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Easily find the best lactose free baby formula with this comprehensive, parent-friendly guide. If your little one is showing signs of lactose intolerance, it may be best to try out a lactose free or low lactose formula. This guide will share a detailed breakdown of the best formulas to choose from so that you will feel confident when picking out your baby’s new formula!
Now you may be wondering, what even is lactose intolerance?! I’m sure you’ve heard the term before, but most people are not fully informed on the reasons behind being lactose intolerant. This type of intolerance is generally due to not having enough of the lactase enzyme in your body. With this deficiency, you are unable to fully digest lactose, which is the form of sugar found in dairy products.
If your baby happens to be lactose intolerant, it is super important to find the right formula that works best for them. If not, you risk furtherly upsetting their stomach and causing more digestive problems. However, not all formulas are created equally and it can feel really overwhelming to choose a new one.
Luckily, this guide will break down everything you need to know in order to find the best infant formula for lactose intolerance. We will cover the common signs of lactose intolerance, provide a list of lactose-free formulas, and share what to look for and tips for choosing lactose free formula milk.
What Is Lactose And Why Is It In Baby Formula?
Lactose is the naturally occurring sugar found in milk and dairy products. This milk sugar requires the enzyme lactase in order to be broken down and digested. This isn’t a problem for many babies and cow’s milk can be an ideal nutrient source. While other dairy formulas also contain lactose, cow’s milk-based formulas are the highest in this sugar. Since cow’s milk formula is the most popular amongst brands, it can be tricky to find a good quality non lactose formula for formula-fed babies.
What Is Lactose Free Formula?
Lactose free formulas are most commonly those that are made from cow’s milk that has been specially processed to remove the lactose. These formulas will typically replace this carbohydrate with a corn-based sugar like corn syrup or corn syrup solids. There are also vegan, non dairy infant formula options or soy-based formula that never contain lactose.
What Are The Common Signs Of Lactose Intolerance In Babies?
Here are the top signs of lactose intolerance or lactose sensitivity. While these are common signs, it is always best to talk to your baby’s doctor to confirm the root cause, before switching to a different formula.
#1 | Diarrhea
Your baby may have loose, watery stools when lactose intolerant. Their stool may also be more green in color and is often paired with gassiness. If your baby shifts from acute diarrhea to more aggressive diarrhea, it is important to get to the bottom of it quickly, as they can become dehydrated easily.
#2 | Gas & Bloating
You may notice frequent passing of gas in your baby, along with stomach bloating. They might also be more fussy when having these bouts of gas, as it can feel uncomfortable or even painful for their little tummies.
#3 | Stomach Cramping
Stomach cramping and aches are very common with babies who are lactose intolerant. There is likely some irritation and inflammation going on in their tummy, along with the gas and bloating. You can take this a step further and see if their belly is sensitive to the touch or if gas is released after a tummy massage. The massage can help alleviate the cramping from stuck gas.
#4 | Irritability & Fussiness
It may be more difficult to console and comfort your baby when they are dealing with the effects of lactose intolerance. They might be more fussy due to the discomfort from the symptoms mentioned above.
#5 | Other Symptoms
Signs of stomach pain could include crying while passing gas or having a bowel movement, pulling legs towards their chest/kicking and fidgeting with legs, arching their backs, clenching their fists, and pain or tummy troubles occurring within 2 hours or closer to their last feeding.
How Do I Know If My Baby Needs Lactose Free Formula?
If your baby is experiencing any of the above symptoms, such as diarrhea, gas, bloating, stomach aches, and irritability, then you may want to switch to a baby formula for lactose intolerance. Talk with your baby’s pediatrician about all the symptoms your child is experiencing to see if this would be the best path to take.
To recap, here are all the symptoms that may lead to you wanting to switch formulas:
- Loose, watery stool
- Green stool
- Bowel movements paired with gas
- Excessive gassiness
- Bloating or abdominal distension
- Tummies sensitive to the touch
- Stomach cramping
- Stomach aches
- Increase in irritability
- Increase in fussiness
- Reactions within 30 minutes – 2 hours of feeding
- Crying when passing gas
- Crying when having bowel movements
- Kicking legs
- Arching their backs in pain
- Fidgeting/ visible discomfort
- Clenching fists
What Are The Types Of Low Lactose And Lactose Free Baby Formula For Babies?
What formula is best for lactose intolerance? Well, there is not a one size fits all approach and some babies may do well on a low lactose infant formula, while others will need a no lactose formula. Transitioning to a new formula always comes with an adjustment period. There could be some trial and error when switching formulas, but with the help of this post you can make a well-educated guess on the best formula for lactose sensitivity. Here is a brief breakdown of the various types of formulas on the market today:
- Lactose Rich Formulas: Lactose rich formulas are those that are entirely lactose-based, with the carbohydrate source being solely from lactose. These are the standard formulas that most think of when transitioning from breast feeding or preparing for a newborn who will be solely bottle-fed. We won’t spend too much time on these types of formulas since this is a guide for lactose-free formulas. You can find cows milk formulas here.
- Low-Lactose Baby Formulas: Low lactose baby formulas include goat milk, European hypoallergenic formulas such as HiPP HA or HiPP Comfort, and gentle or sensitive formulas. Goat milk contains a naturally low amount of lactose that has not been altered. While they are still lactose-containing formulas, they tend to be successful in alleviating symptoms associated with lactose-intolerance. Most hypoallergenic formulas and special formulas have reduced amounts of lactose that is replaced with a blend of vegetable oils or maltodextrin which is easier to digest.
