Whoever thinks bottle feeding is the easy way to go clearly has never done it! Finding the perfect formula for your little one can be a tough job. Not to mention all the cleaning and sanitizing and preparing once you’ve settled on a baby formula.
If you’re still searching for the best mix for your little one and have come across Similac and Enfamil, this review is for you. We’re reviewing two of their most popular types, Similac Pro Sensitive vs Enfamil Gentlease infant formula.
We will cover the ingredients, costs, features, and more before we announce our winner of the roundup. If you need the answer fast, our pick is Enfamil Gentlease. Now let us tell you why!
- Holle Organic Formula Stage 1
- Similac Pro-Total Comfort
- Similac Alimentum
- Enfamil Nutramigen
- Gerber Good Start Soothe
- Which is easier to digest, Enfamil Gentlease or Similac Pro Sensitive?
- Can I switch my baby from Similac Pro Sensitive to Enfamil Gentlease?
- What’s the best way to feed a gassy baby?
- Is corn syrup solids in baby formula bad for my child?
- Do I need an organic formula for babies with sensitive tummies?
Overview of Similac Pro Sensitive vs Enfamil Gentlease Formula
Before we get into comparing Enfamil Gentlease vs Similac Pro Sensitive, let’s take an in-depth look at both products. There can be a lot of confusion between gentle vs sensitive formula types and formulas use a lot of different names.
Similac Pro Sensitive
Similac Pro Sensitive, as you may have guessed, is for infants with sensitive tummies. Usually, this means they are prone to gas or digestive upset. The Pro in Similac Pro Sensitive means that this formula goes beyond their standard sensitive version.
The sensitive has milk protein isolate, or lactose-free milk, making it suitable for a baby with a milk allergy. It is palm olein oil-free as well and includes prebiotics along with other nutrients that make it quite similar to breastmilk. The Pro refers to the company’s efforts to make it as close to breastmilk as possible by including 2′-FL HMO AKA, a prebiotic found in human milk, as well as lutein, Vitamin E, and DHA.
Similac has both a Sensitive version and a Pro Advanced version; the Pro Sensitive version is a combination of the other two Similac formulas.
Aside from its ingredients, parents will also be happy to know that Similac Pro Sensitive has not had any recent recalls. It is available in powder and ready to feed liquid with various sizes for each.
- Similar to breastmilk with inclusions of 2’-FL HMO, Vitamin E, DHA, and lutein
- Thicker consistency for reflux
- Contains corn syrup and added sugar
- BRAND FOR IMMUNE SUPPORT: Similac Pro-Sensitive is the first infant formula for sensitive tummies with 2’-FL HMO;(Based on Pediatrician Recommendations and IQVIA ProVoice Survey 12 months ending February 2020; not from human milk)
- VALUE SIZE/SUBSCRIBE and SAVE: 1 Can provides 55% more powder than the 1.41-lb container; 3 cans provide a one-month supply or 189 4-fl-oz bottles; Choose Subscribe and Save for additional savings and convenience
- FOR SENSITIVE TUMMIES: Designed for fussiness and gas due to lactose sensitivity; Not for infants or children with galactosemia
Enfamil Gentlease is easily identifiable by its can, sometimes being referred to as the purple can formula. It’s easy to get confused between Enfamil Gentlease vs Sensitive as both are specially made for babies with sensitive stomachs and digestive issues.
When looking at Enfamil Sensitive vs Gentlease, they’re very comparable, with the biggest difference being Gentlease’s addition of more whey protein concentrate solids, lactose, and hydrolyzed nonfat milk. These things are made to help make the formula easier to digest in two ways.
First, it includes prebiotics to help digestion. The second is that it uses broken down lactose proteins to make digestion easier than if you were to give your child whole lactose proteins, like in cow’s milk. Then is Enfamil Gentlease lactose free? Nope, it isn’t entirely lactose free.
The NeuroPro Gentlease formula includes milk fat globule membrane or MFGM, a substance found in breastmilk that not only promotes digestion but also cognitive development. They added Vitamins E, D, and C, selenium, and Omega-3 DHA to NeuroPro too.
Many of these are found in breastmilk and strengthen brain and neuro health and function. Choline and Omega-3 DHA are in both regular Gentlease and NeuroPro. The Enfamil orange can typically is used for only the NeuroPro Sensitive version.
