There are lots of reasons why moms choose to formula-feed their babies.
Whatever the reasons, this post is a guide to help you choose between Alimentum vs Nutramigen and get started with formula feeding.
Nutramigen and Alimentum are among the special baby formulas. These are formulas that are given to babies who are predisposed to developing allergies, maybe because mom, dad, or siblings have or have had allergies, childhood eczema, etc.
Let’s take a look at their similarities and differences, so you can find the best baby formula for your little one.
Read next: 10 best bottle warmers (for all budgets!)
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Table of Contents
What is a hypoallergenic formula?
A hypoallergenic baby formula provides your baby with all their needed nutrients, while also avoiding the milk protein which some of our little ones find difficult to process.
This milk protein can be found in regular baby formula, as well as breast milk. If your baby is having trouble processing that protein, a hypoallergenic formula like Nutramigen or Alimentum can be the solution to their allergy issues.
The question, when comparing Alimentum vs Nutramigen, is: which is better for your baby?
That’s what we’re going to answer now. To do that, let’s look at both Nutramigen and Alimentum: their ingredients, pros, and cons, before we compare Nutramigen vs Alimentum and decide which one your baby needs.
Nutramigen is one of the most popular hypoallergenic baby formulas on the market. As their website explains, “Nutramigen with LGG® is an extensively hydrolyzed formula for the dietary management of infants with mild to moderate cow’s milk allergy.”
Nutramigen is a nutritional baby formula. Nutramigen ingredients include (but are not limited to): vitamins A, D, E, and K; calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and potassium.
The pros of Nutramigen include:
- Natural nutrients found in breast milk, including DHA and ARA help with brain and eye development
- A quality product made by a trustworthy formula brand
- Dairy-free, meaning a lower likelihood of gas and upset digestion
- Soy-free, meaning it is safe for babies with a milk-soy protein intolerance (MSPI)
- Quickly fights issues of colic and gas within 48 hours of feeding it to your baby
- Probiotics, which heal and strengthen the intestine, are included in the formula
The cons of Nutramigen include:
- A high cost, compared to standard, traditional baby formulas (though when comparing Alimentum vs Nutramigen, cost is negligible)
- Bad smell and taste can lead to some babies refusing the Nutramigen formula
Alimentum formula is another popular brand of formula that serves as an excellent solution for babies with a milk protein allergy.
As their website states, “Alimentum is an extensively hydrolyzed formula (eHF), which means that the cow’s milk protein you typically find in standard babies formula has been broken into small fragments.”
The pros of Alimentum include:
- A very fast reaction against an upset stomach, able to fight against colic and gas as quickly as 24 hours after consumption
- Made by a reliable brand that is often preferred by hospitals and doctors
- Includes pre-broken-down proteins that are easier for your baby to absorb
The cons of Alimentum include:
- Higher cost when compared to standard baby formulas. However, when comparing the cost of the Alimentum formula with Nutramigen, they are virtually identical
- A lack of appetizing smell and taste, due to the proteins being pre-digested, which removes the natural sweetness of the formula
How do they compare?
We’ve taken a look at these hypoallergenic formulas separately, but now let’s compare Nutramigen versus Alimentum to see how they stack up against each other.
This will give you the clearest picture of which is best for your baby: Alimentum vs Nutramigen.
When comparing Alimentum vs Nutramigen ingredients, both of these hypoallergenic formulas include all the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals (including vitamins A, D, E, and K, calcium, iron, and zinc) that your baby needs until they are 1 year old.
It is extremely unlikely for a baby to experience a Nutramigen milk allergy. However, Alimentum contains soy, which some babies find difficult to digest.
As I said when discussing the Alimentum ingredients vs Nutramigen ingredients, the range and rate of nutritional vitamins and minerals in both formulas are excellent.
One small difference between Alimentum and Nutramigen is that Alimentum has a slightly higher fat content, containing 5.5g of fat compared to Nutramigen’s 5.3g of fat.
