This post contains affiliate links. You can read about my disclosure policy here.
Considering how many posts I’ve written about European organic baby formula, it’s probably long overdue for me to write a comprehensive European formula guide comparing the best brands. Well, here it is – better late than never!
There are several major European brand formulas that are sold in the US. Interestingly enough, most of them originate from Germany. I don’t know why but Germans seem to produce the gold standard for baby formula worldwide.
I am focusing solely on European formulas because the quality of the milk and the organic farming methods used in Europe are far superior to American brand formulas. Nonetheless, even the European brand formulas discussed will have their downsides. There is no such thing as the perfect infant formula. The best formula is the one that works for your baby and family.
List of Best European Formulas Discussed:
Holle was founded in 1933 and uses milk from cows raised on biodynamic Demeter farms. These farms must strictly adhere to EU organic regulations and, moreover, to the even more stringent international Demeter regulations. Demeter farms allow their cows to graze on pastures – free of pesticides or chemical fertilizers – and is the reason for the superior quality of the milk produced. Demeter farmers also avoid the painful dehorning of cows.
Holle is the formula brand I chose for my children. You can read my review for it here.
UPDATE 03/17/2017: Holle has recently introduced Stage Pre which uses lactose as its sweetener. In addition, part of the fat source comes from high-quality Demeter milk fat, as opposed to plant sources, thereby reducing the proportion of processed vegetable oils.
Lebenswert was introduced by Holle in 2009. The milk of Lebenswert comes exclusively from organic farmers who follow the strict guidelines of Bioland farming. In this method of farming, man, animal and land are valued and respected. Organic Bioland farmers stand for species-appropriate stock breeding, plant protection and soil fertilization without chemical or synthetic agents and careful management of soil’s fertility. Produce made under these requirements are sustainable and preserve nature.
Notably, Lebenswert Stage 1 uses lactose as its sweetener.
HiPP was founded in 1932 and began selling organic baby formula in 1956. The milk is sourced from farms using sustainable farming methods. HiPP has a network of more than 8,000 selected farmers and is the world’s largest processor of organic raw materials.
HiPP formula is manufactured in the following three countries: The United Kingdom (U.K. Version), The Netherlands (Dutch Version), and Germany (German Version).
HiPP formulas have slight variations by country. For a quick summary of the differences: All HiPP formulas contain prebiotics and use lactose as its sweetener (when a sweetener is used). All HiPP Stage 1 formulas contain DHA & ARA oils. The U.K. and German versions Stage 2 use soy lecithin as an emulsifier. And, finally, the German version is the only one to have starch in both their Stage 1 and Stage 2 formulas. (Although there’s also a non-starch German Stage 2 version!)
Töpfer was founded in 1911 and is one of the oldest and most respected German formula companies. There is a limited availability for Töpfer as the company emphasizes quality over quantity. The milk is sourced from the Braunvieh cows of Allgäu, in the Alpine region of Southern Germany, famous for producing Germany’s highest quality dairy and cheeses.
Töpfer formulas contain probiotics and DHA & ARA oils. Stage Pre does not have any added sweetener.
*I have listed the ingredients for Stage Pre and/or Stage 1 (birth onwards) and Stage 2 (6+ months – or its equivalent) of each formula brand. Noteworthy ingredients are highlighted in red and will be discussed in further detail below.
Holle Organic Infant Formula Stage Pre (Birth Onwards)
Skimmed milk* , whey product* (partly demineralized whey powder), vegetable oils* (palm oil*, rapeseed oil*, sunflower oil*), lactose*, cream powder 10%**, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, sodium chloride, vitamin C, vitamin E, iron lactate, zinc sulfate, niacin, calcium D-pantothenate, copper sulfate, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, manganese sulfate, potassium iodate, folic acid, vitamin K, sodium selenate, vitamin D
* from organic farming
** from biodynamic farming
Holle Organic Infant Formula Stage 1 (Birth Onwards)
Skimmed milk** (Germany), whey powder* partly demineralised, vegetable oils* (palm oil*, rapeseed oil*, sunflower oil*), maltodextrin*, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, sodium chloride, vitamin C, vitamin E, ferrous lactate, zinc sulphate, niacin, calcium-D-pantothenate, copper sulphate, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, manganese sulphate, potassium iodate, folic acid, vitamin K, sodium selenate, vitamin D
* from organic farming
** from biodynamic farming
Holle Organic Infant Follow-on Formula Stage 2 (6+ months)
Skimmed milk** (Germany), vegetable oils* (palm oil*, rapeseed oil*, sunflower oil*), whey powder* (partly demineralised), maltodextrin*, skimmed milk powder**, starch*, calcium carbonate, sodium citrate, potassium chloride, vitamin C, calcium phosphate, ferrous lactate, vitamin E, sodium chloride, zinc sulphate, niacin, calcium-D-pantothenate, copper sulphate, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, manganese sulphate, potassium iodate, folic acid, vitamin K, sodium selenate, vitamin D
* from organic farming
** from biodynamic farming
Lebenswert Bio Organic Infant Formula Stage 1 (Birth Onwards)
Skimmed milk*, whey powder (partly demineralised)*, vegetable oils* (palm oil*, rapeseed oil*, sunflower oil*), lactose*, potassium chloride, calcium, vitamin C, sodium chloride, ferrous gluconate, vitamin E, zinc sulfate, niacin, calcium pantothenate, copper sulphate, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, vitamin A, manganese sulfate, folic acid, potassium iodate, vitamin K1, sodium selenate, vitamin D
*from organic farming
Lebenswert Bio Organic Infant Follow-on Formula Stage 2 (6+ months)
Skimmed milk*, whey powder (partly demineralised)*, vegetable oils* (palm oil*, rapeseed oil*, sunflower oil *), maltodextrin*, calcium, vitamin C, iron pyrophosphate, copper sulfate, vitamin E, zinc sulfate, niacin, calcium, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, vitamin A, folic acid, potassium iodate, manganese sulfate, vitamin K1, sodium selenate, vitamin D
*from organic farming
HiPP U.K. Version
HiPP Combiotic First Infant Milk Stage 1 (Birth Onwards)
Organic skimmed milk, organic whey powder (partially demineralised), organic vegetable oils (palm oil, rapeseed oil, sunflower oil), organic lactose, prebiotic fibres (galacto-oligosaccharides from lactose), whey protein, potassium citrate, calcium chloride, LCP oils (fish oil, vegetable oil from Mortierella alpina), Lphenylalanine, sodium citrate, calcium carbonate, magnesium sulphate, calcium orthophosphate, vitamin mix [vitamin C, vitamin A, thiamin (vitamin B1), vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, niacin, vitamin E, folic acid, vitamin K, vitamin D, riboflavin (vitamin B2), biotin, vitamin B12], L-tryptophan, iron sulphate, zinc sulphate, stabiliser (lactic acid), inositol, copper sulphate, potassium iodate, manganese sulphate, sodium selenate
HiPP Combiotic Follow-on Milk Stage 2 (6+ months)