- Lactose Free Baby Formulas: Lactose free infant formula can be both naturally free of lactose or specially modified to have lactose removed. Soy formulas and other vegan formulas have not undergone any additional process to remove lactose, as they are dairy-free options. There are other specialty formulas made with amino acids such as EleCare which contain no lactose. You can also find some hypoallergenic lactose free formulas and hydrolyzed formulas on the market. These do normally contain corn syrup which is a downside. It can be overwhelming and confusing to figure out which formula is lactose free, so continue reading for more help!
Best Lactose Free Baby Formulas
Not sure what formula is good for lactose intolerance? We are here to help with this detailed breakdown on the very best formula options on the market. You can find lactose free milk for newborns, older babies, and toddlers.
Bebe M (Bebe Mandorle) Organic Rice-Based Infant Formula is a lactose free organic formula and suitable from birth until 12 months of age. It has a Stage 1 formula for 0-6 months, with two follow-on formulas to nourish your child up to 3 years of age. It uses 100% plant-based ingredients that are tightly regulated by the EU, designed to meet the nutritional requirements for babies. This lactose free european formula may be right for you! (Learn more: Best Vegan Baby Formula)
Ingredients: This formula is made from an organic rice protein hydrolysate, which makes it a dairy-free formula that’s vegan friendly, but is also suitable for babies with dairy allergies or lactose intolerance. It has all the essential vitamins and nutrients needed such as calcium phosphate, potassium chloride, potassium iodide, along with vitamin A, C, D, E, K and B vitamins.
Nutrition Facts: Bebe M Organic formula contains 1.8g protein, 3.2g fat, and 7.1g carbs per 100 mL. It contains 14 different vitamins and 16 different minerals.
Cost: $65 per can
What Customers Say: “So pleased with this vegan/plant-based formula – My baby girl loves it.” – Tanya M.
Note: This product is labeled as “Foods for special medical purposes (FSMPs)” and should be only given under medical supervision. Please consult your baby’s healthcare provider before introducing the formula to your baby.
Certified organic by AB France, non GMO
Dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, nut-free
Made with hydrolyzed proteins, more digestible
Comes in 3 stages to support the needs of babies aged 0-3 years
Long Shelf Life of 6+ Months
This plant-based, complete nutrition formula for toddlers is jam-packed with protein, vitamins, and other key minerals. This is my top pick for organic toddler formulas because of the high quality ingredients list, and is the only 100% vegan formula available in the US (even the Vitamin D is vegan!). Else also has a version with added omega fatty acids as well! This might be a good choice for a lactose intolerant formula for your baby! Note: if your baby is under 1 year old, consult with your pediatrician before choosing this formula, since it’s technically a toddler formula but meets the nutritional requirements for infants.
Ingredients: It has a base of organic almond butter, organic buckwheat flour, and organic tapioca maltodextrin. It is complete with essential vitamins and minerals like vegan vitamin D and pyridoxine hydrochloride (B6). It is sweetened with organic cane sugar. It also comes in a variety that has omega 3s added.
Nutrition Facts: Else Nutrition Organic formula contains 5g protein, 9g fat, and 20g carbs per serving. It contains all macronutrients and 20+ essential vitamins and minerals.
Cost: Starts at $34.99 per can
What Customers Say: “I am so grateful that plant-based nutrition is now an option for my child! I was having so many issues finding a formula that would help with her digestive sensitivity; even the formulas marked as ‘sensitive’ were causing her bowel distress and constipation. But, no more! Her bowel movements are moving along easier, she doesn’t spit up anymore and her bottle parts no longer have a strange residue that cannot be rinsed out with hot water. Thank you Else for changing the game and helping parents like me find something easy to digest for our little ones! Signed, A New Loyal Customer” – Alethea
100% vegan formula with vegan vitamin D
Clean Label Project Purity certified
Contains 20 essential vitamins and minerals that support healthy growth and brain development
Soy free, allergen friendly, gluten free
Newer version has added omega fatty acids
Technically a toddler formula, so may not work for infants (ask your pediatrician)
Some customers say the powder is hard to mix
This pea-protein formula doesn’t have any soy protein, making it one of the best non dairy formula options you can buy for your child. This dairy free formula is intended for toddlers over 12 months of age, so consult with your healthcare professional before giving it to your baby. We love that Baby’s Only adheres to the highest standards by sourcing only the best and cleanest organic materials. Give this dairy and soy free formula a try!
Ingredients: This formula has a base of organic pea protein. It includes organic choline & lutein to promote brain and eye health, along with other vitamins and minerals to nourish your baby. It does contain organic brown rice syrup, organic canola oil, and other oils.
Nutrition Facts: Baby’s Only formula contains 2g protein, 4.5g fat, and 9g carbs per serving. It contains 15 essential vitamins and 12 essential minerals for complete nutrition in your little one’s diet.
Cost: $17.99 for one can, $215.88 for a 12 pack with free shipping. Subscribe and save 20%.
