Mothers find it hard to make choices about the right infant formula. The pros and cons of Similac vs. Enfamil are often discussed a lot in health and parenting forums.
Today, you can find baby formula manufactured by different companies on sale in family stores and pharmacies.
There are several varieties of baby formula prepared for infants and children in different age groups. Some of them are even customized to suit different health conditions and special needs for the additional nutrition that the baby requires.
All infant nutrition supplements are required to meet the specific health standards set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Two major brands of the best baby formula sold in the U.S. are Similac and Enfamil. You can choose either of them for your baby. However, you must know the advantages and differences between these two bands and the different types of products they have.
In this article, we shall be concentrating on the benefits and advantages of Enfamil vs.
What Are Infant Formulas?
Undoubtedly, breast milk is the best food for infants. Mother’s milk contains all the essential nutrients required for the best nourishment of the baby.
Several studies in the past have reported that breastfed babies are known to have higher IQs and better health than non-breast-fed babies.
Researchers say that breastfeeding improves the health of both the mother and her baby. It also improves the emotional and mental health of the child, which is also good for brain development.
Unfortunately, many mothers are not able to nurse their babies, and they are forced to feed their babies with infant formula, an alternative to a mother’s breast milk.
Some mothers do not get time to nurse their babies as work commitments keep them away from home. Others can’t do it for health or cultural reasons. In such cases, baby formula is the best replacement for mother’s milk.
Milk formulas for babies are made with cow’s milk or soybean proteins as the base content.
Different categories of baby formulas are available, even for babies with food-related allergies, lactose intolerance, or other health issues.
All infant formula products are fortified with essential vitamins, minerals, and all other nutrients.
Brands like Similac and Enfamil produce several categories of milk replacement supplements to address the specific nutritional needs of babies.
Cow’s milk formula is safe to feed babies, especially the ones produced under the strict guidelines of FDA specifications and rules.
Most Popular Infant Formulas in the U.S.
In the US, 90% of the infant formula market is claimed by three products sold by three companies.
The biggest brand is Enfamil from Mead Johnson, which occupies about 50% of the market share in this product category. Enfamil also has a toddler formula sold as Enfagrow.
About 30% of the market share for this product segment is held by Similac formula from Abbott Laboratories, and 10% by Good Start Formula from Nestle.
These two brands together hold 80% of the market share in the US for infant formulas.
Similac and Enfamil Products
Both Similac and Enfamil are high-quality mother’s milk replacement supplements. These companies follow continuous research and development for years to produce the best quality nutritional supplements for infants.
Their products contain carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins, and minerals required for the healthy growth and development of the baby.
They are certified by authorized government health agencies and comply with the guidelines of the FDA.
Both brands have similar types of formula as well as several categories of supplements to cater to the particular health needs of children in different age groups and health conditions.
Some of their products contain arachidonic (ARA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA), which are polyunsaturated fatty acids (with omega 3 and omega 6). These fatty acids are essential for the infants’ mental and visual development, similar to breastfed babies.
Infants who are not fed breast milk should be fed with iron-fortified formulas that contain DHA and ARA during the first 9 to 12 months of their lives.
- Advance Neuro Support
- Advance Lamehadrin
- Pro-Advance with 2’-FL HMO
- Pro-Sensitive for Sensitive Tummies
- Pro-Sensitive with 2’-FL HMO
- Pro-Total Comfort for Sensitive Tummies
- Pro-Total Comfort with 2’-FL HMO
- Pure Bliss
- Sensitive for Neuro Support for Sensitive Tummies
- Sensitive for Sensitive Tummies
- Similac Alimentum
- Similac Expert Care NeoSure (Similac Neosure)
- Similac for Diarrhoea
- Similac for spit-up
- Similac Pro-Advance
- Soy Isomil for Sensitive Tummies
- Spit-Up NON-GMO for Sensitive Tummies
- Supplementation NON-GMO
- Enfamil A+
- Enfamil A.R.
- Enfamil Enspire
- Enfamil Enspire Gentlease
- Enfamil Infant
- Enfamil NeuroPro Gentlease
- Enfamil NeuroPro Infant is
- Enfamil NeuroPro-Sensitive
- Enfamil Premium A2
- Enfamil RR Milk Fortifier
- Enfamil R. Enfalyte
- Nutramigen Ready-to-Use Formula for Colic (from Cow’s Milk Allergy)
- Nutramigen with Enflora LGG Hypoallergenic formula (Cow’s Milk Allergy)
- PREMIUM Gentlease
- PREMIUM Infant
Advantages of Enfamil Baby Formulas
Enfamil is the largest-selling breast milk replacement supplement for babies in the US. They have highly advanced R&D centers with health experts who have successfully developed several categories of infant formula products.
