Baby's Only A2 Organic Infant Formula Review & Analysis
A gentle organic baby formula with A2 milk, great ingredients, and a surprisingly good price? Count us in!
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Baby's Only makes two infant formulas.
First is their Organic Complete Nutrition Infant Formula, which you can learn about in our Baby's Only Infant Formula Review. It gets high marks for quality, ingredients, nutrition, and price.
Second is their new gentle formulation, the A2 Organic Milk Infant Formula, which we review here.
On paper, Baby's Only A2 infant formula looks ideal in terms of its gentle ingredients, nutrition content, and certifications.
Let's see how it stacks up against the best organic baby formulas on the market!
Our Baby's Only A2 Milk Organic Infant Formula Review
To review the Baby's Only A2 milk infant formula, we put it through our full testing process:
- Scooping & handling.
- Preparation & mixing.
- Testing with infants.
- Consulting with a developmental nutritionist.
- Assessing nutrition relative to USDA & FDA guidelines.
The Baby's Only A2 milk infant formula is unique on the market for its relatively simple ingredient composition and excellent price while maintaining adequate nutritional value for most infants.
But it also faces stiff competition from competitors like HiPP Combiotic, Bobbie Gentle, and Earth's Best Gentle.
Is it worthy of a spot on our list of the best organic baby formulas? Let's find out!
Overall, we give the Baby's Only A2 milk organic infant formula a 4.3 out of 5, which puts it in direct competition with some of the most popular brands on the market.
Keep reading to see how we reached these conclusions!
Most people don't want to read this entire article to see what we found. So here is the summary of what we loved, and what we didn't.
✔️ Milk with A2 proteins.
✔️ USDA Certified organic.
✔️ Clean Label Project Purity award.
✔️ Nutrition at FDA standards.
✔️ Nutrition at USDA standards.
✔️ First ingredient is lactose.
✔️ Nothing artificial.
✔️ No maltodextrin or starch.
✔️ No corn syrup or sucrose.
✔️ No palm oil.
✔️ Omega-6 via Linoleic Acid.
✔️ Inositol, Choline & Biotin.
✔️ Amino Acids (in whey protein).
✔️ High infant acceptance.
✔️ Low gas, indigestion, constipation.
❌ No prebiotics or probiotics.
❌ No Omega-3 (DHA).
❌ Soybean oil & soy lecithin.
❌ Clumps after mixing.
Overall, the Baby's Only A2 Milk organic infant formula has a lot to love, especially for parents looking for a relatively simple gentle formula that they can trust, at a price that can't be beat.
Some thoughts on the minor drawbacks:
This formula does not contain added prebiotics or probiotics, unlike several formulas marketed as gentle. However, most infants do not need to supplement prebiotics or probiotics unless advised by their doctor; and, some ingredients such as lactose have a natural prebiotic effect in the gut.
This formula also does not contain added DHA (Omega-3). While we prefer DHA in baby formulas, it is not a required ingredient in the USA. More on that later.
The addition of soybean oil and soy lecithin is not particularly concerning. While some are wary of soy-based ingredients due to potential estrogenic effects, there is no strong scientific evidence that it presents any risk when included in a baby formula.
Regarding the clumping, this is relatively common for gentle baby formulas (see our review of Bobbie gentle here, where we find something similar), so we were not surprised. We suggest shaking the bottle for about 2 minutes to ensure the powder completely dissolves in water.
Founded in 1999, Baby's Only initially gained recognition for introducing the first organic toddler formula in the United States.
Over the years, the company expanded its offerings to recently include organic infant formula while maintaining its commitment to crafting small-batch recipes with authentic ingredients.
Nature's One LLC, the parent company of Baby's Only, is headquartered in Columbus, OH. Notably, Nature's One LLC was recently acquired by Bobbie, a startup specializing in baby formula.
Baby's Only infant formulas are manufactured in Heath, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus, utilizing milk products exclusively sourced from American farms.
Baby's Only has a few certifications worth considering.
USDA Organic: When a product is USDA Organic certified, it indicates that both the formula and its components adhere to the stringent standards of organic integrity. Baby's Only formulas receive certification from Quality Assurance International (QAI), an organization authorized by the USDA to validate organic operations and products. To obtain USDA organic certification in the United States, the formula must consist of 100% organic ingredients. This requirement differs from non-certified organic products, which necessitate a minimum of 95% organic content, with the remaining 5% approved for use in organic goods.
Clean Label Project Purity Award: The Clean Label Project Purity Award is a rigorous certification process designed to guarantee honesty and transparency in product labeling. To attain certification from the Clean Label Project, a product must successfully undergo a stringent battery of tests for heavy metals, pesticides, plasticizers, and other potentially harmful chemicals. Compliance with California's Environmental Health Hazard Assessment Office's Proposition 65 list is a prerequisite for Clean Label Project certification.
Non-GMO: It's not unexpected, as the use of genetic engineering or genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is prohibited in organic products. Being USDA-certified organic, this product naturally qualifies as non-GMO.
Nature's One conducts rigorous testing for potential contaminants in each batch of baby formula at their Ohio factory.
