According to the U.S Surgeon General, the cost of baby formula across popular brands can average between $1200 and $1500 per family during a baby’s first year. Ideally, the monthly cost will depend on what formula you are using, the store you buy it at, if you have any coupons or offers from the manufacturer, and how much your little one is eating depending on their growth spurt and how long the month is. Also, other factors such as local taxes and costs related to distribution, raw materials, and registration efforts all contribute to the cost of baby formula.
Among the myriad of expenses that the arrival of a new baby portent, the cost of formula particularly stands out.
It’s usually a necessity, especially for new parents who choose not to breastfeed for whatever reasons.
As the only almost natural substitute for breast milk, formula milk is the number one source of food for babies under the age of one, and so it shouldn’t come as a surprise then that such a precious product is associated with steep prices.
Baby formula cost per month
Certified breastfeeding specialist Kelly Bonyata retaliates that to understand the cost of baby formula.
You first need to estimate how much milk your baby will need, with an average baby consuming about 25 ounces of milk per day during their first year.
Calculating the cost of your baby’s formula also requires you to find out how much your preferred brand costs per ounce.
Based on research, cheaper brands will cost you 9 cents per ounce while the higher-end brands will run you 32 cents per ounce.
If an average baby consumes 25 ounces of milk per day, you can expect to spend between $821.25 and $2,920 in your little one’s first year, depending on your brand of choice.
Here’s how we calculated the cost of baby formula per year.
- $0.09 × 25 ounces = $2.25 for budget friendly brands
- $2.25 × 365 days = $821.25 per year
- $0.32 × 25 ounces= $8.00 for higher-end brands
- $8.00 × 365days = $2,920 per year
To figure out the cost of your baby’s formula per month, simply take the price of the formula you calculated for the year and divide by 12.
Based on our above calculations, your monthly cost will range from roundabout $68 to about $243.
How to save on baby formula
Because some parents may find breastfeeding difficult, time-consuming, or even impossible, they want to ensure they are making the right choice when it comes to formula.
They also want to be mindful of their pockets when deciding on their brand of choice.
If you use baby formula, there are many ways to slash the price tag from the already high cost of raising a child.
Here are some tips to reduce the cost of baby formula:
- Comparison shop online. E-commerce websites don’t have the same overhead as most physical stores. So they sometimes reduce the prices of various commodities, especially if you buy in large quantities, including your favorite formula.
- Buy in bulk. Nowadays, you can find several stores and websites that offer discounts when buying baby formula in bulk. While there, you can also cut down on other baby products that you need.
- Use coupons. While Sunday paper still has some paper coupons to clip, the internet is loaded with websites dedicated to coupons. You can also download apps on your smartphone to find baby formula coupons for you.
- Ask your doctor for free samples. Ask your doctor if they have some baby formula on their hands, as major brands often provide them with free batches of their products.
- Sign up for the mailing list. If you visit your favorite instant formula brand website, you can likely sign up for a mailing list. Oftentimes companies do send welcome packages with free samples. Coupons and other discounts can also be sent to you periodically.
- Use powdered formula. Across brands, powdered instant formula always tends to be cheaper than liquid forms.
- Check with your insurance provider. If your little one is on a specific formula, your insurance provider may cover it. You can open a Health Savings Account depending on which type of insurance you have. It will help you invest in your baby’s expenses while enjoying unique tax breaks.
- Earn rewards. You can earn some money while using your credit card to purchase baby formula. Shop around for the best cash-back credit cards. Any cash-back purchases can put some significant money back in your pocket over time.
- Look into WIC. You may qualify for government assistance depending on your circumstances. Women, Infants, and Children(WIC) provide federal grants to states to help low-income women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or using formula access food and healthcare.
How do I know if my baby is getting enough formula?
The number of your baby’s dirty, wet diapers and weight gain will tell you if they are getting enough formula.
They should have around six wet diapers a day from a few days after birth, soaked with clear or pale yellow urine.
Talk to your baby’s pediatrician if you have any concerns about their weight gain.
Can I use bottled water to make up infant formula?
Bottled water is not recommended for mixing up your infant’s baby formula because it’s not usually sterile and may contain too much sodium or sulfate, which is not suitable for your developing baby’s health.
Feeding your baby can be costly, but while cost is a significant determining factor in purchasing baby formula, it shouldn’t be the only factor determining the type of baby formula you use.
It’s essential to pay close attention to the ingredients to capture the true picture of the cost and benefits of the food you provide for your baby.
In the end, it’s a good idea to discuss this with your child’s pediatrician.