The More You Know: A Brief History of Infant Formula

Young adult mother hand taking plastic bottle of white milk for baby feeding. Empty place for text on light blue wall background. Pastel color. Closeup. Front view.

By Insider Envy Staff

The choice of what to feed your baby is one of the most important decisions you make as a parent...

but the options are somewhat limited for the first few months of their lives. Choosing between breast milk and formula is a very personal decision and oftentimes those who choose formula are looking for something that resembles the nutrients found in breast milk as closely as possible. While this wasn’t always the case, there is now an overwhelming variety of formulas offering different benefits on the market. ByHeart developed their new formula to provide an all-in-one option to meet these needs so that you don’t have to sacrifice one nutritional benefit for another.

Given that infant formula did not make its way onto the scene until 1865 you might wonder, what did women do before that? Early on there was wet nursing for actual breast milk and animal milk as an alternative. When the chemical properties of breast milk were determined, it was thought to be the most nutritious in comparison to animal milk and so the bar was set. Since then companies have been competing to develop the best formula that comes as close to breast milk as possible.


Baby formula has come a long way since 1865. Here's a brief history:


In 1865, a chemist named Justus von Liebig developed the first infant “food” as it was marketed. This was made of cow’s milk, wheat and malt flour, and potassium bicarbonate.


In 1885, Myerling’s unsweetened evaporated milk came onto the scene and while it would fill an infant’s belly, it lacked all of the protein, vitamins, and minerals that breast milk is rich in.


In the 1920s,  the American Medical Association (AMA) got involved and many companies sought their “seal of acceptance” in regards to the safety and quality of their formula.                   

End of the 1920s

By the end of the 1920s, non-milk alternatives were developed using soy flour but they too lacked the essential vitamins and minerals.       

Powder milk for baby and blue spoon on light background close-up. Milk powder for baby in measuring spoon on can. Powdered milk with spoon for baby. Baby Milk Formula and Baby Bottles. Baby milk formula on kitchen background


In the 1940s and 1950s, infant formula was now regarded as an acceptable and safe alternative to breastmilk.


In 1980, the Infant Formula Act was enacted establishing minimum nutrient requirements for formulas that included proteins, fats, and vitamins.


In 1999, Baby’s Only, the first organic infant formula, was introduced.


In 2022, ByHeart became the first new FDA-registered formula IN 25 YEARS.

Meet ByHeart, the baby formula company that's shaking up the industry.

Today you can find a formula to meet every need: organic formulas, dairy-free formulas, formulas that eliminate gas, and even a pea-protein formula. While it seems that this saturated market is constantly improving, the goal is still to get baby formula as close to breast milk as possible. While a few companies have come pretty close and have even met FDA requirements for their nutritional profile, they seem to have sacrificed quality ingredients in some instances.

Fortunately for those who don’t want to sacrifice these standards, ByHeart has created a product that seeks to take these advancements even further. The ingredients are clean and made in small batches so that quality is never sacrificed. They use organic, grass-fed cow’s milk and offer a patented protein blend that contains two of the most abundant proteins found in breast milk. ByHeart has completed the largest clinical trial by a new infant formula brand in over 25 years, of over 300 babies with some impressive results; multiple benefits have been shown in the areas of healthy growth, gut health, and even digestive comfort when compared to their competitors. This is the direction that infant formula has been headed since it was first introduced and it seems that finally quality and safety have come together to provide the best nutrition possible. 

Interested to learn more about ByHeart?

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