Best Formula Milk For Breastfed Babies UK

best formula for breastfed babies UK

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Whether you’re combination feeding or weaning off the breast it’s natural to want to find the best formula for your baby as they’ve been used to the very best up to this point. Your baby will be used to the taste, texture and the nutrients of breast milk so finding the formula which best matches it is ideal.

However, there are several different types of formula and a wide range of brands to choose from which can make the search for the best fit quite hard for you and your baby’s needs. There’s also the complexity of the breastfeeding element and whether they are still breastfeeding at times or being completely weaned off. Lastly, age is obviously an important factor as they have different nutritional needs depending on how old they are.

Best Formula Milk For Breastfed Babies Reviews


Aptamil First Infant Milk Stage 1-12 Months

Aptamil First Infant Milk Stage 1-12 Months

Aptamil is a brand which is widely available and relatively cheap which is suitable for babies from birth to 12 months old. As a brand, they have been making and constantly improving their formula for over 40 years but, as they are heavily regulated it is still more or less exactly the same ingredients as its competitors. Apatamil first infant milk is cow-based, full of nutrition to help them grow and develop before they are weaned onto solids.

The difference in time is the quantity you prepare for them with feeding guides located on the back of the product. When used in conjunction with breastfeeding, Aptamil will do the job but be aware that formula feeding with bottles can cause colic from ingesting air as well as much smellier poos!

SMA Pro First Infant Milk From Birth

SMA Pro First Infant Milk From Birth

SMA is a budget-conscious formula milk brand but due to The Infant Formula and Follow-on Formula (England) Regulations of 2007, you’re still getting more or less the exact same formula milk for your baby. This means that SMA may be the better brand to choose if price matters. Preparation and presentation work in the exact same way, which means you can have some consistency in your feeds. Can work well to combine with your regular breastfeeds to give them the convenience of baby formula and the superior nutrition of breast milk.

SMA Wysoy SOYA Infant Milk Powder

SMA Wysoy SOYA Infant Milk Powder

Sadly, some babies may have an intolerance to cow’s milk which presents itself with a baby who is constantly crying, seemingly always uncomfortable and flatulent. Babies are very rarely intolerant to breastmilk as it is as natural as it gets and tailored for each specific baby. It’s likely you may notice a change once baby formula milk is introduced. It’s hard to test for this but your health visitor or GP may recommend a soy-based milk powder instead. Many parents who swap over notice results very quickly.

The intolerance may come from milk protein, lactose or sucrose intolerance which this brand of baby formula does not have. You may want to consider sticking with exclusive breastfeeding rather than switching to formula if your baby is clearly not keen on the powder.

SMA offer a soy-based infant baby formula milk free of these common intolerances whilst still sticking to the proper formula milk legislature so the nutrition is still the same. However, soy is more expensive and less commonly made so the product is much more expensive than the cow’s milk but if your baby seems to improve after switching it is a price worth paying.

Cow & Gate 2 Follow On Formula Milk

Cow & Gate 2 Follow On Formula Milk

If your breastfed baby is 6 months or older then we would recommend going straight to follow on milk as it contains more calories and is casein-based which contains a larger level of protein, iron, and vitamin D than infant formula. Although follow on formula milk is still heavily regulated as it classes as infant nutrition, the rules are a little more relaxed for 6-month-old babies so brands are allowed to play with the cow’s milk base a little more.

Although there’s no such thing as a ‘hungry baby‘ in terms of breastfeeding not being enough (it will always be enough), follow on milk will fill them up more than infant milk will and so they may want to breastfeed less. If your goal is to wean them off breastmilk gently then follow on milk will help get the job done.

Aptamil First Infant Milk – Ready to Feed

Aptamil First Infant Milk - Ready to Feed

If you’ve been exclusively breastfeeding or even expressing then you may not have a baby bottle maker in the house to make formula milk preparation easier and quicker. They can be expensive and perhaps not worth it if you don’t intend to feed your breastfed baby formula for too long before weaning to solids. With this in mind, ready to feed milk may be a better solution than the powder. It is the exact same formulation as the powder version except it has been pre-mixed to the exact composition and it is literally ready to feed when opened.

It is more expensive per ml than the powdered version, of course, but it is significantly more convenient, especially on the go. They are equally as useful if you intent to combination feed from the breast or expressed or to wean them off completely. First infant and follow on milk are available.

HiPP Organic 1 Infant Baby Milk 

HiPP Organic 1 Infant Baby Milk

Hipp organic are one the few cow’s milk based infant formula brands to be 100% organic. However, this is a little misleading as all brands of regulated baby formula are 99.9% organic by law. The only thing Hipp have done is make the last 0.1% organic and packaged in cardboard rather than plastic. However, for those who are eco conscious then this might be the only cows milk infant formula which ticks all of the boxes even if you are perfectly aware of how the formula industry works.

There is a somewhat higher premium on the price to be able to enjoy being 100% organic. But, we completely understand that many people who take being organic seriously often have to pay a higher price to help the environment and their child live a ‘natural’ life.

Hipp organic is just as good as all of the other brands and perfectly capable of helping you combi feed or wean your baby off your breast milk gently.

Is it a good idea to to combination feed breastmilk and formula milk?

When it comes to parenting, all decisions should be made on what’s best for the family unit. If you’re really struggling with breastfeeding and it’s just not feasible to continue to exclusively feed then switching to formula to break up the feeds or wean with completely can be a good idea. But, there are some drawbacks as well as benefits to this decision.

From a nutritional point of view, formula milk is not comparable to breastmilk, it does not adapt to your child and doesn’t change over time to cater for a growing baby. Breastmilk is unique and incredibly complex. Breastmilk is simply superior in almost every way nutritionally. However, breastfeeding is physically demanding and can only be done by the mother so formula milk has a clear advantage there.

But, by combination feeding both you can get a bit of both worlds – your baby will still get all the goodness from the breastmilk when they are fed and the bottle can be present to keep them fed in the meantime.

However, perhaps the biggest convenience of formula milk for breastfed babies is during the night feeds. Finally, mum doesn’t have to do all the work and the partner can chip in if he’s been lazy until now.

So, is it a good idea? Exclusively breastfeeding is still the best you can do for a child but it’s not always the best for mum so in some circumstances it can be a really good idea to combine the both.


Will my breastfed baby get sick if I give them formula?

If your baby has been exclusively breastfed and not weaned onto solids then infant formula may have a negative reaction at first. Your baby may feel a little uncomfortable at first since it’s a new type of food and using bottles for the first time may give them colic. Breastfed babies feed until they’ve had enough because they control the flow but with formula bottles they can often become too full which can result in some vomiting and weight gain.
It is best to introduce infant formula slowly to give your baby a chance to get used to the change and adapt. If your baby has been exclusively breastfed then it is strongly recommended to introduce formula slowly and subtly and not go cold turkey.
However, it’s unlikely that your breastfed baby will become ‘sick’ as a result of infant formula. Nausea, sleepiness, colic, smelly green poos and lethargy are the most likely reactions at first but they won’t be permanent.

What is the closest formula to breast milk?

Due to tight regulations, the similarities of all formulas and ready to feed liquid, there is no formula which is closest to breast milk. The closes you will get is one which is made for your baby’s specific age.

Which formula is best for breastfed babies?

No formula is best for breastfed babies and their quality of nutrition will drop with its introduction.

Is formula milk a good way to wean babies off the breast?

It is easier to wean babies off breastmilk with solid foods and non-milk products, but formula milk may work for your baby if they’re still used to mostly milk in their diet.

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