“The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) finds that isolated soy protein-based formulas are a safe and nutritionally equivalent alternative to cow milk-based formula for term infants whose nutritional needs are not met from breast milk.”Source: Helthychildren.org
The soy-based formula takes about 25% of the US formula market. It offers the nutrients your baby needs for growth and brain development. For babies who are lactose intolerant, milk allergic, babies with Galactosemia or hereditary lactase deficiency (explained above), or vegetarian parents, soy formula is the best choice.
In this article, I will show you the cheapest and the best soy formula most babies love, the best organic one, the best soy formula for newborns, and the best one for constipation and poop problems. Stay with me!
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There are 5 best soy formulas for babies in 2022 you can choose from for your baby :
- Up & Up soy formula
- Similac Soy Isomil
- Enfamil Prosobee
- Earth’s Best Organic Soy Infant
- Gerber Good Start Gentle Soy
I have chosen those soy formulas because each one is suitable for a specific situation.
The Best Generic Soy Formula For Infants (The cheapest one):
1- Up & Up soy formula :
The best generic soy formula for babies is the Up & Up soy formula (Target brand). It is Lactose-free, with DHA, lutein, and Vitamin E for brain and eye development. Moreover, it contains prebiotics (food for probiotics) to help the baby digest food well. This is a generic brand of Similac Soy Isomil and Enfamil ProSobee.
The best part is that most parents are loving it since their babies like the taste and have no bad reaction to this Soy formula.
Moreover, it is way cheaper than other brands (0.6$/oz) and has the same nutrient value as Enfamil ProSobee and Similac Soy Isomil. Although Up&Up has raised the price by 5$, it deserves and is still cheaper than other brands.
If your budget is limited and try to save some money for massage or traveling, this is the best soy infant formula you can buy for your kiddo (After consulting your pediatrician, of course).
I wrote an article about 14 Easy Ways To Save Money On Baby Formula if you want to check.
Many parents have used the Soy-Based formula of Enfamil, Similac, and Gerber, as you may do. However, they found some problems (not all), then switched to Up & Up brands and are happy as you will see in the reviews.
You can buy this formula here at Target.com
|Cheap||Shaking a long time to dissolve the formula fully|
|Lactose-free||Contains Palm Oil|
|Useful for gas, eczema, and poop problems|
|Vitamin E, lutein and DHA|
|Good smells and taste|
Here are some parent’s reviews from Target.com of Up&Up soy formula:
However, babies aren’t all the same; your baby may not respond well to this formula or may have a bad reaction, that’s why I will show you the best soy formula for each condition.
The Best Soy Formula For Constipation:
2- Similac Soy Isomil:
The best soy formula for constipation is Similac Soy Isomil. Why? Similac is the only brand that doesn’t use palm oil in its formula. Palm oil can cause reduced calcium absorption and fat absorption (Generally formulas account for that), but it can cause the hardening of the poop, which is annoying to your little one.
I have written a full guide about soy formula poop, to know the significance of each baby’s poop color, consistency, and frequency; if you want to check.
Moreover, Similac Soy Isomil contains prebiotics (which is great). Prebiotics are foods for probiotics (good bacteria). A well-fed probiotic will be happy and help with an easy digest in your baby’s tummy.
If your baby experiences chronic constipation or poop frequency, Similac Soy Isomil will be the best choice to start with. Many parents find it the best solution for baby constipation.
Since all soy formulas in the united states are lactose-free, they must add a carbohydrate source. That’s why Similac Soy Isomil uses corn syrup solids (80%) and (20%) sucrose (table sugar) as a source of carbohydrates.
Sucrose is a molecule composed of fructose and glucose. 20% of sucrose is not suitable for a newborn. However, if your baby is taking Similac and thriving, just don’t care about this percentage.
You can buy the Similac soy Isomil formula here from Walmart.
The Best Sugar-free Soy Formula For babies:
3- Enfamil Prosobee:
The best sugar-free soy formula is Enfamil Prosobee, instead of using sugar among carbohydrate sources, it uses only corn syrup solids which makes it a sugar-free formula. Enfamil Prosobee has no artificial flavors, sweeteners, or colors. Thus, it’s better than Similac Soy Isomil. However, the Prosobee formula does use palm oil among fat sources, which, in some cases can lead to constipation.
Note: It’s not always the case, many babies drink formulas with palm oil and have no health issues.
All Formulas must have a protein source because it’s necessary for healthy growth. Whereas the majority of formulas use cow’s milk protein or goat milk protein, the protein source of Enfamil Prosobee is soy protein isolate which is a plant-sourced protein.
The price of Enfamil Prosobee is 18.98 $ for a 12.9 oz can (1.47 /oz), and 33.01 $ for a 20.9 oz can (1.58 /oz) the rating is 4.6 out of 5 (717 reviews). You can buy the 12.9oz and the 20.9oz can from Walmart.
The Best Organic Soy Formula For Babies:
4- Earth’s Best Organic Soy Infant:
If you consider an organic formula and have no financial problems, you are making the right decision.
