Enfamil Nutramigen Vs. Similac Alimentum: Which Specialized Formula Is Better?

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Many parents consider Enfamil Nutramigen and Similac Alimentum among the best formulas for babies with various feeding-related concerns, including the following:

  • Lactose intolerance
  • Fussiness
  • Gas
  • Colic
  • Cow’s milk protein allergy
  • Other food allergies


Both are hypoallergenic, non-dairy formulas with casein hydrolysate or smaller, broken-down milk proteins. They’re also lactose-free and soy-free.

Casein is a protein found exclusively in milk and dairy products. It’s already broken down into smaller pieces in these formulas.

The smaller protein components, called peptides, may no longer trigger an allergic reaction. (1)

These specialized formulas can contain similar nutrients and have the same amount of iron, vitamins A and D3, copper, and iodine.

While the Alimentum formula generally costs less than the Nutramigen formula, it contains more added sugars and doesn’t have probiotic cultures. 

Both formulas have plenty of other similarities and differences. So, which one should you choose for your baby’s health and condition? Continue reading to learn more about these baby products.


Nutramigen Vs. Alimentum: Main Similarities & Differences

These are the similarities and differences between Enfamil Nutramigen and Similac Alimentum to help you choose which one to give your baby:


Specialized Formulas For Specific Nutrition Needs

  • They’re both casein hydrolysate-based formulas derived from cow’s milk but broken down into tinier pieces. The smaller proteins may be easier for your baby’s sensitive tummy to digest. (1)
  • They’re both non-dairy and soy-free formulas, although they contain soy oil. Studies have shown that soy oil is less likely to cause an allergic reaction in people with sensitivities to soy. However, some soy oil products might contain more soy proteins that can trigger the reaction. So, even if they’re labeled ‘soy-free,’ you might still want to avoid formulas that contain soy oil. (2)(17)
  • Both are hypoallergenic baby formulas.
  • Both claim to offer relief from colic due to food allergies, including protein sensitivity or cow’s milk allergy.
  • Both have DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), an omega-3 fatty acid that can help promote proper and healthy eye and brain development.
  • They also have ARA (arachidonic acid), an omega-6 fatty acid sourced from Mortierella Alpina oil. ARA may help improve your baby’s immune system. (3)
  • Neither formula has artificial growth hormones.
  • The FDA requires that all infant formulas sold in the US have at least 1 mg iron per 100 calories to help prevent iron-deficiency anemia. Both formulas are fortified with iron and contain 1.8 mg of iron per 100 calories. (4)


Both also contain the same amount of the following essential nutrients:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin D3
  • Riboflavin (vitamin B2)
  • Copper
  • Iodine


Established & Trusted Brands

These specialty products are made by well-established and trusted formula companies in the US and around the world:

  • Nutramigen is made by Enfamil
  • Alimentum is made by Similac


You can read more about these brands and their products in our reviews below:


Other Similarities (Cons & Disadvantages)

  • Both also have soy oil. Although highly refined soy oil doesn’t have soy proteins which can trigger allergic reactions in some babies, you might prefer to keep this oil from your baby’s diet. (2)
  • Both contain highly processed vegetable oils. Chemical processing done to prepare these oils can introduce pollutants or possible toxins to the oil, making it less healthy than oils that undergo physical refining processes. (18)
  • Nutramigen contains corn syrup, while Alimentum has corn maltodextrin. They’re closely related, but corn syrup is at least 20% sugar, while maltodextrin is less than 20% sugar.


What Is The Difference Between Nutramigen And Alimentum?

Why Enfamil Nutramigen Infant Formula Is Better

  • According to Enfamil, the Nutramigen formula is clinically proven to reduce colic caused by cow’s milk allergy within 48 hours of use.
  • The company also claims that this formula may help reduce future allergies, including asthma, hives, eczema, and allergic rhinitis.
  • It has probiotic culture strain LGG (Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG) that serves as “good bacteria” for your baby’s healthier digestive system.
  • Unlike Alimentum, it doesn’t have added sugars or sucrose. However, it still has other forms of sugar added into the formula, such as corn syrup solids (47%).


Why Similac Alimentum Infant Formula Is Better

  • According to Similac, the Alimentum formula is clinically proven to reduce excessive crying because of protein sensitivity within 24 hours. 
  • It generally costs less than the Nutramigen formula.
  • This formula features a type of fat called MCT (medium-chain triglycerides) that can be easier for your child’s digestive system to absorb.
  • It doesn’t have palm olein, an oil found in some formulas (including Nutramigen) that can negatively affect calcium absorption. (5)
  • It contains more calcium (105 mg) than Nutramigen (94 mg).


Other Factors To Compare & Consider

Ingredients & Nutrition

Nutramigen has more of the following essential minerals and nutrients:

  • Carbohydrates
  • Protein equivalent
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin K
  • Thiamin (vitamin B1)
  • Folic acid
  • Choline
  • Inositol
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Manganese
  • Selenium
  • Sodium
  • Chloride


The Alimentum formula has more of the following nutrients and essential minerals:

  • Total fats
  • Vitamin E
  • Calcium
  • Linoleic acid
  • Vitamin B12
  • Niacin
  • Pantothenic acid
  • Biotin
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium


Healthy Fat Content

Healthy fats can help your baby gain weight faster. They’re also the carriers of aroma and taste. The good news is that these formulas have similar fat content:

  • Alimentum: 5.54 g
  • Nutramigen: 5.3 g


Taste & Smell

Because they’re both hydrolyzed formulas, these products can have a weird taste that babies might take time to get used to. Although they’re derived from milk, they don’t have milk proteins and can smell differently from regular formulas.


Broken Down & Pre-Digested

These two formulas are especially formulated for babies allergic to milk proteins and with special feeding needs. 

Their milk proteins are already broken down into much tinier pieces, creating a hypoallergenic product that’s also easier to process by small tummies because they’re already pre-digested. 

Nutramigen and Alimentum are also marketed for babies with colic, gas, and similar feeding concerns.


Effectiveness (How Fast It Works)

This can vary among babies, but you’ll likely notice improvements within 2-3 days for both formulas. 

However, note that some babies might take time to get used to these new formulas, especially because they have a different taste and smell than the products they might have been used to. If that’s the case, it might take up to a week before you notice any differences.


