Baby's Only Infant Formula Review & Analysis

An organic baby formula with all the right stuff at a surprisingly good price. Too good to be true?


tali ditye author mommyhood101  By: Tali Ditye, Ph.D., Co-founder
  Updated: February 9, 2024

Mommyhood101 independently tests and curates baby gear to help you make informed decisions. If you buy products through links on our site, we may earn a commission.

Baby's Only has been making formula for over 20 years and has maintained a strong reputation for quality organic products at reasonable prices.

With an impressive number of certifications, Baby's Only formulas are catching the attention of even the most discerning parents. 

We tested and reviewed the Baby's Only organic infant formula to see how it stacks up against the best organic baby formulas on the market.

Our Baby's Only Organic Infant Formula Review

On paper, Baby's Only infant formula looks great in terms of ingredients, nutrition, and certifications. Naturally, we needed to put it to the test!

To review the Baby's Only infant formula, we scooped it, mixed it, and tested it with two infants (3 months and 9 months). We also consulted with a developmental nutritionist to assess ingredients and nutritional contents relative to USDA and FDA guidelines.

The US market, in part due to Operational Fly Formula, is becoming saturated with European and Australian baby formula options.

These include options such as HiPP, Holle, Kendamil, Aussie Bubs, and Lebenswert, giving Baby's Only some fierce competition. There are also relative newcomers such as Bobbie and ByHeart which are both great options.

Is it worthy of a spot on our list of the best organic baby formulas? Let's find out!

Overall Rating

Overall, we give the Baby's Only organic infant formula a 4.6 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!

Take-home Message

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.

✔️  USDA Certified organic.
✔️  Non-GMO.
✔️  Clean Label Project Purity award.
✔️  Nutrition at FDA standards.
✔️  Nutrition near USDA recommendations.
✔️  First ingredient is lactose.
✔️  Nothing artificial.
✔️  No maltodextrin or starch.
✔️  No corn syrup or sucrose.
✔️  No palm oil.
✔️  Gluten-free.
✔️  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.

Overall, we think there is a lot to love about the Baby's Only infant formula, especially for parents looking for a refreshingly simple ingredients list, stringent certifications, and an unbeatable (literally) price.

While this formula does not include prebiotics or probiotics, most infants will not need supplemental prebiotics or probiotics in their formula, and some of the ingredients (such as lactose) have a natural prebiotic effect in the gut.

DHA (Omega-3) is not a required ingredient for US formulas, but we have come to expect it to be present in formulas due to its documented positive effects on development. DHA is typically included in the form of fish oil or Schizochytrium Sp. oil. While we used to prefer fish oil or other sources for DHA and ARA, the latter DHA source is an excellent alternative when extracted with water (not hexane).

Manufacturing Practices

Baby's Only was founded in 1999 and got their start by making the first organic toddler formula in the United States.

Fast forward a few decades and Baby's Only began also making organic infant formula, sticking with their philosophy of small-batch recipes using real ingredients and not cutting corners. As of 2024, Baby's Only makes two infant formulas: this one, and their gentle version which you can read about in our Baby's Only A2 Milk Gentle Infant Formula Review.

The Baby's Only brand is owned by Nature's One LLC, based in Columbus, OH, which was recently purchased by Bobbie (the baby formula start-up). Baby's Only infant formulas are produced in a suburb of Columbus called Heath, Ohio, using only milk products sourced from American farms.

Baby's Only has a few certifications worth considering.

USDA Organic: This means that the formula and its ingredients meet the standards for organic integrity. Baby's Only formulas are certified by Quality Assurance International (QAI), which is authorized by the USDA to certify organic operations and products. To be certified USDA organic in the US, the formula must be 100% organic. This is unlike non-certified organic, which must contain at least 95% organic content (and the other 5% of ingredients must be approved for use in organic products).

Clean Label Project Purity Award: This is one of the more stringent certification processes that ensures truth and transparency in product labeling. To be certified by the Clean Label Project, the product must pass a stringent series of purity tests for heavy metals, pesticides, plasticizers, and other chemicals of concern. If the test results comply with California's Environmental Health Hazard Assessment Office's Proposition 65 list, they can qualify for Clean Label project certification. 

Non-GMO: This isn't particularly surprising, because the use of genetic engineering or genetically modified organisms (GMO) is banned in organic products. Since this product is USDA-certified organic, it is also non-GMO. 

At their factory in Ohio, Nature's One tests each batch of baby formula for a series of potential contaminants.  

According to Baby's Only, the dairy (lactose, nonfat milk, whey) in their formula is sourced exclusively from American dairy farms. 

Formula Ingredients

The use of American-sourced dairy, USDA-certified organic ingredients, and Clean Label Project certification provide some intangible benefits for the quality of the Baby's Only infant formula.

While these benefits may not appear on an ingredients label, this usually means that there is a lower risk of the products containing all the nasty stuff you don't want to occur (even in trace amounts), like pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, or heavy metals.

