We all want to make sure that our baby’s nutritional needs are met.
The thought of saving a few bucks at the cost of your baby’s health probably makes your stomach a little queasy. But, maybe you’re on a tight budget and trying to cut costs where you can. Infant formula is so expensive. The Kirkland brand is so much cheaper than Enfamil. Is it safe? Is it worth the chance?
So many, many parents are going through this exact same debate. You’re not alone! Hopefully, this post eases some of your worries and helps you make an informed choice. In this article, we’re going over the Enfamil vs Kirkland debate. We’re going to look at the key differences between so you can decide what is the best option for your baby.
Before we get started, there’s something you should know: I’m just a mom. I don’t have a fancy lab to test the key ingredients of each formula and I’m not conducting studies to see which babies thrive better on what.
I’m just a mom that knows the struggle between buying “the best” for your baby while maintaining some semblance of a budget. This post was written to give my fellow moms the facts that I’ve researched and help others make an informed decision. I hope it helps!
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This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase from one of the links I will make a small commission at no charge to you. Blunders in Babyland does not diagnose, treat, or give out any professional advice for any medical or financial situations.
Is Kirkland Formula Safe?
First, let’s answer the burning question every parent that considers “off-brand” baby formula asks: Is the Kirkland formula safe?
Think of it as buying cow’s milk from the grocery store. You can purchase the Great Value kind or you can purchase Hiland. Both meet or exceed FDA requirements. There are some differences (taste, how your body handles it, manufacturing processes, etc), but both are safe to consume.
Likewise, both formulas are safe for your baby to consume. Not only that, both formulas are healthy choices for your baby. Kirkland Signature ProCare must meet the exact FDA requirements as Enfamil.
So, if you buy one or the other you should feel absolutely no guilt.
What You Should Be Looking for With Infant Formula
Just because both formulas are safe to consume, that does not mean that they are the same or offer the same features. Before you decide on Enfamil vs Kirkland, there are a few things to consider with infant formula.
We’re going to briefly go over these considerations before we dive into the key differences between the brands.
Main Ingredient or Base
Each infant formula is made with a main ingredient. Most infant formulas are cow’s milk-based. This varies, depending on which brand and line you purchase.
A few infant main ingredients are:
- Cows milk
- Hydrolyzed (Usually milk-based but the proteins are somewhat broken down for easier digestion. An example of this would be the Gentlese line.)
- Corn Syrup
The base is important for allergies. If you start noticing green, foamy poop, your baby might have an allergy to a dairy-based formula and you might consider changing it. Speak to your pediatrician about this.
Organic vs. Non-Organic
Organic infant formulas must pass the FDA’s guidelines as well as USDA’s to receive organic certification. In theory, organic can help reduce your baby’s exposure to chemicals.
In breastmilk, human milk oligosaccharides prebiotics are essential for a baby’s immune system. Basically, they feed the good bacteria that kill the bad bacteria. Recently, scientists have figured out how to synthesize this prebiotic and add it to infant formula (just so you know, that’s my dumbed down version of a highly complex subject).
The hope is that they can give formula-fed babies many of the immunity-boosting benefits that breastfed babies are privy to.
Changing up formula can be difficult on a baby’s tummy. So, selecting one that is readily available is important (or buying your formula of choice in bulk). Enfamil is sold at every major retailer. You can purchase Kirkland in bulk but, you also rely on your local Costco’s availability or shipping.
Key Differences Between Kirkland Formula vs Enfamil Formula
|PRICE||.50 per oz||1.40 per oz|
|DHA||Unknown. Likely 10mg||17mg|
|HMO||Yes||Some lines like NeuroPro|
|Milk-Based||Yes||Yes, lactose-free available|
Kirkland ProCare Formula
Let’s talk about the most obvious difference between Kirkland formula and Enfamil…the PRICE. Price per ounce, you can get Kirkland ProCare Formula for around .48 per ounce (if the sale is good.)
When you’re raising a baby on a budget and trying to cut costs, that’s HUGE.
Other than that, there’s Kirkland ProCare Formula features many of the same options as Enfamil. It’s Non-GMO, the main ingredient is a non-fat milk (not corn syrup), and it contains HMO, which is thought to be linked with increased immunity.
But (there’s always a but).
There’s some mystery surrounding the Kirkland formula. Before Kirkland switched up their formula, it was manufactured by Similac. Most websites I’ve seen report on Kirkland formula say that it’s still made by Similac, and is almost identical to Similac Pro-Advance. However, Kirkland specifically states on their website that their formula is NOT manufactured by Similac.
That isn’t to say that it’s not the same formula as Similac, but I don’t know and you don’t know who manufactures it.
Also, different babies digest formula differently. Since Enfamil and Kirkland are manufactured differently, your baby may not tolerate Kirkland as well.
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Apples to apples, Kirkland ProCare Formula and Enfamil NeuroPro are very similar.
Enfamil is the only brand to give the amount of Omega 3 DHA goes above and beyond minimum FDA recommendations, to what Global experts recommend. It’s also the no. 1 recommended formula brand by pediatrician.
So, Enfamil offers parents something that you can’t quantify…peace of mind.
Enfamil also offers a huge selection of formula lines. They offer sensitive stomach formulas for reflux babies as well as lactose-free options.
If cost is a major factor (of course it is), you can sign up for Enfamil’s Family Beginnings to save up to $400 in baby gifts. Since I signed up, I’ve received regular cash discount checks in the mail. Most of the time, it’ll take $5 off a can of your choice. Plus, you’ll be eligible to receive the free samples pictured above. You’ll also receive a lot of free samples once you sign up. I hesitate to even call them samples. As you can see from the picture above, these are generously sized tubs.
Who’s the Winner? Kirkland Signature ProCare vs. Enfamil NeuroPro Infant Formula
And the winner is…
There isn’t one. Sorry.
Apples to apples, these two baby formulas are stacked fairly evenly. Kirkland Signature has the price advantage. But Enfamil has the brand trust and higher DHA. And certainly a more robust selection if you want to dive into sensitive stomach or lactose-free options.
My preference leans more toward Enfamil NeuroPro simply because of the higher DHA. Having said that, price is also a good motivator and Kirkland is by no means a bad choice!
I highly recommend trying both. See what your baby likes. Check out Enfamil’s website for free samples and coupons. You can also buy a tub of the Kirkland ProCare with Costco’s trial membership.
I hope this article helped ease your worries and gave you an unbiased look at the Enfamil vs Kirkland formula debate.
Do you have any strong thoughts about these baby formulas? Let me know below! I’d love to pass your tips along to other readers!
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