Potential Allergic Reactions

Both are hypoallergenic formulas and aren’t expected to cause or trigger allergic reactions in most babies. 

As explained above, highly sensitive babies might still react to soy oil, an ingredient in this formula. So, watch for allergic reactions such as rashes, hives, or breathing difficulties, especially during the first few hours of their first intake of these specialty formulas.


Non-Dairy & Soy-Free

Nutramigen and Alimentum are made from cow’s milk. Still, they’re considered ‘non-dairy formulas’ because the milk proteins are already broken down into much smaller parts that are no longer allergenic to sensitive babies.

They also contain soy oil but, in general, soy oil isn’t considered allergenic. Products that contain them can still be labeled and sold as ‘soy-free.’ (17)


Ease & Safety Of Preparation

The powdered formula products from both brands have similar preparation instructions. They can be safe and easy to prepare as long as you practice proper hygiene (wash your hands before and after preparing the formulas) and keep the products properly resealed and stored in a cool, dry place. (19)(20)

Because baby formulas can still be a breeding ground for bacteria, especially Cronobacter (it isn’t just found in contaminated, recalled formulas but can be abundant in dry places at home or other areas). It’s important to prepare your baby’s formula with hot water (≥70°C or ≥158°F) to kill off these bacteria, then let it cool to lukewarm for your little one’s safety. (19)(20)

You can opt to use automatic formula dispensers and preparation machines. 

However, you might consider testing the machine’s water temperature if it matches the manufacturer’s claims. That’s because recent studies showed that formula prep machines are possibly not hot enough, which can lead to increased risks of gastrointestinal infections. (20)


Powdered & Liquid Ready-To-Feed Forms

Both products are available in powdered and liquid, ready-to-use forms. The liquid products come in bottles – and you only need to transfer them to your baby’s bottle before each feeding session.

Ready-to-use liquid formulas are convenient and possibly safer (because they reduce the preparation process so your hands don’t come in contact with the formula scoop that you return into the can). However, they also cost more than powdered formulas.


Cost (Value For Your Money)

In general, the Alimentum formula costs less than the Nutramigen formula. However, when it comes to your baby’s nutritional needs, a cheaper or more expensive formula isn’t always better. It’s important to consider their needs and what your options can offer.

Also, as specialty formulas, both Alimentum and Nutramigen cost more than the regular products. Still,  they’re made especially for babies with special dietary needs and requirements. So, they can provide the best value for your money.

What’s more important is that your baby gets the nutrients they need for proper growth and development.


Availability (Where Can You Buy It?)

Despite being specialty formulas, Nutramigen and Alimentum are available through many different shops, stores, and outlets. You can get these products from their respective websites or via Amazon, Target, Walmart, and other stores.

Due to the Similac Alimentum recall, the product experienced supply issues over the past few years. However, Similac has already been catching up and producing these products to meet the market demands. (15)


Packaging & Size Options

The powdered products are also available in smaller or larger cans to meet different families’ varied needs.

For example, you can get them in smaller cans (around 12 oz) or in bigger cans (around 19 oz or 27 oz).

Similarly, the ready-to-drink liquid formulas come in bottles of varying sizes, sold individually or as discounted packs.


Probiotic Bonus

The Enfamil Nutramigen formula contains probiotics. Studies have shown that probiotics in baby formula can have positive health effects, such as the following: (21)

  • Preventing infancy infections
  • Accelerating food allergy remission
  • Improving atopic dermatitis (eczema), condition characterized by dry and usually itchy and/or inflamed skin


If your baby was born prematurely, however, be sure to discuss the pros and cons of probiotic use with your pediatrician before providing them with any product that contains any form of bacterial strains, even ‘good bacteria’ such as the probiotic Lactobacillus strains. 

That’s because, in September 2023, the FDA issued a warning against probiotic use for premature babies after an infant died from sepsis developed from Bifidobacterium longum from a probiotic routinely given in hospitals. (22)

Continue reading for detailed information about Nutramigen vs Alimentum.


Enfamil Nutramigen with Enflora LGG Infant FormulaEnfamil Nutramigen with Enflora LGG InfantTARGET BUTTON

Best Features & Safety

  • According to Enfamil’s website, Nutramigen formula is clinically proven to reduce colic from cow’s milk allergy within 48 hours.
  • The brand also claims that this formula may help reduce the incidence of future allergies, such as hives, allergic rhinitis, asthma, and eczema.
  • This is a hypoallergenic formula.
  • It has LGG (Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG) probiotic cultures of gut-friendly bacteria for your baby’s healthy digestive system function.
  • It contains DHA to support your baby’s brain and eye development.



  • Modified casein hydrolysate
  • Corn syrup solids
  • Vegetable oil (high oleic sunflower, palm olein, soy, or coconut oil)
  • Modified corn starch
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus (probiotics)
  • Mortierella alpina oil (for ARA)
  • Schizochytrium sp. oil (for DHA)


Nutrition Facts

Each serving (5 fl oz) of this formula contains:

  • Calories: 100 calories
  • Total fats: 5.3 g
  • Total carbohydrates: 10.3 g
  • Added sugars: 0 g
  • Protein equivalent: 2.8 g
  • Iron: 1.8 mg
  • Calcium: 94 mg
  • Vitamin A: 300 IU
  • Vitamin B6: 60 mcg
  • Vitamin C: 12 mg
  • Vitamin D3: 60 IU
  • Vitamin E: 2 IU
  • Vitamin K: 9 mcg
  • Linoleic acid: 780 mg
  • Thiamin (vitamin B1): 80 mcg
  • Riboflavin (vitamin B2): 90 mcg
  • Vitamin B12: 0.3 mcg
  • Niacin: 1,000 mcg
  • Folic acid: 16 mcg
  • Pantothenic acid: 500 mcg
  • Biotin: 3 mcg
  • Choline: 24 mg
  • Inositol: 24 mg
  • Phosphorus: 52 mg
  • Magnesium: 8 mg
  • Zinc: 1 mg
  • Manganese: 25 mcg
  • Copper: 75 mcg
  • Iodine: 15 mcg
  • Selenium: 2.8 mcg
  • Sodium: 47 mg
  • Potassium: 110 mg
  • Chloride: 86 mg


Product Recalls

Nutramigen Recall (2023) 

On December 30, 2023, Reckitt and Mead Johnson Nutrition announced the recall of over 675,000 cans of Nutramigen Powder infant formula (sold in 12.6 and 19.8 oz cans) due to possible contamination with Cronobacter sakazakii. (14)

These products are affected: (14)

  • Enfamil Nutramigen with Enflora LGG
  • Enfamil Nutramigen with probiotic LGG


The affected products were manufactured in June 2023 and distributed in June, July, and August 2023. 

