The 7 Best Baby Formulas of 2022

Editor's picks

When you’re a new parent, choosing a baby formula can feel overwhelming—and not just because you’re sleep-deprivedThere are so many options that it’s hard to know which product is best for your little one.

Well, there’s good news and even better news: First, baby formula is highly regulated, so it’s hard to make a bad decision. Second, the wide range of available choices means there’s a formula for every family. Truly, the best baby formula Canada has on the market is the one that works for your family. Read on for seven great options, including the draw and downside of each product, and details on why it might be right for you and your kiddo.

Our editor’s picks

Type: Powder

Age group: Infant, newborn

Omega-3: Yes

Organic: No

  • Contains dietary fibres polydextrose and GOS for softer stools.

  • Some parents have reported that white particles float in the formula.

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Type: Powder

Age group: Infant, toddler

Omega-3: Yes

Organic: No

  • Some parents report that the ingredient list stacks up well against pricier brands.

  • Some parents find it can get foamy after a few shakes.

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Type: Ready to feed

Age group: Infant, newborn

Omega-3: Yes

Organic: No

Stage: One

  • It is completely sterile and ready to use at all times.

  • The bottle is not see-through; some parents say it’s difficult to tell how much formula has been consumed.

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Type: Powder

Age group: Toddler

Omega-3: Yes

Organic: No

  • Non-GMO and made with milk from cows not treated with artificial growth hormones.

  • Some parents report it’s not super convenient for travel, given the mess the powder may make.

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Type: Concentrated

Age group: Infant, newborn

Omega-3: Yes

Organic: No

  • Lasts for up to 24 hours in the fridge once mixed.

  • Some parents report it may make some babies gassy.

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Type: Liquid concentrate

Age group: Infant, newborn

Omega-3: Yes

Organic: No

  • Contains DHA and AHA, essential for a baby’s brain development.

  • Not recommended for babies with galactosemia.

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Type: Powder

Age group: Infant, newborn

Omega-3: No

Organic: No

  • This easy-to-scoop formula is a no-fuss classic.

  • It is not organic, nor does it contain omega-3 or DHA.

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In this guide
Types of baby formulas
Liquid concentrate baby formula - Enfamil Liquid concentrate

This option is mixed with water at a one-to-one ratio.

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Ready to feed baby formula - go & grow by Similac Ready to feed

This sterile formula is grab-and-go and does not require any preparation.

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Powdered baby formula - Similac Powdered formula

This product is sold with a scoop measure and mixed with water.

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Questions to consider

Is formula safe?

“Health Canada recommends exclusively breastfeeding for at least the first six months,”[1] says Adrianna Smallwood, a clinical dietitian at Newfound Balance, in St. John’s, N.L. “But there are instances where it’s not possible or a mom chooses to go another route.” When breastfeeding isn’t possible, formula is the required food source for babies, as formulas are specially formulated to meet baby’s complete nutritional needs. Formula can be offered as a supplement to breastmilk or a complete replacement for it.

All commercial formula products sold in Canada must meet the strict requirements laid out by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. This means they can only include approved ingredients, and must be labelled with an expiry date, instructions for use, nutritional information and more.[2]

How do you choose the best baby formula?

“The formulas you find in a traditional retail store will meet the Health Canada requirements, so you can’t really make a mistake,” says Smallwood, but there are some considerations:

  • Cow’s milk–based formulas are recommended for most babies, but there are exceptions. “If there are known issues with cow’s milk protein, or there are religious or belief-system reasons that require a different formula, consult your doctor before selecting a product,” says Smallwood.
  • Homemade formulas are not regulated and may cause harm. Health Canada, the Canadian Pediatric Society and the Dietitians of Canada do not endorse homemade formulas.[3]
  • Regular milk (of any kind) is not recommended for the first year of a baby’s life.

What forms of baby formula are available?

The majority of formulas are cow’s milk-based, but there are variations. For example, some cow’s milk formulas have added nutrients, like DHA and ARA, lutein, calcium, iron, pre- and probiotics and more. Alternatives to cow’s milk formulas include soy-based products, as well as protein hydrosolate options (these are sometimes referred to as hypoallergenic). In the latter, the protein in the formula is either partially or fully broken down and may be recommended for babies with known allergies to cow’s milk and soy. If you suspect your child may be reacting to your formula of choice, speak to your doctor before making the switch to a hypoallergenic option.

Can you switch formula brands?

It’s better if you don’t. You should stick to one brand so your baby’s system gets used to that product, says Smallwood. If you suspect your baby is having an adverse reaction, she recommends you consult your child’s doctor before switching.

How much does formula cost?

