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May 13, 2022

Safely Navigating the Baby Formula Shortage

Safely Navigating the Baby Formula Shortage

According to CBS news report:


“At retailers across the U.S., 40% of the top-selling baby formula products were out of stock as of the week ending April 24, a new analysis from Datasembly, which tracked baby formula stock at more than 11,000 stores, shows. National out-of-stock levels jumped nine percentage points, from 31% to 40% between April 3 and April 24”


  • Supply chain issues with key ingredients, packaging, and labor shortages,
  • Supply-chain snarls related to COVID-19 are contributing to the shortage of formula around the U.S. 
  • They include manufacturers having more difficulty procuring key ingredients, packaging hangups and labor shortages, with those factors combining to affect production and distribution. 
  • In addition, a major baby formula recall in January exacerbated shortages.
  • lack of labor


What can you do:


  • Avoid hoarding
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises buying no more than a 10-day to 2-week supply of formula.
  • Talk with your pediatrician and ask if they are able to get you a can from the local formula representatives or one of the charities that has some.
  • Check your local WIC office
  • Check smaller stores and drug stores vs the larger stores because they may not be out of the supply
  • If you can afford it, buy formula online until store shortages ease. Purchase from well-recognized distributors and pharmacies rather than individually sold or auction sites. Do not import formula from overseas, since imported formula is not FDA-reviewed.
  • For most babies, it is OK to switch to any available formula, including store brands, unless your baby is on a specific extensively hydrolyzed or amino acid based formula such as Elecare (no store brand exists). If you are unsure, talk with your pediatrician.
  • Check social media groups. There are groups dedicated to infant feeding and formula, and members may have ideas for where to find formula. Make sure to check any advice with your pediatrician.
  • If no formula can be found, consider borrowing a can from a friend
  • Check shelf life of the formula you have 
  • If you have extra do not throw it away
  • Use concentrate or ready to feed which may be more available 




  • Add more water - it is dangerous and can lead to serious health problems, imbalanced nutrition
  • Always follow label instructions or those given to you by your pediatrician
  • Make your own formula - The AAP strongly advises against homemade formula
  • Not safe, infant deaths have been reported
  • Milk alternatives are not recommended for infants under a year of age. 
  • Be especially careful to avoid almond or other plant milks as these are often low in protein and minerals.
  • Do not use Toddler formulas for Infants
  • Do not throw away formula that was not recalled.





Keep in mind, that this advice is strictly for URGENT situations. If you have any concerns about your baby's nutrition, please talk with your pediatrician.

Always talk with your pediatrician about any concerns you have about feeding your baby.