The formula shortage has left many parents scrambling to find enough to feed their newborns and toddlers. Some are even willing to pay hundreds of dollars per can if it means they can keep their babies fed and healthy as they continue to meet with health professionals. But how much do you really know about what’s causing the shortage and what you can do about it?
Why is there a formula shortage?
There are a few reasons behind the current formula shortage. First, there has been an increase in the number of infants being born in the US over the past few years. This increased demand has put a strain on manufacturers. Additionally, many families are opting for organic formulas, which are in limited supply. And finally, some stores have been hoarding formulas to sell at higher prices.
How will this affect my baby?
If you’re a parent who uses formula to feed your baby, you may be wondering how the current shortage will affect your little one. Here’s what you need to know.
As of early May, hospitals in more than 20 states have been forced to cancel at least one formula delivery. Even if you don’t live in one of those areas, there may be shortages locally—especially if you use a special type of formula or are dependent on prescription infant nutrition. To avoid these potential complications, experts suggest working with your child’s doctor to find an alternative formula and trying to stretch out your existing supplies as long as possible. If you’re breastfeeding, that’s even better—the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding exclusively for six months before adding any solid foods or water and continuing exclusive breastfeeding for a year or longer as mutually desired by mom and baby. It also suggests avoiding supplements unless medically necessary.
How can I make sure my baby gets fed?
If you’re a parent struggling to find a formula for your baby, know that you’re not alone. The current formula shortage has left many families in a bind. Here are a few things you can do to make sure your baby gets fed
What if I can’t find enough powdered milk?
If you can’t find powdered milk, try using evaporated milk. Evaporated milk is made by removing water from fresh milk, which makes it a concentrated source of both nutrients and calories. Plus, it has a long shelf life. To use, mix 2 parts water with 1 part evaporated milk.
Can I mix formulas or water it down?
As any parent knows, babies need a lot of formula – and that can get expensive. So when there’s a shortage, it can be a real problem.
The good news is that you can mix formula – and even water it down. Experts say you should use an eye dropper or syringe to add a small amount of concentrated formula to a bottle of water, then shake it up and warm it to body temperature (about 100 degrees Fahrenheit). You can also dissolve powdered formula with room-temperature tap water before mixing it with breast milk or your baby’s food. But some are concerned that these approaches might be too time-consuming for working parents. In addition, experts say if you mix formulas improperly, your baby could get diarrhea and vomit; so follow package directions carefully. And remember, never use water alone as a substitute for formula.
Why did all of the formulas change?
There are a few reasons for the formula shortage. First, there was an increase in the number of infants born in the U.S. over the last few years. This increase put a strain on formula manufacturers, who were already struggling to keep up with demand. Additionally, several major formula brands have changed their recipes recently, which has led to a shortage of certain ingredients. Finally, bad weather has caused problems with transportation and distribution, making it difficult for formulas to get to stores shelves.
Are we getting closer to a solution?
While there is no easy solution to the formula shortage, there are a few things that parents can do to help ease the burden. First, try to find a formula that your baby will accept as a substitute. If you can’t find an acceptable substitute, consider making your own formula. There are recipes available online. You can also try reaching out to your local WIC office for assistance.