Both formulas have been shown to react against upset stomachs within 48 hours, though feedback has shown that Alimentum can react as quickly as 24 hours, making it the faster-acting formula.
Likewise, when comparing Alimentum vs Nutramigen for reflux, both can be equally effective.
Compared to ordinary formulas, both of these hypoallergenic formulas are expensive. Comparing Alimentum vs Nutramigen, however, shows that they are almost identical in price.
When comparing Alimentum vs Nutramigen taste, both formulas include pre-digested proteins. This is good for digestion but also leads to a bit of a sour taste, meaning neither of these hypoallergenic formulas tastes as good as the regular formula.
Which is better – Alimentum vs Nutramigen?
As you’ve probably seen by now, when comparing Alimentum vs Nutramigen, they prove to be very similar hypoallergenic baby formulas. Both include all the required vitamins and nutrients your baby needs. Both have a high cost, and both lack sweetness.
However, due to Nutramigen also being soy-free and including a probiotic, its effectiveness as a hypoallergenic formula wins out against Alimentum.
Nutramigen vs Alimentum FAQ
Here are some of the most popular questions concerning Alimentum vs Nutramigen.
Which is the best formula for a colic baby?
Both formulas are specially designed to help colic babies. Because colic can be caused by struggles with digestion, Nutramigen may be preferred due to it also including a probiotic.
Where can I buy a hypoallergenic formula?
Both formulas can be acquired at certain supermarkets or via online pharmacies. However, your cheapest option for Alimentum and Nutramigen is going to be Amazon.
How long does it take for the formula to start working?
If your baby is struggling with colic or digestive issues, both Alimentum and Nutramigen have been proven to work within 48 hours. Alimentum, however, has been shown to work as quickly as 24 hours after feeding.
What should I do if my baby rejects the hypoallergenic formula?
If your baby rejects one formula, you can try feeding them the other. If they reject both, contact your healthcare professional for advice.
When you introduce your baby to baby formula, make sure they’re hungry and thirsty. Try to be positive during the meal as your child may react to your body language, like facial expressions and the sound of your voice.
How to prepare the baby formula
- Before preparing, make sure to wash your hands with soap
- Boil fresh water (it needs to be 100 C degrees), then let it cool to room temperature before pouring it into a clean bottle
- Use the measuring spoon to pour the required amount (follow the label or guidelines from your doctor)
- Seal the bottle and shake until the formula is fully dissolved (this should take one minute)
- Check the temperature with your wrist before feeding
How to bottle feed
The meal should be safe and cozy for both you and your baby. Make sure that you’re both sitting comfortably, and that the child has his stomach towards you, and that the neck is not turned, as this may make it difficult for the child to swallow.
Try to avoid getting air in the pacifier when you feed your baby, and take frequent breaks so that your baby can burp. A meal typically lasts 15-20 minutes, but can of course last shorter or longer depending on the child’s appetite.
How to clean the bottle
It’s important to keep the feeding bottles clean. Each time your baby has been given a bottle, pour out the remaining milk to prevent bacteria from forming in the bottle.
You can clean the feeding bottle with salt, which is rubbed on the pacifier and the bottle to remove milk residues. Then boil the bottle for a few minutes to disinfect it. It can also be done in a machine wash at 65 degrees, or you can get yourself a sterilizer for feeding bottles.
Why was Similac Alimentum discontinued?
Similac Alimentum was recalled due to consumer complaints about bacterial infections in infants, specifically related to Cronobacter sakazakii or Salmonella Newport. For details on the recall, see the FDA’s announcement.
What is different about Alimentum?
Alimentum is a hypoallergenic infant formula designed for babies with food allergies or sensitivity to cow’s milk protein.
It features hydrolyzed protein, which is broken down into smaller pieces to be easier to digest and less likely to cause an allergic reaction.
Alimentum also includes DHA for brain development and is lactose-free to cater to babies with lactose intolerance.