43 answers

I Can't Afford Formula for My Baby

My daughter has an allergy to milk based formulas, so we are having to put her on Nutramigen. It is extremely expensive, but is the only thing that seems to be working for her. Is there anywhere I can go where they sell this at a lower price (a 16 oz can is $25). I get Enfamil coupons in the mail maybe once a month, but I only get a couple, and we go through more than one can in one week.

Any tricks to the trade? (I don't qualify for WIC)

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Hi,
My daughter was on Nutramigen also, so I know how expensive it is. I used to buy it on Ebay and got some really good deals. Hope you find some bargains!

My daughter had issues with formulas and we found that the brand Good Start worked for her. It is gentle on their stomachs.
Good luck..T.

Another easy option is to the use the Target brand formula, it's half the price and the ingredients and nutritionals are the same. That's what I did with my son and then I didn't have to worry about adjusting to a new formula from Enfamil.

More Answers

Hi W.~
I would write a note (or email) the company that makes the formula for your child. Let them know that it's the only formula your child can use and that the price is more than you can afford. They will more than likely send you coupons (for free cans of formula) or will offer to sell it to you at a lower cost and deliver to your door. If your pediatrician will write out a prescription for this formula; you might be able to deduct it on your taxes (consult with your CPA, first - I'm not a CPA). It would make sense to the company to get a lot of positive reviews from a "happy" customer. Good luck to you!
Lucy B.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi there, I would write to the company that sells that, it's probably on the can. Tell them of your situation and ask for coupons or samples, you might be surprised. Also, ask at the doctors office. You'll never know if you don't ask. Good Luck

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter had to be on Nutramgen for 6-8 months (she's 9-can't remember everything). She had severe medical issues and meds that made regular formulas )inc soy) intolerable. We got samples from the doctors office, I called the company and explained our situation and they sent me coupons equalling a case with a form to fill out to receive more coupons, and the sales rep for the drs office donated a case to us after our dr talked to him.
My advice is try to ask all the medical offices, clinics, etc for samples; call the company;, etc.

I too had to put my baby on Nutramigen and I concur with how expensive it is in the store. I have found that you can buy it for a really fair price (if not cheap in some instances) on Ebay.
That is where I buy all my sons formula right now.

Hi W.. My son and now my 3 month old daughter have had to be on nutramigen too and you are right! It is incredibly expensive! One thing I discovered lately is you can get it on ebay for arounf HALF the cost (which makes it about the same as reg formula). There are pages and pages worth of people selling it. Just make sure it shows the cans are sealed and have a good expiration date. Oh and make sure they are 16 oz cans cause sometimes they are selling the 8 oz cans which are the FREE sample cans the dr gives out. I just spent 135 on 9 cans which would normally be over 225! Also ask your pediatrition if they can give you samples anytime you go. The reps give it to them free so they are usually willing to just give you whatever you want. I have probably gotten 8 or so cans from ours. And talk to the pediatrition but your baby may soon be able to tolerate reg formula. At 3 or 4 months I slowly switched my son back and he was fine. I have been tol cows milk is like razor blades in a babys belly til 3 or 4 months old. Sorry this was so long but I know how ya feel!! Good luck! Go on EBAY asap! S.

W.,

As some of the other respondents have said, contact the manufacturer and explain your situation. Most manufacturers will provide products to consumers in need. Drug companies do that a lot--for example, Bristol Myers Squibb used to have an option on their phone number for people who needed free drugs.

We were on it for a while and our doctor gave us a case of two to try. It wouldn't hurt to ask.

a friend of mine gave her baby red gelatin-the only thing he could drink-he was also allergic to cow milk,try soy milk also.

Hi W.,

I'm not familiar with better places to by formula - specifically. But, if you or someone you know has a costo card, you might try that. (Do you have a costco in your area?) You'll pay more up front, cuz you'll be buying in bulk, but less in the long run because it will last longer. Costco is where I always get diapers and wipes - I haven't found any place cheaper yet.

