Similac Advance VS. Pro Advance: Complete Comparison (In 2021)

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Inside: Have you been trying to get your little own to breastfeed but they keep refusing? Or maybe you don’t have enough milk? Either way, your baby will probably need formula. If you’re curious about the difference between Similac Advance VS. Pro Advance, then keep reading.

Most people will tell you that you should breastfeed because mother’s milk is the healthiest option for your baby. Indeed, it is, but sometimes breastfeeding is not possible.

It’s rare, but some children refuse the breast. We remember having a friend who was desperate because her son didn’t want to drink breast milk. She tried everything, even consulting doctors and midwives but nothing worked.  Finally, she started using formula and the kid happily accepted.

Furthermore, there are other reasons why you may need to formula feed your little one. For example, you may be taking certain medications that could pass through the breastmilk to your child and cause complications. Other women may have medical conditions that prevent them from breastfeeding. Some may simply choose not to because they are working.

How do you know what formula to feed your baby?

Similac Advance VS. Pro Advance

When it is clear that your baby will eat formula, the big question is which one to choose. With so many options to choose from, how do you know what formula to give your baby?

Similac is one of the most known brands of baby formula and has a great reputation. However, different options within the Similac line can still be pretty confusing for new mothers.

One common question is: what’s the difference between Similac Advance and Pro Advance. These two products are very similar with slight, but important, differences.

Searching for information online can be overwhelming, so we decided to do a complete comparison of Similac Advance VS. Pro Advance to help you make the best decision for your baby’s nutrition.

Similac Advance VS. Pro Advance: Complete Comparison

Similac Advance


Similac Advance is made with cow’s milk and is one of the most popular formulas on the market. It is a nutritionally complete formula designed for babies up to 12 months.

Similac Advance contains essential nutrients and vitamins like DHA, lutein, and vitamin E.

  • DHA is an omega 3 fatty acid in charge of your baby’s brain development [R].
  • Lutein is beneficial for vision strength [R].
  • Vitamin E is critical for babies’ growth and development [R].
  • It is also fortified with iron [R].

However, it is best to use Similac Advance for a newborn in combination with breast milk if possible. For tips on mixing formula and breastmilk in the same bottle, see here.

SIMILAC Pro Advance


Many people claim that Similac Pro Advance is the closest to breast milk. It has all the ingredients that Similac Advance concentrate has such as DHA, lutein, and vitamin E. 

It also contains 2′ FL Human Milk Oligosaccharide, a prebiotic found in breast milk that promotes the growth of good bacteria and helps to strengthen the baby’s immune system [R].

difference between Similac Advance and Pro Advance

Both Similac Advance and Similac Advance Pro are very similar formulas. The ingredients appear identical; however, there are some key differences that are important to consider. We talked to the experts at Top Mom to help break down Similac Advance vs. Similac Advance Pro.

Galactooligosaccharides vs. 2’ FLHMO

Similac Advance VS. Pro Advance

Similac Advance contains the prebiotic galactooligosaccharides. Galactooligosaccharides promote the growth of good bacteria and help maintain a healthy GI tract [R]. This prebiotic is plant-based and helps improve the gut flora.

Similac Advance Pro uses two prebiotics called 2’ FLHMO and Fructooligosaccharides. HMO is a prebiotic found in breast milk and is linked to improved cognitive function in babies [R]. While Similac claims that Similac Advance Pro is the formula most similar to breast milk available on the market, it’s important to keep in mind that this is not a natural HMO like the one found in breast milk.

r-BST cow milk vs. non-r-BST cow milk

Both formulas are designed for babies who don’t have issues with cow’s milk. However, Similac Advance is treated with r-BST cow milk while the Pro Advance is made with non-r-BST cow milk.

Bovine growth hormone, or rBST, is a genetically engineered hormone injected into dairy cows to increase milk production [R]. It’s important to know that Similac maintains that no significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rbST-treated and non-rbST-treated cows [R].

GMO vs. Non-GMO

An essential difference between Similac Advance vs. Pro Advance is the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Similac Advance uses GMO ingredients, while Similac Pro Advance does not.

The Taste

Similac Advance VS. Pro Advance

All of the Similac products have similar tastes, with one huge benefit being that they taste so similar to breast milk. It’s generally regarded that Similac excels in copying breast milk as close as possible when it comes to vitamins and nutrients. As a result, the company also does a great job emulating the taste and texture of breast milk.


There is a slight difference in price between Similac Advance vs. Pro Advance. Similac Advance runs on average $32.99 for 30.8oz at Target. Similac Advance Pro is a bit more expensive costing around $36.99 for 30.8oz at Target. However, you can get either of the formulas at a discounted price if you subscribe. The discount is usually between $5 and $15 US depending on the amount you buy.

Final Thoughts on Similac Advance vs. Pro Advance: Complete Comparison

Similac Advance VS. Pro Advance

Choosing the best formula for your little one can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. You can’t go wrong with either Similac Advance vs. Pro Advance.

Both formulas contain the essential nutrients for your baby. The choice depends on your and your little one’s preferences!

Have you ever used these formulas? What are your experiences? Tell me in the comments below!

Rae Hudson
Freelance Copywriter | Website

Rae Hudson is a mother to two kids, she loves spending time with her littles. Rae is a freelance copywriter and writes articles on topics related to pregnancy, motherhood, kids’ growth, and development. She enjoys supporting new moms through her writing.

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15 thoughts on “Similac Advance VS. Pro Advance: Complete Comparison (In 2021)”

  1. I’m very confused. The Similac Advance can says “no artificial growth hormones” right on it, but this article states otherwise. I may need to use this due to the shortage. Can someone address this?

  2. My little one has Ben on the pro advanced and is now 13 months. At one point I tried switching to the advanced and she actually got sick.

    • How did your LO get sick? What symptoms? My LO has been on the advanced pro until a few weeks ago. We had to switch to the advance due to the shortage and when we run out of it we will be using the members mark advantage.

  3. I started off using similac pro advance at birth when I was unable to breastfeed properly. Baby did well! Now that there is a shortage, we switched to advance. Since the switch, baby has been coughing, sneezing, and full of mucus. She also vomits after each feeding. I just noticed last night that I was able to clear her of the mucus for a few hours. As soon as she had a bottle of the similac advance, she became congested and began to cough violently until she spit up. It seems as though she is allergic to it so I will be changing to something else immediately!

  4. If I’m using the similac advance regularly can I use the pro advance as an alternative if for some reason I can’t find the advance kind?

    • Good question! I would consult with the pediatrician on which one would be the best alternative to Pro Advance. They should be able to point you in the right direction!

    • No, I wouldn’t necessarily focus on that. I believe it’s just a marketing tactic. I would always refer to the ingredients to figure out which is considered higher quality.

    • We quit giving our son formula at 12-months-old and switched over to lactose-free milk! We steadily reduced the amount of formula that we put in each bottle, and just started adding more regular milk. It only took a couple of weeks before he was completely weaned off formula.

  5. Similac pro advance has been great for our little guy from one month old when we were doing both breast-feeding and formula and from six months up to one years old when it was just formula. He never had any issues other than a little bit of spit up to be expected but otherwise liked the formula and had no adverse effects and has grown according to the chart

    • That was similar to our experience, too! I don’t remember the formula that he was on at the beginning, but I remember that he would spit up often and have tummy issues. We switched him to the Similac Pro Advance based on what the pediatrician recommended, and we never had any issues after that!


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