As parents, we understand that choosing the right infant formula is a critical decision for the health and well-being of our little ones. However, the overwhelming array of options on the market can make this task seem daunting. Among the popular choices for babies with special dietary needs are Neocate and Nutramigen, both formulated to address specific feeding challenges such as allergies or intolerances.
In this article, we delve into the experiences and insights of moms who have used these formulas for their babies, comparing the two products in terms of ingredients, nutritional content, and cost to help you make a well-informed choice for your child’s unique needs.
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The difference between Neocate and Nutramigen is that this last is a hypoallergenic formula made from extensively hydrolyzed protein for babies with mild to moderate cow’s milk allergy or sensitivity whereas Neocate is an amino acid-based formula for babies with severe cow’s milk allergy, multiple food protein allergies, or babies who can’t tolerate hypoallergenic formulas.
Mom’s Reviews Comparison:
Based on what moms have shared about their experiences, Nutramigen has generally received positive feedback for helping with common baby problems like gas, reflux, and fussiness. It has proven effective in easing symptoms of colic and constipation as well. However, it’s essential to be aware that some babies who struggle to tolerate hypoallergenic formulas may notice blood in their stools while using Nutramigen.
Some moms mentioned that their babies got diaper rashes when they first started using Nutramigen. But the good news is that these rashes usually go away after a few days. So, if you notice a diaper rash when you begin using Nutramigen, don’t worry too much and give it time because it should clear up quickly.
On the other hand, Neocate shows better results in relieving reflux and blood in stools. Also, it’s soy-free which makes it a good choice for soy-intolerant babies.
However, Nutramigen and Neocate formulas are super expensive, especially Neocate because they are made with special ingredients and a unique process.
So, if your baby has a dairy allergy or lactose intolerance, it’s a good idea to start with Nutramigen. It has been helpful for many moms in addressing common feeding issues and can be a suitable option to try first. In case the baby shows bad reactions then think about Neocate.
Every baby is different, and what works well for one may not be suitable for another. As always, seeking expert guidance and paying attention to your baby’s individual needs will ensure you make the best choice for their well-being.
Nutramigen is a hypoallergenic formula, which means it is created for babies who are allergic to cow’s milk proteins or have difficulty tolerating them. The protein source in Nutramigen is extensively hydrolyzed, which means the proteins are broken down into smaller fragments. This hydrolyzation process makes the proteins easier for sensitive babies to digest, reducing the risk of triggering an allergic reaction. Nutramigen is a great option for babies with mild to moderate cow’s milk allergy or sensitivity.
On the other hand, Neocate is an amino acid-based formula. This means that the protein in Neocate is in the form of individual amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. Neocate is the preferred choice for babies with severe cow’s milk allergy or multiple food protein allergies because the proteins in Neocate are broken down to the most basic level.
The main source of carbs for Neocate and Nutramigen is corn syrup because of its easy digestibility and ability to provide an easy-to-find source of energy.
It’s important to understand that the corn syrup solids used in Nutramigen are different from the high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) used in sweetened beverages and processed foods. Because some parents are concerned about corn syrup in baby formula.
The fat source in Nutramigen is vegetable oil, which is typically a blend of plant-based oils such as palm olein, soy, and coconut oils. These oils are carefully chosen to mimic the fat composition found in breast milk, providing essential fatty acids and promoting healthy growth and development in infants.
In contrast, Neocate uses medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) oil as its fat source. MCT oil is made up of shorter fatty acid chains, which are easier for babies to digest and absorb. This makes Neocate a preferred choice for babies with gastrointestinal issues or those who have trouble digesting fats from traditional sources.
Nutramigen has a probiotic called Lactobacillus rhamnosus whereas Neocate doesn’t have one. The LGG probiotic is known for its ability to help maintain a balanced gut flora, which may contribute to improved digestive health and the reduction of common gastrointestinal issues like gas, bloating, and colic.
The table below shows a comparison between Neocate and Nutramigen in terms of nutrients and vitamins:
In terms of nutrients, Nutramigen has more fat than Neocate while this last is fortified with carbohydrates. But both formulas have the same protein content.
Regarding vitamins, we noticed that Neocate has been enriched with Vitamin D, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, Niacin, Pantothenic, and Biotin, whereas Nutramigen has more Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B12, Folic Acid, Choline, and Inositol than Neocate.
Neocate has more mineral content than Nutramigen like Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Manganese, Copper, Iodine, and Selenium, and has two minerals that are missing in Nutramigen which are Chromium and Molybdenum.
“Chromium is essential for maintaining normal glucose metabolism,” says pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
“Molybdenum works in the body to break down proteins and other substances,” says WebMD
Price and Size Comparison:
The table below shows the different sizes and prices of Nutramigen and Neocate:
32 fl oz
37.9 ¢/fl oz
Switching From Nutramigen to Neocate:
Yes, it’s safe to switch from Nutramigen to Neocate if your baby is having negative reactions to Nutramigen, like blood in their stools or eczema. Sometimes, babies with certain allergies or sensitivities may need an amino acid-based formula like Neocate, which is specially designed to be gentle on their tummies.
But switching to a new formula can be a big change for your baby, and some may not like the taste and smell of Neocate at first. To make the transition easier, doctors often recommend a gradual switch. Here’s how you can do it: On the first day, mix 1 ounce of Neocate with 5 ounces of Nutramigen in a 6-ounce bottle. The next day, try mixing 2 ounces of Neocate with 4 ounces of Nutramigen, and so on. This way, your baby can get used to the new formula while still having some of the familiar Nutramigen.
Taking it slowly like this helps your baby adjust better to the new taste and smell of Neocate. It’s always a good idea to talk to your pediatrician before making any changes to your baby’s formula. They can give you personalized advice and help you through the process.
Just keep in mind that before switching to an amino acid formula due to allergic reactions, you can also try other hypoallergenic formulas like Alimentum or Gerber Extensive HA to see if they work for your baby. Amino acid formulas can be quite expensive, so it’s good to explore other options first. Your doctor can help you figure out what’s best for your little one!
The Best One?
Determining the “best” formula between Neocate and Nutramigen depends on the baby’s individual needs, preferences, and any existing health conditions. Each baby is unique, and what works well for one may not be suitable for another:
Nutramigen is the first formula to try if your baby has mild to moderate allergies like gas, reflux, fussiness, constipation, and colic since it’s extensively hydrolyzed and cheaper compared to Neocate.
On the other hand, Neocate is recommended when the baby has multiple allergies that hypoallergenic formulas can’t fix or has a dairy, soy, and lactose allergy, which means that Neocate is the last choice to make because it’s super expensive.