Enfamil Nutramigen vs Similac Alimentum: What are the differences and which one is better? The short answer is that both are very reputable and effective hypoallergenic baby formulas. Each formula provides an excellent alternative to that of regular baby formula and breastmilk for those babies who suffer from milk related allergies, colic, gas, and reflux. There are however several defining factors of each formula that could sway your decision when choosing between the two. We’ll compare each in terms of their ingredients, effectiveness, taste, and price in order to help make your own choice a little easier.
Enfamil Nutramigen Review
- Recommended by pediatricians
- Contains essential vitamins and nutrients
- Improves infant’s digestion
- Helps brain development with DHA
- Contains probiotics
- Can be an expensive option for feedings
- Hypoallergenic formula taste is not the most pleasant
- Infant might not transition to from breastmilk to this formula easily
This formula is widely available and comes in both powder and ready-to-feed varieties. One of the highlights of Nutramigen is that it’s free of soy and dairy. The lack of these ingredients greatly reduces any chance of an allergic reaction while still offering all of the necessary vitamins and nutrients babies need for healthy development.
Similac Alimentum Review
- Pre-digested to reduce gas and spit-up
- Well-known and trusted brand
- Digestion improved within the first 48 hours
- Available in powdered and ready-to-feed varieties
- Being pre-digested results in a less pleasing taste
- Not the most cost effective option available
- Does not provide a complete nutritional substitute
- Can be difficult for infants to adjust to the formula
This formula is pre-digested which means the proteins are already broken down. This ensures the formula is easy on babies’ digestive systems.
This is especially important in infants who have colic, gas or allergies, as anything harsh on the digestive system can potentially lead to other problems. This formula comes in powdered and ready-to-feed varieties and is available where most formulas are sold.
Nutramigen vs Alimentum: Key Differences
Ingredients and Nutrition
Despite lacking dairy and soy ingredients, Nutramigen is still a nutritionally complete formula that provides all the same needed essentials as breastmilk.
For instance, the included DHA and ARA are crucial for brain and eye development. Unlike traditional formula, the proteins come already broken down to ensure they won’t cause any irritation to the intestines.
The included probiotic allows for problems like colic, reflux, and gas to be managed properly.
From birth to 12 months of age, Nutramigen completely satisfies all of the nutritional needs of your baby without the need or use of any additional supplements.
Alimentum is also nutritionally complete, including breast milk nutrients DHA and ARA, which supports brain and eye development. Additionally, predigested proteins are broken down to help prevent any allergic reaction.
Alimentum is also an infant formula that does not use artificial growth hormones.
Generally speaking, determining if a specialised formula is performing effectively can take up to two weeks. However, parents have reported more instantaneous results with Nutramigen after only the first few feedings. While your own results may vary, 90% of babies experienced relief within the first 48 hours.
Cow’s milk related allergies open the doors to other allergies like asthma and urticaria. According to medical experts, Nutramigen provides infants with a 50% chance of not developing further allergies. In some cases, babies who regularly took the formula were able to later consume milk protein within 24 hours, though again this can vary.
Effectiveness depends as much on your babies preference as it does on the quality of the formula itself. For instance some babies will reject formula due to taste or smell, meaning only those who can accept the formula will see the more instant relief the formula promises.
Taste and Smell
Nutramigen is not the best tasting milk due to it being a hypoallergenic formula. These specialized types of formulas always have a stronger smell and taste when compared to that of traditional formulas.
While your little one may reject it, the earlier you start them on the formula, the better chance you have of them accepting it.
Alimentum is no different. The taste and smell will likely turn off some babies who have already been exposed to better tasting formulas.
However, the ready to feed version of this formula seems to be slightly better in the taste and smell department which you may want to consider if choosing this one.
Nutramigen is typically more expensive than traditional infant formulas due to it being a specialized hypoallergenic formula.
This is, however, to be expected anytime you are purchasing any type of specialized product for your baby.
Alimentum can sometimes be a slightly less expensive alternative. However, price should be your lowest priority when it comes to your baby’s dietary needs.
Ultimately, choosing the formula that is the most effective and that provides your baby with the fastest relief is the main priority when making your decision.
Nutramigen vs Alimentum for Eczema
Eczema is an extremely uncomfortable and even painful condition where skin in some areas becomes dry, itchy and red.
The cause is unknown and there is no research that links Nutramigen or Alimentum formula to eczema, particularly in terms of offering any type of relief for the condition.
Nevertheless, some parents have reported improvements with the use of Nutramigen or Alimentum formula where symptoms of eczema start to subside.
