baby drinking bottle

Enfamil vs Similac [Which is Better?]

You just had a baby and you’ve decided on feeding your baby formula. When you go to Target or Walmart the formula aisle is packed with 15 or more brands and varieties. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed.

Maybe you started searching online for the best baby formula and find thousands of products backed with vigorous marketing campaigns. Imagine that! But which product should you buy?

It’s important to find the right baby formula for your child. While there are many varieties on the market, not all are created equal.

Going with the most popular brands is a safer bet, Enfamil or Similac. However, even those have multiple varieties to choose between.

That’s where we come in. You have enough on your plate. We have done the research and created a quick guide on the similarities and differences between the two and to save you time, energy, and an unnecessary headache. We are determined to save you time and provide you with all the information you need to make sure you choose the best baby formula for your baby.

Our thoughts

Enfamil and Similac are not just popular products hyped by marketing elites; they are truly great supplements for breast milk. Both are packed with a variety of nutrients for healthy growth.

However, comparing the two, Enfamil is the superior brand, their formulas feature most nutrients found in breast milk, for instance, Enfamil is the first brand to feature MFGM that is, Milk Fat Globule Membrane, a fat molecule that could only be found in breast milk.

Similac on the other hand, although a worthy competitor, tends to have more sugars in their formulas which can be hard to digest or cause sweet tooth in some babies.

At the end of the day, it all boils down to your own preference and whether or not your baby likes the taste. There is no point in the healthiest formula if your baby is going to spit it all out!

Our recommendation

We definitely recommend Enfamil NeuroPro simply because it comes infused with the MFGM fatty molecule, a substance that is almost impossible to find in other baby formulas. This nutrient besides the NeuroPro can only be found in breast milk. It is extremely crucial for cognitive development especially for babies less than a year old.

Our first runners-up would be the Similac  Pro Advance simply because it brings with it the HMO (Human Milk Oligosaccharide) with health benefits that are hard to ignore. The HMO is a major boost for the immune system, yet another substance found only in breast milk. The only reason we recommend Enfamil’s NeuroPro as our first choice over Similac’s Pro Advance is that it is easily digestible and has fewer sugars.

These two products are our top recommendation for anyone that wants a quick recommendation, however, there are other outstanding products from Enfamil and Similac.

Keep reading to find out more and why they might be what you need.

Enfamil NeuroPro vs. Similac Pro Advance

     

Enfamil NeuroPro is one of the best baby formulas in the industry jam-packed to boost an infant’s overall health. An obvious win for Enfamil’s NeuroPro is that it’s the first in the baby formula industry to incorporate the MFGM (Milk Fat Globule Membrane), a fat protein-coupled with DHA. Featuring the MFGM protein in baby formula is a milestone achievement simply because before this, the fat protein was only found in breast milk.

As your baby is growing, energy and cognitive development are key, and Enfamil NeuroPro is designed for that. The MFGM molecule stimulates cognitive development and since it is a fatty molecule it can break down to produce lots of energy for your baby’s health.

For cognitive development, Similac’s Pro Advance has the 2’ –FL Human Milk Oligosaccharide which is a prebiotic meant to nourish healthy bacteria, especially in the GI tract. The HMO also boosts the immune system making the 2-FL HMO Pro Advance a great option for babies that are more susceptible to infections.

Our pick here is the Enfamil NeuroPro simply because it comes with the MFGM. For any healthy baby, the brain is the most rapidly growing organ, and anything that boosts and stimulates this process more is a good thing. Although Similac’s Pro Advance helps your baby develop a stronger immune system, babies generally have a decent immune system and can fight off most infections. However, if your baby needs more immune system boost then Similac’s Pro Advance is a better option.

