Feeding your baby a Similac Sensitive formula for 12 months can be very expensive. Especially, Similac Sensitive is two times more expensive than the generic sensitive formula. Furthermore, due to formula shortage, Similac Sensitive & Pro Sensitive could be on recall. That’s why switching to generic brands is the best decision since they are approved by the FDA and much cheaper than name brands.
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What are the Generic Brands For Similac Sensitive & Pro Sensitive Formula?
There is 7 generic Similac Sensitive & Pro Sensitive formula, that you can switch to with no health issues and save a lot of money:
- CVS Health Sensitivity
- Parent’s Choice Sensitivity Non-GMO (Walmart)
- Parent’s Choice Sensitivity HMO (Walmart)
- Tippy Toes Sensitivity HMO
- Up & Up Sensitivity Non-GMO (Target)
- Well Beginnings Sensitivity Non-GMO (Walgreens)
- Always My Baby Sensitivity Premium (Stop & Shop)
I’ve done a comparison in this table between Similac Sensitive & Pro Sensitive and store brands in terms of ingredients and price :
Where to Buy Them?
|Formula||Where to Buy?|
|CVS Health |
|Parent’s Choice Sensitivity|
|Parent’s Choice Sensitivity|
|BUY 22.5 oz|
BUY 34 oz
|Tippy Toes |
|Up & Up Sensitivity |
|Well Beginnings Sensitivity|
|Always My Baby Sensitivity|
Premium (Stop & Shop)
The milk protein isolate is different from the milk, it’s a protein product extracted from skim milk powder. it has been filtered to remove all or most of the minerals and the lactose in it because lactose is the main reason for sensitivity problems in babies.
The ingredients in these generic sensitive formulas are non-GMO and from cows raised with no artificial growth hormones.
I did a full comparison between Similac Sensitive Vs. Similac Total Comfort if you want to check.
There are three big differences between Similac Sensitive and these store brands:
Palm Oil :
Similac doesn’t use palm oil/olein in its formulas, contrary to the generic sensitive brands.
Palm oil reduces calcium and fat absorption which makes the stool a little hard and can lead to constipation. However, if your baby is gaining weight and has no pain during BM; don’t be concerned about it.
2′-FL HMO prebiotics :
Generic brands have introduced finally the 2′-FL HMO prebiotics (2′-fucosyllactose human milk oligosaccharide), which are naturally found in breast milk.
« HMOs are special prebiotics found naturally in a mother’s breast milk. They are the most abundant solid ingredient in breast milk after fat and carbohydrates. In breastfed babies, HMOs are scientifically shown to positively affect the microbiome. » says nutritionnews.Abbott
Now they are in the baby formula, one of the biggest advances in baby nutrition. Similac Sensitive doesn’t contain this prebiotic, but Similac Pro Sensitive does.
The only difference between “Sensitive” and “Pro Sensitive” is the 2′-FL HMO prebiotics.
Therefore, by using these generic brands of Similac Sensitive you are gaining the 2′-FL HMO prebiotics and money.
As you saw, the price of Similac Sensitive is almost double that of generic brands, which means you can save half the money you spend on Similac Sensitive formula.
Related: Similac Sensitive vs. Enfamil Gentlease.
How Much Money I Will Save On Generic Brands:
Generally, babies drink 25 oz of formula per day in the first 6 months, I wrote an article about how much formula should a baby eat (with a chart) if you want to check. Therefore, in one month your baby could drink up to 750 oz of formula.
For Similac Sensitive the price per ounce is 1.43$ which is a total of 1072$/month.
For Parent’s Choice Sensitivity Non-GMO formula the price per ounce is 0.75$ which is a total of 562$.
You can save 510$ per month on generic sensitive formulas!! that’s 3000$ in 6 months, and 6000$ a year. Plus the reward programs of store brands, that’s a lot of money!!
What Enfamil Formula is Similar to Similac Sensitive & Pro Sensitive:
Enfamil NeuroPro Sensitive is similar to Similac Sensitive & Pro Sensitive, these two formulas use milk protein isolate where the lactose is reduced to easily digest by the baby and show no sensitivity problems.
However, the protein source for Enfamil NeuroPro Sensitive is composed of 70% protein isolate and 30% whey protein-lipid concentrate (a source of MFGM), the whey protein is digested quickly by the body. whereas, Similac Sensitive uses 100% intact protein (the biggest size).
They have the same fat source except that Enfamil NeuroPro Sensitive does use palm oil which is annoying to some parents.
Enfamil NeuroPro Sensitive formula has no added sugar or sucrose which is great!!
I did a full comparison between Enfamil Neuropro Sensitive and Similac Pro Sensitive if you want to check.
Enfamil NeuroPro Sensitive has the 2′-FL HMO prebiotics and the MFGM (milk fat globule membrane) that has a lot of benefits for your baby, it protects against some infectious diseases. Also, some cognitive benefits (brain development)
The price of Enfamil NeuroPro Sensitive is 29.99 $ for a 19.5 oz can (1.54 /oz), and the rating is 4.8 out of 5 with 633 reviews on Target.
What Gerber Formula is Similar to Similac Sensitive & Pro Sensitive :
If you want to try Gerber sensitive formula as a replacement for Similac Sensitive & Pro Sensitive, Gerber Good Start SoothePro is the best choice, the protein in this formula is partially hydrolyzed 100% whey, and the protein in Gerber formulas is broken a little bit in size to be similar to the protein size in breast milk.
