Fertility

Similac Formula Reviews: Everything You Need To Know 

Updated on 20 minute read

Overview

Similac, by Abbott Laboratories, is one of the leading infant formula brands in the US. It may control as much as 40% of the market. (1)

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Its competitor, Enfamil by Mead Johnson, may also hold around 40% of the market, while Gerber comes in third with roughly 15%. (1)

Is Similac formula good for babies?

It’s a trusted brand, but is Similac good or bad for your baby? Can you give it to a newborn baby?

Similac offers a wide range of formulas that can meet your baby’s needs. There are options for babies with sensitive tummies, milk allergies, lactose intolerance, fussiness, gas, reflux, spit-up, and other feeding issues.

The brand also claims that its flagship formulas are formulated to mimic breast milk as closely as possible and can be a good option for your newborn baby.

But always make sure that you check with your little one’s pediatrician before starting them on a new formula.

Like other infant formulabrands, Similac doesn’t need approval from the FDA to market its products. However, it still has to meet the federal nutrient requirements and notify the FDA before marketing any new formula. (2)

Any product that fails to meet FDA requirements may be recalled. (2)

It’s popular, but is Similac the best baby formula brand? Is it better than Enfamil? Why is it so expensive? Is it made in China or the US? Find answers to these questions below.

Similac Formula Reviews: Products To Try

Everyday Nutrition

  • Similac Organic
  • Similac Organic with A2 Milk Infant Formula
  • Similac 360 Total Care Infant Formula
  • Similac Advance Formula
  • Similac Pro-Advance Infant Formula
  • Similac for Supplementation (to supplement breastfeeding)
  • Go & Grow by Similac Toddler Drink 2’-FL HMO for Immune Support
  • Similac Organic Toddler Drink with A2 Milk
  • Pure Bliss by Similac Toddler Drink
  • Go & Grow by Similac Milk-Based Toddler Drink
  • Similac Pure Bliss (Non-GMO)

Special Dietary Needs

Tummy Troubles (Gas, Fussiness, Spit-Up, Crying, Or Colic)

  • Similac for Spit-Up
  • Similac 360 Total Care Sensitive Infant Formula
  • Similac Soy Isomil
  • Similac Pro-Total Comfort Infant Formula
  • Similac Sensitive
  • Similac Pro-Sensitive
  • Go & Grow by Similac Sensitive Toddler Drink

Cow’s Milk Allergies & Other Food Allergies

For Premature Babies

  • Similac NeoSure Infant Formula

Other Special Formulas

  • Similac Advance Lamehadrin (with Badatz Kosher certified formula, a special kosher certificate)

Similac Formulas: Main Similarities & Differences

Similarities – What Are The Benefits Of Similac?

Pros

  • Wide range of infant products for formula feeding, including lactose-free, non-dairy, soy-based, or hypoallergenic options
  • All products meet the infant formula requirements of the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and may be safe for babies. (2)

These formulas have:

  • Complete nutrients for growth and development
  • Special OptiGRO blend in all formulas (omega-3 DHA, lutein, and vitamin E)
  • DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) can support your baby’s brain eye development (3)
  • Lutein, an antioxidant that can help promote eye development (4)
  • Vitamin E can protect your baby’s cells and tissues from damage (5)
  • Nucleotides that may promote immune response (6)

Other special features:

  • They’re free from added sugars
  • They’re also free from palm olein oil, which may reduce calcium absorption and lead to weak bones (7)
  • Some non-GMO formulas are available
  • GMOs (genetically modified organisms) may cause allergies, autoimmunity, autism, ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), growth failure, and endocrine disruption. (8)
  • All these formulas exceed (1.8 mg iron per 100 calories) the FDA’s minimum iron requirement (1 mg per 100 calories). (2)

They also contain:

  • Choline, which is a nutrient that may help metabolize or digest fats (9)
  • Vitamin K, which is an important vitamin for bone metabolism; may also have anti-cancer effects (10)
  • ARA (arachidonic acid), which is a nutrient in breast milk that may promote a healthier immune system; may also help with muscle repair and growth (3)
  • Linoleic acid; a fatty acid that may help promote growth and development, especially in premature babies. (11)
  • Most formulas contain taurine, which may play a role in brain development (12)
  • Most formulas also have prebiotics, which can support a healthier gut and immune system (13)

Cons

  • Only a few products contain probiotics, which are good bacteria for a healthier tummy (14)
  • Most aren’t organic formulas (15)
  • Non-organic formulas can still be safe for consumption. But some parents prefer to buy organic options, which may be a healthier alternative. (15)
  • Organic formulas might have the same nutritional values as non-organic options. But they may reduce the risk of obesity, eczema in infants, and some forms of cancer. (15)
  • Most products contain soy oil, a highly refined soy oil that may be allergen-free but still comes from soy. You might still want to avoid this ingredient, especially if your little one has soy allergies. (16)

They also have:

  • Processed vegetable oils, which may contain unhealthy trans fats that can increase the risk of developing coronary heart diseases (17)
  • Maltodextrin, which may cause gas, bloating, colic, green stools, and possible intestinal injury (18)
  • Corn syrup, which may increase appetite and promote obesity (19)

Similac Recall

To ensure your baby’s health and safety, you should monitor formula recalls and safety alerts.

