Formula recommendations for Babies 6-12 months
At this point, as your little one reaches six months old, they are hitting a big milestone they may be sitting up, attempting to stand up, or even trying to crawl. Now, as your baby grows and is around the six-month mark, they will need different nutrients as opposed to when they were younger. So, it’s time to look at the stage two formulas. Whether they are changing from stage 1 to stage 2 or trying formula for the first time, you should still properly look into the nutrients and ensure that it is quite similar to breast milk.
Choosing a formula
No matter which of our OnlyFormula products you choose, you can be confident you’re getting a formula that has non-GM, organic ingredients such as organic skim or whole milk, organic whey, organic lactose, vitamins, minerals, prebiotics, probiotics, omega-3 and omega-6 and so on. You certainly won’t find synthetic ingredients such as sweeteners, preservatives, and artificial colors. We stock famous brands such as Kendamil, Holle, HiPP, and Lebenswert because not only do they meet European standards, but have extra certifications such as Demeter and Bioland.
Regardless of the stage, you’re at in your baby’s feeding journey, it’s useful to remember that a fed baby is a happy baby, no matter the feeding approach, as long as they are healthy and growing well. You could either be breastfeeding fully with no formula, using formula as a supplement to breastfeeding or just using formula - you just need to make sure you have what’s best for your baby.
The differences between Stage 1 and Stage 2
It is European formulas that are sold in stages that correspond to the ages of babies, which is unlike American formulas. While neither approach is wrong or unsafe, the formula stages are a great way of ensuring babies are getting the nutrients they need at the best age.
Stage 1 and Stage PRE formulas are made for newborns up to babies aged six months old - the only difference between the two is that Stage PRE doesn’t have starch which makes them easier for babies to digest. Stage 2 formulas are intended for babies aged six months to 12 months; they provide different nutrition for older babies. Typically, they contain more casein as opposed to whey protein, which is more filling and takes longer to digest.
As well as transitioning onto solid foods, you should transition your baby onto stage 2 formula because they provide a lot of nutrients that an older infant needs. Some parents decide to keep with stage 1 formula even after their babies reach six months old, which is fine, though cannot do vice versa; stage 2 formulas aren’t suitable for babies younger than six months old.
There is a third option: stage 3 formulas. Some parents switch to this as their babies turn one year old (for the UK and Dutch formulas) or 10 months for German formulas. Otherwise known as the “growing up” formula, it would be seen as an alternative to milk as by this point, babies will be eating more solid foods. Stage 3 should never be used to replace solid foods, but to be consumed alongside.
Formula and solid foods
While solid foods help to expand your baby’s diet and get them used to the food they will be eating, at this age, your little one still needs a lot of breastmilk and/or formula to continue their rapid growth. From six months, babies should be getting around 24 to 30 fluid ounces of breast milk, formula, or both every day, but spread out throughout four feeds. However, don’t worry if they have more or less than this because every baby is different. They may even drink less frequently in smaller quantities. After turning one, your little one can transition onto whole cow or goat’s milk, though some parents prefer stage 3 formulas because it provides more vitamins and minerals and is less likely to cause allergies or sensitivities.
Our OnlyFormula 6 month+ formula
One of the most common questions asked is which stage 2 formula is the best, especially for new parents who are transitioning their baby from stage 1 to stage 2. While there is no “one” best formula out there, there is a range of fantastic, organic formulas out there that would benefit your baby, it’s just finding the right one for your little one.
All of our formulas are tasty, nutritious, and organic; below are the formulas we have that we highly recommend for your baby.
HiPP Dutch Stage 2
Holle Bio Stage 2
HiPP UK Stage 2
Kendamil Organic Stage 2
Lebenswert Stage 2
Holle Goat Stage 2
We also have special formulas for babies with special feeding conditions:
HiPP HA Hypoallergenic Stage 2 (suitable from six months onwards)
HiPP Comfort (suitable from birth onwards)
HiPP AR Anti-Reflux (suitable from birth onwards)
We’ve put together a list of our very special favorites that have left many parents and little ones happy. Our website has a handy formula comparison chart which is the easiest way to compare specific ingredients, such as whey, starch, probiotics, and palm oil.
Best Overall Stage 2 Formula: HiPP Dutch Stage 2
This is a very popular product; it has a great taste and is packed full of fantastic ingredients. It is ideal to complement solid foods for babies who are just starting to eat them as it has an organic skim milk base, uses omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, organic lactose, organic whey, and so on. You can find the full list of ingredients on our product pages. It is also GMO-free and doesn’t contain corn syrup, starch, maltodextrin, sucrose, soy, or gluten. This particular HiPP product also has a stage 3 version.
Best Stage 2 Formula for Transitioning from Breast Milk: Holle Bio Stage 2
The Holle Bio stage 2 is a fantastic follow on milk for those transitioning from breast milk. Ingredient-wise, their formula is simple and organic, containing a base of biodynamicm Demeter-certified organic skim milk, organic whey powder, organic maltodextrin, organic starch, and so on. Most parents who fed their babies the Holle Stage 1 typically move them onto this stage too, demonstrating how popular this brand is amongst parents. This formula also doesn’t contain artificial or synthetic ingredients; they do offer a stage 3 formula for babies who are 10 months and older.
Best Stage 2 Formula for Milk Protein Sensitivity: HiPP HA Hypoallergenic Stage 2
For babies with milk protein sensitivity, this HiPP hypoallergenic formula is a godsend; it’s made with the same skim milk, lactose and vegetable oil as stage 1. It is good for supplement feeding as well as being the main source of food. It is free from preservatives but has a hydrolyzed whey protein which promotes digestion and is less likely to produce an allergic reaction.
Best Stage 2 Vegetarian-Friendly Formula: Kendamil Organic Stage 2
It’s no surprise that Kendamil wins the title with their amazing vegetarian formulas. There aren’t many out there, so Kednamil try and cater for everyone. Algal oil is used instead of fish oil. The differences between this stage and stage 1 is the ration of whey to casein; it went from 60/40 to 40/60.
Best Value Stage 2 Formula: HiPP UK Stage 2
Many babies who had HiPP UK Stage 1 will then be moved onto stage because it was a winner in their parent’s eyes. It complements a baby’s expanding diet of solid food extremely well. It contains no maltodextrin, starch, gluten, and soy, but contains delicious, organic ingredients such as organic skim milk, lactose, organic whey and more. This range is our most affordable product; while at a cheaper price, it still offers the same amazing ingredients as HiPP Dutch but without the probiotics - so most parents use supplements instead.
Best Stage 2 Alternative to Cow’s Milk: Holle Goat Stage 2
For the babies that have an allergy to milk proteins, this is the formula for them. Many of them find it easier to digest; when it comes to comparing this with whole milk, it has been found that in goat’s milk, there is less of the A1 beta-casein which has been the cause of eczema, gas, skin rashes, constipation, and more. All ingredients are minimally proceessed and it als palm oil free and it is vegetarian friday.
Remember, if you need advice, email our support team who are always happy to help. As always, seek professional advice on formulas when your little one has a milk protein allergy.