What Customers Say: “After I couldn’t breastfeed anymore, it was so hard to find a formula that was affordable and organic. We found the Pea Protein formula and were so relieved because it was the only formula my son could tolerate since he had a milk intolerance. Unlike with soy, he wasn’t constipated anymore, wasn’t spitting up anymore, and he absolutely loved the taste! We have been using this formula since he was 4 months old and he’s now 13 months and still loves it along with his solids. It’s also very easy and quick when you need to edit your subscription and reorder off their website. I highly recommend the pea protein formula if you’re looking for a plant-based formula for your little one! :)” – Amanda
Made from vegan friendly pea protein
Very affordable and budget friendly
No palm oil, no corn syrup
Technically a toddler formula, so may not work for infants (ask your pediatrician)
Vitamin D3 isn’t confirmed vegan
Contain brown rice syrup (as the carbohydrate source)
This soy milk-based formula is a great option for lactose-free baby formula! While it’s not technically organic, it is non-GMO which makes it one of the best options in the U.S. If your baby is lactose intolerant, this easy-to-digest, non milk based formula with iron might be a great option!
Ingredients: This plant-based formula is made with high quality protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and Omega-3 DHA and Omega-6 ARA essential fatty acids to support your baby’s brain and eye development.
Nutrition Facts: Earth’s Best Organic Soy formula contains 2.5g protein, 5.3g fat, and 10.6g carbs per 100 mL, along with 750mg of linoleic acid. It contains 15 different vitamins and 12 different minerals.
Cost: $32 per 21 oz canister
What Customers Say: “We realized our baby is extremely lactose intolerant when the sensitive formulas didn’t help or improve his symptoms. He only knows how to fall asleep by being fed a bottle, so he’d go to bed and wake up 90 minutes later from stomach discomfort. It would take nearly an hour to get him back to sleep but only with another bottle. This was all night long, every night. We didn’t know how to break this vicious cycle until we switched him to EB Soy formula and immediately upon the first night he slept 6 hours straight. Then 7, then 8 hours straight. We’re only 4 nights in and it’s like a dream come true. My baby no longer suffers from stomach aches.” – Andrea
Lactose free, made with non GMO soy
Is the only non GMO vegan infant formula available in the US
Easy to find, regularly in stock
Meets all FDA requirements for infant nutrition
DHA sourced from marine algae
Likely isn’t 100% vegan (unknown source of Vitamin D)
Many customers report that their little ones did not care for the taste
Some customers said the powder was hard to dissolve
Contains corn syrup solids
Contains palm oil and soy oil
This is a soy-based alternative to milk-based formulas that comes in either powder, liquid concentrate, or ready-to-go liquid formula. It is a suitable formula for infants with lactose intolerance, along with families who have special dietary needs. It is vegetarian and Kosher! It is designed to ease fussiness and gas caused by milk-based formulas. Enfamil is the #1 pediatrician-recommended formula brand. Whether you want a lactose free ready to feed formula or regular powder, this could be a good fit!
Ingredients: This formula is made with a soy protein isolate as the base. It contains brain-nourishing DHA and ARA, along with vitamin D3, folic acid and vitamin C sourced from ascorbic acid. It does have some unfavorable ingredients such as corn syrup solids and palm olein.
Nutrition Facts: This soy formula contains 2.5g protein, 5.3g fat, and 10.6g carbs per 100 mL, along with 800mg of linoleic acid. It contains 15 different vitamins and 12 different minerals, including magnesium chloride and potassium citrate.
Cost: $38.99 per can of powder formula, $11.99 per 32 fl oz liquid formula, $7.99 per 13 fl oz concentrate
What Customers Say: “I bought this product when my baby was 3 weeks old as she was having issues with her stomach and gas. I decided to go with a plant based option to see if it will help with her fussiness. I actually saw a change in her sleep. I will continue to use this product!!” – Lauren
Said to help ease fussiness and gas
Comes in powder, liquid, or concentrate
Not organic, contains GMO ingredients
Mostly made up of sugar (corn syrup solids are 54%) and oils (vegetable oil is 26%)
Vitamin D and DHA are likely not from plant based sources
Gerber Good Start Soy Formula is a lactose intolerance formula milk that comes in both an infant and toddler version. It is made with soy proteins that are easier for tiny tummies to digest, especially when there is a lactose intolerance or sensitivity. There is also a ready to feed liquid formula option. Gerber is a #1 brand in infant nutrition, so that is why it makes our list of best lactose-free formulas.
Ingredients: This soy formula contains enzymatically hydrolyzed soy protein isolate. It also has DHA to help support brain and eye development, along with a great balance of vitamins and minerals. It unfortunately does contain corn maltodextrin and sucrose, which are not ideal.
Nutrition Facts: This soy formula contains 2.5g protein, 5.1g fat, and 11.1g carbs per 100 mL, along with 920mg of linoleic acid. It contains 15 different vitamins and 12 different minerals.
Cost: $32.18 per 20 oz canister
What Customers Say: “This formula along with Enfamil Soy are the only soy formulas that I have seen that are both lactose AND milk free. After trial and error we finally found the perfect formula for our baby with sensitivities.” – Gabrielle
Gluten free (allergen friendly, with the exception of soy)
Contains Vitamin D3 and B12
Some customers mentioned this formula doesn’t mix well
Is not technically plant based (due to Vitamin D & DHA)
Contains added sugar (sucrose)
This formula for a lactose intolerant baby is derived from soybeans and is easy to digest. It is both lactose free and dairy free. It is intended for infants with fussiness and gas, to calm their tummy troubles. It’s also specially designed for babies with lactose intolerance and galactosemia, so it definitely had to make our list of lactose free formulas!
Ingredients: Similac soy formula is made with soy protein isolate. This nutritionally complete formula contains all the essential vitamins and minerals, with brain nourishing DHA, vitamin E for growth and development, and lutein for eye health.
Nutrition Facts: This soy formula contains 2.45g protein, 5.46g fat, and 10.4g carbs per 100 mL, along with 1000mg of linoleic acid. It contains 15 different vitamins and 12 different minerals.
