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Feeding Your Baby

Best Gentle Baby Formulas of 2024

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Days are long, and nights are longer when your baby is experiencing tummy troubles. While your baby can be gassy or fussy for a variety of reasons, if you believe it’s due to digestion, one of the top ways to ease your baby’s belly is by switching to a gentle baby formula.

If you’ve adjusted your bottle feeding position, the nipple size, worked on belly massages, and all of the other tips and tricks to reduce gas, but nothing seems to help, changing formulas could be the next step. Switching from a routine formula to one designed to be gentle on your baby’s belly could help ease symptoms as your baby’s digestive system continues to grow and develop. 

We know that feeding your baby safe, quality, and nourishing formula is at the top of your mind, especially when your baby is a fussy feeder. To take a little load off your already full plate, we researched for you and compiled a list of the best gentle formula for your gassy baby!

Milk Drunk’s Top Picks for Best Gentle Formula 

What’s the Difference Between Regular Formula and Gentle Formula?

Routine, or standard, formulas are always the best option for your baby to start with! These are formulas with intact milk proteins, and the majority of infants have no problem digesting them. While all baby formula is safe and will meet the nutrition needs of your little one as long as it’s FDA-compliant (all formulas in this list are!), many include proteins that are tough for some little ones to digest. 

Gentle formulas are milk-based formulas made with cow’s milk protein that’s partially-hydrolyzed (broken down) so that your baby’s system doesn’t have to work so hard to digest and absorb the nutrients. These formulas are not recommended for babies with a cow’s milk protein allergy. If you suspect an allergy, talk to your pediatrician about another specialty type of formula. 

And remember– even if your baby needs a gentle formula in the early weeks, it’s always a good idea to retry a routine, intact protein formula once their digestive system has developed further, typically around 6 months!

When looking at the ingredient list on a can of gentle baby formula, here are some ingredients you may see:

Partially-hydrolyzed protein or protein hydrolysate: Protein that has been broken down into smaller pieces. 

Carbohydrates: Gentle formula can include carbohydrates from lactose, corn syrup, maltodextrin, sucrose or a combination of these ingredients. 

Prebiotics and probiotics: Not all gentle formulas include prebiotics or probiotics, but some may. Each probiotic strain or prebiotic type will be listed in the ingredients. 

Why is Gentle Formula Good for Gassy Babies?

The ingredients in gentle formula may make digestion easier for your baby, particularly if they are very young and having trouble digesting routine formulas. 

Partially-hydrolyzed protein means that the protein is already broken down (sometimes called “pre-digested”) into smaller peptides. Smaller peptides can be easier to digest for some infants who experience gas or fussiness with intact milk protein!

In addition to protein, all infant formulas need carbohydrates for energy. As lactose is the main sugar found naturally in breast milk, it’s the preferred source for formula as well! Corn syrup solids, maltodextrin, and sucrose (table sugar) are cheaper sources of carbohydrates that are often found in gentle formulas. While less preferred, these carbohydrates are safe and may be beneficial for infants who struggle to digest lactose (but please know– lactose intolerance in infants is incredibly rare)! 

Best Gentle Baby Formulas 

Bobbie Organic Gentle Infant Formula 

Shop Bobbie Organic Gentle Infant Formula

Bobbie Organic Gentle is the only baby formula in the U.S. market that offers 100% partially-hydrolyzed whey protein and 100% lactose as the carbohydrate source. Our gentle baby formula is easy on sensitive tummies to help alleviate fussiness and gas. Learn more about Bobbie Gentle.

Shop Bobbie

Pros: 

  • Only gentle, partially-hydrolyzed protein formula on the market to use exclusively lactose as the carbohydrate source
  • No corn syrup, maltodextrin, or sucrose
  • Partially-hydrolyzed whey protein
  • The only gentle formula in the U.S. with both USDA and EU Organic certification
  • Meets EU requirements for DHA and iron
  • Available via subscription
  • No palm oil or soy allergens

Cons:

  • No prebiotics or probiotics
  • Currently only available by subscription, and will not be available in retail stores until 2024

Baby’s Only A2 Organic Milk Infant Formula

Best organic gentle formula

Pros:

  • USDA Organic
  • 60% whey, 40% casein protein ratio like mature breastmilk
  • 100% lactose for carbohydrate source, no corn syrup or maltodextrin
  • Contains exclusively easy-to-digest A2 proteins, the same type of beta-casein protein found in breastmilk
  • No palm oil
  • Availability in store (Target, Walmart) and online
  • Budget-friendly

Cons:

  • Does not contain DHA or ARA
  • No prebiotics or probiotics
  • Contains intact milk proteins, making it dissimilar from other Gentle formulas on this list

Earth’s Best Gentle Baby Formula

Best Gentle Formula

Pros:

  • Partially-hydrolyzed whey 
  • Majority of carbohydrates are from lactose
  • USDA certified organic
  • Includes prebiotics for immunity
  • Available at many local retailers

Cons:

  • Includes palm oil
  • Includes maltodextrin as an added carbohydrate source
  • Contains intact proteins from non-fat milk which makes this formula dissimilar from other products on the list that use exclusively broken-down, easier-to-digest milk proteins.

