HomeshoppingSimilac vs. Enfamil: Which Baby Formula is Better?

Similac vs. Enfamil: Which Baby Formula is Better?

You’ll find many baby formula options in any grocery store. These include Similac and Enfamil. Which formula is best for your family?

Below we compare the milk-based, gentle, and spit up formulas of both brands to help parents decide which one is best for their baby. (Note: All prices are sourced directly from Amazon and are correct as of the date of publication.

Similac vs Enfamil: The Big Differences

Similac and Enfamil share many commonalities, but they have some key differences. While we will dive into the differences in more detail later on this article, here is a quick summary of their main differences.

  • Standard milk-based baby formula Enfamil NeuroPro (Enfamil’s standard milk-based formula), contains milk fat membrane and slightly higher levels of certain fatty acids.
  • Gentle baby formulas Formulas for fussy babies by Enfamil and Similac rely on different proteins. Enfamil’s Gentlease contains 60% whey protein and 40% casein, while Similac’s ProTotal Comfort has 100% whey protein.
  • Spit up baby formulas: Similac claims that its spit up formula reduces the number of spit up episodes by 54%, while Emfamil claims that it can reduce spit up episodes by 50%.

No matter what brand you choose, all baby formulas sold in the United States must meet certain nutritional specifications set forth by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. These specifications ensure that your infant gets the nutrients they require to grow and thrive.

Similac Advance vs. Enfamil NeuroPro: Standard Milk-Based Formula

Most parents in the U.S. use standard milk-based infant formulations to nourish their children, even if they are not breastfeeding or using human milk. The American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP), recommends that formula-fed babies be given iron-fortified milk-based formulas.

If a baby is allergic to milk-based formulas, health care providers will seek alternatives. However, standard milk-based formulas are the most common starting point for them, says Dyan Hes M.D., a New York City paediatrician.

She says that cow’s milk formula is always used because it contains all the same sugars as breast milk. Infant formulas should be able to replicate breast milk’s composition as closely as possible.

Here are the comparisons between Enfamil and Similac’s standard milk-based formulas.

Similac Pro-Advance 36 Oz (Pack of 3). $1.11 per ounce Start at $129


Enfamil NeuroPro 31.4 Oz (Pack Of 4) $1.21 per ounce Start at $162


Similac Advance

Similac Advance, an iron-fortified milk-based formula, contains docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA), which is an omega-3 fatty acid. It also includes lutein and vitamin A to support infant neurodevelopment. Although Similac Advance claims it does not contain palm olein, it is important to note that studies have shown the substance naturally occurs within breast milk and has no adverse effect on babies.

Cost: 1.41 an ounce

Key ingredients:

  • Nonfat milk
  • Lactose
  • Concentrated Whey Protein
  • Safflower oil with high oleic content
  • Soy oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Galactooligosaccharides (prebiotics)

Enfamil NeuroPro

Enfamil NeuroPro’s emphasis on brain- and eye-boosting fat acids is what sets it apart. For brain health, the World Health Organization recommends that infant formulas contain between.3% and.5% DHA. Enfamil’s formula contains.32%.

Cost: 1.57 an ounce

Key ingredients:

  • Nonfat milk
  • Lactose
  • Vegetable oil: coconut, palm olein and high-oleic sunflower oils
  • Concentrated Whey Protein
  • Concentrated Whey protein-lipid

Enfamil NeuroPro is the winner

Although the Advance and NeuroPro formulas share similar ingredients, Enfamil NeuroPro is more successful because it contains something called milk fat membrane (MFGM).

Delene P. Musielak M.D., a St. Louis paediatrician, said that MFGM is a substance found naturally in human milk fat. This helps the formula closely imitate breast milk’s properties. A study published in the Journal of Pediatrics showed that formula containing bovine MFGM or bovine lactoferrin provided babies with a boost in language, cognitive, and motor development.

Dr. Musielak also noted that Enfamil NeuroPro has slightly higher levels DHA and arachidonic acids (ARA), which are both omega-6 fatty acids. These fatty oils are vital for the development of infants’ eyes and brains. However, studies have not shown that higher intakes of these fatty acids in the infancy period will result in long-term health benefits.

Dr. Musielak states that parents should choose the formula that is best for their baby and the most cost-effective for the family. The Enfamil neuroPro is the best option if you are looking for breast milk-like formulas.

Gentle Baby Formula: Similac PRO Total Comfort vs. Enfamil Gentlease

Although most paediatricians recommend that babies be started on milk-based formulas from the beginning, Dr. Musielak suggests switching to gentler varieties if parents experience any of these symptoms.

  • Gas
  • Digestive issues
  • Excessive fussiness and mania
  • Sensitivity towards lactose

Because they already break down the proteins found in milk, gentle–or partially-hydrolyzed–formulas can be easier to digest for small stomachs. According to Bridget Young M.D. assistant professor of paediatrics at University of Rochester School of Medicine, Rochester, New York, gentle formulas might be more like breast milk in terms of size.

Dr. Young says that human breast milk proteins are on average smaller than those of cows’ milk proteins. “So partially hydrolyzed formulations provide proteins that have a smaller size than standard formula proteins, but are close to breast milk proteins.”

They contain casein and milk, so even gentle formulas may not be suitable for babies who have true milk allergies.

Here are the comparisons between Similac’s gentle formulation and Enfamil’s gentle formula.