Cost: $18.53 per 12.4 oz can
What Customers Say: “We had to supplement right away and couldn’t find a formula that wouldn’t cause terrible diapers! A friend recommended trying soy and with a head nod from our pediatrician, we tried it! She did great and we’ve continued to use it. Highly recommended!” – Meg
Designed to help boost immunity in babies
Contains lutein and vitamin E
Not technically plant based (due to Vitamin D)
Contains corn syrup solids (40%)
Not organic, contains GMO ingredients
Limited availability, can be hard to find
Neocate is one of the best baby formulas for infants with cow’s milk allergy, food allergies, digestive issues, and other related issues. Not only is the formula itself dairy-free and lactose-free, but it is made in a dairy-free protein facility, making it a win-win for babies with lactose intolerance or cow’s milk allergy. This lactose intolerant baby formula is nutritionally complete, made with the important nutrients that you would find in breast milk.
Ingredients: Neocate is an amino-acid based hypoallergenic formula, with added iron, DHA, and ARA. It contains healthy nutrients like vitamin A, folic acid, B vitamins, and more. It has some non-ideal ingredients such as corn syrup solids and refined vegetable oils, which make up the bulk of this formula.
Nutrition Facts: This formula contains 2.45g protein, 5.46g fat, and 10.4g carbs per 100 calories, along with 738mg of linoleic acid. It contains 15 different vitamins and 14 different minerals.
Cost: $46 per 14.1 oz can
What Customers Say: “My son was allergic to regular baby milk. He broke out and was in pain (gas). A few days of switching his face cleared up in a week and a half. He was a new baby no more has pains.” — “Neocate helped with my daughter’s acid reflux. I would recommend it to any mom with a baby that has colic or acid reflux.”
Neocate® Infant DHA/ARA is a specially formulated medical food and should only be used under medical supervision. It’s important to always contact a healthcare professional before making any changes to your baby’s diet.
Completely dairy-free and lactose-free
Contains a healthy dose of iron
No artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners
Amino acid based formula for easy digestion
Made in a dairy protein-free facility
Contains corn syrup solids
Some customers claim that their babies dislike the taste
EleCare is a nutritionally complete, amino-acid-based formula that is designed for infants who cannot tolerate intact or hydrolyzed protein. Amino acid based formulas are a good option for babies with conditions ranging from lactose intolerance to severe allergies to milk, or those with gastrointestinal conditions. If this sounds like your baby, this might be the right baby formula for you.
Ingredients: This formula is composed of 100% free amino acids as the protein source. It contains DHA and ARA nutrients to support brain and eye development.
Nutrition Facts: This formula contains 3.1g protein, 4.6g fat, and 10.7g carbs per 100 mL. It contains 17 different vitamins and 14 different minerals. It also has 840mg of Linoleic Acid per serving.
Cost: $44.97 for 14.1oz can
What Customers Say: “We love EleCare for our little one. He has a severe milk protein allergy and this is the only formula that worked well with his tummy and didn’t cause additional gas or fussiness. It’s a little pricy, but totally worth it for a happy, healthy baby!” – Jen
Made with amino acids for easiest digestion
Lactose free, hypoallergenic formula
#1 brand recommended by pediatric gastroenterologists for milk protein allergies
Contains corn syrup solids
If your insurance doesn’t cover it, this formula is fairly expensive.
Can be difficult to find and is often out of stock
Some babies don’t like the taste
This hypoallergenic formula is specially made for babies with milk intolerances and milk allergies. It is a clinically proven, non-GMO certified formula to ease discomfort associated with lactose sensitivities. It is made with whey protein isolate that is 100% hydrolyzed for the easiest digestion. It is designed for babies 0-12 months of age to cover your little one’s first year of life.
Ingredients: This formula is made with enzymatically hydrolyzed whey protein isolate from cow’s milk, MCT oils, and added ARA, DHA, and probiotics to support a healthy gut. Unfortunately, it does contain corn syrup solids, vegetable oils, and corn maltodextrin.
Nutrition Facts: This formula contains 2.6g protein, 5.1g fat, and 10.1g carbs per 100 calories. It contains a healthy dose of nutrients through vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E, niacin, and magnesium.
Cost: $36.14 per 14.1 oz canister
What Customers Say: “My grandson was throwing up on so many formulas. We tried this product out of desperation. We haven’t switched from this formula since.” – Becca
Is 100% hydrolyzed for easy digestion
This hypoallergenic formula is designed for babies with cow’s milk protein allergies (CMPA)
Some customers report that their babies dislike the taste
Contains syrup solids and maltodextrin
Has availability issues and is often out of stock
This is a lactose-free, hypoallergenic formula that contains the probiotic LGG (lactobacillus rhamnosus GG), which is a gut-friendly bacteria to support the microbiome and digestion. It is made specifically for baby’s with food allergies, including cow’s milk allergy. Nutramigen is claimed to be the #1 trusted infant formula brand by pediatricians and parents. If you have been looking for a milk allergy formula for babies, this might be a good one to consider. (Learn more: Best Hypoallergenic Baby Formulas)
Ingredients: This formula for lactose sensitivity includes hydrolyzed milk proteins for easy digestion. It has added ARA and DHA to support your baby’s brain development. Non-ideal ingredients include corn syrup solids, vegetable oil, modified casein hydrolysate, and modified corn starch.
