Finding the best baby formula for your baby’s sensitive stomach can be challenging for many parents. With so many different products and brands to pick from, I’m not surprised you’re feeling overwhelmed! Are you down to choosing between the Similac Sensitive vs Enfamil Gentlease infant formulas?
If your baby suffers from uncomfortable gas and other tummy issues, you’ll want to find products geared for sensitive stomachs. I remember the nights of little sleep when my daughter was small and suffered from stomach pain. I’m only focusing on Similac Sensitive and Enfamil Gentlease in this article so you can get back some of your good nights of sleep.
By going into each product’s nutritional information and discovering what sensitive babies should avoid, I hope to help you make the right decision. I’m going to discuss the differences and similarities between the two products. And, why they’re so different from “regular” baby formula.
You’ll discover why I’ve given the best overall prize to Similac Sensitive Infant Formula with Iron.
You’ll also get an in-depth review of each product plus the pros and cons given by other parents using these products.
Key Differences Between Similac Sensitive and Enfamil Gentlease
The main difference between Similac Sensitive and Enfamil Gentlease is the lactose content. Similac Sensitive is designed for babies with lactose sensitivity and contains only 0.1 g lactose/100kcal. Enfamil Gentlease is formulated to help babies reduce gas, fussiness and crying, using easy-to-digest proteins. Their lactose content is 20% less than regular lactose based formulas.
If you know your baby suffers from lactose-intolerance then Similac Sensitive would be the one to go for. If you’re looking for a product that simply eases your baby’s fussiness and gas, then Enfamil Gentlease will keep your baby comfortable after feeding.
The other main difference is the consistency of the products. Similac Sensitive formula has a far thicker texture compared to Enfamil Gentlease which has a fairly normal consistency. This is important to keep in mind when picking the right bottle and nipples for feeding your baby. Babies with acid reflux also do better with thicker infant formula.
Key Similarities Between Similac Sensitive and Enfamil Gentlease
If the above differences are the only key features that separate the two products, then what similarities do they share?
- They’re both milk-based formulas with iron
- You can use both products for babies from birth to 12 months old
- Both products come in powder and liquid formulas
- They fulfill all your baby’s nutritional needs
- Both formulas will help to reduce gas and discomfort in your baby
- They’re both GMO-free
- Both products contain DHA for brain development
With both products sharing many similarities, you can rest assured your baby will likely be happy on either product if lactose-intolerance and acid reflux is not your main concern.
What to Look for In Infant Formula for Sensitive Babies
When deciding which is the right baby formula for your baby, it might help to determine how sensitive your baby is. Different infant formulas have been formulated to help babies with different “sensitivity” problems. While a normal infant formula may suit most babies, your baby’s sensitivity issue may need a slightly different formula.
Lactose-Free vs Low Lactose Content
If your baby is simply being fussy and gassy after a feed, they may need an infant formula that has a reduced lactose content. Many brands offer a range of low lactose formulas without removing the lactose completely. Instead, they introduce easy-to-digest proteins, making it easier for your baby to handle the formula.
However, as I’ve already mentioned, if you know your baby suffers from an intolerance of lactose, then a formula that’s lactose-free is the better option.
If your baby shows signs of being allergic to certain baby formulas, then you want to find one that uses a hypoallergenic formula. Many brands do produce hypoallergenic infant formulas to help your baby not have allergic reactions. Symptoms of a food allergy can include:
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Eczema or skin rashes
Some babies are sensitive to dairy products and this intolerance can also lead to similar symptoms as food allergies listed above. If your baby suffers from dairy-intolerance, you can select a product that is made from goat or soy milk. However, it’s essential you speak to your doctor first as these products may not have all the necessary building nutrients a growing baby needs.
Formulas Containing Probiotics
Some brands will include probiotics in their infant formulas. This inclusion will help to maintain your baby’s gut bacteria balance which in turn keeps them comfortable. If your baby is prone to stomach upsets because of drinking infant formula, you might find one containing probiotics that will help prevent this from happening.
Acid Reflux Formulas
Because a formula says it’s designed for sensitive tummies, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will help your baby who suffers from acid reflux. The consistency and texture of the formula often make a difference to your baby’s acid reflux. The thicker the formula, the better it is for babies battling with acid reflux.
Just Like Mother’s Milk
Switching your baby from breastfeeding to bottle-feeding can be challenging. Many babies like to stay with mom’s milk and don’t take kindly to being bottle-fed! This is why manufacturers try to formulate infant formulas to be as close to breast milk as possible. If your baby is sensitive to being changed from breast milk, then finding a formula that claims to match mom’s breast milk could be a lifesaver for you.
Always make sure the infant formula you feed your baby meets the minimum FDA requirements. The well-known brands producing infant formulas will always maintain standards according to these requirements. These guidelines ensure that the formulas contain all the necessary nutrients and vitamins your growing baby needs.
