Are infant formulas all the same? – Just the Facts, Mom
Just the Facts, Mom
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Are infant formulas all the same?

You don’t think twice about buying generic breakfast cereal, so why not generic infant formula?

Cat’s out of the bag: infant formula is tightly regulated by the government, so even generic formulas provide adequate nutrition on paper. 

That much is right, and so recently I’ve seen it repeated all over the place that there’s just no reason at all to buy brand-name infant formula because infant formulas are all the same. 

This would be great, simple, money-saving advice were it true. But it's not!

Sometimes generic formulas are the same, sometimes they're not, and sometimes it matters

Generic formulas are sometimes very close replicas of their brand-name counterparts, other times not so much. When the generic suggests to "compare to" another product, you're going to actually have to compare! 

For example, some formulas have broken-down proteins that can be easier on babies' stomachs. Formulas are sometimes corn syrup-sweetened, instead of lactose (milk sugar), and there's not a lot of evidence confirming that will have no health effects down the line.

Plus, the brand-name formulas also vary pretty significantly in quality themselves. To learn much much more about the various ingredients in infant formula, head over here to Baby Formula Expert (no affiliation, I just like the site).

There's no substitute for doing your own research

The bigger takeaway is that parenting choices are basically never truly that simple. Those recommending generic formulas have their hearts in the right place. But parents who report that their children react differently to generic formula may not be imagining things, either.

Conventional wisdom will work for most people, but it’s also not one-size-fits-all, and anyways conventional wisdom changes. There is no real substitute for doing your own research rather than taking other people’s word for it.

I hope that my work here at Just the Facts makes learning about parenting topics a little easier for you! Thanks to my current subscribers for supporting me in this work.

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