Nutrition Facts: This formula contains 2.8g protein, 5.3g fat, and 10g carbs per 100 calories. It contains a healthy dose of nutrients through vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D, E, and B12.
Cost: $37.96 per 12.6 oz can
What Customers Say:
“My baby was diagnosed with an intolerance to cow’s milk and our pediatrician recommended this product. We have seen such a great decrease in the bad symptoms of his diary intolerance! Such a happy baby now!” – Becky
“Our baby was so colicky and wasn’t eating nor gaining weight. We found out she had a cow milk allergy and switched to Nutramigen. She is now eating the recommended amount for her age and gaining weight! She is all smiles now! We are so thankful for a formula that has made all the difference in our baby’s life!” – Kendra
Has hydrolyzed milk proteins for easy digestion
Contains prebiotics & probiotics
Specifically designed baby formula for gas and colic
No artificial growth hormones
Clinically tested – reduced crying due to cow’s milk allergy in 90% of babies within 48 hours
Contains corn syrup solids
Contains palm and soy oil
There was a product recall for this formula due to incorrect and potentially dangerous preparation instructions on the label
Best Low Lactose Baby Formulas
With the wide range of baby formulas on the market, it gets confusing! We just went over all the best options for lactose free milk for babies, but low lactose formulas are also a route you may wish to try. When looking for a formula for lactose intolerant babies, you can keep your mind open to low lactose options as many do not have enough lactose to cause troubles and digestive issues. Keep reading for the best low lactose formula for dairy intolerance!
Bobbie Gentle Formula is organic cow’s milk based, using partially hydrolyzed proteins that are broken down into smaller segments called peptides. It is the first USDA and EU certified Organic tolerance formula made with 100% lactose carbohydrates. Even though it has lactose, it is a gentle formula designed to be easier digested. This baby formula has DHA & ARA to support healthy development. This is a good choice if you want a formula with no palm oil, no maltodextrin, and no corn syrup. This formula is also Pesticide-Free Certified by the Clean Label Project and received their Purity Award. It’s one of the best organic formulas on the market! (Learn more: Bobbie Formula Review)
Cost: $28 per can with subscription of 4, 8, or 10 cans (includes shipping). You can get 10% off your first subscription order, and can currently buy one can, get one free.
What Customers Say: “Such a relief finding Bobbie!! As a first time mom- Bobbie has been a GAME CHANGER for me and my little one. I struggled so much transitioning to formula because of the fear of not finding an option that I felt good about & my baby enjoyed but this has been perfect for us both. SO grateful for Bobbie and also loving the gentle formula for my baby’s needs!” – Chayse
USDA Organic And EU Organic
Healthy fats, modeled after breast milk
Whey and casein mimics the proteins in breast milk
Affordable, flexible subscription service
Manufactured in Vermont and Ohio
No prebiotics or probiotics
Currently only subscription option available
HiPP Comfort Formula has been specially formulated with hydrolyzed cow milk proteins with reduced lactose content. The formula includes a combination of probiotics and prebiotics (Galactooligosaccharides) to help aid digestion and ease tummy troubles. It is ideal for babies with an extra-sensitive digestive system and signs of lactose-intolerance. HiPP Comfort is one of the cleanest low-lactose formulas I’ve found on the market today.
Cost: 1 box for $44.99, 12 boxes for $41.99 each
What Customers Say: “This formula has been great for my dairy-sensitive baby and had a seamless transition from breastmilk. The formula arrived quickly and in perfect condition!” – Amy
Formulated specifically to ease gas, constipation, colic, and fussiness
Contains no harmful chemicals, pesticides, or antibiotics
86-87% hydrolyzed milk proteins
Prebiotics & probiotics added
A bit on the pricier side
Bubs Goat Milk Formula is exclusively formulated for babies 0-6 months and 6-12 months of age, with their two stages (Stage 1 and Stage 2). They are clean label purity project certified and their goat milk is sourced from Australian goat dairy farms. Their formulas are non-GMO and contain no corn syrup, maltodextrin, growth hormones, artificial sweeteners, chemicals, pesticides, colors or preservatives. The main ingredients include full cream goat milk solids and goat whey protein concentrate. It also has DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), ARA and prebiotics (GOS) to support gentle digestion and a happy tummy. Goat milk is one of the best low lactose formula options, since it is naturally lower in lactose. (Learn more: Best Goat Milk Formula)
Cost: $28 for 400g, $44 for 800g with no subscription. $39.60 with subscription. Free shipping on orders over $80
What Customers Say: “We love love love Bubs Formula! It’s the only kind my baby will take after my milk supply dropped and he loves it so much. It also doesn’t hurt his tummy which makes me happy, and we love the ingredients!” – Gabby
Clean label project certified
No sugar, maltodextrin, or syrup solids added
Vegetarian friendly DHA & ARA
Two stages to support your growing baby’s needs
Made with full fat goat cream – easier to digest A2 milk protein
Formula is made in Australia, but is produced in a US FDA registered and fully company owned facility.
HiPP HA is a hypoallergenic formula made with hydrolyzed milk proteins that are easier to digest. It comes in two versions – one that’s made in Germany, and one made in the Netherlands, with EU certified organic milk. It has been specifically designed for babies who show signs of a cow’s milk sensitivity or intolerance, or who might be prone to developing allergies. HiPP HA has vitamins A, C, and D to promote healthy immune function and bone health. Additionally, added omega-3 and omega-6 mimic the same fatty acids found in breastmilk. This powder formula also contains prebiotics to support gut health and improve digestion, so it’s a no-brainer that it makes our list as one of the best lactose-reduced formulas. (Learn more: Best Baby Formula for Colic)
Cost: $37.99 per can, or $34.74 per can for an 8 box purchase. Free Shipping from $149.