Organic skimmed milk, organic vegetable oils (palm oil, rapeseed oil, sunflower oil), organic lactose, organic whey protein (partially demineralised), prebiotic fibres (galacto-oligosaccharides from lactose), calcium carbonate, emulsifier: soya lecithin, vitamins (vitamin C, niacin, vitamin E, pantothenic acid, vitamin A, thiamin (vitamin B1), vitamin B6, riboflavin (vitamin B2), folic acid, vitamin K, vitamin D, biotin, vitamin B12), ferrous sulphate, potassium chloride, sodium chloride, L-tryptophan, zinc sulphate, magnesium carbonate, copper sulphate, potassium iodide, manganese sulphate, sodium selenite
HiPP Dutch Version
HiPP Combiotic Infant Milk Formula Stage 1 (Birth Onwards)
Organic skimmed milk, organic whey powder (partially demineralised), organic vegetable oils (palm oil, rapeseed oil, sunflower oil), organic lactose, prebiotic fibres (galacto-oligosaccharides from lactose), whey protein, potassium citrate, calcium chloride, sodium citrate, calcium carbonate, magnesium sulphate, calcium orthophosphates, iron sulphate, zinc sulphate, copper sulphate, potassium iodate, manganese sulphate, sodium selenate, LCP oils (fish oil, vegetable oil from Mortierella alpina), L-phenylalanine, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, niacin, vitamin E, folic acid, vitamin K, vitamin D, vitamin B2, biotin, vitamin B12, L-tryptophan, lactic acid culture [Hereditum® lactobaccilus fermentum cect 5716], lactic acid stabilizer, inositol
HiPP Combiotic Follow-on Milk Stage 2 (6+ months)
Organic skimmed milk, organic lactose, organic vegetable oils (palm oil, rapeseed oil, sunflower oil), organic whey powder (partially demineralised), prebiotic fibres (galacto-oligosaccharides from lactose), calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, calcium chloride, iron sulphate, zinc oxide, copper sulphate, maganese sulfate, potassium iodate, sodium selenate, vitamin K, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B2, vitamin D, vitamin B12, L-tryptophan, lactic acid stablizer, lactic acid culture [Hereditum® lactobaccilus fermentum cect 5716]
HiPP German Version
HiPP Combiotic Infant Milk Formula Stage Pre (Birth Onwards)
Organic skimmed milk, organic whey product, organic vegetable oils (palm oil, rapeseed oil, sunflower oil), organic lactose, prebiotic fibres (galacto-oligosaccharides from lactose), organic whey protein, potassium citrate, calcium chloride,LCP oils (fish oil, vegetable oil from Mortierella alpina), L-phenylalnine, sodium citrate, calcium carbonate, magnesium sulfate, calcium orthophosphate, vitamin C, L-tryptophan, iron sulfate, natural lactic acid culture [Hereditum® lactobacillus fermentum cect5716], zinc sulfate, lactic acid stabilizer, vitamin A, inositol, pantothenic acid, niacin, copper sulfate, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, potassium iodate, vitamin E, manganese sulfate, folic acid, vitamin K, sodium sulfate, vitamin D, vitamin B2, biotin, vitamin B12
HiPP Combiotic Infant Milk Formula Stage 1 (Birth Onwards)
Organic skimmed milk, organic whey product, organic vegetable oils (palm oil, rapeseed oil, sunflower oil), organic starch, prebiotic fibres (galacto-oligosaccharides from lactose), calcium carbonate, LCP oils (fish oil, vegetable oil from Mortierella alpina), potassium chloride, L-tyrosine, vitamin C, L-tryptophan, iron sulfate, zinc sulfate, vitamin E, lactic acid stabilizer, natural lactic acid culture [Hereditum® lactobacillus fermentum cect5716], niacin, pantothenic acid, Cuplex® (copper lysine complex), vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, manganese sulfate, potassium iodate, vitamin B2, sodium sulfate, folic acid, vitamin K, biotin, vitamin D, vitamin B12
HiPP Combiotic Follow-on Milk Stage 2 (6+ months)
Organic skimmed milk, organic vegetable oils (palm oil, rapeseed oil, sunflower oil), organic whey, organic lactose, organic starch, prebiotic fibres (galacto-oligosaccharides from lactose), emulsifier (soya lecithin, lechitin), calcium carbonate, vitamin C, potassium citrate, iron lactate, L-tryptophan, potassium chloride, vitamin E, natural lactic acid culture [Hereditum® lactobacillus fermentum cect 5716], vitamin A, niacin, zinc oxide, vitamin D, pantothenic acid, copper sulfate, vitamin K, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, manganese sulfate, potassium iodate, folic acid, vitamin B2, sodium sulfate, biotin, vitamin B12
HiPP Combiotic Follow-on Milk NO STARCH Stage 2 (6+ months)
Organic skimmed milk, organic lactose, organic vegetable oils (palm oil, rapeseed oil, sunflower oil), organic whey powder, prebiotic fibres (galacto-oligosaccharides from lactose), calcium carbonate, vitamin C, potassium chloride, L-tryptophan, calcium chloride, iron sulfate, lactic acid stabilizer, natural lactic acid culture [Hereditum® lactobacillus fermentum cect 5716], vitamin E, vitamin A, niacin, zinc oxide, pantothenic acid, copper sulfate, vitamin K, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, manganese sulfate, folic acid, biotin, potassium iodate, vitamin B2, sodium selenate, vitamin D, vitamin B12
Töpfer Lacatana Bio
Töpfer Lacatana Bio Organic Infant Formula Stage Pre (Birth Onwards)
Skimmed milk*1, whey powder* partly demineralized, vegetable oils* (Palm oil*2, Rapeseed oil*, Sunflower oil*), Mortierella alpina oil, fish oil, calcium carbonate, sodium chloride, vitamin C, potassium chloride, vitamin E, bifidobacteria cultures (B.breve, B.bifidum, B.infantis, B.longum), iron lactate, zinc sulphate, niacin, calcium-D-pantothenate, copper sulphate, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, manganese sulphate, potassium iodate, folic acid, vitamin K, sodium selenate, vitamin D
*from organic origin
1 organic milk from Allgäu
2 organic palm oil from sustainable cultivation
Töpfer Lacatana Bio Organic Infant Formula Stage 1 (Birth Onwards)
Skimmed milk*1, whey powder* partly demineralized, vegetable oils* (Palm oil*2, Rapeseed oil*, Sunflower oil*), maltodextrin*, Skimmed milk powder*1 , Mortierella alpina oil, fish oil, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, vitamin C, sodium chloride, vitamin E, bifidobacteria cultures (B.breve, B.bifidum, B.infantis, B.longum), iron lactate, zinc sulphate, niacin, calcium-D-pantothenate, copper sulphate, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, manganese sulphate, potassium iodate, folic acid, vitamin K, sodium selenate, vitamin D
*from organic origin
1 organic milk from Allgäu
2 organic palm oil from sustainable cultivation
Töpfer Organic Infant Follow-on Formula Lacatana Bio Stage 2 (6+ Months)
Skimmed milk*1, whey powder* partly demineralized, vegetable oils* (Palm oil*2 , Rapeseed oil*, Sunflower oil*), maltodextrin*, skimmed milk powder*1, starch*, LCP-fat blend** (egg oil, rapeseed oil, fish oil), calcium carbonate, sodium citrate, potassium chloride, vitamin C, calcium phosphate, iron lactate, vitamin E, bifidobacteria cultures (B.breve, B.bifidum, B.infantis, B.longum), zinc sulphate, niacin, calcium-D-pantothenate, copper sulfate, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, manganese sulphate, potassium iodate, folic acid, vitamin K, sodium selenate, vitamin D
*from organic origin
** longchain, polyunsaturated fatty acids
1 organic milk from Allgäu
2 organic palm oil from sustainable cultivation
Lactose is a disaccharide composed of glucose and galactose. It is the main carbohydrate found in breastmilk. Cow milk has a much lower amount of lactose. In order to approximate breastmilk, it is usually considered the sweetener of choice for baby formulas.
