What’s the Best Organic Formula Without Hexane or BPA?

In our research for The Eco-nomical Baby Guide, our favorite organic choice was Nature’s One Baby’s Only Organic Formula.  And in our recent exploration of hexane, Baby’s Only again stands out as the best choice.

So what is hexane anyway?  It’s a petroleum derivative that’s found in glue and gasoline and has recently been used in infant formula to help obtain the DHA and ARA fatty acids from fermented algae and fungus.  Since breast milk is packed with DHA and ARA, there has been a recent drive to get these components into formula.  (Don’t get us started on the advantages of breastfeeding.  If you possibly can breastfeed, there are a million reasons that it will provide you with better health, your baby with better immunity, and save you heaps of cash.  Since not everyone can, we want to be sure to share organic formula options. If you are breastfeeding, don’t forget to enter our Hygeia EnJoye Breastpump Giveaway!)

Similic Organic Formula and Earth’s Best Organic Formula both state that no trace of hexane is detectable in their formula and that it’s just used to process the DHA and ARA.  But Nature’s One Baby’s Only is the only organic formula to derive their DHA and ARA fatty acids without hexane.  They are also the only organic formula to have 100% BPA free packaging.

There’s just one problem with Baby’s Only Organic formula.  In an effort to encourage breastfeeding, the company recommends their formula as a follow up to a full year of breastfeeding.  However, they offer a nutritional chart comparing their formula to others on the market and recommend that you consult with your health care professional.  It’s clear from viewing the chart that Baby’s Only  meets or exceeds other brands with its nutritional components and would be more than adequate as an infant formula.

Baby’s Only Infant Formula isn’t even the most expensive option!  It comes in at $0.88/oz. while Earth’s Best Organic Formula costs $1.15/oz. and Similac Organic is a bit cheaper at $0.73/oz. (These are my current rough estimates based on buying from Amazon in large quantities)

What’s your favorite organic infant formula?  Any tips on finding the best prices on formula?


  1. Thsnk you for posting about formula. I had a much need breast reduction 8 years ago and I have to supplement with formula. I’d much rather excusively breast feed but it is good to have healthy formula info since I can’t.

  2. I researched this like crazy when I had to wean my daughter early at 6 months due to a needed medical treatment on my part. I started with Babys Only but, unfortunately, my daughter reacted badly to it and got a yeast rash! We put her back on 100% breastmilk and she was fine, then we tried Earth’s Best and she was okay, tried Baby’s Only a little here and there and the yeast came back. She seemed to have been sensitive to the rice sugars in it…but Earth’s Best worked great and we ordered it by the case from Amazon so it ended up being a pretty inexpensive formula (as they go).

  3. why bother feeding organic stuff to baby? As soon as they make their own food choices they’ll eat all sorts of stuff that isnt organic. do you believe you’re giving your baby a better head start than other babies? a healthier head start? because honey, the air we breathe is full of chemicals and toxins.

  4. We were surprised in our research to learn that even budget-oriented sources like Consumer Reports recommends organic baby food and formula. Of course not everyone chooses organic, but if you do, what’s the best choice? We don’t try to force anyone to make any green decision, but for people seeking organic formula, we want to make sure we explore the options.

  5. Formula is a topic worth addressing, but you should really touch on milk sharing, too, if you’re looking at green infant feeding alternatives to a baby’s own mother’s breast. Instead of all the processing, packaging and shipping of formula, you could get milk from a local mama with a surplus.

  6. There is an organic option called Hipp Organic in the UK: http://www.hipp.co.uk/

    Here’s a site that will ship to the U.S.: http://www.expatessentials.com/index.html

    Hope this helps….shipping is expensive but its nice to know there is another option out there in addition to Baby’s Only. I breastfeed but am considering this formula to have as backup!

  7. Would you say that Hexane is better than Arsenic based on the research that you have done on Hexane?

  8. Tracey Hawkins says

    They all are contain poison. I’m trying to figure out if it is better to poison my daughter with hexane or arsenic. It’s crazy that you can’t buy formula without dha made with hexane or organic brown rice that contains lots of arsenic. This isnt right. I feel like I have no choice. I have to choose to poison with Arsenic or hexane.

  9. Christina says

    We are going through the same dilema…
    We did see at the nature’s one website that they have worked to rid the food of arsenic, despite the brown rice syrup.

    we shall see

  10. Same thing here. We want organic but it seems like our options include either hexane, which is in Earth’s Best and others with DHA, or arsenic, which is in Baby’s Only containing brown rice syrup. Does anyone know if HIPP (out of the UK) would be a good choice? No brown rice syrup but it does say it uses DHA. Does anyone know if their methods involve hexane or some other harmful chemical solvents to extract DHA?

  11. good to see I am not the only mum in this situation. for once I thought I was going crazy researching everyday for an organic formula without dha or brown rice syrup. I started my son on baby’s only at 6 months but some how deep down I just didnt feel it was the right formula for him. I noticed he was adding weight as he did when he was exclusively on breastmilk and the controversy about arsenic kept troubling me. So torn between feeding my child hexanne and arsenic, I decided to feed him similac go and grow(without the dha). I choose that because it didnt have arsenic or hexanne or palm oil(thats another controversial ingredient). It wasnt organic but I figured it was better I didnt feed my child hexanne, arsenic or palm oil even though it wasnt organic. Oh I forgot I first tried Holle organic from Europe( I have family there). That was also good, no poisons but I cant have it delivered to cananda.

