Monday, June 1, 2009

Feeding Baby 6/1/09

Have you ever wondered just how much it costs to raise a child? Well, to raise a child born this year by the time they are 18 (provided they do not require extraordinary medical or other expenses) will cost about $411,214 by today's dollar. Yes, that is one hefty amount of money - of course we can always find ways to slash those costs, procuring hand-me-down clothing, using coupons, etc.

One significant (and super-healthy) way to save a load of dollars is to breastfeed your baby. Some Moms wouldn't think of doing anything else and others wouldn't dream of even trying. We are certainly not going to debate the breast vs. bottle issue here, but we do have to point out that any pediatrician will tell you that there are compounds found in breast milk that just cannot be manufactured.

I nursed my oldest daughter, Collette until she was 15 months old, she never had a drop of formula and I was quite proud of myself by the time she decided she was through with nursing. When my younger daughter, Lauren was born, I never even considered doing anything other than breastfeeding - but Little Miss Lauren, being the strong-willed child that she still is to this day, had other plans. She never quite got the hang of latching-on and was very inefficient when she did nurse. I pumped and pumped and pumped until I felt like a dairy cow - but Lauren just wasn't getting enough, she lost nearly 2 pounds in her first week of life and needed some form of supplementation. I very reluctantly supplemented her with formula, feeling guilty and a failure and eventually just gave up trying to breastfeed. Although I know she (and I) missed out on some of the health benefits that nursing provides, she has never been the worse for it. Today she is happy and healthy and strong as a horse. Do I regret not being able to breastfeed her when I was so successful with Collette?.. Yes Do I regret the decision to switch to formula when nursing or pumping just wasn't working?... not for a second.

When I did finally break down and buy formula I, of course, bought an expensive name-brand. The name brand had to be the best... right? Wrong! Little did I know that in the formula game - all ARE created equal. Those store-brand baby formulas that you find at Target, the supermarket or Walmart ARE actually, by FDA standards, just as good as the big names next to them on the shelves.

So if you choose to use formula - or like me, your baby makes the choice for you - rest assured that in that area you can save your wallet a few dollars and still provide the best nutrition (next to breastfeeding, of course) that you can for your baby.

Visit Parent's Choice Infant Formula and use their savings calculator to see just how much money you can save (pretend you're buying name-brand formula and put the difference in a college fund!)


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