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There are so many high quality infant formulas on the market. It’s no wonder parents (let alone, new parents) have such a tough time figuring out which baby formula is best for their infants. After all, each brand and formulation have similarities and differences, so how can you narrow down the selection? In this article, we’ll break down how Similac brand non-specialty formulas compare to Bobbie baby formula.
Similac vs Bobbie: Who Are These Formula Brands?
Bobbie Organic Baby Formula:
Bobbie organic infant formula was launched in 2019 by moms (just like you) looking for a new, organic product to sell to the US market. Bobbie prides itself in local sourcing, local production (Vermont and Ohio), and being a mom-founded, mom-led brand. Best of all, Bobbie is organic, non-GMO, and European style.
For those who don’t already know, European formulas regulate a bit differently than American formulas. You can read more about their differences here.
Bobbie has received the Clean Label Project Purity Award and Pesticide Free certification. It’s manufactured by Perrigo, a manufacturer that’s been in the formula game for over 30 years. Bobbie is primarily available through a unique subscription service as well as in select stores (such as Target, yay!).
Similac Baby Formulas:
Similac, on the other hand, is owned by Abbott Laboratories. They came to the market over 90 whopping years ago. They manufacture over 75 labels of formula plus other major brands like Pedialyte® and PediaSure®.
Abbott Laboratories also manufactures a wide variety of other medical-based products such as leading cardiovascular, diagnostics, and neuromodulatory medical devices. You’ve probably seen many of their infant formulas in local retail stores across the US. Many are also available through WIC programs for low-income families.
Fast forward to current times in 2022, the FDA announced a warning that prompted a voluntary baby formula recall of certain Similac formulas. This has led to massive panic and worry from so many parents desperately searching for formula alternatives to their normally used Similac brand. If you think your formula may have been affected, let your healthcare professional know so that they can assist you.
It’s also imperative to always refer to the manufacturer’s website for the most accurate and up-to-date product details such as recalls, ingredient changes, and more!
Are All Infant Formulas FDA approved?
All infant formulas manufactured and sold in the United States are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA sets minimum nutritional requirements that all infant formula brands must meet. The FDA also sets Good Manufacturing Practices, Quality Control Procedures, Quality Factors, Notification Requirements, and Records and Reports guidelines for infant formula manufacturers.
I know it sounds like a lot, but these requirements are designed to help ensure the safety of infant formula production and distribution.
Comparing Routine Formulas: Bobbie® vs. Similac Advance® and Similac Pro-Advance vs. Similac 360 Total Care®
First and foremost, Similac has many different types of formula (not just for babies either), while Bobbie sells only one type of formula.
Similac products’ main “routine” formulas are Similac® Advance, Similac Pro-Advance, and Similac 360 Total Care. Meaning, that these are formulas commonly used for healthy infants, so these are the ones you’ll usually see flying off the shelves. So you might be wondering, how do these staple formulas compare to Bobbie?
Here’s what they have in common — Bobbie, Similac® Advance, Similac Pro-Advance, and Similac 360 Total Care are all:
- Contain DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and ARA (arachidonic acid). DHA and ARA are fatty acids that are present in breast milk.
Unlike Similac® Advance, Bobbie is organic and non-GMO.
How are these formulas available?
- Similac Advance is available in ready-to-feed, liquid concentrate, and powder forms.
- Bobbie is available only as a powder.
Similac vs Bobbie, Whey to Casein Ratio:
The whey to casein ratio can vary in baby formulas. Bobbie has a 60:40 whey protein to casein ratio (with the intent to be closest to breast milk). Meanwhile, Similac routine formulas compared in this article have 48:52.
Comparing Gentle Formulas: Bobbie® vs. Similac Sensitive® and Pro-Sensitive® vs. Pro-Total Comfort®
When it comes to choosing a gentle or sensitive baby formula, one of the common reasons is due to a baby being gassy or fussy. Oftentimes, parents have no idea whether it’s due to the baby formula they’re using or to another reason. However, if your baby is fussy or spitting up a lot, you should have them evaluated by their healthcare provider to rule out any medical problems.
Another reason for sensitive formulas comes down to the fact that some babies have a milk allergy or milk protein intolerance. This means they must use a formula that does not contain cow’s milk protein.
Symptoms often appear as diarrhea, skin rash, blood in their poop or vomiting when they are fed a milk-based formula.
On the other hand, babies with rare genetic conditions, such as galactosemia or congenital lactase deficiency, must have a soy-based formula that is completely lactose-free.
Despite one study suggesting that only about 7.5% of infants medically need a lactose-reduced or lactose-free formula, many parents in the US turn to lactose-reduced formulas to comfort their babies.
Bobbie® vs. Similac Sensitive® and Similac Total Comfort®
When it comes to babies who tend to be gassy or extra fussy, but don’t have a medical issue — most often parents wonder if using a “gentle” formula is best. This is why it’s important to understand how these formulas are created.
