A Baby Formula Question

Hey, does anyone know if there’s any real difference between Similac & Enfamil? I never paid any attention with my first kid–I went with Similac, because that was what everyone else did. I was at the store buying formula this evening, though, and something just told me to check out the Enfamil. They look to be about the same, with one huge difference. The Enfamil is waaaaaay less expensive.

I sure could use the bucks I’d save by switching to Enfamil, but I don’t want to do anything bad to my baby, either. Any help is appreciated! Thanks!

Cristi, I think that they are both just about the same. My son used Enfamil (because that’s what my mother gave me!) and did just fine. There may be some difference in taste, but otherwise I think it doesn’t make a difference which formula you choose.
Although, I wouldn’t put my baby on one of those special formulas, i.e. soy or low-iron, with out consulting my pediatrician first. Hope this helps.

I don’t know if there are differences, but I can’t tell you that my daughter had Enfamil and my son (3.5 months) is currently on it. We never had any problems. It was what my doctor recommended the first time and we went with it the second time because it was familiar and we could get the economy size at Costco.

Cristi : Ask the pharmasist where you buy it. They’re very knowledgeable and will be able to tell you if one has more vitamins or such. They’ll let you know if one is a suitable substitute for the other. Don’t switch without a consultation. Children are at their most vulnerable stage as a baby. You don’t want to deprive them of something they need at that stage.

The best baby formula I’ve seen is real simple: 1 part sperm + 1 part egg, which is accomplished by inserting…oh, wait!.. That’s not what you mean at all…I am so embarrassed…

A friend of mine works for Mead Johnson (the makers of Enfamil) so needless-to-say my vote is for Enfamil especially if it is cheaper.

In any event, based on what he has told me about the sort of company Mead Johnson is (and how they treat employees), they are big into quality so certainly you won’t be doing anything harmful to your baby.

BTW, if you believe the company literature Enfamil is more similar to human milk than Similac.

P.s. - My daughter was brought up on Enfamil and is doing very well.

The only reason I’m considering a switch is because the only formula that my son is able to keep down is the ready-to-feed stuff. The powder & liquid concentrate both made him spit up alot more than is normal. He keeps the ready-to-feed down, with barely any spitup at all. The Enfamil ready-to-feed is a dollar cheaper than the Similac. If we were only talking a few cents, I probably wouldn’t bother. But a dollar made me raise my eyebrows, and since he’ll be drinking this stuff for a year, well, I thought it might be a good idea to check it out.

My son was only on formula for a short while. I had hoped to go straight from breast feeding to whole milk but nothing I could do at 7 months could persuade him to stop biting me. :frowning:

I cannot remember which formula I tried out on him first, but then I noticed that the store (Meijers) had a store brand, that was made by (I think) Wyeth Labs. Everything was comparable with nutrients, etc but the store brand was anywhere from $1 to $4 cheaper than the name brands. Being the practical child of a tightfisted mommy, he never had any problems with it and I switched him over to whole milk ( per pediatrician) at 10 months.

If John is having problems keeping regular formula down, you may want to try soy ( of course, after talking to the doctor, ad nauseum disclaimer) or perhaps a dose of the greatest elixer of infanthood:mylicon drops before a couple of feedings to see if maybe that might help.

If you are switching back and forth between Brand A and Brand B and one may be a low iron formula the other a regular iron formula (as an example) you could be giving him, to put it in a better vernacular, engine knock
( gassiness and fussiness.)

My dipshit dimwitted sister in law was doing breastmilk once or twice a day and two different kinds of formula ( one was at her mom’s -the sitter-house and the other was at her house)for the rest of the feedings and could not figure out why the baby was crabby and gassy all the time. Of course the Doctor, busy with real problems, diagnoses colic and this puts my DSDW sister in law in “My baby has colic so pity me” mode. ( Not in this life, girly) Dr. Shirley comes along and sees what tomfoolery is going on and sets them straight ( in my usual callous fashion of “The kids got engine knock, you’re mixing high octane with ethanol and gasahol.”)

Good luck and condolences on the clothing :slight_smile:

John is on the low-iron stuff, and that’s taken care of the gassiness (his sister had the same problem). I have seen the Meijer’s brand, and also noticed a huge price difference, but couldn’t find a ready-to-feed. Target also has a house brand, but again, no ready-to-feed. Sigh.

