Having a baby is by far the most wonderful experience you can endure in life. However, the numerous expenses can take quite a significant chunk out of your pocketbook. Infant formula is no exception. The majority of pediatricians will most likely advise you to stick with a more expensive, well-known formula, such as Similac or Enfamil if you choose to bottle feed. When I had my first child, I used the more expensive Similac. I naturally assumed that since it was more costly, it had to be better. Then I decided to trust my own instincts and undertake a side-by-side comparison of the Kirkland Signature Infant Formula along with testing it on my own children. The most significant difference between the two was the price.
Similac Advanced Infant Formula is sold at various grocery and retail stores. Meijer sells it for $20.28 in a 25.7 ounce container. It is also sold at Costco for $27.69 in a 36 ounce container. On the other hand, Kirkland Signature Infant Formula is sold exclusively at Costco for $19.79 in not one, but two 25.7 ounce containers. Mathematically speaking, you are paying more than twice as much for the Similac brand. Similac costs approximately $.77 per ounce, whereas the Kirkland Signature brand costs $.39 per ounce.
The first six ingredients of Similac include: Vitamin D nonfat milk, lactose, high oleic safflower oil, soy oil, coconut oil, and whey protein concentrate. The Kirkland Signature Brand contains nonfat milk and all of the above except the whey protein concentrate. The quantities of nutrients in each of the two brands are very similar as well. In a 5 ounce serving, Similac contains 2.07 grams of protein, 5.49 grams of fat, 10.56 grams of carbohydrates, and 1000 milligrams of linoleic acid. Kirkland Signature brand contains 2.1 grams of protein, 5.3 grams of fat, 10.9 grams of carbohydrates, and 900 milligrams of linoleic acid. Obviously, the numbers are too close to consider paying twice as much in that regard.
Furthermore, each brand contains exactly the same amounts of Vitamins A, C, D, E, and K, along with the same quantities of thiamine, riboflavin, B6, B12, niacin, folic acid, pantothenic acid, and biotin. In addition, both contain the exact same quantities of magnesium, iron, zinc, manganese, copper, and iodine. Similac contains slightly more calcium than the Kirkland Signature brand, with 78 milligrams as opposed to 73 milligrams. However, the Kirkland Signature brand contains 56 milligrams of phosphorus as opposed to 42 milligrams in the Similac brand. Both contain almost the same quantities of chloride and sodium.
Another slight difference between the two is that Similac contains selenium, whereas Kirkland Signature brand does not. Similac contains significantly more potassium, with 105 milligrams as opposed to 83 milligrams. This essential nutrient can be found in the fruits and vegetables of baby food jars, assuming that most babies experience their first tastes at three or four months old. Thus, this shouldn’t impact a decision whether or not to stick to the more expensive brand.
Both brands contain DHA and ARA, which are the ingredients naturally found in breast milk and support brain and eye development. Kirkland Signature meets the nutritional guidelines according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Costco backs up every single product it sells and guarantees to meet or exceed the quality standards of the leading nutritional brands. Thus, if you’re not satisfied for any reason with a product, you can always return it for a full refund without the hassle.
As far as the taste goes, both of my girls loved the taste of each of these brands and even seemed to like the taste of the Kirkland Signature brand better than the Similac. After considering the significant difference in cost and the other slight differences, I decided to trust my own motherly instincts and stick to the Kirkland Signature brand. Today, both of my girls are healthy and thriving just like they should be, so paying far less for the Costco Brand didn’t result in any developmental or health problems for either of them. They are both above average in their respective cognitive abilities as well so I feel extremely confident about the decision I made. If the whey protein concentrate or selenium found in Similac is a weighty issue, then follow your instincts as a parent and spend massive amounts of money for the well-known brand. I’m not a doctor, but trusting my own instincts saved me a great amount of money and also resulted in just as healthy as children had I decided to go with the more expensive brand.