In “gentle” and “sensitive” formulas, some of the key differences are due to how the carbohydrate and/or protein are modified.
For example, in Similac Sensitive, they have a modified carbohydrate source. This means instead of lactose being the primary source of carbohydrates, they use corn syrup, sucrose, maltodextrin, and/or other sugars instead. It contains reduced lactose and can be purchased as a powder, ready-to-feed, or liquid concentrate bottle. So if your little one has a lactose sensitivity, this formula was designed to help minimize spit-up and fussiness related to lactose sensitivity.
What about Similac Total Comfort? It is an iron-fortified baby formula made without lactose and with partially hydrolyzed proteins. Like Similac Sensitive, maltodextrin and sugars are used as the primary sources of carbohydrate instead of lactose. Similac Total Comfort is designed to help infants with mild tolerance symptoms such as fussiness and gas due to lactose sensitivity or mild milk protein intolerances by aiding in digestion.
Bobbie® vs. Pro-Sensitive® and Pro-Total Comfort®
If you’re following so far, this part might seem a little confusing, but don’t worry. It’ll make sense in just a minute! You may have seen some of these Similac formulas labeled as “Pro”. Well, Similac has “Pro” versions of each of these formulas that contain the human milk oligosaccharide (HMO) 2’FL — it’s a type of prebiotic that has been clinically shown to support your infant’s immune system and maintain a healthy microbiota.
So what is the actual difference between all of these Similac formulas and Bobbie? Well, the key differences lay in what the formulas are designed for:
- Similac Sensitive and Pro-Sensitive and Pro-Total Comfort are designed to help babies with fussiness, gas, sensitive tummies, and/or mild spit-up by reducing the lactose and/or modifying the protein ingredient. They all have DHA and ARA and are iron-fortified.
- Bobbie, on the other hand, is a baby formula designed for day-to-day, routine use with 100% lactose and intact whey and casein protein. Bobbie is also organic, unlike Similac. Bobbie also has DHA and ARA and are iron-fortified.
Similac for Spit-Up vs. Bobbie
Here’s the thing, all babies spit up. However, there may come a point where parents realize their baby is spitting up a bit more than usual. This could mean the baby is spitting up in large volumes or greater frequency. If you’re reading this and feel concerned about your baby spitting up, please talk to your child’s pediatrician or healthcare provider to determine if they could have a medical problem that needs attention.
Once you find out that your baby’s spit up isn’t caused by a medical issue, you’re probably going to wonder if switching infant formula could help. Again, this is a question you should be discussing with your baby’s healthcare provider so that they can make any recommendations needed.
If you’re told to use Similac for Spit-Up, here is some general information to help you learn a little bit more about this formula: It contains rice starch, an ingredient added to help reduce spit-up.
It also has reduced lactose content and has been shown to reduce the frequency of spit-up by 54% in a clinical study. It is available as a powder, is non-GMO, and contains DHA, ARA, and iron.
Major differences between the two are that:
- Similac for Spit-Up is designed specifically to reduce spit-up with the addition of rice starch and reduced lactose. Similac for Spit-Up is not organic.
- Bobbie is designed for day-to-day routine use with 100% lactose and no added rice starch. Bobbie is organic and non-GMO.
Organic Infant Formula: Bobbie® vs. Similac® Organic Infant Formula vs. Pure Bliss®
Onto our last comparison, Bobbie vs Similac’s Organic Infant Formula. You may not have known this, but Similac does make an organic, non-GMO formula called Similac Organic. They also have an infant formula called Pure Bliss. Pure Bliss is non-GMO (but not organic).
Bobbie is USDA-certified organic and uses milk from Organic Valley® grass-fed cows. Similac Organic is made with USDA-certified organic ingredients. Pure Bliss is Non-GMO and made with milk from grass-fed cows.
All three of these formulas contain DHA and ARA and are lactose-based and iron-fortified.
Similac Organic and Similac Pure Bliss are both available in powder forms, while Similac Organic is also available as a ready-to-feed bottle.
How do Similac Formulas Compare to Bobbie Baby Formula?
If you couldn’t already tell from this article, infant formulas contain numerous similarities and differences. That’s what makes them so tricky to choose from at times, they’re all different formulas.
Being able to understand what these ingredients mean and why they were formulated the way they are is the key to choosing the right baby formula for your infant.
As stated earlier in this article, Bobbie formulas were made for day-to-day routine use. It’s USDA-certified organic, Kosher, uses milk from Organic Valley® grass-fed cows, contains DHA and ARA, and is lactose-based and iron-fortified. Lactose is the #1 ingredient on the ingredient label, something certain parents look for specifically.
If you think Bobbie Infant formula could be the best choice for your baby, be sure to discuss this formula change with your child’s healthcare provider. You can even bring them this article! And don’t forget to always check the manufacturer’s website for up-to-date product information and/or recalls.
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