Also, I work from home and earn $300+ per month with 'stayin home and lovin it'. Not much, but it sure helps with the bills - and I probably put in about 15 hours a month - if that. It's not for everyone, but is an awesome opportunity for many and could help with the bills. If you'd like to hear more, just send me an email, or request info at www.HomeWithMy4.com

I just happened to throw away a box of free enfamil yesterday that came in the mail last week, as well as all my trial coupons. But, I'm sure I have more somewhere. When I went in to the dr's office with this pregnancy, the nutrisionest gave me 5 of the welcome diaper bags, because there was a cute little photo album in them, and she thought I should have one for each of my kids. :) Anyway, each one had offers/coupons.... I'll check and see if I have any left.... Will email you privately if I do. :)

Rene

Hi W.,
We also encountered the same problems with dairy and soy allergies with our daughter. Fortunately we found out when was 6 months and I was still able to pump for the remaining 6 months. However, our daughter was only 15lbs at 1 year (she's 29lbs at 4 yrs now)and so our doctor wanted to increase her calories. Since she has life threatening allergies to dairy and soy, our only option was nutramigen. Our pediatrician was great and had us coming in one a month for wt. checks and when we left he would give us 4-6 cans of Nutramigen. In hind sight I think he knew our daughter would increase her wt on the formula, but he was helping us out with the cost. I would definitely talk to your daughter's pediatrician and see if they can part with some of their supply.
Best of luck, I know how quickly the formula adds up especially when you don't have many options.
K.

You might want to try to call Enfamil, they may be willing to send you more coupons.

I haven't checked recently, my son was on Nutramigen when he was little, and Lucky (previous Alberson's) and Target seem to have best price.

HTH.

A.

W.,
You might want to check out Ebay. I put in Nutramigen and it came up with quite a few listings. You can look at the feedback profile etc., and as long as you pay with PayPal you're covered by PayPal if you're unsatisfied with your product.
Regards,
D.

I am not sure if this will work but have you tried a generic brand of formula. I know Target makes one for fussy babies or soy based formula. A lot of the generic brands do not make their own formula usually a brand name company make is but may change it a bit and repackage it in the name of the store (Target). You may want to ask the doctor about that.
I had twins and I was going through two can a week if I was lucky. I switch over to the Target brand my kids did not notice a different. They will milk base, but I thought I would share my idea. I was so excited when one of my friends told me it saved us so much money.

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Check out eBay. You have to buy bulk, but it comes out to about $16 a can.

I'm so sorry to hear about your situation. I know how expensive regular formula can be. Thankfully we are able to buy it @ sams club or costco. I have never had to buy that specific brand but maybe you could look online for it somewhere. Truy googling it or something. What about soy formula? @ least that can be found at costco. Good luck, remember there's only a few months left of formula!

Call or write to the company to see if they have a special assistance program or if they can give you coupons to help. Ask your doctor if they ever see the rep, and if so, have them explain your situation to the rep who might have some knowledge of how to help you. Ask for coupons on Freecycle.com and on craigslist as a "Wanted" ad. Trade other baby coupons with another mom.

Hi W.,

If you want to try another formula, our allergist recommended we try Nestle Good Start for our third child. He had a moderate milk allergy (only caused eczema). He tolerated the Good Start even though it is still milk based, because the milk protein is broken down ("partially hydrolyzed"). Longs carries smaller cans (powder) that you could try. Target sells big cans (powder) that are often on sale for under $20. These would last you a lot longer than the Nutramigen.

Also, I wanted to mention that it is possible to get some kind of tax break to compensate for increased costs of food needed for medical reasons. Sorry, I don't remember the details as we never applied for it, but maybe you could find more info on the internet.

One source of info I highly recommend is an on-line support group for parents of food allergic kids: www.kidswithfoodallergies.org. This site has been incredibly helpful to me in learning to manage our children's food allergies. (Our other son has very severe allergies, including nuts...)

Good luck!
D.

You might check with your physician. Sometimes they can write a prescription for special formula, and if your drug co-pay is affordable, that might be a way to save you some money. I had a friend in a similar situation, and as luck would have it, she was able to do just that! It's worth looking in to. Best wishes!

I am in a similar situation but we use Similac Alimentum. I have bought some forumla on Craigslist which can be a good way to go becuase you can see the cans and expiration dates. Ebay also has cans and coupons that people try to sell. I have also had some luck by contacting Similac directly my next avenue is to see if I can find out what pharma reps sell it and see if I can get samples.