Over the years, Similac recalls included the following products:

2019 (incorrect scoop size and preparation instructions):

  • Similac TummiCare One Infant Formula Recall (Philippines)

2010 (possible contamination with small common beetle):

  • Similac Advance Powder DHA/AHA
  • Similac Advance Sensitive Powder DHA/AHA
  • Similac Advance LCP with Iron Powder
  • Similac Go & Grow Milk Powder
  • Similac Isomil Advance Soy Powder
  • Similac Go & Grow Soy Milk Powder
  • Similac Advance Early Shield Powder
  • Similac Organic Powder DHA/AHA
  • Similac Sensitive with Iron Powder
  • Similac Sensitive R.S. Powder
  • Similac Sensitive Early Shield Powder
  • Similac Isomil Advance Soy/Iron Powder
  • Similac Go & Grow Milk Early Shield Powder

2007 (low iron content):

  • Similac Special Care Ready-to-Feed Premature Infant Formula Powder with Iron

2006 (low vitamin C content):

  • Similac Alimentum (Liquid Ready-To-Drink Formula)
  • Similac Advance With Iron (Liquid Ready-To-Drink Formula)
  • Similac Advance Hospital Discharge Kits

2005 (contamination with polyvinyl chloride plastic particles):

  • Similac Advance with Iron Formula Powder

Find more information about the recalls below.

What Are The Side Effects Of Similac?

  • Gas
  • Tummy ache
  • Diaper rash
  • Stains
  • Constipation

These side effects can be common among different brands or products. But you can choose a gentle or sensitive type of formula, which may help ease these symptoms.

Still, make sure to ask your doctor before switching formulas.

Differences

Similac Organic

  • 20.6 oz container: $30.49
  • $1.48 per oz
  • Organic baby formula
  • Free from antibiotics and artificial growth hormones which may have some negative effects on your baby’s health (20)
  • Highest total fat content (5.63 g)

Similac 360 Total Care Infant Formula

  • 20.6 oz tub: $30.99
  • $1.50 per oz
  • Non-GMO formula
  • Free from artificial growth hormones
  • Five HMO prebiotics that are structurally identical to those in breast milk
  • May be purchased with SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) from select stores

Similac Advance Formula

  • 20.6 oz tub: $26.99
  • $1.31 per oz
  • Free from artificial growth hormones

Similac Pro-Advance Infant Formula

  • 20.6 oz tub: $28.99
  • $1.41 per oz
  • Non-GMO formula
  • Free from artificial growth hormones

Similac for Spit-Up

  • 19.5 oz tub: $28.99
  • $1.49 per oz
  • Non-GMO formula
  • Similac claims that this infant formula is clinically proven to reduce spit-up by 54% in healthy babies.
  • Most carbohydrate content

Similac Sensitive

  • 20.1 oz tub: $26.99
  • $1.34 per oz
  • Lactose-free formula
  • Gentle formula for sensitive tummies
  • Free from artificial growth hormones

Similac Pro-Sensitive

  • 20.1 oz tub: $29.99
  • $1.49 per oz
  • Non-GMO formula
  • Lactose-free
  • Sensitive formula that may help reduce fussiness or gas

Similac Soy Isomil

  • 30.8 oz can: $36.96
  • $1.2 per oz
  • Nutritionally complete soy-based baby formula
  • Gentle formula that may be easier to digest by sensitive tummies
  • May help relieve fussiness and gas
  • Special formula for babies with lactose intolerance
  • May also be suitable for babies with galactosemia, a condition wherein your baby’s tummy can’t digest galactose, a smaller sugar that’s also a component of lactose (21)
  • Similac claims that Isomil is the only soy formula clinically proven to support your baby’s immune system compared to dairy-based formulas.

Similac Alimentum Hypoallergenic Infant Formula

  • 19.8 oz can: $38.88
  • $1.96 per oz
  • Lactose-free formula
  • Hypoallergenic formula for babies with food allergies and colic symptoms due to milk protein sensitivity
  • Hydrolyzed (broken-down milk proteins) that may be gentle on your baby’s tummy
  • Similac claims that Alimentum is clinically proven to reduce excessive crying from cow’s milk protein sensitivity in 24 hours.

Similac Elecare

  • 14.1 oz tub: $44.97
  • $3.19 per oz
  • Amino-acid-based baby formula made for special medical purposes
  • More protein (equivalent, 3.1 g)
  • More calcium (116 mg)

Similac NeoSure

  • 13.1 oz can: $19.27
  • $1.47 per oz
  • Formulated for premature babies
  • Can promote catch-up growth
  • More protein, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients than traditional infant formula

Learn more about each Similac formula below.

Organic Formula

Similac Organic Infant Formula With Iron

Price

  • 20.6 oz tub: $30.49
  • 20.6 oz tub, case of four: $119.99

Best Features & Safety

  • Free from antibiotics and artificial growth hormones
  • Unique blend of nutrients lutein, DHA, and vitamin E to support brain and eye development
  • Free from palm olein oil
  • Contains prebiotics (fructooligosaccharides)

Product Recall

In 2010, Abbott Nutrition recalled numerous Similac formulas due to possible contamination with small common beetles (larvae or adult parts). (22)

According to the recall advisory, ingesting the beetle (adult, larvae, or insect parts) may not pose a significant health risk. But it can cause some intestinal discomfort, and your child might refuse to eat. (23)

The recall includes several lots of Similac Organic Powder (12.9 oz): (24)

  • 75786RB00
  • 75902RB00
  • 75902RB01

Affected Similac Organic Powder (23.2 oz) lots: (24)

  • 75785T200
  • 75786T200
  • 75875T200
  • 75875T201
  • 75876T200
  • 76021T200
  • 76065T201
  • 77081T200
  • 78209T200
  • 78210T200
  • 80641T200
  • 80642T200
  • 83084T200
  • 83085T200
  • 84310T200
  • 84311T200
  • 85482T200
  • 85483T200
  • 87878T210
  • 87879T210
  • 88010T200
  • 88010T201
  • 88030T200
  • 91551T200
  • 91551T210
  • 91551T211
  • 91552T200
  • 92617T200
  • 92618T200

Affected Similac Organic Powder (34 oz) lots: (24)

  • 75902T200
  • 76065T200
  • 87879T211

According to the recall advisory, the possibly contaminated containers have been distributed across the US, Puerto Rico, Guam, and some Caribbean countries. (25)

Similac recommends double-checking the bottom of the container if your product is part of the recall.