While neither formula should be used as a primary treatment for eczema, they could still be considered being that each formula is designed to be hypoallergenic and easy on digestion.
Nutramigen or Alimentum for Gas and Reflux
If your baby experiences gas or reflux it is important to choose a formula that will best ease and control these symptoms.
Both Nutramigen and Alimentum are great choices to aid in the relief of pain and discomfort associated with gas or reflux. For instance, Alimentum offers a predigested formula that contains broken down proteins that help to ensure a smoother digestive process.
Nutramigen, in particular, includes a probiotic. Probiotic can help to promote gut health and healing, which is especially important in babies who experience gas and reflux.
Alimentum is also available in a ready-to-eat formula option. This variety is of a thicker consistency which can help to reduce symptoms associated with reflux.
Nutramigen vs Alimentum for Constipation
If your baby experiences constipation it can often be a sign of a milk allergy or acid reflux that is resulting as symptoms from the current formula they are using. It may then be appropriate to switch to use specialized hypoallergenic formulas, such as Nutramigen or Alimentum instead.
When choosing between the two it is important to first determine what is causing your baby’s constipation. If it is due to milk allergies or lactose intolerance than Nutramigen may be a good choice because of its complete lack of milk or soy ingredients. If caused by acid reflux, Alimentum is a predigested formula that can help reduce gas and spit-up.
Should I use a hypoallergenic formula or regular formula?
Anytime your baby exhibits any allergy related symptoms such as colic or acid reflux, hypoallergenic formula can provide the necessary relief. Quite often symptoms develop as reactions to ingredients found in standard formulas. It is important to consult your pediatrician to see if they recommend switching to hypoallergenic formula.
How will I know the hypoallergenic formula is effective?
Alimentum and Nutramigen show noticeable results within 48 hours from the feeding.
Reduced symptoms and an increased comfort level should become apparent after the use of the hypoallergenic formula. Every baby is different and certain formulas may or may not agree with them.
This could be due to taste, smell, or particular ingredients. If after several days you have not seen enough improvement you may want to consider an alternative formula option.
What are signs of colic, gas, acid reflux and lactose intolerance?
Colic is when your baby goes through extreme periods of sometimes inconsolable crying. Babies who experience gas usually exhibit fussiness particularly after eating.
Acid reflux is similar to gas-only additional symptoms are present including, spitting up, gagging, difficulty eating, and not gaining weight.
Lactose intolerance in babies is important to identify. You may notice diarrhea, crying, burping and even vomiting.
Is Nutramigen the same as Alimentum?
Nutramigen and Alimentum are both quality hypoallergenic formulas that specialize in relieving and eliminating symptoms commonly associated with milk allergies, lactose intolerance, colic, gas, and reflux.
While they have many similarities, there are also several defining differences. For instance, Nutramigen is free of any milk or soy ingredients, making it a prime choice for babies with milk related allergies.
Alimentum is a predigested formula that has a thicker consistency with its ready-to-feed option allowing for relief from gas and reflux.
Is Alimentum thicker than Nutramigen?
While both Alimentum and Nutramigen are available in powdered forms, Alimentum’s ready-to-feed option is of thicker consistency.
Thicker consistency may or may not be something your baby will prefer. As babies each have their own preference you will need to experiment a bit to see what works best.
However thicker consistency can potentially be a more attractive option if your baby suffers from reflux, as it can help reduce the associated symptoms.
Switching from Nutramigen to Alimentum
It can be quite common to have to switch from one formula to the other. Part of the reason for this is each infant’s individual preference and tolerance of a specific formula.
The taste, smell, and overall consistency are all major contributing factors when determining whether or not a specific formula will agree with your infant or not.
In the case of switching from Nutramigen to Alimentum, many have reported that babies with gas and reflux problems tend to do better with Alimentum. This could be in part due to the broken down proteins allowing for easier digestion of the formula.
Nutramigen vs Alimentum: And the winner is…
The choice between Nutramigen vs Alimentum really depends on your baby’s specific dietary needs, allergic sensitivity and his own unique tolerance of each formula’s taste.
Each of these specialized hypoallergenic formulas offer similar benefits and expected drawbacks.
The lack of dairy ingredients and broken down proteins go a long way to helping your baby with their lactose intolerance, colic, gas, and reflux.
Both formulas are somewhat lacking in the taste department. This comes with the territory of specialized formulas. However, it can be a crucial factor in determining which formula your baby is best able to stomach.
Therefore both formulas prove to be solid and effective options to choose from. If both options still tempt you, then it may be worth trying each formula to see which one, in particular, best agrees with your baby and achieves the fastest most effective results.