Hi,
My daughter was on Nutramigen also, so I know how expensive it is. I used to buy it on Ebay and got some really good deals. Hope you find some bargains!

A friend of mine had her siblings and parents register with the formula company to say they were having babies so that they can all get samples and coupons for formula. The whole family got coupons and free samples to use for her kids.

Hi W., all of my kids (7) and some of the grandbabies have had issues with milk based formulas. They needed the soy based. Also, I have heard...dont quote me on this, you may be able to get a prescription for special formulas. Might want to check with your insurance company. Good luck

D.

My 4 mo. old daughter has problems with millk based formulas too. We had her on Nutramigen which worked great but was very expensive. We tried her on Enfamil Prosobee Soy and it worked. Nutramigen is non milk based AND hypoallergenic. If she doesn't need the hypoallergenic part then soy might work well for her. However we found that the Enfamil soy was very constipating for our daughter (they use primarily palm olein oil) and that Similac Isomil Soy works better (they use primarily safflower olein oil) because it is less constipating. Soy formulas are the same price as regular milk based formulas. If your daughter doesn't have constipation problems with Enfamil, Target brand has a soy that is modeled exactly on Enfamil Prosobee Soy and its even cheaper ( I think around $12-13 for the 25 oz can). It constipated our daughter too. However I know many people whose children have been on Enfamil or Target products with no constipation issues.Target doesn't have a soy modeled on Similac though. By the way, the nutritional content of infant formula is FDA regulated so they will all have what the baby needs, generic or not. The filler ingredients and exact "recipe" may vary but they will all be healthy.

Get a prescription from your pediatrician and whine to your insurance company. Write down the time you called and name of the person.

Ask your ped for samples- I hear the formula reps come by all the time and give them tons of stuff. Also if you buy the formula in bulk from diapers.com you can save some money and get free shipping. Use google to look for coupon codes if you're a first time customer.

I've also heard about buying coupons on eBay. I'm not sure how great a value it is but you should look into it.

Good luck!

My daughter had issues with formulas and we found that the brand Good Start worked for her. It is gentle on their stomachs.
Good luck..T.

Did you start out on formula or switch from nursing? If it's not too late you can get a donated pump and pump at work. Breast milk is free. You can also make formula with a recipe from a naturopath. You could also ask your pediatrician about it.

Hi W.,

Do you have medical insurance? If so, try talking with the dr to get referrall to a certain vendor. You would need to get prescription for Nutramigen to the appropriate vendor and they will send an authorization thru your insurance and see if the insurance will pay for your daughter's formula due to her allergies. Make sure that the dr can write any medical necessity in order for your insurance to approve the prescription thru a vendor. I currently get pediasure thru a vendor and I used to get Neosure formula thru Apria due to my daughter's prematurity weight. I live in Fresno and we have Children's Home Care where they deliver formulas and other stuff directly to my home. If you find a vendor, and it is approved by your insurance, they will deliver it to your house once a month which it will give you 1 month supply. I hope this helps. Let me know what you find out by send me a message. Good luck!

Hi W.!

When I had my first son, we were desperate for financial help, but didn't qualify for Medi-cal and it's many helping hands. But WIC was different. It was temporary, and you had to keep applying every so often, and it is used when one doesn't qualify for Medi-cal.

I have a hard time believing you don't qualify for WIC, that is supposed to be the only other financial public assistance after Medi-cal.

I would try again.....really. They should be the one's to give you temporary assistance for your babies needs.

~N. :o)

Hi W.,

My daughter was on the same formula. What I did is I ordered it over the Internet. I can't remember the website now, but try doing a search for it on the Internet. I was able to buy it in bulk and have it delivered to our home for half the price it cost to purchase it in the stores.

What about Prosobee? (I think that's the name--it's been 14 years!) All my kids had milk allergies, and they lived on the stuff--and it came in powdered form which was far cheaper. Have you checked Costco and such?

good luck!