Maltodextrin is a plant-based (typically derived from corn) sweetener comprised of short-to-medium starch molecules. Maltodextrin ranges from not sweet to mildly sweet. The primary characteristics of maltodextrin is its high solubility, easy and rapid digestibility (high glycemic index), and low sweetness.
The prevalence of maltodextrin in baby formula is two-fold: 1) It is less expensive than lactose and 2) Its primary characteristics work well in baby formula. High solubility means that the powdered formula will dissolve quickly and smoothly which makes the formula easier for a baby to drink. Easy and rapid digestion make it less taxing on a baby’s intestines than regular starches and gives baby quick energy. The low sweetness factor also helps the formula taste more like breast milk.
While lactose is typically the preferred sweetener, I believe that maltodextrin is the lesser of other evils, e.g., glucose syrup solids, brown rice syrup (arsenic concerns), and plain ol’ sugar.
Palm oil is a fat that is high in palmitic acid as well as a source of oleic acid. It is used to mimic the fat profile of human milk, of which the primary fat is also palmitic acid. There is some controversy over the use of this ingredient as several studies have shown that some babies are unable to properly absorb the palmitic acid. The unabsorbed palmitic acid remaining in the baby’s gut reacts with calcium and causes the formation of “soaps” in the baby’s intestines. This can result in lower fat absorption and lower bone mineral density.
However, several other studies note that these differences are still within normal range for normal term infants and that these differences likely do not persist once infants start solids and/or become toddlers.
There are certain American formula brands that do not use palm oil but it is found in all of the European formulas I’ve listed.
Prebiotics & Probiotics
Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) is a carbohydrate and is considered a prebiotic that helps to cultivate healthy bowel flora, particularly bifidobacteria.
Bifidobacteriam is a probiotic and was originally identified in the feces of a breastfed infant. These good bacteria are some of the first microbes to take up residence in the sterile gastro-intestinal (GI) tract of newborns and they dominate the intestines in breastfed babies.
Current research shows that probiotics or prebiotics added to infant formula have not been harmful to healthy infants. However, more research is needed to determine the benefits of its routine use in formulas.
Parents who believe in the importance of probiotics can also supplement using a good probiotic such as the one found here.
DHA & ARA Oils
DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid and ARA is an omega-6 fatty acid. DHA is a component of brain and eye tissue development. But the DHA and ARA added to most brands of infant formula is not identical in structure to the fatty acids found in breastmilk. Instead, it is typically extracted using hexane from factory-produced mortierella alpina – a strain of algae that has never been part of the human diet.
The addition of fish oil in infant formula as a source of DHA has also raised questions as to its benefits. Several published studies all conclude that adding DHA and ARA “had no proven benefit regarding vision, cognition, or physical growth.” In 2011, The World Health Organization’s Director of Nutrition for Health and Development issued a letter stating that, “as to date, no solid evidence exists to be able to say that adding DHA to infant formula will have important clinical benefits.”
When asked to comment on DHA and ARA in infant formula, Dr. Frank Greer, the chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics committee on nutrition, has said: “The truth of the matter is, they’re not essential. Humans can synthesize these. Fatty acids are naturally present in the diet. And the whole issue becomes, do you really make people smarter if you put DHA and ARA in everything? Or is this just all marketing hype? Personally, I lean toward the latter.”
Still, there are other experts that believe there is value in including DHA in formula even if it can’t yet be proven. However, the DHA & ARA ingredients that I’ve highlighted are not of organic origin which certainly raises concerns as to the extraction method used.
As such, parents who believe in the importance of DHA supplementation should, at the very least, make sure that it is from a clean and pure source like the one found here.
Starch is a type of complex carbohydrate and is a major source of energy for children and adults alike (e.g., rice, corn, cereal). Research has shown that it is safe to feed babies starchy foods. They are and should be a part of a varied, balanced diet for babies that are ready to begin eating solids.
Starch is a carbohydrate and tends to fill a baby’s growing tummy up more which is why a few formula brands have the addition of starch at the 6+ months stage.
Soy lecithin is a byproduct of soybean oil and most commonly used as a food emulsifier to keep water and fats from separating. It also helps extend product shelf life. When not organic, the extraction of soy lecithin typically uses toxic solvents like hexane and is bleached to transform the color from a dirty brownish hue to a light yellow.
At a minimum, for the first 6 month’s of a baby’s life, I would try to avoid soy whenever possible. Not only is soy considered a top allergen but it is also a source of phytoestrogens which may have the potential to disrupt baby’s hormonal system for life.
The biggest concern when purchasing European brand formula is finding a trustworthy and reliable vendor. I have partnered with an excellent vendor that sells Holle, HiPP and Lebenswert formula to the US.
Organicbabyfood24 is based in Germany. If you want to pay the lowest prices and buy in bulk (and you are good at planning ahead), please check out: Where to Buy Holle Formula from Germany to read about my recommendations and vetting process. (Mommy to Max readers can use coupon code MTM10 to receive 10% off your order.)
What are your thoughts or personal experiences on the formula brands I listed? Let me know if I may have missed any other great European formulas!
If you liked what you read, please don’t forget to comment below, subscribe, and spread the love by sharing!
1. How To Find the Safest Organic Infant Formula (http://www.cornucopia.org/2013/12/find-safest-organic-infant-formula/)
2. The Scandal of Infant Formula (http://www.westonaprice.org/childrens-health/the-scandal-of-infant-formula/)
3. There’s Nothing Sinister Lurking in That Baby Formula (http://www.skepticnorth.com/2014/07/theres-nothing-sinister-lurking-in-that-baby-formula/)
4. Questions and Answers About DHA/ARA and Infant Formula (http://cornucopia.org/DHA/DHA_QuestionsAnswers.pdf)
5. Clinical Report—Probiotics and Prebiotics in Pediatrics (http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/pediatrics/early/2010/11/29/peds.2010-2548.full.pdf)
6. Bifidobacterium (A.K.A. Bifidobacteria)– The Shy Probiotic Lactic-Acid Bacteria Superstars (http://www.powerofprobiotics.com/Bifidobacterium.html)
7. Do DHA Supplements Make Babies Smarter? (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/30/well/do-dha-supplements-make-babies-smarter.html)
8. Amylase in Infancy: Can Babies Digest Starch? (https://scienceofmom.com/2013/11/08/amylase-in-infancy-can-babies-digest-starch/)
9. Is Soy Lecithin Really So Unhealthy? (http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/soy-lecithin-healthy-or-unhealthy/)
10. Why Soy Formula (Even Organic) Is So Dangerous for Babies (http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/why-soy-formula-even-organic-is-so-dangerous-for-babies/)
Hi all, Just wanted to say I have several items left that I would love to pass along to other parents wanting to give their kids the best.
1 box of Holle stage 1 400 grams no soy
1 box of Lebenswert stage 1 500 grams no maltodextrin no soy
3 cans of Hipp stage 1 900 grams no maltodextrin no soy omega 3,6
1 box of Holle tea
1 box of Holle Korn Cereal
1 box Holle Oats
4 boxes of Holle Grieb ( Semolina)
1 box of Hipp toddler kinder cereal
1 box of Hipp millet cereal
3 boxes of Holle biscuits
All great choices if your wanting to try for the first time or needing more. All brand new never used, prices vary and willing to discount for multiple items. No price gouging, only asking what I paid or less. Please email me if your interested. Msmasters@yahoo.com
Do you boil the water as the directions state? I’ve read that the boiling portion is mostly because of the stricter guidelines in the EU, but here in the US it is unnecessary. Thoughts on that?