Seeing the FDA seal also gives you peace of mind you’re buying the real deal and not counterfeit products especially if you’re buying online.
My Top Picks
- Best Overall – Similac Sensitive Infant Formula With Iron
- Best for Fussy Babies – Enfamil Gentlease Infant Formula
Best Overall – Similac Sensitive Infant Formula With Iron
If your baby is battling with lactose-intolerance, you’re not only left with a fussy, gassy baby but one with nasty bum rashes too. I know what it means having an unhappy baby on board – they niggle, cry, and don’t sleep well either. This infant formula has been formulated to help your baby with lactose-sensitivity reducing the levels of fussiness and gas.
No artificial growth hormones are used in this product and is one of the first infant formula brands to exclude this from their milk formulas. This easy-to-digest formula is perfect for babies from birth to 12 months old.
Besides containing all the nutrients required for healthy growth and development, this product’s Optigro emphasizes the inclusion of DHA for brain development, lutein for good eye health, and Vitamin E for growth and development.
You can purchase this infant formula either as a powder in cans or in ready-to-drink bottles. I like the clear instructions on the packaging. You can rest assured you’ll be giving your baby the right quantity required for a healthy, growing baby.
Pros and Cons
It helps to know what other parents have to say about Similac Sensitive Infant Formula With Iron.
- Works well with babies suffering from GI issues
- A well-priced, affordable product
- Great start-up for newborns
- Can form large, sticky chunks when mixed
- Can cause constipation in some babies
- Thicker consistency makes it harder for easy flow
Best for Fussy Babies – Enfamil Gentlease Infant Formula
This infant formula guarantees in reducing your baby’s fussiness within 24 hours and according to parents who use this product, this claim is true. The easy-to-digest proteins are broken down to make digestion easier for the baby. The inclusion of probiotics is a bonus as it will help keep your baby’s gut bacteria in balance.
This product contains all the necessary nutrients and vitamins for your baby’s healthy growth and development. Special mention is made with the inclusion of DHA and choline for brain development. Vitamin C and E and selenium help with immune-boosting.
This product has been formulated for babies from birth to 12 months and is ideal if you’re looking to supplement breastfeeding. You can have peace of mind no artificial flavors, colorants or sweeteners have been used in this infant formula. It’s also GMO-free.
This infant formula can be bought as a powder in cans or in ready-to-drink bottles.
Pros and Cons
Check out what some parents have to say about Enfamil Gentlease Infant Formula.
- Consistency is natural-looking and similar to breast milk
- Works well for reducing gas and other digestive problems
- Stops spit-ups and diarrhea
- Makes baby’s poop come out green
- Some babies don’t like the taste
- Complaints of no lids included when ordered online
Nutritional Information: Nutrition Facts and Other Ingredients
If you’re still deciding which infant formula to get your for your sensitive baby, I’ve listed the key nutrition facts found in each product. I’ve also listed some of the other ingredients you’ll find included in these formulas. For a fully comprehensive list, please refer to the manufacturer’s site or packaging details.
|Product||Key Nutrients||Other Key Nutrients|
|Similac Sensitive Infant Formula With Iron||- Vitamin A|
- Vitamin B-6
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
- Omega 3 DHA
|- Corn syrup|
- Milk protein isolate
- Coconut oil
- Soy oil
- High oleic safflower oil
|Enfamil Gentlease Infant Formula||- Vitamin A|
- Vitamin B-6
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
|- Corn syrup solids|
- Whey proteins
- Palm olein oil
- Coconut oil
- High oleic sunflower oil
- Soy oil
Key Features: How to Pick the Best Infant Formula for Sensitive Babies
I always look out for the key features of a baby product and use them to guide me towards getting the right product for my daughter. The same applies with baby formulas. If you’re still wondering which of the two products in this review is right for your baby, then consider the following features:
- Lactose content: If you know your baby is sensitive to lactose then you need to find a product that is lactose-free. Enfamil Gentlease Infant Formula does have a lower lactose content compared to regular infant formulas but Similac Sensitive Infant Formula with Iron only contains 0.1 g/100Kcal lactose making it virtually lactose-free.
- Easy-to-digest proteins: This is the main feature of formulas helping to reduce or ease fussiness, gas and even colicky symptoms in babies. Both Enfamil Gentlease Infant Formula and Similac Sensitive Infant Formula with Iron include these digestible proteins. Parents using Enfamil Gentlease Infant Formula find favorable results within 24 hours of switching to this formula and even report less spit-ups and diarrhea.
- Consistency: If your baby is prone to acid reflux, they’ll benefit from a formula that has a thicker consistency. Similac Sensitive Infant Formula with Iron is the better option here. However, it’s a foamy texture which some babies may not like. It’s also harder to remove the chunks from this formula. Babies who are sensitive about switching from breast milk may find Enfamil Gentlease Infant Formula preferable with a more normal, thinner texture.
