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One of the things they don’t warn you about, as a new parent, is the very real possibility of your new baby having colic for the first few weeks or even months after you bring them home from the hospital. In the simplest definition, colic occurs in babies with severe abdominal pain and discomfort and can last hours each day with little to no relief.
While it’s always hard to watch your baby suffer in any way, the good news is that if your baby’s stomach agrees with one of these top five best formula options for colic, it could play a big role in reducing and even subduing colic in your baby.
While no one knows the exact cause of colic in babies, some experts believe that it has a lot to do with the digestive systems of infants and how they take to milk and lactose digestion. But since there are so many different formula options out there to treat colic and nourish your baby at the same time, one is bound to work well for your little one.
Acid reflux is one of the main symptoms often co-located with the term “colic”. With most commonly available options being cow’s milk formula, dairy can often be a root cause (but it’s not always a milk allergy or lactose sensitivity). One of the best ways to get to the root of the problem is to try different formula options
While these top five best formula options for colic certainly aren’t the only possibilities out there, they are some of the more reliable and trusted formulas for colic.
And if one doesn’t seem to sit well with your baby, there’s no harm in switching to another formula just as quickly until you find the right one, but finding the right formula can be the difference between a baby in constant discomfort and an infant who isn’t crying for hours each day for the majority of the week.
So, without further ado, here are the best baby formula for colic options…
- 1 Best Baby Formula for Colic
- 2 First Step: What’s the Difference Between Colic vs Allergy
- 3 1. Holle Organic Goat Formula
- 4 2. Gerber Good Start Soothe Infant Formula
- 5 3. Similac Expert Care Alimentum
- 6 4. Enfamil ProSobee Soy
- 7 5. Earth’s Best Organic Sensitivity Infant Formula with Iron
- 8 6. Similac Sensitive Infant Formula Powder with Iron
- 9 Final Thoughts on the Best Formula for Colic
Best Baby Formula for Colic
Before getting started, let’s try to decipher between colic vs allergy.
First Step: What’s the Difference Between Colic vs Allergy
Our second child had an allergy to cow’s milk dairy. We confused it – at first – with colic. After speaking to a bunch of other parents, we finally took him to get tested and learned about the milk sensitivity. Poor guy!
I bring up this example because it’s worth checking out with your pediatrician and maybe even taking your little one to an allergist about cow’s milk digestion (it’s probably a smart thing to do anyway).
For baby #2, we then had to look for good non-dairy formula options. Eventually, we settled on Holle Goat Formula and were able to order it (typically only available in Europe), via Huggable.com OR BuyOrganicFormula here.
That said, there are a few other other varieties of organic hypoallergenic goat-based formulas out there:
Even if dairy is not the culprit, goat milk is MUCH easier for the human body to digest. This is why it’s my top recommended option for colic (gassiness, constipation as well).
Other studies have also demonstrated the benefit goat milk has on the absorption of OTHER nutrients in formula-fed infants.
Holle has been in business for decades, but until recently was only available for purchase in Europe. More recently, online retailers have been popping up (and some closing down due to unreliable supply chains and import rules).
Where to Buy Holle Goat?
Prices can vary wildly and inventory isn’t always reliable for European formulas, so be sure to check (and compare) each of the options below:
- First, check out Huggable.com here. Huggable brings much needed credibility to the space with a reliable supply chain and great customer service.
- Also, check out BuyOrganicFormula.com here. We’ve been using them for over a year with no complaints. You can also save 5% with code BABYSWAG5 at checkout.
- Finally, check OrganicBabyFood.shop here. Prices vary, but can be less expensive at times.
2. Gerber Good Start Soothe Infant Formula
Part of the reason why some formulas make colic worse in babies or don’t help them at all is because babies’ stomachs have a harder time breaking them down.
The Gerber Good Start Soothe formula is made with smaller proteins called Comfort Proteins that break down a lot easier and make it easier for babies to digest the formula completely, thereby taking away a lot of the potential gassiness or discomfort that comes along with colic.
It also has a carbohydrate blend with an added 30% lactose which is another component that can help ease fussiness and gas in babies. The formula is made with Gerber’s Comforting Probiotics, L. reuteri, too, which have been proven to reduce colic by as much as 50%.
