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Support for Parents and Guardians During the Baby Formula Shortage

Important tips to help you provide the right nutrition for your baby

Support for Parents and Guardians During the Baby Formula Shortage

While the country’s supply of baby formula has been significantly impacted throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, several recent recalls and supply chain issues have caused an urgent shortage over the last few weeks.

“We at Lehigh Valley Reilly Children's Hospital empathize with local families that are struggling with the formula shortage crisis,” says J. Nathan Hagstrom, MD, Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital. “So many parents and guardians are struggling to get basic nutrition for their children, and we are here to help you in any way we can.”

The do’s

  • If you can’t find baby formula at your regular stores, check smaller stores or try shopping at reputable online grocers and retailers.
  • Buy no more than a two-week supply of formula if you can find it in stock. Buying an appropriate amount and not over-purchasing will help combat the shortage.

The don’ts

  • Do not dilute formulas, as this lessens the proteins and other nutritional elements found in the formula.
  • Do not try to make your own formula at home, as it may be lacking in necessary nutritional elements and can become contaminated.
  • Do not substitute toddler formulas for infant formulas.

Recalled formula substitutions

There are many reputable sources that can help you find a suitable substitution for your child’s usual formula.

In May 2022, the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition released a list of recalled formulas and potential substitutions, and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia also released a list interchangeable formulas around the same time.

However, before making any changes to your infant’s formula habits, it’s best to contact their pediatrician for guidance.

Additional tips

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers additional tips for parents and guardians during the formula shortage on their parenting website,

But, when it comes to specific questions about your child, it’s best to contact their care team.

“Your child’s pediatrician will be more than happy to provide guidance and help you navigate this challenging time,” Hagstrom says.

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