Fussy Formula Wars: Similac Spit Up vs Enfamil AR

by Danielle Olson |

Motherhood is no joke, and it feels like the joke is on you when your infant has feeding troubles. Between diaper changes, loss of sleep, and all the other nuances of taking care of another human life, the last thing a mother should need to worry about is feeding her child. But, many infants have difficulty with digestion, and may even have acid reflux or constantly vomiting. This is extremely frustrating for parents and can make baby feel miserable.

Luckily, we live in a day and age where science and formula companies have combined forces to produce a solution. A handful of prominent formula companies have created formulas for babies with digestive issues. In this post, I am comparing Similac for Spit Up Infant Formula with Iron and Enfamil A.R. Infant Formula for Spit Up to determine which is the best option for your baby. Each baby is going to digest the ingredients of the formulas differently, however, so many parents have to find out which is best for their baby through trial and error. If your baby consumes both formulas with ease, there are other factors to consider when choosing between these two formulas.

Similac Spit Up

Similac Spit Up claims to reduce spit up significantly and is made with additional DHA, lutein and vitamin E as well as non-GMO ingredients. Every child responds slightly differently to every formula recipe. That is why it is significant that the majority of parents in online reviews said that this product greatly helped their child’s digestive issues.

Image of the Similac for Spit Up Infant Formula with Iron, With Rice Starch, Baby Formula, Powder, 1.41 lb

Enfamil AR

Enfamil boasts that it is the number one brand for spit up formula, and that its AR formula has a thicker consistency. The thicker consistency allows the baby to drink slowly and consume what was taken in, while still allowing fluid through a bottle nipple.

Image of the Enfamil A.R. Infant Formula for Spit Up, Powder, 21.5 Ounce Reusable Tub

The Spit Up Test

Let’s get down to what we need to know – how well do these formulas reduce spit up? It is, again, going to depend on your child. It’s best to try out each formula for a few days, or one week, until you notice a positive or negative difference. You may notice more or less spit up on the first feeding, however. Pay careful attention to your child’s cues, or consider keeping a “Feeding Journal” to write down your child’s response to the different formula feedings.

Similac Spit Up was clinically shown to reduce frequent spit up by 54%. Enfamil AR has been shown to reduce spit up by 50%. It’s clear that Similac has a slightly higher reduction in spit up after feeding, but again, this will vary greatly per child.

Price

Enfamil AR formula is marginally more expensive than the Similac Spit Up. Parents will choose the formula that helps their baby digest the best, however, so this is a small factor in the comparison of these two formulas.

You will save a lot of money by buying the powdered version of both of these formulas. The premade formulas will always be more expensive, but also a lot less work for you. It’s reported that the premade formulas are a bit smoother, which helps with nipple clogging and ultimately an easier feeding. However, you will save water as well as washing the bottle with the premade bottles. That is a luxury that some parents, especially when traveling, find worth the additional spend. The Enfamil AR pouches will also be slightly more expensive than purchasing the powder in cans, as well.

Availability

Similac Spit Up is available in powder and premade bottles. Unfortunately, no pouches are currently available. The majority of parents buy the powder, which is also the cheapest version of the formula. The premade bottles are also available, saving the parent from having to have a bottle on hand as well as clean water. The premade bottles typically come with a smoother consistency than the powder version. This can be a big deal for parents with picky feeders.

Image of the Similac for Spit-Up Baby Formula with Iron - Ready to Feed - 32 oz - 6 pk

Enfamil AR  is available in powder, premade bottles, as well as individual serving pouches to easily pour your own bottle on the go. The individual pouches are a huge perk for the Enfamil AR, as we all know that there’s a lot of coordination in planning enough formula for a trip out of the house, and these to-go pouches would take the guesswork out of preparation.

Image of the Enfamil A.R. Infant Formula for Spit Up, Ready to Use, 8 Fluid Ounce Bottle, 6 Count (Pack of 4)

Both brands are available at all major grocery stores, as well as online.

Additional Nutrients

Similac Spit Up also has OptiGRO – which contains lutein, DHA and vitamin E for your baby’s brain, eye, and immune system development. This is a huge benefit, as numerous studies show that DHA and other essential vitamins are extremely important for brain development, as well as for the eyes. The brain and eyes of infants are constantly developing during the first year of life, and the added nutrients can truly helping your growing baby.

