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There is nothing more frustrating for parents when feeding newborns than to find that a formula causes a negative reaction. A well-loved product with lots of happy users could turn up to cause a few too many upset stomachs, spit-ups, or excess gas.
Why is your child different? Why do they seem to suffer so much with a safe and normal formula? The answer may come down to your child’s dietary needs or some underlying issue with standard formula recipes. Thankfully, there are alternative products out there that can help.
Enfamil AR vs Gentlease.
Enfamil is one such brand that offers a range of products with various formulas to help babies with dietary or gastric issues. One of these is Enfamil AR, which stands for Acid Reflux.
Another is the Gentlease formula that is meant to be kinder on the stomachs of children struggling with normal formulas. In this guide, I will take a closer look at these two products to see what makes them so different from a regular formula and why they may be beneficial.
We can then weigh up the pros and cons of the products to see which is the best option for you. Before that, let’s learn a little more about Enfamil as a company and what consumers can expect from them.
Who is Enfamil?
Enfamil claims to be the #1 trusted brand when it comes to providing the best nutrition for a healthy immune system and cognitive development. Furthermore, it claims to be the #1 formula brand recommended by pediatricians.
There are some interesting stats here and while things can vary between children, they are encouraging. Studies on Enfamil use showed a 16% improvement in vocabulary skills by the age of 5. There is also the suggestion that the DHA in the formula can speed up executive function, such as memory, attention, emotion control, and other skills.
One of the reasons for this level of trust and ongoing customer support is the history of the brand. Enfamil is part of Nutramigen, who make a wider selection of healthcare good than just baby formula and nursing items.
Nutramigen was the creation of Mead Johnson, formerly of infamous brand Johnson & Johnson. The company has made interesting innovative products for decades. They created the first protein hydrolysate formula in the 1940s, for those with cow milk allergies.
Then came Enfamil in 1959, with the first routine formula in the US to add in choline and inositol. In 1964 we saw the arrival of Nursette bottles with sterilized nipples. Then came ProSobee in the 1960s, Enfamil reformulated in the 80s, AR in the 90s, and the products of today.
What is Enfamil customer care like?
Many of the best mother-and-baby brands have some sort of scheme or support system in place. There are different ways that parents and expectant parents can learn more on the Enfamil website. However, the most beneficial element has to be Enfamil Family Beginnings.
This is a scheme where parents can sign up and get rewards for their loyalty to the brand. This means access to some “exclusive” rewards, savings on products, and more. There is also talk of some surprises – how good these are remains to be seen.
Expectant parents can sign up and receive items from the due date up through the first two years. There is also a mobile app for easy access to deals, support, and a personalized pregnancy journey. Basically, there is something for everyone.
What is the Enfamil Happiness Guarantee?
If you go searching online for the Enfamil warranty, you may struggle as the company uses different wording. Instead, they have a Happiness Guarantee that applies to their customer care from start to finish.
They state that “Our Happiness Guarantee means helping you find the right product is our top priority”, adding that they want to ensure that you don’t “settle for a formula your baby doesn’t absolutely love”. As overblown as this sounds, it does help.
It means that parents can get advice on switching to a better solution, links to discounts, easy shipping, and a relatively good returns process. With shipping, all orders that come to more than $50 qualify for free standard ground shipping. Standard orders should take 4-6 business days and express orders just 1-3 business days.
As for the returns policy, they will take full, unopened shipping cases as long as it is within 30 days of receiving the order. The downside here is that you need to call ahead to set up a pre-authorization system.
Do Enfamil products contain GMOs?
No Enfamil formula should deliberately contain any sort of GMO ingredients. This means products from natural sources rather than anything genetically engineered. However, you may see a warning about “trace elements” on their products. This is basically a disclaimer that there may be something that sneaks in there in the manufacturing process due to the location and machinery.
What sort of products can you get with Enfamil?
The Enfamil website is also a great resource for finding out about different products and reading blog posts. These can provide guidance and peace of mind for parents struggling with certain breastfeeding issues. It is also really easy to navigate when searching for products. You can look up options by age and stages, including prenatal support, or by feeding needs or categories.
For example, parents in the situation highlighted here can search in the “Tummy Troubles” section to narrow down results for gastric issues, gassiness, spit-ups, and other complaints. There are also specific areas for feeding accessories to make life a little easier and for supplements.
Inside “Tummy Troubles” we find the following products.
One thing I appreciate about this brand is that they are great at color-coding their products with bright tubs and strong fonts. There is no way of confusing the bright purple Enspire with its gold lid and text with the pink AR, two-tone Gentlease, or green Reguline.
