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Best Baby Formulas

For parents wading through marketing buzzwords and misinformation online about the dangers of baby formula, choosing the best formula for their newborns, babies and toddlers can be a daunting task. With a huge variety of milk-based, soy and specialty infant formulas available on supermarket shelves, there’s bound to be something right for your little one. Continue Reading...

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117 listings

Bellamy's Organic Step 3 Toddler Milk Drink

Price (RRP) $28.00

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  • Value for Money
    4.0 (10)
  • Breastfed Child Yes (2) · No (9)
  • Easy to PrepareYes (9) · No (2)
  • Caused Unease / Sickness Yes (1) · No (10)
  • AgeToddler (1+ year)
  • Contains Cow's MilkYes
  • Contains Goat's MilkNo
  • Contains SoyYes
  • Dominant Protein Whey
  • Contains GOS prebioticsYes
Oli6 Dairy Goat
  • Award Winner 2021

Oli6 Dairy Goat · includes 4 listings

4.9 from 133 reviews
Stages1, 2, 3 and 4

For an easy-to-prepare goat’s milk alternative to cow's milk, the Oli6 Dairy Goat formula for Toddlers is worth giving a go.

Price (RRP) $37.95

  • 18 vitamins and minerals

  • Around $1 per serve

  • Easy to prepare

  • Expensive compared to other formulas

  • Value for Money
    4.5 (91)
  • Breastfed Child Yes (42) · No (61)
  • Easy to PrepareYes (106) · No (0)
  • Caused Unease / Sickness Yes (3) · No (104)
  • AgeInfant (0-6 months), Follow-On (6-12 Months), Toddler (1+ year) and Junior (2+ years)
  • Contains Cow's MilkNo
  • Contains Goat's MilkYes
  • Contains SoyYes
  • Contains GOS prebioticsYes
Munchkin Grassfed
  • Award Winner 2021

Munchkin Grassfed · includes 3 listings

4.6 from 446 reviews
Stages1, 2 and 3

Made with milk from 100% grass-fed cows free to graze in lush New Zealand, Munchkin Grassfed is formula made the way nature intended. Being GMO, antibiotic and palm oil free, there’s no wonder it’s a popular choice among parents wanting a more sustainable feeding option.

Price (RRP) $26.00 to $30.00

  • Gentle on your child's tummy

  • Dissolves easily in water

  • Simple to prepare

  • Good for babies with reflux

  • Slightly expensive

  • Value for Money
    4.3 (75)
  • Breastfed Child Yes (25) · No (54)
  • Easy to PrepareYes (78) · No (0)
  • Caused Unease / Sickness Yes (7) · No (72)
  • AgeInfant (0-6 months), Follow-On (6-12 Months) and Toddler (1+ year)
  • Contains Cow's MilkYes
  • Contains Goat's MilkNo
  • Contains SoyYes
  • Dominant Protein Whey
  • Contains GOS prebioticsYes
Nestle NAN Comfort

Nestle NAN Comfort · includes 3 listings

4.3 from 551 reviews
Stages1, 2 and 3

Whether you’re feeding a newborn or a toddler, Nestle NAN Comfort cow’s milk formula provides the essential nourishment your child needs to fuel their growth and development.

Price (RRP) $16.99 to $21.99

  • Straightforward preparation

  • Great value for money

  • Gentle on your child's tummy

  • Tastes good

  • Value for Money
    4.2 (91)
  • Breastfed Child Yes (26) · No (72)
  • Easy to PrepareYes (98) · No (2)
  • Caused Unease / Sickness Yes (29) · No (70)
  • AgeInfant (0-6 months), Follow-On (6-12 Months) and Toddler (1+ year)
  • Contains Cow's MilkYes
  • Contains Goat's MilkNo
  • Contains SoyNo
  • Dominant Protein Whey and Casein
  • Contains GOS prebioticsNo
A2 Platinum Premium

A2 Platinum Premium · includes 4 listings

4.3 from 383 reviews
Stages1, 2, 3 and 4

A2 Platinum Premium offers a nutritionally complete diet for your baby or toddler, with the added health benefits of pure and natural A2 milk being the cherry on top.