What Customers Say: “This is a fantastic option for a dairy sensitive baby. There is no smell!! No other product compares.” – Stephen
Easy to digest whey:casein ratio
Hypoallergenic formula with 86-87% hydrolyzed milk proteins
Specifically designed for babies showing signs of cow’s milk intolerance
Designed for older babies (3-12 months)
No sugar added, no syrup solids
German version contains starch
On the more expensive side
Has hydrolyzed milk proteins, but lactose content is only slightly reduced
HiPP Dutch Goat Baby Formula is a goat milk-based formula that caters to babies with lactose intolerance, cow’s milk allergies, or sensitive stomachs. HiPP baby formulas come in three different stages (infant, six months, and one year). It contains beneficial vitamins and minerals, such as sodium citrate and vitamin D. It also has prebiotics to support gut health. HiPP is one of the most trustworthy, oldest brands of European formulas available throughout Europe today. (Learn more: HiPP Goat Milk Formula Review).
Cost: $41.99 for a single pack, $38.99 per can for a 12 pack
What Customers Say: “Loving the formula for our baby after realizing he is lactose intolerant. Has a happy tummy now after trying several different brands. Happy baby, happy parents!” – Lindsey
Made with certified organic ingredients
No gluten, corn syrup, peanuts, soy, artificial preservatives, or additives
Easier to digest A2 milk proteins
Kendamil Goat Formula offers 3 stages to accompany your baby from infancy to their toddler years. Kendamil Goat allows infants to digest and absorb essential vitamins and minerals comfortably and efficiently due to the A2 short and medium fatty acids naturally found in goat milk. This formula is made with 100% full cream goat’s milk, loaded with prebiotics. Kendamil is rich in vitamins including iron, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin D, sourced from ingredients with naturally occurring vitamins. The DHA & ARA are obtained without hexane extraction and are fish oil free. You’ll find no palm oil, soy, or maltodextrin in this formula! Kendamil goat milk formula is one of the cleanest lactose sensitivity formulas on the market today! (Learn more: Kendamil Formula Review)
Cost: $62.99 for one can, $59.99 per can for 12 cans (shipping included)
What Customers Say: “My baby is very sensitive to regular formula and developed hives from the cows milk formula when I stopped breastfeeding. A friend recommended that we try goat milk formula, and we have not had any problems since. It’s easy for my baby to digest, and had no reaction to it. Would highly recommend!” – Leah
Made with whole, full fat milk
No palm oil, no soy, non GMO
100% vegetarian, no hexane extraction of DHA/ARA
No added sugars, synthetic preservatives, no wheat soy, maltodextrin or peanut ingredients
Mimics whey:casein ratio of breastmilk, easy to digest
Technically not organic, but is red tractor certified and contains no hormones, GMOs, antibiotics, pesticides
Can be on the more expensive side
Holle Goat Formula offers a Stage 1 through 3 to support your growing baby. For babies struggling with cow’s milk, a goat milk formula like this can be great for their digestion. It contains 89% less A1 compared to cow’s milk, and is formulated with A2 goat milk protein which is composed of smaller fat molecules and less lactose for easier digestion. Holle’s formula is free of artificial sweeteners and GMOs. It’s packed with nutrients like vitamin A, D, and E, minerals, and essential fatty acids (DHA and ARA). Thanks to the A2 protein and less lactose, this formula makes the list for best reduced lactose formula. (Learn more: Best Hypoallergenic Formula)
Cost: $35.99 for one box, $32.99 per box for 12 (subscribe and save option)
What Customers Say: “My baby had a cow’s milk allergy and we had been giving her hypoallergenic formula. However, the doctor wanted us to gradually try ‘general’ formula. We did try introducing cow’s milk based formula but we saw blood in her stools again. We thought it would be a good idea to try goat’s milk based formula and it’s going great! Her stools are good and I even tasted the formula myself. I like that it isn’t as sweet.” – Sue
EU Certified Organic, Biodynamic, Demeter Certified
No sugar or syrup solids added
Does not match the whey:casein ratio of breastmilk so may cause constipation in some babies
No prebiotics or probiotics added
Earth’s Best sensitive formula contains reduced-lactose. It is specifically designed for babies with extreme fussiness, gas, or crying. It’s also USDA-certified organic and made with non-GMO ingredients. Earth’s Best also makes a partially hydrolyzed formula which could be a better option if your baby has a diagnosed milk protein allergy. It is fortified with iron, lutein, and prebiotics. Both ARA and DHA are also added. This nutrient-rich formula supports brain, eye, and immune health.
Cost: $47 with options for free shipping
What Customers Say: “I decided to go the organic way for my newborn since breastfeeding doesn’t work out for me (medically diagnosed). Upon comparing ingredients between this and 2 top national brands I feel better about the ingredients. This formula has 95% less lactose than non sensitive formula which is a plus for me because I prefer to keep my kids as dairy free as possible. Love the big can too it makes over a gallon of formula and works well in my baby brezza formula maker. I haven’t had any issues with my newborn being fussy or upset after a feeding unlike my toddler who had serious sensitivity issues. So far best formula I’ve tried between my kids.” – Chastity
USDA Certified Organic, Non-GMO
Reduced lactose content for easy digestion
FDA regulated (meets all FDA requirements for infant nutrition)
Contains syrup solids / added sugar
Has availability issues so can be hard to find in stock
Similac Pro Sensitive provides gentle nutrition that is designed to ease common tummy troubles such as mild spit up and gas. It is suitable for infants with lactose sensitivity, thanks to partially hydrolyzed whey protein. This sensitive formula is made with 2′-FL Human Milk Oligosaccharide for a healthier immune system comparable to that of a breastfed baby. It also contains nucleotides to help support the developing immune system. It has added DHA for brain and eye development, along with lutein and vitamin E. Added prebiotics help promote better digestive health. Get it in a ready to feed liquid form or powder form.
