While most parents would agree that breast milk is better for your baby because of the natural benefits it offers, as your child gets older or your circumstances change (you return to work, for example), formula offers a good alternative to breastfeeding or using a breast pump.
Which formula should you choose though? There are so many on the market it can be hard to decide which is the best for your baby. One of these is produced by HiPP, a family-owned company based in Germany that specialize in creating organic milk-based formulas. HiPP is amongst our favorites when it comes to European baby formulas and performs well against more well-known formulas such as Aptamil.
Here, we look at their HiPP baby formula in more detail, considering its pros and cons, the benefits for your baby, and whether it is worth buying. First, though, we’ll take a brief look at the types of baby formula available and what you need to think about before making a purchase.
- 1 How to pick the best formula for your baby
- 2 Alternative types of baby formula
- 3 HiPP Formula Review
- 4 Enfamil NeuroPro Infant Formula
- 5 Which is the better option?
- 6 Frequently asked questions
- 7 The bottom-line
How to pick the best formula for your baby
Baby formula preparation methods
When it comes to baby formula, there are three main preparation methods available on the market. They are:
1. Powdered: These are the most common when it comes to baby formula and the most affordable. They are popular amongst parents because the have a long shelf-life (generally at least one month), meaning they can be bought in bulk and stored until needed. The main downside of the powered formula is how long they take to prepare; they aren’t a ‘grab and go’ option.
2. Liquid: You can ‘grab and go’ when it comes to liquid baby formulas because these come pre-mixed. You don’t have to measure out any ingredients or worry about the mess you’re making, meaning they are perfect if you’re in a rush to get out the door. The main downside of liquid formulas is their shelf-life – it’s generally only 48 hours – though the cost comes a close second because they can be expensive.
3. Concentrated Liquid: Unlike the ‘grab and go’ liquid formula, when it’s concentrated it needs mixing in much the same way as the powdered version. The difference is, measuring and mixing is much easier. The downside is you pay for the privilege and concentrated liquid is quite expensive.
Alternative types of baby formula
HiPP is an organic, cow’s milk-based formula. Formulas based on cow’s milk are the most widely available and most often recommended by pediatricians. Because not all babies can digest these formulas easily, while others may be lactose intolerant or have milk allergies, there are alternatives including:
- Goat Milk: This is becoming increasingly popular amongst parents as it is easier for babies to digest and contains many of the same nutrients found in breast milk. It does still contain lactose, however, so will not work for babies who are lactose intolerant or have a milk allergy.
- Soy-based: This is suitable for those with milk allergies, lactose intolerance or lactose deficiencies. Like goat milk, it’s growing in popularity because it is also suitable for babies whose parents are raising them on a vegan-based diet. It is worth checking with your doctor before using soy-based formulas to make sure your little one is getting all the nutrients they need.
- Hydrolyzed: This formula is another good option for babies with milk allergies as well as those struggling to absorb nutrients because it breaks proteins down into smaller, more digestible parts.
- Lactose-free: This formula is designed (as the name suggests) for infants who are lactose intolerant; the lactose sugar is replaced with another form of sugar, which could include corn syrup.
There are pros and cons to each of these alternatives. If you’d like to find out more, check out our list of the best non-dairy formulas on the market.
Important ingredients for baby formula
Baby formula isn’t like breast milk in ingredients need to be added to make it suitable for your little one. Some of these ingredients are important; some, such as corn sugar, less so. The ones you need to see in your baby’s formula are:
- Protein: these could be listed as whey and/or casein.
- Carbohydrates: in soy-based or lactose-free formulas these include modified cornstarch, corn syrup, corn maltodextrin or sucrose.
- Fats: these could include coconut, sunflower, soy or palm oil.
- Minerals and vitamins: the most important of these are iron, vitamin C and vitamin B5.
- Amino acids: in soy-based or lactose-free formulas these will be carnitine or taurine.
If you are looking at formulas that contain dietary fiber or probiotics, speak to your doctor before you use them. They can be helpful if your baby has diarrhea or is struggling to digest formula, but they can also be harmful so should only be used after taking advice.
It’s worth remembering too that formula is regulated by the FDA, who will recall baby formula if it doesn’t meet federal nutritional requirements. Recalls don’t happen very often but it’s always worth checking if you’re changing the formula you use. We keep a list of any recalls to help parents (available here).
HiPP Formula Review
Founded over 100 years ago in Southern Germany, HiPP is a well-known European manufacturer of organic baby formula. Currently, it offers over 260 different products designed to give your child the best start in life at the same time as honoring their commitment to protecting the environment and working sustainably, meaning all of their products are 100% organic.
The Hipp baby formula can be used for babies from birth through to one year of age, both on its own or in combination with your breast milk. It is available as:
- Combiotic first infant milk for stages 1 and 2
- Combiotic follow-on milk for stages 1 and 2
- Combiotic growing up milk for stage 3
- Combiotic hungry infant milk
- Anti-reflux baby formula
- Good night milk
As well as being organic it contains all the essential nutrients your baby needs including vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. The milk it uses comes from organic farmers and can be traced back to its source. It is EU certified and non-GMO.
- Certified organic by the EU
- Non-GMO modified
- Contains all essential nutrients your baby needs including Vitamins A, C, and D as well as fatty acids and iron
- Manufactured in a protective environment
- Contains dietary fibers that replicate those found in breast milk, ensuring they are safe for your baby, as well as natural lactose; no artificial sweeteners are used.