The cost of formula ranges anywhere from $8 for a ready-to-serve four-pack to $70 and more for a case of formula. Looking to save? Watch for sales, buy in bulk (just keep an eye on expiry dates, though!) or consider a subscription service such as Walmart’s to get a slightly reduced price.

How do you prepare formulas safely?

“It is imperative to follow the exact mixing instructions on the package,” says Smallwood. Mixing with too much or too little water will mean a baby isn’t getting the nutrients in the way the product was designed. You run the risk of the baby either being malnourished and underweight or overfeeding your little one. “You should also always use the scoop provided with the product,” says Smallwood, “as it is the measure the product was tested with.”

When mixing bottles, use sterilized water, and always clean and sterilize all feeding equipment (including that formula scoop!). Smallwood also recommends that parents examine containers before using to ensure there aren’t any dents or bulges. “A bulge might mean there is bacteria in the package and there is air being processed in there,” she says. She also advises that parents don’t buy formula second-hand, even if it’s unopened, because you can’t be sure how the container was handled or stored.

Best Formula for Newborns
Enfamil A+ Baby Formula, Single Serve Powder, 16 x 17.6 g Enfamil A+ Baby Formula, Single Serve Powder, 16 x 17.6 g Enfamil A+ Baby Formula, Single Serve Powder, 16 x 17.6 g Enfamil A+ Baby Formula, Single Serve Powder, 16 x 17.6 g Enfamil A+ Baby Formula, Single Serve Powder, 16 x 17.6 g Enfamil A+ Baby Formula, Single Serve Powder, 16 x 17.6 g Enfamil A+ Baby Formula, Single Serve Powder, 16 x 17.6 g
  • Type: Powder

  • Age group: Infant, newborn

  • Omega-3: Yes

  • Organic: No

You can safely feed your newborn any formula designed for their age category (look for labels like “birth plus” or “zero months plus”), but we like this one because it makes all those late-night feeds just a little easier. No one wants to be messing around with scoops or measurements; the aim is to feed and settle your little one efficiently so everyone can catch some zzzs. Enter single-serving formula packets—open, empty into a 120 millilitre bottle of warm sterilized water and shake.

Pros
Cons
Pros
  • This product contains DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid that is essential to a baby’s brain development.[4]

  • Enfamil A+ is the closest formula to breastmilk within the Enfamil family of products.

  • It also contains dietary fibres polydextrose and GOS. One study found that babies fed GOS-supplemented formula pooped softer stools, similar to breastfed babies.[5]

Cons
  • Some parents have reported that white particles float in the formula.

The draw
The single pack format is awesome! It is great for on the go.
-laura.elizabeth.kind, originally posted on enfamil.ca
The downside
If any Enfamil gets on your baby’s clothing and you want any hope of saving it from stains, soak it right away!
-Mims Wilton, originally posted on enfamil.ca
Best Formula for Breastfed Babies
Parent's Choice Omega+ Infant Formula, 658 g Parent's Choice Omega+ Infant Formula, 658 g Parent's Choice Omega+ Infant Formula, 658 g Parent's Choice Omega+ Infant Formula, 658 g Parent's Choice Omega+ Infant Formula, 658 g Parent's Choice Omega+ Infant Formula, 658 g Parent's Choice Omega+ Infant Formula, 658 g Parent's Choice Omega+ Infant Formula, 658 g
  • Type: Powder

  • Age group: Infant, toddler

  • Omega-3: Yes

  • Organic: No

Any formula that’s meant to supplement solids or breast milk is going to be nutritionally complete. What we really mean when we say this is the best formula for breastfed babies, is that it’s arguably the tastiest, especially since breastfed kids may take more convincing to take a bottle than babies used to formula. Yes, you could debate this category for ages—in fact, the internet has. Many parents report that this product smells and tastes better than others. This product is the second stage of formula in this line and is meant for babies six to 18 months and beyond.

Pros
Cons
Pros
  • This product contains both omega-3 fatty acid DHA and omega-6 fatty acid ARA, meant to support brain development.[6] It’s also calcium-enriched.

  • Some parents report that, upon comparing ingredient lists, this option stacks up well against pricier brands.

Cons
  • Some parents find it can get foamy after a few shakes and may not dissolve in water as well as other formulas on the market.

