The following article was written by Missy Hornick and in partnership with Store Brand Formula.
Becoming a mom, whether it’s for the first time or not, and so many things race through our minds. We want nothing more than to give birth to healthy babies who will grow up to be amazing little people who will be happy and succeed beyond our wildest dreams. We want everyone to get along. We want the world to be perfect for them and we want to give them all the things we never had or couldn’t have growing up. The last thing I want to have to worry about when all these crazy ideas and fantasies are running through my pre or post baby brain is “how am I going to feed this little person?”
When I found out I was pregnant with my second daughter I had all of these grand ideas of how I was going to be this “super milk production station.” Nothing was going to stop me. I thought, “Oh my husband will be home to watch our 3-year-old daughter so I’ll have all this time to spend with my baby and my breast pump.” Sadly, things don’t always go the way we plan. Life happened. Fast forward to three weeks into Riley’s early arrival to this world – I’m exhausted, frustrated and trying to figure out how to juggle an infant, a toddler, and my 38-year-old adult toddler husband – all while making sure I keep all 4 of us alive. Oh yeah, plus somehow manage to maintain a semi-clean house. I mean people want to come over and see the adorable new baby. They want to see how big sis is interacting with her not to mention comment on how tired I look. It all started to take its toll. I’m not the “super milk producer” I thought I would be. Riley just seems to be crying all the time and only being 3-weeks-old I can only assume it’s because I’m just not feeding her enough. Great… now I had to try to talk myself off of the “I’m not good enough, I’m being a bad mom” ledge.
We had gotten some samples of baby formula in the mail so I made the heartbreaking decision to give Riley some formula. Sure her sigh of relief when she took that first bottle warmed my heart a little. It seemed to finally fill her up, which was a relief, but it didn’t stop me from crying in frustration at what I thought was my personal failure. After a few days of formula feeding, and some post baby hormones settling down, both my husband and I could see the difference in baby Riley. We noticed we started to get a little sleep. (Yay!!!) As little Riley started to go through her growth spurts and plow right through those formula bottles and cans, we started to notice the financial burden of investing in advertised name brand formula.
Store Brand Formula conducted a survey of 500 moms and found that nearly half (49%) of moms who used nationally advertised name-brand formula said if they could turn back time, they would make the switch to store brand formula, myself included. But, with 46% percent of moms sticking to the formula brand they received free samples of from the hospital, switching can be scary.
Geez… you’re already feeling a little down as a mother. Now you need to find a supplement to feed your child that you trust but it’s going to cost you an arm and a leg the entire first year of your baby’s life! The cost of name-brand formula is extremely high. Nationally advertised brands can cost up to twice as much as store brands. I learned that all infant formulas in the United States must meet the same FDA standards, so why was I using advertised name brand? After talking to Riley’s doctor about my frustration at the never ending cost of formula he gave me some great advice. Being a father of 5 young boys (yikes, could you imagine?), he and his wife felt the same way. Then he told me if you really look at what those name brands offer and what store brands offer it’s all the same benefits and ingredients. Like I said, they are both nutritionally comparable and regulated by the FDA.
So really, what are we paying for? A name? A nice commercial on TV that makes the baby look so happy he’s getting this high priced formula? It was an easy decision. For a much better price I was able to give myself a little piece of sanity and instantly switched over to the store brand. As soon as my other formula was gone I made the switch to the store brand. I can say I was just as happy as Riley’s tummy was with the switch. I found the formula that was just like the brand name I have been using. You know what? Riley couldn’t even tell I changed her food.
This first year has been flying by so fast. I’m so grateful that even though I wasn’t able to personally give Riley what she needed, I was able to find an alternative food source that has kept everyone in this house happy and a little saner.
Dr. Lisa Thornton, pediatrician and spokesperson for Store Brand Infant Formula, offers some fantastic advice for making the switch to store brand formula as seamless as possible:
- Stay with the same type of formula. Whether it’s cow’s milk or soy formula, parents can feel comfortable switching formula brands without difficulty.
- Research shows there is no benefit to easing the transition from one formula to another. It’s ok to skip the transition stage altogether. (Which is what I did) As long as it’s the same type, just make the switch.
- If you want to make the switch from lactose based to soy based formulas or any other type, make sure you consult your pediatrician.
If you need further information check out “the Switch Study”, a clinical study that was performed by researchers at the University of Virginia. Their research discovered that switching baby formulas is safe and well tolerated by infants. This can help assure parents and care givers to be confident in making the switch to store brand infant formula.
I am glad I didn’t let changing get in my way. My baby and my wallet thank me. Yours will too!