Enfamil Premium Formula is the first and only infant formula to have both the amount of brain-nourishing inositol and DHA† found in breast milk. Closer to breast milk than ever before, Enfamil Premium Infant is shown to foster learning ability through the age of 5.
Neuro Complete: Helps support a healthy brain. 4 Areas Pediatricians Check for Most: cognitive; motor; communication; social.
Our closest formula to mature breast milk.
The complete formula
This is the formula we received when our baby was born and that our pediatrician recommended. She was nursing and the formula was used as a supplement. We have not tired any other formula so we can't really compare this to anything else. But I can tell that she liked the taste.
The cost of this is comparable everywhere. The advantage of buying from Amazon is that I'm saving on tax. The disadvantage is that I can't use any manufacturer's coupon.
Age Old Question of Enfamil vs Similac vs Others... I Chose Enfamil
Without going into too much detail, as new parents, you try to prepare for your child as much as possible. In our case, we were waiting for the arrival of our baby daughter. My wife planned on breastfeeding but as a precaution, I purchased a single tub of Enfamil for Supplementing and a single tub of Enfamil Newborn Infant Formula as a precautionary measure. After all, you can return unused products to the store. Better safe than sorry is my motto.
It ended up that precautionary step paid off. Unfortunately, the unexpected happened and our daughter was born prematurely due to pregnancy complications during the 3rd trimester. She was in the NICU for 7 days and during that time frame, we visited every 3 hours, every day, for 7 days to nurse her. However, my wife was not producing enough breastmilk and after the first few times nursing, the hospital had to supplement our baby with formula. We asked for Enfamil, but they were a "Similac-sponsored" hospital. Therefore, all they had to give my daughter was Similac products. Even after we brought our daughter home, we had to follow the routine of nursing + formula. They gave us several samples of Similac Advance with the Early Shield logo and my wife and I decided to keep her on it since she was doing well, but around the same time, Similac Advance w/ OptiGRO was released. Stores now carry Similac Advance w/ OptiGRO (Early Shield branded Similac formulas are now gone around my area). I'm not sure how much changed between Similac Advance - Early Shield to Similac Advance - OptiGRO, but when I transition my daughter to the OptiGRO formula, she started having a little bit of constipation. After that bout of constipation, we decided to take a stab to the Enfamil brand. Since the Similac OptiGRO, we've transitioned from Enfamil Supplementing (when my wife was breastfeeding), to Enfamil Newborn, to Enfamil Infant.
So many of you may be asking why I decided to switch to Enfamil. Prior to deciding on Enfamil, I did a lot of research. Much of the research I found were simply just people's opinions, with no scientific/clinical claims to back them up. A lot of the reasoning was "my baby cried/was fussy on formula X, so we switched to formula Y". Simply put, just because a child does well on one does not mean he/she will do well on another formula.
After further research, I learned that much of the differences between formulas out there on the market is based on composition of protein/fats/carbs. I stumbled across a site for a pediatrician named Dr. Sears. Based on his Wiki Bio: William Penton Sears is an American pediatrician and the author or co-author of more than 30 parenting books, most notably several in the "Sears Parenting Library." He is a frequent guest on television talkshows, where he goes by the name Dr. Bill. He and his wife Martha Sears, R.N., are among the leading proponents of the attachment parenting philosophy. He is a medical and parenting consultant for BabyTalk and Parenting magazines and the pediatrician on the website Parenting.com. According to his biography, he has been a guest on more than 100 television shows including: 20/20, Donahue, Good Morning America, Oprah Winfrey, CBS This Morning, CNN, Today Show and Dateline."
Based on his research, he compares 3 major brands: Similac, Enfamil, Carnation. The main difference between these 3 are the whey/casein protein ratios. Each company has their reasoning for such, but in comparison to breast milk, the whey/casein ratios consist of the following:
Similac 48/52 (Previously 18/82 before reformulation)
As you can tell, Carnation & Enfamil claim their formulas are most like human milk, while Similac makes their claims on baby's blood analysis, not what's in the can.
There are five types of vegetable oils used in all baby formulas. These are palm olein, soy, coconut, safflower, and sunflower. Each formula may have different blends of all these oils to comprise of a balances between saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fatty acids to make it most like what is found in breastmilk. Based on Dr. Sears' claims, Enfamil has actually published a study that their product has a fatty acid profile similar to breastmilk.
As for DHA, it used to be a problem back a couple years ago, but most of US-made formulas now have a synthetic version of DHA fatty acids added.
Cholesterol unfortunately, is not found in any formula. Despite hearing bad things about cholesterol as adults, breastmilk actually contains lots of cholesterol and scientific studies show that it's a fat needed for optimal brain development.
Similac & Enfamil both contain 100% lactose-based carbs while Carnation is a 70/30 ratio of lactose/maltodextrin (table sugar). Lactose is the main sugar in breastmilk and the baby's body breaks it down into two simpler sugars, glucose and galactose. Galactose is valuable for brain tissue development while glucose is necessary for blood sugar levels.
While Dr. Sears' research breaks down formulas to basic building blocks of baby development, he acknowledges that nothing, NOTHING, is better than breastmilk. Unfortunately for parents like me and my wife, sometimes you can't always supply enough breastmilk for your child. I'm assuming if you're reading this review, you're considering formula feeding to some degree. This is where baby formula companies can step in. Not only do they supply standard formulas, but they also offer specialized formulas ranging from allergies, spit-up, gas & fussiness, to premature births.
Despite scientific advances, there are things in breastmilk that science has not duplicated. Dr. Sears' opinion is to let the baby be the judge of what formula works best based on how it interacts with his/her digestive system. As I mentioned previously, my baby did fine on Similac Advance w/ Early Shield but started having issues with Similac Advance w/ Optigro. Just as Dr. Sears said, you base your formula on what works best on your baby's digestive system. Since Similac's newest formulation started to cause trouble, I resorted to Enfamil not only based on their research that it was more like human breastmilk than Similac, but the fact that my baby had no digestive problems with it.