Check for the following information: (14)

  • Use By Date: “1 Jan 2025”
  • UPCs (universal product codes): 300871239418 or 300871239456


Check your Nutramigen container for the following recalled product batch codes: (14)

  • ZL3FRW (19.8 oz cans)
  • ZL3FPE (12.6 oz cans)
  • ZL3FXJ (12.6 oz cans)
  • ZL3FQD (12.6 oz cans)
  • ZL3FMH (12.6 oz cans)
  • ZL3FHG (12.6 oz cans)


The company believes that most, if not all, of these recalled Nutramigen powdered formulas have been consumed in the US. That’s due to their limited distribution and the limited availability of the remaining stocks. (14)

However, this 2023 recall is still ongoing. (14)

Note that Cronobacter sakazakii is a potentially deadly bacteria that had been the primary reason for the massive 2022 Similac recall and the resulting formula shortage.

Thankfully, no illnesses or adverse reactions have been reported relating to this Nutramigen recall. (14)

Contact the company for instructions on how to process your refund before disposing of the Nutramigen products you have at home:


Nutramigen Recall (2001) 

Mead Johnson Nutritionals had also recalled the Enfamil Nutramigen formula in 2001 due to incorrect, potentially dangerous preparation instructions. (6)

According to the advisory, the incorrect instructions were written in Spanish. Following these instructions may inadvertently lead to serious health conditions, possibly even death. (6)

The following lot codes of the powder infant formula (16-oz) were included in the recall: (6)

  • BHC43
  • BHC44
  • BJC45
  • BJC46
  • BJC47
  • BJC48
  • BKC49
  • BKC50
  • BLC51
  • BLC52
  • BLC53
  • BMC54
  • BMC55
  • BMC56
  • BAM57
  • BAM58
  • BBM59
  • BBM60
  • BBM61
  • BCM62
  • BCM63
  • BCM64
  • BDM65
  • BDM66
  • BEM67
  • BEM68
  • BEM69
  • BEM70
  • BEM71
  • BEM72
  • BFM73
  • BFM74


These lot codes of the ready-to-use (32-oz) liquid formula were included: (6)

  • MBM90
  • MBM91
  • MCM92
  • MCM93
  • MCM94
  • MDM95
  • MDM96
  • MEM97
  • MFM00
  • MFM01


Pros & Cons


  • It’s lactose-free.
  • It doesn’t have artificial growth hormones.
  • It doesn’t contain table sugars or sucrose.



  • It had recalls. (6)(14)
  • It contains palm olein and other vegetable oils that can interfere with nutrient absorption.
  • It also has soy oil. Even if highly refined soy oil doesn’t have soy proteins, you might still prefer to keep it from your baby’s diet.
  • It can cost more than regular formulas.


What Customers Say

Positive Reviews 

We was having so much trouble with gas and her belly hurting and we’ve been on this for about a month now and no more gas drops or crying when she uses the bathroom.” – Reviewer on Enfamil’s website.

At 5 months, our little boy started to develop a rash all over his front and back and was screaming all night long when we started supplementing with a different formula. The doctor suggested trying Nutramigen. Literally that night, he slept 8 hours straight without screaming and his rash started to disappear.” – Reviewer on Enfamil’s website.

Lifesaver for my daughter. She has terrible reflux, still even at 8 months old, and has been on this formula paired with reflux meds since about 2 or 3 months old. It also helped with her painful bowel movements. A lot of people complain about the smell but it isn’t bad and my daughter loves it. I tried at 6 months old to switch her to a sensitive formula (per the Dr’s instructions) and she vomited everywhere. Went back to this and she has been great!” – Reviewer on Amazon.

my son was miserable till i found this formula i lived on a workout ball for 3 months till i found out that his tummy was so upset from regular formula till i found out he was lactose intolerant he would just cry and cry and cry if i was not bouncing him till i found this miracle formula” – Reviewer on Walmart.


Negative Reviews 

THE GROSSEST FORMULA EVER!!!! My son wouldn’t drink it and I like to try everything I give my son, and wow . REGRET. ITS THE SALTIEST FORMULA EVER, and I’m pregnant currently and wanted to barf.” – Reviewer on Amazon.

I was recommended to use this bcuz my baby was SOOO colicky but it only made it worse. She hated the taste (and it smelled terrible) and would gag on it and refuse to drink more than an ounce. She would cry cuz she hated it then cry cuz she was hungry. Whatever she ate she would puke up the entire amount immediately after.” – Reviewer on Amazon.

This product was chosen for us by the NICU pediatrician for food sensitivities because my newborn might have the same food allergies that I have (I have 15). From the beginning of bringing him home however, we had to endure 1-2 hours of gas, stomach pain and crying.” – Reviewer on Enfamil’s website.

Unfortunately did not help my babies cow milk allergy. It did make her spit up a lot worse and diarrhea. I am giving it 1 start because this product is terrible to mix. No matter what I did, the powder does not fully resolve in the water. I followed the instructions exactly. I tried with cold and room temperature water only and even tried shaking it for five minutes, and nothing works. Too much anxiety giving my baby this formula.” – Reviewer on Target


Similac Alimentum Hypoallergenic FormulaSimilac Alimentum Hypoallergenic FormulaTARGET BUTTON


Best Features & Safety

  • It’s based on casein hydrolysate or smaller, broken-down proteins.
  • It’s clinically proven to be hypoallergenic. (7)
  • It contains a type of fat called MCT (medium-chain triglycerides) which may be easier for your baby’s digestive system to absorb.