- Certified organic and can be traced to the source
- Doesn’t contain any added sugar such as maltodextrin.
- Doesn’t contain any added coloring or flavors.
- Doesn’t contain any synthetically derived or genetically modified ingredients.
- Gentle on your baby’s stomach, reducing the risk of gas, constipation and bloating
- Contains lactose so isn’t suitable for babies who are lactose intolerant or have milk protein allergies
- Is only available online
How other baby formulas compare
Enfamil NeuroPro Infant Formula
HiPP is a powered formula that you need to measure and mix before you use it. If you are looking for a liquid formula that is ready to go, Enfamil offers once of the most popular on the market. Designed to replicate breast milk it contains MFGM and DHA fat proteins that have been proven to support your baby’s brain development and are easy to digest. It is suitable for children up to one year of age and comes ready to use, meaning there’s no messy measure involved, you just pour the formula into your baby’s bottle.
- Suitable for newborn babies and those up to one year old.
- Designed to mirror the benefits of breast milk
- Has been proven to support brain development
- Easy to use, especially when you’re out and about
- Easy to digest and gentle on the stomach
- Contains all the nutrients your baby needs, including those found in breast milk
- Includes nutrients designed to support the immune system, making it ideal for smaller babies
- It can also be helpful for babies with acid reflux issues.
- It’s expensive compared to powdered formula
- Can take a while for your baby’s body to adjust to the formula
- None organic
Which is the better option?
We looked at a both a powered and liquid formula here just to show what the difference was, including one of the most popular and highly recommended names on the market when it comes to baby formula so that you could what your other options were. However, for us, there isn’t a comparison.
HiPP offers so much more than most of the brands out there you can buy at your local grocery store. The company has a history of producing high-quality products and a supply chain that can be traced back to the pastures the cows it makes its formula from are fed on.
It’s EU certified as an organic product, which gives us a lot of confidence in the product and reviews from parents who use it couldn’t be more positive when it comes to how much their babies enjoy it and the benefits they seem to be getting from it.
It’s also more affordable – as are all powered formulas – which means it’s not just better for your baby, it’s better for your purse too. You can buy in bulk (as long as you are happy buying online) and store it for use for up to a month; the Enfamil formula, you need to use within a few days, meaning more trips to the shop and potential waste if you’re looking for it to supplement rather than replace breast milk.
Frequently asked questions
Can I use both baby formula and breast milk?
You definitely can use both – many parents do if they are looking to share feedings or are going out and have to leave their baby with a babysitter. You can also switch between formulas. You could, for example, use HiPP as your main formula then Enfamil if you are going out for the day and won’t have access to water in order to mix up additional bottles as needed.
Remember, though, that babies can take time to adjust to formula so, while you can switch, it’s not a good idea to switch too often. Check the ingredients each time you use a different formula too to make sure that – if your baby has allergies – the formula is safe for them.
How do I know if the formula is working for my baby?
You should know pretty quickly if the formula works for your baby. It could be something as simple as them simply refusing to drink it or pushing the bottle away before they’ve finished. If they are struggling to digest it, they may be fussy or cranky after drinking or suffer from gas, bloating, diarrhea or constipation. Sometimes, it can take a few days for a baby’s stomach to get used to formula, but if these symptoms are severe, it isn’t worth persevering; it’s much better to try another formula.
Which formula is closest to breast milk?
Of the two we’ve looked at today, the Enfamil formula is closest to breast milk because it was designed to replicate it. However, both it and the HiPP formula contain all the nutrients you can find in breast milk.
Is organic formula better for my baby?
While there isn’t any evidence to show that organic formula is better for babies when it comes to the nutrients it contains, it will limit your baby’s contact with products that could harm your baby’s development in the longer-term, pesticides, for example, or synthetic fertilizers.
When can my baby move on from formula to regular milk?
In general, you can start giving your child regular milk after they turn one year old. At this point, they should be able to digest it easily (they will struggle before then). However, you can also use follow-on formulas designed for toddlers.
What type of bottle should I use with formula?
There are a number of different bottles on the market that work well with formula and the choice is really down to you. However, if you are looking to reduce the number of potentially harmful chemicals your baby comes into contact with, look for ones marked BPA free.
As we’ve seen already, there are lots of different types of baby formula available on the market, all of which claim to be the best for your baby. Of the two we’ve looked at today, there are definite benefits with both. They are made by well-known and trusted brands and neither would be a bad choice for your baby if you are looking to either make the change to formula or use it to supplement breastfeeding.
However, for us, the HiPP is the better option, even if it takes a bit longer to prepare than the Enfamil liquid formula. First, it’s certified organic, meaning you aren’t risking your baby ingesting the residue from pesticides or fertilizers. Plus, it’s full of all the nutrients your baby needs.
Finally, while the Enfamil liquid formula is great for occasional use, the HiPP formula is more practical for regularly feeding your baby. It comes in larger quantities and has a longer-shelf-life, making it more affordable in the long-run.
- Lebenswert Formula Review (2019 Testing) | Is It the Best Pick for Your Baby?
- Topfer Formula Review (March 2019): Is It The Best for Your Baby?
- NannyCare Formula Review (2019 Edition): Yay or Nay? Find Out Here!
- Plum Organics Formula Review (2019 UPDATE): Is This A Viable Option?