Expert Advice

Similac® vs Bobbie® Comparison for New Dads

dad and baby

With so many high quality infant formulas on the market, it can be tough to figure out the similarities and differences between types and brands. With all of the different advice coming from your community, how do you know which is right for your baby? Dads and caregivers – we’re here to break down what you need to know about how Similac brand non-speciality formulas compare to Bobbie baby formula.¹,²

Bobbie organic baby formula:

Bobbie organic infant formula launched in 2019 by moms looking for a new, organic product to sell to the US market. They pride themselves in local sourcing, local production (Vermont and Ohio) and in being a mom-founded, mom-led brand. Bobbie is organic, non-GMO and European style. They have received the Clean Label Project Purity Award and Pesticide Free certification. Bobbie is manufactured by Perrigo, a manufacturer that has been in the formula game for more than 30 years. Bobbie is primarily available through subscription service as well as in select stores. 

Similac baby formulas:

Similac, owned by Abbott Laboratories, was created over 90 years ago. They manufacture more than 75 labels of formula as well as other major brands like Pedialyte® and PediaSure®. In addition to formula, pediatric and nutrition products, Abbott Laboratories manufactures a wide variety of other products including leading cardiovascular, diagnostics, and neuromodulatory medical devices. Their infant formulas are available in retail stores across the US and by recurring subscription. Some are also available through WIC programs. 

In 2022, the FDA announced a warning that prompted a voluntary baby formula recall of certain Similac formulas. Speak to your healthcare provider if you think your formula may have been affected.

Always refer to the manufacturer’s website for the most accurate and up-to-date product details.

Are All Infant Formulas FDA approved?

All infant formula that is manufactured and sold in the United States is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).3 The FDA sets minimum requirements of certain nutrients 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. These requirements are designed to help ensure the safety of infant formula.

Comparing Routine Formulas: Bobbie® vs. Similac Advance® and Similac Pro-Advance vs. Similac 360 Total Care®  

The first thing you need to know is that Similac has many different types of formula, while Bobbie sells only one type of formula. As far as Similac products go, their main “routine” formulas are Similac® Advance, Similac Pro-Advance and Similac 360 Total Care. So how do these staple formulas compare to Bobbie? 

Bobbie, Similac® Advance, Similac Pro-Advance and Similac 360 Total Care are all lactose-based, iron-fortified and contain DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and ARA (arachidonic acid). DHA and ARA are fatty acids that are present in breast milk. 

Bobbie is organic and non-GMO in contrast to Similac’s routine formulas. Bobbie is available in powder form. Similac’s routine formulas are available in ready-to-feed and powder form.

Whey to casein ratio:

The whey to casein ratio varies in baby formulas. Bobbie has 60:40, which is closest to breast milk. The Similac routine formulas compared here have 48:52.

Bobbie® Similac Advance®Similac Pro-Advance®Similac®  360 Total Care®   
Organic
non-GMO
CarbohydrateLactoseLactoseLactoseLactose
ProteinIntactIntactIntactIntact
HMO*
Whey:Casein 60:4048:5248:5248:52
Can size14.1oz36oz36oz30.8 oz
Price per can**$26$39$39$34

Comparing Gentle Formulas: Bobbie® vs. Similac Sensitive® and Pro-Sensitive® vs. Pro-Total Comfort®

Another frequent concern that parents have is whether their baby has more gas or fussiness than expected for an infant and if this is because of their formula. Just like babies who seem to spit up a lot, a baby that seems more fussy than usual should be evaluated by their healthcare provider to make sure they don’t have a medical problem. 

Some babies have a milk allergy or milk protein intolerance, which means they must change to a formula that does not contain cow’s milk protein.⁶ These infants will have symptoms like diarrhea, skin rash, blood in their poop or vomiting when they are fed a milk-based formula. These infants require a specialized formula that is usually recommended by their healthcare provider. Babies with rare genetic conditions, such as galactosemia or congenital lactase deficiency, must have formula that is completely lactose free, such as a soy-based formula.

Many parents in the US turn to lactose-reduced formula, although one study suggested that only about 7.5% of infants medically need a lactose-reduced or lactose-free formula.⁷ 

Bobbie® vs. Similac Sensitive® and Similac Total Comfort®

For babies who don’t have a medical issue but seem to be bothered by gas or fussiness, many parents will wonder if a “gentle” or “sensitive” formula can help. In these products, some of the key differences are related to how the carbohydrate and/or protein is modified. 

In Similac Sensitive the carbohydrate source is modified. It is a lactose-reduced formula that comes in powder, liquid concentrate and ready-to-feed forms. Corn syrup, sucrose, maltodextrin and/or sugars are used instead of lactose as the primary sources of carbohydrate. Similac Sensitive is designed to help with fussiness, gas, or mild spit-up due to a lactose sensitivity.

