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Similac Sensitive vs Enfamil Gentlease – The Differences Explained

Deciding what baby formula to feed your baby is a huge decision for any parent. But if you have other feeding issues to consider such as sensitivities, allergies, colic, and gassiness.

It can make it an even harder decision to make and once you decide how to feed them, that is only the beginning of the journey.

So you’ve decided that you’re going to bottle feed your baby. Now you need to decide on a brand and then a formula within that brand.

We’re going to look at two formulas that are specifically designed for babies with sensitive tummies: Enfamil Gentlease vs Similac Sensitive.

Both of these brands are popular and have been around for many years. They both produce a variety of different formulas designed for babies with specific feeding issues.

But how do you know which one is better? Is there really any difference between them? Check out below where we give you the low down on these two formulas.

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Differences Between Similac Sensitive vs Enfamil Gentlease

The main differences between Similac Sensitive vs Enfamil Gentlease are:

  • Similac sensitive is more expensive than the more affordable priced Enfamil Gentlease.
  • Similac Sensitive is lactose-free, where Enfamil Gentlease uses broken down lactose protein making it gentle of the stomach and easier for little tummies to digest.
  • Similac Sensitive has a very thick texture which does sometimes make it difficult for little ones to get out of a bottle. Enfamil Gentlease on the other hand has an almost normal consistency, making it easier to take form a bottle.

Similarities Between Similac Sensitive vs Enfamil Gentlease

There are a lot of similarities between these two sensitive formulas:

  • Neither Similac Sensitive nor Enfamil Gentlesase is organic.
  • Both formulas contain corn syrup as one of the first 3 ingredients on their ingredients list.
  • Similac Sensitive and Enfamil Gentlease come in a range of products from powder to ready to use bottles.
  • Neither of these formulas is specifically designed for acid reflux.
  • Both are designed and formulated to ease gas, and fussiness in babies that have a lactose sensitivity.
  • They both contain all the vitamins and minerals that your baby needs from a formula.
  • They’re both a complete feeding option.

What To Look For When Searching For A Sensitive Formula

When you begin your search for a sensitive formula, there are many different options available to you. It’ll depend on whether or not you know what is causing your little ones’ sensitivity or feeding problems.

Sensitive formulas come in both powder and ready-to-feed options the same as the standard baby formula does. It’s also made up of the powder in the same way as the standard formula is.

Both Similac and Enfamil have a variety of different formulas available that are suitable for all different issues. We’re going to take a quick look at the choices that are available.

Lactose-Free Formulas

Some babies have trouble digesting lactose. This then causes them gassiness, reflux, and general discomfort that can lead to an awful lot of crying.

There are many formulas available that help with this issue and they do so by removing the lactose from their recipe.

If you have a baby that’s really struggling, it’s always worth trying a formula that is lactose-free. Similac Sensitive would be one of these formulas.

baby formula

Reduced Lactose Formulas

Other brands don’t remove the lactose but actually breakdown those proteins, making them easier to digest or they may reduce the amount of lactose in their formula without actually removing it completely.

This may be a good first step if you think that your little one may have some sensitivity to lactose.

Prebiotics contained

Some formulas now have added prebiotics. These are great for promoting digestive health and also to support your baby’s immune system.

Many of the formulas that contain this prebiotics are also considered to be as close to breastmilk as you can get.


Some formulas are hypoallergenic. This means that the proteins have been pre-digested, sounds disgusting I know. But this is done so the protein is broken down into tiny manageable amounts.

Hypoallergenic formulas can help to reduce fussiness, gassiness, reflux, constipation, and eczema. Enfamil Nutramigen is a good example of a hypoallergenic formula.


If you have a baby who’s suffering from dairy intolerances or allergies, you may be looking for a formula that is completely dairy-free.

These formulas tend to be made with goat or soy milk. This is something you would need to address with your pediatrician before swapping your child onto dairy-free milk.


If you’re looking for a formula that is designed to help with acid reflux, you need to consider that they’re considerably thicker than most standard formulas.

But they can make a huge difference to acid reflux. Enfamil AR would be a great example of this.

How close to breastmilk 

There are a few formulas on the market that are advertised as being as close to breastmilk as possible.

Science and technology develop formula companies are finding ways to add ingredients and compounds that previously were only normally found in breastmilk.

For example MFGM, and DHA which is a fat protein blend found in breastmilk that is very important for brain development. Most of the Similac formulas now contain these in a unique blend compound called Optigro.

Similac Sensitive

Kirkland Signature Similac sensitive with outgrow, 40 Ounce

Similac Sensitive is an infant formula designed for baby’s first year of life. It provides all the necessary nutrition that a baby needs in their first 12 months.

It’s perfect for those babies that are suffering from a lot of gas and also mild spit-up issues. The lactose has been removed and replaced with a milk protein isolate.

So if your little one is suffering from lactose sensitivity, this would be a good option for them. The vast majority of Similac formulas contain their unique blend called Optigro and Similac Sensitive is no different.

Optigro is a mix of vitamins and minerals including DHA, lutein, and Vitamin E. All of these are essential for brain and eye development and are also found in breast milk.