Some of the most popular baby formulas by Enfamil are:
- Enfamil Infant for infants (0 to 12 months).
- Enfamil Newborn for a newborn child (0 to 3 months).
- Enfagrow Toddler for toddlers (from 10 to 36 months)
- Enfamil NeuroPro (standard milk-based formula)
Enfamil products are scientifically developed with the exact amounts of vitamins and nutrients required for babies in a particular age group. It is meant to promote the healthy growth of the child and also to develop a strong immune system in the baby.
Enfamil Newborn, meant for babies below the age of 3 months, contains 400 IU of vitamins recommended for newborns by the American Academy of Pediatrics. It is also fortified with DHA and ARA, which are found naturally in the mother’s breast milk.
Enfamil has a few other categories of formulas designed and developed to provide specific vitamins and nutrition for infants with different health needs. They are:
- Enfamil Enfacare (for premature babies);
- Enfamil A.R. (for babies with frequent spit-ups);
- Enfamil Pregestimil (for babies with poor absorption problems)
- Enfamil Nutramigen (for babies with protein assimilation issues)
- Enfamil ProSobee and Enfragrow Soy (soy-based formula for infants and toddlers)
- Enfamil Gentlease and Enfragrow Gentlease (for babies with digestive issues)
Advantages of Similac Infant Formulas
Just like Enfamil, Similac also has different categories of infant formulas. Similac focuses on providing expert advice for a healthy pregnancy and healthy babies with ideal brain and eye development. Most of their products are specially fortified with lutein, DHA, and Vitamin E, besides all other regular nutrition and vitamins. Lutein plays a major role in developing healthy vision, and DHA is required for the development of the brain.
The most popular products from Similac are Similac Advance (a standard milk-based formula for babies up to 12 months old) and Similac Go & Grow for toddlers.
Similac also has several varieties of products to cater to the different needs of growing babies under different health conditions and age groups. Some of the unique supplement products from it are:
- For those who frequently suffer from diarrhea, see Similac Expert Care for Diarrhea.
- Similac Expert Care Alimentum (for babies experiencing protein sensitivity or food allergies);
- Similac Sensitive for Spit-Up (those suffering from frequent spit-ups);
- Similac Expert Care NeoSure (for prematurely born babies)
- For babies with lactose sensitivity issues, try Similac Sensitive.
- Similac Soy Isomil and Similac Go & Grow Soy (soy-based formula for infants and toddlers)
Enfamil vs. Similac
Now our discussion is turning to Similac vs. Enfamil.
After making an in-depth comparative analysis of both of these products, I have found only a few minor differences between both brands.
The actual Enfamil vs. Similac advantages and disadvantages come to the fore only when we talk about the customized supplement product types they have developed for babies with special nutritional needs and health conditions. The primary products of both brands are the same as they contain similar ingredients and produce similar results.
Now let us look at some of the significant differences between Enfamil and Similac according to the nutritional values of various products they have on sale.
The Main Similarities
Both Similac and Enfamil have a wide range of products. They are specially formulated to meet the specific needs of babies.
All the products of both brands are declared by the FDA as safe for babies.
Both the brand’s sensitive formulas include non-GMO versions.
Both companies offer loyalty programs (Enfamil Family and Similac Strong Moms).
The Main Differences
Both Similac and Enfamil share several similarities. At the same time, these two popular baby formula brands have a few differences as well.
The gentle baby formula of both these brands is specifically designed for fussy babies, but they rely on different protein sources. Enfamil’s Gentlease uses 60% whey and 40% casein, whereas Similac’s Pro-Total Comfort contains 100% whey protein.
The standard milk-based formula contains a milk fat globule membrane, which is nearly the same as breast milk. But it has slightly higher levels of certain fatty acids in comparison to the similar product of Similac’s NeoSure.
The spit-up baby formula of Similac claims to reduce these episodes by 54 percent, while the spit-up formula of Enfamil claims a 50 percent reduction in such episodes.
Other differences include:
- Enfamil products cost more than similar products of Similac.
- Enfamil uses less sugar compared to Similac
- Enfamil claims to have more natural ingredients.
- Similac has a higher level of copper, thiamin, vitamin D, niacin, biotin, and riboflavin.
- Enfamil contains higher amounts of phosphorus, iodine, zinc, selenium, and magnesium.
- Enfamil has a higher level of vitamins C, B12, E, and K.
- Enfamil contains more pantothenic acid, folic acid, inositol, and choline.
- Primary Nutrients: Carbs, Protein, and Fat
Primary Nutrients: Carbs, Protein and Fat
The two core products from them are Similac Advance and Enfamil Infant. Let us have a look at the differences between the prime products of these two companies:
Both contain 20 calories per ounce.
Enfamil Infant has a slightly lower amount of fat but a higher amount of carbs than Similac.