You should consult with your pediatrician about the need to use boiled water. Formula is not sterile and this step helps to kill the bacteria (as well as the bacteria found in water). Babies who have weaker immune systems will need the water to be boiled.
Hey can you pass me the holle stage 1 formula..i really need it and want to test it first.
Extremely happy with http://www.maluma-green.com. Fantastic service, free shipping, products arrived in great condition and are 100% authentic! I ordered a couple boxes from a US based supplier first to make sure baby liked it. I then ordered from there and even with shipping costs saved compared to the US supplier. 1 box makes more ounces than 1 can of the Similiac I was using. I ordered the 15 box bundle and it comes out to $0.12 per ounce (with shipping) and I was paying $0.20 per ounce for Similiac. So glad I made the switch, only wish I had done it sooner.
Yes, I am also very satisfied with http://www.maluma-green.com/
Laura, the customer service manager is so friendly and helpful. My son is doing very well on the Lebenswert formula. All American made formulas contain soy, and I did not want to feed my son that.
Hi there. Thanks for taking the time to research safer baby products! I’ve been reading up on formulas online, found Holle and Lebenswert as you all have, but have one big concern left. What do Germans and European parents prefer? Are these brands really the best, in Germany? It’s easy to entice parents looking for the best for their kids. I’m only able to read reviews in English so sounds good to me but as with anything online, especially when it comes to formula (which I can’t discern authentic or not as it is powder in a cardboard box), I’m still a bit paranoid.
What are your thoughts? I actually tried to look up Amazon reviews in German but did not find anything concrete at all.
As a side note, we are currently overseas in Asia and the Enfamil I have access to here is actually Made in Holland, that meets Dutch/EU regulations. I’m hoping it’s a better product than the US version?? That led to me thinking whether non-organic Euro formulas could be better than US organic formulas. I was told the most sold brand in Europe is Nutrilon, non-organic of course.
We can definitely continue to order Holle or Lebenswert online from Europe but do have easy store access to Enfamil (Holland) and Nutrilon (France) right here in Asia down the street though not organic. What would you do? Any thoughts?
Thanks for your time!
Hi! Clearly, you’ve done a lot of research and put a lot of thought into the best formula for your baby.
Based on my own research, the formulas I featured in this guide are the top organic formula brands in Germany. There are a few other European formula brands like Nutrilon, Aptamil, Humana, Milasan, etc. – all of which are not organic brands. However, if I had the option, I would never buy non-organic formula/milk. I would just not want to risk my baby being exposed to pesticides, growth hormones, antibiotics and GMOs at such an early age.
I understand the concern with buying non-authentic formula but that is why you have to make sure you buy from a reliable source. I don’t recommend many vendors for this reason. Personally, I would continue to order Holle/Lebenswert or, at the very least, use another organic formula brand.
I hope this helped. Good luck!
We purchase Lebenswert stage 1 and 2 from http://www.organicbabyfood24.de and couldn’t be happier with the products received.
This company is wonderful! I had an issue with delivery of my first order, it was accidentally left outside the wrong apartment, and they reimbursed my entire cost. I was so pleased with their customer service that I felt more than comfortable going back to them for future orders – they follow through on their commitment to offer quality products and ship them to the US with no hassle, and it’s made all the difference!
It’s by far the best formula we’ve tried (and we’ve tried quite a few organic formulas from the US). It dissolves easilly, and it’s friendly on our little one’s digestive system. In terms of cost, the total including shipping costs, is quite comparable to what I was paying for organic formula here in the States, so the choice for us to keep going back to Organic Baby was an easy one!
Hi Diana, thanks for the feedback. We think organicbabyfood24 is a great choice too!
Is this site owned by organicbabyfood24?
Did you use any DHA supplements and pre- and probiotics when you were feeding your babies the HOLLE stage 2 formula?
Also, do you think it’s okay to use Lebenswert Stage 1 and then move on to HOLLE stage 2 intead of Lebenswert Stage 2? I’m actually not sure what the difference is between the Leberswert Stage 2 and Holle stage 2. It seems pretty much the same except for the biodymanic demeter farms used by Holle.
Thanks in advance!
Hi Anne, I never used any additional supplementation. I was fortunate to be able to breastfeed both babes up to at least 6 months. And, by the time you are on Stage 2, you should be able to start introducing solid foods. I chose to add DHA and probiotics through diet instead. Both my children loved fish, scrambled/steamed eggs, and yogurt early on, all excellent sources of DHA and probiotics.
Also, Holle and Lebenswert Stage 2 are very similar except that Holle contains starch whereas Lebenswert does not.
I’m currently breastfeeding my baby up to 6 months and plan on transitioning to formula bottle feeding once she hits her 6 month mark. Could you recommend a what bottle to use for breastmilk fed babies that’s transitioning into bottle feeding? I’d like to use glass bottles instead of plastic but wasn’t sure which brand mimics breast nipples.
Ahhh… transitioning a breastfed baby to a bottle = fun times. With Max, I used Born Free glass bottles, but the style I used has since been discontinued. (I wouldn’t recommend the newer version as they are poorly reviewed.) But I’ve heard good things about the Philips AVENT Natural Glass Bottles. The nipples have a wide and flat base which is what makes the transition easier for breastfed babies.
Also, know that you have other options if the bottle fails. Alexa rejected ALL bottles because I think that at 10 months I had waited too long to introduce bottle-drinking. (She’s also particularly stubborn.) Anyway, she ended up drinking her formula from a syringe > spoon > small cup and finally a straw sippy. Hopefully, your baby is not as stubborn as mine.
Thanks so much for this breakdown! We have been supplementing with Holle Stage 1 for a week now and it has made such a difference in our 3 month old! He seems happier and his bowel movements appear closer to that of breastfed baby. We were supplementing with Similac before and it was disgusting and the ingredients scared me!! Thanks so much for your research bc it helped me make the choice for Holle. I ordered from Organic Munchkin and they have great customer service and free shipping!!!
Hi Jamie, I love hearing success stories! I’m so glad you made the switch from Similac. It’s really sad and shocking how awful some of the major formula companies are.
Hi! Thank you so much for this informative post. I have been overwhelmed with all the options for formula. My baby is almost 8 months and we are transitioning to formula. My baby has been sensitive to dairy and I have had to cut all dairy out of my diet. Does any of these brands have a non diary formula? My head is spinning with all that I have researched and I can’t seem to find that any of these brands offer a non-dairy option. Thank you so much for your help!
Hi Amber, I’m sorry to hear about your baby’s sensitivities. To my knowledge, the brands I listed do not have a non-dairy formula. Holle does have a goats milk version that may not cause issues but it is, technically, still dairy. I’m sorry I couldn’t be of more help since it’s not an area I’ve researched myself!
Hipp has a hypoallergenic formula if it is the milk protein that your little one is sensitive to. I have added lactase enzyme drops to the bottles to help break down the lactose making the formula very easy to digest.