The draw
I bought [this formula] for my daughters and I have not had any problems. It tastes good, and the price is good.
-Karin76, originally posted on Walmart.ca
The downside
I purchased this after using another brand for a couple of months. I instantly noticed that…it is really foamy after just a few shakes.
-hpjack, originally posted on Walmart.ca
Best Liquid Concentrate Baby Formula
Enfamil A+, Baby Formula with DHA, 6 x 237 mL Enfamil A+, Baby Formula with DHA, 6 x 237 mL Enfamil A+, Baby Formula with DHA, 6 x 237 mL Enfamil A+, Baby Formula with DHA, 6 x 237 mL Enfamil A+, Baby Formula with DHA, 6 x 237 mL Enfamil A+, Baby Formula with DHA, 6 x 237 mL Enfamil A+, Baby Formula with DHA, 6 x 237 mL
  • Type: Ready to feed

  • Age group: Infant, newborn

  • Omega-3: Yes

  • Organic: No

Ready-to-feed formulas have two major pros: There’s no mixing required, and the bottles are nipple-ready. You won’t need to find or carry a sterile water source to mix with powdered or concentrated formula. Just toss the sealed bottle in your bag along with a pre-sterilized nipple to pop on when your little one gets hungry. Like all regulated infant formulas, this one is nutritionally complete, so you can feel confident your baby is getting the nutrients they need.

Pros
Cons
Pros
  • This formula contains a partly hydrolyzed protein blend patterned after breastmilk—meaning the proteins have already been partially broken down. (This is meant to make it easier to digest, but in Canada, all formulas are regulated to be easily digested[7] and we can’t say that it’s easier to digest.[8])

  • All formulas in the Enfamil line have added DHA, a type of omega-3 fatty acid that aids in brain development.[9] This formula option is completely sterile and ready to use at all times.

  • Contains less lactose than other full-lactose, cow’s milk-based options.

Cons
  • Some parents say it can be difficult to tell how much formula has been consumed because the bottle is not see-through.

The draw
The formula is great and easy to digest for my baby.
-E.L., originally posted on Walmart.ca
The downside
I only wish the price of this is cheaper... gets super expensive once baby starts eating alot.
-J Kim, originally posted on Walmart.ca
Best Baby Formula for 12 Months and Up
Go & Grow by Similac Step 3 Toddler Nutritional Drink, 850 g Go & Grow by Similac Step 3 Toddler Nutritional Drink, 850 g Go & Grow by Similac Step 3 Toddler Nutritional Drink, 850 g Go & Grow by Similac Step 3 Toddler Nutritional Drink, 850 g Go & Grow by Similac Step 3 Toddler Nutritional Drink, 850 g Go & Grow by Similac Step 3 Toddler Nutritional Drink, 850 g Go & Grow by Similac Step 3 Toddler Nutritional Drink, 850 g Go & Grow by Similac Step 3 Toddler Nutritional Drink, 850 g

When babies transition to solid foods, they eventually drop breastfeeding sessions or bottles and parents may worry that their little ones aren’t getting all of the good stuff they need. A toddler nutritional drink isn’t necessary for kids with well-rounded diets, but it might alleviate concern about nutritional gaps. Look for any regulated formula that’s specifically labelled for your child’s age. We like this powder because it offers different flavours to help expand your little one’s developing palate.

Pros
Cons
Pros
  • Formulated for toddlers 12 to 36 months, this easy-to-mix drink is non-GMO and made with milk from cows not treated with artificial growth hormones.

  • This toddler drink is available in both powder and ready-to-serve formats.

  • It comes in two flavours: milk and vanilla.

Cons
  • Some parents report the powder formula is not super convenient for travel, given the mess it may make.

The draw
I am so glad I went with this for my toddler. She never liked other brands I have tried…but with this, she always cries for more!
-Tee18, originally posted on Walmart.ca
The downside
I know there are a lot of healthy vitamins in this product but the omega oils from the tuna fish are too overpowering.
-Skov17, originally posted on Walmart.ca
Best Value Baby Formula
Similac Advance Step 1 Concentrated Liquid Baby Formula, 12 x 385 mL Similac Advance Step 1 Concentrated Liquid Baby Formula, 12 x 385 mL Similac Advance Step 1 Concentrated Liquid Baby Formula, 12 x 385 mL Similac Advance Step 1 Concentrated Liquid Baby Formula, 12 x 385 mL Similac Advance Step 1 Concentrated Liquid Baby Formula, 12 x 385 mL Similac Advance Step 1 Concentrated Liquid Baby Formula, 12 x 385 mL Similac Advance Step 1 Concentrated Liquid Baby Formula, 12 x 385 mL Similac Advance Step 1 Concentrated Liquid Baby Formula, 12 x 385 mL Similac Advance Step 1 Concentrated Liquid Baby Formula, 12 x 385 mL
  • Type: Concentrated

  • Age group: Infant, newborn

  • Omega-3: Yes

  • Organic: No

Value is relative to so many things—the store, the brand, the type of formula. But the best way to determine bang for your buck is to break it down by the number of feedings per unit, or by the price per 100 millilitres (Walmart.ca does this for you—just look under the price of any formula before you add it to your cart). This liquid concentrate formula rings up at just .97 cents per 100 millilitres—when you consider that you’re mixing 1:1 formula and water, it’s easy to see how far it will stretch (at 120 millilitres per bottle, you’ll get close to 60!).

