Sometime during our pregnancy or before we head to the delivery room, or shortly after delivery, we decide whether to breastfeed, bottle feed or mix-feed our babies. Initially, my intent was to mix-feed (breastfeed with supplemental feeding with infant formula.) However, after baby arrived, I experienced a double dilemma: I had difficulties in producing enough milk to keep up with baby’s demands and supplemental formula caused digestive issues for baby! This was NO BUENO all around! Growing very worried of baby not getting enough nutrition, I stopped trying to breastfeed altogether, contacted my OB office and asked if they had a different kind of baby formula we could try. We were given Similac Total Comfort Infant Formula with Iron (Purple tub). After 24 hours of baby taking this new formula without difficulty, we decided to stick with formula feeding moving forward.
Store brand or National Brand?
Similac is an excellent infant formula but extremely expensive, needing to purchase milk twice a week for around the clock feeding every two hours would have added up very quickly! So, I did what any good mommy would do:
- First, I turned to Google for answers!
- Second: I did a search for infant formula within a 50 mile radius from my home . In Google search box: type in: Baby+milk+formula+city+state (Example: baby milk formula Glittery Unicorn City, Texas). In my area there is a Walmart, Walgreens,Target, HEB, Aldi, CVS and Sams. Each store had their own store brand of infant formula – this was a good start!
- Third: I visited the one trusted source of information where I could attain definitive answers to all my store brand infant formula questions – the U.S. Health and Human Service Commission Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website.
- Somewhere in between these steps, consult your doctor’s office with concerns or questions regarding infant formula and bottle feeding!
After all my research and reading, I learned that the FDA has the official capacity to oversee infant formula manufacturers to ensure they are making safe products for babies and support healthy growth to formula fed babies. On June 9, 2014, the FDA announced they are finalizing a rule setting specific standards for infant formula manufacturers which include the following:
- Have good practices set in place that require them to perform testing for Salmonella and Cronobacter.
- Must demonstrate infant formula they produce supports normal physical growth.
- Required testing for nutrient content, in the final product stage, before it goes out into the market and at the end of product’s shelf life.
According to the FDA CFR – Code of Federal Regulations Title 21 specifically states an infant formula shall contain nutrients at a level not less than the minimum level specified and not more than the maximum level specified for each 100 kilocalories of infant formula prepared for consumption.
Perrigo Nutritionals produces 12 store brand infant formulas for 68 retailer chains! Many of these retailers we are all familiar with such as:
- Sams Club
For our baby, we purchase Target’s Up and Up brand Gentle Non-GMO Infant Formula 33.2 for $21.99 (Purple top) or H‑E‑B Baby Gentle Milk‑Based Powder Infant Formula 12-24oz (0‑12 Months) (Purple top). Baby had no digestive issues with either of these two store brands. The shared commonality of both these store brand was Purple color tub top and both were “Gentle” infant formula.
This is a side by side cost comparison of Target’s Up and Up brand Gentle Non-GMO Infant Formula 33.2 for $21.99 (Purple top). There is an $11.00 difference between the two infant formulas! This is something to get excited about!
Here is a chart that I found on the store brand formula website , comparing Store brand gentle infant formula to Enfamil Premium Gentlease. The cost of store brand infant formula was far more reasonable than Enfamil! So in other words, happy-well nourished baby and happy savings! Take a look around this website, I found it to be very informative, especially for moms and dads who are considering infant formula feeding.
| Enfamil® Premium®
|Linoleic Acid mg||780||780|
|Vitamin A IU||300||300|
|Vitamin D IU||60||60|
|Vitamin E IU||2||2|
|Vitamin K mcg||9||9|
|Vitamin B1 mcg||80||80|
|Vitamin B2 mcg||140||140|
|Vitamin B6 mcg||60||60|
|Vitamin B12 mcg||0.3||0.3|
|Folic Acid mcg||16||16|
|Pantothenic Acid mcg||500||500|
|Vitamin C mg||12||12|
Coupons for Baby Formula?
Store brand baby formula is more likely to go on sale or you will find “dollars off” coupons for it too! My local HEB grocery store usually offers $2.00 off on their H-E-B infant formula. Regular price for H-E-B Baby Gentle Milk-Based Powder Infant Formula (0-12 Months), 21.5 oz is $15.38, but with a $2.00 yellow coupon, it’s a definitely a break. Here is an example of a recent HEB 4/2019 coupon.
Lastly,****I am not a medical professional! Always consult your doctor for advice when you have concerns about baby’s health and proper nutritional nourishment.**** I am only passing on my personal experience and sharing what I learned through my own research on infant formula.***