Hi – any idea how the nutritional value compares to the FDA mandated USA formulas? I want to be sure my baby gets everything he needs but don’t want to spend the time trying to convert the labels into similar units to compare them. Thanks!
just wanted to let you know that I have used Holle with my newborn and am able to purchase it at https://www.formuland.com they also sell Hipp and a few other European brands
I noticed your update regarding the new Holle Stage PRE. How does it compare to Lebenswert Stage 1 which also has lactose? Would you recommend one over the other?
Holle Stage PRE wins for me. I’ve always been partial to Holle because it’s the only brand I have personal experience with and it worked beautifully for both my children. However, now that Stage PRE uses lactose AND cream as a fat source – I definitely give it the edge.
Can you use stage pre at any age between 0-12 months? It seems like the best formula around, however, I am about to start supplementing and my baby is almost nine months.
Oops never mind! Just saw you comment below. 🙂
Hi. I just started using Lebenswert with my 5.5 month old daughter. She has done well with it so far, but after reading your article I’m wondering if Holle pre would be a better choice? Is it ok to use PRE until 12 months?
I’m not sure I would mess with a good thing. 😉
Also, PRE is a stage that’s mostly intended for newborns and younger babies. Babies have different nutritional requirements as they grow and the later stages adjust accordingly.
After I said she was doing well, her face started breaking out and she has been more gassy/spitting up more. She has been on Lebenswert for 2 weeks. She does not have a dairy allergy. We have tried Hipp, it did not work for her. Which formula would you recommend? Also, on the organic start website it says the Topfer pre stage can be used for a whole year. Is that true? Can stage 1 formulas be used for the whole first year? Thanks for you help!
Try Holle and let me know how it works out for you!
Stage 1 can definitely be used for baby’s first year. The primary issue is that Stage 1 is whey dominant (faster digesting but more like breastmilk) and Stage 2+ are casein dominant (slower digesting which means being fuller longer.)
But, if you find that your baby is sufficiently satiated, you don’t have to go up a stage if you don’t want to.
Hi, I was in-between feeding my son Holle 2 and HiPP (HA) Hypoallergenic 2, and found that he stomachs HiPP HA 2 better. However, I LOVE Holle and the way it smells and mixes with water much smoother. The HiPP HA 2 just smells so bad and in chunky when it mixes with water. I ordered from a legit vendor, so I’m wondering if this is normal or is it just a bad batch? Please help!
I tried Hipp ha for awhile with my daughter and had the same issue.
Hi Leah, so I had asked around other fellow moms who use HiPP HA 2 and they said the water need to be warmer than usual for it to mix better. Also, they told me that the smell apparently is mild compared to other hypoallergenic formulas. I’m hoping that is the case! I would hate to think I ever gave a bad batch of formula to my baby.
Hi there! You did a great job of explaining it all, but I’m still at a loss for what may be best.
I noticed at Stage 2, some companies second ingredient are the oils and others are whey protein. Is it more important to have more oils or protein at this age (6months)?
Do you happen to know which is better or has more strict regulations–bioland farming or demeter?
Lastly, I noticed most of the brands start out using Lactose and then at Stage 2 switch to Malodextrin. Do you know why they are doing that? I wish Holle or Lebenswert used lactose in their Stage 2 formulas!!
Hi Miyuki, Stage 2 formulas are meant for “hungrier” babies. They tend to be more casein-dominant and/or contain ingredients that will help “fill” a baby up more. You don’t have to switch to Stage 2 if you don’t want to!
Also, it’s my understanding that Demeter has stricter regulations because it would also satisfy Bioland farming guidelines – which are already top-notch and better than regular organic farming practices.
Finally, why do they use maltodextrin over lactose? $$$
MTM, On the maltodextrin point, should we keep babies on the stage 1 lebenswert to avoid maltodextrin? We recently switched my 6 month over to stage 2 and his bowel movements have become more labored (more grunting, stool is thicker). is this just normal adjustment or possible a red flag? Thanks!
It can definitely be due to the adjustment period. To minimize any adjustment issues, I’d recommend mixing the prior formula with the newer formula and increasing the amount until baby is fully on the new formula. In the end, it’s hard for me to say if that’s a red flag… ask your pediatrician if you are still concerned!
Good morning everyone ,
I fortunately stop into this wonderfoul post , really well explained and detailed . Holle and Hipp are the best organic formulas for babies . Is important to search brand that doesn’t contain any additives and dangerous substance inside the formula . I really love the Lebenswert products! Lebenswert Bio formulas it includes the ingredients needed to help your baby grow strong and healthy. I had an order from https://www.bestorganicformula.com/product/lebenswert-bio-organic-infant-formula-1/ . They have really fast delivery and customize support .
Hi there, thank you so much for this detailed and super helpful post. I was very confused on a lot of the ingredients in my baby’s Holle formula and you definitely helped me to understand it all! Need your opinion- I had read that goat milk is easier for infants to digest so we have been giving our 4 month old the Holle Goat formula…she has been having harder stools (maybe constipation?) and we add probiotics to her formula too…wondering if we should switch to the regular Holle stage 1 or try the new Pre? I am not a fan of maltodextrin but could it be the lactose making her stools harder? I think Holle stage 1 is the only one without lactose…Pre sounds amazing but has lactose, in your opinion do you think that is what is causing the harder stools? Thanks so much in advance!
Hi Melissa, I really wish I could help you more but I think your best bet is to speak with your pediatrician! Every baby is different and will react differently to certain things. Both my kids transitioned well from breastmilk to Holle Stage 2, which uses maltodextrin. It is very possible that she’s reacting to the extra lactose, which can be more difficult to digest. But definitely speak to your doctor and see what he/she thinks!
Hi Melissa. I’m having the same issue with my son. Did you find a good alternative?
Hi there! So I just started my little one on the Lebenswert stage 1 and the instructions say to boil water before using, and I understand that it’s because the water and formula aren’t sterile. But do you have to do this for all baby formulas whether it’s US or European brand formula. I haven’t seen this instruction on US brands. Just curious if there is more of a reason to do this for European brands versus US brands. Also do you recommend any particular bottle I am transitioning my 7 1/2 mo and am looking for safe/best bottle to use(plastic/silicone/glass) Thanks So Much!!
Hi Becky, US brand formulas are not more sterile than European brand formulas. Using boiling water is considered the safest route but probably not a necessity for most babies with healthy immune systems. (Which might be why it’s not on the instructions for US formulas.)
I like glass bottles for formula – especially if you plan on using boiling water. The one I used was discontinued. However, this one also looks like good option for someone transitioning from breastfeeding because it has a wide nipple.
Just note that 7 1/2 months is pretty late to introduce a bottle. I tried to introduce one to my daughter at around that time and she never took to a bottle. After a very painful transition, she eventually began drinking from a straw. So good luck!
Hospitals in the US recommend only ready to feed formula for the first 2 months because it is sterile – also the CDC recommends always boiling water to make formula sterile. I know on the Parents Choice formula container in Walmart it says the formula is not intended for a newborn and is not sterile.
Hi. I just read on another site that the Holle Pre – PRE means before starting conventional formulas. The PRE formulas are fed as needed VS feeding a recommended amount per day.
Is this true because I’ve been feeding my 2 month old the recommended amount not as needed.
Also why is it so important to pour half the water in a bottle to shake formula and then the other half to shake? Can the water be poured completely into the bottle with the formula and then brought to a shake?
Stage pre is designed to be the most like breastmilk. It is meant for newborns and is often used as supplementation for the breastfeeding mother which might explain why pre formulas are generally fed “as needed.”