Cost: $33 per 20.1 oz canister
What Customers Say: “My baby does great on this formula. It does take a little more effort to dissolve and it is rather foamy if you shake it. To solve this, we bought the Dr. Brown’s formula mixing pitcher. The mixer doesn’t incorporate air and mixes the powder completely. We also use Dr. Brown’s Options Plus anticolic bottles and have no issues with gas, spit up or fussiness! It’s also nice to have a pitcher of formula always ready!” – Lindsey
No artificial growth hormones
Contains corn maltodextrin
Some customers say it is hard to dissolve
Enfamil Neuropro Gentlease formula has easy-to-digest proteins from partially hydrolyzed nonfat milk, making it ideal for minimizing soothing digestive issues. It also contains MFGM (milk fat globule membrane), DHA, and ARA to support cognitive development and eye health. It does contain palm oil, soy oil, and corn syrup solids but the pros may outweigh the cons since it is such a gentle formula. This is a great formula for fussiness, gas, and spit up, and is even clinically proven to reduce symptoms in just 24 hours.
Cost: $37.99 for 1 tub, $151.99 for pack of 4 tubs
What Customers Say: “My daughter was having issues digesting a previous formula brand and this brand was suggested. Best decision ever!” – Cici
Contains broken-down proteins – super easy to digest
Contains HuMO6 for immune support
Clinically proven to reduce fussiness, crying, gas in 24 hours
Gerber Good Start Soothe Pro is a 6-in-1 formula made for colic, crying, fussiness, gas, mild spit-up, and uncomfortable poops, which could all be caused by a lactose intolerance. This soothing formula features a special blend of partially broken-down whey proteins, probiotics, and prebiotics to boost gut health. The 2’-FL HMO prebiotic found in this formula is just like one found at significant levels in breastmilk. It also has added DHA and ARA. It contains a carbohydrate blend with only 30% lactose.
Cost: $30 per can
What Customers Say: “We have a month old baby who’s lactose intolerant and after trying 4 different formulas from gentle milk formula to soy base formula of two other brands, Good Start Soothe is the only one that finally works for him.” – Debbie
Clinically shown to support sensitive tummies
Contains comforting probiotic l. reuteri
Formulated to be as close to breastmilk as possible
New recyclable packaging!
This formula is lumpier than others, may be harder to dissolve
Is often out of stock and has availability issues
Not organic, contains maltodextrin
What To Look For In Choosing The Best Lactose Free Formula
Here’s our ideal list of baby formula ingredients and criteria, and how we made our picks for the best formula for lactose sensitive babies in this guide. While you might not find all of these qualities in one brand, it is great to aim to check off as many as you can.
✅ Certified Organic (either USDA certified organic, or EU certified organic) & Non-GMO
✅ Meets nutritional standards for babies (in the United States or the EU) and includes key vitamins and minerals for development.
✅ Reduced lactose content or no lactose
✅ Clinical studies backing claims of supporting sensitivities
✅ No sugar, sucrose, or corn syrup solids (Learn more: Sugar and Corn Syrup in Baby Formula)
✅ Includes appropriate nutritional value of Omega 3 Fats (DHA, ALA) and Omega 6 fatty acids like arachidonic acid (ARA).
✅ Includes prebiotics and probiotics to support a healthy gut microbiome
✅ Gluten free, soy free (with the exception of organic soybean oil, and organic soy lecithin, which is ok)
✅ Palm oil free (or uses palmitic acid, or sustainable palm oil. Learn more: Palm Oil In Baby Formula)
✅ Free of carrageenan or maltodextrin
✅ No hexane extracted ingredients, specifically docosahexaenoic acid ( DHA) or no hexane detected post extraction
✅ Mixes easily
✅ Has quality, honest reviews from real customers
✅ Fits within your budget and can be afforded long term
Tips For Choosing The Best Lactose Free Formula For Your Baby
- Consult with a pediatrician. It is always best to talk with your pediatrician when you have concerns for your baby’s health. They can confirm if a lactose intolerance or milk allergy is present, and come up with a plan of action to follow. They can advise you on the best formula and how to introduce the new formula into your baby’s diet.
- Read the label carefully. Double check that the formula meets all of your personal requirements, and contains low or no lactose. If your baby has an allergy, you want to be extra thorough.
- Consider your baby’s age and needs. There are formulas made for different stages of your baby’s life. Be sure to select the formula that is right for your baby’s age. There are even special formulas made for premature babies to account for their fragile digestion. If your little one is over the age of one you can discontinue formula feedings altogether and provide them with other lactose-free foods to meet nutrient requirements.
- Trial and error approach. Each baby is different, so the first formula you try might not necessarily be the right formula for your baby. If you still notice signs of lactose intolerance, or if new symptoms occur, do not feel discouraged. Give it 7-10 days before trying a new formula. If you were trying out a low lactose formula and it didn’t work, it could be best to go with a dairy free baby formula next.
