Get tips on how to save on baby formula

Melanie Hassell mostly uses infant formula to feed her 2-week-old. She's found it costs a lot more than it did for her other children.

"I think it's really ridiculous, the price of formula right now, especially such a necessity. Some mothers can't nurse," said Hassell.

Sandra Gordon, author of Consumer Reports baby book, says don't try to save money by adding extra water to the formula.

"If your baby gets too much water, it can lead to what's called water intoxication which can be potentially deadly," said Sandra Gordon, CR Best Baby Products.

So be sure to follow the directions exactly. And use the scoop that comes with the formula, because scoops vary in size.

Although formula is expensive, as much as $1,500 in the first year, Consumer Reports says there are ways to cut costs.

Instead of buying formula at drugstores and supermarkets where prices are highest, shop at mass merchandisers like Wal-Mart or Target and get store brands.

"All infant formula sold in the U.S., whether it is a store brand or a name-brand must meet the same basic nutrient requirements specified by the Food and Drug Administration. So if your baby likes the store brand formula, there's no reason not to buy it," said Gordon.

A couple of other ways to save, powdered formula costs a lot less than the pre-mixed. And milk-based formula usually costs less than soy.

"A milk-based formula is really the best for your child. So unless your doctor recommends a soy formula or a specialty formula, go with milk-based," said Gordon.

And you always want to check the expiration date to make sure the formula isn't too old.

Doctors say if you're able to breastfeed your baby for their first year, that's the healthiest option.



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