Where to buy baby formula? A guide for first-time parents

Are you expecting your first baby, and wondering what to feed them? Read our guide to buying infant formula. 

Bringing a new life into the world is an incredible journey; one that is filled with love, joy, and new experiences. It’s also filled with a huge amount of responsibility and, sometimes, a confusing array of choices!

We want to take a little bit of that confusion away from you, so have compiled a guide to buying baby formula. Feeding your baby can be a big source of worry for first-time parents, and choosing the right formula can feel like a tough decision. If you’re wondering what type of formula to buy, and from where, you can read Baby’s Only review. Read on for some advice from us, too. 

What are the different types of baby formula?

Before we cover where you can buy baby formula from, we need to look at the different types available on the market. 

You can buy baby formula in several different forms, including:

  • Powdered baby formula
  • Liquid concentrate baby formula
  • Ready-to-feed baby formula

Each type of baby formula has advantages and disadvantages, and will be right for different parents and babies in different situations. 

Powdered formula is usually the most cost-effective choice and has a long shelf life, which means it can be stored for an extended period. Many parents rely on this type of baby formula for every day use at home. If you are on a budget, you may decide to buy this in bulk and save money.

You need to mix liquid concentrate baby formula water before feeding, which also makes it more suitable for home use, or when staying somewhere you have access to a kitchen. 

Ready-to-feed baby formula, meanwhile, is the most convenient option because you can use it without preparation. But it is also the most expensive type, which means most parents rely on it only when they are out and about, and their normal options aren’t available or convenient. 

What’s in baby formula?

Baby formulas are designed to mimic the nutritional composition of breast milk, and they contain essential nutrients for your baby, such as proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. 

Some formulas are manufactured to meet specific needs, for example for infants with sensitive stomachs or allergies. So it is important that you understand your baby’s nutritional needs and any specific requirements before you choose a baby formula for them.

Where can you buy baby formula?

You can buy baby formula from a number of places. Let’s look at the most common. 

Grocery stores

The most frequent place that parents buy baby formula from is supermarkets or grocery stores, as part of their regular food shop. Most stores will have an aisle or section devoted to infant and baby products, including formula.

You should be able to find a variety of different brands and types to choose from, catering to different needs and budgets. You may also find larger stores running promotions or discounts on baby formula, which can help you to save money on your purchases.

Pharmacies and drugstores

You will often also find a section of baby formula in pharmacies and drugstores. The advantage of buying baby formula from these stores is that you can usually ask a pharmacist for their advice and recommendations, based on your baby’s needs. 

Pharmacies also frequently participate in government assistance programs, like the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), which gives eligible families vouchers for buying baby formula.

Wholesale retailers

If you have access to a wholesale retailer, you may be able to buy your baby formula here. These stores usually offer a wide range of brands and package sizes at competitive prices. Shopping at wholesalers means you can stock up on baby formula in bulk, saving you money and ensuring you always have plenty on hand. Many of these chains also offer membership programs or frequent shopper loyalty rewards, giving you access to further savings.

Online stores

We buy so much of what we need online today, and baby formula is no different. Buying baby formula online has become more and more popular and convenient. E-commerce platforms such as Amazon offer a wide choice of baby formula, with the added convenience of doorstep delivery. 

When shopping online you can also compare prices, read reviews from other parents, and easily replenish your supply without leaving your home. This is might be an ideal option for time-poor parents, or families without their own transport. 

Specialty baby retailers 

Specialty baby shops and boutiques will sometimes sell a curated selection of high-quality baby formula, including organic or hypoallergenic choices. While you will usually pay more at specialty stores when compared to bigger retailers, you’ll benefit from a more personalized service and expert advice to help your purchasing decisions.

Health food shops

If you prefer to buy organic or specialty baby formula, you may want to check out health food shops. These are stores that specialize in natural and organic products, including baby formula made from alternative ingredients such as soy or goat’s milk.

While the prices may be higher than conventional formulas, some parents prefer to choose products that are free from artificial additives or preservatives for their baby. 

What should you think about before buying baby formula?

When buying baby formula for the first time, there are a few things you need to consider to ensure you choose the right product for your baby:

  • Your baby’s nutritional needs: Find a formula that meets your baby’s nutritional needs based on their age, health, and any specific dietary requirements.
  • The ingredients: Check the ingredients list before you buy, and try to avoid formulas that contain additives, artificial flavors, or excessive sugar.
  • Brand reputation: Choose trusted brands with a background in manufacturing safe, high-quality baby formula. Ask friends and family for their favorite brands. 
  • Reviews: Research customer reviews and speak to healthcare professionals to check you’re buying the right formula from a brand you can trust. 
  • Cost: While cost is important, you need to weigh up price with your baby’s health and wellbeing, and ultimately choose the best product for them. Look for value packs or discounts on high quality formulas to help you budget. 
  • Availability: Before you opt for a particular brand that your baby will get used to, check that the baby formula you choose is easily available at the stores you regularly shop in, or can be easily ordered online to avoid running out.

Give your baby the best start in life

Ensuring your baby receives the proper nutrition for their health and development is one of your biggest responsibilities as a parent, so ensure you make the right choice with their infant formula. Weigh up all the considerations before choosing a brand, and find the right retailer to buy from.