- Other tips. Be sure to slowly introduce a new formula with a gradual approach. When possible, always choose an organic lactose free formula with no maltodextrin or palm oil. A cleaner formula with a healthy ingredient list will always provide your baby with the best overall wellbeing.
Lactose Free Formula FAQs
Lactose intolerance in babies is a reaction to the sugar in milk, called lactose. This reaction is due to a lack of lactase (digestive enzyme) which makes it difficult to break down and tolerate dairy. Signs of lactose intolerance include bloating, gas, discomfort, diarrhea, and fussiness. You will want to opt for a formula without lactose or low lactose.
Milk protein allergies in babies are caused by a reaction to the protein in the milk and is triggered by your baby’s immune system. With a cow’s milk protein allergy you may see the same digestive problems that you would with a lactose intolerance, but they could be more severe. There may also be the addition of mucus or blood in their stool.
Additionally, it is common to see skin reactions such as rashes and swelling in the face, lips, and eyes. There may also be cold-like symptoms with a runny or stuffy nose, coughing, and wheezing. Severe allergic reactions could be life threatening. Dairy-free formulas are the best bet for a milk protein allergy.
Milk intolerance in babies is another thing to look out for with your little one. Some babies will have a milk intolerance that is not as severe as an allergy. In the same way as the milk protein allergy, this intolerance is a reaction to the protein in milk which sparks the immune system to react. This can cause troublesome digestive issues for your child, but not life threatening as an allergy could be.
No. Lactose intolerance can cause colic or reflux in babies, but it is not the same thing. Colic and reflux can stem from a variety of root causes including over or underfeeding, underdeveloped digestive system, overstimulation, and other sensitivities to breast milk or formula.
Many babies with a lactose intolerance will show symptoms such as excessive crying and fussiness, gas, and bloating. It is important to talk to your doctor to figure out what is going on and come up with the best plan for your baby.
Cow’s milk contains a protein structure made up of mostly casein (about 80%) and whey (about 20%). Whey is a simpler protein, whereas casein is a more complex protein, and takes longer to digest. There are several types of casein proteins, with the most common ones being A1 and A2 beta-casein protein.
A2 milk contains almost exclusively A2 milk protein and no A1 protein. Regular cow’s milk contains both A1 and A2, although the proportions vary with different breeds. Most babies (without lactose intolerance) will do well on cow milk formula, as it is a similar protein ratio to breastmilk. Some babies will need an A2 formula, as breastmilk mostly contains the A2 variant of beta casein. For premature infants who have an underdeveloped digestive system, along with full-term babies who are having digestive issues, A2 formula may be a good option since it will likely be gentler on their tummies.
There are a variety of brands with baby formula that’s lactose free. The ingredients will vary from product to product. In general, you will find a carbohydrate source that is an alternative to lactose, such as corn syrup or sucrose. Additionally, there will still be all the nutrient rich contents with vitamins and minerals as you’d see in other formulas.
Many lactose free formulas have added DHA, ARA, and vitamin D for brain health and immune support. Some will also contain prebiotics and probiotics for gut health and digestive support. Overall, the ingredients will be pretty similar to cow’s milk formula with the main change being the alternate sugar.
You should be able to see results within one to two weeks after switching formulas. With any formula, there is a transition period where the baby’s stomach adjusts to something brand new. There can be temporary, short-term effects that go away within 2 weeks or less. However, many parents report seeing positive changes within their baby’s mood and comfort within less than one week.
No, not all lactose free formulas are dairy free. Some formulas simply remove the lactose within the milk through various processes. For a dairy and lactose free formula, you will want to look for a vegan or plant-based option. These formulas would be both lactose free and dairy free, with protein coming from peas, soy, amino acids, or other vegan sources.
Just like with regular milk-based formulas, lactose free formula side effects include new stomach troubles, bloating, and changes in stool. Most of these symptoms will go away within a week or so of adjusting to the new food. One of the major disadvantages of many lactose free formulas is that the lactose is often replaced by other sugar sources that are not very healthy. Many are made with corn syrup or sucrose. However, when you are put in a position of needing a lactose free formula to ease your baby’s symptoms, the pros will likely outweigh the cons.
Yes, in general all formulas will vary in taste. The taste depends on many factors such as different brands and types of formulas. Hydrolyzed formulas are known to taste bitter, but the degree of bitterness depends on the protein source, lactose content, and how much the protein is broken down. Soy formulas, pea-based formulas, and amino-acid based formulas will all have different tastes that your baby may or may not enjoy.
In general, formula-fed children have a higher risk of constipation than breastfed children. Formula that is lactose free is often thicker and can take longer to work through the baby’s system. Some of these formulas have larger proteins, as well. This makes it harder to digest.
If you notice constipation after switching to a lactose free baby milk, consult with your pediatrician and try out a hydrolyzed option with broken down proteins. Additionally, every baby is different and there may simply be certain ingredients in a formula that do not work for their system. A different formula for lactose intolerant infants may work just fine. It can sometimes come down to trial and error.
More Helpful Formula Guides!
We all want the very best for our children, and that includes the best formula! It can feel exhausting and confusing, however, when one type of formula works for other babies but doesn’t work for yours. Finding the right formula will give everyone the much needed comfort and peace of mind. That’s why I wanted to be sure to thoroughly break down the important things to know and provide detailed overviews of low lactose and lactose free formula for babies.
I really hope that this post gives you all the information you need on your search for the best formula for lactose intolerance! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out in the comments below. I make sure to respond to every question I get!