Similac Advance vs Pro Advance – Differences Explained

Similac Advance vs Pro Advance - Differences Explained

Deciding that you’re going to bottle feed your baby is a big decision with several different factors to consider. The decisions do not stop there. Now, you have to decide on a formula brand and then on an individual formula within that brand.

I know there are so many decisions, so much to consider, and so many choices that have to be made.

For most mothers that decide against breastfeeding for whatever reason, the next step is to find a formula that has as many if not all the nutritional benefits of breastmilk in a formula.

We’re going to compare two of the breast milk replacement formulas: Similac Advance and Similac Pro Advance.

Differences Between Similac Advance and Pro Advance

Both these formulas are almost similar in their ingredients and structure except for a few small differences.

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For some parents, these differences may be the factor of their final decision while for others it may not.

Similac Advance does not contain 2′ – FL HMO but the Pro Advance does

Breast milk contains several important immune-nourishing human milk oligosaccharides or HMOs. These help to support your baby’s immune system.

These HMOs are the third most abundant component in breast milk. They encourage the growth of good bacteria in your baby digestive tract which is also where 70% of the immune system is located.

Up until recently, only babies that were breastfed would be reaping the benefits of these HMOs. Until Similac developed a prebiotic that’s most likely found in breast milk, it now helps to support your baby’s immune system the same way as a breastfed baby.

Pro Advance doesn’t contain any GMO ingredients

The Advance formula has ingredients that are sometimes found in genetically engineered plants/animals. None of the ingredients contained in the Pro Advance are genetically engineered in any way.

Any dairy ingredients used come from cows that have not been treated with artificial growth hormones. Many parents and nutritionists have hailed non-GMO foods because they are pure and made without chemicals or artificial additives.

Non-GMO foods could possibly have the following benefits for your baby:

  • Fewer allergies
  • Doesn’t build up antibiotic resistance
  • Can preserve internal organs.

There is a slight price difference between the two

Similac Pro Advance is a relatively expensive product but it does offer an awful lot in regard to nutrition and providing a formula that is as close to breastmilk as possible.

Similac Advance is available at a lower price. But I do not think that the price difference is big enough to be a deciding factor for parents.

baby being bottlefed

The smell of Pro Advance is different from Similac Advance

Due to the advanced formula of Pro Advance, it does have a slightly different smell. It is almost a sharper smell. Although, it’s not that noticeable so shouldn’t bother your baby.

Similac Advance has a more tin-like smell. If your little one is sensitive to smells, it may bother them.

Their effects on little tummies

Both formulas have slightly different ingredients. But Similac Pro Advance is said to reduce spit-up, vomiting, and gas in little ones while not causing any significant allergies.

Similac Advance does contain ingredients that are effective for all those issues mentioned. But it had been found to trigger mild allergies in infants who are too sensitive and prone to allergies.

The Main Ingredients Used in Similac Advance and Pro Advance

Similac Advance and Pro Advance contains a special formula called Optigro. This contains some of the ingredients that are also contained in breastmilk such as DHA, Lutein, and Vitamin E.

It also contains prebiotics to promote digestive health and Nucleotides that support your baby’s immune system. Similac is also palm olein oil-free to support calcium absorption for strong bones.

DHA

Otherwise known as Docosahexaenoic acid, this is one of the omega-3 fatty acids that is found in human beings. It’s the one that is responsible for the growth and maintenance of the brain and eyes.

In the first six months of life, DHA is important for the development of the nervous system.

Consuming lower levels of DHA in early childhood has been associated with lower literacy ability. Higher levels are linked to better cognitive development and performance.

Lutein

Lutein is a carotenoid and has powerful antioxidant properties. It is known to be mainly concentrated in the retina of our eyes.

This is the major carotenoid found in the infant brain and easily found to concentrate in key areas associated with visual processing, memory, hearing, and language development.

Lutein protects the retina by absorbing damaging blue light, it basically acts as an antioxidant.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps with the skin’s appearance. It is also present in the Similac’s Optigro blend which is exclusive to them. Vitamin E helps to support developing cells which is why it is often known for giving people a healthy skin glow.

Similac Advance

Similac Advance Infant Formula with Iron, Powder, One Month Supply, 36 Ounce (Pack of 3)

This is an infant formula that is designed for babies that are not being exclusively breastfed. It contains a unique blend of ingredients in order to provide a formula that is as close to breast milk as possible.

By containing Similacs unique Optigro blend which includes DHA, Lutein, and vitamin E, it helps to support the brain and eye development of your baby in the first 12 months of life.

In a serving of 5.3 fl oz, made as directed, it will contain 100 calories, 2.07 grams of protein, 5.6g of fat, and 10.7g of carbohydrates. The Advance formula contains more vitamin D, riboflavin, and vitamin B6 than the Pro Advance version. 

Pros

  • provides complete nutrition 
  • Contains prebiotics
  • Contains vitamins and nutrients essential to brain and eye development
  • Contains no growth hormone or Palm olein oil
  • Available in ready to feed option.

Cons

  • Slightly on the expensive side
  • Has been known to cause gas and fussiness
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Similac Pro Advance

Similac Similac Pro-Advance Non-GMO with 2-FL HMO Infant Formula with Iron Powder, 34 Ounce ., 34 Ounce

The Pro Advance formula really is the closest thing to breastmilk that you can get. It has a unique blend of vitamins and nutrients that closely match that found in human milk that includes DHA, lutein, and vitamin E.

Pro Advance also contains 2′ -FL HMO. Breast milk contains several important immune-nourishing human milk oligosaccharides or HMOs. These help to support your baby’s immune system.

These HMOs are the third most abundant component in breast milk. They encourage the growth of good bacteria in your baby digestive tract which is also where 70% of the immune system is located.

Up until recently, only babies that were breastfed would be reaping the benefits of these HMOs. Until Similac developed a prebiotic that helps to support your baby’s immune system in exactly the same way as a breastfed baby.

Pros 

  • Suitable for newborns under 12 months
  • Iron-fortified formula
  • Non-GMO ingredients.
  • Contains 2′ -FL HMO 
  • Contains a unique blend called Optigrow
  • Contains no palm olein oil
  • Provides complete nutrition
  • The formula is as close to breast milk as you can get.
  • Available in a ready to feed option.

Cons

  • A little on the pricey side
  • Some issues with gas and fussiness.
  • Can be difficult to source in physical stores
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FAQ

Can I feed Similac formula as well as breastfeed my baby?

Yes, this is definitely something that you can do and will offer your baby the best of both worlds so to speak.

How readily available is the Similac Advance and Similac Pro Advance formula?

Both of the Similac formulas are readily available online and at stores.

Is there a price difference between Similac Advance and Similac Pro Advance?

There is a price difference between the two with the Pro Advance being considerably more expensive than the Advance. This price difference may put the Pro Advance out of the reach of some families.

The Final Thought

After looking carefully at both Similac Advance and Pro Advance, it appears that Similac Pro Advance is a better choice in terms of quality and nutritious value.

Its unique blend makes it as close to breastmilk as possible and this can only be a positive thing. It also contains only non-GMO ingredients which are another plus in its favor.

But when it comes to the crunch the only person who will ultimately make the decision as to which formula is better is your baby. A formula can have all the latest science behind it but if your baby refuses it then it all goes to waste. 

Similac Advance is not a bad choice and is almost identical to the Pro Advance formula except it does not contain the 2′ – FL HMO prebiotics. If you’re looking for a good value formula and are on a budget, Similac Advance is a great choice.

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