You can really mix the formula however you want. However, I did find that pouring half hot water and mixing the power before adding half cool water made it easier to mix.
hi, how about the Babybio ? A famous organic formula brand from France.
Hi Austin, I am not familiar with the Babybio brand. However, I did take a quick look at the ingredients of their formulas.
I don’t like that maltodextrin is listed as the first ingredient on their Stage 2 formulas. Additionally, Stage 1 Optima contains choline bitartrate, biotin, and inositol. Several US-based formula companies were sued for listing these ingredients on their “organic” formulas.
Just to break down one ingredient: Choline bitartrate is a synthetic substance produced by the reaction of trimethylamine with ethylene oxide, followed by treatment with tartaric acid. Trimethylamine and tartaric acid are both hazardous substances. Choline bitartrate has also been shown to have harmful effects on laboratory rats, causing bladder and kidney stones.
Based on the above, I don’t think Babybio is comparable to the other brands I’ve listed.
Hi and thank you for your diligence on this topic! I have a breastfed 9 month old who I plan to wean at/around 12 months. For a few reasons, we do not like to drink milk and I have a hard time with the idea of feeding it to my baby if I don’t drink it. My pediatrician, by chance, seems to share the same sentiment and suggested a high quality formula if we wanted to integrate a “milk” with his diet. We had used Holle during the first week and a half after his birth to supplement when my milk lagged and were very happy with it. Thinking ahead now for weaning, would you recommend Holle’s toddler formulas? Would you do Stage 3 or 4? I am having hard time finding any information on these stages of the formula.Your opinion would be appreciated!
Hi Amy, I think Stage 2 would also work perfectly fine for your baby. There really isn’t a compelling reason, in my opinion, to switch to Stage 3 & 4.
Thank you for this post! How familiar are you with the Australian organic brand Bellamy’s? Hoping to hear any thoughts on how it stacks up against Hipp and Holle.
I’ve been using Bellamy’s Stage 2 for my 7.5 month old baby since I stopped giving him breast milk at 6 months old. He was born pretty tiny, and has really thrived and grown, particularly so after I started him on formula! Problem is, as with pumped breastmilk, he is incredibly hard to feed and seems to really hate feeding (both breast and formula). We have to feed him when he’s half asleep and unaware of what’s going on. Wondering if you have any thoughts/ heard any reviews on the best tasting organic formula? (I’m less inclined to think his issues are about the bottle or nipple, as he’s never been breastfed directly).
Hi Ernestine, Bellamy’s ingredients look pretty good! It would definitely have a place on my guide. My only issue – and I’m being nit picky – is that the site doesn’t state whether the cows are pastured.
Also, I have never had a taste test between different organic formulas – although, it sounds like a good idea! I did taste Holle and thought it had a very pleasant, subtle, and mild taste.
Unfortunately, some babies can just be more difficult to feed, regardless of taste!
Great post and I’m so happy I found your site. My 4 1/2 month old is exclusively breastfed and I want to continue to breastfeed as long as possible but I anticipate needing to supplement formula in the next few months (around 6 months). I was looking between HiPP and Holle but after reading this, it sounds like Holle will be my pick. My question is should I start with the Holle Stage 1 for a 6 month old or start directly with Stage 2? Also, to transition I have had friends that mix a little breast milk with the formula. Is this something you would advise? Thanks!!
have you heard of Kabrita? any input?
I’m not a fan of Kabrita – it contains soybean oil, glucose syrup solids, mortierella alpina oil, taurine, l-carnitine, and a few other controversial ingredients. The list of questionable ingredients is too long for me to be comfortable with this formula. Not to mention that it’s also not organic.
I have 12 boxes of HiPP HA stage 2 imported from Germany left. If anyone is looking to buy ($19/box),
please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Can I keep my little one on lebenswert stage 1 only instead of switching to stage 2 and 3?
Hi Becky, it’s OK to stay on stage 1 as long as your baby seems satiated!
I purchased Lebenswert formulas from moonbeamsorganicformula.com and they had it to my door the next day! Definitely the way to go if you are in a pinch!
Hi there! thank you for sharing this I just switched my baby from enfamil gentle ease to holle stage 1 and she is super gassy and really fussy do you think it is because of the switch? i just switched her 1 day ago and really want to keep on this formula as it is more pure than anything offered in canada. she is 9 weeks and we feed her 3-4 oz every 3 hours ish. I hope I’m doing everything right, i also prepare it 1 for 1 so 1 oz of water 1 scoop of holle stage 1. I hope this is correct and i really hope we can keep her on it, anyone else switch from a horrible ingredient conventional formula to holle 1 having issues?
Hi Nicole, sorry for the late response!! You are preparing it correctly. I’m hopeful that your baby isn’t having issues with gas anymore!
Nicole where did you buy Holle from that shipped to Canada?
Hi I m planning to switch my 3 month old son from exclusive breastfeeding to formula feeding gradually. My son doesn’t have dairy or any other allergies from my diet during breastfeeding. I ve decided to buy holle formula but I am wondering whether I should try holle goat stage 1 or holle cow stage 1 or holle bio pre.What is the difference between holle stage 1 formula and holle bio pre?
Personally, I would start with Holle Stage Pre as I think it is the most like breastmilk and see how your son adjusts to it.
Hi, would you happen to know whats the nutritional difference between Holle Stage 3 and 4? I was not aware there was a stage 4 until i looked into your article (so thank you very much)! I did this mistake before as I gave my son Holle 2 up until he was 12 months and now giving him Holle 3 and he is 14 months. Obviously, he should have been on Holle 4 since he turned 1. Thank you so much!
Hi Azza, there is no need to worry about changing to Stage 4 if your baby is still doing well! Technically, you could stay on Stage 2 the entire time if your baby is happy and satiated.
Thank you Lotus (beautiful name!!)… I was actually wondering whether Stage 3 might be more satiating than stage 4… which would mean that baby would be less likely to opt for solids and be full on formula! But I guess from your response I understand that the higher the stage the more satiating it should be 🙂
Actually, Stage 4 is not necessarily more satiating as it is slightly lower in calories. Another difference is that it is a tiny bit higher in starch and sugars. Basically, Stage 4 is considered a toddler milk and not in the formula category.
I don’t think Stage 4 is necessary (for most kids) because by the time your baby would use Stage 4, they should have a diverse diet and be able to consume cow’s milk, nut milk, etc. as a supplement.
Thanks so much Lotus… loving your blog. I live in Toronto so luckily for me many things EE similar across NA.
Thanks again for your blog. Our baby is now 14 months and on solids and Holle 2. I will be introducing regular milk soon. However I was wondering why we would switch to milk at all if Holle is so great? I’m also tempted to try stage 3 or 4 because she gets a midnight feeding and stage 2 does not seem to keep her as satiated anymore until morning. (I resorted to feeding her solids a few times but that’s not going to work at midnight for any of us. Haha.) What are your thoughts? Thank you so much.
I love this question. Why WOULD we switch to cow’s milk? Couldn’t we just taper off Holle eventually? Mine is now 12 months and been on stage 3 for the last month as I wean slowly off breastfeeding. I don’t ever really want to do straight cows milk. Holle seems superior!
Hi ML and Amy, the main reason why I wouldn’t continue Holle indefinitely is because it is higher in calories than whole milk, or any other milk, for that matter.