With all of the added ingredients meant to not only nourish your baby but also soothe him or her, it’s easy to trust in Gerber Good Start Soothe.
- Child Age Range: Gerber Good Start Soothe can be used for formula-fed babies ages 0-12 months old.
- Where To Buy: You can find the formula on Diapers.com or Amazon and in store at Walmart or Target.
- The Best Part: Since it’s formulated with smaller proteins (protein sensitivity) as well as healthy and nutritional carbohydrates, Gerber Good Start Soothe formula means that it treats and manages colic for babies in every sense.
- The Not So Great: While the probiotics are good for your baby, they might cause some constipation.
- Price: On Amazon, a 22.2 ounce container of Gerber Good Start Soothe is relatively affordable (check this listing for the latest live prices).
- Full Review: Read our full Gerber Good Start Soothe Review to get the full picture.
3. Similac Expert Care Alimentum
Similac has enough formula options to help your baby with pretty much any digestive issue they may have, so it’s no surprise that the Similac Expert Care Alimentum is made especially for babies with colic or food allergies.
Since some babies have an early sensitivity to cow’s milk, which is found in many formulas, which can cause the gassiness and fussiness that goes along with the discomfort of colic, Similac Expert Care Alimentum is made to reduce that excessive crying within 24 hours of your baby trying the formula.
With the hypoallergenic formula that also contains iron for your baby’s health, it’s made with a milk protein that’s broken down into enough smaller pieces to help your baby digest the formula faster and easier.
- Child Age Range: Similac Expert Care Alimentum is for babies from birth to 12 months of age.
- Where To Buy: You can find the formula on Amazon and in store at Walmart.
- The Best Part: The Similac formula’s claim to help calm babies’ crying and fussiness within 24 hours is helpful for both uncomfortable babies and caregivers.
- The Not So Great: For some, the smell of the formula might be a little overpowering at first.
- Price: On Amazon, a 16 ounce can of Similac Expert Care Alimentum is (available here for this price).
- Further Reading: Enfamil vs Similac
4. Enfamil ProSobee Soy
Even if your baby doesn’t have colic, it’s always a good thing to find a formula for sensitive stomachs just in case and Enfamil ProSoBee Soy falls into that category. While providing the necessary nutrition and vitamins and minerals babies need during their first year, it also uses soy protein as opposed to milk in order to be easier on your baby’s stomach.
And because it’s a milk-free soy infant formula, Enfamil ProSoBee is also perfect for those who are lactose intolerant. The plant-sourced ingredients found in the formula still have the right vitamins and nutrients, like DHA (amino-acid-based formuas), which help your baby’s eye and brain development not only in infancy, but for beyond that stage.
Plus, you can utilize it right from the beginning, even if your baby doesn’t have colic, in order to help prevent any stomach issues that might arise.
- Child Age Range: While Enfamil ProSoBee Soy has a newborn-specific formula (newborn babies) as well as an infant one, the Enfamil ProSoBee Soy formula is designed for a sensitve baby’s tummy, suitable for a gassy baby from infancy on.
- Where To Buy: You can find the formula on the manufacturer’s website or on Amazon and in store at Target or Toys ‘R Us.
- The Best Part: Since many babies are sensitive to dairy early on, even if they may not be later, using a plant-based soy formula like Enfamil ProBee Soy is sensitive enough on their tummies right from the start, in addition to helping with discomfort that comes from colic.
- The Not So Great: Because it’s soy-based, the taste might be a bit different to some and, in some cases, not as enjoyable, so your baby may spit up more with it.
- Price: On Amazon, a 12.9 ounce can of Enfamil ProSoBee Soy formula is (available here for this price).
5. Earth’s Best Organic Sensitivity Infant Formula with Iron
For some parents, buying organic is a no brainer, so choosing an organic baby formula that is easy on babies with colic is an added bonus. Such is the case with Earth’s Best Organic Sensitivity Formula with Iron.
It has a reduced lactose formula that does include iron as well as DHA and ARA, which are fatty acids found in breast milk that both help support brain and eye health in babies. But of the milk that it does contain, it’s sourced from farms where cows are fed with organic grass and hay.
The formula is also made with Lutein for eye development and probiotics for immunity in infants, but at its core, the formula is designed to reduce fussiness and gas in babies, which is part of colic.
