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Similac Advance VS Pro Advance: Complete Comparison

For a lot of mothers out there, the topic of breastfeeding has been of major interest. Many find the decision to breastfeed very subjective; for some, the demands and attention dedicated to breastfeeding may not be convenient, others do not feel comfortable with breastfeeding in public.

Often times, mothers may look to other sources of food for their babies, foods that retain all the benefits of real-time breastfeeding or as close as possible. In this article, we’ll be comparing two of the more popular breast milk replacement formulas; the Similac Advance and the Similac Pro Advance. (link to amazon)

What is the difference between Similac Advance and Similac Pro Advance? Similac advance and Pro advance are infant formulas designed for babies/infants who do not have problems with cow’s milk. Both formulas are fundamentally the same, but some slight differences set them apart. The Similac Advance is treated with r-BST cow milk while the Pro Advance is made with non-r-BST cow milk.

Another major difference is that the Pro Advance avoids genetically engineered ingredients as compared to the Similac Advance where ingredients are sometimes found in genetically engineered plants/animals. The last major difference is that the Pro Advance contains HMO, which is a prebiotic found in real breast milk.

Over the years, many infant formulas have been in production, and mothers all around have been grateful for the benefits these formulas provide their infants. As this article continues, we’ll take a look at what makes the Similac products so special.

What is Similac Advance and Pro Advance?

Similac Advance and Similac Pro Advance are infant formulas that are specifically designed to meet the feeding needs of the infant child.

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Mothers are generally supposed to breastfeed their infants, but there are some certain conditions or reasons that may hinder a mother from breastfeeding her infant; due to some medical conditions, some mothers may find it difficult to provide milk for the infant, others may not have the opportunity of time or space for breastfeeding.

The Similac products were created to help with many of these inadequacies and still maintain –  as close as possible – all the inherent benefits of breastfeeding for the infant.

The Similac products are available in two forms; the liquid form, which is very handy and easily accessible, and the classical powder form.

Differences Between Similac Advance & Pro Advance

As it was mentioned earlier, both products are fundamentally the same when speaking about their ingredients; the difference in ingredients stems from the sources. For the Similac Advance formula (made with rBST cow’s milk), the sources of the ingredient used are from GMO [Genetically Modified Organism].

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These ingredients gotten from the GMO are genetically engineered to produce the desired effects that are witnessed when this product is used i.e. the organism – be it plant or animal – the ingredients were extracted from are not naturally occurring.

In the case of Similac Pro Advance (made with non-rBST cow’s milk), the ingredients used are purely GMO free, the sources of the ingredients are from naturally occurring plants and animals.

Similac Advance VS Pro Advance

Treated with r-BST Not treated rBST cow’s milk
2’FL Human Milk Oligosaccharide (HMO) is absent 2’FL Human Milk Oligosaccharide (HMO) is present
Made with GMO ingredients Made with non-GMO ingredients
Contains OptiGRO ingredients Contains OptiGRO ingredients
Side effects such as spitting up, gas etc. are mitigated Side effects such as spitting up, gas etc. are mitigated


Recombinant bovine somatotrophin is a genetically engineered form of Bovine Somatotrophin, a hormone produced by the pituitary glands found in cows.

It is given to cows to increase or lengthen the duration of their peak milk production; when a cow begins to lactate, its milk production days last for about 70 days, after which it goes dry till the next lactation. Administering r-BST to a cow will help to increase its milk production period.

The main Ingredient Used In Similac Advance and Pro Advance?

Below is a list of some key ingredients of the Similac products. It should be noted that since both products have the same key ingredients, the list will have just one ingredient per list of each product.

2’FL Human Milk Oligosaccharide (HMO): The HMO is a naturally occurring substance in humans which is exclusive to breast milk, it is very important to the growth and overall health of an infant as it serves as food for bacteria found in the gut. The intestinal bacteria help to guarantee a healthy intestinal flora in the infant and also reduce the risk of intestinal infections.

HMO’s also play a vital role in an infant’s health as it influences the actions of some cells of the immune system, reducing inflammatory responses. Another benefit of HMO to an infant is the supply of Salic acid it gives. Salic acid is very important to the development of a child’s brain and mental capabilities.

