Similac Advance vs Pro Advance: All Differences Explained 

 January 21, 2022

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How can you decide between Similac Pro Advance vs Advance when both formulas are so similar? Making sense of baby formula without having a degree in nutrition can seem complicated. While parents often get advice from their pediatricians to use Similac, many still have questions about which specific formula to choose. So if you are looking for advice on Similac Pro Advance vs Advance, here’s what each formula brings to the table for your little one!

What’s The Difference Between Similac Advance And Pro Advance?

First, it helps to know that parents have plenty of good things to say about both formulas as you compare Similac Pro Advance vs Advance. Similac products are lauded for closely mimicking breast milk’s flavor, texture, vitamins, and nutrients. However, you may look for specific things from formula-based milk for your baby’s health needs. Therefore, the best way to get an overview of Similac Pro Advance vs Advance is to cover the pros and cons of both options.

Similac Pro Advance


  • Contains the 2'FL HMO a unique immune-nourishing prebiotic for immune support 
  • Closest formula to breastmilk
  • No artificial growth hormones
  • Made with entirely no GMO ingredients
  • Contains DHA, lutein, and vitamin E
  • Fortified with iron


  • More expensive than Similac Advance
  • Not suitable for babies with galactosemia

Similac Advance


  • Less expensive than Pro Advance
  • No artificial growth hormones
  • Made with entirely no GMO ingredients
  • Contains DHA, lutein, and vitamin E
  • Fortified with iron


  • Does not contain the 2'FL HMO
  • May contain GMO ingredients
  • Some parents complain that it causes gases, fussiness and constipation
  • Not suitable for babies with galactosemia

Similac Pro Advance vs Advance: Major Similiraties

The big takeaway is that these two formulas are extraordinarily similar. In addition to being fortified with iron, they both contain DHA, lutein, and vitamin E to help with everything from vision development to a healthy immune system. In addition, they are both made with milk from cows not treated with artificial growth hormone.

Similac Pro Advance vs Advance: 4 Key Differences

Let' take a look on the major differences between them:

1. GMO

The first noticeable difference is that Similac Pro Advance is free of GMO ingredients while Advance may contain. However, this may not be something that matters to you.

2. Ingredients

The Advance Pro formula contains the 2'FL HMO (human milk oligosaccharide) which makes it more similar to breast milk.

3. Baby's reaction

The advance formula is more likely to cause causes gases, fussiness and constipation according to parents who reviewed the product.

4. Price

Similac Advance Pro is slightly more expensive but considering the advantages that offers it seems justified.

Is Similac Pro Advance Better Than Similac Advance?

It’s not a matter of deciding which one is “better.” Parents have to determine what formula makes them feel more confident when nourishing their baby. Overall, the two products are very comparable. The big difference is that Pro Advance is free from both GMO ingredients. It’s important to note that there isn’t science-backed information indicating GMO ingredients are harmful to infants. 

They are both commonly used in foods most of us eat every day.

Can I Switch My Baby From Similac Pro Advance to Similac Advance?

First, any feeding changes should always be discussed with your baby’s pediatrician before you decide. Generally, the switch from Similac Pro Advance to Similac Advance is considered relatively smooth simply because these two products have similar ingredients. In addition, many parents are motivated to make the switch simply because Similar Advance offers a nearly identical formula for a lower price. 

Your pediatrician will likely instruct you to transition to the new formula gradually. This often means mixing a small amount of Similac Advance with your baby’s usual Advance formula until you gradually work your way up to a complete switch. It’s always important to monitor your baby closely after making a formula change. Look for reflux, changes in stool color, diarrhea, or signs that your baby is having tummy pain. Most babies will adjust just beautifully. 

Can I Mix Similac Advance and Pro Advance?

This is another case where speaking with your pediatrician about formula changes is essential! Generally, it’s considered fine to mix these two formulas. However, it’s important to remember that consistency gives your baby a chance to enjoy predictable, comfortable digestion. 

Is Similac Pro Advance Good for Newborns?

Yes, Similac Pro Advance is considered an excellent alternative to breast milk for newborns. It helps build good gut health in newborns by featuring the same prebiotic found naturally in breast milk. Similac Pro Advance also contains essential nutrients for supporting eye health, tissue development, a healthy immune system, and a healthy nervous system. In addition, Similac Pro Advance is a popular choice among parents looking for a “clean” newborn formula because it is free from GMO ingredients and artificial growth hormones. 

What Similac Is Best for Newborns? 