Price (RRP) $30.00 to $35.60

  • Hassle-free preparation

  • Gentle on your child's tummy

  • Tastes good

  • More expensive than most formulas

  • Value for Money
    4.0 (21)
  • Breastfed Child Yes (8) · No (11)
  • Easy to PrepareYes (19) · No (1)
  • Caused Unease / Sickness Yes (3) · No (16)
  • AgeInfant (0-6 months), Follow-On (6-12 Months) and Toddler (1+ year)
  • Contains Cow's MilkYes
  • Contains Goat's MilkNo
  • Contains SoyNo
  • Dominant Protein Whey and Casein
  • Contains GOS prebioticsYes
ALDI Mamia Gold

ALDI Mamia Gold · includes 3 listings

4.3 from 272 reviews
Stages1, 2 and 3

ALDI’s cost-effective, no-fuss formula gives your child everything they need to be healthy and happy.

Price (RRP) $11.99

  • Great value for money

  • Convenient packaging

  • Dissolves easily in water

  • Gentle on your child's tummy

  • Value for Money
    4.5 (36)
  • Breastfed Child Yes (15) · No (23)
  • Easy to PrepareYes (37) · No (0)
  • Caused Unease / Sickness Yes (12) · No (25)
  • AgeInfant (0-6 months), Follow-On (6-12 Months) and Toddler (1+ year)
Bellamy's Organic Step 3 Toddler Milk Drink

Price (RRP) $28.00

Ad
  • Value for Money
    4.0 (10)
  • Breastfed Child Yes (2) · No (9)
  • Easy to PrepareYes (9) · No (2)
  • Caused Unease / Sickness Yes (1) · No (10)
  • AgeToddler (1+ year)
  • Contains Cow's MilkYes
  • Contains Goat's MilkNo
  • Contains SoyYes
  • Dominant Protein Whey
  • Contains GOS prebioticsYes
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What is baby formula?

Baby with formula bottle laughing

Baby formula is milk (often but not only from a cow) that has been modified to provide nutrients similar to those in breast milk. Vitamins, minerals and fats that aren’t found in cow’s milk are added to baby formula to provide an infant or toddler with the nourishment they need for healthy development.

Until what age can my child have formula?

Breastfeeding or formula feeding should be your baby’s main source of nutrition until they are 12 months of age. Babies don’t need formula after 12 months, but sometimes continuing on formula is preferred by parents (or their bub).

Here’s a quick summary on which stage formula is most suitable for your child.

  • Stage 1: Stage 1 or starter formulas are suitable for babies from birth to 12 months.
  • Stage 2: Follow-on formula can be used from six months, but it’s your choice whether or not you use it - there is little difference between starter and follow-on formula aside from a slightly higher protein and mineral content in the latter.
  • Stage 3: Formulas designed for toddlers aged 1 year and over.
  • Stage 4: Formulas for toddlers aged 2 years and over. These formulas aren’t very common across different brands, in which case you can still use stage 3 formula for toddlers of this age.

How do I choose between different types of formula?

Milk-based formula is the most common formula type, with most made from cow’s milk, and some made from goat milk. Milk-based formulas are based on two main proteins, casein (or curds) and whey (the watery part that remains after the curds are formed). Baby formulas can be either casein or whey dominated, however whey is more common in cow’s milk-based formula as it is easier to digest and more closely resembles breast milk.

Soy-based formula is often prescribed to infants who cannot have animal milk due to allergies, intolerances, or any cultural or religious beliefs held by their parents. These formulas use soybeans as a protein, and contain added carbohydrates - often in the form of sucrose or corn syrup - as a source of energy. Because they’re derived from plants, soy formulas do not contain lactose (milk sugar), which make them a preferable option for infants with lactose intolerance.

Both soy and milk-based formulas are fortified with the same essential nutrients necessary for healthy child development.

What if my child has particular health requirements?

Some infants and toddlers have health conditions or requirements which leave them unable to tolerate standard baby formula. These can include reflux, colic, lactose intolerance, any allergies, constipation or diarrhoea. There are plenty of specialty formulas available on the market, some without a prescription, however it’s still important to follow medical advice to know which formula is most suitable for your child.