NB: Only the Similac Pro Advance contains the prebiotic iron HMO. The Similac Advance also contains a prebiotic, it is not the HMO found in human breast milk.

DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid): This is one of the omega-3 fatty acids that is found in man. It is responsible for the growth and maintenance of the brain and eyes. In infants, DHA is of extreme importance, it helps to optimize the rapid growth and development that takes place in infants and children in early childhood.

Lutein: This is a carotenoid found in plants, it has high antioxidant properties. Lutein stores in the eye (the retina) and it helps absorb blue light. It also serves as a protector to DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) from the effects of free radicals found in the body. Lutein also improves some brain processes such as visual memory, reasoning, memory, learning, etc.

Vitamin E: This is a basic but important nutrient that also serves as an antioxidant, protecting cells from free radicals.

What Is Similac Pro Advance?

Similac Pro Advance is a formula used for infants as a replacement for breast milk, it helps nursing mothers who, due to one condition or the other, are not able to breastfeed, or provide natural breast milk for their infants.

Similac Pro Advance is designed to meet the infant’s breast milk needs as close as possible, it contains HMO which is a substance found in human breast milk that boosts health, growth, and development of the infant.

The importance of breast milk to an infant cannot be stressed enough. It is essential to an infant’s overall health and development and nursing mothers should ensure to breastfeed their infants.

Some situations may arise where a nursing mother is indisposed to breastfeeding; it is advised that if in any such situation, breast milk formulas are used instead.

Similac Pro Advanced is among the best formulas as it is engineered towards emulating the characteristics of real breast milk, even if it comes in powdered form, it is dense enough to pass for breast milk to an infant.

Pro Advance is probably the closest to breast milk one can get to buy and side effects or allergies are yet to be seen. It is treated with OptiGRO, an all-inclusive mixture of vital ingredients and nutrients found in breast milk.

Common side effects like spitting up, constipation and gas are reduced to the barest minimum; hospitals employ its use in feeding their newborn babies, and it is recommended for you use by certified health organizations.

Is Similac Pro Advance Better For My Baby Than Similac Advance?

Both products are actually quite effective and technically the same despite their differences. The effectiveness of the Pro was measured against that of the Original and it was found that there were no visible differences in effects.

Parents who do not trust genetically prepared foods are generally loath to consume such products, and since Similac Advance is treated with some genetically engineered ingredients, it stood to reason that a variant that had no GMO ingredient in it was introduced, although, there is no difference between the two in terms of effectiveness.

What Quantity Is Enough For An Infant In One Sitting?

Making a Similac concoction for your infant is an important step in getting it right. Most infant formulas come with labels that contain instructions on preparing a mixture for your infant; those instructions should be followed closely.

The quantity to be taken varies from one infant child to another, each individual child is unique, and so it may be difficult to say for certain in what amounts an infant should consume at once.

As time passes, your infant will grow older and he or she will be able to take in more food than was usually the limit as an infant. Pay close attention to your child for signs of hunger or satisfaction when feeding, it is also best to allow the infant control the feeding intake as this may help you to recognize when to stop feeding them.

Communication with your infant may be difficult, be patient and try to follow cues they give while feeding. A guide is given below as seen on the Similac website as to the quantity of mixture for your infant.

Age Total per day
  A steady increase from:
Within the first week 180ml to 600ml (6 to 20 oz)
2 to 3 months 450ml to 800ml (15 to 27 oz)
4 to 6 months 850ml to 1000ml (28 to 33 oz)
7 to 12 months 750ml to 850ml (25 to 28 oz)

Varies depending on the amount of solid food that the baby eats.

Your infant child may be able to devour more or less than the next infant child, but there is always a noticeable amount they can take in at any given time, take that into consideration when mixing.

How Long Can I Keep Feeding My Child Similac Advance?

Breast milk is important to a child’s early health and growth; it is advised that mothers expressly give their infant’s breast milk till about six months, after which they may decide to introduce some solid food. This doesn’t mean the child stops receiving breast milk; you’ll be supplementing it with the introduction of solid foods.

