For many parents who rely on infant formula to feed their infants, the thought of just changing the brand of infant formula that our baby eats is stressful. For babies who have specific nutritional needs, or are just picky, it is difficult to know if they will tolerate the change. Formula is a necessary item for thousands of families across the United States, but right now many parents are now struggling to make the choice to switch formula brands and worry that their preferred formula is sold out due to a persistent lack of formula. hit the country for several months.
This situation comes with an extra stress factor of having to run the scenario through our minds about what to do if there is zero formula. And the what-if situation is becoming real for families right now. Here’s what you need to know.
Is there a shortage of infant formula?
In the last many months, the shortage of breast milk substitutes has started to appear all over the country. Reports of parents having difficulty finding the brand of infant formula their baby will eat began to rise in late January. These shortcomings were related to “a combination of supply chain problems”, which included lack of ingredients and lack of staff to work on getting the formula on the shelves.
“The sold-out percentage for baby milk substitutes was between 2 percent and 8 percent in the first seven months of last year,” NPR reports. “But it has grown steadily since then, reaching 23 percent in January,” according to Datasembly, NPR writes.
So the baby replacement shortage is very real and it is not getting better.
However, fears and concerns increased a month later following a major recall of breast milk substitute due to fears of Cronobacter sakazakii infections and contamination, and the necessary recall limited even more breast milk substitute. Abbott Nutrition recalled certain batches of Similac, EleCare and Alimentum powder formulas in addition to a batch of the medicinal formula Similac PM 60/40.
These recalls required the stores to remove them from the shelves and the factory had to pause production to ensure the products were safe to use. Unfortunately, this necessary step made it even harder for parents to get the formula they liked. According to Data collection, during the week of March 13, 29 percent of baby replacement products were sold out in retailers across the country. The data analyzed more than 11,000 sites selling infant formula, and the increase has grown.
The lack of infant formula is getting worse.
With the persistent shortage, retailers across the United States are now rationing sales of baby replacement products. Wall Street Journal reports several retail chains – including Target, CVS, Walgreens and Kroger – have set purchase limits on infant formula to ensure more families can buy the product they need to feed their babies and avoid storing the product.
“Due to increased demand and various supplier challenges, infant and toddler mixes are experiencing constraints across the country,” a spokesman for Walgreens said. NPR.
What can parents do about a lack of infant formula?
This is understandably scary for parents who are worried that they will not find the brand that their little baby is eating. Experts say that after checking in with their child’s pediatrician, the formula label can often be safely changed to another name or generic label and may be the best option during the absence – as long as the type of formula remains the same.
However, parents should never dilute their baby’s infant formula with water to make it last longer, and parents should not resort to homemade infant formulas. “The great thing we want people to do is make sure they are not trying to save or do things on their own by diluting the formula to try to make it last longer. Do not add water,” he said. Dr. John Kunzer, who spoke with WTHR news.
It is also important not to give your infant milk until it is at least a year old.
Experts also warn against buying formula from an online marketplace like Craigslist or Facebook. “When you buy a formula from a third-party seller, you can not be sure that the product is what you think you are buying, nor can you be sure of storage conditions,” Bridget Young, Ph.D., professor in pediatrics at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry told New York Times. Buy breast milk substitute directly from the manufacturer or a trusted pharmacy or store.