Three Types of Baby Formulas: Which is Right for Your Child?

Breastfeeding vs formula feeding isn’t as polarizing as it may seem on mommy chat forums. While about 80% of babies are reportedly breastfed at birth, less than 20% are exclusively breastfed by the time they are 3 months old.

This means that formula feeding will come up for a majority of families. 

How do you begin to wade through all of the options for baby formulas? Don’t let yourself be swayed just by popular opinion. Check out these three options and make the best choice for you and your child. 

Forms of Baby Formula 

Depending on how you need it prepared, baby formulas come in three forms: powder, liquid concentrate, and ready-to-use formula. Ingredients will vary, especially if you need to consider low-birth-weight babies, babies who need a restricted salt intake, and formulas thickened with rice starch. 

Powder Form

Powder form is the most common and cost-effective type of baby formula. Mixed in water, one scoop for every two ounces of water can mix up a nutritious feeding for your infant. 

Liquid Concentrate

While not entirely ready-to-use, liquid concentrate formulas are generally diluted with an equal part of water. They tend to be slightly more expensive than formula in powder form. 

Ready-to-Use Baby Formulas

Ready-to-use formulas are poured straight into a baby’s bottle. They are generally the most expensive form of formula but are extremely convenient– especially when on the go. 

Baby Formula Ingredients

If your baby is allergic to formula, lactose intolerant, or on a vegetarian diet, you will need to take special considerations in the ingredients found in most baby formula brands. Refer to your pediatrician before deciding on a formula. 


Soy-based formulas are made with soy protein, vegetable oils, corn syrup, and sucrose. Iron is often added.

Babies who are lactose intolerant are great candidates for this kind of formula. Soy-based formulas are not recommended for low-birth-weight or preterm babies. 

Amino Acid-Based

This is a hypoallergenic type of baby formula made out of amino acids. Because this type of formula is not sourced from soy or cow’s milk, babies who are highly allergic to more traditional forms of formula can tolerate amino acid-based nutrition. 

Extensively Hydrolyzed

Extensively hydrolyzed formulas contain protein that is already broken down for easier digestion. This type of formula is recommended for babies allergic to milk protein. 

Cow’s Milk-Based

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends iron-fortified milk for healthy, full-term babies. Standard store-bought brands usually include vegetable oils, vitamins, and added minerals. 

Many parents will choose to buy organic for their cow’s milk-based formulas. Sites like carry a dependable line of cow’s milk-based formulas, as well as goat’s milk and other types for sensitive stomachs. 

More Baby Tips and Tricks

Remember– the best baby formula will be one that suits your child’s needs and is recommended by your pediatrician. Don’t hesitate to consult them for your most pressing questions while solving the puzzle that is parenting. 

And for all of your other questions, look to our content. Once you’ve done your research on baby formulas, don’t forget to answer your own questions by diving into the health section of the blog. We write for mom, too!