Once your baby is eating well and on a healthy and balanced diet, you might not want to add those extra (and possibly unnecessary) calories to his/her diet.
With that being said, I’m not a dietician or pediatrician. This is just my opinion and, if you are concerned, you should definitely ask someone with expertise in this matter!
My pediatrician is concerned that Hipp Stage 1 has too little iron and vitamin D. My 2mo old seems to be doing great. I feel like he is pressuring us to change back to Enfamil. Does anyone know about vitamin etc content of Hipp vs american formulas and if this really is of enough concern to change? Please help. Thanks!
Hi Kimberly, I am not a medical professional so I do NOT want to override your pediatrician. I also do not know if your pediatrician has other considerations. I can only tell you the facts as I know it for a full-term, healthy infant:
The Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) established an Adequate Intake (AI) for iron of 0.27mg which is equivalent to the mean intake of iron in healthy, breastfed infants (birth-6 months).
Full-term infants usually have sufficient iron stores and need little if any iron from external sources until they are 4 to 6 months old. However, full-term infants have a risk of becoming iron deficient at 6 to 9 months unless they obtain adequate amounts of solid foods that are rich in bioavailable iron or iron-fortified formula.
With that being said, HiPP Stage 1 has 0.5mg of iron per 100ml of formula. 100ml = 3.38oz. Assuming your infant drinks more than 3.38oz of formula, he would exceed the AI of 0.27mg/day. I hope that helps!
Thank you! It is helpful to have solid info and recs by govt to show pediatrician! Seriously…THANK YOU!!!
I’m happy I could help! 🙂
What about the iron levels for Holle and Lebenswert?
Further, I know you chose Holle for your children, not sue how long ago that was, but would you still choose Holle today (pre or stage 1)? I continue to read how great Lebenswert is.
Any great sites for shipping to Canada?
Hi Steph, the iron levels for Holle and Lebenswert Stage 1 are 0.6mg and 0.7mg, per 100ml of formula, respectively. That is even higher than HiPP.
I try to breastfeed as long as possible, but if I didn’t, PRE would be my first choice for 0-3 months. Keep in mind that every baby is different and what sounds good on paper doesn’t mean it’s what will work best for YOUR baby. Personally, I would stick with Holle because it’s what worked for both my kids. If they reacted poorly to it, Lebenswert would be my next choice. Between the two formulas, you’re really splitting hairs as to which one is the “best.”
Also, organicbabyfood24.com ships to Canada!
I have had my son on holle stage pre as a supplement to breast milk since birth. He is 8 months old. Do you think I need to switch to stage 1 or 2 if he is doing well on the stage pre? Are there nutrients he is missing out on? He is also eating small amounts of solids in addition to the breast milk and formula.
If he’s doing well on PRE and you are using it as supplement to BOTH solids and breastmilk, there might not be a reason to switch to stage 1/2. With that being said, stage PRE is typically intended for babies 0-3 months. If you are concerned, you should definitely speak to your pediatrician!
I’ve noticed that questions comparing Holle and Lebenswert come up often. Just to share – We decided to buy both to see if baby had a preference. Our baby definitely preferred Holle 1. She drank Lebenswert more reluctantly and sometimes did not even finish the bottle.
I thought maybe the reason is use of maltodextrin. However, both my husband and I drank both formulas ourselves and surprisingly at least to us, Lebenswert tasted sweeter.
But note that the taste difference isn’t great either. As Lotus mentioned, every baby is different. For us, I just wanted baby to eat as much as possible, of something good, because she continues to be a picky eater. So we stuck with Holle. (By the way, we also tried Hipp and I think baby liked that the least.).
Hi ML, I really appreciate your input! It’s great to hear from someone whose baby has tried both.
You brought up a great point about the formula being sweeter and your tastebuds are correct! Lebenswert has 7.9g of sugar/100ml of formula vs Holle’s 5.8g of sugar/100ml of formula.
I looked into it and the relative sweetness factor for lactose is 16 (of 100%) while the relative sweetness of maltodextrin can range from 6-21 based on the DE (dextrose equivalent) maltodextrin used. Holle probably uses maltodextrin that is on the lower end of relative sweetness.
Definitely worth considering when deciding between the two formula brands.
(And I’m sorry your comment didn’t go live earlier. For some reason, it was marked as spam.)
Thanks for the post and for tending to all of the comments! I love the idea of a more pure formula from Europe, and had invested in a lot of boxes of Lebenswert direct from DE. Our rock star adopted preemie who is now 12 lbs at 3 mos old (born at 3lbs) does really well on it since we switched him from Enfacare and has much less acid reflux and gas. But our pediatrician is pushing back on basically all of these formulas because it contains skimmed milk and they said whole fat milk is better for brain/spinal cord development. They said it would not be a big deal if he were eating solids and could supplement with healthy fats like avocado but while he still on only formula she’s concerned. Did you do any research on the fat content?
I just started using Lebenswert 1 for my 2 week old. A friend of mine gave me the formula to try and so far we love it. Before I purchase additional formula I have a couple questions if you don’t mind.
1. My son will be going to daycare and I will have to send pre-made bottles for the entire day. Any thoughts as formula is not to be reheated and will have to be stored in the refrigerator until needed?
2. Do I need to add a probiotic with this formula? I just want to confirm it is not in this one already.
I love your site. Thank you so much.
Hi Lori, glad Lebenswert is working well for your baby! As for your questions:
1. I know many parents who make a batch and then keep it in the fridge to feed as needed for the rest of the day. As with any powdered formula, there’s usually no issues with preparing it that way. However, you should also ask your pediatrician his/her thoughts as recommendations may be different based on your circumstances.
2. There are no probiotics in Lebenswert. Whether you add it is entirely up to you!
Does Holle Pre have probiotics. My little one 6weeks old is currently on similac for supplementation and I noticed he’s always constipated. I’m looking to switch to more organic formula with probiotics.
Holle does not have probiotics. However, many parents have found that switching to Holle alone helped with constipation. If you still have concerns, you can always supplement separately.
Thank you for your response. I have since started my LO with Holle Pre. I couldnt be more happier. His constipation stopped and continues to poop twice daily now. I would like to know if its best to switch him to Holle Stage 1 or keep him on the Pre till he is 6 months to switch to the Holle Stage 2.
Pre is meant for newborns and designed to be most like breastmilk. If you find that your baby is not getting satiated from Pre, that will be a signal to move to the next stage. If your baby is 6 months at the time, you can switch to Stage 2.
Hello! Brilliant information–thank you so much! So, if my baby has been breastfed for 6 months and I’d like to begin supplementing, which formula would you recommend? Just a little confused since she will be older when getting started.
I would try one of the stage 2 formulas. I have no issues recommending any of the formulas listed in this guide. However, they are all a little different so you have to weigh the factors and choose the one that makes the most sense for your family! (Also, if you must know, I am partial to Holle but solely because it’s the only formula I’ve ever tried and it worked amazingly well for my kids so I never bothered with anything else.)
Hi! Thank you so much for your detailed review! It’s been incredibly helpful. I found Holle PRE through your website and ordered it for my 10 month old son. I needed a formula to top him off with since I’m coming up short on breastmilk. Well he got horribly sick (bloody mucus stool and projectile vomiting) and the doctor thinks he has a milk protein allergy, so he gave us Nutramigen to try. I read about the horrible ingredients in it via Clean Label Project and am now desperately trying to find a milk protein free substitute that doesn’t have all of the carcinogenic ingredients. I ordered HiPP Hypoallergenic PRE, and after 2 feedings am starting to see red spots on his face. Would the HOLLE Goat milk be a good option? Are there any organic European formulas that are safe for babies with milk protein allergies? I guess I could try Similac Alimentum Hypoallergenic, but really wanted to avoid US formulas due to their questionable ingredients. This new Mom would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks in advance!!!
