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Enfamil Gentlease vs NeuroPro: what you need to know

Enfamil Gentlease vs NeuroPro: what you need to know
Latest posts by Keith Lindner (see all)

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Breastfeeding provides optimal nutrition for infants. Our recommendations are based on the products we have personally used or researched; they are not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your pediatrician before making any changes to your child’s diet, especially in cases where your baby has dietary restrictions or allergies.

If you’re a new parent, soon-to-be parent or standing in the formula aisle right now staring at an endless wall of formulas, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. The Baby Swag team have researched (or used) literally just about every formula on the market in the US as well as all of the best international formulas. 

In this article we’re talking about Enfamil, one of the big powerhouses in the formula world. Enfamil is probably the world’s most recognized formula brand. They have been making formulas for over 100 years and have played a key role in many scientific breakthroughs in formula over that time.

Make sure you scroll all the way to the bottom to read our review of Enfamil (the company) vs their formulas specifically. For now though, it’s time to give you what you came here for, which is to understand the difference between Enfamil Gentlease vs Enfamil NeuroPro. Let’s dive in. 

The main differences between Enfamil Gentlease vs NeuroPro

The terminology formula brands use can be incredibly confusing. But when thinking about Enfamil Gentlease vs NeuroPro, the first question needs to be: has my pediatrician told me to switch to a partially hydrolyzed formula? If they haven’t then you likely don’t need to consider Enfamil Gentlease right now.

But let’s make sure you understand why we’re asking that question though so you can march forward with confidence. 

  • When Enfamil uses the word Gentlease on their formulas they are referring to a formula that is partially hydrolyzed (meaning the proteins are broken down to make it easier for your baby to digest). So this is a specific type of formula that is designed for babies that don’t do so well on normal formula. 
  • Whereas the term NeuroPro is used to describe some extra ingredients they add into their standard formula recipes. So NeuroPro is not a type of formula, it’s what I would consider a style of formula that has extra (not required) ingredients which we refer to as “sexy extras.”

Still confused? We were too when we were trying to figure this out for our kids. Let’s keep going. 

Understanding the Enfamil product range

Enfamil has two flagship formulas, their standard Enfamil Infant and their partially hydrolyzed Enfamil Gentlease. Each of these formulas then have 3 different styles. 

They each have a Standard version, a NeuroPro version and an Enspire version. Each version gets progressively more ‘premium’ (meaning more sexy extras) and progressively more expensive. 

So this is why you will see 6 different versions of these formulas in total, including Enfamil Gentlease NeuroPro. They are not separate formulas, NeuroPro is a style of one of the two main types of formulas that Enfamil sells. We made this handy visual to hopefully crystalize it once and for all.

What you need to know about Enfamil Gentlease

The vast majority of babies can digest regular cow’s milk formula without many issues even though the proteins found in cow’s milk are larger than those in breastmilk. But some babies are more comfortable when those proteins are broken down into smaller pieces, which makes them easier to digest. 

The Enfamil Gentlease range of formulas are designed for babies that have already shown you they don’t tolerate a traditional formula blend very well.

And as we mentioned above, there are 3 different styles of Enfamil Gentlease. Each recipe essentially builds on the previous one. Here are the main differences.  

  • Enfamil Gentlease – this is the standard version that has all the vital nutrients your baby needs to grow strong and healthy. 
  • Enfamil Gentlease NeuroPro – this is the standard version but they have added MFGM (milk fat globule membrane) and the formula is now classified as Non-GMO (meaning there are no genetically engineered ingredients). 
  • Enfamil Gentlease Enspire – this includes everything in the Neuropro recipe except they now add lactoferrin. 

It is the only major brand that has a partially hydrolyzed whey (60%) and casein (40%) proteins blend whereas Similar and Gerber gentle formulas are 100% whey

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Enfamil Gentlease formula range

Enfamil Gentlease is one of the most popular 'gentle' (partially hydrolyzed) formulas on the market. There are 3 different styles to choose from depending on your budget and your preferences.

