Baby Formula

Best Baby Formula In South Africa

There is no question that the best milk for babies is breast milk. However, in many instances, moms cannot breastfeed due to medical reasons or choose not to for personal reasons.

Baby formula does not encompass the immune molecules that are passed to your baby from your breast milk, however some products contain similar amounts of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and minerals found in breast milk.

The good news is that manufacturers of baby formula are continuously improving products, based on research conducted. One excellent example is that most baby formulas now contain omega-3 fatty acids as well as other essential fatty acids to promote neural (mental) and visual development in babies. These fatty acids play a quintessential role in brain function.

The best baby formula in South Africa for your baby is the kind that is recommended by your paediatrician and which is accepted by your child. Baby formula is designed to mimick breast milk, however each one contains different ingredients.

Best Baby Formula in South Africa

Three types of baby formula on the market:

Cow’s milk infant formula

This type of formula is the most favourable one on the market and is treated to make the protein more digestible.

Soy infant formula

This type of formula is rarely recommended by doctors, usually in situations where a baby is allergic to the protein which is found in cow’s milk.

Specialized infant formula

This type of formula is typically prescribed for specific medical issues like babies who suffer from severe cow’s milk protein allergies, premature babies, or babies with metabolic disorders.

Baby formula is available in three forms:

  • Powder that is mixed with water
  • Liquid concentrate mixed with water
  • Ready-to-feed mixture that is already mixed

No matter if you are a new mom or you have already been through the process, there are so many baby formula variants available on the market today. How do you know which is the best formula milk for newborns?  These four baby formulas are the top-selling brands in South Africa.

Best Formulas In South Africa

NAN Baby Formula

NAN baby formula

Kids grow incredibly fast and necessitate the right nutrition throughout the various stages of their lives. If attention is not paid to this, they have a higher risk of long-term health issues and deficiencies.

Obtaining the proper nutrition in the right quantities is supporting your child’s growth and gives them a healthy developmental foundation. Included in this foundation are proteins that are an essential component in a growing child’s diet. Proteins provide the nutrients that your child needs for development and growth.

  • Nan optipro 1 – is a superior starter baby formula that is designed specifically to ensure your baby has a balanced diet and receives the nutrition he needs. Nan Optipro 1 offers a complete nutritional diet for babies from birth.
  • NAN Pelargon – is a biologically acidified baby formula that inhibits growth of harmful bacteria in a prepared feed. NAN pelargon is an acidified cow’s milk infant formula and is ideal for babies with mild digestive issues, or that lives in areas with lesser hygiene. NAN Pelargon is often prescribed for babies with gastro infections.

Similac Baby Formula

Similac baby formula

Moms often wonder which baby formula is closest to breast milk in South Africa. Similac is thought of to be a close replica.

  • Similac is also a recommended infant formula for reducing colic symptoms in babies. This formula is formulated scientifically with nutrition that helps support your growing infant’s mental and physical development.
  • Similac Sensitive is an extensively hydrolysed formula, which means the milk protein is broken into smaller and easier digestible pieces.
  • Similac is a soy-based infant formula that works similar to a cow’s-based formula.
  • Soy-based formula is not recommended for babies with low birth weight or premature babies. Soy infant formulas do not contain sufficient phosphorous and calcium to sustain healthy bone development.

Novalac Symbiotic Baby Formula

Novalac Symbiotic baby formula

The best baby formula South Africa for reducing symptoms of conditions that influence crying, feeding, and distress, is Novalac. This product has been clinically tested and can help with easing your baby’s discomfort, leaving him more relaxed and content. It is a good choice for colic babies.

  • Novalac Symbiotic is considered among the best baby formula for baby South Africa due to its complete nutritional requirements that babies need as part of a diversified diet. This infant formula is an ideal everyday milk that is supplemented with various components that are naturally found in human milk and that has a positive impact on health and development in babies.
  • Novalac Symbiotic contains synergetic pre- and pro-biotics, nucleotides, and two long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (ARA and DHA).
  • The product is sucrose-free.