If it’s part of these recalled lots, immediately stop giving the affected formula to your baby and call 1-800-986-8850 to process your refund or product replacement. (25)

Abbott Nutrition later announced that after testing the recalled Similac formulas, more than 99.8 percent were negative for the contaminant (small common beetle). (25)

Cons

  • Potential allergens: milk ingredients
  • Vegetable oils and soy oil
  • It has had a recall.

Ingredients

  • Organic nonfat milk
  • Short-chain fructooligosaccharides (prebiotics)
  • Organic lactose
  • Organic soy oil
  • Organic coconut oil
  • Organic high oleic sunflower oil
  • Crypthecodinium cohnii oil (DHA source)
  • Mortierella alpina oil (ARA source)
  • Nucleotides

Nutritional Facts

Each serving (5 fl oz) contains:

  • Calories: 100 calories
  • Total fats: 5.63 g
  • Total carbohydrates: 10.4 g
  • Proteins: 2.07 g
  • Iron: 1.8 mg
  • Calcium: 78 mg
  • Linoleic acid: 860 mg
  • Vitamin A: 300 IU
  • Vitamin E: 1.5 IU

What Customers Say

When my wife stopped breastfeeding my youngest at his 5-month mark we immediately put him on the Similac organic optigro instant formula. We were very pleased that he took to it immediately. We had no issues with gas or irregular bowel movements.” – Reviewer on Similac’s website.

Purchased this thinking organic would be a great choice however after 2 days of using this formula my baby is very fussy and gassy.” – Reviewer on Similac’s website.

Everyday Nutrition

Similac 360 Total Care Infant Formula

Price

  • 20.6 oz tub: $30.99

Best Features & Safety

  • Non-GMO formula
  • Free from artificial growth hormones
  • Free from added sugars, corn syrup, and palm oil
  • Five HMO prebiotics that are structurally identical to those in breast milk
  • Blend of DHA, lutein, and vitamin E, which can support your baby’s brain and eye development (3)(4)(5)
  • May be purchased with SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) from select stores
  • Similac markets this product as its blend with the closest formulation to breast milk

Product Recall

  • None

Cons

  • Soy and highly processed vegetable oils
  • Potential allergens: milk and soy

Symptoms of milk protein and soy allergy can include: (26)(27)

  • Swollen or itchy tongue and lips
  • Wheezing
  • Hives
  • Difficulty breathing

Ingredients

  • Nonfat milk
  • Whey protein concentrate
  • Lactose
  • High oleic safflower oil
  • Soy oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Human milk oligosaccharides (prebiotics 2’-fucosyllactose, lacto-n-tetraose, 3-fucosyllactose, 3’-sialyllactose, and 6’-sialyllactose)
  • Crypthecodinium cohnii oil (DHA source)
  • Mortierella alpina oil (ARA source)
  • Soy lecithin
  • Taurine
  • Nucleotides

Nutritional Facts

Each serving (100 calories) contains:

  • Total fats: 5.6 g
  • Total carbohydrates: 10.5 g
  • Proteins: 2.07 g
  • Iron: 1.8 mg
  • Calcium: 78 mg
  • Folic acid: 15 mcg
  • Choline: 24 mg
  • Vitamin A: 300 mcg
  • Vitamin E: 1.5 mg

What Customers Say

Absolutely love this for my 8 month old!” – Reviewer on Amazon.

Highly recommended. This has solved my baby’s fussiness and gas my miles. She did great on her first night with the formula and she’s doing so much better. She stays full longer and sleeps longer and is just very calm. They have a sensitive one but I do not recommend since it has corn syrup and added sugar. They also have the pre made packets for on the go. This formula has been a complete game changer.” – Reviewer on Target.

Similac Advance Infant Formula

Price

  • 20.6 oz tub: $26.99

Best Features & Safety

  • Milk-based infant formula for your little one’s first year
  • Free from palm oil
  • Combination of DHA, lutein, and vitamin E, which can support your baby’s brain and eye development (3)(4)(5)
  • Free from artificial growth hormones (20)
  • Prebiotic FOS (fructooligosaccharides) that may support a healthier immune system and gut health (13)
  • Kosher and halal
  • Free from maltodextrin, corn syrup, and added sugars

Product Recall

  • Similac Advance (powder formula) was among the Similac produces recalled in 2010 due to the possible small common beetle contamination. (23)
  • In 2006, Similac Advance (ready-to-drink formula) was recalled because of low vitamin C content. The bottles had a manufacturing defect that may cause the contents to react with air, reducing the formula’s vitamin C levels. (28)
  • In 2005, Similac Advance (powder formula) was recalled due to possible contamination with PVC (polyvinyl chloride) plastic particles from a manufacturing issue. (29)

Cons

  • It had recalls.
  • Potential allergens: milk and soy
  • Soy oil and other processed vegetable oils

Ingredients

  • Whey protein concentrate
  • Nonfat milk
  • Lactose
  • High oleic safflower oil
  • Soy oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Short-chain fructooligosaccharide prebiotics
  • C. cohnii oil (DHA source)
  • M. alpina oil (ARA source)
  • Lutein
  • Soy lecithin
  • Nucleotides
  • Taurine

Nutritional Facts

Each serving (5 fl oz) contains:

  • Calories: 100 calories
  • Total fats: 5.6 g
  • Total carbohydrates: 10.5 g
  • Proteins: 2.07 g
  • Iron: 1.8 mg
  • Calcium: 78 mg
  • Linoleic acid: 1,000 mg
  • Folic acid: 15 mcg
  • Choline: 24 mg
  • Vitamin A: 300 IU
  • Vitamin E: 1.5 IU

What Customers Say

Great formula. Tried different formulas in the beginning and my baby could not tolerate the competitors formula. This has been the best choIce from the beginning.” – Reviewer on Similac’s website.

