Parents Choice Formula vs Similac

By Lynn •  Updated: 03/12/24 •  8 min read
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If you’ve got a baby and are interested in using infant formula, chances are that you’ve got questions. When scanning store shelves, you’ve likely come across Parents Choice formula and Similac and wondered what’s the difference. If this is you, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll delve into the differences between Parent’s Choice vs Similac baby formula so that you can make an informed decision about which formula is best for your baby. 

What Is Similac Formula?

Whether you are considering Similac formula, or comparing Similac vs Enfamil for supplementing, knowing which option is best for your baby is important.

Similac formula is one of the best-recognized formula brands in the world. With its unique blend of nutrients with no added Palm Oleic Oil, Similac, which is short for “similar to lactation”, is known for being a high-quality substitute for infants who cannot consume breast milk.

Similac 360 Total Care Infant Formula, with 5 HMO Prebiotics, Our Closest Formula to Breast Milk, Non-GMO, Baby Formula Powder, 30.8-oz Can (Case of 6)

What Is Parent’s Choice Formula?

Like Similac, Parent’s Choice brand of formula is also known to offer nutrients important for baby growth and development. These include DHA, lutein, and other essential compounds. 

Parent’s Choice is a generic brand developed by Wal-Mart that has many parents raving as it costs less than Similac while offering similar nutritional value. The main difference, however, is that Parent’s Choice Formula does contain Palm Oleic Oil, which is known to cause constipation in babies. Because of this, some young babies may experience irritation to their bowels and constipation, while others may not. 

Is Parents Choice Sensitive Formula the Same as Similac Sensitive?

If you’re eyeballing Parent’s Choice Sensitive formula vs Similac Sensitive, chances are that your little one has a sensitive tummy. With this being the case, you can at least rest easy knowing that most mothers love the Parents Choice Sensitive formula just as much as they enjoy the Similac Sensitive.

With this being said, Similac and Parent’s Choice formulas do not have the same ingredients or formula. Specifically, because Parents Choice contain Palm Oleic Oil and Similac does not, some may find that the Parent’s Choice formula may cause constipation in their babies.

Similac 360 Total Care Sensitive Infant Formula, with 5 HMO Prebiotics, for Fussiness & Gas Due to Lactose Sensitivity, Non-GMO, Baby Formula, Ready-to-Feed, 8-fl-oz (Case of 24)

Parents Choice Formula Compared to Similac Alimentum

Similac Alimentum is designed specifically for babies who have sensitivities to milk, reflux, or other allergies. It also helps babies with colic. The comparable version of this formula is Parent’s Choice Hypoallergenic. It is specifically formulated to target cow’s milk allergy as it is a “nutritionally completely lactose-free” option. 

Both Similac Alimentum and Parent’s Choice offer non-GMO ingredients, linoleic acid, DHA, and other important nutrients making the two formulas comparable to one another. 

Parents Choice vs Similac Pro Advance

Parent’s Choice Advantage Formula with Iron is comparable to Similac Pro Advance. Both are formulated to keep your baby’s immune system strong and healthy by offering oligosaccharides which are found in abundance in human milk. Both are also fortified with iron which is an important nutrient for baby growth and development. The main difference is that Parent’s Choice contains Palm Oleic Oil whereas Similac does not. 

Parents Choice Advantage Formula vs Similac Advance

When looking to compare the Parents Choice Advantage Formula with Similac Advance, it should be noted that the Similac Advance formula is very similar to the Pro-Advance , except for the fact that the Advance formula isn’t free of GMOs. Parent’s Choice Advance and Similac Pro-Advance are both made with non–GMO milk. 

Similac 360 Total Care Infant Formula, with 5 HMO Prebiotics, Our Closest Formula to Breast Milk, Non-GMO, Baby Formula Powder, 30.8-oz Can (Case of 6)

Parents Choice Formula vs Similac Isomil

Parent’s Choice Soy formula and Similac Isomil aren’t the same. But both are formulated with soy to be easier on the tummies of babies who are lactose-intolerant or who require soy milk for other reasons. Both are great for targeting fussiness and gas and provide complete nutrition for your baby. 

Parents Choice Gentle Formula vs Similac Total Comfort

Similac Total Comfort can be compared to Parents Choice Gentle baby formula as both are formulated with similar ingredients and nutrition profiles. Still, as previously mentioned, the addition of Palm Oleic Oil may pose a problem for some babies, as this oil can cause constipation.

Similac Total Comfort Infant Formula, Imported, Easy-to-Digest Baby Formula Powder, Non-GMO, 820 g (28.9 oz) Can

Nevertheless, most parents that use Parent’s Choice Gentle Formula over Similac Total Comfort don’t seem to notice much difference; although there are a few (very few!) that say their baby wasn’t able to handle the formula well.

Which Is Better: Parent’s Choice Formula or Similac Formula?

Which is better between Parent’s Choice Formula and Similac formula can be hard to determine. This is because babies respond differently to different formulas.

For the most part, both formulas are comparable, especially in regards to nutrition profile and meeting specific baby needs.

With that said, much of the difference between Similac and Parent’s Choice baby formula has to do with the addition of Palm Oleic Oil. This is present only in Parent’s Choice formula and not Similac. Palm Oleic Oil is known to cause constipation and irritation in babies. And so babies that have sensitive tummies may have more trouble with this formula than they would with Similac.

Nevertheless, the overwhelming majority of parents seem to give Parent’s Choice formula the thumbs up, even after having tried Similac. It will depend on your baby and his or her sensitivities as to whether or not Parent’s Choice formula is a good replacement for better-known (and much pricier) Similac formulas. 
Another solution would be mixing baby formula with breast milk.

The Difference Between Parents Choice Formula and Similac? Not Much!

The differences between Parent’s Choice formula and Similac aren’t much. But some parents may balk at Palm Oleic Oil found in Parent’s Choice formula. Still, there is so much that is similar between the two formulas. If you aren’t too concerned with the addition of the palm oil and your baby seems to take the Parent’s Choice formula well, it makes sense to use whichever formula works best for you, your baby, and your budget.  

Just remember never to place the cost of a formula over your baby’s well-being. Always choose the formula that agrees with your baby best, rather than the one that is most cost-effective. 


Is Parent’s Choice more cost-effective than Similac?

Yes! Parent’s Choice can be much more cost-effective than Similac, but that doesn’t mean it is of lesser quality or that your child’s body will respond to it better (or worse). The best thing you can do is to introduce a formula to your baby and note how he or she responds to it. As always, discontinue the use of a formula that seems to upset your baby’s stomach and seek advice from your pediatrician about other options you can try.


Lynn is a freelance writer, a wife, and a mother of two beautiful kids. Lynn started Infant Empire with the aim of making parenting easier for fellow mums and dads. She believes the parenting tips provided here will be of great help to all parents.

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