Choosing the Right Baby Formula

This post is compensated as part of the Similac StrongMoms Ambassador Program. All opinions are mine!

Though I had planned to breastfeed both of my boys, things didn’t work out. We had to decide which formula to use during both of their first weeks of life. What we found is there is a lot of brands and varieties out there, but we chose Similac above all the others.

Dr. Sue Hubbard, pediatrician and author of the nationally syndicated newspaper column “The Kid’s Doctor”, has a few tips for new parents seeking the right formula for their little ones. I’m happy to share her advice today, as it can be overwhelming to choose how to best nourish your baby.

Tips to Choosing the Right Baby Formula for your Baby

Tips to Choosing the Right Baby Formula

1. Consider the different forms of baby formula and choose the one that fits your lifestyle. When buying formula, you usually have the options of ready-to-feed, concentrated liquid, and powdered. The choice you make should depend on how often you are on the go, how often you feed your baby, and your budget.

For us, we use the 32 oz. ready-to-feed cartons at home, since they need refrigeration once they are opened. We also have powdered baby formula on hand for day or overnight trips.

Similac Sensitive2. Take a look at the ingredients. The FDA regulates all infant formula, but they still aren’t all created equal. Infant formulas primarily consist of carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to support your baby’s health. But some infant formulas, like Similac, have added lutein, which is a nutrient to support your baby’s eye development.

3. Think about your water source. I never considered this before choosing our sons’ formula, but it makes sense! Water available to you may affect which type of baby formula you choose. Most doctors will agree that tap water is generally safe for use when mixing formula. In some areas, however, you may need to boil it first, opt for bottled nursery water, or use the ready-to-feed formula which doesn’t require water to be added.

4. Watch for your baby’s reaction. Sometimes, the best way to choose baby formula is by trial and error. Make a good choice based on the info you have, and see how your baby takes to it. If he does, great! If not, you may need to choose another variety or brand.

With Sawyer, the original Similac Advance was fine and dandy. He gobbled it up at each feeding. With Dawson, however, he begin having tummy troubles at about 6 weeks old. He was irritable and gassy after each feeding, even with us being careful and making sure to burp him well after each bottle.

We made the switch to Similac Sensitive when he was two months old and kept him on it until six months old. By that time, we were able to switch back to Similac Advance with no issues!

Similac Stage 2

5. Take your baby’s age into consideration. With some brands, you don’t have to use the same formula for the entire first year of your baby’s life. Similac, for example, offers different stages of their baby formula. Their Stage 2 formula is geared toward babies 6-12 months old, who are likely starting to eat solid foods. Since eating solids is usually a slow progression for babies, Stage 2 provides additional protein, Vitamin C and calcium to complement the evolving diet.

What tips do you have for choosing the right baby formula?


Similac partnered with bloggers such as me for its Similac StrongMoms Ambassador Program. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. Similac believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Similac’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, Federal Trade Commission guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.


  1. says

    Choosing formula can be so tricky. I started breast feeding my daughter in the hospital and hated it so we moved to formula right away. I had her on Enfamil and it made her so sick. After a couple of days, if that, we went to Similac and she loved it.

    • Kecia says

      That’s how it went for our boys too. They sent us home with Similac, so we used it once breastfeeding was ruled out and they liked it!

  2. says

    I had never really thought about what formula to use until I needed to supplement my first-born child with it. he had a delicate stomach so I needed to get special formula for him to reduce acid flux.

    • Kecia says

      Honestly, I didn’t either for a long time! We just always bought nursery water though. I saw it in the store and felt like we should buy it. Glad I did now!

    • Kecia says

      That was our plan too — until Baby D began getting fussy after each bottle. He’s back to what his brother used now and doing great!

  3. says

    These are all excellent tips. I have no kids nor do I plan on having any soon, but information like this will always come in handy. Thanks for sharing.

  4. says

    that has to be difficult these days with GMO running rampant in soy. I am sure there are natural organic options. I am not sure where Similac falls in that category?

  5. says

    You never really realize how hard this is until you are in the position. I remember going through a few different ones with Graham. Davis nursed the entire time. So different!

  6. says

    I nursed and supplemented when needed with Similac with my first two children and it went very smoothly. I loved that formula.

  7. Brett says

    It’s not so easy when breast feeding doesn’t work out. My kids all had breast milk and formula- I never made enough milk. We also used similac and were quite happy with it.

  8. says

    There are so many formula options out there these days and it stinks that we have to think so hard about what we feed our children, even in the baby stages. I appreciate the information here, great tips! I hope it helps other parents with their formula choices!

  9. says

    Good advice. It’s not always easy for new moms to navigate through so many formula options. Similac worked well for my babies.

  10. says

    I didn’t have a choice – ours was a prescription only amino acid formula. I highly recommend looking into organic formulas as well. Great tips!

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