This post has been updated!
Read my previous posts on this topic:
- The Finances of Preparing to Breastfeed #2
- Breastfeeding Tyler – Update #1
- Breastfeeding Tyler – Update #2
- Breastfeeding Tyler – Update #3
- Breastfeeding Tyler – Update #4
- Breastfeeding Tyler – Final Update (I think)
After discussing weaning about a month ago, I both followed Tyler’s lead and led him to the end of breastfeeding. In the last month, he’s easily switched from nursing first thing in the morning to eating Cheerios. If he had fought it, I would have delayed weaning, but instead, it went pretty smoothly. Bedtime was a slightly more difficult transition, with Marc taking the lead for a few nights. But I think it was actually harder for me than for Tyler, seeing how easily he gave up nursing for books and songs.
I’m reasonably confident that we nursed for the last time this past Friday, and unless I find myself in excruciating pain, I have no plans to nurse him again. So I can tally up the total cost of breastfeeding Tyler and compare it to the cost of breastfeeding Alex, and to the cost of buying formula for over a year.
At last count, I had spent $771, and I don’t think I bought anything nursing-related after that. My greatest expense by far was the milk supply boosting supplement, More Milk Special Blend. Of the $771, $505 was spent on Special Blend. It was worth every penny, of course, because I don’t produce enough milk without it. But without it, I would have spent only $266 on breastfeeding – on a few new bras and tops, lanolin, and nursing pads. Not bad.
I didn’t track the cost of breastfeeding Alex, but my guess is that the total was around $1500. This includes all of the nursing gear I bought the first time around – bras, shirts, pillows, washable pads, my pump, etc. So I definitely spent less this time, mainly because I already had much of what I needed, and because I didn’t need to spend as much on lactation consultations.
How much did I save by not buying formula? According to Baby Cheapskate, the lowest price for name-brand formula is $19.99 for a 25.7 ounce can, which works out to 78 cents per ounce. I plugged that number into KellyMom.com’s cost benefits of breastfeeding calculator and came up with a cost of $7961 to formula feed a baby for one year.
Updated: Much thanks to reader Michele for pointing out that the 25.7 ounce can is a powder that creates 191 ounces of formula, which works out to about 10 cents per ounce. Plug 10 cents into the KellyMom calculator and you get the much more palatable figure of $1020 for one year’s worth of formula. Much better!
I’m sure that number could be lowered by using coupons and/or store brand formula, but regardless, I’m convinced that I saved a lot of money by breastfeeding Tyler. And he and I are both better off for it, too. Not only did we bond via breastfeeding, he’ll have (I hope!) a strong immune system because of it. And I’ve hopefully reduced my risk of breast cancer. You can’t beat that!