Similac formulations (by Abbott) are nearly similar to human breast milk in terms of nutrition, taste, and texture. That’s why it is a highly trusted formula milk brand than other milk formulations in the market.
The Similac Advance and Pro Advance have almost identical compositions which makes it confusing for moms to choose between them.
After digging deep into the ingredients of both the baby products, we have compared Similac Advance vs Pro Advance in detail to help you make an informed choice.
Is Similac Advance And Pro Advance The Same
Both Similac Advance and Pro Advance provide a complete nutritional package to your baby for up to 12 months. Before comparing both, let’s learn about the similarities between Similac Advance and Pro Advance.
#1. The OptiGRO Formula
The OptiGRO formula of Similac Advance and Pro Advance is a blend of 3 ingredients: DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), Lutein, and Vitamin E. These compounds are necessary for proper eye and brain development in babies along with strong immunity.
All of the above 3 ingredients are naturally present in the mother’s milk. Therefore, Abbott laboratories have used the same blend in Similac to ensure similarity with breast milk. For this reason, Similac is easily accepted by most infants.
#2. Cow’s Milk
It’s important to know that both are derived from cow’s milk. So if your baby has Galactosemia, you should consider other products such as soy milk based or just consult with your pediatrician.
#3. Added Prebiotics and Iron
The Similac Advance and Pro Advance contain prebiotics that help in the easy absorption of proteins present in cow’s milk, such as whey protein or casein.
Moreover, both the formulas are iron-fortified which ensures a proper supply of oxygen to all parts of the body.
#4. Non-GMO Ingredients
Non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) means that their ingredients are extracted from all-natural sources.
For example, the cow’s milk is derived from non-rBST treated (recombinant bovine somatotropin) cows.
#5. No Added Artificial Growth Hormones
Both of the products do not contain any synthetic growth hormones and are free from palm oil. As palm oil is not present, formula milk provides more calcium to the body for the development of bones and teeth.
Apart from the above similarities, every serving of Similac Advance or Pro Advance contains standard amounts of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and calcium required for your baby to grow healthy and strong.
Difference Between Similac Advance And Pro Advance
Despite the above similarities, there are a few significant differences between Similac Advance and Pro Advance formulations that you need to consider.
The major difference is the addition of 2’- FL HMO (Fucosyllactose Human Milk Oligosaccharides) in Pro Advance, which is lacking in Similac Advance.
2’- FL HMOs are prebiotics naturally present in the mother’s milk. They help grow good bacteria in the gut of the babies which strengthen the gut health and immune response in babies.
Studies suggest that breastfed babies have stronger immunity than non-breastfed babies. This stronger immunity is attributed to the presence of 2’-FL HMOs in the mother’s milk.
As explained by Rachael Buck, Ph.D. and Immunology expert at Abbott, the 2′-FL HMO in Pro Advance formula is bio-structurally identical to the HMOs found in mother’s milk. This feature adds to the higher price of Pro Advance than Similac Advance.
Also, the Pro Advance formula has more Inositol (24mg) composition than Similac Advance (4.7mg). Inositol helps regulate blood sugar in babies and plays a role in improving immune response.
These extra ingredients result in minor taste and consistency differences between Pro Advance and Similac Advance. Thus the sensitive kids may get annoyed with any taste, while some may readily accept them.
Which Is Better- Similac Advance Vs Pro Advance
As both formulas are similar in so many ways, it becomes difficult to say which is better. Even the packing of Similac Advance and Pro Advance can tie the result.
But from the above information, we can consider Similac Pro-Advance as it contains 2’- FL HMOs, making it closer to real breast milk in terms of better immunity and strength.
The Pro formula has won its place in terms of taste as well. The Similac Pro Advance, due to nutritional similarities with breastmilk, has very efficiently emulated its taste as well. Hence this feature aids in the easy transition from breastfeeding to formula feed.
Regarding the price of both the products, the Pro Advance is slightly costlier($28.99 for a 20.6 oz tub or $1.41 per oz) than Similac Advance($26.99 for a 20.6 oz tub or $1.31 per oz).
All of the above factors point in favor of Pro Advance, except for the price. However, the choice is wholly yours or what goes well with your baby. Every child is different and the taste, smell, consistency, and even temperature of the formula feed add up to the preferences of the baby.
Similac Pro Advance Vs 360 Total Care
Similac has introduced a new formulation with the name 360 Total Care. As from the same parent company, the basic nutritional blend or Optigro formula goes the same with this product also.
Similac 360 Total Care has been stated as the closest milk formula to mother’s milk ever. It contains a total of 5 different FL HMOs, which are identical to the HMOs found in breast milk.
Also to mention, Similac 360 Total Care formula is available in only ready-to-use formulations. Now you won’t need to rush for mix water with powdered milk.
To understand the difference between Pro Advance and 360 Total Care, please refer to the image below.
It is best to use Similac Advance along with breast milk in newborns. As the FL HMOs are regularly being supplied through the mother’s milk, you need not add them to the diet. It will also save you a few bucks.
The same option of Similac Advance applies if your kid has received sufficient breastfeeding or at least 6 initial months.
The Pro Advance formula serves best for babies who did not receive breastfeeding ever. Why not benefit from the goodness of human breast milk, if we have a very similar composition?
In such cases, even the higher price of Pro Advance can be ignored regarding nutritional benefits.
It is recommended to gradually transform from breast milk to formula milk. You can start initially by mixing breast milk with formula milk and slowly replacing it with whole formula feed. This process will allow your baby to easily accept the new diet.