Here are the ingredients in the Baby's Only organic infant formula (as of an early 2024 manufacturing date):

ingredients list for the babys only infant formula

Baby's Only Organic Infant Formula Ingredients: Organic Lactose, Organic Nonfat Milk, 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. Contains Milk and Soy.

We love that 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.

Some ingredients worth discussing: 

DHA Omega-3. Most modern baby formulas contain DHA, an important Omega-3 fatty acid found in breast milk and a fundamental building block for the brain and eyes. The Baby's Only formula does not.

While DHA is not required for US-made infant formulas to contain DHA, it is required in Europe as of early 2022. There are several possible sources of DHA for use in baby formula, including fish oil and schizochytrium ap. oil (algae oil).

We prefer baby formulas containing DHA. Because fish oil can add an odor and taste to a formula, we prefer algae oil. While there has been some controversy over methods to extract oils from algae, manufacturers have recently been using algae oil extracted with water rather than hexane.

Soybean Oil and Soy Lecithin. Many modern baby formulas exclude soy-based ingredients due to concerns over phytoestrogens (plant-derived substances with estrogenic activity) present in soy. Baby's Only contains both soybean oil and soy lecithin. Is it safe? Probably. The scientific evidence that this negatively influences infant development is severely lacking.

Prebiotics and Probiotics. Many parents seek baby formulas containing prebiotics and/or probiotics (such as the HiPP Combiotic formulas) to help soothe gastrointestinal distress in their little ones. While Baby's Only does not include prebiotics or probiotics in its ingredients list, whey protein is known to have a prebiotic-like effect on the gut.

Overall, no ingredients of huge concern, and nothing majorly lacking.

Nutritional Analysis

To examine whether the Baby's Only 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:

Protein 0-6mo: 1.8g to 4.5g
Fat 0-6mo: 3.3g to 6.0g (≥ 30% of calories)
Essential Fatty Acid (LA Omega-6) 0-6mo: ≥300mg (≥2.7% of calories)
Vitamin A 0-6mo: 250IU to 750IU (75-225μg if retinol)
Vitamin D 0-6mo: 40IU to 100IU
Vitamin K 0-6mo: ≥4μg
Vitamin E 0-6mo: 0.7IU
Vitamin C 0-6mo: ≥8mg
Vitamin B1 0-6mo: ≥40μg
Vitamin B2 0-6mo: ≥60μg
Vitamin B6 0-6mo: ≥35μg
Vitamin B12 0-6mo: ≥0.15μg
Niacin 0-6mo: ≥250μg
Folic Acid 0-6mo: ≥4μg
Pantothenic Acid 0-6mo: ≥300μg
Biotin 0-6mo: ≥1.5μg (for non-milk-based formulas)
Choline 0-6mo: ≥7mg (for non-milk-based formulas)
Inositol 0-6mo: ≥4mg (for non-milk-based formulas)
Calcium 0-6mo: ≥50mg
Phosphorus 0-6mo: ≥25mg
Magnesium 0-6mo: ≥6mg
Iron 0-6mo: ≥0.15mg
Iodine 0-6mo: ≥5μg
Zinc 0-6mo: ≥0.5mg
Copper 0-6mo: ≥60μg
Manganese 0-6mo: ≥5μg
Sodium 0-6mo: 20mg to 60mg
Potassium 0-6mo: 80mg to 200mg
Chloride 0-6mo: 55mg to 150mg

In our review of the Baby's Only 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 infant formula nutrition facts:

nutrition facts of the babys only infant formula

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:

Carbohydrates 0-6mo: 60g 6-12mo: 95g
Proteins 0-6mo: 9.1g 6-12mo: 11g
Fats 0-6mo: 31g 6-12mo: 30g
Omega-3 0-6mo: 0.5g 6-12mo: 0.5g
Omega-6 0-6mo: 4.4g 6-12mo: 4.6g
Vitamin A 0-6mo: 400μg 6-12mo: 500μg
Vitamin B1 0-6mo: 0.2mg 6-12mo: 0.3mg
Vitamin B2 0-6mo: 0.3mg 6-12mo: 0.4mg
Vitamin B6 0-6mo: 0.1mg 6-12mo: 0.3mg
Vitamin B12 0-6mo: 0.4μg 6-12mo: 0.5μg
Vitamin C 0-6mo: 40mg 6-12mo: 50mg
Vitamin D 0-6mo: 5μg 6-12mo: 5μg
Vitamin E 0-6mo: 4mg 6-12mo: 5mg
Vitamin K 0-6mo: 2μg 6-12mo: 2.5μg
Folate 0-6mo: 65μg 6-12mo: 80μg
Niacin 0-6mo: 2mg 6-12mo: 4mg
Calcium 0-6mo: 210mg 6-12mo: 270mg
Iron 0-6mo: 0.27mg 6-12mo: 11mg

The Baby's Only infant formula does not meet the USDA's recommendations for Omega-3 content. This is not surprising as it does not include an Omega-3 source on the ingredients list, as previously discussed.

