Safely feeding infants amid formula shortage
During the current nationwide infant formula shortage, here are some helpful resources and suggestions for keeping your baby safe.
Many parents are concerned about their options for feeding their children due to the current infant formula shortage. According to the USDA, it is not recommended to buy formula online from outside the United States, to protect from counterfeit formulas that could be harmful to your infant. It is also not recommended to water down formula, try to make formula at home, use cow’s milk or use toddler formula to feed infants unless otherwise advised by your pediatrician. Foodborne illness and kidney damage are risks for infants who are still developing their immunity and are a high-risk population.
If you're experiencing difficulties finding formula, try the following resources:
- If larger chain stores are out of stock, check smaller stores or drug stores.
- Check with local food pantries/food banks.
- If you are WIC eligible, contact your local WIC office.
- Call your pediatrician to see if they have in-office samples.
- Contact your local Community Action Agency.
- Talk to your pediatrician about switching brands. Check for a list of comparable formulas here.
- Find a milk bank that is accredited through the Human Milk Banking Association of North America for donated breast milk.
- According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, if you are searching online, purchase only from reputable distributors and retailers rather than individual sale or auctions.
If you do find formula in stock, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends buying no more than a two-week supply of infant formula to help alleviate shortages. Prior to handling infant formula, wash your hands for 20 seconds with warm, soapy water. After each feeding, bottles should be properly cleaned and sanitized. If your infant does not finish a bottle within two hours, discard of leftover formula.
For more information on keeping your family's food safe, visit MSU Extension's Safe Food & Water website.