Similac Advance contains 6 grams of fat, 11.2 grams of carbs, and 2.1 grams of protein per 100-calorie serving.
Enfamil Infant contains 5.3 grams of fat, 11.2 grams of carbs, and 2.1 grams of protein per every 100-calorie serving;
Both products contain a standard amount of calories set by the FDA.
Mineral Composition in Similac Advance vs. Enfamil Infant
Both products have the same mineral ingredients in them. However, they slightly vary when it comes to the number of minerals contained in them. Similac Advance has a higher amount of copper, while Enfamil Infant has higher amounts of magnesium, phosphorus, iodine, zinc, and selenium. An equal amount of iron and calcium is present in both supplements.
Vitamins in Similac Advance and Enfamil Infant
There is a considerable difference between Enfamil Infant and Similac Advance in the number of vitamins in them. They contain all the essential vitamins, but they vary in quantity. Similac Advance has a higher amount of vitamin D, riboflavin, thiamin, niacin, and biotin than its rivals. Whereas, Enfamil Infant is a better source of pantothenic acid, choline, vitamins B12, C, E, and K, folic acid, and inositol.
Vitamin A in both formulas is equal; vitamin A is an essential vitamin for the healthy growth of infants.
Additional Nutrition in Similac and Enfamil
Similac Advance and Enfamil Infant have added some special nutrients to them. These are special nutrients like DHA that the baby gets only from the mother’s milk. Both brands have added DHA (an omega-3 fatty acid) to their products. Enfamil was the first to add prebiotic nutrients to baby formulas, which help the growth of friendly gut bacteria. According to a review article published in 2013 in “The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews,” nutrient prebiotics are beneficial for preventing eczema.
Enfamil AR vs. Similac Spit-Up
The underdeveloped digestive system of the babies is responsible for spit-up. Pediatricians explain it as a temporary issue that usually disappears with proper weight gain and adequate wet diapers (6 to 8 times daily).
Often, spit-up is a physical disturbance to the child, and it may even disrupt sleep. It’s best to use spit-up formula if the baby is not growing or gaining weight.
Similac uses additional rice starch to ease spit-up and contains a blend of DHA, lutein, and vitamin E.
Going by the customer reviews, the Similac Spit-up formula may be best for your baby. It has increased efficacy in reducing spit-up.
Should You Choose Similac or Enfamil?
It is really a tough question to answer whether you should choose Enfamil or Similac. Both brands offer high-quality infant formulas that contain all the essential nutrients and vitamins required for the healthy growth of the baby.
These brands strictly adhere to the guidelines of the FDA and are approved by government health agencies.
However, you can either choose Enfamil or Similac, depending upon the specific nutritional needs of your baby. Both brands have particular product categories for infants with rare health conditions or nutritional deficiencies.
If you are interested in organic infant formula, the Similac Advance Organic formula is the best.
Enfamil has two excellent products for a normally healthy child: Enfamil Infant and Enfamil Newborn. However, Similac does not have a special category of products for infants below 3 months, and its Similac Advance is meant for 0–12-month-old babies.
Enfamil Newborn is specially formulated with prebiotics to help the babies’ natural digestive and immune systems; it also contains DHA and ARA required by the baby.
If your baby has a fat absorption problem, it is better to provide the baby with Pregestimil, offered by Enfamil, but Similac does not have any specific product in this category.
Liquid or Powdered Formula?
Another doubt most mothers have is whether they should choose a ‘powder or liquid’ formula for the baby. Honestly, there is no difference between them from the point of nutritional value. A liquid formula is best for easy serving.
Powder formula will not get contaminated easily, but liquid formula comes in ready-to-use form. You can also save a few bucks by opting to buy the powder formula as it is cheaper than the liquid formula.
If you have decided to purchase the powder formula for your baby, then make sure to use strictly the recommended quantity per serve. If the baby has the powder formula in excess, it might upset the baby’s stomach. If the powder is not diluted well, it might also clog the bottle’s neck.
Finally, what is preferred by the baby should be the deciding factor in choosing the powder or liquid formula.
Feeding the baby with infant formulas like Enfamil or Similac is the best option if the mother cannot breastfeed the child for some reason or other. When you have decided to go for the baby formula, it’s nice to do a comparative analysis of Enfamil and Similac.
For a healthy and normal child, you can choose either Similac or Enfamil. However, if your child has special health issues like lactose sensitivity, protein absorption difficulties, diarrhea, etc. issues, then you have to choose the specific formulas that cater to such matters. For example, Similac has a unique infant formula for babies with lactose sensitivity.
Enfamil has a specific product for babies below 3 months old and toddlers. You will find many more such varieties of infant formula developed by both brands. So, you should choose Enfamil or Similac according to the specific needs of your child.