  • Casein hydrolysate
  • Corn maltodextrin
  • Sugar
  • High oleic safflower oil
  • Soy oil
  • Medium-chain triglycerides
  • Crypthecodinium cohnii oil (for DHA)
  • Mortierella alpina oil (for ARA)


Nutrition Facts

Each 5 fl oz serving of this formula contains:

  • Calories: 100 calories
  • Total fats: 5.54 g
  • Total carbohydrates: 10.2 g
  • Protein equivalent: 2.75 g
  • Iron: 1.8 mg
  • Calcium: 105 mg
  • Vitamin A: 300 IU
  • Vitamin B6: 60 mcg
  • Vitamin C: 9 mg
  • Vitamin D3: 60 IU
  • Vitamin E: 3 IU
  • Vitamin K: 8 mcg
  • Linoleic acid: 800 mg
  • Thiamin (vitamin B1): 60 mcg
  • Riboflavin (vitamin B2): 90 mcg
  • Vitamin B12: 0.45 mcg
  • Niacin: 1,350 mcg
  • Folic acid: 15 mcg
  • Pantothenic acid: 750 mcg
  • Biotin: 4.5 mcg
  • Choline: 12 mg
  • Inositol: 5 mg
  • Phosphorus: 75 mg
  • Magnesium: 7.5 mg
  • Zinc: 0.75 mg
  • Manganese: 8 mcg
  • Copper: 75 mcg
  • Iodine: 15 mcg
  • Selenium: 2 mcg
  • Sodium: 44 mg
  • Potassium: 118 mg
  • Chloride: 80 mg


Product Recalls

Similac Alimentum Recall (2022)

Similac Alimentum formula (in powder form) was among the Similac products recalled in February 2022 due to possible contamination with the pathogenic microorganisms, Cronobacter sakazakii and Salmonella. (15)(16)

The recall was initiated after the death of an infant and hospitalization of three others over suspected Cronobacter infection. All these infants were fed Similac products. However, Abbott stood by the quality and safety of their products, insisting that despite the recall, none of their released products tested positive for the pathogens involved in these incidents. (15)(16)


Similac Alimentum Recall (2006)

The liquid, ready-to-drink Similac Alimentum formula (in 32 oz bottles) was recalled in September 2006 because of a manufacturing defect. (8)

The bottles don’t have a special layer that’s supposed to keep air out. When air enters the container, oxygen may react with the vitamin C content and cause it to decrease over time. (8)

The formula itself may still be safe for consumption, but the lower vitamin C levels can lead to a nutrient deficiency. (8)

According to the recall advisory, a child who continually drinks any formula with low levels of this vitamin for at least two weeks might begin showing the following signs of vitamin C deficiency: (8)

  • Irritability with generalized tenderness
  • Paleness
  • Easy bruising
  • Fatigue


The recalled Similac Alimentum formulas have these details printed on the back of the bottles: (8)(9)

  • Lot 401895V
  • Stock code 57512. 
  • Use-by date code of “1 May 2007.”


These products were distributed by Abbott Nutrition’s Ross Products division to retailers in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Guam between May 18 and September 5, 2006. (9)

If you bought this product or received it as a free sample from your baby’s pediatrician, you may get free replacements by calling Ross Products Division at 800-624- 3412. (9)

No medical complaints were reported concerning this recall. (9)


Pros & Cons


  • It’s a hypoallergenic formula.
  • It doesn’t contain palm olein oil, a component in some formulas that can affect calcium absorption. (5)



  • It has added sugars, corn maltodextrin, and highly processed vegetable oils.
  • It has soy oil.
  • You are required to keep it in cool temperatures once the container is opened.
  • It had recalls. (8)(15)(16)


What Customers Say

Positive Reviews 

After trying several formulas to help with fussiness and major constipation my Pediatrician recommended Alimentum. Within 24 I noticed a dramatic difference in the baby. Yes it stinks, but definitely not a reason to complain, and give a bad review. Too many positives to focus on one negative.” – Reviewer on Similac’s website.

This is the only formula either of my children could use. My daughter had a milk protein allergy and had constant stomach problems until we switched her to this formula. My son would constantly spit up and had colic until we switched him to this formula also. This formula is a life saver for my family.” – Reviewer on Target.

My daughter has both a milk protein allergy as well as a corn allergy. We are so thankful Similac came up with this formula! Our daughter would pass out from all the screaming and crying she did because of the pain. She also lost her voice, and was so horse sounding that we were afraid that she damaged her vocal cords. This formula was truly a blessing for our daughter!” – Reviewer on Similac’s website.

This is a specialized baby formula. It will certainly not be needed for every newborn or infant. Some friends recently had a baby girl who was having some digestive and poop issues with regular baby formula. This was the exact formulation that the pediatrician recommended to help the issue. After a couple weeks of using this formula instead of a more standard formula mix, the stomach and digestive issues went away and she could go back to using a more standard baby formula.” – Reviewer on Amazon


Negative Reviews 

The smell itself is putrid and my poor baby didn’t even want to drink more than an oz of this and he’s usually a 3-4oz drinker. It made him so gassy like nonstop gassy every minute he was passing gas. Burping him after this was a nightmare because it caused so much gas in his stomach that he needed to be burped every couple of minutes while drinking this. And it made him super lethargic.” – Reviewer on Target.

It is DISGUSTING and I wouldn’t feed this to anyone. It is so sour and has a horribly painful bite that lingers at the back of your throat. The bitter flavor coats your mouth and has a lingering gag-worthy aftertaste. Seriously, it is that bad.” – Reviewer on Similac’s website.

My daughter went on this formula two weeks ago due to severe allergy to soy protein and issues with milk proteins. Since the change in the powder she has become extremely gassy and at times in consolably fussy! She is flat out miserable and the only thing that changed was the difference in the powder. It’s horrible! She burps great while she’s eating but then continues to have so much gas coming out both ends even in between feedings. She’s getting belly aches constantly and is fussy all day long due to all of the gas she has.” – Reviewer on Similac’s website.


Summary & Recommendation 

Enfamil Nutramigen and Similac Alimentum are two formulas that have many similarities and can be a good choice for your baby.

Here are our recommendations to help you pick the most suitable formula that your baby needs:

Choose Enfamil Nutramigen Infant Formula if:

  • You prefer a formula that’s marketed as clinically proven to reduce colic due to cow’s milk allergy in 48 hours.
  • You want a formula that may help reduce the incidence of future allergies, including asthma and eczema.
  • You want a formula that has probiotic cultures or “good bacteria” which can help strengthen your baby’s digestive system.
  • You prefer a formula that doesn’t have added sugars or sucrose.
  • You prefer a formula with more carbohydrates, protein equivalent, vitamins C and K, thiamin (vitamin B1), folic acid, choline, inositol, magnesium, zinc, manganese, selenium, sodium, and chloride.


