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Money Motivation

What To Do In A Formula Shortage

Times are scary right now for parents that have babies that need the formula to survive. There is a lot of false information going around and some of it is extremely dangerous for babies.

What NOT To Do In A Formula Shortage

DO NOT water down your baby’s formula. When you dilute a baby’s formula or breastmilk it can interfere with their ability to absorb the nutrients, this can result in seizures. 

DO NOT make your own formula with a homemade recipe. Making your own baby formula is not safe or recommended, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

DO NOT change your Amazon account to Canada. There is a rumor surfacing the internet right now that you can simply change your account to Canada and buy formula that way. Canada is also having a shortage, I talked to a mom this morning that had to drive to 6 stores to find a can of formula for her baby. Your order will also be canceled by Amazon before it ships. 

DO NOT start your baby on solids until they are ready. It is tempting to add rice to formula to make your baby fuller or add solids into their diet, but do not do this until your pediatrician tells you that they are ready.

DO NOT give your baby cow’s milk. Unless your baby is over 1 year, do not give your baby cow or goal milk. 

DO NOT tell moms to just breastfeed. There are countless reasons why babies drink formula over breastmilk and every situation is different and very personal to the family. Please do not just assume that they can switch to breastmilk.

What TO DO In A Formula Shortage

Call your baby’s pediatrician. Your pediatrician may have a supply of sample cans that they can give you. I did this and was able to receive two cans of formula.

Go to alternate stores. If your Walmart or Target where you always buy formula is out of stock try less known stores for formula such as pharmacies or all-natural stores. 

Reach out to your network. Post on your social media or call/text your friends and family of the specific type of formula that your baby needs for them to be on the lookout while in stores. 

Try a different brand or version. If your go-to formula is out of stock try a store brand alternate, which typically is on the label which brand and formula type it is similar to. Also consider trying a different type of formula, if you typically buy powdered formula, try redi-made if that is available. 

Photo credit @carmelpediatrics


Put your needs out there on social media. You would be surprised how many people have cans of formula that they received months ago from a sample pack that they will not be using. I did this and received 2 friends tell me that they had cans of the exact formula I need. 

Check online retailers. Right now, buybuybaby.com is allowing 2 containers per person. If you have a couple of friends make orders to it will hold you over for a couple of weeks. Also, try reaching out to the manufacturer directly and ordering through them.

Schedule a lactation consultation. If you are combo feeding, schedule an appointment with a lactation specialist to see if they can help you up your breastmilk to bottle ratio.

Additional Resources:

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