Today I’m starting a series about the costs of raising a baby. Any new parent soon discovers that their little bundle of joy has a large price tag associated with it, especially in their first year of life. This series will detail what some of those costs are and some options to lessen the financial impact.
For our first installment we’ll discuss the cost of infant formula…
Before our little one was born, my wife and I had already decided that we wanted to go the stay-at-home-mom route. We knew that living on one income would mean some sacrifices on our part, but we felt like it was worth it. With that in mind, Amanda had every intention of breast-feeding. We read the literature about it, attended a class on it at the hospital, and bought a breast pump and related accessories. The upfront costs were around $300, but the ongoing costs were going to be minimal. The only problem was when Tyler got here, the breast milk didn’t.
For others, using formula may be necessary due to busy work schedules. With so many moms in the workforce I know breast feeding can be difficult.
Since Tyler still needed to eat, we opted for the pre-made jugs of Similac Advance. I’m sure other brands are similar; that’s just what we used. Tyler is now 11 months old and approaching the point where we can pull the plug on formula altogether. But I’ve realized that all this formula has been a significant piece of our monthly budget. While I’m glad that here shortly that expense will drop off, I decided to analyze the cost of the ready-made liquid formula with the cost of powder formula.
Using standard infant feeding guides I found that in their first year, a baby will consume between roughly 8,000 and 11,000 ounces of formula (source). On average, an ounce of pre-made formula costs $0.20, and an ounce worth of powder formula costs $0.15 (including the cost of nursery water). Here is the first year total cost:
- Pre-made: Between $1,600 and $2,200.
- Powder: Between $1,200 and $1,600
So using pre-made formula costs on average $475 more than powder, or around $40 a month. For a tight budget that is a significant savings. If/when we decide on another child we will have to give powder formula more consideration.
- I know there are other brands of formula that may cost less. We used Similac, but there is also Enfamil and various store brands out there as well.
- I should point out that the pre-made jugs, while costing more, are super easy and convenient. Especially in the first few weeks after Tyler was born, that convenience was well worth the extra cost.
- If you have any cost saving options that worked for you, be sure to write it in the comment section below. Other readers would be glad to see.