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Similac vs Gerber – Which Baby Formula is Best?

Choosing the best formula for your baby is a minefield. There are many choices and even when you have decided on a particular brand there’s quite a lot of options within that brand.

It’s so easy to become overwhelmed and confused by all the options. There are formulas that are designed for all tastes and to help with a vast range of feeding problems from allergies to colic.

But the first thing that you need to do is to choose a brand and this is where we’re here to help. We’re going to compare two of the most popular formula brands on the market Similac and Gerber.

Remember that all baby formula sold in the USA has met the minimum nutritional standards set by the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and FDA regulations.

The Types of Baby Formula

Within both brands, there are a variety of different choices to cater to different baby’s needs.

These include formulas with a nourishing prebiotic, a formula for sensitive tummies, specialized products for those babies that need special nutrition, and organic or non-GMO formula too.

Nourishing Prebiotic Added Formula

Both Similac and Gerber have formulas that closely mimic human breastmilk. They both also have formulas that contain 2′- FL HMO which is a prebiotic just like the one that is found in significant levels in breastmilk.

This prebiotic supports digestive health and your baby’s developing immune system.

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Gentle Formula

If your baby is having trouble with feeding, you may need to look for something gentler for their delicate tummies. Many are made with ingredients that make them super easy for your baby to digest and helping to soothe their feeding issues.

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Lactose-Free Formula

Some babies settle with a change to a gentler formula but for others, they simply cannot tolerate the lactose in baby formula and so need a formula that is lactose-free.

If you do find that your little one is in this category, don’t worry there are still plenty of options available to you.

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Is Gerber Baby Formula as Good as Similac?

As we have said before both brands although not identical will have to meet the same minimum standards set out by the FDA regulations.

With this in mind, both Gerber and Similac are high-quality baby formulas that will provide your baby with the nutrition that they require to grow at a healthy rate.

Although these brands may seem identical on the outside, each one has its own special recipe for its formula. Let’s have a look and see what the differences are.

Why is Similac Formula a Good Choice?

Similac is a brand that is recommended by lactation consultants and doctors alike. It can be used to feed babies from the first day they are born and is a great substitute if they are unable to be breastfed.

All of the Similac formulas contain high-quality ingredients that support eye and brain development, along with your baby’s overall growth.

Similac Pro-Total Comfort Infant Formula OPTI-GRO, Non-GMO, Easy-to-Digest, Gentle Formula, with 2’-FL HMO, for Immune Support, Baby Formula, Powder, 36 Ounce, Pack of 3

Their formulas also contain 2 – FL HMO which is naturally founding breast milk and helps to support their immune systems.

Similac offers a variety of different formulas to suit babies with all different kinds of needs. They have those for sensitive stomachs, organic formulas, as well as a version for babies that are lactose-free.

They also offer a formula for premature babies and a formula for babies with protein sensitivity. Overall, Similac offers good value for money on a range of formulas to suit most baby’s needs.

Why is Gerber Formula a Good Choice?

Gerber offers a similar range in its formulas to Similac. Gerber formula can be used from the day your baby is born and is a good alternative to breast milk if it is not available. 

The ingredients are very similar in regard to vitamins and minerals contained in the formula. They contain DHA and ARA which assist with and support brain and eye development. They also have more soy-based options than Similac.

Gerber offers formulas to suit a variety of different needs such as lactose-free, for babies with excessive crying and colic, hypoallergenic, and formulas that contain comfort proteins for easy digestion.

Gerber is priced slightly higher than Similac and it can be a little harder to find in some stores but neither of these should put you off considering it.

Which One Should You Choose?

There is no one formula fits all babies and the choice that you make will down to your baby’s individual needs and preferences. Here are a few things for you to consider before you make your choice.

The needs of your baby

Does your baby have any allergies or intolerances that you need to consider? Does your family have a history of allergies so you want to play it safe right from the beginning? 

No matter what your baby’s special feeding requirements are both Similac and Gerber have options to suit your little ones’ special needs and sensitivities. 

If however, you are looking for a vegan formula as many parents are these days you may be better choosing Gerber as they have significantly more vegan options available within their brand than Similac do.

baby milk formula

Hypoallergenic formula

If your baby has identified allergies then you may be better looking for a sensitive or hypoallergenic formula. Both Similac and Gerber offer these options.

Similac offers a sensitive formula which is palm olein oil-free and contains prebiotics 2′ – FL HMO and their unique blend of DHA, lutein, and vitamin E.

While Gerber’s hypoallergenic powder is fortified with iron and contains B lactis a probiotic similar to that found in breastmilk.

Babies who suffer from colic

If you have a baby who suffers from gassiness or the occasional episode of colic then you will be looking for a formula that is sensitive and has been formulated in order to help alleviate some of these issues.

Both Gerber and Similac have great options for babies with these kinds of issues. Both brands contain partially hydrolyzed protein for easy digestion making it a difficult choice between them.

What does your baby actually prefer?

Each baby is different and has different tastes. Even when you have done all the research and picked the formula that is nutritionally perfect for your baby they may still turn their nose up at it.

If this does happen to you, the only thing that you can do is to try a different brand until you find one that offers everything your baby needs nutritionally and that they actually like.

Differences and Similarities Between Gerber and Similac

Both brands have a vast range of formulas that are specially designed to help and assist with most feeding issues that your baby may suffer from. But there are a few slight differences between them that may sway you towards one brand over the other.

  • Both Gerber and Similac contain the same vitamins, minerals, DHA, ARA, and whey protein.
  • But Similac does not use palm olein in their formulas while Gerber does. 
  • Both brands offer options for sensitive stomachs
  • Gerber offers several different varieties of vegan suitable formulas while Similac only offers one.
  • Both brands contain non-GMO ingredients
  • Price-wise – Gerber is slightly more expensive than Similac.

What Gerber Formula is Similar to Similac Pro Advance?

If you have been using Similac Pro Advance and are thinking of switching to the Gerber brand you are going to need to know which Gerber formula is equivalent.

Gerber Good Start Gentle (HMO) Non-GMO Powder Infant Formula, Stage 1, 32 Ounce (Pack of 1)

Gerber Good Start Gentle is the equivalent to Similac. Let’s take a look at how they compare side by side.

The ingredients of the formulas

  • Both formulas contain ingredients that are non-GMO.
  • Vitamin, minerals and DHA content is the same in both as well as the protein contained in them.
  • Similac contains DHA, Lutein, and vitamin E. It also contains HMO which is similar to that found in breast milk.
  • Gerber contains HMO and vitamin E. But it contains comfort protein which aids digestive support.

Both assist babies in digesting their formula better and helping them combat gas

Both Similac Pro Advance and Gerber Good Start Gentle formulas are designed especially for babies with sensitive stomachs, that have frequent nighttime waking and fussy episodes. If this is your little one either of these would be a good choice that will help.

How do they compare price-wise

Both Similac and Gerber are widely available. Although Gerber can be a little bit more of a challenge to find in some stores. Gerber does price slightly higher than Similac but it’s not so much more that it would impact your choice of formula.

The Final Thought

Ultimately the choice of which formula brand you choose is down to you and your baby. But if you are having any problems deciding you can always speak to your pediatrician for further advice.

Personally, I think that if you pick either of these brands you will not go far wrong. The differences between them are so slight that they will not really impact your baby at all.

You may find that the final decision will be with your baby and which they actually prefer.