They also offer a whole host of other formulas for sensitive stomachs including Pro-Total Comfort that is apparently the gentlest formula and is made for babies that are very gassy and fussy.

Similac for Spit-Up that is designed for those babies that suffer from less frequent spit-up and Similac Pro-Sensitive which is very similar to Sensitive except that it contains lactose.

Similac Sensitive can be purchased in both powder and ready to feed options.


  • A great choice for babies that have a lactose sensitivity
  • Available in both powder and ready to feed options
  • Contains Optigro for brain and eye development.
  • Contains no artificial growth hormone


  • Does include corn syrup
  • It is more expensive than Enfamils equivalent.
  • It isn’t organic
  • It does have a foamy consistency.
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Enfamil Gentlease

Enfamil NeuroPro Gentlease Baby Formula Gentle Milk Powder Reusable Tub, 19.5 oz.- MFGM, Omega 3 DHA, Probiotics, Iron & Immune Support, 6 count (Package May Vary)

Enfamil Gentlease is a formula designed for the first 12 months of a baby’s life. Its formulation is designed to ease excessive gas, crying, and fussiness. It does claim to accomplish this within 24 hours of first use.

It contains an easy to digest protein blend of partially hydrolyzed protein which is great for sensitive tummies while still providing complete nutrition.

It’s an affordable price which is always good for parents and most parents have reported that it has provided relief for their little ones within the first few uses.

Enfamil is the only leading brand to contain omega-3 DHA which is a brain-building nutrient in an amount that experts recommend.

Enfamil also offers NeuroPro Gentlease, which is very similar to the Genlease formula except that it contains a fat protein blend MFGM and DHA which is perfect for boosting brain development.


  • Affordable compared to other brands for sensitive stomachs
  • Readily available in stores and online
  • Available in ready to feed and powder options.
  • Great for babies suffering from colic


  • Some issues reported of causing constipation
  • Contains corn syrup
  • Not organic
  • Strong unpleasant smell.
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Does it matter if my formula isn’t organic?

It’s very much a personal decision and depends on what is important to you. Organic formulas use ingredients that don’t contain any pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, or growth hormones.

Some doctors believe that using organic ingredients and organic formulas is a healthier choice. But others say that the benefits are so small that they don’t justify the price difference.

The organic formula, fruit, vegetables, and even meat are all priced higher than other similar foods. You should remember that organic does not necessarily mean better or healthier.

If there are certain ingredients that you are trying to avoid, you can always check the extensive ingredient list on the formula packaging.

Is corn syrup harmful?

Some formulas do contain corn syrup. It is used to replace the natural sugar lactose which is naturally found in breast milk. Take note that corn syrup is not the same as high fructose corn syrup.

Corn syrup is made from corn and is long chains of glucose linked together. They are easily digested and provide babies with energy. Many baby formulas use corn syrup as it is easy for babies to digest.

High-fructose corn syrup is processed differently where some of the glucose is converted to fructose. This is what makes cookies, soft drinks, and ketchup so sweet.

Some parents still prefer to avoid corn syrup. There are formulas that do not use corn syrup and you would need to check the ingredient list to be sure.

bottlefed baby

If my baby is suffering from gas, should I feed them differently?

There are a few things that you can try if you’re finding that your baby is suffering from gassiness. The feeding position is very important and you need to make sure that you keep their head higher than their stomach.

They’ll also need to be burped more often during feeds to prevent a build-up of gas. There are a variety of different bottles available that also work very well for babies who suffer from colic. A good example of these would be Dr. Brown’s Baby Bottles.

What age do babies grow out of gassiness and fussiness?

This is going to come down to the individual baby and is a difficult one to predict accurately. Most babies will grow out of colic or gassiness at around 4-6 months, so there is a light at the end of the tunnel I promise.

Are Enfamil and Similac trusted brands?

Both Enfamil and Similac are brands that have been around for many years and are loved by parents and doctors alike. Enfamil is the number one brand recommended by pediatricians in the US, with 8 out of 10 birthing hospitals using it. 

Do I prepare Sensitive formula the same as other formulas?

Yes, it will be the same basic process as any other formula. You’ll need to add scoops of formula to the correct amount of water.

The number of scoops will differ from one formula to the next so you’d need to double-check the packaging for the correct amount for your particular brand.

Similac is a brand with 90 plus years of experience. Similac also only use dairy products from cows that haven’t been treated with artificial growth hormones.

mother preparing baby formula

The Final Thought

Every baby is different and that’s why it’s so difficult to choose a winner from these two great brands. What works for one baby may not be the right fit for the next. This even applies to siblings.

Be prepared that it may take a little time and patience before you find the right formula for your family.

Remember it could be a combination of the right bottles, the right formula, and the right feeding position and burping schedule that finally makes it all fit together.

Both formulas are so similar that it’s hard to pick an outright winner. But if you happen to have a child who is sensitive to lactose, Similac Sensitive is lactose-free and would be a great choice for you.

The brand is affordable and can be found in most local stores. If you do have any trouble, you can always source it online.

For an all-round winner, we’d have to go with Enfamil Gentlease as it is a little more affordable. It works well for a larger range of babies and it isn’t as thick as Similac which will make it a little more palatable for your baby.