Baby's Only asserts that the dairy ingredients (lactose, nonfat milk, whey) in their formula originate solely from American dairy farms.
Using dairy sourced from American farms, USDA-certified organic ingredients, and Clean Label Project certification offers certain unseen advantages for the quality of Baby's Only infant formula.
Although these advantages may not be explicitly listed on the ingredients label, they typically indicate a reduced likelihood of the product containing undesirable substances such as pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, or heavy metals, even in trace amounts.
Here are the ingredients in the Baby's Only A2 milk gentle organic infant formula (as of an early 2024 manufacturing date):
Baby's Only Organic Infant Formula Ingredients: Organic Lactose, Organic Nonfat Milk (Source Of A2 Proteins), Organic High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Organic Soybean Oil, Organic Whey Protein Concentrate, Organic Coconut Oil, Less Than 2% Of: Organic Soy Lecithin, Calcium Carbonate, Calcium Phosphate, Sodium Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Potassium Citrate, Magnesium Phosphate, Choline Bitartrate, Calcium Ascorbate, Inositol, Ferrous Sulfate, D-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate, Zinc Sulfate, Niacinamide, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Vitamin A, Thiamin Hydrochloride, Copper Sulfate, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Sodium Selenate, Manganese Sulfate, Phylloquinone, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3, And Vitamin B12..
You know what we love? The primary carbohydrate is lactose, just like breast milk!
Here are some ingredients that we did not find in the Baby's Only formula: palm oil, starch, maltodextrin, food starch, artificial colors, artificial flavors, preservatives, sucrose, gluten, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), carrageenan, corn syrup, or high fructose corn syrup.
What Makes it Gentle?
A2 milk is believed to be more digestible in baby formula due to its specific protein composition. Unlike regular milk, which contains a mix of A1 and A2 beta-casein proteins, A2 milk primarily contains the A2 beta-casein protein.
Some studies suggest that the A1 beta-casein protein in regular milk may lead to digestive discomfort for some infants, such as bloating, gas, and discomfort. In contrast, the A2 protein is thought to be easier to digest and may be better tolerated by some infants.
However, it's essential to note that the evidence regarding the digestibility of A2 milk compared to regular milk is still emerging, and individual responses may vary. More research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits of A2 milk in baby formula.
Some ingredients worth discussing:
DHA Omega-3 is a crucial fatty acid found in breast milk and plays a vital role in brain and eye development. While most modern baby formulas include DHA, the Baby's Only formula does not contain this nutrient.
Although US-made infant formulas are not required to contain DHA, it is mandated in Europe as of early 2022. DHA can be sourced from various sources for baby formula, including fish oil and algae oil. We prefer formulas with algae oil over fish oil due to its relative lack of odor and taste (i.e., the "fishy" smell). Recent advancements have led to the extraction of algae oil using water rather than hexane, addressing previous controversies surrounding extraction methods.
Soybean Oil and Soy Lecithin are present in Baby's Only formula, raising concerns about potential phytoestrogens found in soy. While the safety of soy-based ingredients in infant development remains largely unstudied, scientific evidence supporting any negative effects is lacking.
Although many parents seek baby formulas with prebiotics and probiotics to alleviate gastrointestinal issues in infants, Baby's Only formula does not contain these additives. However, whey protein, present in the formula, may offer prebiotic-like benefits to the gut.
Overall, while Baby's Only formula lacks certain additives like DHA, prebiotics, and probiotics, there are no significant concerns regarding its ingredients, and it meets essential nutritional requirements as we'll learn in the next section.
To examine whether the Baby's Only A2 milk gentle organic infant formula comes close to the stringent nutritional recommendations put forth by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA, see references), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), we consulted with a dietician nutritionist with expertise in infant feeding (Mr. John Anderson).
Note that the FDA publishes guidance in 21 U.S. Code 350a regarding nutrient requirements in infant formula. This regulation includes minimum protein, fat (and fatty acid linoleate) content. It also includes ranges for 15 vitamins and 11 minerals.
Here are the FDA requirements per 100 kilocalories of formula (see references):
FDA Nutritional Requirements:
|0-6mo: 1.8g to 4.5g
|0-6mo: 3.3g to 6.0g (≥ 30% of calories)
|Essential Fatty Acid (LA Omega-6)
|0-6mo: ≥300mg (≥2.7% of calories)
|0-6mo: 250IU to 750IU (75-225μg if retinol)
|0-6mo: 40IU to 100IU
|0-6mo: ≥1.5μg (for non-milk-based formulas)
|0-6mo: ≥7mg (for non-milk-based formulas)
|0-6mo: ≥4mg (for non-milk-based formulas)
|0-6mo: 20mg to 60mg
|0-6mo: 80mg to 200mg
|0-6mo: 55mg to 150mg
In our review of the Baby's Only A2 milk infant formula, we found that it met all of the minimum FDA nutritional requirements (and did not exceed any of their maximums).
This isn't surprising because all Baby's Only infant formulas are FDA-regulated and cleared for distribution in the USA.
