Allergic to Enfamil?

Updated on August 28, 2014
L.T. asks from Jefferson City, MO
12 answers

My 3 month old has had feeding issues since he was a month old. He gets a stomach ache/cramps/gas and has bad reflux and nothing helped. Suspected milk allergy, switched to Enfamil Nutramigen but didn't seem to get much better. Tried Similac Alimentum and saw a huge improvement after a week. But if we give him the Enfamil, all his symptoms come back. Belly ache, cramping, gas, reflux gets worse and he chokes/aspirates and spits up all day. He is super fussy and cranky. He fights sleep during the day and wakes up more through the night. He also gets really congested with a runny nose and cough and his eyes ooze green and get goopy. After a few days of just strictly Similac his symptoms go away completely aside from a little reflux that is manageable with Zantac. I definitely think he has a milk allergy but I'm now convinced he's also allergic to something in the Enfamil too, although his pediatrician says that's not likely I can't ignore that he gets worse every time we give it to him. Looks like the biggest ingredient difference between the two is that Similac is free of corn while Enfamil contains corn syrup solids and modified corn starch. Maybe a corn allergy too? Switched back and forth because it's so expensive and would buy whatever was on sale or what I had coupons for (the pediatrician assured me they were basically the same). Lesson learned and we are no longer giving him the Enfamil. Just wondering if anyone else experienced anything similar.

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answers from Norfolk on

So stop giving it to him!
When you find something that works (Similac Alimentum) then stick with it!

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Dover on

When my son was born (23 years ago), the doctor recommended Enfamil w/ iron and/or Similac low iron because they were essentially the same thing. Hospital gave Similac but WIC gave Enfamil. There was milk based and soy based options within in each company's product lines but now there are lots of formulations of both brands including milk based, soy based, and hypoallergenic and many other specialty options.

You are not just comparing Enfamil and Similac. You are comparing Enfamil NUTRAMIGEN and Similac ALIMENTUM.

Nutramigen is for those with a milk protein allergy or sensitivity. Alimentum is hypo-allergenic and according to their website should be good for those with a sensitivity or allergy to BOTH milk and soy proteins. Based on that and your description, your child probably has a protein allergy/sensitivity. If you can find something comparable to Alimentum in the store brands, that may work (but not just that says comparable to Similac because that will be like the regular Similac). Otherwise, contact them for coupons and or samples to help with cost but don't use what you know will make him sick.

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answers from Portland on

Enfamil has MILK in it. Alimentum doesn't. It probably isn't the corn its the casein. People say it is rare, and in the general of all the babies all over I guess it is, but both of my kiddos, my sister's kiddos, my husband, his nephew, etc. all have milk protein allergy/intolerances. And really you treat them exactly the same way. Is it possible you are talking about Nutramingen and Alimentum? I have heard of babies not being able to tolerate one or the other, my 2nd was like that, he could only have the Alimentum. Are you on WIC? They will pay for the Alimentum, but you have to have a prescription from the doctor. Otherwise you need a note from the doctor to pay for the formula with your insurance company.

Do not use soy and it is next best and cheaper alternative, but it mimics estrogen in the body, so our Pedi said no way. We had a different doc for the first one, and at 4 she is already showing "buds" so I think having her on the soy may have really affected her, but it might just be my imagination.

I was glad to see that you are going to stay one the Alimentum. Try to get help to pay for it because it is his main food source and he needs it. My kids were so sensitive they couldn't even handle my breast'll make it through this. I'm glad to hear his reflux is controlled with just Zantac, we had to use Prevacid and Maloox also.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Please find a local health department and fill out the paper work for WIC. They give you free formula and when the baby is older they add other things to it like dry cereal then when he's 1 they switch to several gallons of milk, cheese, peanut butter, bread, and many other things. It's a wonderful program that many women use even if they are married.

It is dependent on income. A family of 3 can make well over $30K per year and get WIC> Please just find out if it's something you can do.

IF YOU CAN get it have the doc write a prescription for the Allimentum. If the doc won't then change docs until you find one that will.

Obviously it works for your child. It is not the "most" expensive formula but I think it's one of the top 3.

It is ridiculously expensive.

Most asked questions about WIC in MO.
Income guidelines for WIC.

Just more basic information for services in your state

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

I think a big part of the problem is that you keep switching back and forth, of course his tummy is getting upset. Just stick with what works and stop switching him back and forth.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Wow, as if it's not exhausting enough caring for a newborn, add to that one with reflux and allergy issues - I'm sure you are tired. I know, I had similar issues with my now 11-month-old.
What worked for us was giving him Zantac daily and finding the right formula. For him, the "right" formula was actually a combo of Similac (orange and white can) AND Nutramigen. Giving him just Similac didn't work as that was the one to which he had an allergy, but he preferred the taste/smell of it to Nutramigen, which does have a strong scent. As an older baby, he took 1 scoop Similac and 3 scoops Nutramigen. It gets pretty expensive buying both formulas, so I signed up for both companies' customer programs to receive coupons and rebate offers.
I hope your little one is sleeping better now! Once we got mine on Zantac and his special formula combo, he started sleeping through the night 6 hours! At 11 months, he no longer takes Zantac.
Hope this helps!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

What does it matter if he's allergic to Enfamil? The two formulas are different as you've discovered. I suggest that nutrition is not a part of med school and unless his doctor has had experience with the two products he wouldn't know. You did good checking the labels.

I would stay with the Alimentum. His symptoms are serious, causing all of you discomfort and stress. Your baby has a medical condition that is improved with Alimentum. If your baby needed a drug would you not give it to him because it was expensive?

My granddaughter was allegic to milk protein and took one of those. Her pediatrician tested her. Perhaps yours doesn't test because of the cost. A test isn't needed at this point because you've found what works. Give him what works. Stop going back and forth. Yes, it costs more. Providing what a child needs to have good health is our responsibility as parents.

if you aren't using the powder and mixing it yourself, do that. It's much less expensive.

My grandaughter was on WIC who paid for the Alimentum after the doctor wrote a prescription. Your insurance may pay also pay for it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Why are you switching back n forth? Just use the Similac if that shows no reaction?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

It's been a few years, but I do remember how expensive formula is! It's even more expensive if your child can't have the basic version.

Have you tried the store brands? I'm pretty sure most of the time there were 2 versions - one that said "Compared to Similac" and another that said "Compared to Enfamil." We were blessed with kids that could take the basic version of either one, but you could check to see if your local store has one that is "Compared to Similac Alimentum."

Everley makes a good point. Check with your insurance company. You never know what they might pay for!
It is also


answers from Columbia on

We don't qualify for WIC, my insurance doesn't cover it, and there are no generic or store brands unfortunately. We'll bite the bullet a deal with the cost (8, 4 ounce bottles a day is costing about $80/week) if it keeps my baby from being miserable. Our pediatrician had assured us it was fine to switch between brands as they were essentially the same...and even disagrees that he'd be allergic to one and not the other. Otherwise we wouldn't have switched back and forth. Now that we've figured out that the Enfamil Nutramigen makes him miserable, we won't be giving it to him anymore.



answers from Albuquerque on

Check with your health insurance company - many will cover Nutramigen or Alimentum. And the companies themselves will send coupons if you ask.

He probably has a milk intolerance. Allergies to milk are really really rare in infants. I have a daughter who had severe refulx and a milk intolerance and going to a chiroprator helped tremendously. For infants they basically just do massage, nothing like cracking backs.

Good luck!


answers from Columbia on

Look at the labels. What does Enfamil have in it that Similac doesn't?

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