Choose Similac Alimentum Infant Formula if:

  • You prefer a formula that’s marketed as a clinically proven formula that may reduce excessive crying due to protein sensitivity within 24 hours.
  • You want a formula with better value and a lower price. The Alimentum formula costs less per oz than the Nutramigen formula.
  • You prefer a formula with MCT oil, which can be easier for your child’s digestive system to absorb.
  • You prefer a formula without palm olein for better calcium absorption. (5)
  • You prefer a formula with more calcium. It has 105 mg, while the Nutramigen has 94 mg.
  • You want a formula with more total fats, vitamin E, linoleic acid, vitamin B12, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, phosphorus, and potassium.


The Most Common Infant Feeding Problems & Considerations

Cow’s Milk Allergy & Intolerance

Any form of allergy, including cow’s milk allergy, is due to the immune system’s response to something it perceives as a threat. Often, the symptoms develop within minutes or the next few hours after milk consumption. (23)(24)

Severe allergic attacks or cases can be serious or fatal, especially when breathing is restricted (see the full list of symptoms below). (23)(24)

In contrast, cow’s milk intolerance is likely mild and can cause discomfort rather than a life-threatening situation. It’s usually due to the body’s inability to process a milk ingredient, particularly lactose (a natural sugar found in milk). (check out the symptoms below). (24)


Symptoms Of Cow’s Milk Allergy

Here are some of the most common symptoms: (23)(24)

  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Hives
  • Itchiness
  • Nausea
  • Rashes
  • Tingling and/or swelling facial parts such as the lips, tongue, and/or the throat
  • Vomiting 


Your little one might also cry non-stop because of the pain, discomfort, or uneasiness they feel from the symptoms they’re experiencing. However, be sure to monitor if they suddenly become quiet because that might be a sign of something serious.

Monitor your baby for the symptoms mentioned above, but make sure to rush them to the nearest hospital if they experience the following: (23)(24)

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty swallowing 
  • Wheezing
  • Collapse or loss of consciousness


These can also happen, though they might be more difficult to monitor with babies and small kids because they can’t communicate exactly how they feel: (23)(24)

  • Chest tightness
  • Dizziness
  • Drop in blood pressure


Symptoms Of Cow’s Milk Intolerance (Also Lactose Intolerance)

Common symptoms include: (24)(25)

  • Abdominal pain
  • Cramping
  • Bloating
  • Loose stools and gas
  • Nausea
  • Watery diarrhea with gas


Although these symptoms aren’t life-threatening, your baby might spend hours crying due to pain or discomfort. 


Infant Colic & Formulas To Consider

Your little one might have colic if they cry excessively and experience prolonged periods of fussiness. Babies communicate mostly with crying, but colic is characterized as excessive crying that lasts for 3+ hours a day, without medical cause.

There are several possible reasons for colic, including cow’s milk allergy, lactose intolerance, or indigestion due to other medical conditions (e.g., galactosemia, wherein your baby can’t digest the milk sugar called galactose).

The following are the other best formulas to consider for infant colic (read our review here to learn more about each one):

  • Similac Pro-Total Comfort
  • Enfamil ProSobee
  • Enfamil Nutramigen with Enflora LGG
  • Holle Organic Goat Milk Formula
  • Gerber Good Start Soothe Pro Infant Formula
  • Enfamil NeuroPro Gentlease Baby Formula
  • Nestlé Alfamino Infant Formula
  • Similac Alimentum Hypoallergenic Infant Formula
  • Earth’s Best Organic Sensitivity
  • Baby’s Only Organic Sensitive DHA/ARA Formula
  • HiPP Dutch Organic Combiotic Infant Milk Formula


Acid Reflux

Your baby’s little tummy and other parts of their digestive system are still developing. So, there’s a chance that their stomach contents might flow back to their esophagus due to reflux. This can also lead to gassiness and discomfort.

But while reflux is fairly common even in healthy babies, chronic acid reflux can be uncomfortable and may cause growth lag or weight loss to some. (26)

Try the following best formulas for reflux and gas (read our review to learn more about these products):

Symptoms Of Acid Reflux

Watch out for the following symptoms of GERD (gastroesophageal reflux) in babies: (27) 

  • Colic
  • Trouble swallowing or gagging
  • Arching their back during or right after feeding
  • Coughing
  • Poor feeding or refusal to feed
  • Poor weight gain
  • Weight loss
  • Irritability, especially after feeding
  • Trouble breathing
  • Forceful or frequent retching or vomiting
  • Wheezing


Tips To Help Your Baby Avoid Or Reduce Acid Reflux

Some ways to help prevent gas and acid reflux: (27) 


Choosing The Right Formula Or Food Items
  • Consider a different formula from what your little one is using.
  • Try special formula options (e.g., partially or extensively hydrolyzed, anti-regurgitant, lactose-free, amino acid, or soy formulas; but make sure to discuss this with your pediatrician before switching to a new product).
  • Give thickened formula (with rice cereal) to your baby (but be sure to check with your pediatrician before doing this).
  • Eliminate eggs, cow’s milk, and other allergens from your diet if you’re breastfeeding.


Other Ways To Reduce Reflux


Constipation & Diarrhea

Your baby’s tummy can react differently to varied formulas due to the contents, ingredients, or formulations of these products. They might develop diarrhea or experience constipation, especially when they’re still adjusting to a new formula.

Products like the predigested Alimentum and Nutramigen and are less likely to cause digestive issues (e.g., constipation and diarrhea). However, if your baby experiences any of these when you switch to these formulas, it will likely not be serious and will resolve on its own once your baby is used to the new product.


Getting The Right Diagnosis & Finding The Best Products

How do you know if your baby has acid reflux, cow’s milk allergies, lactose intolerance, or any of the other conditions mentioned above? 

You can usually tell through the symptoms (listed above). But it’s also a good idea to talk to your pediatrician, especially if your little one experiences feeding problems or weight loss.

The best formula products can vary, depending on your little one’s condition and needs. It might take a couple of trials (and some errors) before you find the perfect formula for your baby.

