Human Services

Jun 07

[ARCHIVED] Your questions about the baby formula shortage answered

The original item was published from June 8, 2022 to June 9, 2023 12:05 AM

Parents and caregivers across the United States are feeling the effects of the baby formula shortage, which is due in part to pandemic-driven supply chain issues and worsened by Abbott Nutrition -- one of the country's largest formula producers -- voluntarily recalling a product in February and closing a large production facility in Sturgis, Michigan.

As you continue to navigate feeding your child/dependent, here are the answers to some common questions about formula, as well as resources should you need more information.

Where can I find formula?

Parents and caretakers can contact their nearest Community Action agency for advice on finding formula locally. Find your nearest Community Action agency here.

Can I dilute formula?

Never dilute formula. Diluting infant formula with water or other liquids can be dangerous and even life-threatening for babies, leading to a serious nutritional deficit and health issues.

Can I use homemade formula?

Avoid homemade formula. Homemade formulas often lack or have inadequate amounts of critical nutrients, and are not safe for infants.

Can I use cow's milk?

Follow the American Academy of Pediatrics' (AAP guidance to understand whether cow's milk is appropriate. Whether a baby should be fed whole cow's milk varis by age and other considerations. Consult your child's pediatrician or the AAP for the latest information.

Can I use substitute formula?

The use of substitute formula is OK most of the time. For most babies, if their regular brand of formula is not currently available, it is OK to substitute with a similar version. If you have questions about which formula is acceptable, contact your child's pediatric provider.

Can I use complementary foods?

Talk to you pediatrician about introducing complementary foods by 6 months. Introduce foods rich in iron and zinc like cereals, meat and beans. Avoid foods with added sugars and limit those with higher sodium. Fin more tips here.

How can WIC help me?

WIC agencies have been granted waivers allowing stores to exchange recalled formula purchased with WIC benefits. Additionally, certain WIC participants can receive a different brand of formula without a doctor's note and can use their benefits on a wider variety of products.