Enfamil Gentlease Baby Formula

Best Gentle Formula

Pros:

  • Partially-hydrolyzed protein
  • Includes some lactose carbohydrates
  • Budget-friendly
  • Available as powder and ready-to-feed
  • Available at many local retailers

Cons:

  • Not organic
  • Includes palm oil
  • Majority of carbohydrates come from corn syrup solids

Enfamil Reguline Baby Formula

Best Gentle Formula

Pros:

  • Partially-hydrolyzed protein
  • Contains lactose as a carbohydrate source
  • Includes prebiotics and probiotics to support digestive health and soft stools
  • Available at many local retailers

Cons:

  • Not organic
  • Includes palm oil
  • Contains corn syrup solids for additional carbohydrates

Gerber GoodStart GentlePro Baby Formula

Best Gentle Formula

Pros:

  • 100% whey protein, partially-hydrolyzed for easy digestion 
  • Majority of carbohydrates are from lactose
  • Includes prebiotics and probiotics to support digestive health and the immune system
  • Available to purchase as a powder and ready-to-feed formula
  • Available at many local retailers

Cons:

  • Not organic
  • Includes palm oil
  • Contains maltodextrin for additional carbohydrates

Gerber GoodStart SoothePro Baby Formula

Best Gentle Formula

Pros:

  • 100% whey protein, partially-hydrolyzed for easy digestion 
  • Includes prebiotics and probiotics to support digestive health and the immune system
  • Contains some lactose carbohydrates
  • Available to purchase as a powder and ready-to-feed formula
  • Available at many local retailers

Cons:

  • Not organic
  • Includes palm oil
  • Majority of carbohydrates come from maltodextrin

Store-Brand Complete Comfort Premium Baby Formula

Best Gentle Formula

Pros:

  • Partially-hydrolyzed whey
  • Formulated without lactose for infants who have trouble digesting lactose
  • Includes prebiotics for immune system support and digestive health
  • No palm oil
  • Budget-friendly
  • Available at many local retailers under different brand names*

Cons:

  • Not organic
  • Corn syrup solids for the carb source
  • While widely available, recent stock has not been reliable

Examples include Target Up&Up brand, Walmart Parents’ Choice brand, Kroger Comforts brand and Amazon Mama Bear brand, among others not included in this list.

Store-Brand Gentle Baby Formula

Best Gentle Formula

Pros:

  • Partially-hydrolyzed whey for easier digestion
  • Some carbohydrates from lactose
  • Budget-friendly
  • Available at many local retailers under different brand names*

Cons:

  • Not organic
  • Includes palm oil
  • Added carbohydrates from corn syrup solids
  • Contains intact proteins from non-fat milk which make it dissimilar from other products on the list that use exclusively broken-down, easier-to-digest milk proteins

Examples include Target Up&Up brand, WalMart Parents’ Choice brand, Kroger Comfort brand and Amazon Mama Bear brand, among others not included in this list.

Choosing the Best Gentle Baby Formula 

Gassy babies are fussy babies, and gentle baby formula could help with gas from digestion, bringing ease and joy back into your days. When choosing a formula, consider whether or not it’s organic (if that’s an important quality to you and your family), the carbohydrate source, and any extra desired or unwanted ingredients. Before switching formulas, talk to your pediatrician about any questions or concerns you may have about your baby’s symptoms.

If you do not need gentle formula, here are our recs for the Best Baby Formula and the Best Organic Baby Formula

The content on this site is for informational purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Discuss any health or feeding concerns with your infant's pediatrician. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay it based on the content on this page.
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The content on this site is for informational purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Discuss any health or feeding concerns with your infant’s pediatrician. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay it based on the content on this page.

Producer Jenny Altman

Jenny is the head of content at Milk Drunk and a writer for all of her favorite wellness and mom sites including Well+Good, Peanut, Motherly and Scary Mommy. Mom to Luisa, she can be found talking bras and beauty with the moms at school and on instagram.