Thanks for the laundry condolences. You’d think I’d have lost all my weight by now, what with the amount of time I’ve spent going up & down those basement steps to the washing machine…

Here’s what I did oh so long ago: Before I went to bed, I’d make a pitcherful of formula by mixing the powder and the still warm sterilized water in a blender. Then I poured it into Rubbermaid containers and refrigerated it over night. It was much more convenient than mixing each bottle separately, plus it seemed more palatable to the wee one when it was blended really well.

If I was going out for awhile, I’d pre-pour sterilized water in the bottles, then cap them. I kept the pre-measured powder separate in a baggy, and when baby was ready, I’d mix them together. That way I didn’t have to worry about keeping the bottles cold.

As far as the difference between Enfamil and Similac: I’d compare labels, but I strongly suspect that my pediatrician group was given a kickback from Ross Labs for “prescribing” Similac at the hospital. I’d even go so far as to say that the companies probably donate the formula to the hospitals to start new moms off on that brand.

Both Enfamil and Similac gave Nicky really bad gas, so we went with the Carnation stuff, Good Start, which was the cheapest of any of them and he did great on it. No gas.

O p a l C a t

Everything we tried made Bowen do neat projectile vomiting tricks until we figured out (no thanks to the doctors) that “Hey, if I became anemic during the pregnancy, it’s probably all the extra iron! Let’s try low-iron!” No more puking.

We went with Low-Iron Similac, I don’t remember if it was cheaper than Enfamil or if it was because I couldn’t find any Low-Iron Enfamil. Carnation Good Start is the cheapest I’ve seen, but since Bowen was used to the Similac, we just stayed with that.

Check Walmart for inexpensive prices on formula, diapers, wipies, etc. I discovered that they sell the same stuff as everyone else, but for about two or three dollars less.

“Excrement. That is what I think of J. Evans Pritchard, PhD.” --Robin Williams, Dead Poets Society

Chris’ Homepage: Domestic Bliss

Speaking of wipes, I highly recommend CHUBS, and save the boxes. THey’re like giant Legos, and now at age 4, we’ve accumulated a LOT of them and Nicky loves to build little forts with them.

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My wife breast fed our kids, so I have less-than-zero experience here (but I won’t let that stop me) :).

I’ve heard that switching formula can make your kid fussy. I’d suggest mixing the formulas as a transition period, gradually increasing the amount of the new formula compared with the old

It is too clear, and so it is hard to see.

Ever heard of WIC? It may be called different things in different places… it’s a government program that provides assistance to lower-income families for nutrition and medical care for “Women, Infants and Children” (mostly the IC part; pregnant Ws get a nod, but it’s aimed primarily at kids). Give them a call; they can probably set you at ease about whatever formula you’re using.

Personally I don’t think there would be any problems from switching, and that if there were problems they’d be along the lines of what you’re already seeing from the powdered stuff anyway. But it would probably be better for your peace of mind if you checked with people that deal with this kind of thing on a daily basis.

Er, I hope you’re not offended, Christi. I wasn’t trying to imply anything by suggesting you call WIC; I just thought that they would probably know more about it than most pediatricians would simply because of their focus on nutrition.

None taken, torq! I figured that’s what you were talking about. I’ve been a little busy the last day or two, and just hadn’t gotten around to replying yet.

Yes, we have WIC here, and calling them hadn’t occurred to me. I know they do place more emphasis on nutrition than most, though. My son has a doctor’s appointment tomorrow, though, so I’ll ask the doctor. And if I don’t get a truly satisfactory reply, I’ll give them a call. Thanks!

Asked the doctor today about this. The doctor’s reply: “Other than price, no, there’s no difference.”

She also gave me two cans of the powdered Enfamil Low-Iron. I decided to give it a try. John’s had one bottle, and he’s kept it down. I noticed one thing about the Enfamil powder, though. It seems to be significantly finer than the Similac powder, and it mixed better. Hmmmmmmmmm. Maybe that was the problem all along.

Thanks for all the advice! I really do appreciate it!

Ah yes, reflux/projectile vomiting. It’s amazing how far a teeny little infant can spew.
My son worked his way up through the formula ladder, each more expensive than the last, until he came to what I called liquid gold. It was basically pre-digested, non-curd-forming, pure liquid nourishment. It was the only thing he could keep down. IIRC, it was $20+ per can.
I tasted it once. Panther sweat.