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Worried About the Baby Formula Shortage?

Published in Pediatrics, For the Health of It Author: Katherine Krebs RD, LD & Kristin Johnson, RD, LD

The baby formula shortage has caused fear and uncertainty among many families that rely on formula to feed their children.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has recently released recommendations to guide families. Read the article,"With the baby formula shortage, what should I do if I can't find any?" – HealthyChildren.org. This includes the latest information on where to find formulas and appropriate, safe substitutions. It is extremely important that families never dilute formula or make their own formula as this can be harmful, possibly resulting in vitamin or mineral deficiencies or toxicities, electrolyte abnormalities or contamination which may require hospitalization.

Among the recommendations for families struggling to find baby formula, healthychildren.org suggests:

  • Checking smaller stores and drug stores
  • If possible, buy formula online until store shortages ease. Parents should favor well-recognized distributors, grocers and pharmacies instead of individual or auction sellers.
  • Be active on social media. There are groups dedicated to infant feeding and formula. Individuals online may also have ideas for where to find formula. Make sure to check any advice with your pediatrician.

Most stores still have a few formula products on the shelf, which means that families may need to use a different formula than what their baby is used to. It is best to try a different formula within the same category, such as low lactose, partially hydrolyzed, hypoallergenic, etc. Read the guide on what formulas are appropriate substitutes.

If there are additional questions or concerns with formulas, please reach out to a medical expert, such as the child’s provider or consult a dietitian.