The Nutramigen is for kids with cow’s milk allergies and colic, the ProSobee is a soy option to remove lactose, and the Reguline is to aid constipation. Today, I am mostly going to focus on the Gentlease and AR options, with a little look at the NeuroPro, Ntramigen, and Enspire alternatives.
What is the difference between Enfamil and Enfamil Gentlease?
Gentlease is a bit different from regular Enfamil as this formula focuses on helping children and parents dealing with fussiness and gassiness. It all comes down to the types of proteins used in the formula.
They are much easier to digest to help calm the stomach and reduce any buildup of gas. The promise is that parents will see results after just 24 hours of use. Of course, results will vary depending on the baby’s condition.
Still, there are positive reports of significant changes.
What does Enfamil AR do?
The crucial difference between Enfamil Gentlease and Enfamil AR is the main aim. With the Gentlease, it is also about making sure there is a more palatable substance that won’t upset the stomach and cause excess gassiness.
Here, it is all about making sure that babies keep the formula down. The term Enfamil AR sounds amusing in the world of AR technology. Augmented Reality bottle feeding is a step too far. But, Acid Reflux relief is a little more essential.
Another benefit of using Enfamil AR is that it can help babies put on weight. Babies that struggle with gastric issues and regular spit-ups may not gain weight as easily. There is the risk that they don’t retain enough essential nutrients from their feeds. The alternative formula here and the significant reduction in spit-ups mean that kids can get back to a healthy weight fairly easily.
How do the formulas differ with Enfamil AR vs Gentlease?
The secret to the success of the Enfamil Acid Reflux formula is the thickness of the liquid. This improved consistency may take a little getting used to but it should help to reduce reactions. In fact, the company promises a reduction of at least 50%.
The formula meets guidelines created by the American Academy of Pediatrics to ensure that it is safe and effective for this condition. The Enfamil AR ingredients are fairly straightforward at the product’s core. You have your non-fat milk element, a vegetable oil mix for essential fats, a good dose of calcium carbonate to promote strong bones, and some helpful probiotics.
The popularity of Enfamil Gentlease, on the other hand, comes down to a simple protein ratio of 60% whey and 40% casein in a 60:40 split. There is also supplemental docosahexaenoic and arachidonic acid in the mix. These components are found in breast milk and contribute to brain and eye development. Therefore, you have a more beneficial formula that also happens to mimic human breast milk.
What forms of Gentlease and AR can you get?
Both Enfamil AR and Gentlease come in a couple of different options with a standard tub or powder or a pre-mixed liquid. With the AR formula, there are some parents that prefer the pre-mixed option because you are sure of getting the right consistency.
Some new users end up adding too much water to the powder to get a consistency that feels more normal. But, this goes against that deliberately thicker liquid and you could dilute the product to the point where it either doesn’t contain as many nutrients, doesn’t settle the stomach, or both.
You can choose between tubs and tins of different sizes, so be sure to double-check your order online before committing. There are also refills for the larger tubs if you prefer this approach.
Also, both the Enfamil Gentlease and AR formulas are suitable throughout a baby’s first year of life. From there, you can move onto the Enfamil Infant range.
What is Enfamil Ready to Feed Formula bottles?
A great alternative to the powder in either form above is to get one of the liquid bottles instead. In the disadvantages section below, you will see why these bottles are so popular. You can buy packs of these bottles with 48 units in one box.
That’s a lot of small 2 fluid ounce meals to work through and a lot of conveniences. It is this liquid “to go” bottle that is where you will find those patented Nursette Bottles that are so convenient for parents.
Are there any downsides to these Enfamil formulas to watch out for?
One of the problems with the Enfamil AR option is that you do have to wait and let the mixture settle for the best results. This gives the mixture time to react properly and the bubbles will die down. This then makes the solution more palatable for babies.
The problem is that this adds precious time to the process. This is another reason why it might be a better idea to go with the liquid option. It is quicker and more convenient because you skip this step.
Another potential drawback I want to mention here is that the vegetable oil mix in the Enfamil line includes some palm oil. I know that some people are wary of palm oil because of the environmental implications. You may want to look deeper into the source of the oil and certification over sustainability.
What do parents say in their Enfamil AR vs Enfamil Gentlease reviews?
While there are some potential issues to watch out for with the consistency of the formula and the waiting time, these are more inconveniences than problems. It is worth the wait to get a better result and a happier child.