- Child Age Range: The Non-GMO formula is made for babies from birth to 12 months of age.
- Where To Buy: You can find Earth’s Best Organic Sensitivity Infant Formula with Iron on Amazon and in store at Walmart and CVS.
- The Best Part: For an organic baby formula, the price is fair and likely affordable for most families who may not have gone organic otherwise.
- The Not So Great: Although it does have natural ingredients, the formula does contain sugar, and while other formulas do too, that might deter some parents.
- Price: On Amazon, a 23.2 ounce can of Earth’s Best Organic Sensitivity Infant Formula with Iron is (available here for this price).
6. Similac Sensitive Infant Formula Powder with Iron
Similac is one of the formula brands that are already trusted enough, without considering the ones that are made to ease gas and discomfort caused by colic.
So the Similac Sensitive Infant Formula Powder with Iron is easy to trust as a possible aid in helping your colicky baby and his or her digestive problems or food intolerance.
Like many other Similac options, it contains the OptiGRO blend of DHA, Lutein and Vitamin E, which are all found in breast milk and are important for your baby’s eye and brain development from birth. If your baby’s colic stems from an irritability to lactose, the ingredients found in Similac Infant Formula Powder with Iron might be the right combination to ease any gas or fussiness while still providing the right kinds of nutrients they need.
- Child Age Range: Similac Infant Formula Powder with Iron is designed for babies from birth to 12 months of age.
- Where To Buy: You can find the formula on Amazon and in store at Babies ‘R Us or Target.
- The Best Part: Since it’s designed for fussy stomachs and gas, your baby will likely see less spit-up and overall fussiness that was due to digestion issues.
- The Not So Great: Some babies might still see constipation while drinking this formula.
- Price: On Amazon, a 22.5 ounce container of Similac Infant Formula Powder with Iron is (available here for this price).
Final Thoughts on the Best Formula for Colic
When it comes down to it, you’re going to choose the formula for colic that not only sits best with your baby, but also gives him or her the nutrition they need. But since formula is designed to mimic the nutrients and benefits of breast milk, there’s certainly no harm in trying one or more of these top formulas for colic.
Personally, I much prefer going the European route with Holle formula here. A simple ingredient profile like in Holle is a great way to eliminate variables to isolate the route cause of colic.
True, your powdered baby formula might change as they grow and no longer have a need for formula specifically designed for babies with colic, but in the meantime, there’s no harm in finding the right colic formula for your child.
|Baby Formula||Component||First ingredient||Age rate||Extra Features||Price|
|Gerber Good Start Soothe formula||HM-O (Human Milk Oligosaccharide), DHA, Iron, Probiotics||Whey protein||0-12 Months||Non-GMO and formulated with smaller protein.||$22.49 (Check out the latest rates here!)|
|Similac Expert Care Alimentum||Contains Iron, contains DHA.||Corn syrup||0-12 Months||Hypoallergenic formula.||Not available|
|Enfamil ProSoBee Soy||Contains DHA and other important vitamins and nutrients||Soy||0-12 Months||It´s vegetarian and kosher. Milk-free||Not available|
|Earth’s Best Organic Sensitivity Formula with Iron.||Omega-3, Iron, DHA and Omega-6, ARA, fatty acids naturally found in breast milk.||Milk Based||0-12 Months||It´s organic and Non-GMO. No artificial flavors, colors.||$23.99 (Check out the latest rates here!).|
|Similac Sensitive Infant Formula Powder with Iron||Contains Iron, contains DHA, Lutein and Vitamin E, special nutrients found in breast milk||Milk Based||0-12 Months||Your baby will likely see less spit-up||Not available|
- Best European Baby Formulas: European formulas are the hot new thing. Due to MUCH stricter labeling and non-GMO standards, European brands like Hipp and Holle are making a BIG impact on the market.
- Best Non Dairy Baby Formula: Sometimes it’s a food sensitivity or intolerance! We experienced this with our one year old (dairy being the culprit). If you suspect dairy might be the cause, try one of these options.
- Baby Formula Recalls: We keep this list up to date, so be sure to cross-reference here before you buy.
- Regular vs Supplemental Formula: What is the difference and how to adjust your baby’s feeding schedule.
- Best Formula for Gassy Babies