When Haiden was a formula-fed infant, he spit up. A lot. He was my first baby, and most of my other baby experience came from spending time with my sister’s kids who also frequently spit up.
I’d mix up his powder formula, give him his bottle, and some of it would come back up after he was done eating. The spitting up didn’t upset either one of us, so I considered it a byproduct of mealtime.
When he was a few months old, Haiden and I spent the weekend at my parent’s house. I brought along a tub of powder formula, but I also packed some ready-to-feed (RTF) formula that I had gotten for free after using my infant formula coupons.
To both my mom’s and my surprise, my baby didn’t spit up after eating the RTF formula! Both the Similac and Enfamil websites state that their formula is the same whether it’s purchased in powder or liquid form, but my experience seemed to show that there was something different about the ready-to-feed.
Maybe it was the texture. Maybe it was the perfect room-temp temperature, maybe it was the exact amount of water in the RTF blend. Who knows? All I can say is that my baby could tell a difference between powder and ready-to-feed formula.
Regardless of how the baby reacted, mom and dad surely knew the difference between powdered baby formula and RTF formula: the price!
Yesterday, I did the math and showed how much powdered formula costs per ounce versus how much RTF costs per ounce. However, money isn’t everything, especially when it comes to feeding your baby!
Carol @ Coupon Lovin' Mom says
Our Son had major colic/gas/acid reflux. I had tried every formula we have available in stores (powdered) and nothing worked. Even the ones specifically for those issues. I finally started buying RTF formula, and it was instant. The crying was way less often, he wasn’t so gassy, etc. After 6 months or so, we put him back on a powder formula, and he did great. Newborns can’t handle that powdered stuff sometimes.
Cara S says
I heard it was the bubbles from shaking the powder formula. If you mix it up ahead of time it often seems just like RTF formula.
amy corinne says
Our experience was similar to yours. We exclusively switched to RTF formula around 6 months.
My baby too. We did powder formula. He did not like it and spit it up. So we spoke to the doctor and doctor said it is ok to be on rtf. I feed him first with my breast milk and then rtf.
Great information to have! Thanks for the comparison.
It was the same in our house too. Neither of my kids could use the powder. Both would spit up and had terrible gas. I tried four different types and brands of powder but all that would sit well was the RTF. It is pricey but worth it to have a happy baby.
I’m here wondering if the opposite can be true. I’ve had my daughter on powder forever but with the shortage I could only find RTF and she has been puking a lot since I started feeding it.
I BF, so no experience with formula, but I have read that if you tap the scoop to level the formula in the powder, you are actually using too much powder and that could be the difference that the causes issues with spit up (formula mix is too rich). I think I read this on a blog on the What to Expect site where someone had actually measured the difference. It’s probably worth looking up that blog.
April Decheine says
Urgh, the formula days drove me crazy, looks like there are some better choices today!
You can put a little mylicon or tummy time in the bottle after you shake up the powder to get rid of the bubbles/air. That’s what we did for my son and it worked like a charm.
My first thought was that when you mix the powder and water together you can get extra air bubbles in it. Kind of like when an adult drinks a carbonated beverage…
I speak from experience that there is a major difference between Enfamil AR powder formula and Enfamil AR ready to feed formula. I used the powder version before and my baby got constatipated. After i switched to the ready to feed version, she never had that problem again. So yes, sometimes there is a difference.
No doubt there is a difference. Look at the ingredients. RTF has a little sugar, a little casein (milk protein) a little soy oil and the rest is vitamins and aminos. The PF has corn, corn syrup solids, several oils (palm, coconut etc). The RTF is clearly simpler in formula. By the way I called Abbott and they ‘may’ use GMO’s. Filthy jerks giving genetically modified foods to baby.
I think there is a big difference and my boys always slept longer on the the premade stuff vs the powder.
Finally, this site pulled up after I searched for any information regarding the difference between powder & RTF. We have had daily issues with our 5 weeks old newborn and was instructed (as a solution to her screaming “pain” ie, legs being hiked up, flailing, unusual screaming, explosive gas, stomach gurlgling & the runs…beyond the usual infant runs) to switch from Similac Advanced, to Similac Sensitive, back to Advanced, then Enfamil Gentlease, then Similac Alimentan. What a nightmare! The Drs would send us with samples & we would think all would be well. Only to have it all happen all over again a day or 2 later. We also tried gas drops, prescribed zantac & gripe water.
Finally, we realized it may be that they gave us the RTF then we would go out & get the powder…finally went back to RTF & she is “healed” & peaceful again. Every where I read (& hear from the Drs) powder is the same as RTF – HARDLY!
RTF definitely different that the powder & so worth the money for our baby.