Similarities

  • Both Enfamil NeuroPro and Similac’s Pro Advance offer natural ingredients and none have any artificial sugars.
  • Both are quite similar and offer a decent amount of the fundamental vitamins and minerals
  • Both contain a high amount of milk-based ingredients such as whey protein, lactose, soy oil, coconut oil, and high oleic safflower oil. These oils are necessary for the proper development of organs such as the brain and eyes
  • Both contain specialized plant fibers that function as necessary prebiotics

Differences

  • In terms of omega fatty acids, Similac has more to offer in form of Linoleic Acid
  • Similac contains Lutein necessary for proper vision development which is not present in Enfamil NeuroPro
  • Similac’s Pro Advance might be easier to digest for some babies compared to the NeuroPro. Enfamil NeuroPro contains Palm Oil which might be hard to digest
Recommendation

Compared to Similac’s Pro Advance, Enfamil NeuroPro comes up on top.

We recommend it over the HMO Pro Advance simply because it contains the Milk Fat Globule Membrane. We believe that cognitive development is crucial for any baby. The brain is the number one organ that is ultimately responsible for your baby’s overall health and we recommend anything that nourishes the brain and stimulates growth.

However, if boosting the immune system is a priority to you then, Similac’s Pro Advance is a better choice.

Enfamil Infant vs. Similac Advance

      

If you are in the market for the best formula for babies less than a year old. Here is a detailed comparison between Enfamil Infant and Similac Advance, both created with infants in mind.

Similarities

  • Both contain specialized plant fibers that function as necessary prebiotics
  • Both have a decent amount of vitamins oils and fatty acids such as DHA, Vitamin K, and Choline
  • Both have very limited sugars
  • Both contain a high amount of milk-based ingredients such as whey protein, lactose, soy oil, coconut oil, and high oleic safflower oil. These oils are necessary for the proper development of organs such as the brain and eyes

Differences

  • Similac’s Advance has a higher water content
  • Similac’s Advance has a more Niacin content
  • Enfamil Infant has more carbohydrates
Recommendation

For babies under one year old, we recommend Similac’s Advanced Formula as a better choice compared to Enfamil’s Infant Formula. Although Enfamil’s Infant Formula has more natural ingredients, the palm oil contained within can cause indigestion in babies with sensitive tummies.

Another reason we recommend Similac’s Advance formula for babies less than a year is simply that it contains Lutein. For any baby less than a year, a formula that can enhance proper growth of their cognitive and vision development is crucial, and for that, Lutein is a winner.

See also: Best Seat Protector for Leather Car Seats 

Enfamil Gentlease vs. Similac Pro-Sensitive

In the sensitive tummies lineup, both Enfamil’s Gentlease and Similac’s Pro-Sensitive have lots to offer. Both formulas are recommended for babies less than a year. The formulas are geared towards troublesome tummies to provide relief and ease digestion as fast as possible.

Some cases of sensitive tummies are related to lactose intolerance from cow’s milk. However, sensitive tummies do not entirely mean your baby is lactose intolerant.

Similarities

  • Both formulas contain relatively the same vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, fatty acids, and water levels.
  • Both have a non-GMO version of their sensitive formulas lineup.
  • Both use corn syrup for the proper digestion of cow’s milk.

Differences

  • Similac’s Pro-Sensitive contains a higher amount of sugars compared to the Enfamil Gentlease.
  • Similac’s Pro-Sensitive contains special complex carbohydrates and sugars such as the HMO a component found in high amounts in human breast milk.
  • Similac’s Pro-Sensitive contains a higher amount of prebiotics.
  • Enfamil’s Gentlease contains whey protein which is much easier to digest and prevents gas.
Recommendation

Enfamil’s Gentlease and Similac’s Pro-Sensitive are still one of the best options if you are looking for baby formula for a sensitive tummy. However, some ingredients of the Similac’s Pro-Sensitive such as the milk protein isolate might trigger allergic reactions. We promote the Enfamil Gentlease as the winner simply because it contains low sugars coupled with partially hydrolyzed nonfat milk which makes cow’s milk easily digestible especially for sensitive tummies.