For the infant formula, you may stop feeding your child solely with Similac in a bottle after 12 months, after which you can introduce full cream milk from a cup. You may continue the routine, steadily increasing the solidity level of other foods you feed the child.

Which Tastes More Like Breast Milk?

One of the many great benefits of using Similac products is their strong resemblance to breast milk. Instinctively, an infant may be able to tell the difference between real breast milk and formula and may decide it doesn’t want a formula because it doesn’t feel like breast milk.

This may be a big problem as often times, for some mothers, infant formulas are the solutions to their challenges. Similac excels in this part, it not only copies to a large extent the components of real breast milk, but it also feels like it, the closest in taste to breast milk or at least, but the babies also agree with it.

Related Questions

Is any of the Similac advance infant formula a good replacement for breast milk? There is no true replacement for breast milk, but if the situation demands that breast milk isn’t readily available, the yes, these are the closest you can get to breast milk, for now.

Can I supplement feeding my infant breast milk with any of the Similac formula? Yes, you can. It is actually advised to if possible, the infant formula can only do so much, supplementing it with breast milk will do a lot for your child’s health.

How readily available is the Similac Advance Infant formula? The Similac advance and the Similac Pro Advance are available online and at stores.

Monica Lawrence

I’m Monica, a single mother who’s raising two beautiful angels. Here, I share helpful and creative articles and how-to’s for all the busy, multitasking moms.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Genavie

    So i discovered the difference between gentle ease and sensitive enfomieal is gentle ease is for babies with protein intolerant and sensitive is for babies with lactose intolerance it is also processed differently causingit to molecularly brake down easy helping with digestion. my son is lactose intolerant it makes a large difference to know exactly what it is bothering your baby so you can effectively choose the best options for your baby. I need to know if it is the

    1. Genavie

      I also want to know if it is the same with similac so i have a better understanding of how to help my child fast and effectively. Knowing what and how it could effect my child and how there feeling, with out developing or creating more issues if avoidable. I dont like the thought
      of random trial and error. I can do more for them by just locating acurate detaild information about how its made and with what ingredient differences
      like protiens and enzymes. specialy with how fast everything changes. and possibility of developing more complications and/or growing out of other baby is not a test rabbit. I need simple and easy to ready and clear understanding of the facts and details.

      1. Monica

        Both Enfamil Gentlease and Sensitive are formulas for babies that are sensitive to lactose but not allergic to it. The Enfamil Gentlease is similar to Similac Sensitive but it does contain lactose when Similac Sensitive doesn’t contain lactose. So, with Enfamil Gentlease your baby will still get lactose in a reduced dose but with Similac Sensitive they will stay lactose free. The same stands for Enfamil Sensitive. Because these Enfamil formulas contain lactose, you might want to try Similac Sensitive which is lactose free. There are also plant-based formulas that will keep your baby away from any animal ingredients. It depends on the degree of lactose intolerance they have. If they are just sensitive to lactose then Similac Sensitive is the best option. If they are allergic to lactose then definitely go for a plant-based formula.
        Digestion wise is all these formulas should be good for your baby. But keep in mind that all babies are different and you need to be patient and discover what your little one prefers too. Hope this was helpful!

  2. Miriam Jimenez

    I’ve been using Similac Advance since my baby was 4 days old. I noticed him struggling to poop over the last few days. He is really fussy, cries, grunts and hasn’t slept well. I occasionally give him breast milk bottle. When I do, I notice he’s able to pass gas and poop. Do you recommend I switch him to the pro advance? Or another one? Thank You in advance for your help.

    1. Monika Dimitrovska

      Similac Pro Advance comes with more advanced ingredients compared to its original version. The key difference is the ingredient used. Similac Pro Advance is made with non-rBST cows’ milk. You can switch to Similac Pro Advance and see if positively affects your baby. Some parents would argue that Enfamil Enspire is a better comparison to Similac formulas with the 2′ -FL HMO. Comparing Enspire vs Similac Pro Advance with 2′-FL HMO puts the formula from each brand that’s closest to actual breastmilk up against each other. Explore your options and try different products to find the one that works the best for your baby. Hope this helps. Have a lovely day.

  3. Cynthia

    You could also add that some mothers can’t breast feed due to adoption and/or foster care.

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