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Let’s break down what all those other confusing (sexy extra) terms mean now:

  • All styles of Enfamil Gentlease have DHA and ARA. DHA is the scientific shorthand for docosahexaenoic acid. ARA stands for arachidonic acid. Both of these fatty acids are building blocks for your baby’s brain and eyes. It’s important that your growing baby has DHA to help support his brain and eye development and immune system both in the womb and out.
  • All Gentlease formulas are also ‘lactose reduced.’ This means that the carbohydrate source found in these recipes is no longer primarily lactose, but instead is a blend of corn syrup solids. This also helps with digestion just like the partially hydrolyzed proteins. 
  • MFGM (Milk Fat Globule Membrane) helps support your baby’s cognitive development. Specifically, MFGM is a naturally occurring bioactive membrane that surrounds the fat droplets in breast milk and cow’s milk. Research has shown that MFGM plays an important role in brain structure and function. 

Overall, you can’t really go wrong with Enfamil Gentlease. This is a high quality formula that you can feel good about giving your child. If you are trying to decide which style to buy, the cost and your baby’s age are the next two considerations. 

Shop on Amazon for the best deals >

What you need to know about Enfamil NeuroPro

We covered basically everything you need to know about Enfamil Gentlease vs NeuroPro above so let’s just quickly summarize. NeuroPro is a term Enfamil coined to describe their formula recipe that has MFGM added to it. Some research has shown MFGM to be good for brain development… hence the use of “neuro”. 

They have a NeuroPro version of their regular cow’s milk formula and as part of their Gentlease formula range which is partially hydrolyzed.

Where is the best place to buy Enfamil?

Good question. After 100’s of hours of research we can confidently say that Amazon is currently the best source of Enfamil’s flagship products. If you’re looking for one of their specialty formulas you’ll want to double check Amazon vs some other retailers but for their Infant Formula and Gentlease Formula ranges, Amazon is a great place to start. 

Check out our VERY detailed guide on where to buy formula and how to save for more tips and tricks. 

Shop on Amazon for the best deals >

Find the best baby formula for your family

Our team of experts spent 100’s of hours pouring through all of the research, the ingredients, the recipes and the companies.

Baby Swag best baby formulas to consider

Alternatives to Enfamil

Best organic alternative

Bobbie Organic

Bobbie is the first American formula that complies with both FDA and European Commission regulations. They are one of the new formula brands that are shaking up the industry and doing things better. They were awarded the Clean Label Project Purity Award and are Certified Pesticide Free. 

  • That means that you can expect all of their ingredients to be fully organic and naturally sourced. 
  • Bobbie is completely free from added sugar, artificial flavors, colorings, gluten, or palm oil. 
  • Their flagship formula Bobbie Organic is comparable to Enfamil NeuroPro and Bobbie Organic Gentle is a partially hydrolyzed formula like Enfamil Gentlease.

Going above and beyond with their ingredients means this is not the cheapest formula on the market. But if you’re looking to support a brand that is going to offer your baby the best sourced ingredients and continue to push for higher standards in the formula industry then look no further than Bobbie.

Buy at > Bobbie


Best European alternative

Holle

Holle is another well-established (almost 90 years) European known for producing clean, simple, gently processed organic formula for a natural and balanced diet while remaining committed to environmental sustainability. 

All of Holle’s formulas are organic, some of them even hold one of the strictest private organic certifications in Europe, the Demeter seal. This is a serious certification. They have some partially hydrolyzed formulas as well as an organic goat milk formula, which many parents also turn to when trying to find an alternative to a traditional formula as goat milk tends to be easier on baby’s tummy. 

Buy at >  The Milky Box  ||  Organics Best  ||  My Organic Co 


Best budget-friendly alternative

Mama Bear

Mama Bear is Amazon’s store brand formula range. The Mama Bear range consists of Standard, Advantage, Gentle, Sensitive, Organic and Soy. The Mama Bear Advantage would be closest to Enfamil NeuroPro and Mama Bear Gentle is partially hydrolyzed so it is comparable to Enfamil Gentlease. All of their formulas come with lots of other good stuff and are Non-GMO as well.