S26 Baby Formula

S26 Baby formula

S26 Gold infant formula is a gentle, premium, and trusted brand which is used for balanced nutrition if breast milk is not an option.

  • S-26 Gold newborn – A premium baby formula containing alpha-lactalbumin and enriched with a whey-dominant protein that is derived from cow’s milk. Providing nutrition to babies from birth.
  • S-26 Gold comfort – When your baby is experiencing some digestive discomfort, it is essential that he is still receiving high quality nutrition. S-26 Gold comfort is formulated specifically for this to provide optimum nutrition for babies from birth. This product is 100% whey with partially hydrolysed protein from cow’s milk. You can continue feeding your baby with this formula around six months when solid foods are introduced to ensure your child is getting a well-balanced diet.

Best infant formula for babies who have allergies

  • Partially hydrolysed formulas (Eg: S-26 Gold comfort /Carnation Good start)

With partially hydrolysed infant formula, the cow’s milk protein whey, is broken into larger pieces. Keep in mind that babies who are allergic to cow’s milk, may react to the larger pieces of milk protein. Therefore, this type of formula cannot be used for babies who are allergic to cow’s milk.

  • Extensively hydrolysed baby formulas (Eg: Nutramigen)

Infant formulas who are extensively hydrolysed are used for treating a cow’s milk protein allergy. These formulas are hypoallergenic and the casein (cow’s milk protein) is broken into smaller pieces to make it easier digestible. This formula is also used in cases of malabsorption.

If you are considering giving your baby this type of formula, be sure to speak to your healthcare professional first. You must make sure it is the best decision to ensure your baby’s overall health.

Mother Bottle Feeding Baby

Different kinds of infant formula in South Africa

  • Standard formula

The majority of infant formulas are produced from cow’s milk that is adapted to be more suitable for infants. The proteins are altered to be easier digestible, and lactose is added to mimic breast milk. The vegetable oil is substituted with butter fat.

  • Starter baby formula

These formulas are suitable from birth until six months. They are typically based on the whey protein in cow’s milk which is generally easier digestible. This protein is lighter and better for younger babies because their digestible systems is not yet fully developed.

  • Follow-on baby formula

Follow-on formulas are typically for babies of six to twelve months and provide the nutritional needs for a more diversified diet. They are primarily based on the casein protein in cow’s milk and is a heavier protein to digest. This type of formula prepares a baby’s gut for digesting solid foods.

  • Growing-up milk

These formulas are for babies from twelve to thirty-six months of age. When your child starts growing and developing, their nutritional needs start changing. Toddlers often tend to be picky eaters and are prone to nutrient deficiencies. This is where growing-up milk provides the essential nutrients that they are not getting from certain foods.

Dad formula feeding baby

6 Tips for bottle-feeding your baby

Take it easy

This is usually the most calm and relaxed time of the day when you have a new-born. Make yourself comfortable and enjoy being close with your baby.

Unwind a little

Feeding time can be a time for you to focus on this special time with your new-born and forget about the stresses of everyday life. Enjoy the moment, irrespective if it lasts a short while or takes longer.

Always check the milk’s temperature

When you enjoy a cup of coffee, you prefer it at just the right temperature. You do not want it scorching or too cold. If your baby prefers a warm bottle, always test the temperature of the milk on your wrist until it is at a comfortable temperature.

Find the best position

You might have heard that the perfect feeding angle is at 45 degrees when holding your baby. However, if this is a bit too on the scientific side for you, the crook of your arm is the best place for your baby to be comfortable. He must be halfway between lying down and sitting up.

