options for almost any infant’s diet, so of course, they also have the Gerber Good Start Soy Non-GMO Powder Infant Formula as an option. It’s both milk and lactose-free, so if your baby is allergic to dairy products, this may be the one formula to do the trick (best nondairy baby formula).

The soy proteins are small enough for sensitive tummies to quickly digest, while the DHA is in there to help support healthy eye and brain development in babies. It’s suitable for babies from birth up to 12 months of age, so you can give it to your baby right away if you prefer to try and keep him or her on the same formula until they’re ready to be weaned off.

The formula is also made with non-genetically modified ingredients, so you can be sure that your child is getting the best of what they need for their nutrition and healthy growth and development.

  • Main Ingredients: The more active ingredients in the formula are soy proteins, calcium, Vitamin D, and DHA amino acids.
  • Where To Buy: You can buy it on the Gerber store website and Amazon or in-store at Target and Walmart.
  • The Best Part: Some babies who suffer from gas bubbles may get some relief after switching to this Gerber option.
  • The Not So Great: Some infants might have larger diaper blowouts than others and more frequent bowel movements.
  • Price: Check out the latest price on Amazon.

Has This Product Been Recalled?

Yes, the Gerber Good Start Formula has been recalled in 2012 due to a strange odor in the containers, and the FDA assured this is just for safety precautions, even though the formula is okay to be used.

Final Thoughts on Finding the Best Non Dairy Baby Formula

Even if your baby doesn’t have an allergy or an intolerance to lactose or milk-based formulas, sometimes gas problems and colic can be treated with formulas that don’t contain either. For this purpose, non-dairy formulas are where the solution might lay.

This way, your baby can still have the formula and the nutrition they need. Without potentially stomach upsetting ingredients, your little one can have a formula that they’re more likely to be able to digest and keep down each time.

FAQ’s About Non Diary Baby Formula

What is a dairy-free formula?

Diary free formula is milk in a powder that does not contain lactose and usually contains other carbohydrates in order to provide nutrition to newborns that cannot digest dairy milk.

What type of formula is available for infants with a milk allergy?

If your baby is lactose intolerant and shows symptoms after you have tried a formula, you should consult your pediatrician about switching up to a non-lactose formula or soy-based formula.

How can I tell if the baby is lactose intolerant?

When you first introduce your baby formula, you have to watch out for signs of constipation, diarrhea, frequent crying, noisy bowel symptoms, and vomiting.

If your baby has them, this does not necessarily mean that he/she is lactose intolerant, so you can try a new formula before concluding that. Also, it’s important to check with your pediatrician who will recommend a brand that would work best for your infant.

Further Reading on Baby Formulas

 

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