There haven’t been any recent recalls of this formula either. It is available in powdered formula and ready to feed liquid with various sizes for each.
- No added sugars
- Thinner consistency preferred by most babies
- More affordable
- Contains corn syrup
- Not lactose-free
- ALL IN ONE COMFORT: Enfamil Gentlease is scientifically formulated to help ease fussiness, crying, gas and spit-up in 24 hours
- EXPERT RECOMMENDED DHA: Enfamil Gentlease has expert recommended brain building DHA
- COMPLETE NURTITION: Contains important nutrients found in breast milk to help support cognitive brain development through their first 12 months
Similac Pro Sensitive vs Enfamil Gentlease Review Comparison
Now that you know about Similac Sensitive vs Gentlease, and the features of each, let’s compare them and find out who is the winner of Similac Sensitive vs Enfamil Gentlease.
First, let’s look at the similarities of Similac Sensitive infant formula compared to Enfamil Gentlease.
- Both are made for babies with sensitive stomachs. They promise to help cut down on gas, fussiness, colic, and digestive troubles. However, Gentlease promises to relieve these symptoms for your child in as little as 24 hours. Whether or not that occurs depends on the child, but Similac Pro Sensitive makes no such guarantees.
- When looking at GMO and trying to decide between Similac Pro Sensitive vs Gentlease, you’ll be happy to know both are Non-GMO. Additionally, Similac Sensitive vs Enfamil Gentlease ingredients are very similar.
- These two are quite similar in the nutrient category too when comparing Enfamil Gentlease vs Similac as they both have DHA, vitamins, and minerals for complete nutrition. Though if you were going with the Enfamil NeuroPro Sensitive vs Gentlease the NeuroPro would have more brain-boosting ingredients. The opposite could be said when looking at Similac Sensitive versus Enfamil Gentlease NeuroPro. Bottom line? If it has a NeuroPro label you’ll get more cognitive-friendly ingredients.
- Each one can be used with newborns right from the start, and continued through the child’s first year of life.
- They both are available in a variety of sizes and types, including powder as well as ready-to-feed with different size options for each.
- Neither of these infant formulas has artificial ingredients, colorings, or artificial growth hormones.
- Unfortunately, they both have corn syrup.
Here are the most notable differences between Enfamil Gentlease vs Similac Sensitive formula.
- Similac Pro Sensitive is a lactose-free gentle milk powder formula, which can be very important for babies with a lactose allergy that causes most of their digestive discomfort. Gentlease isn’t completely lactose free because it has broken down lactose proteins. Though that’s less lactose than traditional formulas and kinds of milk, it is still not dairy-free.
- Similac Pro Sensitive is thicker, which can be good or bad. Most babies may prefer the normal formula consistency of Gentlease. However, the thicker Similac Pro Sensitive can help with acid reflux and spit-up.
- Similac Pro Sensitive is the formula that is closer to the composition of breastmilk. It has 2′-FL HMO (human milk prebiotic) while Gentlease does not.
- Gentlease has no added sugars. The same can’t be said for Similac.
- Gentlease includes milk fat globule membrane or MFGM for digestion while Similac does not.
- Gentlease comes in at a lower price point than Similac.
Alternatives That Are Comparable to Similac Sensitive or Enfamil Gentlease
We’ve talked a lot about Similac Sensitive vs Enfamil and how the Sensitive Pro is the Similac equivalent to Enfamil Gentlease. But what if you are looking for an alternative for both of these products? We have a few options.
Holle Organic Formula Stage 1
If you need a formula for your baby age birth to six months, this is a great organic choice and is one of the most popular of all organic formulas. Like Pro Sensitive and Gentlease, it’s GMO-free, free from artificial ingredients, and a complete source of nutrients.
It isn’t lactose free, but it is gluten, soy, and wheat-free. It also doesn’t have any added sugars. As this formula is from outside the US, be careful to check for safety, ingredients, and compare it’s process and product to the FDA regulations applied to US formula manufacturers. You can get the formula here.
Holle Organic Formula Stage 1
- Great for babies from birth to 6 months.
- No added sugar.
- Essential Vitamins and Minerals.
- No wheat, soy, or peanut ingredients.
Similac Pro-Total Comfort
We like this formula because it promises to cut down on gassiness and fussiness in just one day. It has a unique prebiotic that makes it similar to breastmilk in addition to its brain boosting ingredients, like DHA. It only includes whey protein, making it a dairy-free alternative. You can shop for the formula here.
