If you have a fussy baby with colic or gas issues, then you’re probably looking for a formula that won’t make things any less easy than they already are. Gerber’s Good Start line of formulas is specifically designed to keep your little one comfortable after feeding, even if they are touchy with traditional milk proteins.
Gerber Gentle vs Soothe – what are the differences and which one is better for your baby? The quick answer is that Soothe is the better bet with a highly milk sensitive baby, but Gerber Gentle is going to be number one for everyday dietary needs. To see a comprehensive head to head comparison on which formula is better for your bundle of joy, keep reading.
Gerber Gentle Review
There are four different lines of formula from Gerber, each of which caters to a different stage of nutrition or dietary need. Three of those options are lactose based and the fourth is soy based, but we’re not talking about that here.
Gerber’s Gentle formula is geared toward everyday nutrition for babies with standard digestion. With its proprietary blend of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), ARA (arachidonic acid), prebiotics, and probiotics it is their closest blend nutritionally to natural breast milk while carrying no artificial growth hormones.
This is important to note because many formulas on the market today do boast probiotics, but completely lack in any form of prebiotic. This makes Gentle a standout blend.
As with all formulas excluding the soy recipe from Gerber, the protein in Gentle is derived 100 percent from whey, and again like their other offerings, the proteins are partially hydrolyzed meaning it is broken down into smaller ‘chunks’ thereby making it easier to digest for little tummies, and maximizing the bioavailability of nutrients.
Gerber not only produces the formulas with the most available carbs coming from lactose, but they are also the only player in the game hydrolyzing their proteins for easy access.
When compared to Soothe, Gentle contains milk proteins that aren’t quite as broken down. This could feasibly cause gassiness to a newborn harboring any looming tummy issues, so if that becomes an issue, you might think about switching to Soothe to make things a little easier for junior.
This doesn’t mean your little lovey will become constipated, it’s just something to take note of if your child has high milk-protein sensitivity.
- Has better flavor due to more intact proteins
- Similar to breast milk with prebiotics and probiotics
- Comes in overall larger bulk option
- Carbohydrates come primarily from lactose
- Could cause gas issues
- More expensive by weight
That comes out to almost 250 4-ounce bottles for your newborn or very baby when prepared and will prevent you from running back to the market every few days.
If your baby has a regular digestive system this will still make it easier on them overall to absorb nutrients from a quality lactose- based formula.
Gerber Soothe Review
Since the Soothe formula has more finely broken-down proteins than the Gentle version, babies who have a lower tolerance toward milk proteins should be able to digest it easier.
When compared to traditional milk this specially crafted formula makes it much easier for little bodies to absorb their nutrition especially if they have colic, gastral issues, or high milk protein sensitivity.
Another added perk of Gerber Soothe is that it contains special probiotic that reduces crying and fussiness in your baby.
Being that you can still buy this formula in somewhat-bulk quantity, it is cheaper overall and is easier on your newborn’s system, it seems difficult to find any reason this is a worse buy than Gerber Gentle other than it is more of a specialized formula versus daily feeding.
Due to the lower lactose content Soothe is better suited for babies who have a hard time digesting milk protein. Other good uses for Soothe would be to use it for babies who are born prematurely and have a weak digestive system or any little ones who’ve experienced intestinal illness, especially if it caused any lasting intestinal damage.
- Better for very sensitive stomachs
- Actually reduces crying and fussiness
- Cheaper overall
- The flavor might not be as good
Though not offered in a six-pack it does come in a four-pack of 19.4-ounce containers, or about 136 four-ounce servings.
This means it is offered in a multi-pack like the Gentle, except with smaller containers and a smaller overall bundle you still won’t bring home as much total as you would with the Gentle.
Gerber Gentle vs Soothe: Main Differences
Being that both offerings come from Gerber the attention to production and quality control are not only similar, but world class as well.
Both formulas are non-GMO foods comprised of only natural ingredients with no artificial engineering, and both derive their partially hydrolyzed protein from 100 percent whey.
It is important to note that other than its soy offerings, Gerber uses whey protein across its whole line of baby formulas. The reason this is intriguing is that many times if your munchkin comes down with diarrhea or other very severe gut issues it can be traced back to the protein source.
Should your baby develop a severely aggravated tummy and if it continues over the course of trying different formulas from Gerber, it might be a good idea to start looking at other brands with less lactose content.
Prebiotics and Probiotics
If your little one is gassy already but no real reaction to lactose, they are a bit more likely to become uncomfortable with Gentle formula than with Soothe.
Gerber’s Gentle formula has a healthy symbiotic blend meaning it contains both prebiotics and probiotics to coerce ultimate stomach comfort and foster a strong digestive tract.
This doesn’t mean they will come in such quantity or diversity as they would in normal breast milk, but Gerber is one of the only brands to offer both in one blend.
Gerber Soothe still contains DHA and ARA in its formulation but take note that while it does contain a probiotic there is no prebiotic, whereas the Gentle formula grants both.
Nutritional Building Blocks
When it comes to the three major components of food you’ve got three major dietary needs; protein, carbohydrates, and fats.
Once again, the protein source in both Gentle and Soothe is 100 percent whey protein, just as in all their lactose-based formulas.
While the protein here is again 100 percent whey protein, the major change is in the carbohydrate.
Gentle’s carbohydrates come from 70 percent lactose and 30 percent maltodextrin though they are oddly listed inside-out in the list of ingredients.
If you are looking specifically for a formula that is high in lactose, Gerber is currently the highest and due to its partially hydrolyzed proteins, nutrition is more readily soaked in.
For their Soothe recipe, Gerber has significantly reduced the amount of lactose in favor of maltodextrin, in fact, they’ve completely flip-flopped from Gentle.
Where Gentle uses 70 percent to 30 percent lactose to maltodextrin, Soothe does the exact opposite chiming in with 70 percent maltodextrin and 30 of lactose.
In the fats corner these formulas sports a blend of palm oil, soy, coconut oil, and safflower or sunflower oil. Palm oil is the main element here as nearly half of the fat content comes from it, so if palm oil is something you are trying to avoid for whatever reason, make a note of it.
Gerber utilizes only lactose and maltodextrin as it’s carbohydrate, therefore sugar source. Many other formula choices use things like corn syrup or similar for their sugars, but these can oftentimes be much less healthy.
Gerber is ultra-low in glucose sugars and the lowest corn sugar option available.
Taste and Smell
As for the taste and smell of each product, the Gentle does more closely resemble milk due to the fact that its proteins are more intact than Soothe.
The fact that Soothe may have had to sacrifice some of its flavor for a more easily digestible solution doesn’t make it any less quality of a formula, it’s just the price it had to pay to offer its specialized service.
Gerber Gentle vs Soothe: And the winner is…
Ultimately though the two types of formula are sold in different weights and quantities, if you add them up it turns out that the Gerber Soothe is less expensive than the Gentle.
In fact, in almost any size container or configuration the Soothe seems to be a cheaper buy overall.
This comes off as a bit odd in that Gerber Soothe seems tilted toward a more specialized clientele, but it is possible the lack of lactose is where the price difference comes in.
Also, keep in mind that Gerber Gentle boasts symbiotics in its recipe whereas Soothe only has probiotics.
Both selections offer quality nutrition from a reputable brand. In this shootout, Soothe takes the cake for price with easier digestive properties, but Gentle is the winner overall with better nutritional value.