The best organic soy formula to start with is Earth’s Best Organic Soy Infant because it has no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. Pesticides are substances used to kill insects in plants earth’s best uses organic soy plants with no chemical products.
Although it contains palm oil, Earth’s best organic soy formula uses 100% of organic corn syrup as a source of carbohydrates contrarily to other brands like Similac.
And of course, it’s non-GMO, which is perfect for parents who don’t support genetically modified formulas.
You can buy Earth’s best soy formula here from Walmart.
The Best Soy Formula For Sensitive Tummies:
5- Gerber Good Start Gentle Soy:
Generally, newborns have a sensitive tummy and might have digestive system issues. The partially hydrolyzed formula consists of breaking soy protein into large pieces so your kiddo can easily digest the soy protein.
The best soy formula for sensitive tummies is Gerber Good Start Soy. because the soy protein in this formula is enzymatically hydrolyzed (chopped a little bit in size to be similar to the protein size in breast milk to make it easy to digest by the baby). It’s the only one that has a hydrolyzed soy formula. Therefore, it’s the best choice for babies with sensitive tummies and digestion problems. Furthermore, it’s non-GMO; it has no genetically engineered ingredients, which is fantastic!!
Gerber Good Start uses Palm Oil and 20% sucrose as a source of carbohydrates, things I don’t like. However, as I said, if your baby is thriving, don’t care about this percentage.
You can buy Gerber Good Start here from Walmart.
if you are using the hypoallergenic formula you may want to see what does a hypoallergenic formula poop looks like?
How To Choose The Best Soy Formula For Your Baby?
Keep in mind that when coming to choosing the best formula, your kiddo is the only judge.
Some babies might be happy with any soy formula, whereas others show bad reactions to some formulas, then you will try and try until finding the one he loves.
I’m here to help you choose the best one in a short time. I’ve done a lot of research and found this:
- If your baby has no health condition then choose the cheap and the available one in stores (the example of up & up);
- In case of constipation or poop problems, choose the one who has prebiotics (the magic solution for digestive system issues). It doesn’t contain palm oil because it’s the main cause of constipation (the example of Similac soy Isomil);
- If you don’t support genetically modified formulas, choose an organic formula that is certified by USDA (Earth’s best organic soy);
- For a newborn (0 – 2 months) feed him hydrolyzed formula in which the soy protein is broken into large pieces for easy digestion (Gerber Good Start)
- In the case of Galactosemia, consult your pediatrician before choosing the best one for him.
When Should I Give My Baby Soy Formula?
Soy-based formulas are generally more expensive than cow’s milk formulas, that’s why feeding your baby milk-based formula is the right choice except in these cases:
- Galactosemia or hereditary lactase deficiency (rare): the baby hasn’t the lactase enzyme to digest sugar (galactose) found in dairy products and breast milk. A test is done on your baby in the hospital to diagnose this condition.
- Lactose intolerance: all soy formulas are lactose-free.
- Cow’s milk allergy: in case of not having a soy protein allergy;
- Vegetarian family: if you want your little one to grow vegan.
For vegan parents, organic soy formula will be the best choice since there is no 100% vegan soy formula. I will talk above about the best organic soy formula for your infant.
When To Avoid Feeding Soy Formula?
Soy formula is not recommended for babies in these cases:
- Preterm Babies: because of the high level of aluminum in soy formula, premature babies could have reduced bone mineralization.
- Babies with birth weights below 4 pounds: they can have the same problem.
- To prevent colic: Some parents think that soy formula can help with colic. However, there is no evidence of that. Generally, colic is caused by digestive system problems. Therefore, the hypoallergenic or the extensively-hydrolyzed formula may be the right choice. You might want to see the best formula for babies with colic.
- Cow’s milk and soy protein allergy: 10% to 14% of babies who have dairy products allergy are allergic to soy protein.
- Inflammation of the small intestine and the colon: babies with enterocolitis induced by cow’s milk formula should drink hydrolyzed or amino acids formula;
- Food Allergies: For babies who have food allergies, Nutramigen, Alimentum, or Gerber Extensive HA will be the right choice.
The Best Alternative To Soy formula in These Cases?
According to AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics), the best alternative to soy formula is amino acid-based formula (elemental formula) in case your baby cannot tolerate animal milk.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein.
The immune system that reacts against protein won’t detect these building blocks. Also, the digestive system will easily digest them because they are small.
The best amino acid formulas are Elecare and Neocate. But, The cheapest one is Elecare.
You can buy Elecare here from Amazon.
You should consult your pediatrician before buying an amino acid-based formula, and see your insurance to know the available coverage for this to help you save some money.
Every baby is unique. There is no such magic formula that works for everyone. In this article, I talked about the best soy formula for each condition. Instead of searching in forums and asking moms, I have done this for you to save you money and time.
So, if you find this article helpful, feel free to share it with other new parents who are struggling to pick the best one. And feel free to ask me anything.