The hospital started us out with Similac advanced, but then we started to notice the stool count shorten. Similac Advanced caused my baby to have extremely bad constipation to where now I have been switched from Advanced to Sensitive to now Total-Comfort and my baby hasn’t had a stool in 4 days.” – Reviewer on Similac’s website.

Similac Pro-Advance Infant Formula

Price

  • 20.6 oz tub: $28.99

Best Features & Safety

  • Non-GMO formula
  • OptiGRO, a blend of vitamin E, DHA, and lutein that may promote brain and eye development (3)(4)(5)
  • Fructooligosaccharide prebiotics
  • Free from added sugars, corn syrup, and artificial growth hormones

Product Recall

  • None

Cons

  • Potential allergens: milk
  • Soy oil and highly processed vegetable oils

Ingredients

  • Nonfat milk
  • Lactose
  • High oleic safflower oil
  • Whey protein concentrate
  • Soy oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Mortierella alpina oil (ARA source)
  • Crypthecodinium cohnii oil (DHA source)
  • 2’-fucosyllactose
  • Short-chain fructooligosaccharides
  • Lutein
  • Nucleotides

Nutritional Facts

Each serving (5 fl oz) contains:

  • Calories: 100 calories
  • Total fats: 5.6 g
  • Total carbohydrates: 10.5 g
  • Proteins: 2.07 g
  • Iron: 1.8 mg
  • Calcium: 78 mg
  • Linoleic acid: 1,000 mg
  • Folic acid: 15 mcg
  • Choline: 24 mg
  • Vitamin A: 300 IU
  • Vitamin E: 1.5 IU

What Customers Say

My grandbaby is using this and she is doing great! Gaining weight, less fuss, better sleep, and not constipated.” – Reviewer on Similac’s website.

This make my 3 weeks old baby girl gassy and bad constipation. Her poop is hard clay like.” – Reviewer on Target.

Tummy Troubles (Gas, Fussiness, Spit-Up, Crying, Or Colic)

Similac for Spit-Up Infant Formula

Price

  • 19.5 oz tub: $28.99

Best Features & Safety

  • Non-GMO formula
  • Similac claims that this infant formula is clinically proven to reduce spit-up by 54% in healthy babies.
  • Exclusive combination of DHA, vitamin E, and lutein that may support your baby’s brain and eye development (3)(4)(5)
  • Free from palm olein oil, artificial growth hormones, and maltodextrin
  • GOS (galactooligosaccharides) prebiotics
  • Easy-to-digest formulation that may be suitable if your baby has lactose sensitivity

Symptoms of lactose intolerance or sensitivity can include: (30)

  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Cramping
  • Bloating
  • Watery diarrhea (loose stools) with gas

Product Recall

  • None

Cons

  • Potential allergen: milk
  • Rice starch (thickening agent)
  • Though starches are considered safe by the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics), many are calling for its removal as ingredient of baby food (31)
  • Soy oil and processed vegetable oils
  • Added sugars and corn syrup

Ingredients

  • Milk protein isolate
  • Corn syrup
  • Rice starch
  • Sugar
  • GOS (galactooligosaccharides) prebiotics
  • C. cohnii oil (DHA source)
  • M. alpina oil (ARA source)
  • High oleic safflower oil
  • Soy oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Lutein
  • Taurine
  • Nucleotides

Nutritional Facts

Each serving (5 fl oz) contains:

  • Calories: 100 calories
  • Total fats: 5.4 g
  • Total carbohydrates: 11 g
  • Proteins: 2.1 g
  • Iron: 1.8 mg
  • Calcium: 84 mg
  • Folic acid: 15 mcg
  • Linoleic acid: 1,000 mg
  • Choline: 24 mg
  • Vitamin A: 300 IU
  • Vitamin D: 50 IU
  • Vitamin E: 1.5 IU

What Customers Say

Formula works great, very little spit up.” – Reviewer on Similac’s website.

Switched my baby to this thinking it would help with spit up and he would poop more now he’s pooping once a week and it hurts him to poop and he spits up worse.” – Reviewer on Similac’s website.

