The following was a simple exercise that I did in the spur of the moment when the husband kept complaining about breastfeeding and wanting to switch to formula. As with all investment professionals (yes, occupational hazard), I did it to estimate my “value” contributed to the family. The following was what I calculated back in 2016:
Average cost of formula:
For Stage 2, I calculated an average among the major brands as per the table below. For Stage 3, I took the price of Similac (because Baby E is taking Similac) back then, which was $43. As of early 2017, the price has increased to $45.
Estimated usage of formula:
The interesting thing about Baby E is that her intake of milk stopped at 160ml and has been consistently there for a long while. Based on the fact that when Baby E was taking 1 feed a day on weekdays, one tin of 850g formula lasted her for 6 weeks, I came out with the gauge that
1 tin of 850g formula = 30 feeds
Cost of feeding formula from 6 months to 18months old:
Using that as a gauge, I came out with the following cost table. Note that the stage 3 has been split into 12-16 months and 17-18 months because the number of feeds at the infantcare decreased in preparation for entry into childcare. From there, the estimated cost of feeding formula from 6 months to 18 months is SGD 2,840 (This will be SGD 2,897 if we use SGD 45 for Stage 3 milk powder).
How much, then, does it cost to breastfeed?
The following table will vary according to individuals. As mentioned in my earlier posts, I bought 4 pumps in total, and extra equipment such as an extra set of breast pump shield so that I didn’t have to rush to wash the shields before work. There are also variable costs such as milk storage bags, nursing pads and vitamins such as fish oil, calcium and multivitamins. Notice also, that there is a column with resale value indicated because I carousell-ed away the pumps after I was done with them, and the remainder of the unused milk storage bag.
Cost of breastfeeding from newborn to 18months (Notice that I am unable to do 6 to 18 months calculation since the cost for pumps is fixed):
So yup, feeding formula from 6 to 18months costs $2,840 while nursing till 18months costs $900. Cost wise it seems to outweigh feeding formula even without calculating stage 1 formula cost but as an economist (again occupational hazard), I’ll say that non-quantifiable costs such as having to pump milk and wash pump parts, getting up at night to do night feeds (because breast milk is easily digested and lasts the kid about 3 hours maximum while formula can keep them full for 4 to 5 hours) got to be taken into account. Of course, there are non-quantifiable benefits too. Like some swear that their kids are healthier when they are nursing them etc.
But yes, show your husbands this post if you intend to continue nursing but the husband isn’t keen on it! Large cost savings there!