23 answers

Similac Alimentum Vs. Enfamil Nutramigen

Hi moms! I'm back again. My sweet boy is 12 weeks old and while this is NOT what I want to do, I'm beginning to feel its in my babe's best chance at happiness:-) I've given up just about every major food allergy/sensitivity in my diet and still no happy baby with breastfeeding. He has both reflux and colic and I'm at the end of the rope I believe. So based on some basic research the 2 formulas most recommended are the Similac Alimentum & Enfamil Nutramigen. Any suggestions or experience with either of these? Thank you so much!!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

My son used the Nutramigen, it smells nasty!!!! But he took to it really well. He also had reflux. Best of luck to you you. C.

More Answers

Hi N.,

Conrats on your little one! So sorry he isn't happy!

First off I will say that I don't know anything about either formula (sorry), but please read on for a possible different perspective.

Have you talked to La Leche League (support group for breastfeeding families)? It sounds like you would prefer to breastfeed (and it is SO good for the babies). Maybe some different feeding positions might help? not laying baby down right after feeding? Call 1-800-LA LECHE for a referral to a group leader in your area. There's probably also a web site.

Also be aware that it can take several weeks for all the remnants of dairy to leave your system (and so maybe his as well).

And remember that formula-fed babies also get reflux and colic.

He's still pretty young--still adjusting to being outside of you.

This is going to sound extreme, but I am going to suggest it anyway. You might want to keep pumping your milk and storing it (it freezes fine) while you are trying him on a formula. That way, if the formula doesn't work out, you will not have to re-lactate, you'll still be producing milk if you decide to go back to breastfeeding.

If you do decide to stick with the formula, you may be able to donate your pumped breastmilk (ask La Leche League about this--when I was a member many years ago, there would occasionally be an appeal for this; I think there are certain procedures you follow when storing it, I can't remember).

You mentioned colic--has anyone showed you "The colic hold"? it helped my two. It's much easier to show than explain but I'll try. Lay your baby on your arm so that his belly is against your forearm with his face in your hand. You can turn his head sideways so you are holding one cheek in your hand. Or cup his chin in your palm, just make sure you don't block his mouth and nose with your fingers. His right arm and leg will hang off one side of your arm, and his left arm and leg will hang off the other side. Now walk around with him, keeping him horizontal (more or less). You can hold him close to your body if that is more comfortable for you, or move him around a little. If you are afraid he'll roll off, keep your other hand on his back. He's probably still light enough to do this. Your muscles will get strong!!

Good luck with your decision. I nursed both my kids and I would have been so bummed if I thought my milk wasn't good for them....I hope you find a way to keep breastfeeding, but I am sure you will make a good decision for you and your family!

K. Z.

1 mom found this helpful

All I have to say is that Nutramigen was a lifesaver for us with our colicky daughter - she turned into a different baby within two days and I would've paid anything for that formula during that time. We tried Alimentum first and that just didn't do the trick, but all babies are different. Good luck - getting through colick is difficult!

I agree with the other ladies who suggested giving the dairy-free diet more time. My daughter had a milk protein allery, and it took several weeks for all the dairy to leave my system. She also had severe reflux. Have you tried medication? If you wish to continue nursing, there is no reason to stop. I nursed my reflux/milk allergy baby for 13 months. La Leche League and/or a lactation consultant can help with altering your diet and feeding techniques. Block feeding was helpful for my baby. I also urge you to give Zantac a try. Zantac helped my daughter's pain and a switch to prilosec really helped the spitting up. She grew out of the milk allergy around eight months and the reflux at 18 months. Good luck!