The answer entirely depends on your baby’s needs. Both Similac Pro Advance and Similac Advance are considered great options for babies without lactose or cow milk allergies. However, suppose your baby is suffering from a fussy tummy. In that case, it may be necessary to use Similac Pro Sensitive to address an allergy or sensitivity to lactose. 

What about Similac Pro Advance vs Advance for a Colicky Baby? 

If your baby has colicky, a hypoallergenic option like Similac Alimentum might be a better option, especially if your baby is allergic to cow’s milk.

Similac Alimentum is supposed to reduce excessive crying due to cow’s milk protein sensitivity in most infants within 24 hours.

Which Similac Formula Is Best For Premature Babies?

Finally, parents should know that babies born prematurely require special formulas designed to help them catch up. If you’re looking for the best formula for premature babies, ask your pediatrician about a popular option like Similac NeoSure that contains enhanced protein, vitamins, and minerals compared to other formulas for term infants. 

Which Similac Formula Is Closest to Breast Milk?

Similac credits Similac Pro Advance with being the closest match to breast milk. Formulated using the 2′-FL HMO prebiotic to recreate the natural immune support of breast milk, Similac Pro Advance offers complete nutrition for a baby’s first year. Of course, that doesn’t mean this formula should be considered a default replacement for breast milk. A conversation with your pediatrician is essential before committing to formula. 

Is Similac Better Than Breast Milk?

Formula brands like Similac offer wonderful products for ensuring that babies can get the nutrition they need to grow and thrive when breast milk isn’t available. It’s important for parents of newborns to remember that “fed is best.” However, breast milk is considered the best option when breastfeeding is possible. 

“Compared with formula, the nutrients in breast milk are better absorbed and used by your baby,” according to experts and Johns Hopkins Medical.

The U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. In addition, according to the March of Dimes, breastfeeding can reduce the risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

In addition to being easily digestible, breast milk also offers the advantage of constantly changing along with your baby’s needs. This is important for ensuring that the baby gets proper proportions of fat, calories, vitamins, and minerals. In addition, breast milk also contains antibodies that provide babies with passive immunity

Similac Pro Advance vs Advance: What Formula Is Best to Use While Breastfeeding?

Suppose you’re supplementing with formula due to a low milk supply. In that case, the same general rules for picking the right formula for exclusive bottle-feeding still apply. In addition, the Similac brand specifically recommends Similac Pro Advance as the first choice for supplementing breastfed babies. Similac Pro Sensitive and Similac Pro Total Comfort are also recommended as appropriate choices for supplementation for breastfeeding babies by the brand.

Does Formula Interfere With Breast Milk?

Yes, formula feeding can potentially interfere with breast milk. Supplementing with formula can cause a mother’s milk supply to dry up. However, it is considered safe to supplement when necessary. Supplementation is something that’s recommended for premature babies in need of extra nutrition. In addition, mothers of multiples sometimes need to use a formula to keep up with demand. Finally, formula can be a good option for feeding a hungry baby when a mother has a low supply

What Is the Difference Between Similac Pro Sensitive and Similac Advance?

Suppose you suspect that your baby has food sensitivities. In that case, the debate over Similac Pro Advance vs Advance should also include a special formula called Similac Pro Sensitive. While Similac’s ordinary Advance lineup is not suitable for babies with lactose allergies, the brand’s Pro Sensitive product is formulated for lactose sensitivity and intolerance babies. In addition, this formula is often recommended for babies suffering from “fussy tummies” due to lactose intolerance. 

Similac Pro Sensitive is a non-GMO formula that contains the 2′-FL HMO prebiotic to recreate support for the immune system offered by break milk. Pro Sensitive contains DHA, lutein, and vitamin E like other Similac products. It also has an omega-6 fatty acid called ARA that helps support the nervous system, immune system, and musculoskeletal system. 

Final Thoughts on Choosing Between Similac Pro Advance vs Similac Advance 

Generally, pediatricians quickly recommend both Similac Pro Advance and Similac Advance. However, many will leave the choice up to parents simply because they want parents to choose when it comes to picking the most affordable option. 

While comparing Similac Pro Advance vs Advance, parents will find that both formulas are excellent when mimicking the nutrition of natural breast milk. 

Finally, discuss your infant’s needs with your doctor before making a formula choice. Similac offers a full roster of formulas designed to address everything from the nutritional needs of premature babies to allergies to cow’s milk. While the focus of this post has been on Similac Pro Advance vs Advance, your baby may benefit from a different formula offering specific nutritional support.

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