Gerber Good Start SoothePro has the 2′-FL HMO prebiotics and Lactobacillus reutri (L. reutri) probiotics that have a lot of benefits.
Gerber Good Start SoothePro does use palm oil as a fat source which is a concern for some parents.
Gerber Good Start SoothePro does use corn maltodextrin instead of corn syrup, plus it has no added sugar or sucrose which is great!!
GentlePro also could be a good alternative to Pro Sensitive that’s why I did a full comparison between Similac Pro Sensitive and all Gerber Good Start formulas if you want to check.
Similac Formulas Like Similac Sensitive :
During this baby formula shortage, you may not find your baby’s best formula and you are in love with Similac formulas, that’s why I suggest these two formulas that are the same as Similac Sensitive:
Similac 360 Total Care Sensitive :
Similac 360 Total Care Sensitive has almost the same ingredients as Similac Sensitive (milk protein isolate, corn syrup, sugar, high oleic safflower oil, soy oil, coconut oil..) except that Total Care has 5 HMO prebiotics (2′-fucosyllactose, Lacto-n-tetraose, 3-fucosyllactose, 6′-sialyl lactose, 3′-sialyl lactose), they are identical to those in breast milk, and nutrition designed for immune support, brain development, and digestive health.
The price of Similac 360 Total Care Sensitive is 44.88$ for a 30.2 oz (1.49 /oz), you can buy it here from Walmart.
Also, there is a ready-to-feed version that costs 9.82 $ for a 32-fl-oz bottle (30.7 ¢/fl oz), you can buy it here from Walmart.
Similac Pro-Sensitive :
The only difference between Similac Pro-Sensitive and Similac Sensitive is the 2′-FL prebiotic existing in the pro version.
There is a ready-to-feed version that cost 8.12 $ for a 32-fl-oz bottle ($0.254/fluid ounce (USA), you can buy it here from Walmart.
There are 4 alternatives to Similac Sensitive in the Similac brand, I did a complete comparison between Similac Pro Sensitive vs Sensitive.
Is It Safe To Switch From Name-Brand To Generic Formula?
Yes, it’s safe to switch from name-brand to generic formula; they have the same nutrient value and the same quality ingredients. They are approved by the FDA and have solid research behind them, also they are recommended by pediatricians in case of your primary formula was recalled.
You should pick the right generic of your name-brand formula, especially for non-standard formulas. For example, the right generic formula for Similac Sensitive & Pro Sensitive must be lactose-reduced.
How to Switch to a Generic Formula?
There are two ways to switch to a generic formula :
Switching for financial reasons :
In case of switching to a generic brand for financial reasons, pediatricians recommend switching gradually to get the baby used to the new taste. First, start with a bottle of three parts old and one part new until your baby accepts that, then move to half-and-half, and so on until the baby takes 100% of the new generic formula. Try to make this transition over 1 to 2 weeks.
« I usually recommend families don’t switch often. Let time unfold and give your baby a chance to settle in. Don’t react to every single poop. Give your baby a week or two on a formula before you give up or reach for a new can » says Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson pediatrician and chief medical officer of SpoonfulONE.
The baby can take 1 week to adjust to the new formula. If bad reactions persist over 10 days, switch to another formula or go back to your primary formula until you find a new one.
I recommend always buying a small container of the new formula until you see that your LO has no issues with it.
Blood in the baby’s poop or breathing trouble is a concern, stop using the new formula if you see these reactions.
Switching Cold Turkey :
Due to formula recall, many parents couldn’t find their primary formula, so the only way to switch is the cold turkey transition.
Switching baby formula cold turkey is fine to do since the new formula has the same basic ingredients. For example, switching Similac Sensitive to Walmart, Target, or Parent’s Choice sensitive formula cold turkey is totally fine, babies are doing great don’t be concerned.
Can You Mix Generic And Name-Brand Formula?
Yes, you can mix and match generic and name-brand formulas as long as you are following standard mixing instructions. Also, the generic formula must be the same as the old formula and have the same basic ingredients.
“Please note that due to availability concerns we have added larger container sizes than what is typically WIC-approved. If you are purchasing a larger container size, you will notice that your WIC benefits will appear to remove more formulas than may be expected. This is due to the container size. You will still receive a similar quantity of formula.” source: portal.ct.gov
to understand better this exchange size, I will give you an example:
- A person has 6 cans of Similac Sensitive (12.5 oz cans) on his benefit balance.
- He purchases 2 cans of the Up & Up Sensitivity Non-GMO formula (33.2 oz cans).
- The remaining cans of Similac Sensitive he will have is 2.
(on eWIC card)
|Similac Sensitive |
(on eWIC card)
|Up & Up |
Taken Off eWIC
There are a lot of choices to replace Similac Sensitive & Pro Sensitive with, either generic or name-brand formula. The generic sensitive formula will save you half the money you spend each month and give your baby all the nutrient value he needs.
Moreover, they have the 2′-FL HMO prebiotic that is missing on Similac Sensitive, that’s a plus for generic brands.
You can switch cold turkey or gradually, it won’t affect your baby’s health if you switch to the same type of formula.
If you have tested one of these generic brands, tell us your experience with it, so other moms can make a better choice.