One of my mommy friends had to use formula with their baby because she just couldn’t digest breastmilk that well.
So my mommy friend went out to do some research on the best formula for her baby and she had simplified it down to two, Similac and Gerber.
To finalize her choice, she came to ask me for which one would be better but I didn’t have much experience with formulas. So I set out to do some research!
And so the battle started, the battle between the two best formula companies on the market, the battle of Similac Vs. Gerber.
This article is all my research on which one is better for your baby and I’ll let you know which one my mommy friend ended up choosing at the end. I also included a summary to help out the busy moms!
Both brands are quite similar in their offerings and are well known. Gerber has more soy-based formulas that are better for lactose intolerant or babies allergic to milk protein. Gerber also has a comfort protein that helps with digestion. However, Similac is more widely recommended due to its trustworthiness.
If your baby was never breastfed at all, they might not be able to digest breast milk later on.
This is why doctors and people that deal with lactation issues with infants always suggest using formulas by Similac.
As a brand, Similac is quite well known and makes excellent quality formulas that are suited for all types of babies of all ages.
As you know, babies need a lot of nutrients during their early years and this brand has a lot of ingredients that provide nutrients needed to raise a healthy child.
As they say on their website, their formulas use ingredients that help babies to grow while having all the sufficient nutrients. (source)
These nutrients help promote strengthening of the immune system, eye development, brain development, and bone strength. Breast milk usually aids with all these things but that isn’t always a choice for all infants.
Now, one of the important parts about any formula is its ability to provide the same nutrients as breast milk. Out of these nutrients are two important ones known as DHA and lutein.
DHA is known as Docosahexaenoic Acid and is something that babies require in high amounts during their early years.(source)
Lutein is a vitamin that helps in the development of eyes in your baby. This vitamin is usually found in breast milk but Similac Advance is the only formula that contains this vitamin currently.
This is one of the reasons they are highly praised because their formulas contain many of the important vitamins for your baby.
Another great thing about Similac is that they have formulas for every possible thing that your baby could need. They have formulas for sensitive babies, organic formulas, and even formulas for lactose intolerant babies.
However, if your baby is lactose intolerant, Similac might not be the best brand for you because they only have one formula that is soy-based.
The downside about this is if your baby doesn’t feel like drinking that formula or doesn’t like the taste of it, you might need to switch brands which generally comes with more issues.
Most of their formulas do contain the protein called lactose which is found in milk, however, it contains it in much smaller quantities compared to breast milk.
Similac also makes formulas for babies that were born prematurely and require a lot of special attention to their nutrition which this brand provides.
Why Is Gerber Formula Good For My Baby?
Most baby formulas are quite similar because they all need to fulfill one purpose which is replacing breast milk.
And so, Gerber’s formulas are also quite similar to Similac but there are some tiny differences which you might need to consider.
If we compare the vitamins or nutrients, both provide similar levels of all but Gerber does have way more types of formulas that provide ARA and DHA for your baby’s development.
ARA is known as arachidonic acid and helps in the developing eyes for your baby.(source)
One of the better formulas that Gerber makes is called the Gerber Good Start Protect line. It has a bunch of probiotics that aid in strengthening the baby’s immune system.
Many of Gerber’s formulas contain probiotics that help in keeping a good digestive system and are extremely important for sensitive babies.
They also used whey protein that is hydrolyzed which again is something that helps to keep a healthy digestive system.
Another plus for Gerber is that they have more variety for formulas that are soy-based which is important if your baby is super lactose intolerant.
Similar to Similac, they also have formulas for premature babies.
Should I Choose Gerber Or Similac Formulas?
When picking formula for your baby, there are many factors that you need to take into consideration.
Some of these can be really important for your baby’s health so make sure you read through them carefully.
- What does your baby need
Every baby is different and will have different things that you need to consider.
Some babies might be completely allergic to lactose or cow milk while some might be just lactose intolerant. Keep in mind there is a difference there!
Make sure to consult with your doctor about your little one’s needs and ask about any allergies you might come across.
If they do have an allergy, worry not because both brands offer formulas that are made of soy for toddlers like this.
If you are choosing a formula only because it is soy-based, make sure to go with Gerber because they have a much wider selection of soy-based formulas which makes it easier to find one your infant likes.
Formulas within a brand tend to have similar tastes which is what makes it better to go with Gerber if you want a vegan formula for your toddler.
