Lactose sensitivities are becoming more and more common, especially when it comes to infants and bottle-fed babies. While full-scale lactose intolerance is rare in babies, sensitivities are much more common and can develop from a very early age. Many parents make the switch early on to ease some lactose sensitivity symptoms, consider products like Similac Sensitive, Enfamil Gentlease & Gerber Good Start.
Signs of Lactose Sensitivity in Babies
Some signs you might notice in lactose sensitive babies include the following:
- Doesn’t keep down milk or formula
- Hard, bloated stomach
- Frequently spits up breast milk or milk-based formula
- Colicky crying
If you notice any of the below symptoms, your baby might be lactose intolerant. Consult your pediatrician right away and consider switching to a soy-based formula.
- Projectile vomiting
- Blood in your baby’s stool
- Difficulty breathing
What Is The Difference Between Regular Formula And Lactose Sensitive Formula?
Believe it or not, there is still milk products and byproducts in most lactose sensitive formulas, including Similac Sensitive, Enfamil Gentlease & Good Start. Two of the first three ingredients in each of these formulas are corn syrup and some kind of milk protein (usually whey or milk protein isolate — two names for nearly the same thing). Then, there is some kind of blend of oils and a variety of vitamins that aid brain development and organ functions to round out the lists.
Regular formula is made up of similar ingredients, but there is extra lactose added to give the formula a more “breastmilk-like” consistency. This gives the liquid a more bubbly texture, as opposed to the smooth consistency of sensitive formula. Sensitive formula also tends to produce more “clumps” than non-sensitive formula.
How Do I Find The Right Formula For My Baby?
As is the case with many baby products we’ve tested, what is right for one baby might not be right for another baby. That was one of the challenges that made reviewing Similac Sensitive vs Enfamil Gentlease vs Good Start so difficult. Ultimately, you want to find a product and stick with it, but it never hurts to try a few options before settling on one that works for you and your baby.
With that being said, there are some similarities and differences between these brands that you should know when making your decision of which baby formula should you buy. And, while we all would love to make decisions without thinking about costs, price is a big factor when deciding which is the best formula for your baby. The best thing to do is understand what is going into your baby’s formula, find the best one that fits your budget, and experiment until you find the right formula for your baby.
Similac Sensitive vs Enfamil Gentlease vs Good Start
- (One 22.5 oz. tubs- makes about 28 6 oz. bottles)
- (Six 22.5 oz. tubs- makes about 168 6 oz. bottles)
Enfamil Gentlease has a proprietary blend of DHA for brain health, 30 nutrients for your baby’s growth, and a mix of vitamins for active immune health. They also make larger 32 oz. bottles of premade formula that you can keep in the refrigerator.
- (One 21.5 oz. tub – makes about 26 6 oz. bottles)
Gerber Good Start has a mix or large and small proteins that were developed to be easily digestible in babies, making it easy for them to swallow and likely for them to keep the formula down. Similar to Similac Sensitive & Enfamil Gentlease, there is a premade version of the formula too. As is the case for each of the formulas, you will save money when you buy the powder and mix with water at home.
- (32 oz. tub – about 37 6 oz. bottles)
What is the Best Formula for Lactose Sensitive Babies?
When comparing Similac Sensitive, Enfamil Gentlease & Gerber Good Start, there aren’t enough differences to say which is the best and which is the worst. The best thing to do is try each of these products, find the one that works best for your baby, and stick with it. Remember, babies that have a hard time keeping down breast milk or regular formula usually tolerate these lactose-sensitive formulas best, and can be used on babies that range from newborn to 12 months old.