With so many formulas on the market, it is difficult to settle on one that works best for your baby. Similac’s Sensitive Infant Formula, which comes in the orange package, is used to treat fussiness caused by gas and is for babies from birth until 12 months of age. Some parents swear by its effectiveness while others question its ingredients.
How is sensitive formula different from regular formula?
Similac’s Sensitive Formula is designed to reduce fussiness caused by gas and excessive spitting up. Some babies are more sensitive to milk proteins than others, so this formula works around that sensitivity while still providing essential nutrition.
Similar to Breast Milk
Similac prides itself on having formula that is as close to breast milk as possible. This is why they have “OptiGRO” in their formula, which is basically their own blend of essential vitamins and nutrients that your baby needs. OptiGRO contains DHA, lutein, and Vitamin E, all of which are also found in breast milk and are important for brain and eye development.
Gentle on Sensitive Stomachs
Similac Sensitive contains milk protein isolate instead of milk, meaning the lactose has been removed. Because of this, Similac Sensitive is gentler for babies who have lactose sensitivities, leaving them without discomfort from gas.
Similac offers their Sensitive Infant Formula in both powder form and a ready to feed liquid. The powder form of this formula needs to be mixed with water before eating, whereas the ready to feed liquid can be poured straight into a baby bottle and eaten right away. The ready to feed formula is much more convenient but also much more expensive, so I usually stick to the powder form since it is really simple to make.
Similac Sensitive is also offered in different sizes, so if you are only supplementing, you can get a smaller size (as any powdered formula should be used within a month of opening the container), or if you are strictly formula feeding and will go through a lot, you can save money per ounce by getting the larger container.
Whether you have a newborn or are switching to formula from breastfeeding, it can seem daunting at first to figure out how to prepare formula for your little one. Luckily, Similac provides detailed directions and a scoop with their formula so that you can be sure you are giving your baby the correctly proportioned nutrition.
When comparing the ingredient lists side by side you’ll find that Similac’s standard formula’s first listed ingredients are nonfat milk and lactose. On the other hand, the sensitive formula’s first listed ingredients are corn syrup and milk protein isolate.
What are these ingredients?
Lactose: the naturally occurring sugar found in milk
Milk protein isolate: milk with the lactose taken out of it (to reduce lactose sensitivity reactions)
Corn syrup: added to replace the lactose that was removed
It is important to note that corn syrup is not the same as high fructose corn syrup. Corn syrup is 100% glucose, which is your body’s preferred source of energy. High fructose corn syrup contains about 50% fructose, a sugar that is not as easy for your body to metabolize. In short, don’t be alarmed if your baby’s formula contains corn syrup! It is there to help the formula to be more similar to breast milk, which naturally contains sugar.
May not work for all babies
All babies are different, therefore their stomachs are different too. Similac Sensitive is for mild tolerance issues. If your newborn is experiencing worse symptoms than mild fussiness and gas, this may not be enough to tame their intolerance. Always talk to your child’s pediatrician for advice if symptoms are concerning.
This Similac formula didn’t make our Best Baby Formula list because it’s track record just wasn’t strong enough.
While Similac Sensitive seems to help with the majority of babies who are experiencing mild lactose sensitivities, it does lead to constipation for some. Obviously this can be a frustrating outcome as you might solve the problem of their gassiness only to end up with a constipated baby. However, you can’t possibly know beforehand how your baby’s belly will react and luckily it does work for most!
Some people find that this formula has a stronger odor or taste than other types and brands of formula. This is really up to you and your baby to decide. Some babies may not like the flavor while it doesn’t bother others at all!
Most formula-feeding parents will agree that formula gets to be very expensive! Similac Sensitive is no different. Luckily there are store brand options available on the market which can often lessen the burden of cost of the formula. So if you are looking to cut costs, you can check Walmart, Target, or other stores for their generic brand. Typically the store brand also has the orange lid that Similac has; if not it will be labeled as “Sensitive” or something similar.
You can also sign up for Similac’s StrongMoms program so that you can receive free samples and coupons for their formula.
How to make a baby bottle of Similac® formula.
Ready to Feed Formula Must be Used Quickly
The ready to feed version of Similac Sensitive can be very convenient when out and about with your baby since it does not need to be prepared with water. It is important to keep in mind, however, that once you open the container, you should use the entire contents of the container within three days. They do sell ready to feed in smaller bottles as well, so if you are only going to use ready to feed formula here and there, smaller bottles might work better for you. That way you don’t have to worry about using the entire quart-sized container within three days.
Luckily, Similac Sensitive Formula is the same price as their standard “Similac Advance” formula, so it is not overly expensive compared to other formulas on the market.
I think it’s important to note that unlike some other formulas, Target and Walmart do in fact have a store brand of this formula, which is considerably cheaper than the Similac brand. Some people prefer getting the name brand of formula though, which I can understand.
4.5 stars, 967 reviews – Target
4.6 stars, 399 reviews – Babies “R” Us
4.5 stars, 998 reviews – Walmart
- Effective in treating fussiness in most babies
- Comes in variety of sizes and forms
- Easy to use
- May cause constipation
- Some babies do not like taste
If your baby is spitting up a lot or is experiencing fussiness and gas, I would recommend trying this formula. Remember to not get deterred because of its main ingredients. When I first saw corn syrup listed as a main ingredient, it made me think twice about this formula, but with more research, I found there is a big difference between corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup which we often hear of as an ingredient which we should limit in our diets. Keep in mind that there are generic brands of this formula so if you don’t mind using generic, you could save some money by buying Target or Walmart’s sensitive formula instead.