See also: Greatest Stuffed Animals for Babies to Cuddle

Enfamil Nutramigen vs. Similac Alimentum

  

Enfamil Nutramigen and Similac Alimentum are both remarkable formulas for babies with sensitive tummies. If your baby has colicky symptoms or recurrent reflux then they might be allergic to cow’s milk.

There is really not much difference between Enfamil Nutramigen and Similac Alimentum in terms of the ingredients they have to offer. However, Enfamil Nutramigen uses modified corn starch which might not be the best for babies already exhibiting colic symptoms or indigestion issues.

Similac Alimentum has a bold claim of reducing colic symptoms within a day, which we take with a grain of salt simply because not all babies are the same. Some have more sensitive tummies than others. With that in mind, their claim of reducing colic symptoms is true, judging from our extensive research and thousands of positive reviews regarding colic symptoms.

Similarities

  • Although branded as milk-free formulas both still contain casein hydrolysate, a broken-down milk protein that is more digestible than ordinary milk protein
  • Both use glucose as their main source of energy as an alternative to lactose
  • Both do not contain artificial growth hormones

Differences

  • Enfamil uses corn syrup while Similac uses corn maltodextrin.
  • Similac has a higher amount of sugars compared to Enfamil
  • Enfamil’s Nutramigen has a higher Riboflavin an important vitamin when it comes to harnessing energy from protein molecules and general body growth.
Recommendation

Our choice is the Similac Alimentum. We are shy to recommend the Enfamil Nutramigen simply because it contains modified corn starch which might cause more indigestion problems for babies with a sensitive tummy. Similac Alimentum also contains a higher amount of Linoleic Acid which contains the most essential oil such as, Sesame oil and Walnut oil with high omega-3 fatty acids, for energy production and general growth.

Enfamil A.R vs. Similac Spit-Up

   

One of the most common troubles nursing mothers have to endure has to do with feeding their babies. Some babies exhibit signs of acid reflux which causes constant regurgitating.

The good news is that there are baby formulas made to specifically address the issue of excessive spit-ups. We are comparing the most popular brands, Enfamil A.R and Similac Spit-Up.

Similarities

  • Both have a decent amount of minerals and vitamins
  • Both are thickened formulas for easier feeding and are consistent enough to prevent spit-ups
  • Both contain niacin for optimum nourishment of protein molecules

Differences

  • Enfamil’s A.R contains a higher amount of prebiotics
  • Similac’s Spit-up has a higher amount of sugars
  • Similac’s Spit-up includes more milk protein although at a minimal amount whereas Enfamil’s A.R contains nonfat milk which reduces spit-ups in babies
Recommendation

For babies with recurrent spit-ups, a formula with fewer sugars, more prebiotics, and a thick consistency is the best choice. That is why Enfamil’s A.R wins our recommendation compared to Similac’s Spit-up that has more milk protein, more sugars, and minimal prebiotics.

See also: Best Diaper Pail That Use Regular Trash Bags

Enfamil ProSobee vs. Similac Soy Isomil

   

While most formulas are based on cow’s milk, both Enfamil and Similac have a variety that is dairy-free for a little one’s tummy.

Signs that your baby might be lactose intolerant include;

  • Swelling in the tummy
  • Pain and crying when passing gas or feces
  • Diarrhea

Soy-based baby formulas are the best for babies that are sensitive to lactose. Similac’s Soy Isomil and Enfamil’s ProSobee are both milk-free formulas meant to provide similar milk nutrients in a more digestible formula.

Soy-based formulas are increasing in popularity especially among first-time parents that are more cautious to allow their newborn to take milk-based products. For that reason, we have gone into detail comparing the two milk-free formulas.

Similarities

  • Both are lactose-free for the easiest digestion process
  • Both are milk-free and don’t feature any milk product instead makes heavy use of soy proteins
  • Both use corn syrup
  • Both feature a decent amount of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, fats, and water.