Please contact Apria (http://www.apria.com/home/)! They were a lifesaver for us when our son was prescribed to Alimentum. All you have to do is get a prescription from her dr. for the specialized formula and Apria will cover it. They have a Sacramento office that you can call ###-###-####.
They were able to get us 11 cans of formula each month at no cost to us! The formula is delivered right to your door every month and you don't even have to call to remind them. They give you a call once a month to make sure you're still getting the needed amount of formula and that's it. Please call them. They did such good things for us and this is the only way I can "pay" them back by telling more people about their service.
Good luck,
D.

Another easy option is to the use the Target brand formula, it's half the price and the ingredients and nutritionals are the same. That's what I did with my son and then I didn't have to worry about adjusting to a new formula from Enfamil.

I would check amazon.com, they have a "subscribe & save" program that will ship items to you on a regular schedule and you usually get a bigger quantity for a little less money and if you spend enough the shipping is free and sometimes even the tax. I bought diapers & loved it - we got 14 more diapers per box than Costco and a better brand for $2 less per box & no shipping. It was so great to come home to 2 big boxes of diapers on my porch and never have to make an emergency run to Safeway for overpriced diapers again. When my son outgrew his size it only took a few seconds to change my order. I started getting diapers from them when he was 2 - wish I'd listened to my friends and done it sooner! They sell all kinds of baby stuff - like wipes, shampoo ointments and non-perishable groceries.
Check it out!!

Hi

I can relate to your situation completely. Unfortunately formula is just expensive. I look for sales at Target or Walmart and will stock up on multiple cans even when we don't need them. Since she is 6 months old start giving her baby food if you haven't already. I make our baby food because its cheaper than buying it. And yes, it takes time but I like the cost savings and she loves the food. It with addition of more food you may be able to get her to 4-5 bottles plus 2-3 meals per day and that will help the formula budget. My daughter is 8 months and she does well under that menu. Ultimately, there is no way around it for the most part... but hopefully this advice helps. Keep in touch. E.

W.,

It is not too late to re-lactate and breast feed. Mothers who adopt babies can stimulate milk production so with some effort you should be able to. I appreciate that this may not be an option for you but it is free and will do your baby the power of good.

C.

I had to have my little guy on this for a few months too and it was expensive. My doctor's office was able to contact the formula company and they sent me a case as samples? you might want to try that. Good luck.

I don't know if you want to switch formulas if you've found something that works for your baby, but if you're interested in trying a different one, Baby's Only Organic Soy Formula works great for my 11-month-old (who can't tolerate anything else...even Nutramigen!), and as an added bonus, it's extremely inexpensive--$10.99/can! You can buy it at the Whole Foods across from the Galleria. The only catch is it's technically a Toddler formula. The company says it's perfectly safe for babies and is undergoing FDA approval for use as an infant formula. We talked to our pediatrician, and she said it was fine to use it. Technically, it has the same ingredients as infant formula. Our son has been on it for the last six months, and it has worked fantastic. He's thriving and a very healthy, happy boy. And we're not completely broke from paying for expensive formula. :-)

Good luck!

Contact Alta California Regional Center at 9916) ###-###-#### or www.altaregional.org.

Your daughter may qualify for services and Alta can obtain the formula for you at no cost. Our daughter had major weight gain issues and her Pediatric GI doctor recommended prescription formula and a high calorie juice. Our insurance would not cove it so Alta was able to get it for us. Good luck.

I had to use that for my son as well. His insurance actually covered the formula cost. Have you talk to the doctor about it? I hope this helps. Also, I know with some pharmasutical (sp) companies they will give you your RX's free if you show a financial hardship, maybe the manufacturer might do the same? Try contacting them.

Have you tried writing to the company who manufactures this formula......sometimes they will send some to you or give you a coupon once a month....also, check with your pediatrician to see if they have samples...sometimes pedi can works something out with the rep that comes by every month with samples.....Also, call WIC and see if they have some suggestions themselves, since you do not qualify for WIC.....also your pedi can refer you to a nutirtionist, who may have some alternatives ways of handling this formula.

A couples friend of mine used to buy their formula on ebay. I think it was a lot cheaper.

You can ask your pediatrician for samples periodically, that is what I did when my son was on Nutramigen. Also, if you know anyone in the millitary that can buy it on the base, it use to be cheaper there.

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