Often manufacturing labels will specify the health conditions that their special formulas are suited for, however it’s handy to know the meaning behind common acronyms so you can know straight away what is or isn’t right for your child.

  • 'AR' means anti-regurgitation. AR formulas are sometimes suggested for babies with reflux, as they are thickened to reduce the amount and frequency of vomiting.
  • 'HA' means hypo-allergenic. If your child has a high risk of allergy and cannot be breastfed, then HA or partially hydrolysed formulas, in which the milk proteins have been broken down, are sometimes recommended. However, if your child has been diagnosed with a cow’s milk allergy, then HA formulas are not suitable for them.
  • Formulas labelled 'LI' are lactose-free. Lactose intolerance is the inability of your body to break down a sugar called lactose. There is lactose in both breast and animal milks, however lactose intolerance is different to an allergy to cow’s milk.
  • 'LCP' means long-chained polyunsaturated fatty acids. Some formulas contain these acids as they can assist with eye and brain development.

Other formula ingredients

Mother holding baby

All commercially produced baby formulas that can be bought in Australia meet strict Australian standards, however some formulas are made differently or contain certain additives - such as probiotics or antioxidants - that may be recommended by a doctor or preferred by parents. Regardless of parental preferences, it’s essential to seek medical advice before looking for formulas with specific ingredients.

Goat milk formula is marketed as an alternative for babies who have a cow milk allergy, however sometimes babies who are allergic to cow’s milk also can’t handle goat milk. Formula containing goat’s milk has a higher lactose content than cow’s milk formula, as well as a different whey to casein ratio to cow milk formula, containing more casein to whey.

Some parents prefer to feed their baby organic formula, and there are plenty of these on the market. What differentiates these formulas from their non-organic counterparts is how the ingredients have been farmed - these products are marketed as containing less or no synthetic chemicals, fertilisers or GMOs. They’re also often pricier, so if you’re not looking to splurge on formula, you can be rest assured that non-organic products are still completely safe for consumption.

Some manufacturers also add certain compounds to their products, claiming to make formula that tastes like breast milk. This doesn’t automatically mean your baby will take well to the formula, or that these formulas are in any way healthier or as easily digestible as human milk.

The cost of formula

The cost of baby formula can be a huge financial strain for parents. The good news is that cheaper formulas still contain the key ingredients necessary for healthy child development, and there are many reputable brands on the lower end of the price spectrum.

Buying formula will set you back anywhere from $13 to upwards of $30 for a 900g tin, which will usually last you between 5 days to 2 weeks (depending on how hungry your child is). Keep in mind that specialty formulas usually cost more than their standard counterparts. You’re also likely to fork out more money for formula that is organic or that comes in pre-measured sachets rather than tins.

Karicare+ Formula 1 for infants is a popular pick, and costs $19.99 for a 900g tin. For a few extra dollars at $21.99 for a 800g tin, Nestle’s NAN Comfort 1 is another choice favoured by many parents.

Buying your formula in larger quantities will also help you get more bang for your buck. While powdered formulas often come in 800-900g tins, there are plenty of 400g tins on the market too. Investing in larger tins may be more economical, however you need to be mindful of the feasibility of using all your formula before it expires. When buying a new formula, also keep in mind that there’s a chance your baby might simply not like it and a bit of trial and error may be needed - in these cases, sticking to smaller quantities may be your safest bet.

How easy is it to prepare different formulas?

Baby formula takes time to prepare, and the need to sterilise bottles and dole out measurements means parents already have enough on their plate. Different babies also have different preferred drinking temperatures, which can make bottle feeding difficult to coordinate perfectly every time.

While you may have heard of ready-to-use formula from friends overseas, it isn’t sold in Australia. Luckily for parents here, while most powdered baby formulas come in tins, some can also be bought as sachets which contain the correct amount of formula for one feed. This can make travelling or being on the go with your baby a lot easier, but because they’re not as widely available as tins you may spend more time hunting them down in store.

There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to formula, as babies often have slightly different needs to one another and react differently across formula types and brands. Ultimately, as long as your bub is healthy and happy, how you feed your baby is up to you.