Similac Sensitive Infant Formula

Price

  • 20.1 oz tub: $26.99

Best Features & Safety

  • Lactose-free formula
  • Gentle formula for sensitive tummies
  • OptiGro, a special blend of DHA, lutein, and vitamin E that can help support brain and eye development (3)(4)(5)
  • Nucleotides (building blocks for nucleic acids) that may help improve metabolic functions (6)
  • ARA, a special nutrient that may help improve your baby’s immune system, nervous system, and skeletal muscle (3)
  • Prebiotic short-chain fructooligosaccharides
  • Free from palm oil and artificial growth hormones

Product Recall

  • It’s among the numerous Similac products recalled by Abbott Nutrition in 2010 for possible contamination with the small common beetle. (22)

The following Similac Sensitive with Iron Powder (23.2 oz) lots were recalled: (24)

  • 75789T200
  • 75790T200
  • 75837T200
  • 75837T201
  • 75838T200
  • 75882T210
  • 75916T200
  • 75917T200
  • 76019T200
  • 76020T200
  • 76034T200
  • 76049T210
  • 76049T220
  • 76050T200
  • 77083T200
  • 77084T200
  • 77165T200
  • 77166T200
  • 77167T200
  • 77168T201
  • 78177T200
  • 78234T200
  • 78235T200
  • 78299T200
  • 78300T200
  • 78301T200
  • 78301T201
  • 78302T200
  • 78316T200
  • 78317T200
  • 79374T200
  • 79375T200
  • 79381T200
  • 79382T200
  • 79383T200
  • 79417T200
  • 79461T201
  • 79517T200
  • 80623T200
  • 80624T200
  • 80625T200
  • 80626T200
  • 80638T200
  • 80639T200
  • 80640T200
  • 81783T200
  • 81803T200
  • 81805T211
  • 82868T200
  • 82875T200
  • 82876T200
  • 83096T200
  • 83097T200
  • 83098T200
  • 83099T200
  • 83228T200
  • 83229T200
  • 83230T200
  • 83231T200
  • 83232T200
  • 84278T200
  • 85409T200
  • 85410T200
  • 85411T200
  • 85466T200
  • 85467T200
  • 85468T200
  • 85469T200
  • 85527T200
  • 85527T201
  • 85527T202
  • 85528T201
  • 85528T202
  • 85528T203
  • 85529T201
  • 85529T202
  • 85530T201
  • 85530T202
  • 86713T200
  • 86714T200
  • 86715T200
  • 86716T200
  • 87843T200
  • 87844T200
  • 87845T200

Recalled Similac Sensitive with Iron Powder (8 oz) lots: (24)

  • 75882T200
  • 76064T200
  • 78208T201
  • 78208T202
  • 78208T203
  • 82877T201
  • 82877T210
  • 82996T200

Recalled Similac Sensitive with Iron Powder (34 oz) lots: (24)

  • 76035T200
  • 78178T200
  • 79462T200
  • 80637T200
  • 81804T201
  • 84279T200
  • 85531T201
  • 88064T200

Cons

  • Corn syrup and added sugars
  • Foamy formulation
  • Soy and vegetable oils
  • It has had a recall.

Ingredients

  • Corn syrup
  • Milk protein isolate
  • High oleic safflower oil
  • Sugar
  • Soy oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Crypthecodinium cohnii oil (for DHA source)
  • Mortierella alpina oil (for ARA source)
  • Short-chain fructooligosaccharides (prebiotics)
  • Lutein
  • Nucleotides
  • Ferrous sulfate

Nutritional Values

Each serving (5 fl oz) contains:

  • Calories: 100 calories
  • Total fats: 5.4 g
  • Total carbohydrates: 10.9 g
  • Proteins: 2.1 g
  • Iron: 1.8 mg
  • Calcium: 84 mg
  • Choline: 24 mg
  • Linoleic acid: 1,000 mg
  • Folic acid: 15 mcg
  • Vitamin A: 300 IU
  • Vitamin E: 1.5 IU

What Customers Say

My baby’s been using this since she was 2 weeks old. We put her on this because she was having a hard time burping. Seem to cause her pain. Put her on this and it all went away helps her stomach a lot.” – Reviewer on Similac’s website.

I started using similac sensitive because my newborn was very gassy and fussy. Due to the amount of bubbles all it did was create more gas because she was getting air.” – Reviewer on Similac’s website.

Similac Pro-Sensitive Infant Formula

Price

  • 20.1 oz tub: $29.99

Best Features & Safety

  • Non-GMO formula
  • Lactose-free
  • Sensitive formula that may help reduce fussiness or gas
  • 2’-FL HMO (human milk oligosaccharides), prebiotics in breast milk that can support your baby’s developing immune system (13)
  • OptiGro blend (DHA, lutein, and vitamin E) to help promote your baby’s brain and eye development (3)(4)(5)
  • Free from palm olein oil that can affect calcium absorption, artificial growth hormones, and maltodextrin (7)(18)(20)

Product Recall

  • None

Cons

  • Potential allergens: milk and soy lecithin
  • Corn syrup, soy oil, and other processed vegetable oils
  • Added sugars

Ingredients

  • Milk protein isolate
  • Corn syrup
  • Sugar
  • High oleic safflower oil, coconut oil, and soy oil
  • 2’-fucosyllactose, short-chain fructooligosaccharides (prebiotics)
  • C. cohnii oil (DHA source)
  • M. alpina oil (ARA source)
  • Lutein
  • Nucleotides
  • Soy lecithin

Nutritional Facts

Each serving (5 fl oz) contains:

  • Calories: 100 calories
  • Total fats: 5.4 g
  • Total carbohydrates: 10.9 g
  • Proteins: 2.1 g
  • Iron: 1.8 mg
  • Calcium: 84 mg
  • Linoleic acid: 1,000 mg
  • Folic acid: 15 mcg
  • Choline: 24 mg
  • Vitamin A: 300 IU
  • Vitamin E: 1.5 IU

What Customers Say

Have tried a few other varieties of Similac, and this is by far the best. My baby prefers the taste of this one over all the others, and it mixes the easiest.” – Reviewer on Walmart.

This particular similar formula has been awful for my baby. It gave her more gas, made her so fussy, and the poor thing could not sleep well EVER. She kept curling up her stomach in pain after being fed this formula.” – Reviewer on Similac’s website.