- EASY-TO-DIGEST: Partially hydrolyzed whey protein allows for easy digestion; reduced colicky symptoms such as fussiness and gas within one day§
- GENTLE FORMULA + IMMUNE SUPPORT: Similac Pro-Total Comfort is a gentle formula with 2'-FL HMO, a prebiotic that helps strengthen your baby’s immune system
- SUPPORTS BRAIN & EYE DEVELOPMENT: Features our exclusive blend of DHA and lutein, ingredients found in breast milk that are important for helping to support baby’s brain and eye development
This formula is hypoallergenic and contains proteins that are broken down so that they’re extremely easy to digest. It is lactose-free and perfect for babies with protein sensitivity. It contains DHA and Vitamin E for cognitive function. Shop for the baby formula here.
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This hypoallergenic formula will provide relief for little one’s with a milk allergy; sometimes in as little as 48 hours. It has DHA for brain building as well as ARA and probiotics for immune support and growth. It’s great for babies who have both a cow’s milk protein allergy and colic issues. Get Enfamil Nutramigen here.
- Clinically shown to reduce colic due to cow’s milk allergy within 48 hrs.
- #1 Pediatrician Recommended Formula Brand for Cow’s Milk Allergy.
- Helps reduce the incidence of future allergies+.
- Helps more babies overcome cow’s milk allergy and return to consuming regular milk in as soon as 6 months of feeding.
Gerber Good Start Soothe
This is a popular alternative because it has prebiotics, comfort proteins, and probiotics; assisting with all sorts of digestive issues. It includes DHA for your baby’s brain and eye development and 2’-FL HMO for immunity. It is suitable for infants from birth through year one. Get this Gerber formula here.
- Soothing Nutrition: Modeled after the complete nutrition and gentleness of breastmilk, this formula offers nutrition for babies up to 12 months experiencing colic, excessive crying, fussiness and gas
- Probiotic Formula: Good Start Soothe formula features prebiotics, Comfort Proteins and probiotics that improve the good bacteria in tummies and promote soft stools; It's our closest formula to breastmilk
- Give Your Baby a Good Start: Your baby’s nutritional needs evolve over time. That's why we created the Gerber Good Start line. Made to comfort your baby's tummy and available in a range of products
How to Choose The Best Infant Formula for Babies With Sensitive Tummies?
If your little one has a sensitive stomach, the thing you are likely most concerned with is a formula that makes digestion easier. In which case, either Similac Sensitive formula or Enfamil Gentlease would work. Yet there are still other important factors you should not overlook when choosing a gentler formula.
Hypoallergenic: Hypoallergenic refers to the proteins in formulas. Hypoallergenic formulas are commonly sought for baby’s who have a hard time breaking down proteins, namely milk proteins, and are sometimes thought of as reduced lactose formulas.
The proteins can be broken down in advance, or pre-digested, in a few different ways. The first is partially hydrolyzed which breaks them down slightly to more easy-to-digest proteins, then extensively hydrolyzed which means they are broken down into the smallest possible proteins, and finally free amino acid-based or breaking them all the way down to amino acids, their building blocks.
Dairy-Free: Some formulas are low lactose, like Gentlease, while others are lactose-free for those with lactose intolerance. For it to be lactose-free the formula needs to have all the lactose that’s found in traditional milk protein formula, removed.
Generally, it is replaced with another type of sugar. The most popular dairy-free formula is soy formula. If your child truly has a milk protein allergy and not a lactose issue, soy formula is a good choice. Goat’s milk formula is often suitable too, but not widely available in the United States.
Formula Texture: If your child struggles with acid reflux and spits up, a thickened formula may help reduce these episodes. Not all sensitive formulas are thickened. However, not all babies like or need thickened formula. Similac Sensitive Pro is a thicker formula than Gentlease.
Tastes Close to Breastmilk: If you breastfed your child first, or alternate breast and bottle, you may need a formula that tastes close to breastmilk. The only problem is that breastmilk regularly changes, making it difficult to copy with formula. However, sweeter formulas are a close runner-up. Just be wary of the sugar content.
Nutrients for Brain Development: Scientists have been working very hard to try and replicate the nutrients in breastmilk and include them in a formula. A formula with additions like choline and DHA is the best for brain and cognitive development. In most cases, these formulas will have Neuro, Pro, or Advanced, in their titles and will likely be a bit more expensive.
