Have you ever wondered how much money you could save if you decided to breastfeed you baby over bottle feeding it? I have, but I have never actually sat down and worked out the numbers.
So today I have decided to do some research and come up with an actual dollar figure on how much money you can save by breastfeeding over bottle/formula feeding your baby.
Before I start I will list a few assumptions that I have made:
- The average formula can is 900 grams – this is based on my own experience and confirmed by browsing the shops.
- Most 900 gram cans contain about 100 scoops (+/- 5 scoops) – The 9 (Nine) looks like a ‘G’ using this font for some reason.
- Prices range from about $15 to $20 – some are slightly more, some slightly less, but the bulk are in this range.
- I am using the directions on the back of an S-26 Gold baby formula can for the amount of formula to feed a baby at certain ages.
Baby Formula at 0 – 2 Weeks Old
According to my can of S-26 Gold a baby between the ages of 0 – 2 Weeks requires 1 scoop 8 times a day.
- 8 scoops a day
- 56 scoops a week
- 112 scoops in the 1st 2 weeks
- 112 scoops = 1.12 x 900g cans of formula
With the baby only requiring 112 scoops, that leaves us needing only 1.12 cans of formula for the first 2 weeks. So in total that is only about $15 – $20.
Baby Formula at 2 Weeks – 13 Weeks Old (3 Months)
As the baby gets older the amount of formula increases, and at 2 weeks – 13 seeks the baby requires 2 scoops 6 times a day.
- 12 scoops a day
- 84 scoops a week
- 11 weeks = 924 scoops during this period
- 924 scoops = 9.24 x 900g cans of formula
Now things are getting a little more serious with the child requiring 924 scoops of formula during this period. This equates to just over 9 cans of formula which will cost between $135 and $180.
Baby Formula at 3 – 6 Months Old
At this age most kids are still heavily on the breast/bottle and the instructions of my formula can say that 3 month to 6 month old babies need 3 scoops 5 times a day.
- 15 scoops a day
- 105 scoops a week
- 13 weeks = 1,365 scoops during this period
- 1,365 scoops = 13.65 x 900g cans of formula
We are pretty much consuming 1 can per week at this rate with a total of 13.65 cans required to feed the child. This will cost between $195 and $260.
Baby Formula at 6 – 12 Months Old
At this age most kids will be getting into solids and the formula / breast milk will be supplementing those solid foods. The formula can calls for kids that are between 6 to 12 months to have 3 scoops 5 times a day
- 15 scoops a day
- 105 scoops a week
- 26 weeks = 2,730 scoops during this period
- 2,730 scoops = 27.3 x 900g cans of formula
This is pretty much the same amount per week as the previous age bracket, but for a longer period of time. So over the 26 weeks the child would consume 27.3 cans. Costing us $405 to $540.
Overall Total Cost
In total (using the amounts detailed above) for the first year of a babies life the parents can expect to buy 51.15 cans of 900g baby formula. This will cost between $780 and $1,040.
- $15 x 52 cans = $780
- $20 x 52 cans = $1,040
I’m actually quite surprised by that total. I thought it would be a lot more than that honestly (perhaps my math is wrong?). Of course there are also a few other things to consider which I haven’t taken into consideration and they are the cost of the bottles, your time setting up the bottles versus the potential extra food a new mother will need to consume to produce the milk – both of these things are difficult to quantify.
It also doesn’t take into consideration difficulties with breastfeeding or partial bottle top ups to a baby that is primarily fed breast milk where the child consumes both sources of food. Another consideration which my wife and I got caught out with is things like having to get a breast pump due to blocked milk ducts – this isn’t going to be an issue for solely bottle fed bubs.
Is it worth it?
I’m not going to get into the whole breast is best / bottle feeding a baby debate, I just want to show the cost of using formula to feed a baby so that others can see just what it may end up costing them should they decide to go down that path.