Similac Soy Isomil

Price

  • 30.8 oz can, single pack: $36.96
  • 30.8 oz can, case of four: $133.19 or $33.30 per can

Best Features & Safety

  • Nutritionally complete soy-based baby formula that may be easier to digest by sensitive tummies
  • May help relieve fussiness and gas
  • Special formula for babies with lactose intolerance
  • May also be suitable for babies with galactosemia, a medical condition wherein your baby can’t digest galactose, a simple sugar that’s also a component of lactose (21)
  • Similac claims that this is the only soy formula clinically proven to support your baby’s developing immune system and comparable to dairy-based formulas
  • Can be suitable for vegetarian diets
  • DHA, lutein, and vitamin E, which are ingredients abundant in breast milk that may support your baby’s brain and eye development (3)(4)(5)
  • Prebiotic FOS (fructooligosaccharides) that may help promote a healthy gut and immune system (13)
  • Free from palm oil

Product Recall

  • None

Cons

  • Added sugars
  • Corn syrup, soy oil, and other processed vegetable oils

Ingredients

  • Soy protein isolate
  • Corn syrup solids
  • High oleic safflower oil
  • Sugar
  • Coconut oil
  • Short-chain fructooligosaccharides (prebiotics)
  • Soy oil
  • C. cohnii oil (DHA source)
  • M. alpina oil (ARA source)
  • Lutein
  • Taurine
  • Lycopene

Nutritional Facts

Each serving (5 fl oz) contains:

  • Calories: 100 calories
  • Total fats: 5.46 g
  • Total carbohydrates: 10.4 g
  • Proteins: 2.45 g
  • Iron: 1.8 mg
  • Calcium: 105 mg
  • Folic acid: 15 mcg
  • Linoleic acid: 1,000 mg
  • Choline: 24 mg
  • Vitamin A: 300 IU
  • Vitamin E: 1.5 IU

What Customers Say

I really liked this formula, my daughter has finally found something that doesn’t trigger her heart burn as much.” – Reviewer on Similac’s website.

This formula did not work for our 4-month old as he would throw it all up about an hour after he ate it.” – Reviewer on Similac’s website.

Special Formula for Babies with Allergies

Similac Alimentum

Price

  • 19.8 oz can: $38.88

Best Features & Safety

  • Lactose-free formula
  • Hypoallergenic formula for babies with food allergies and colic symptoms because of milk protein sensitivity
  • Hydrolyzed (broken-down milk proteins) that may be easier to digest for babies with food allergies
  • Similac claims that Alimentum is clinically proven to reduce excessive crying from cow’s milk protein sensitivity in 24 hours.
  • DHA and ARA, which can support your little one’s brain and eye development (3)
  • MCT oils (medium-chain triglycerides), which can be easier to digest and absorb (32)
  • Free from palm olein oil

Product Recall

  • In 2006, Abbott Nutrition recalled Similac Alimentum liquid ready-to-drink formula for a missing bottle layer caused by a manufacturing error. The absence of this special layer causes air to get in the bottles and react with the contents, leading to a reduced vitamin C content. (28)

Cons

  • Added sugars, soy oil, corn maltodextrin, and processed vegetable oils
  • Xanthan gum; JECFA (Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives) considers this ingredient safe as a stabilizer to infant formulas, but it may cause bloating, gas, or flu-like symptoms (33)(34)
  • The liquid, ready-to-drink formulation had a recall.

Ingredients

  • Casein hydrolysate derived from milk(or broken-down milk proteins)
  • Corn maltodextrin
  • Sugar
  • High oleic safflower oil
  • C. cohnii oil (DHA source)
  • M. alpina oil (ARA source)
  • Medium-chain triglycerides
  • Soy oil
  • Xanthan gum
  • Taurine

Nutritional Facts

Each serving (5 fl oz) 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
  • Folic acid: 15 mcg
  • Linoleic acid: 800 mg
  • Choline: 12 mg
  • Vitamin A: 300 IU
  • Vitamin E: 3 IU

What Customers Say

Alimentum is the only formula that my infant can tolerate due to both a milk protein allergy and a corn allergy.” – Reviewer on Similac’s website.

My baby has a sensitive stomach and we were suggested to try this formula. While I am glad there is a formula for babies with sensitivities towards cow’s protein, my baby would not drink this formula. We tried 3-4 times and my baby hated the taste and smell.” – Reviewer on Target.

Similac Elecare

Price

  • 14.1 oz tub: $44.97

Best Features & Safety

  • Amino-acid-based baby formula made for special medical purposes
  • Prebiotic 2’-FL HMO (2’-fucosyllactose human milk oligosaccharide) that can promote a healthier immune system (13)
  • ARA and DHA, essential fatty acids that may promote better brain development (3)
  • May be suitable for vegetarians

Product Recall

  • None

Cons

  • May cost more than traditional milk formulas
  • Corn syrup, soy oil, and vegetable oils
  • It also has maltodextrin.
  • It’s not listed on the packaging, but maltodextrin is identified as a carbohydrate source on Elecare’s datasheet posted by its parent company Abbott Nutrition. (18)(35)
  • Stronger scent than regular formulas
  • May cause discolored poops

Ingredients

  • Amino acids
  • Corn syrup solids
  • 2’-fucosyllactose prebiotics (derived from lactose)
  • Vegetable oils (high oleic safflower oil and soy oil)
  • MCT oil from palm kernel oil and coconut oil
  • M. alpine oil (ARA)
  • C. cohnii oil (DHA)
  • E1450 (modified starch)

Nutritional Facts

Every serving (5 fl oz) contains:

  • Calories: 100 calories
  • Total fats: 4.8 g
  • Total carbohydrates: 10.7 g
  • Protein equivalent: 3.1 g
  • Iron: 1.8 mg
  • Calcium: 116 mg
  • Vitamin A: 273 IU
  • Vitamin C: 9 mg

What Customers Say

My little one is allergic to everything, including soy. This is the only formula that works.” – Reviewer on Walmart.