Air is not your friend

Air in milk is usually any parent’s worst enemy since a colicky baby is no fun. Ensure that you are not holding the bottle too flat. Tilt the bottle to keep the teat filled with milk. Once the bottle starts draining, you must tip it higher. If you are worried about air, try to use a bottle with an angled teat

Check the teats for bite marks

Once your little one starts getting teeth, you must check the teats for any bite marks. Teats tend to get damaged once your baby starts chewing or teething. The same goes for soothers as well. Check them regularly for bite marks.

5 Tips for babies that do not want to take a bottle

Whether you are weaning your baby from breast to bottle or are using a combination of feeding, it can be an uphill battle sometimes if your baby simply refuses the bottle. This is a common issue that many parents are facing. Unfortunately, there are no magical solution for the problem. You can try these tips to see if it makes the transition a little easier though.

However before trying different bottle brands available for purchasing to locate one that he likes, a little perseverance can go a long way in saving you some money. Remember, a baby who was breastfed is not going to take kindly to the bottle at first. It simply is not the same experience for him. It is not realistic to expect immediate results.  Have a look at these bottle-feeding tips to consider when weaning your baby off your breast and moving on to bottle feeding.

Do not wait until the last minute

If you are planning on moving your baby to a bottle when you are returning to the office, start doing so early. Give you and your baby plenty of time to make the adjustment and getting into the fresh routine. If you are switching to formula, try to make the transition as comfortable as possible for him. First feed him breast milk in his bottle before moving to formula.

Do not be shy to enlist reinforcements

Imagine you are on a strict diet and while having a healthy lunch, you are staring at a delicious slice of cake in plain sight. The same goes for your baby. Why would he prefer the bottle if your breast is right there? Switch it up a little and get your husband or others in the household to feed the baby when you are not around.

Use teats that mimic your breasts

When you are using a teat that is closely mimicking your breast, your baby will be more likely to accept it. Choose a teat that is shaped like a breast and has similar movement.

Try to stick to one type of bottle

Once you have tried all the tips above, you may be tempted in introducing different teats and bottle to get your baby to accept one. Remember, the more you give a bottle to your baby, the more comfortable he will become with it. Instead of trying six different type of bottles without success, instead, introduce the same bottle a few times. A little perseverance can go a long way and soon this issue will be a thing of the past. Just use a bottle that in your opinion is the closest to your breast in movement and shape.


We hope you have found our article about the best baby formula in South Africa helpful and will choose one that gives your baby the most nutritional value.

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  1. I breastfed as long as possible with both my kids but when I started to notice they wanted more then I realised my milk was not feeding them enough.
    I used SMA and then S26
    Didn’t have any hassle with it
    my babies was very happy.
    Happy Baby is a Happy Mommy

  2. As a mom to be this was a very useful read. Thank you.

  3. Intressante stukkie lees stof. Baie dankie

    • Very informative, however I used Lactogen, to suit my pocket. And baby grew nicely, picked up weight very fast.. But healthy none the less.

      • Hi, I’m a pregnant and would like to know if HIpp organics is a good formula for new born, Thank you ????

  4. Very insightful, will help in choosing a formula for my baby when I head back to work. S26 Gold was great for my son as he was prone to constipation

    • My daughter was also on S26 Gold and she loved it!

      • Thanks good information. I uses Infacare with my previous child and expecting my 2nd child and going to use Infacare definitely again, my child don’t get any cramps and hood nutrition and healthy baby.

  5. Very informative,thank you

  6. We used Nan HA for our little one to supplement his feeds, and it’s a really great formula.

  7. S26 Gold was the best for my sons whom both suffered with reflux..

  8. Thanks a lot for the info I really needed it.

  9. Had no idea about most of this! Thank you for sharing such an informative article

  10. I don’t really think one milk is better than the other. This is a personal preference thing. As with everything else, eg: some people prefer Ricoffy, others Jacobs and some freshly ground coffee, whatever works for you. As long as baby is feeding and healthy and growing.

  11. Such an informative article. Thanks.

  12. nan Gold is a really good brand, my daughter was first put on S26 and she did not like it then we gave her Nan Gold and it was lovely for her.

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