Similac ProTotal Comfort 36 Oz (Pack of 3). $1.24 per ounce Start at $133.95


Enfamil Gentlease 27.7 Oz (Pack Of 4) $1.23 per ounce Start at $135.96


Similac ProTotal Comfort

Similac’s Pro-Total Comfort formula uses 100% partially hydrolyzed milk protein, which may be easier on some stomachs. Dr. Hes is impressed with Similac’s inclusions of human milk Oligosaccharides, which are prebiotics found in breast milk and that provide cognitive, immune, and gastrointestinal support.

Cost: 1.50 ounces (at CVS).

Key ingredients:

  • Corn maltodextrin
  • Hydrolysate of whey protein
  • Safflower oil with high oleic content
  • Sugar
  • Soy oil
  • Coconut oil

Enfamil Gentlease

Gentlease is a partially hydrolyzed, nonfat milk with whey proteins. It’s designed to be easy on small stomachs. This formula is for infants with digestive problems. It aims to reduce fussiness and ease gas.

Price:$1.45 an ounce

Key ingredients:

  • Solids from corn syrup
  • Nonfat, partially hydrolyzed milk and whey protein concentrate (soy).
  • Vegetable oil: coconut, palm olein and high-oleic sunflower oils
  • Calcium phosphate

Similac ProTotal Comfort is the Winner

Pro-Total Comfort is not necessarily better than Gentlease when it comes to comparing them. It’s about choosing which option your baby can tolerate more easily and testing the results. Dr. Young agrees.

Both formulas use different protein sources which can affect a baby’s comfort. Pro-Total Comfort uses 100% whey protein that has been partially hydrolyzed. Gentlease has a mix of 60% whey, 40% casein and 60% whey. Dr. Young also noted differences in the sources of carbohydrate, fat, and explained that it should be up to the parents to decide what is best for their baby.

Dr. Hes recommends the Pro-Total Comfort formula if you have to deal with an infant who is lactose intolerant. This formula has 2% lactose, compared to the 20% in Gentlease.

Baby Formula for Spit Up – Enfamil AR Vs. Similac SPIT-UP

Spit up is just part of being a parent. Paediatricians are often not concerned about tiny developing digestive systems. However, proper weight gain and adequate diaper use (about six to eight per day) can help.

Dr. Hes says, “If the baby’s quality is being affected by spit up and/or disrupting their sleep, we may consider switching Formulas,.” Many babies love to spit and do not require a change in formula. However, if a baby isn’t growing or losing weight well, we might change to a formula that prevents spit up.

We’re going to show you two options for spit up that are very popular with new parents.

Similac for Spit-Up 19.36 Oz $1.49 per ounce Start at $28.99


Enfamil A.R. 19.5 Oz $1.54 per ounce Start at $28.82


Similac for Spit-Up

Similac claims that its spit up formula reduces spit-up episodes in healthy 2-month-old infants by 54% compared with infants who are fed standard milk-based formulas. The formula contains additional rice starch and lutein to reduce spit-up and a combination of vitamin E, DHA and vitamin E to support infant neurological development.

Price: Previously $1.28 an ounce (currently unavailable at Amazon)

Key ingredients:

  • Corn syrup
  • Modified rice starch
  • Milk protein isolate
  • Safflower oil with high oleic content
  • Sugar
  • Soy oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Galactooligosaccharides (prebiotics)

Enfamil A.R.

Enfamil A.R. Enfamil A.R. is a rice starch thickened formula that can reduce spit-up by up to 50% in babies. This formula contains the same amount of DHA as ARA recommended by the brand.

Price:$1.35 an ounce

Key ingredients:

  • Non-fat milk
  • Vegetable oil: coconut, palm olein and high-oleic sunflower oils
  • Rice starch
  • Lactose
  • Maltodextrin
  • Galactooligosaccharides (prebiotics)
  • Prebiotics: Polydextrose

Similac for Spit-Up is the winner

First, Dr. Musielak warns that both formula options have a thickening agent called Rice Starch. This helps babies keep liquids down. These formulas are thicker than regular formulas and can cause bottle clogging. Dr. Musielak recommends that parents use a larger size nipple to store their infants. Dr. Musielak warns against changing or cutting bottle tops by yourself, as they can become choking hazards during feeding.

Although the formulas are similar, especially in how they reduce spit-up, Similac’s increased efficacy and lower price make it the first choice.

Similac vs. Enfamil: Other Infant Formulas

Similac and Enfamil offer formulas for babies who are sensitive to cow’s milk protein, or have other allergies.

Enfamil is a particular example of this:

  • Nutramigen containing Enflora LGG Powder. Hypoallergenic, it is made from highly hydrolyzed proteins and has DHA and ARA to support brain and eye development. Enfamil also offers this formulation in liquid form.
  • PurAmino Hypoallergenic infant formula powder. Enfamil explains that this formula is suitable for babies who have severe food allergies. It’s made with no amino acids.

Similac also offers the following services for people with food allergies:

  • Similac Almentum. This hypoallergenic formulation contains 2’FL HMO (an ingredient for immune support) and a reduced protein that is easier to digest for babies. You can also get this formula in ready-to feed bottles.

Similac and Enfamil offer organic options for those who are interested. Similac Organic, which is organic milk from Enfamil, contains USDA-certified organic milk. Similac Organic is organic milk with other ingredients.

How to Choose the Best Formula for Your Baby

The FDA has strict nutritional requirements that all approved baby formulas must adhere to, regardless of what brand you choose. Formula choice is ultimately a matter of preference, for both you and your baby.

Dr. Young suggests that you make your decision based only on the ingredients listed. These ingredients make up 98% and have the greatest impact on baby’s comfort. Dr. Young recommends that you ignore the marketing claims and go straight to the ingredient list. Discuss with your pediatrician the best options for your baby’s digestive health.


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