It does meet the recommendation for Omega-6 content, and all other macro- and micro-nutrient recommendations.

cradlewise smart crib

 

Testing in Infants

We were excited to test the Baby's Only infant formula for a few reasons.

First, Baby's Only infant formulas use a 60:40 whey-to-casein ratio, which is very similar to breast milk. Also similar to breast milk, they use lactose as a primary carbohydrate. As stated on the label, this is Baby's Only's closest formula to breast milk.

Second, we are very excited by the relatively low price and simple ingredients profile. If infants show high acceptance and tolerance of this formula, it could be a very compelling option for your family!

Third, we love the Baby's Only philosophy and certifications!   

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.

preparation instructions for the babys only infant formula

The powder was slightly off-white and very fine and smooth, making it easy to scoop.

The scoop was hiding under about an inch of formula powder, so we had to use a clean fork to fish it out.

Here is what the formula and scoop looked like:

open can of babys only organic infant formula

These are trivial points, but we wish there was a ledge to help you level the scoop, and that the scoop was attached to the lid (so it wouldn't be buried in the powder!).

The mixing went very well, just be sure to shake vigorously for about a minute. If you do not shake sufficiently, you will end up with some small oily clumps accumulated at the bottom of the bottle.

Here is a photo of the prepared formula, looking at the bottom of the bottle:

prepared bottle of the babys only infant formula

Notice how there are no clumps settled to the bottom? Looking good!

The bubbles and foam were also minimal and settled very quickly.

Want to learn more about that glass-lined Chicco bottle? Check out our Chicco Duo review, and our list of the Best Baby Bottles of the year!

Overall, we were very happy with the mixing and preparation of the Baby's Only infant formula and were excited to test it out with two infants: a 3-month-old and a 9-month-old.

Note that the Baby's Only infant formula is intended for use from 0-12 months.

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

We tasted the formula ourselves and it was surprisingly tasty for baby formula that doesn't include corn syrup or other sweeteners. Instead, it was surprisingly sweet and creamy.

That great flavor paid off with our test babies - both of whom accepted the bottle of Baby's Only infant formula immediately and seemed to love its taste.

bottle feeding with the babys only infant formula

Even better, both babies consumed their normal feeding amount, and only one (who was typically breastfed) showed some minor signs of gastrointestinal distress.

Conclusions

Baby's Only organic infant formula emerges as a standout option in the competitive market of baby formulas, boasting new branding and Clean Label Project certification.

With over 20 years of experience in producing quality organic products at reasonable prices, Baby's Only continues to impress discerning parents with its commitment to transparency and quality.

In our review, we found that Baby's Only formula meets rigorous standards, including USDA certification, non-GMO status, and the Clean Label Project Purity award. Its formulation, featuring lactose as the primary carbohydrate and a 60:40 whey-to-casein ratio akin to breast milk, underscores its commitment to providing a nourishing option for infants.

While the formula lacks certain additives like prebiotics, probiotics, and DHA Omega-3 fatty acids, it compensates with its simplicity and adherence to high nutritional standards set forth by the FDA, and recommendations by the USDA (except for their Omega-3 recommendation).

In our testing with two infants, Baby's Only formula demonstrated high acceptance and minimal gastrointestinal effects, reaffirming its suitability for a wide range of infants.

Despite facing stiff competition from international brands like HiPP and Holle, Baby's Only stands out for its commitment to organic integrity, stringent certifications, and accessible pricing. With its focus on real ingredients and transparent manufacturing practices, Baby's Only earns a well-deserved place among the best organic baby formulas on the market.

For parents seeking a trustworthy and affordable option that aligns with their values, Baby's Only organic infant formula proves to be a compelling choice, offering peace of mind and quality nutrition for their little ones. 

Prices and Where to Buy

Coming in at about $1.00 per ounce of powdered formula, or about $0.16 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 organic infant formula is the cheapest organic baby formula on the market!

That's about 40% cheaper than its primary competitor, Earth's Best organic infant formula, and half the price of Bobbie or most European baby formulas (such as HiPP Combiotik). 

That's a fantastic price for a great organic infant formula that we think you and your baby will love!

The lowest prices we've seen are on Amazon, click the below image to check the current price.

References Cited

Consulting Dietician Nutritionist (Mr. John Anderson)

Soy-based Ingredients in Infant Formulas

European DHA Requirements in Infant Formula

Corn Syrup in Infant Formula and Risk of Obesity

Metabolic Risk in Children Fed Infant Formula with Corn Syrup

United States FDA Infant Formula Nutrient Requirements (full list is here)

United States USDA Infant Nutritional Needs & Recommendations

Safety of Schizochytrium sp. Oil

Safety of Mortierella Alpina Oil

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.

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