There are lots of reasons parents choose to use formula with their babies. Some babies have trouble breastfeeding, lots of women struggle with it, and honestly, some just choose to formula-feed because it’s the best choice for them. It’s really important to remember that fed is best, and as long as your little one is getting the nutrients they need, the method of delivery doesn’t matter! Personally, I chose to nurse both of my girls, and was very, VERY lucky that it worked out for me as well as it did. So many moms aren’t as lucky, and it definitely feels like a privilege that my body just did what I needed it to do.

One of the main reasons I wanted to breastfeed was because it’s free. Formula is … not. In fact, formula-feeding is incredibly expensive. Caroline Hand shared her experience with formula-feeding, and broke down how much her family spent in just one year on food for their baby. It’s astounding.

Calculating the cost of formula isn’t easy. There are so many different brands, from generic to organic to formulas made for babies with specific dietary needs. But anyway you slice it, it’s pricey.

Caroline says she struggled to produce enough milk to feed her babies, which is a problem so many mothers face. She and her partner took the formula samples from the hospital to supplement with while she pumped. But her supply never caught up to her baby’s needs, and they transitioned to using formula full-time.

In their baby’s first week of life, they spent $79.11 just to feed him.

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In the beginning, they used pre-mixed bottles for convenience. But as the baby grew and started eating more, they moved to the powder. Buying it online using a subscription service saved them a few bucks, but one can still cost $28.98. They went through 5 – 7 tubs a month, and in an average month, spent nearly $175 on formula.

In one year, Caroline’s family spent $1,942.88 on baby formula.

That amount is staggering. One year! And this isn’t even taking into account if your baby has dietary restrictions or allergies, digestive issues, or needs formulas beyond the first year. Specialty formulas can be INCREDIBLY expensive, upwards of $40 for one tub. But honestly, what choice do so many families have? You can’t NOT feed your baby. Sure, you can use coupons and subscription services to save a few bucks each month. But it’s still a huge financial burden, and one that too many families struggle to meet.

Telling someone that they should “just breastfeed” is not the answer here. Again, for a lot of families, that is simply not an option. It’d be nice if companies took into account that this is one place most families cannot cut corners. Babies need to be fed, and it’s a damn shame that some families struggle to make that happen.

(Image: iStock/dragana991)