There are certainly plenty of reports from parents stating that not only are their babies a lot happier on these formulas but that the results were as fast as promised. Sick-ups and gassiness did ease noticeable within a couple of feeds and many parents stuck with their choice from there.
There are also positive comments about the product range and affordability of the tubs. There is an expectation that a specialist formula like this will cost a lot more for the privilege of the alternative ingredients. Instead, you can get a good deal here and may even be able to buy in bulk from the right suppliers.
Is Enfamil AR good for colic?
This is a fairly common question for parents dealing with the stress of a baby with colic. They want the best possible formula to stop the fussing and soothe their pains. Of the two, Gentlease may be the most soothing. However, there is a product better suited to this condition.
Nutramigen with Enflora LGG Powder Baby Formula Powder is designed to ease colic in as little as 48 hours when caused by cow milk allergies. It could have a great impact or it could be unsuitable depending on the reason for your child’s condition.
What is the NeuroPro range of Enfamil products?
Before we go over the pros and cons for a final verdict on Enfamil AR vs Gentlease, I want to highlight an alternative option from the brand. There is a more specialist range of products called NeuroPro where you get some additional ingredients to help babies with their brain function. This is a nice addition to DHA and other ingredients in the Enfamil formula.
What is great about this range is that there are options in both the AR and Gentlease recipes. This means that you can still enjoy the benefits of these kinder formulas with these bonus ingredients. Your child doesn’t have to switch back to standard formula just to get these extra elements for brain health.
How does Enfamil Enspire Gentlease compare to regular Gentlease?
The Enfamil Enspire is a little bit different as it takes the calming Gentlease formula and adds in some Lactoferrin. This is a crucial protein found in both breast milk and colostrum. This protein not only helps to mimic real breast milk but also ensures that kids can build a healthier immune system.
There is a concern when switching to a formula that babies will miss out on some key elements of breast milk that are essential for their wellbeing and development. That doesn’t have to be the case with the right formula. This might be a more appealing option for parents transitioning from breast milk because of this little alteration and the increase in iron.
The pros and cons of Enfamil AR vs Gentlease.
Let’s summarize the good and bad points of these products to see what we need to take away from this comparison.
- The thicker consistency of the formula so that it doesn’t trigger acid reflux
- The speed with which parents see results
- The option of the Ready to Feed bottles for added convenience
- The NeuroPro version brings in extra ingredients for brain health
- The mixture can get frothy, bubbly, or lumpy enough to cause some issues
- The waiting period to let the product settle
- A good ratio of digestible proteins reduce the risk of gassiness and fussiness
- The speed with which parents see results
- An affordable solution with different purchasing options
- The Enspire version does a great job of mimicking real breast milk
- It might not be enough to soothe more serious stomach issues
- It is important to learn about the ingredients and potential trace elements.
Which is the best option for your child in the contest of Enfamil AR vs Gentlease?
Normally, I would compare two brands to find a clear winner based on perks and features, or find a product in a line that is the most advantageous. Here, I can’t really say that one product is better than the other for two reasons.
First, they have specific aims for specific conditions so are aimed at different buyers. Second, the secondary factors are very similar, such as the product types, affordability, and other perks. The Enfamil AR is clearly the best option to get if your child is regurgitating their feed too often.
The change in formula consistency and the speed of the results have made a big difference to a lot of parents. There is then the added benefit of weight gain. If you get it in the Ready to Feed bottle rather than the powder you will have an even better experience.
The Enfamil Gentlease formula is the better choice for babies that get gassy and fussy because of the focus on alternative digestible proteins. It should sit better than the rice-infused AR option for a more comfortable night’s sleep. It is affordable, accessible, and beloved by many parents.
Are there better Enfamil products in the range?
This is an interesting question because of some of the variants mentioned above. It is easy to argue that if you were to need Enfamil Gentlease for fussy babies, you might be better off with the Enspire version. It is said to taste better and could be a better transitional product for kids that have breastfed in the past.
It all depends on your child’s reaction to the mixture. It is also hard not to lean towards the NeuroPro line because of the added ingredients for brain health. The company certainly wants to push this as their lead product on the website. Finally, we can’t ignore the specialist options for colic and allergies where appropriate.
Enfamil AR vs Enfamil Gentlease reviews: choosing the best Enfamil formula for your child.
In short, the most important thing to remember here is that there is something for everyone in the Enfamil range. Plenty of parents will find that Gentlease works brilliantly for gassiness and AR for acid reflux.
The range of options from Enfamil is their biggest selling point as you can browse formulas, alternative recipes, and different forms to suit your needs. Also, you can count on their team to guide and support you until you find the perfect fit.