Here is a photo of the Baby's Only A2 milk gentle infant formula nutrition facts:
The USDA does not publish recommended daily allowances (RDAs) for infants between 0-6 months. Instead, they publish information about Adequate Intake (AI), which is used when there is not enough evidence to make a formal RDA. The AI is set at a level assumed to provide nutritional adequacy.
Here are the USDA's AIs (per day) for infants aged 0-6 months, and 6-12 months. Units are grams (g), milligrams (mg), micrograms (μg).
USDA Nutritional Recommendations:
The Baby's Only infant formula falls short of the USDA's recommended Omega-3 content.
This is expected because the formula lacks an Omega-3 source in its ingredients, as mentioned earlier.
However, it does fulfill the recommendation for Omega-6 content, as well as all other macro- and micro-nutrient requirements.
Testing in Infants
We were eager to conduct tests on the Baby's Only infant formula for several reasons.
Firstly, Baby's Only infant formulas maintain a 60:40 whey-to-casein ratio, closely resembling breast milk. Additionally, they utilize lactose as the primary carbohydrate, mirroring the composition of breast milk. As indicated on the label, this formula is touted as Baby's Only's closest approximation to breast milk.
Secondly, we were intrigued by this gentle formula's affordable price and straightforward ingredient profile. If infants indeed show high tolerance of this sensitive formula, it could present a compelling option for families with little ones who experience gastrointestinal upset when feeding with regular baby formula.
Lastly, we appreciate Baby's Only's philosophy and certifications, further motivating our interest in the product.
Mixing and Taste-Testing
To prepare the formula, we followed the instructions:
- Wash hands, bottle, and all accessories and surfaces.
- Add water to the clean bottle. There are no recommendations for water temperature, but we prefer about 100 degrees F (40 degrees C).
- Add powder to the bottle using the scoop in the can, 1 scoop for each 2 ounces of water.
- Cap the bottle and shake well. Discard unrefrigerated formula after 1 hour.
The powder appeared slightly off-white and had a fine, smooth texture, facilitating easy scooping.
Unlike what we usually experience, the scoop wasn't hidden deep in the formula powder - it was right on top, a pleasant surprise!
Here is what the formula and scoop (barely peeking out) looked like:
While seemingly minor, we would appreciate the addition of a ledge on the scoop to assist with leveling, as well as the attachment of the scoop to the lid to prevent it from getting buried in the powder.
The mixing didn't go as smoothly as we'd hoped. After shaking the powder into the water for a minute, there was a lot of undissolved formula in the bottle.
Here is a photo of the prepared formula, looking at the bottom of the bottle:
Along the top edge, you can notice how there was a lot of clumping, with yellowish chunks accumulating.
We tried mixing another bottle and this time we shook it for 2 minutes. That did the trick, with only a couple of small clumps on the bottom.
Pro-tip: Shake the bottle for about 2 minutes to ensure the powder completely dissolves in the water.
The bubbles and foam were minimal and settled very quickly.
Overall, once we realized that we needed to shake the bottle for quite a bit longer than usual, we were happy with the results.
Safety First: Never prepare powdered formula with anything but water. If you're interested in fortifying your breast milk with formula you must ask your doctor for guidance first, as this can be very dangerous for your baby.
Feeding with Baby's Only Formula
Note that the Baby's Only infant formula is intended for use from 0-12 months.
We sampled the formula ourselves and found it surprisingly tasty despite the absence of corn syrup or other sweeteners.
It had a delightful sweetness and creamy texture. Our two test babies readily accepted the bottle of Baby's Only infant formula and appeared to enjoy its taste.
Even better, both babies consumed their normal feeding amount, and neither of them showed any signs of gastrointestinal distress.
That's just about all we can ask for!
In conclusion, the Baby's Only A2 Milk organic infant formula presents a promising option for parents seeking a gentle and affordable formula for their babies.
With its A2 milk composition, organic ingredients, and absence of harmful additives, it aligns well with the preferences of many parents looking for simplicity and quality.
While it lacks certain nutrients like DHA and prebiotics, the formula meets essential FDA nutritional requirements and has demonstrated high acceptance among infants during testing.
Despite moderate issues with clumping during mixing, the formula's overall quality and performance make it a noteworthy contender in the market of gentle organic baby formulas.
Prices and Where to Buy
Coming in at about $1.25 per ounce of powdered formula, or about $0.20 per ounce of prepared formula (each container has 70 scoops, each scoop has 8.5 grams of formula, and the entire tin has 595 grams), the Baby's Only A2 milk gentle organic infant formula is a relatively inexpensive option for parents.
The Baby's Only gentle formula doesn't appear to be available yet via Amazon, so we suggest purchasing directly through Baby's Only. Click the image below to check the current price.
Disclaimer: To our knowledge, all ingredient and nutritional information contained in this article was accurate at the time of publication. We make no guarantees regarding the accuracy or timeliness of the information. Always read the packaging and instructions, and consult with your child's pediatrician before making nutritional and feeding decisions. Baby formulas manufactured and labeled for sale in Europe may or may not be approved for sale in the USA by the FDA or other regulatory bodies, so consumer discretion is advised.