Hi N.:
I did not read your other post but I would like to offer some advice. Both of my sons have had reflux. My second child is now 14 weeks old and his is much worse than my first son's. My pediatrician said that breast milk is the most readily absorbed over formula if you are still considering breastfeeding. I do not know anything about the formulas as I stuck with nursing the first and will with the second. I also have used Zantac with both and that has helped. Many people swear by Prevacid but it is pretty expensive. The best tool in my bag though, is the Tucker sling and wedge. I would encourage you to check it out. It is a positioning device that actually gets the baby to a true 30 degree angle. It's awesome and I have used it with both boys. I have learned ultimately that reflux is a messy problem and that the babes are unhappy spitters without some intervention. The positioning and meds do help but I get covered with spit up at least a few times per day. It is just part of it. I will tell you from my experience that it does get better, especially when they start solid foods and are able to sit upright. We used the wedge for naps and bedtime until well into my son's first year. I hope this helps!!!!!

Just a little tid bit both of thoses formulas taste awful and if you have been breastfeeding you might not get your little one to take them! Why not try a soy based formula first?

Hello, I am sorry to hear about your bad luck with breastfeeding. I would try consulting with your local La Leche League first, then try the formula. We tried the Similac one you mentioned in your post but it did not work well. We then had to put our son on Nestle Good Start-It ended up being that it was the only one he could tolerate. I still feel horrible about having to go thru all of that with him. I did not even try to breastfeed him-I wish now that I would have. I have nursed my other 3 since then and they have done great- I am due in Nov. with our 5th child and hopefully nursing will work out well again. The La Leche League are wonderful with helping- I also would try a Lactation Consultant at your local hospital-they might be able to help!!! Hope this helps and take care. It will get better I promise!!!!

At 12 weeks of age, my doctor recommended Enfamil Nutramigen for my son. We made the switch and he was a much more content baby almost immediately. Because he did so well, we stuck with it until he turned one. He is now 16 months old, and has never had an issue with any food including milk. My only complaint about the formula was the cost. Good luck!

Hey N.,
Don't beat yourself up about bottle feeding, I was really upset too and it does nobody any good and honestly...it is so awesome when they can hold their own bottle!!!! My little guy had reflux as well. I don't know if you guys have a Costco near you, but I did a TON of research and tried lots of formula on my poor baby and Costco brand is the BEST!! It is almost identical to Similac but is $20 for two 1 lb cans!! My son is 8 mo and costs us $10 a week to feed! I am really picky about what goes in my baby's mouth and I recommend this formula to all new moms who are bottle feeding. And I also recommend the Must Have Mom Manual, it's my new favorite book and it has alot on this subject as well. Good luck and don't feel guilty, you will be a better, happier mommy when you do what is good for the both of you!

Don't give up nursing! The mom's milk is what's best for that individual baby. He'd probably have reflux with formula too. With nursing, you can feed them even if they just spit up. My youngest had colic/reflux for awhile, now she's much better but still spits up some. You say he's 12 weeks, give it a little longer and I'm sure he'll be alot better.

I totally understand what you are going through and it is absolutely horrible. We have a 5 month old boy who was born 3 weeks early due to a planned C-section. He had to have his stomach flushed at the hospital. Ever since then his stomach just hasnt been quite right. We have literally been through 12 different formulas no exaggeration including Nutrimigen and the Alumentum. They are actually the exact same formulas. FINALLY after all of them we found a reagular formula nothing particularly special or lactose free (he had colic and is on zantac and had what we thought was a lactose allergy but ended up not being at all) Good Start Protect Plus. It has absolutely been a total change! I knew about it from a friend but never thought to try it since I thought he had an allergy. The only disadvantage is it is so broken down that they tend to be hungry quicker than with a heavier formula but my husband and I would have literally given anything to not have projectile vomitting and sleepless nights and a screaming gassy baby. We have been using it for 2 months and he has completely turned around! The awesome thing about it is that it is only $24.00 a can and if you buy it at Meijer they give you $4.00 off coupons every visit.I felt so bad I didnt listen to my friend sooner! Good luck I know how frustrating it is to watch your baby go through that.