Get more information from our comprehensive guide on baby formulas here.


Main Types Of Formulas

There’s a wide range of formulas available to meet different nutrition requirements and feeding preferences. The following are the main types for you to consider:


Formula From Cow’s Milk

The majority of formulas are made from cow’s milk.

As expected, ‘regular’ or flagship formulas are usually cheaper than specialty products such as hydrolyzed, hypoallergenic, and organic formulas.

Some examples of formulas from cow’s milk:


However, note that baby formula derived from cow’s milk differs from regular cow’s milk. As much as possible, don’t give regular cow’s milk to babies younger than one year old. (28)

Younger babies’ tummies and kidneys might be unable to handle the higher protein and mineral content in cow’s milk than in formula (processed from cow’s milk). Also, never give unpasteurized and fresh, raw milk to your little one because these can contain bacteria or other pathogens (e.g., viruses and molds) that can harm your baby. (28)

Some brands also offer goat milk or products from other animals, such as sheep. Be sure to check their age recommendations and consult with your pediatrician before switching to these formulas.

Click here if you’re looking for dairy-free options instead.


Formula From Soy & Other Plant-Based Sources

Babies allergic to cow’s milk can also consider plant-based sources. This is also an option for vegan families. However, it’s important also to check if your child is allergic to soy or the other ingredients in these plant-based formulas.


Examples of soy formulas:


Click here to read our review on soy-free and non-dairy formulas if you’re looking for these products instead.


Specialty & Hypoallergenic Products: Which Formula Is Best For Babies With Allergies?

Casein hydrolysate and amino acid-based formulas are specialized formulas that your pediatrician might recommend if your little one has:

  • Cow’s milk protein allergy
  • Acid reflux
  • Colic
  • Upset stomach or gas
  • Lactose intolerance or hypersensitivity
  • Multiple food allergies


While their formulations may be similar, especially in terms of what nutrients they can provide for babies, many formulas differ in the types of proteins and carbohydrates they contain.

In the case of casein hydrolysate and amino acid-based formulas, they differ in the types of proteins used.

The proteins in the traditional formulas and breast milk are in their full size. They can be referred to as the following in the ingredients list of the packaging:

  • Nonfat milk
  • Milk protein isolate
  • Whey protein
  • Soy protein isolate (soy formulas)


Regular milk formulas have intact or full-sized proteins, but some dairy-free formulas have hydrolyzed proteins from cow’s milk.

The proteins in these formulations have been broken down into smaller pieces that may no longer trigger an allergic reaction, such as hives when taken by your little one.

But make sure to consult with your pediatrician before starting any new formula.

The smaller, broken-down proteins in these formulas are called “hydrolyzed proteins” or “hydrolysates.”

On your formula’s can, these proteins may be listed as:

  • Partially hydrolyzed nonfat milk
  • Fully hydrolyzed protein formula
  • Hydrolyzed proteins
  • Casein hydrolysate
  • Whey protein hydrolysate


Further processing of these smaller peptides can break them down into individual amino acids, known as the building blocks of proteins.


Advantages Of Casein Hydrolysate-Based Formulas & How They Work

  • These broken-down proteins are made up of peptides which are short chains of amino acids.
  • The smaller peptides may be less allergenic and easier to digest than the whole proteins from traditional formulas.
  • Their components are still bigger and can be more palatable than the amino acid-based formulas.


Advantages Of Amino Acid-Based Formulas & How They Work

  • This type of formula has much smaller protein parts that may be more suitable for babies with severe symptoms of multiple food allergies, cow’s milk protein allergies, and other digestive issues.
  • They can be easier to digest by sensitive tummies due to their much smaller size.


A major drawback of amino acid-based formulas is that they could taste or smell much different from traditional formulas.


Formulas Based On Preparation

Powdered Formulas

Most, if not all, baby formula companies offer powdered products. They come in different formulations and are usually sold in cans of varying sizes.

Powdered formulas are generally cheaper than the other options. However, they require preparation and must be kept dry, clean, and tightly closed to reduce safety risks.


Ready-To-Drink Liquid Formulas

They’re easy to use because you only need to pour the needed amount into your baby’s feeding bottle. However, they’re likely to be more expensive than powdered formulas.

Check the storage instructions and be sure to keep unused leftovers in the fridge for up to the limit indicated on the label (possibly 1-2 days after opening).


Concentrated Liquid Formulas

Some brands offer concentrated liquid infant formulas. Examples include:

  • Enfamil Concentrated Liquid Infant Formula
  • Similac Advance Step 1 Concentrated Liquid


These liquid products require additional preparation. Check the label for instructions on preparing the formula, especially how much water you need to add to prepare your baby’s next bottle.


Formula Comparisons With Similac Elecare

Enfamil Nutramigen and Similac Alimentum are both casein hydrolysate-based formulas, while Elecare is an amino acid-based formula.

They’re all hypoallergenic, specialized formulas for food allergies, cow’s milk protein allergies, lactose intolerance, and other digestive problems.

They have the same amounts of iron and vitamin D3.

The following are their differences:


Enfamil Nutramigen vs Similac Elecare


Enfamil Nutramigen with Enflora LGG Infant Formula

Enfamil Nutramigen with Enflora LGG InfantTARGET BUTTON


Similac EleCare

What Makes Nutramigen Better:

  • It may taste better than Elecare.
  • It contains more vitamin C, pantothenic acid, choline, inositol, iodine, selenium, sodium, and chloride.
  • It costs less than Elecare.


What Makes Elecare Better:

  • It has smaller components (amino acids) that may make it easier to digest.
  • It contains nearly three times (210 mcg) the amount of thiamin in Nutramigen (80 mcg). Thiamin is a nutrient that helps your baby’s body generate energy from the nutrients it gets from formula or breast milk. (10)
  • It has nearly twice (29.5 mcg) the amount of folic acid as Nutramigen (16 mcg). Folic acid helps your baby’s body make healthy red blood cells. (11)
  • It has more than three times (84 mcg) manganese than Nutramigen (25 mcg). Manganese plays several important roles in your baby’s body: promoting calcium absorption, regulating blood sugar levels, and making bones, connective tissues, and blood clotting factors. (12)
  • It has more carbohydrates, protein equivalent, calcium, linoleic acid, riboflavin, niacin, biotin, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, copper, and potassium.
  • It also contains more vitamins B6, B12, E, and K.