- Taste: Babies who are fussy about the taste of their milk might find Enfamil Gentlease Infant Formula too bitter or even sour-tasting.
- Brain development: DHA and choline are essential ingredients for healthy brain development in babies and should be included in your baby’s diet from day one. Both products in this review include these essential ingredients.
- Key nutrients: Both the products reviewed here have all the key nutrients required for the healthy growth and development of your baby. Similac Sensitive Infant Formula with Iron does make special mention of their Optigro ingredients being Vitamin E for optimal growth and development and Lutein for healthy eyes.
- Other Ingredients: Both products don’t use artificial colorants, flavors or sweeteners in their formulas. However, neither are organic so make sure you’re fully aware of other ingredients being included such as corn syrup and certain oils.
- Probiotics: It’s worth noting the inclusion of probiotics in Enfamil Gentlease Infant Formula. Probiotics are known to help maintain gut bacteria and this could be another reason why some babies respond so well when drinking this product. Probiotics are known to decrease the occurrence of diarrhea or constipation, tummy upsets and even gas.
- Safety standards: Both products reviewed meet all the FDA requirements for infant formulas so you can peace of mind your baby’s nutritional needs are fully met.
Enfamil vs Similac: Comparing the Brands
Any regular reader of my site knows how much I love to find out more about brands and the story behind them. If I know a brand is committed to producing high-quality baby products, stay on top of the latest technology and developments in their manufacturing processes and genuinely care about their customers, then I’m more likely to purchase their products.
What is Enfamil as a Brand?
Enfamil is an infant formula product made by Mead Johnson who is part of Reckitt Benckiser. This group is a British multinational consumer goods company and their headquarters may be found in Slough, England. They were formed in 1999 and they make products for home, health and hygiene purposes.
Mead Johnson is an American division of this group and they focus on manufacturing infant formula both locally and globally. Enfamil is their flagship product. This company dates back to 1895 when Edward Mead Johnson (who was one of the co-founders of Johnson & Johnson) decided to branch out on his own. With their key focus being on infant formula and child nutrition, you can be sure their products are formulated to meet all your baby’s nutritional needs.
What is Similac as a Brand?
In 1903, Moores and Ross Milk Company was founded. Twenty years later they were to introduce the first commercially produced milk-based baby formula and it was called Similac. Throughout the years, Moores and Ross continued to develop milk formulas and was the first company to also bring the liquid formula to parents and their babies. Another first was their iron-fortified formula.
In 1964, Moores and Ross merged with Abbott Laboratories and Similac continued to be their name for infant formulas. Through Abbott Nutrition, you’ll find a range of baby formulas formulated for babies with hypoallergenic needs, soy-based formulas, organic products and non-GMO formulas.
What are the symptoms of babies with lactose-intolerance?
If your baby presents with any of the following symptoms, you could suspect lactose-intolerance.
- Pain and bloating in the stomach
- Frothy and bulky feces
- Inflamed bottom with reddened skin
- Wind and crying when passing feces
- Fussiness during feeding
Speak to your doctor if you suspect your baby may have lactose sensitivity.
Is corn syrup solids bad in baby formulas?
According to FDA regulations, corn syrup solids are generally safe in the right quantities. Corn syrup is glucose so formulas with this ingredient will have a high glycaemic index. However, it does not provide harmful levels of fructose.
Corn syrup solids make infant formulas easily digestible and help to replace the natural lactose found in mother’s breast milk. It also gives babies’ energy. If you’re concerned about the levels of corn syrup being used in your chosen infant formula, you could search for an organic product.
How do I feed a gassy baby?
Babies who suffer from a lot of gas become fussy during and after feeding times. They may also niggle and cry and even have copious amounts of spit-ups. All of this is uncomfortable for your gassy baby but there are some solutions to help your baby manage gas better.
A thicker formula will help your baby slow down while feeding which results in less air being ingested. This is often the main culprit of gassy babies. There are also feeding bottles and nipples designed to slow down the flow of milk and reduce the amount of air being ingested.
Preventing too many air bubbles from forming in the milk also helps to reduce the chances of your baby suffering from gas. Read my article here to find out which feeding bottle may be best for your baby.
When it comes to giving your sensitive baby the best infant formula, you need to find the right formulation. The comparison between Similac Sensitive vs Enfamil Gentlease highlights both products help to ease fussiness and gas in babies. But, Similac Sensitive Infant Formula with Iron is better for babies with lactose sensitivity. This is why I picked it as my top pick for both lactose-intolerance and gassy babies. However, you won’t go wrong with Enfamil Gentlease Infant Formula if your baby needs some help to manage excessive gas.
Which one would you pick for your sensitive baby?
Last update on 2021-02-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API