My son was first put in this as he has a milk protein allergy. At one month old he was absolutely starving so he would drink anything but the flavor is like cardboard or plastic. It’s very synthetic and he didn’t like it but dealt with it.”– Reviewer on Amazon.

Formula for Premature Babies

Similac NeoSure

Price

  • 13.1 oz can, single pack: $19.27
  • 22.8 oz, pack of four: $104.39 or $26.10 per can

Best Features & Safety

  • May provide complete nutrition for premature babies
  • More protein, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients than traditional infant formula
  • Can promote catch-up growth
  • DHA, lutein, and vitamin E that can support your child’s brain and eye development (3)(4)(5)
  • More calcium and phosphorus for your child’s growing bones
  • Free from artificial growth hormones and palm olein oil

Product Recall

  • None

Cons

  • Corn syrup, soy oil, and processed vegetable oils
  • Potential allergens: milk and soy lecithin

Ingredients

  • Nonfat milk
  • Corn syrup solids
  • Lactose
  • Soy oil
  • High oleic safflower oil
  • Whey protein concentrate
  • MCT oil (medium chain triglycerides)
  • Coconut oil
  • C. cohnii oil (DHA source)
  • M. alpina oil (ARA source)
  • Lutein
  • Soy lecithin
  • Taurine
  • Nucleotides

Nutritional Facts

Each serving (4.5 fl oz) contains:

  • Calories: 100 calories
  • Total fats: 5.5 g
  • Total carbohydrates: 10.1 g
  • Proteins: 2.8 g
  • Iron: 1.8 mg
  • Calcium: 105 mg
  • Folic acid: 25 mcg
  • Choline: 16 mg
  • Vitamin A: 350 IU
  • Vitamin D: 70 IU
  • Vitamin E: 3.6 IU
  • Linoleic acid: 750 mg

What Customers Say

My preemies just got released from the NICU. They are small in size so the NICU doctors recommend this as it’s higher in calories to help them gain weight!” – Reviewer on Walmart.

This thing is expensive and it makes my boy very uncomfortable with colic and reflux. Don’t know why all the pediatrician suggested.” – Reviewer on Amazon.

Summary & Recommendation

Similac is a trusted name brand for infant formulas. But which one should you pick for your baby?

The following are our recommendations, but make sure to check first with your pediatrician before giving a new formula to your little one:

Choose Similac Organic ($1.48 per oz) if you:

  • Prefer an organic baby formula
  • Want a formula that’s free from antibiotics and artificial growth hormones
  • Prefer a formula with high total fat content (5.63 g)
  • Don’t mind that it has had a recall for possible contamination with small common beetle in 2010

Choose Similac 360 Total Care Infant Formula ($1.50 per oz) if you:

  • Prefer a non-GMO formula
  • Prefer a formulation closest to breast milk
  • Want a formula with five HMO prebiotics that are structurally identical to those in breast milk
  • Want a formula free from artificial growth hormones
  • Need to purchase formula with SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)

Choose Similac Advance Formula ($1.31 per oz) if you:

  • Want a formula with a close formulation to breast milk
  • Prefer a formula free from artificial growth hormones
  • Don’t mind that it has had three recalls in the past

Recalls

  • In 2010 for possible small common beetle contamination.
  • In 2006 for low vitamin C content
  • In 2005 for PVC (polyvinyl chloride) plastic particle contamination

Choose Similac Pro-Advance Infant Formula ($1.41 per oz) if you:

  • Prefer a non-GMO formula
  • Want a traditional formula free from artificial growth hormones

Choose Similac for Spit-Up ($1.49 per oz) if you:

  • Prefer a non-GMO formula
  • Want a formula marketed as clinically proven to reduce spit-up by 54% in healthy babies
  • Want formula with the most carbohydrate content
  • Don’t mind that it has rice starch (starches are considered safe by the AAP, but some parents want it removed from baby food) (31)

Choose Similac Sensitive ($1.34 per oz) if you:

  • Prefer a lactose-free formula
  • Want a gentle formula for sensitive tummies
  • Prefer formula free from artificial growth hormones
  • Don’t mind that it had a recall in 2010 for possible small common beetle contamination

Choose Similac Pro-Sensitive ($1.49 per oz) if you:

  • Prefer a non-GMO, lactose-free formula
  • Want a sensitive formula that may help reduce fussiness or gas

Choose Similac Soy Isomil ($1.2 per oz) if you:

  • Need a nutritionally complete soy-based baby formula
  • Prefer a gentle formula that may be easier to digest by sensitive tummies
  • Need a formula that may help relieve fussiness and gas
  • Want a special formula for babies with lactose intolerance
  • Need a formula for a child with galactosemia (can’t digest galactose, a smaller sugar that’s also a component of lactose) (21)
  • Prefer a formula that’s marketed as the only soy formula clinically proven to support your baby’s immune system (compared to dairy-based formulas)

Choose Similac Alimentum Hypoallergenic Infant Formula ($1.96 per oz) if you:

  • Need a lactose-free formula
  • Need a hypoallergenic formula for babies with food allergies and colic symptoms due to milk protein sensitivity
  • Prefer formula with hydrolyzed or broken-down milk proteins that may be gentle on your baby’s tummy
  • Want a formula that’s marketed as clinically proven to reduce excessive crying from cow’s milk protein sensitivity in 24 hours
  • Don’t mind that it has had a recall for low vitamin C content in 2006
  • Don’t mind that it contains Xanthan gum (it may be considered a safe stabilizer to infant formulas but can cause bloating, gas, or flu-like symptoms) (33)(34)

Choose Similac Elecare ($3.19 per oz) if you:

  • Need an amino-acid-based baby formula made for special medical purposes
  • Prefer more protein and calcium content
  • Don’t mind that it can cost more than traditional milk formulas

Choose Similac NeoSure ($1.47 per oz) if you:

  • Need a formula for premature babies
  • Need a formula that can promote catch-up growth
  • Prefer a formula with more protein, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients than traditional infant formula

Is Similac Better Than Enfamil?

Enfamil Enspire Vs. Similac Advance

  • Flagship formulas
  • Basic milk formulas that can provide complete nutrition for your baby’s first year
  • Milk-based ingredients (whey protein, nonfat milk, and lactose)
  • Similar mixture of vegetable oils (coconut oil, soy oil, and high oleic safflower oil)
  • Free from added sugars, maltodextrin, or corn syrups
  • Prebiotics that can help support a healthy gut (13)

Enfamil Enspire Infant Highlights – $28.49 for a 21.1 oz can

  • Lactoferrin, an important protein in breast milk that may help improve your baby’s health and immune system (36)
  • Two types of prebiotics (Similac Advance only has one)
  • More carbohydrates, folic acid, and vitamin E
  • Doesn’t have a recall

Similac Advance Highlights – $26.99 for a 23.2 oz can

  • Costs less ($1.31 per oz) than Enfamil Infant ($1.35 per oz)
  • More proteins, fats, and linoleic acid

Enfamil NeuroPro Gentlease Vs. Similac Pro-Sensitive

  • Gentle formulas
  • Formulated for fussiness and gas
  • Both contain corn syrup solids

Enfamil NeuroPro Gentlease Highlights – $29.99 for a 19.5 oz tub

  • MFGM (milk fat globule membrane), a breast milk component which can promote neurodevelopment and defense against infections (37)
  • More proteins, folic acid, and vitamin E

Similac Pro-Sensitive Highlights – $29.99 for a 20.1 oz tub

  • Costs less ($1.49 per oz) than Enfamil Neuropro Gentlease ($1.54 per oz)
  • Prebiotics for a healthier gut
  • More fat content, calcium, carbohydrates, and linoleic acid

Formula FAQs

Is Similac Made From Cow’s Milk?

Most of Similac’s products are made from cow’s milk. But there are also soy-based formulas.

Is Similac Made In China?

No. Similac formulas sold in the US are made in the US. Chinese-made baby formulas from any brand are banned in the US. (38)

REFERENCES

(1) https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/05/02/magazine/money-issue-baby-formula-crime-ring.html

(2) https://www.fda.gov/food/people-risk-foodborne-illness/questions-answers-consumers-concerning-infant-formula

(3) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29413359/

(4) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6164534/

(5) https://kidshealth.org/en/kids/vitamin.html

(6) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12410863/

(7) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16582027/

(8) https://www.greenamerica.org/blog/downsides-gmo-infant-formula-we-asked-pediatrician

(9) https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Choline-HealthProfessional/

(10) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4600246/

(11) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15825825/

(12) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9635063/

(13) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4615227/

(14) https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/formula-feeding/Pages/Probiotics-in-Infant-Formula.aspx

(15) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32519524/

(16) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3894482/

(17) https://www.cfs.gov.hk/english/multimedia/multimedia_pub/multimedia_pub_fsf_85_01.html

(18) https://blog.babycues.info/2021/april/maltodextrin-in-baby-formula-please-avoid/

(19) https://health.clevelandclinic.org/avoid-the-hidden-dangers-of-high-fructose-corn-syrup-video/

(20) https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/recombinant-bovine-growth-hormone.html

(21) https://www.childrenshospital.org/conditions-and-treatments/conditions/g/galactosemia/symptoms-and-causes

(22) https://buffalonews.com/news/similac-recalls-powdered-formula/article_a7d6e134-56bc-56c7-b29d-11edd4093b1e.html

(23) https://www.reuters.com/article/us-abbott-idUSTRE68L4ZI20100922

(24) https://www.cbsnews.com/htdocs/pdf/SimilacLotList.pdf

(25) https://www.cleveland.com/business/2010/09/similac_recall_check_here_to_s.html

(26) https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/milk-allergy/symptoms-causes/syc-20375101

(27) https://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org/soy-allergy.aspx

(28) https://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/16/us/recall-of-infant-formula.html

(29) https://abcnews.go.com/Health/ParentingResourceCenter/similac-recall-bug-parts-baby-formula-worry-parents/story?id=11710959

(30) https://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/nutrition/Pages/Lactose-Intolerance-in-Children.aspx

(31) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29762373/

(32) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5209465/

(33) https://apps.who.int/food-additives-contaminants-jecfa-database/chemical.aspx?chemID=802

(34) https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2011/05/23/136574547/fda-warns-against-food-thickener-for-premature-infants

(35) https://www.abbottnutrition.ie/downloads/10-EleCare-datasheet-HCP-version-3-Jan-020.pdf

(36) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11052766/

(37) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27234413/

(38) https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-babies-usa-idUSN1130903520080912

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