When your baby has a cow or dairy allergy, your pediatrician will recommend you a hypoallergenic formula (after a blood test of course). Why? because the protein is broken into small pieces so the baby’s immune system can’t detect it; the range size of protein in the hypoallergenic formula is 3 KiloDalton whereas the normal protein size is from 14 to 67. Also, it’s lactose-free. But, you probably have been confused about which hypoallergenic formula to choose Alimentum, Nutramigen, or Gerber Extensive HA.
In this article, we will see a detailed comparison between Alimentum and Nutramigen to pick the right one for you. Stay with me!
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Alimentum Vs Nutramigen: Which one is better?
When it comes to choosing between Nutramigen and Alimentum it depends on what situation your baby has, if you want a cheap formula to help with your baby’s poop, constipation, colic, eczema, or want a palm oil-free formula, Alimentum (especially the ready-to-feed version) will be a good choice. Nutramigen will be the right choice for babies with acid reflux, eczema, or if you want a sucrose-free formula and you want your baby to return to milk protein as soon as possible.
In case your baby has been tested for cow or dairy allergy and you are confused about which one to start with, I will recommend starting with Alimentum ready-to-feed.
Alimentum vs Nutramigen Ingredients and Price:
Both formulas use extensively hydrolyzed casein, which is broken into very small pieces (3 KiloDalton) to skip from the immune system so it won’t elicit any allergic response. The normal protein range size is from 14 to 67 KiloDalton and 1 KiloDalton for amino acid formulas.
Similac uses sugar table (sucrose) and corn maltodextrin as a carbohydrates source, whereas Nutramigen is sucrose-free and has corn syrup solids as a source of carbohydrates. That’s why Nutramigen is taste bad than Alimentum.
Enfamil Nutramigen has palm oil among the fat sources which can be annoying to some parents because it reduces fat and calcium absorption, as a result, the baby’s poop could be hard and can cause constipation. But, it’s not always the case, most babies are on Nutramigen and have no health issues.
* Enfamil has LGG Probiotics (Lactobacillus rhamnosus) which are good bacteria found naturally in our bowls, they have many benefits for a baby’s digestive and immune system, and they reduce the incidence of diarrhea and risk of eczema and may also help with colic.
** Alimentum has introduced the 2’FL HMO prebiotic (2’ fucosyllactose); it is a type of HMO (human milk oligosaccharide) found only in breast milk. So, babies who are fed 2’FL prebiotics have an immune response like breastfed babies.
« 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 nutrition news.Abbott
Where to Buy?
|Enfamil Nutramigen||Similac Alimentum|
Not available now
32 fl oz
37.9 ¢/fl oz
32 fl oz
Alimentum vs Nutramigen Generic Brands:
There are 9 generic hypoallergenic formulas to choose from in case your budget is limited and you are willing to save money for shopping or traveling. All those generic hypoallergenic formulas are safe and approved by the FDA. Also, they will give your baby the nutrient value he needs for healthy growth.
Where to Buy Them?
|Formula||Where to Buy?|
|Enfamil Nutramigen||Buy HERE|
|Similac Alimentum||Buy HERE|
|Tippy Toes||Buy HERE|
|HEB Baby||Buy HERE|
Almost all generic hypoallergenic are the same as Nutramigen in terms of carbohydrate source, fat source, and probiotics. Therefore, if your baby is on Nutramigen and you want to try some generic brands; you have 9 choices!!
After a lot of research, I found that the best generic Alimentum formula is the Up & Up hypoallergenic formula because 80 % of moms have switched from Alimentum to Target hypoallergenic brand and the baby did well. Every baby is different, so you can’t judge until you try.
Nutramigen Vs Alimentum For Eczema:
There are many possible reasons for eczema (atopic dermatitis) including food allergies, the most common is cow’s milk. Hypoallergenic formulas have an extensively hydrolyzed protein so they don’t elicit any allergy responses (the protein is broken down into very small pieces).