  12. * meant to say, I noticed he wasnt adding weight on the Baby’s only formula. anyways, my son is still on BM so I figured he will get his omega 3 and 6 from that and also I have introduced fish to his diet. He is 8 months now. I just wish they will make organic formula with dha/ara or palm oil. 🙁

  13. You also have to know that BPA is in the formulas. Although Babys Only is the only one that uses BPA free packaging. Breastmilk also has arsenic because its in the food the mother eats so the baby gets it either way.

  14. Babys Only does not contain arsenic. They use brown rice syrup, but use a source of rice that does not contain arsenic. They do use slightly fluoridated water.

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  15. The hexane in baby formula issue played a role in an very successful case where I was able to help an infant with multiple problems at once through gentle bodywork in my role as a licensed massage therapist in the Boston area.
    A couple of years ago some young parents brought their 6 week old daughter to my office for CranioSacral Therapy, an extremely gentle hands-on technique that improves spinal fluid, blood, lymph and other fluid flow in order to soothe the nervous system and the body. It is entirely safe for people of any age, and there are almost no health issues for which it is contraindicated.
    Unusually, I was barely able to get anything done in the first session due to the baby’s strong neck tension & apparent pain, tactile defensiveness, near constant upset crying, difficulty breastfeeding, & digestive troubles. She also had some indentation in the shape of her right parietal bone area on the back right side of her head.
    She spent most of the session being held by dad, held by mom, breastfed, finger tube fed, being burped, being carried around, being patted, being jiggled, etc., all in attempts to soothe her crying and upset – – that also made it hard for me to do much diagnosis or treatment.
    Three very important things I was able to discern were: 1) she was not comfortable with her head being touched (which is normally an important part of the treatment), 2) She was not pausing to breathe while nursing, rather she was trying to breathe without pausing the sucking, causing gurgling & probably fluids and air going down the wrong pipes, and 3) her sacrum and occiput movement were out of synch with each other, which meant that a very primary part of her nervous system’s internal rhythms was off… it’s not something I find too often.
    Luckily they could see that I had some insight and perspective that validated their concerns and questions, and they followed my advice to set up a second appointment at the baby’s most relaxed hour, in the home environment that she is used to, with some soothing music that she was familiar with playing.
    This time I was able to do a complete treatment, starting at the lower spine while she was asleep, so that by the time she woke up and I was beginning to work on her head, she was already well into the deep relaxation that the treatment creates.
    When she woke up she woke up peacefully, with no fussing, and no resistance to my presence or touch. After experiencing more of the treatment peacefully, she began to stare into her dad’s eyes with her own wide open loving eyes, for a good twenty minutes straight. Then she did the same with her mom for an equal length of time, and then she did it with me for the same long long time. I was quite moved by her new peacefulness and comfort, and began to sing to her gently while I worked, and she responded with a lovely laugh of surprise each time the melody went through a certain note change. (The song that had spontaneously come to me to sing was called, “How Beautiful Could a Being Be?”)
    By now I had gently fixed the occiput/sacrum asynchronous movement, and was working on her head without any resistance, and her neck looked Much more relaxed. When she became hungry, she began to nurse, and I observed that she was now pausing to breath in the perfect target healthy pattern of every six to twelve sucks. Her dad commented that her misshapen head was about 75% better, which I agreed with.
    By now he had told me that her digestion had been even worse than its usual difficult and uncomfortable pattern that day… she had thrown up some kind of green bile or other liquid for the first time.
    I recommended that he google “hexane-free organic baby formula” after explaining about hexane and why and where it was used. He went straight to the internet, discovering that hexane was present in the formula they were supplementing with.
    He ascertained the healthier brands, called his local health food store ten minutes before their closing, and ran out immediately to grab several containers of the right kind. On his return, he continued the research and said that now it was not just soy formulas that had the hexane in them, but also it was in the Essential Fatty Acids that were often added to both milk-based and soy-based formulas.
    I left them with an infinitely calmer and happier baby, with even more of her head shape issue freed up, in a delightfully peaceful and comfortable place.
    Sadly, I did not get to work with her again because they moved to Canada shortly after this, but I have been in touch by email, and all their reports are that her digestion, comfort, health and happiness are good, as she looks in photos they have sent.
    I never heard whether they were ever able to really establish an easy consistent breastfeeding pattern and wean her off of formulas and and finger feeding, but I know that they were very happy with the treatment, the results, and their baby’s health! Knowing what I know now, I would have made my recommendation that mom get a treatment too much more strongly, and I would also have given her more breastfeeding guidance. (I have since taken a CAPPA Lactation Consultant training.)
    Obviously, it’s hard to separate out the effects of the formula change from all the benefits of the CranioSacral Therapy, but if the results are so good, does it even matter?
    I love stories with happy endings! Best of luck with all of your children!!

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