Mama Bear is manufactured in the US by a company called Perrigo which has been making formula for 35+ years. They resell their formulas to companies like Amazon, Walmart, Target, Kroger, Walgreens, CVS, etc. Expert tip – They are all the exact same formula, just a different sticker on the front.

Buy on Amazon > 


FAQs

Is there palm oil in Enfamil Gentlease and Enfamil NeuroPro?

Yes, all of the Enfamil Infant and Enfamil Gentlease formulas have palm oil in them. If you’re looking for a great alternative that is palm oil free, turn to our friends at Bobbie and look at their Organic Gentle formula

What does “gentle” mean?

Gentle is simply a marketing term. It does not formally mean anything. One formula company could use it for one thing while the next could use it for something else which is very frustrating as a parent. But MOST of the time, the term gentle refers to a formula that is partially hydrolyzed. This has not always been the case though so don’t take a formula for its word on the front of the can, make sure you flip it over and check the ingredients to see if it actually says partially hydrolyzed. 

Should I start with or switch to a partially hydrolyzed formula?

You should only switch to a partially hydrolyzed formula if you’ve spoken with your pediatrician about it. In general, most babies will tolerate a traditional formula that is not hydrolyzed at all. We always suggest that parents start on a traditional formula blend to see if their baby will tolerate it and then work your way up the formula tree to more specialized versions only when you need to. 

Has Enfamil been recalled?

Yes, Enfamil has been recalled a couple of times over the years. Most recently in Feb 2023. Recalls are rare in the formula industry because it is the highest regulated food source in the world (for good reason). Formula companies have to pass hundreds (sometimes 1,000’s) of safety and quality checks before that formula becomes available for sale. 

Choosing between Enfamil Gentlease vs NeuroPro

The most important thing to remember when thinking about Enfamil Gentlease vs NeuroPro is that they can coexist because one refers to a formula type (Gentlease = partially hydrolyzed) and one to a formula style (NeuroPro = extra ‘brain building’ ingredients). 

That’s why you can buy Enfamil Gentlease NeuroPro if you want to. This choice now comes down to your personal preferences around ingredients, cost, availability and the brand that manufacturers your baby’s formula.

Our point about the brand in the last sentence is something we’ve been thinking a lot about. Here at The Baby Swag, we pay close attention to what happens in the formula industry and we think it’s important for you to know a bit about what’s going on. 

A final word on Enfamil the company

Enfamil is part of a very small group of companies (about 6 globally) that control the formula industry around the world. These companies have saved millions of babies over the last 100+ years so we have a lot to thank them for. But as companies grow into massive global brands, they have to:

  1. Get gobbled up by bigger brands to keep growing. Reckitt, Enfamil’s parent company, has 100’s of products and services they’re working on, many of which have nothing to do with infant nutrition.
  2. Focus on mass production to get their products into as many little hands as possible. Mass production will typically require making decisions about the type and quality of ingredients they put into their formula that are more focused on profit than what’s best for your baby.

That’s why we’re excited there are new formula brands like Bobbie that are really shaking things up and are solely focused on what is best for you and your baby again. 

Enfamil is a well respected and trusted name around the world, but if you can afford to support a new brand like Bobbie who is really trying to put not only your baby, but parents, at the forefront of everything they do, then it’s worth considering.

Find the best baby formula for your family

Our team of experts spent 100’s of hours pouring through all of the research, the ingredients, the recipes and the companies.

Baby Swag best baby formulas to consider

Whatever your decision, remember that your choice of formula is not a reflection on your parenting. Formula is one of the many decisions parents have to battle with in our modern world where there seems to be an endless number of choices. But it’s important to remember that literally every formula you can buy from a respected retailer or online shop has got what your baby needs to thrive. Find one that suits your preferences and that your baby tolerates and try not to overthink it (easier said than done, we know).

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