PARENTS are paying more than twice as much for branded formula baby milk which contains the same essential nutrients as basic powders, the Sun found.

They fork out up to £13 extra a week for big-name products unaware that they have the same health and nutritional benefits for their babies as the cheapest supermarket varieties.

It costs £21.19 to feed the average four-month-old for a week with Aptamil Profutura 1 or Piccolo Organic First Milk — but just £8.50 with Aldi’s Mamia 1 milk.

Rules mean every formula must have all the ingredients essential for babies’ growth and development.

But researchers found many parents felt pressure to buy more expensive brands as they wrongly assumed they must be better.

Professor Amy Brown, whose book Breastfeeding Uncovered is out this month, said: "Parents felt really bad because they couldn’t afford expensive milk.

“Mothers just want the best for their babies and some felt terrible because they felt they were giving their baby a cheap version of something that wouldn’t be as good as the expensive ones.

“But first stage infant formulas are virtually the same. There are very slight variations [in the recipe] but nothing that has any impact on health or development.”

Charity Unicef has previously warned parents: “There is no evidence that one company’s milk is better.”

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