11th December 2023
An article on the ‘best formula milk for your baby, according to experts’ has recently been published in a daily newspaper and attracted considerable attention online. In this Voices blog, we publish a response by Professor Amy Brown to the article which challenges its blatant advertising of infant formula milk and promotion of the myth that more expensive products are better for babies. Amy is Professor in Child Public Health at Swansea University where her research is around becoming and being a new parent, with a particular focus on infant feeding, mental health and normal baby behaviour.
There’s an article online at the moment that is promoting the idea of the ‘best’ formula milk for your baby. It’s basically an advertising piece and includes some of the most expensive formulas suggesting they are better for your baby.
I’m not going to link to it (and am it’s been published under advertising laws) but wanted to remind anyone who is worried that they can’t afford the ‘best’ formula for their baby or is feeling pressure to afford it, that there’s simply no evidence that more expensive milks are better for your baby.
All infant formulas suitable from 0-12 months are nutritionally equivalent and there’s no evidence that any provide better nutrition or outcomes compared to the others. They are all regulated to have very similar ingredients and the ones on sale for £9 (or whatever the lowest price is this week) will support your baby in the same way that the ones double the price will.
When you look at the ingredients list of different priced formulas, they are very similar. The companies openly admit in published research to targeting different worries in their advertising of their products, i.e., making parents think that some milks are more scientific and developed than others, even though they know that this isn’t true.
Please buy whatever milk suits your budget, is most most easily available, or even suits your kitchen colour scheme – which is more relevant than any advertising claims are!