Similac Alimentum vs Similac Elecare


Similac Alimentum Hypoallergenic FormulaSimilac Alimentum Hypoallergenic FormulaTARGET BUTTON


Similac EleCare

What Makes Alimentum Better:

  • The Alimentum formula costs much less than Elecare.
  • It may taste and smell better.
  • It contains more vitamins A, E, and B12.
  • It also has more pantothenic acid, biotin, iodine, and chloride.


What Makes Elecare Better:

  • Its smaller components (amino acids) may be easier to digest.
  • It has nearly four times (210 mcg) the amount of thiamin than Alimentum (60 mcg).
  • It also has close to twice (29.5 mcg) the folic acid than Alimentum (15 mcg).
  • Its manganese content (84 mcg) is more than 10 times that of the Alimentum formula (8 mcg).
  • It also contains more carbohydrates, protein equivalent, vitamins B6 and K, calcium, linoleic acid, riboflavin, niacin, inositol, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, copper, selenium, sodium, and potassium.


Other Alternatives To Nutramigen & Alimentum

Enfamil ProSobee 

Enfamil ProSobee Soy-Based Infant Formula for Philippines | Ubuy



  • Non-dairy baby formula
  • Soy-based and lactose-free alternative to milk-based formulas
  • Formulated for babies (0-12 months old) with a cow’s milk protein allergy and/or lactose intolerance
  • Can be ideal for vegetarian and/or Kosher diets
  • Also contains DHA and ARA fatty acids



  • Contains a potential allergen: soy protein
  • Also has palm olein oil, soy oil, and other highly processed vegetable oils


Was There An Enfamil ProSobee Recall?

Yes. The most recent Enfamil formula recall on ProSobee was issued in February 2023 due to possible cross-contamination with Cronobacter sakazakii bacteria. Around 145,000 cans were affected by this recall. (29)


The recalled ProSobee formulas have the following information on their label or can: (29)


  • UPC (Universal Product Code): “300871214415”
  • Use By Date: “1 Mar 2024”
  • Batch codes or lot numbers: “ZL2HZF” or “ZL2HZZ”


Gerber Good Start GentlePro Powder Infant Formula (Non-GMO)




  • Powdered infant formula for babies (newborn to 12 months old) with a special blend of probiotics, prebiotics, and DHA (important components found in breastmilk) 
  • Contains 2’-FL HMO (human milk oligosaccharide; this prebiotic is abundant in breastmilk) (30)
  • Contains “Comfort Proteins” (hydrolyzed, smaller proteins for easier digestion)
  • Contains probiotics (Bifidobacterium lactis strain) to help support a healthy digestive tract for your little one



  • Contains maltodextrin, soy, and various highly processed vegetable oils
  • Contains palm olein oil (a common ingredient in baby formulas that can reduce calcium absorption and possibly lead to low bone density) (5)


Was There A Gerber Good Start GentlePro Formula (Non-GMO) Recall? 

None. Although there was a Gerber Formula recall of Good Start Gentle Formula, it didn’t affect the GentlePro variant. This happened in March 2012. (31)


Enfamil Vs. Similac Formulas: Which One To Choose?

In choosing the best formula for your little one, you have to consider:

  • Your baby’s needs and possible food sensitivities or allergies
  • The baby formula’s ingredients and other contents
  • Your preferences (such as organic formulas)


Both Enfamil and Similac offer a wide range of formula products that can meet these factors.


Note, however, that although Similac is usually the budget-friendly option, it uses more added sugars in your baby’s formula. In contrast, Enfamil can cost more but uses less sugar and more natural ingredients. This might be a deciding factor for you.


Read the following reviews to get more information about these brands and their respective formula products so you can decide on which to choose for your little one:




Will My Baby Gain Weight With Nutramigen Or Alimentum?

Yes. Babies are expected to gain weight with their formula, whether you choose Nutramigen or Alimentum. 

However, some babies on hypoallergenic or specialty formulas might not gain as much weight as those on regular formulas. Because growth and development rates vary among babies, it’s best to talk to your pediatrician if you have concerns about the rate of their weight gain.


How Fast Do Specialty Formulas (Nutramigen & Alimentum) Work?

This can also vary, but you might see changes within 2-3 days, such as reduced fussiness, crying, and colic. Changes or significant weight gain can take at least a week.


How Quickly Can My Baby Adjust To These Specialized Formulas & Like Their Taste?

Specialized formulas can have a ‘weird’ taste that babies might not like, especially if they’re used to breastmilk or regular formulas. 

Because babies also have varied taste preferences, it’s likely to take anywhere from a day to a week before they finally adjust to the taste of specialized formulas.


Where Can I Get Specialty Formulas Like Nutramigen & Alimentum?

Nutramigen and Alimentum are readily available in local shops and online stores (their respective websites, shops like Amazon and Walmart, and marketplaces like Meta and eBay).

If you notice they’re out of stock on most sites, check our baby formula recall article for updates because they might have been pulled off the shelves over possible safety issues.


Can You Switch Between Nutramigen And Alimentum?

These two have similar formulations. You may switch between them or use either one as a supplement for breastfeeding.

But always make sure to seek advice from your pediatrician before starting or switching formulas.


Are Hypoallergenic Formulas & Other Specialty Products Really Expensive?

Unfortunately, yes. These specialty products often require extra manufacturing steps, tests, and checks.

They might also use ingredients other than those used in regular formulas but ensure they can cover babies’ nutritional needs (as mandated by the FDA). So, they’re expected to cost more than regular formulas.


Will My Baby Always Need These Specialty Products Or Can They Switch Back To Regular Formula?

It depends on several factors. If your little one doesn’t have milk allergies, you can switch them to a regular formula once their tummies become more developed. Be sure to ask your pediatrician before switching.

If your little one has cow’s milk allergies, it’s best to check with your pediatrician if tests need to be done before you can switch them to regular formula. 

Studies show that around 20% of children with milk allergies outgrow them by age 4, and about 80% outgrow them by age 16. (32)


How Do I Know If My Child Is Ready To Stop Using These Expensive Specialty Formulas?

When your little one is ready for solid foods, their tummies might also be ready to digest regular formulas. However, as explained above, this only applies to babies with milk sensitivities or lactose intolerance. 