- Do you have a premature or sensitive baby
If you do, you will have to use a hypoallergenic formula. These formulas have milk protein that has been pre-digested so that your little one can consume them easily.
This is something you need to make sure you ask your doctor about because it isn’t easy to know yourself.
Both brands do offer hypoallergenic formulas, however, Similac offers one with higher levels of vitamin E while Gerber offers one with higher levels of iron.
- What does your baby want
Notice that this is different from what your baby needs. Just like adult humans, babies also have different tastes and will prefer some foods over others.
As a parent, you might think you have chosen the best formula for your baby that has all the nutrients but your child might hate the taste of it. The only option you have in this case is to use a new formula.
Finding which formula your baby likes isn’t an easy task and will take some time but eventually, you will find out the best formula for your baby!
- Is your baby gassy
Babies get gassy when they can’t digest the formula properly or they have something called colic.
Colic is caused due to allergy towards cow’s milk or can be due to a reaction to specific foods. (source)
Similac and Gerber both offer formulas to help gassy babies and relieve their pain but many people have noted that Gerber does a much better job at this.
Gerber uses something called hydrolyzed whey protein that they say is known as a ‘comfort’ protein. It helps babies to digest it and makes them pass less gas overall.
Proteins like these help babies digest formulas just like they would digest breast milk which gives formulas a more natural feeling.
Again, make sure to consult with your doctor for any of these as there might be things that you as a parent miss out on which your doctor might notice.
How To Switch From Gerber To Similac Formula?
Switching formulas isn’t an easy task and can be quite hard if not done properly. It isn’t as simple as just switching out the formula for a different one.
Babies aren’t quite happy with changes and changing their food like this will certainly create a lot of screams.
Let’s say you decided to switch to a different brand of formula because they offer a more robust formula or they have something that your child is in need of.
One of the most common switching questions I have been asked is how to switch from Similac Pro Advance to Gerber Gentle. Some parents also ask about how to switch from Similac Pro Advance to Pro Sensitive. However, no matter what you are switching to, this section still applies.
In that case, here are some steps you should follow to help make the switch easier for your baby.
- Mix the two formulas into one bottle.
The best way to start introducing the new formula is by using tiny amounts of it at first. Start by using 10% of the new formula and 90% of the old formula.
Slowly decrease the amount of the old formula while increasing the new formula.
This will allow your little one to get themselves familiar with the new taste and adjust to it.
Once you reach 100% of the new formula and your baby is reacting well, you have achieved your goal of switching formulas.
- What to do if my toddler is refusing the new formula
Sometimes your baby might not know what is best for them and they might refuse a formula that is medically better for them.
In this case, you need to start feeding your baby at a later time when they are more hungry.
They might be more receptive to the new formula if they are hungry which will help your toddler ease into the new formula.
Once you do this a few times, your baby will get used to the new formula and then you can start feeding them at normal times.
Which Gerber Formula Is An Alternative For Similac Pro Advance?
A lot of parents had asked about what the most similar formula would be to Similac Pro Advance in the Gerber lineup.
Your best choice would be Gerber Good Start Gentle because of how similar it is. Let me show you a comparison between the two so you can also see why they are so similar.
Both of them have similar ingredients and both of them are Non-GMO, they also contain the same vitamins, minerals, DHA, and proteins too.
Both are rich in nutrients found in breast milk such as DHA, Lutein, Vitamin E, and HMO but Good Start Gentle also contains comfort protein to help with digestion.
If your baby is quite sensitive and is awake a lot during the night, both these formulas are good for your baby. They both work around digestion issues and reduce the amount of gas your baby goes through.
The last thing to consider is the price, and both of them are priced similarly.
They are widely available online and in-stores around most people so availability shouldn’t be an issue.
Gerber does end up being better due to their protein that helps with digestion issues.
As always, make sure to consult with your doctor. They might recommend Similac for your infant due to some medical condition which you might be unaware of.
Overall, make sure to consider what your baby requires and make an informed decision based on what your doctor says.
This article is mainly a guide to help make your research easier!
My mommy friend ended up choosing Similac due to a lower price and better availability in her area. However, you can choose whichever one that suits your baby better.
It is also a good idea to consider other brands as your baby might prefer something from another brand in terms of taste.
Do you use any of these formulas? Leave your experience below as to which one you prefer more for your baby!