Similac Spit Up is made with non-GMO ingredients, which is a huge plus in my book. Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are plants whose DNA has been genetically altered in a lab, normally for a higher yield in the field. While they benefit the farms, the jury is still out if they benefit our bodies. Numerous countries have banned GMOs citing health concerns, although they are still legal to sell in the United States. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, and so it’s great that Similac has produced formula that can nutritionally benefit their little consumers.

Enfamil AR includes Natural Defense Dual Prebiotics Blend, which assists the baby’s digestion. Prebiotics are bacteria and other microbes that prepare the stomach for digestion. Just like probiotics, prebiotics make a huge impact on digestive health, which can add to Enfamil AR’s ability to limit spit up – but also indigestion, burping, and even bowel movements.

Reviews

Reviews of Similac Spit Up show a number of happy parents who switched to this formula and had success. Parents love the premade formula most, and only a few complained of the chunky consistency of the powdered version.

Reviews of Enfamil AR note a similar picture, with more emphasis on consistency issues. A number of parents in reviews noted that the consistency of the powdered formula was simply too thick and clogged the bottle often.

Both formulas had reviews from parents who favored other types of formula because of their impact on the baby’s spit up. Like I’ve noted, this is really going to vary per child greatly.

Fussy Formula War Winner

Like I’ve said over and over again, every baby is different – even in the digestion area. It’s best to test each formula on your child for one feeding up to one week (unless you can tell the difference in one feeding) to see which produces the least amount of spit up. Most babies prefer one formula over another, so have some patience and give them both a try.

If my child could tolerate both formulas well, I would choose the Similac Spit Up for sure. Why? 

  • Price – Sure, there’s only a dollar or two difference between the two, but you will be buying this product often. That can really add up and if my child could tolerate the cheaper option the same as the more expensive option, I would definitely take that into consideration.
  • Non-GMO ingredients and added DHA, lutein, and vitamin E – The non-GMO ingredients is a huge thing for me – I personally try to limit these in my family’s diet because I have seen convincing evidence that they can alter human health, especially in digestive organs, for the negative. A newborn baby needs the best possible nutrition, and knowing that the formula does not contain GMOs puts my mind at ease. I also love the DHA, lutein and vitamin E – these elements are so critical in a baby’s development – especially in the eyes and brain which are being consistently used during the first few months and years of life. Knowing that my baby is getting a dose of these with each feeding would be reassuring and save me added expenses in supplements.
  • Reviews of Similac Spit Up are full of raving parents who are really happy that their babies are eating well. In the end, I would choose the Similac Spit Up if my child were able to tolerate both of these formulas. As I was reviewing the reviews for both products, I was reminded just how hard newborn motherhood is and how much harder it is when you can’t even get your baby to feed well. Take your time learning which formula is best for your baby, and don’t neglect to ask your doctor, spouse, and family and friends for help. Be assured that you will find something that agrees with your baby, and review tips on how to reduce spit up with each feeding.

Enfamil vs Similac at the brand level

We’ve written a comprehensive comparison of Enfamil vs Similac which highlights the differences between these leading formula makers and provides summary comparisons between the best selling products within each brand.

Enfamil deemphasizes taste and avoid the use of sugars, although there is certainly some sugar content. Overall some taste is sacrificed for nutritional benefits.

Similac generally produces better tasting products which in some cases have higher sugar content. Although both brands have non-GMO products, Similac seems to excel in this arena.

Both brands have a large selection of formulas so do read the full comparison article to get a more detailed differentiation between the product choices.

 

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Danielle Olson
Danielle was born and always will be a farm girl, searching for God’s natural truths in an unnatural world. She’s a doula, health coach, natural health activist, and currently obtaining her naturorthopathic doctorate degree. When she isn’t reading about holistic healing, you will likely find her chasing a sweet little boy or a small flock of rebellious chickens in the Midwest mud.

Comments 1

  1. Thank you for this! I have been researching for days and was leaning towards the Similac but now am definitely going to try it. Baby has been only breastfed and fed bottles of pumped milk for 6.5 weeks but this past week he has had spit up/reflux so bad I haven’t been able to sleep. I am going to mix half of the formula with breast milk and see if it helps. Will post an update in the near future! Many thanks

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