I am the mom of 5 kids...2 of whom needed to have formula due to allergies. One was actually allergic to breast milk protein and had to be on prescription formula. We did have to use the 2 you mentioned with my one daughter. I will say, that the Alientum is more expensive then the Nutramigen....more convient too...ready made (at least it was 8 years ago! :) BUT they are really NOT the exact same thing. You may really need to try both of them to see which one your child likes and which one works the best for your child as well. If you have not tried either one, go to your pediatrition and ask for samples of both to try. I was able to get 2 full cans of each. It is worth asking. They usually have them on hand for moms. Also, if they do have them, when you go in, always ask for a container. They have them for mom's to use.....
Hope this helps some...
G. Christenson

My best friend's son has a severe milk protein and soy allergy. She was breastfeeding and cut all milk related products out of her diet which was very hard for her to do. Some products contain milk or soy and you don't even know it. She breastfed for about 3 months and then switched her son to the Similac Alimentum. The stuff is really nasty and very, very expensive but it worked for him and his problems cleared up.

If your baby is just having acid reflux and colic then you really don't need to stop breastfeeding. Both of my kids had that and they were on acid reflux medicine and their colic went away after 3 months. I tried giving my baby formula when her colic was really bad and it didn't make any difference. If you really want to continue to breastfeed then I would do it.

I would first see if your pediatrician could refer you to an allergist. I was so allergic to dairy that my mom couldn't even eat beef when I was a tot and now my niece is the same way. If you could get some answers and you could still breastfeed chances are much greater that he will grow out of the allergies or they will not be as pronounced. Good luck and if it is really what you want I hope you done have to give it up. Also see if your library has the book Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp it talks all about colic and how to sooth a fussy baby and get them to sleep longer and who doesn't want that.

I am sorry to hear about your son's feeding issues. I know how frustrating that is because my son had reflux and also an intolerance to dairy in my breastmilk. He is about to turn 1 in a few weeks and I am still nursing. I have not had dairy since he was about 2 mo. when we realized this. Dairy stays in your system for about 2 weeks, so before you rule out that be sure to eliminate dairy for that long of time in order to get it out of the breastmilk. I don't know much about formula because we haven't tried that, but I do know that many formulas have a milk base to them so you will probably have to be careful there too. Some are soy based so if he is able to tolerate soy (some babies can't) then that may work for you. Good luck!!

First, lots of hugs!! This is a very difficult start to mommy hood, but it gets so much better! Reading your post, you sound a lot like me when my little one was 12 weeks. I ate rice and mashed potatoes for two weeks straight and still had a VERY unhappy baby. Of course we tried a few formulas until we found the right one; ours turned out to be the regular powder Enfamil with Lipil and baby Zantax. The honest truth is that there are many wonderful ways to feed your baby, and you’ll probably just have to try it out to see if it works. However, I’m sure you already knew that, so I’ll give you my practical advice between your two choices. The one I would recommend trying first would be the Similac Alimentum simply because the container is the most convenient to use. Enfamil is in a can, while Similac has a plastic bottle with a handle and a screw on cap. Again, this is my practical advice! We moms are very lucky to have great nursing support and formula choices. Best of luck!

Hi N., :) I'm a SAHM of 3 wonderful boys, now ages 18, 15 and 5. my 2 oldest had milk alergies. i was majorly inexperienced w/ my 1st child, but the drs had me try soy milk, goats milk, everything, i just got fed up and took him off dairy completely by the time he was 9 mons ( not the best choice, but he turned out fine :) )my 15 yr old, better luck. He would scream horribly everytime he pooped. So with my first boy havin allergies, they tried my lil one on allimentum...scream free :) ( allimentum was not a choice yet with my oldest) by the time my 3rd lil boy came along, i breastfed him for the first 3 mon ( had to stop for medical reasons) they didn't even hesitate, they just put him rite on the Allimentum. It Stinks bad, cost alil more, but i liked it. hope this helped :) GL

Hi:) My son had reflux, I know it's hard. I have a couple friends who's kids had bloody poop because of food allergies. Bresatfeeding really is the best thing to give a baby with food allergies, formula is much worse in the long run. Have you tried Dr. Sear's Elimination diet? It has worked for every mom I know who had a food-sensitive baby. If it's true reflux, changing what he eats won't make a difference, it will take something like Zantac and maybe a thickener like "Simply Thick". If it's true colic, nothing you do will change it, that's the nature of colic. Here are a couple links:
Tracking Down Food Alergies
Elimination Diet

Have you been to a LLL meeting? Those moms are always full of good ideas:) Good Luck!!

