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How to Navigate the Baby Formula Shortage

QUESTION: With the baby formula shortage, what should I do if I can't find any locally?

OTHER SCENARIOS:

I found small amounts of several different baby formulas.  What is the best way to swith among the brands?

My infant needs a specialty metabolic baby formula, but I can't find any.  What should I do?

Only one brand of baby formula is covered under WIC, but I can't find any.  What should I do?

I have a 3-month-old infant and can't find my usual baby formula.  What should I do?

Can I add extra water to formula and give my baby a multivitamin to make up the nutrients?

Can I make my own baby formula?  I've seen a recipe online using evaporated milk that people say was used safely in the 1940s.

What is the earliest age I can start giving my baby solid food to stretch my formula supply?

Is it safe to get breast milk from a friend or online group?

I heard the government will be importing baby formula from other countires.  Is that safe?

Can toddler "formula" substitute for regular baby formula?

Can I give my full-term baby premature formula?

Is cow's milk a safe alternative to baby formula?

Can I feed my baby goat's milk?

Can I used plant-based milk instead of baby formula if needed?

How long can baby formula be used past a "best by" date?

Lastly, this formula crisis is hitting families who are already grappling with the stresses of parenting young children in a pandemic.  While it can be tempting to buy as much formula as possible right now, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises buying no more than a 10-14 day supply of formula to help ease shortages.  If you have any concerns about your baby's nutrition, please talk with your pediatrician.

These tips were summarized from the AAPs' website at healthychildren.org.  For more details, please visit: Are there shortages of infant formula due to COVID-19?

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