Therefore, Nutramigen and Alimentum will both help with eczema in case your baby has a cow’s milk allergy. Some babies have a corn allergy; Alimentum ready-to-feed is the best choice as there is no corn in it.
About 10% of babies can’t even tolerate the extensively hydrolyzed cow’s milk formula, the last choice will be the amino acid formulas like Puramino and Neocate that can help with eczema. But, you should consult your pediatrician before switching to them because they are way expensive.
Food allergies are not always the reason, the eczema could show up because of inheriting dry, sensitive skin or because of skin contact with irritating substances. The cold weather is also one of the causes, it’s a trigger you must discover. Until discovering it, use cremes like tubby todd it helps!
Nutramigen Vs Alimentum For Acid Reflux:
Acid reflux happens when the sphincter (a muscle at the lower end of the food tube) is opened. Therefore, the liquid goes back from the stomach to the food tube. This situation happens frequently in babies under 1 year old.
After reading mom’s reviews about acid reflux, Enfamil Nutramigen helps more than Alimentum, especially the ready-to-feed version of Nutramigen because it doesn’t contain LGG probiotics.
Nutramigen vs Alimentum For Constipation:
When babies are being very fussy and spitting up more often or they have hard/dry stools or have pain during BM, it could be constipation. Baby formula has an important role in relieving the baby from constipation. Thus, you should choose your formula carefully.
For formula-fed babies, the cause could be palm oil because it reduces calcium and fat absorption which can lead to hard stool and maybe to constipation. If your baby suffers from constipation, consider palm oil-free formula like Alimentum because it leads to soft stools, especially the ready-to-feed version.
Nutramigen Vs Alimentum For Colic:
Colic causes are unknown. However, experts have found some possible causes as dairy product allergies and the non-mature of the digestive system that can’t digest the big size of proteins in cow’s milk. Thus, hypoallergenic formulas will help.
Both Formulas help to reduce colic and crying in infants, Alimentum claims that it reduces colic in 24 hours whereas Nutramigen in 48 hours.
You may want to see The Best Formula For Babies With Colic
Nutramigen vs Alimentum Taste and Smell:
When it comes to Nutramigen and Alimentum taste and smell, both formulas have bad taste and smell because they contain predigested protein. However, most babies like Alimentum taste over Nutramigen taste because Alimentum has sucrose (sugar table) that acts like a sweetener.
Many moms pity their babies because they are obliged to drink that awful formula and sometimes they rejected it like they say “what are you giving me mom!?”. But, after a few weeks, the baby will get used to the taste.
Alimentum Vs Nutramigen Poop:
The best hypoallergenic formula for baby poop is Similac Alimentum (ready to feed), with a green to brown, and soft watery poop, moms are happy with it. The frequency is once to twice a day which is great although the smell is bad.
Whereas babies on Nutramigen have a yellow/beige poop, a chunky peanut butter consistency, it has chunks like curdled milk. Sometimes the poop could be loose. The frequency is almost every feeding and after 2 weeks it becomes 1 to 2 poops a day with a horrible smell.
You may want to see What Does a Hypoallergenic Formula Poop Looks Like?
Can you switch back and forth between Nutramigen and Alimentum?
Yes, you can switch back and forth between Nutramigen and Alimentum because they are of the same type of formula (hypoallergenic) and have the same protein source (extensively hydrolyzed casein). Also, they are lactose-free. As you can mix and match them as long as you are following standard mixing instructions.
How to Switch?
There are two ways to switch between those two hypoallergenic formulas. The first way is switching gradually by mixing Enfamil Nutramigen and Similac Alimentum until your baby drinks 100% new formula, this switching is better to be over 2 weeks to get the baby used to the new taste, or you can throw away the old formula and switch cold turkey. The two ways are safe.
Every baby is different, if a formula doesn’t work for other babies it doesn’t mean it won’t work for your baby and vice versa. You can’t decide until you try. Then you will become the pediatrician of your baby.
I recommend starting with Alimentum ready-to-feed version, because it’s corn-free, cheap, and the taste is better than the powder version. Also, it shows better results.