Differences

  • Enfamil ProSobee does not have sugars as opposed to Similac’s Soy Isomil
  • Similac’s Soy Isomil has slightly higher fat content compared to Enfamil ProSobee
  • Enfamil ProSobee has a higher Potassium and Chloride
  • Similac’s Soy Isomil has a higher percentage of Niacin which is a very efficient nutrient for rejuvenation and detox
Recommendation

For the milk-free formulas, we highly recommend Enfamil’s ProSobee as the first choice. The higher sugars in the Similac’s Soy Isomil can be difficult to digest for some babies and in some cases, it may lead to a sweet tooth.

Enfamil Enspire

If it was not for the lactoferrin protein, there would be no major difference between the Enfamil Enspire and the Enfamil NeuroPro.

It comes with all the ingredients NeuroPro has to offer: the prebiotics, MFGM proteins, and DHA but adds lactoferrin, which boosts the immune system and aids in smooth digestion.

Our thoughts on Enfamil Enspire

The Enfamil Enspire is a good backup for anyone who uses the NeuroPro regularly should it be unavailable at a given instance. We recommend Enfamil Enspire as a better supplement to anyone who already loves the NeuroPro because it does not contain palm oil, which means it is the easier option to digest.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • I can’t choose the best formula for my baby, what should I do?

If this article does not address your needs or you feel you do not have the exact information you require, then we suggest you try using a formula finder. You can use Enfamil’s and Similac’s formula finder for either brand.

  • Which is the best milk formula for babies?

Every baby is different which means there is no formula that is best for every baby. However, if you need a specific formula to get started we recommend Enfamil NeuroPro as its ingredients are closest to breast milk nutrients.

  • What is the closest formula to breast milk?

No formula is identical to breastmilk and its benefits but some get pretty close. Our recommendation is to try Enfamil NeuroPro as it contains the most nutrients found in breast milk.

  • Should I be concerned about sugar in formulas?

The thing to keep in mind is that the sugars contained in Enfamil and Similac baby formulas are not normal but are in the form of prebiotics. Normal sugars are harder for a baby to digest but the sugar molecules present in infant formulas can help ease digestion by feeding the good bacteria.

Lactose is a milk protein common in formulas as a source of energy, however, some milk-free formulas use corn syrup as a substitute for lactose. Corn syrup is ok to use for most babies especially those with digestion issues.

  • What if I give my baby immediate cow’s milk?

You should not give your baby, especially those under a year, cow’s milk. The digestive system of babies is not well developed for digesting cow’s milk directly.

  • Which is better ready-to-feed or powder?

We recommend powdered formula over ready-to-feed. Not only is the powder more affordable, but ready-to-feed varieties have also added preservatives to keep it shelf-stable. One thing to keep in mind with powdered varieties is to first measure out the amount of water needed before adding in the scoops of powder. The ratio of water to powder is 2-1. Meaning for every 2 ounces of water adds 1 scoop of leveled powder. Incorrect measurements of either can lead to potentially harmful effects like constipation and failure to thrive.

  • How do I know when I need to switch to a new formula?

Generally, you need to change the formula you are using if your baby starts to exhibit colicky symptoms. If your baby is fussy, regurgitates often, then switching to a different formula might help.

  • Are other generic brands ok to use?

There is nothing wrong with using generic brands. We suggest that you read the ingredients contained within the generic formula. Avoid the brands with too much sugar and choose those with extra prebiotics and quality vitamins.

  • Can I supplement the formulas with other ingredients?

The simple answer is NO. Do not add anything to the baby formulas, use as is.

  • Can I use different brands at the same time?

Although it is not the best practice, you can still use different formulas provided your baby is not allergic to any. However, consistency when it comes to baby formulas is highly recommended.

Final Thoughts

Truth is, both Enfamil and Similac formulas are manufactured with highly nutritious ingredients that are for the most part similar. However, they are not entirely the same and incorporate different ingredients across multiple lines of the same brand. For instance, Similac has more sugar in comparison to Enfamil. This results in a sweeter taste. In contrast, Enfamil usually features ingredients aimed at providing a much smoother digestion process for the baby. It all boils down to your baby’s needs and your preference.

What Formula worked best for your baby?

Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!