Information for Families During the Infant Formula Shortage

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Information about finding infant formula can be found here.

Due to supply chain issues and the recent recall of several infant formula products, infant formula shortages have been reported. The U.S. government and other partners are working toward ensuring infant formula is safe and available for families across the country.

Here are some tips on how to safely feed your child if you are struggling to find infant formula.

Please keep in mind this is ONLY for urgent situations during the current infant formula shortage. 

If your child uses a hypoallergenic or medical specialty infant formula and you are having difficulty getting this infant formula, talk with your child’s doctor about safe alternatives.

Children younger than 6 months:

Children 6 months to 12 months:

  • Children 6 months to 12 months should only drink breast milk, infant formula, or small amounts of water (up to 4 to 8 oz. per day).
  • If you cannot find infant formula and you usually give your child a regular infant formula, you can give your 6 month to 12 month old child some pasteurized (not raw), unflavored, whole cow’s milk.
    • Cow’s milk should only be given for a short time (no more than a week) as instructed by your child’s doctor.
      • Talk with your child’s doctor about what is best for your baby. Cow’s milk does not have the right amount of nutrients your baby needs, has too many proteins and minerals for your baby’s kidneys to handle, and in some cases, may lead to intestinal blood loss.
    • If your child uses a hypoallergenic or medical specialty infant formula, talk with your child’s doctor about safe alternatives.

Tips for families who are feeding any infant formula:

  • When using infant formula: Place only the amount your baby will eat in the bottle. This avoids wasting your supply.
  • Do not mix infant formula with more water than the instructions say. Adding more water can cause nutritional imbalances and lead to serious health problems, such as seizures, for your baby.
  • Do not make or feed your baby homemade infant formula. Feeding homemade infant formula to your baby can lead to serious health problems.
  • When choosing an infant formula:
    • You can switch to another infant formula brand, including store brands, if needed. Most babies can tolerate switching between different brands. If no brands have the type of infant formula your baby uses, talk with your child’s doctor about which type of infant formula would be right for your baby.
    • If you buy infant formula online, only purchase from well-recognized distributors and pharmacies (not individual people or auction sites).
    • Learn more about choosing an infant formula.
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