I am so sorry to hear that you are having these issues. Keep in mind that I am NOT a doctor so my advice would only be what you have found out as well – I would have suggested trying HiPP HA and/or Holle goat’s milk. Another suggestion, and this is in no meant to place blame or guilt you to breastfeed, but have you tried meeting with a certified lactation consultant? IF breastfeeding is the route that you want most and supply is an issue, there’s a good chance it will get even worse once you supplement with formula. A lactation consultant would be able to advise you on how to increase supply, evaluate your son’s latch, see if there’s a tongue tie, and weigh your son after a feed, among many other things. I’m sorry I couldn’t be more help but I never evaluated European formulas for babies with milk protein allergies!
Sorry, I meant 10 week*** old son, not 10 month old. Very sleep deprived!
Hello there, thank you so much for writing this post. I have a 3 month old girl, and have been exclusively breastfeeding and plan on doing it until around 6 months if possible. I would really like to find a formula with no palm oil, but so far I’ve only found a Swiss brand (Bimbosan) but I couldn’t find the rest of the ingredient list. Do you know anything about it? Is there any other you recommend? I live in the United States, so also something that can be shipped here. No known allergies, in case that matters. Thank you so much in advance.
Do you think Baby’s Only Whey is comparable to the European brands?
Hi Lotus! My little one has been diagnosed with acid reflux and possibly has a protein sensitivity. Looking for a formula that tastes most like breastmilk as he had rejected many other formulas (e.g. Neocate). We are desperate to find a formula he will take in case my milk dries up.
I’m really sorry to hear about your baby’s issues. Acid reflux and protein sensitivity is outside the scope of my expertise! As far as formulas go, I believe that Holle Pre is very similar to breastmilk for newborns. However, I don’t know what affect that will have on a protein sensitive baby. Please speak with your pediatrician as well!
I am so grateful I found your blog, Lotus! Baby boy was full term at 7 lbs 10 oz, but lost 10 oz quickly and was in the 13% percentile. We had breastfeeding trouble (tongue tie, inverted nipples, difficulty with nipple shields) and I felt lost. I read your guide and purchased Holle Pre at 2 1/2 months to supplement, with weaning about a month later. He loved it! At his 4 month check up he was in the 88% percentile. He has beautiful skin, has never had diaper rash or any skin problems, has a full head of hair, his poops stayed the same as with breastmilk, is super happy and his pediatrician is so thrilled with his growth. She was amazed at his progress and was interested in the formula (and impressed!). He is now almost 7 months and continues to thrive on Holle Pre and some solid foods like bananas, avocados and sweet potatoes. Would you suggest we move to Holle Stage 2? He can get gassy and I wonder if reduced lactose would help (hence Stage 2, but I’m hesitant because he is doing so well on Pre, but is getting hungrier). Thank you again, you are a lifesaver!!
Hi Christy, that is truly an amazing story. It is so gratifying to know that my guide is able to help moms and babies like you and your family!! It sounds like you have a few signs pointing towards switching to Holle Stage 2. I know he’s doing well on Pre but if you find that there’s issue with Stage 2, you can always switch back! However, I do think that the starch will help fill his belly up more. Either way, keep up the great work!
Hi there. I am interested in using the holle for my 5 month old. Instead of mixing with water can I mix w breast milk? If so, at what temp do I need to warm breastmilk?
Hi Rupal, while you can mix formula and breastmilk together, I would never use breastmilk in lieu of water.
Hi! I was thinking about ordering some Holle Pre for my newborn, but came across Cow & Gate, and Aptamil, which have Ready to Feed Formulas. Do you have any experience or knowledge of those two brands?
Hi Emma, I haven’t analyzed Cow & Gate or Aptamil because they are not sourced from organic cow’s milk. At such an early age, I would really strive, as much as possible, to avoid non-organic food and milk products.
Hi! I have been exclusively breastfeeding so far and my daughter is 10 weeks now. She has been suffering from gas issues and I can’t figure out if it is something in my diet or what is causing it. If I want to try a formula and see if it helps her gassiness, which one would recommend starting to try first. Thank you!
Hi Mia, please speak with your doctor to see what the possible causes of your daughter’s gassiness might be. It would be a shame to not breastfeed, assuming all else is going well, because of gassiness. You’ve already made it 10 weeks so you are doing great! Also keep in mind that babies tend to get less gassy as their digestive system matures.
With that being said, I’m partial to Holle 1 or Lebenswert 1 if you still want to introduce formula to your daughter.
Yes I’m taking dairy out of my diet and continuing to pump so I can hopefully continue to breastfeed but for the time being I’m giving her some formula so she is more comfortable. I used the Lebenswert for my last baby when I switched to formula and was happy with that but was interested to see if you thought the Holle pre was a better option or if there was one in particular that is better for babies with digestive issues. Hoping this all subsided as she gets older. Thanks for all your help!
Hi there. I was doing some research and was getting excited about using Holle for my 3 month old. I have to supplement since I started back at work a couple of weeks ago. My daughter goes to a Montessori and I have to prepare the bottles ahead of time. The Holle package says to: “Prepare the food always freshly and do not use residual amounts again.” The daycare/preschool will not mix any formula. Just wanted to double check to make sure that Holle can’t be prepared ahead of time and warmed up later.
Hi Susan, despite what the instructions say, I have heard from many parents who prepare and refrigerate an entire batch that lasts the day. Of course it would be optimal if the formula is freshly prepared, but if you don’t have a choice in the matter, I do feel that it should be safe. I am not, however, a doctor and I am only telling you that based on my gut and experience!
Would you choose Holle pre or Lebensworth bio?
What’s the difference between Organicbabyfood24 and Maluma Green? According to the websites it’s the same team of people running both companies.
How I connect with your head office?
A nutritionally complete, whey based, gentle infant milk.HiPP supplies your baby with everything it needs to grow strong and healthy. This organic infant formula contains iron for cognitive development, Vitamin A, C and D for a healthy immune system and prebiotic dietary fibers (GOS) for a healthy intestinal flora.
If you use formula milk, it is very important that you use infant milk throughout the first year (or follow on milks can be used from 6 months). It is important that you follow all usage instructions very carefully. Failure to choose an appropriate feed or to use it incorrectly can be harmful to your baby’s health.
I am going to switch my 4 months old daughter to formula and figuring out which formula is the best is so tough! I mean do i feed her cow milk or goat milk and what’s the difference? And how much do i feed it to her per day? I have already ordered HIPP cow milk and after reading all the ingredients of different formulas you shared, I feel like i have made the right choice choosing HiPP. Thank you!
I am reading this blog oftenly and found very interesting topic discussed.
I would like to ask if anybody have some more info the benefits of special formula like Hipp Comfort or Hipp AR Antireflux. Appear is advice for babies with colic and digesting problems. Are this kind of formula really helping on this side ?
Is quite difficult to find these items it seems is out of stock almost in all websites, I saw here https://organicformula.net/product/hipp-comfort-baby-formula-for-gassy-babies/ appereantly they have it, somebody now the website ?
Are special formula better than others for colic babies ?