Raising a baby is expensive

Raising a child in the U.S. is an expensive proposition, particularly when using name-brand products. For most growing families, finding ways to make life more affordable is a top priority. Unfortunately, when it comes to feeding babies, many unknowingly make unsafe choices in an attempt to stretch their budgets for things like baby formula.

New parents should never try to save money by feeding babies a diluted formula or homemade formula -- two of the more common mistakes parents make around formula-feeding. Diluted or homemade formula won't have the correct essential vitamins and minerals, or caloric content needed for babies to grow and develop properly. Not only can this result in developmental delays, dangerous electrolyte imbalances can occur if you incorrectly prepare formula -- resulting in illness or even death.

Unfortunately, in a recent survey of moms with children under the age of 3, conducted by Perrigo Nutrition, the largest maker of store brand infant formula, one in five respondents said they have used more water than required by the instructions when preparing infant formula. Almost half stated their primary reason was to cut costs or make the formula last longer.

Nearly one in 10 moms surveyed have attempted to make their own formula, with nearly half believing it was healthier. Thirty-one percent of respondents stated they made their own formula because it is less expensive to DIY. Writing on behalf of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Steven Abrams warned of the dangers of homemade formula: "Although recipes for homemade formulas circulating on the internet may seem healthy or less expensive, they may not be safe or meet your baby's nutritional needs."

The good news is that while many new parents leave the hospital or doctor's office with the impression that if they need to formula-feed they must do so only with the name brand formula with which their doctor sent them home, a very safe and simple switch to store brand infant formula can be made that will save families money while providing a nutritionally complete product. Just as good as brand-name options, making this switch can save your family $600 per year.

Store-brand infant formula is an excellent, pediatrician-approved way to save money on formula-feeding. When cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and designed for infants, these options ensure the proper balance of nutrition. The ability to save on high-quality formula is important, as the first year of an infant's life is critical for long-term growth and development. For a complimentary book on feeding baby and other resources and advice, visit storebrandformula.com.

Confusion about infant feeding is normal. With a growing number of American families looking for ways to make ends meet, it is no surprise that many parents get creative about reducing the cost of formula-feeding. Luckily, store-brand infant formula provides a safe, simple and affordable solution.

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