Similac Total Comfort is an iron fortified formula made with partially hydrolyzed proteins and without lactose. Like Similac Sensitive, maltodextrin and sugars are used instead of lactose as the primary sources of carbohydrate. This formula is designed to aid in digestion for infants with mild tolerance symptoms such as fussiness and gas due to lactose sensitivity or mild milk protein intolerances. 

Bobbie® vs. Pro-Sensitive® and Pro-Total Comfort®

Similac also has “Pro” versions of each of these formulas that contain the human milk oligosaccharide (HMO) 2’FL, a type of prebiotic that has been clinically shown to support the immune system and a healthy microbiota.8,9

The major differences between these Similac formulas and Bobbie formula are based on what the formulas are designed for: Similac Sensitive and Pro-Sensitive and Pro-Total Comfort are designed to help with fussiness, gas, and/or mild spit-up by reducing the lactose and/or modifying the protein ingredient. Bobbie is designed for routine use with 100% lactose and intact whey and casein protein. In contrast to Bobbie, these Similac formulas are not organic. All have DHA and ARA and are iron-fortified, just like Bobbie. 

Similac for Spit-Up vs. Bobbie  

While all babies spit up, sometimes parents are concerned that their infant is spitting up too much or is uncomfortable when they spit up. If you are concerned about your baby’s spitting up, it’s important to talk to their healthcare provider so you can determine if it’s just normal baby spit or a medical problem that needs attention.

If your baby’s spitting up isn’t caused by a medical issue, you may wonder if switching infant formula could help. First things first- always talk to your baby’s healthcare provider before changing formula to make sure this is the right option for your baby. 

Similac for Spit-Up contains rice starch, an ingredient added to help reduce spit-up. Similac for Spit-Up also has reduced lactose content. Similac for Spit-Up has been shown to reduce the frequency of spit-up by 54% in a clinical study.⁵ Like Bobbie, 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. Bobbie is designed for routine use with 100% lactose and no added rice starch. Bobbie is organic, while Similac for Spit-Up is not.

Bobbie®*Similac Sensitive®*Similac Pro-Sensitive®* Similac ProTotal ComfortTM*Similac® for Spit-Up*Similac® 360 Total Care® Sensitive*
Organic
non-GMO
Carbohydrate SourceLactoseCorn Syrup, sucroseMaltodextrin, SugarMaltodextrin, SugarCorn syrup, modified rice starch, sugarCorn syrup, sugar
ProteinIntactIntactIntactPartially hydrolyzed  IntactIntact
HMO**
Suitable for lactose sensitivity 
Can size14.1oz29.8oz34.9oz36oz12.3oz29.5
Price per can***$26$35$43$45$26$47

*Not for infants or children with galactosemia

**HMO: Human Milk Oligosaccharide

***Prices may vary

Organic Infant Formula: Bobbie® vs. Similac® Organic Infant Formula vs. Pure Bliss®

Similac does make an organic, non-GMO formula called Similac Organic. They also have a product called Pure Bliss, which 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 products contain DHA and ARA, are lactose-based and iron-fortified. Similac Organic and Similac Pure Bliss are available in powder forms and Similac Organic is also available as a ready-to-feed. 

Bobbie ® Similac ®  OrganicSimilac Pure Bliss ® 
Organic
Milk from grass-fed cowsyesyesyes
non-GMO
Carbohydrate SourceLactoseLactoseLactose
Protein IntactIntactIntact
Can size14.119.5oz24.7oz
Price per can$26$40$30

How do Similac formulas compare to Bobbie baby formula?

There are numerous similarities and differences between infant formulas, and understanding what they all mean is not an easy task. Parents should always discuss any formula changes with their pediatrician. In addition, always refer to the manufacturer’s website for the most up-to-date and accurate product information. 

References

1- Infant and new mother | Abbott Nutrition

2- Our science | Bobbie

3- Questions & answers for consumers concerning infant formula | Food and Drug Administration

4- DHA and ARA addition to infant formula: Current status and future research directions | Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes & Essential Fatty Acids

5- Milk protein-based infant formula containing rice starch and low lactose reduces common regurgitation in healthy term infants: A randomized, blinded, and prospective trial | Journal of the American College of Nutrition

6- Cow’s milk protein intolerance | University of Rochester Medicine

7- Lactose reduced formulas | Oxford Academic

8 – Linking Human Milk Oligosaccharides, Infant Fecal Community Types, and Later Risk To Require Antibiotics

9 – Review of the Clinical Experiences of Feeding Infants Formula Containing the Human Milk Oligosaccharide 2′-Fucosyllactose  

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Written by Jenny Altman

Jenny's passion is in growing mission driven female-focused brands by creating compelling stories through content, partnerships and community campaigns. You can see Jenny's work across publications like Scary Mommy, Milk Drunk and more. To see more articles by Jenny, check out her library of content at https://www.wellandgood.com/author/jaltman/ and https://www.scarymommy.com/profile/jenny-altman-86255194