Probiotics/Prebiotics: Gentlease has a prebiotic, MFGM.  Other formulas are fortified with probiotics. Prebiotics encourage gut health while probiotics are friendly bacteria that promote digestive health. While some doctors and parents believe these make a difference, research is limited on their efficacy.
Food Safety: Be sure that all formulas you purchase meet the minimum standards for baby formula. If they’re sold in the US they must meet FDA requirements and nutrient specifications.  Make sure to closely inspect formulas from outside the US and check with your child’s pediatrician.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is easier to digest, Enfamil Gentlease or Similac Pro Sensitive?
Both of these formulas are pretty easy to digest. However, it can depend on your child. Babies who have a difficult time with lactose may do better on lactose-free Similac Pro Sensitive.
Gentlease isn’t lactose-free, but it is partially hydrolyzed, so the proteins are broken down. This can make it easier for your child’s stomach to digest. You may need to try each before you settle on the best one.
If you simply need a formula that is easy to digest, Gentlease’s partially hydrolyzed proteins make it comfortable for tummies to process. If you require a lactose-free formula Similac Sensitive Pro may help with digestive upset and be easier to digest, but not as easy as partially hydrolyzed Gentlease.
Can I switch my baby from Similac Pro Sensitive to Enfamil Gentlease?
If you’ve talked to your healthcare provider, and are okay with a formula that includes lactose, you can probably make the switch. Different babies react differently to other kinds of formulas. It is best to watch your child closely for a few days to see how they’re handling the new formula.
What’s the best way to feed a gassy baby?
If your little one suffers from gas, try feeding them in a more upright position. The milk should hopefully go down while the air is allowed to travel up. This cuts down on trapped wind, AKA gas. This can be done by keeping your baby upright while leaned back against your chest.
Feeding them while propped up on a pillow or baby chair (always while supervised) is another option. These more upright positions as opposed to leaned back in the crook of your arm may help reduce gas.
Obviously, formulas designed for sensitive or gassy babies may help too.
Is corn syrup solids in baby formula bad for my child?
Is corn syrup harmful? In fact, the FDA approves corn syrup solids in baby formula. Plain corn syrup is made from glucose, or sugar, which is the main energy source for infants. It is different from high fructose corn syrup.
Instead, breastmilk has natural sugar lactose as this sugary source. Corn syrup is more widely available and relatively inexpensive. However, it’s fast-acting and as a result, rapidly increases blood sugar.
Infants’ metabolisms can usually handle this, but some parents don’t approve of high fructose corn syrup in baby formulas. Although, if your child needs to be lactose-free you’ll be hard-pressed to find a lactose-free formula without corn syrup.
Do I need an organic formula for babies with sensitive tummies?
While you may not need an organic formula for your baby’s sensitive stomach, you may have a baby with a sensitive stomach and want an organic formula. There are options out there!
The “organic-ness” of the milk formulas shouldn’t help or hurt your baby’s sensitive digestion, but some parents prefer an organic option to a standard infant formula. For the purposes of Similac vs Enfamil Gentlease, neither are organic formulas.
Which Sensitive Formula is Best?
We know how hard it can be to find just the right formula for your baby. That is why we hope our article on Enfamil Gentlease compared to Similac Sensitive infant formula was helpful for you!
The Sensitive Pro can really be considered the Similac version of Gentlease as the two are so similar. And if you’re on the hunt for what Similac formula is similar to Enfamil Gentlease the Sensitive Pro would be it. Nevertheless, one may suit you and your baby better than the other.
Overall, we found Gentlease to be the winner. Primarily for two reasons: It often comes in at a lower price point than Similac. Also, it doesn’t have any added sugar. This combined with its nutrient content and Non-GMO, pro-digestion ingredients makes it a great pick. However, it won’t work for those with lactose sensitivity.
Enfamil Gentlease is the formula for you if:
- You want no added sugars
- Need a more affordable infant formula
- Want a baby formula that is easy to digest (partially hydrolyzed)
You can check out all the quantity options for Enfamil Gentlease here.
Similac Pro Sensitive is a good choice if you:
- Need a lactose-free infant formula
- Want a formula that is easy to digest and helps with acid reflux symptoms
- Want a best baby formula that is the most similar to breast milk
See your options for getting Similac Pro Sensitive here!
Last update on 2023-06-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API