Pros
Cons
Pros
  • This formula comes in two stages (zero months and up and six to 24 months), in the same format. Both stages are enriched with DHA, meant to contribute to brain development[10] lutein for eye health[11] and antioxidant vitamin E.[12]

  • All Similac Advance products are non-GMO, and made with milk from cows that have not been treated with artificial growth hormones.

  • Liquid concentrate lasts for up to 24 hours in the fridge once mixed, so you can easily mix a day’s worth at a time.[13]

Cons
  • Some parents report that this concentrated formula may make some babies gassy.

The draw
Love this formula! It’s very convenient to mix.
-Kim705, originally posted on Walmart.ca
The downside
I find this cheaper than powder! It’s convenient at home, [though] not as convenient when you travel.
-National321, originally posted on Walmart.ca
Best Lactose Free Baby Formula
Enfamil A+ Lactose Free Baby Formula, 12 x 385 mL Enfamil A+ Lactose Free Baby Formula, 12 x 385 mL Enfamil A+ Lactose Free Baby Formula, 12 x 385 mL
  • Type: Liquid concentrate

  • Age group: Infant, newborn

  • Omega-3: Yes

  • Organic: No

Looking to provide your lactose-sensitive infant with all the nutrition of a milk-based formula? This lactose-free version is specifically designed with your baby in mind. Any other regulated lactose-free or specialized formula will meet the safety and nutrition standards babies need, but we like that this one also contains DHA.

Pros
Cons
Pros
  • This formula contains DHA and ARA, which are omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids essential for a baby’s brain development.

  • It is appropriate for babies zero to 12 months.

Cons
  • It is not recommended for babies with galactosemia, a rare condition diagnosed shortly after birth.

The draw
Only formula that our baby with a difficult stomach can handle! She loves it, and is always comfortable after eating. Worth every penny!
-Jb3131, Originally posted on Mead Johnson Nutrition (Canada) Co
The downside
Caused my son to spit up too much. A friend has been using the lactose-free version and also notes her 3-month son spits up a lot too. I wouldn't recommend this product unless your child is absolutely lactose intolerant and has no other choice
-Karen, Originally posted on Mead Johnson Nutrition (Canada) Co
Best Tried-and-Trusted Baby Formula
Similac Step 1 Non-GMO Powder Baby Formula, 850 g Similac Step 1 Non-GMO Powder Baby Formula, 850 g Similac Step 1 Non-GMO Powder Baby Formula, 850 g Similac Step 1 Non-GMO Powder Baby Formula, 850 g Similac Step 1 Non-GMO Powder Baby Formula, 850 g Similac Step 1 Non-GMO Powder Baby Formula, 850 g Similac Step 1 Non-GMO Powder Baby Formula, 850 g Similac Step 1 Non-GMO Powder Baby Formula, 850 g Similac Step 1 Non-GMO Powder Baby Formula, 850 g
  • Type: Powder

  • Age group: Infant, newborn

  • Omega-3: No

  • Organic: No

Similac has been feeding babies for close to 100 years! Since their first milk-based product, the formula has evolved and Similac now also offers hypoallergenic, soy, sensitive, non-GMO and organic baby formula selections, making it one of the best formulas for newborns. This cow’s milk-based, iron-fortified Similac formula is suitable for babies aged zero months and up.

Pros
Cons
Pros
  • This easy-to-scoop formula is a no-fuss classic.

  • It’s non-GMO, kosher, gluten-free and made with milk from cows not treated with artificial growth hormones.

Cons
  • There are no bells and whistles in this formula—it is not organic, nor does it contain omega-3 or DHA—but a basic product like this works well for most babies.

The draw
I’ve been buying [this] for ten months now. My daughter loves this product. She never vomits or spits up.
-antopics, originally posted on Walmart.ca
The downside
I bought this a month ago and the seal was broken.
-Liz81, originally posted on Walmart.ca
Shop all baby formulas at Walmart
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Article Sources
Katie Dupuis is an award-winning writer and editor in Toronto, and mom to two daughters (Sophie and Juliette). She is also the managing director of Chick & Owl Design Co. When she's not working, she's baking, reading or watching too much TV.
How we choose products

Simply put, we don’t recommend any products we wouldn’t buy ourselves. Our writers leverage a number of sources as a starting point, including reputable third-party reviews, Walmart.ca user reviews, and Walmart Canada’s category specialists. theHUB editorial staff has final say for all products included in this guide.

Any product claims noted are provided by the manufacturer, unless otherwise stated. Prices shown are subject to change. Please check Walmart.ca for the latest pricing. This article is intended as general information. To be sure a product is right for you, always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.

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This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.