If your baby has cow’s milk allergy, switch to regular formula only if you’re sure they’ve outgrown the condition. With your doctor’s guidance, you might try introducing them to regular formulas to check. But be sure you have your doctor’s go-signal and monitor for the signs of an allergic reaction (listed above).


How Do I Switch Between Different Baby Formulas Or Another Nutrition Source?

Once your little one is ready for a different baby formula or nutrition source, it’s ideal to switch gradually. 

Here’s an example of how you can gradually move them to the new formula: (33)

  • Days 1-2: 75% old formula, 25% new formula
  • Days 2-3: 50% old formula, 50% new formula
  • Days 3-4: 25% old formula, 75% new formula
  • Days 4-5: 100% new formula


Feel free to modify this schedule to fit your baby’s acceptance or reaction. You can also add a couple more days to the schedule to make the transition more gradual (and when you need to use up your remaining old formula stocks).


Can I Mix These Two Formulas Or With Other Products?

Yes, but with some considerations:

  • You have your pediatrician’s go-signal. 
  • You’re certain that your little one isn’t allergic to any ingredient in either product.
  • It isn’t a good idea to introduce two new products simultaneously because you won’t be able to tell which one caused a reaction if your baby is allergic to any of their contents.
  • Transition gradually to help your baby become accustomed to the new formula (see guide above).


Should I Give Water Between Feeds? 

Don’t give water between feeds for babies below six months old.

You can start giving water when they’re over six months old, but always with the clear go-ahead from your pediatrician. The following are the recommended limits: (13)

  • 6-12 months old: 4-8 oz (half to one cup) per day
  • 1-2 years old: 8-32 oz  (1 to 4 cups) per day
  • 2-5 years old: 8-40oz (1 to 5 cups) per day


How Can I Save On Specialty Formulas?

Some ways to save on your baby’s specialty formulas:

  • Join the brand’s membership program to get discounts, earn points with your purchase, or get a chance to win free formula and other freebies: MySimilac Rewards (if you need Alimentum) and Enfamil Family Beginnings.
  • Get a subscription program from the online shop (such as Amazon’s Prime membership or other shop and save options).
  • Watch out for other discount offers from your local stores and outlets.


What If My Baby Doesn’t Like The Specialty Formulas Or If They Don’t Work?

As explained above, specialty formulas taste differently from regular formulas, so your baby might not like them at first. It might take longer than five days before your baby will finally take the specialty formula, so it’s important to also provide them with other nutrient sources during the gradual transition.

If your baby already accepts the formula but still doesn’t gain significant weight after a week or more, check with your pediatrician. Your little one might require another formula or need to be checked for an underlying medical condition affecting their growth and development.


What If My Baby Gains Weight But Not As Much As They Should?

Babies on hypoallergenic and specialty formulas might not gain as much weight as if they were using regular formulas. Still, they are expected to gain weight within the normal range. Talk to your pediatrician if your little one still falls far behind the expected weight gain rate.


Can My Baby Experience Allergies Even With Hypoallergenic & Specialty Formulas?

It’s rare and unlikely to happen with most babies. However, there’s still a possibility that some babies might react to these formulas’ ingredients, including:

  • Cow’s milk protein – although the products have hydrolyzed (broken down) cow’s milk proteins, some babies might be highly sensitive and still react to these ingredients
  • Corn syrup solids or maltodextrin (corn-based) – some infants or little kids might still react to either ingredient (if they have corn allergies)
  • Soy oil – although products that contain soy oil can be labeled or declared as soy-free, some babies might still react to the ingredient


Can My Baby Use Nutramigen Or Alimentum If They Have Eczema?

Yes. These hypoallergenic baby formulas are also marketed for babies with eczema.

Enfamil claims that Nutramigen can help reduce future allergies, such as eczema, asthma, hives, and allergic rhinitis.


Tips On How To Bottle-Feed Your Little One

  • As much as possible, choose anti-colic feeding bottles.
  • Be sure to keep the bottles clean and sanitized before first use and in between feeds (see the guide below).
  • Prepare your baby’s formula based on the package instructions and their feeding needs (see the guide below).
  • If your baby can safely feed on their own, place them in a comfortable spot and put the nipple in their mouth. You might need to guide their hands to grasp the bottle.
  • If you’re carrying your little one, find a comfortable sitting spot. 
  • No matter how they feed, it’s a good idea to burp your baby at least once every 5 minutes to reduce gassiness from air intake.


Guide To Preparing Your Baby’s Formula

Formula preparation varies depending on your little one’s age, the particular product you’re using, and other factors. These are the general steps to follow:

  • Always check the package instructions for the manufacturer’s feeding recommendations (e.g., how many ounces for a particular age range).
  • Also check the manufacturer’s preparation instructions (e.g., how many scoops per ounce of water).
  • Scoop sizes can vary among different brands. So, don’t mix up the scoops from different products. Only use the scoop that comes with the can or bottle.
  • Wash and dry your hands before handling your baby’s feeding equipment and formula. This can help prevent contamination.
  • Pour the correct amount of water up to the required level that your child needs for this feed. As much as you can, use hot water (≥70°C or ≥158°F) when preparing your baby’s formula, but cool it down before handing it to your baby.
  • After opening the can, put the cover with the inside part up on a clean surface.
  • As much as possible, avoid touching the formula. Instead, hold the scoop and dip it into the powder using the hollow part.
  • You can use the inner edge of most formula cans to level the scoop.
  • Put the required number of formula scoops in the bottle. Don’t water down the formula (by using fewer scoops) or add more scoops than necessary.
  • Try not to shake the bottle vigorously because that can increase the air bubbles in the formula, increasing the risks of gas or colic. Instead, swirl the bottle firmly until the solids are dissolved.
  • Cool the bottle to lukewarm (you can dip it in a bowl of cold water) and check the liquid’s temperature.
  • Once you’re sure the temperature isn’t scalding hot, give the bottle to your little one.


Cleaning & Sanitizing Baby Bottles & Other Feeding Equipment

Always sanitize your baby’s bottles and other feeding equipment in between uses to reduce the risks of bacterial growth and infection.

Use soap and water to clean the bottles, then sanitize them based on the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Read our guide on “How To Sanitize Baby Bottles: 7 Easy Ways To Do It” for more information.










































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