Hi N.,
WOW, you bring back memories for me. My daughter also had colic and reflux - it is a very difficult and exhasting time. i want you to know that in time things to get better. as far as the two formulas you mentioned we found that all they did was smell really bad and did not help her at all. we tried them and stopped using them. we did start to add cereal to her bottle very early to try to keep it down a little better. if you do this you will need to make the hole in the nipple of the bottle bigger. Mylycon gas drops helped some. we found nothing that helped every time. we just had to use different ideas all the time. i will include my email so that we can talk further about some of the things we did. (if you want to)
try to get some sleep, God bless you,

My first son, now three, was on Nutramigen and he did really good with it. The downfall is that it is kind of pricey. The upside is that we were able to get quite a few samples from our pediatrician (sp?) so you might try samples of both if your doctor has them. Maybe that will help with your decision. It was very gentle on our little guy and we never switched after he was used to it. Good luck!

My son used the Nutramigen, it smells nasty!!!! But he took to it really well. He also had reflux. Best of luck to you you. C.

We have only used the Alimentum, my son had a milk protein sensitivity, and I was breastfeeding--tried for 5 weeks to get all dairy out of my diet, and he seemed to do better after that. I added milk products back in slowly. You could go broke buying this formula, haha, so you might play around to see what works. We now give him 1-2 bottles of the Alimentum per day, and I'm breastfeeding too, thinking about weaning him onto another cheaper formula since he's 6 months old now. You might also try prevacid, zantac or whatever your doc will prescribe...I hated to use drugs, but did it for 2 weeks to see if anything changed. If it makes life easier for a few months you might give that a try too. Happiest Baby on the Block book has some suggestions for soothing a cranky baby. Good luck, I'm right there with you!

Have you already stopped breastfeeding? My little guy had very very bad reflux (enough to get the doctors concerned). We saw so many specialists testing for diseases and intestinal deformations. Screamed for 12 hours a day strait. Would not poop either. I took just about every allergen out of my diet and it didn't help. I tried nutramagen. Didn't help. Try it, but if you haven't already, don't let your milk dry up as it might not be the answer.

The only thing that worked for us was solid food and zantac. At 12 weeks I gave him rice cereal mixed with nutramagen formula out of total desperation. He puked up my milk, wouldn't take a bottle. Nothing was staying down. He ate every drop I could get in him. I made it quite thick too. As I added meals to his day he pooped more regularly (I had had to stimulate him to poo once a week prior) and spit up less. I only gave him the least allergenic foods out there. Like I said, rice with nutramagen. Rice is pretty much a total non-allergen. We moved on to banana and avacado. By 8 months he was drinking milk based formula and eating finger foods. By 9 months puke was rare.

Almost forgot, for some reason when he did go to formula he was so much better when I mixed it with distilled water. NOT nursery water with fluoride in it or spring water.

HI, i was in the same place with my baby. I really did not want to give up on the nursing since I really enjoyed with my son, however, once switching to alimentum she is a whole different baby and so happy. it was well worth the switch. she is so happy now and again well worth the sacrafice of nursing her although i wish it would have worked. Oh and my daughter also spit up a lot while i was breastfeeding her and that also stopped once we switched to formula. I have now fed my babies both ways, breastfed my son for over a year and was only able to breastfeed my daughter for 3 months.....you have to do what is right for you and your baby not what you feel everyone else wants you to do!

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.