What Parents Need to Know About the Baby Formula Shortage

On February 17, Abbott Nutrition, the largest formula manufacturer in the country, issued a voluntary recall on various powdered formula products. This has led nationwide out-of-stock levels to hit over 40%, leaving families across the country concerned about access to the formula their children need. 

No parent should have to worry about feeding their infant. To help families ride out this crisis, we cover exactly what caused this shortage, where parents should look to find the baby formula they need and what not to do. 

What Caused the Shortage? 

The baby formula shortage was caused by a recall of contaminated formula lines as well as supply chain issues. Certain Similac, Alimentum and Elecare brands with an expiration date of April 1, 2022, or later were recalled by the FDA. This recall was issued because of infections found in four infants who used these formulas. 

Here is the full list of recalled brands.

How to Find the Baby Formula You Need 

We know it can be scary to see a limited supply of the nutrition your baby needs, but here are some tips and resources to help. 

1. Contact Your Pediatrician 

The first thing you should do is contact your pediatrician for additional solutions. They’re the experts after all, and they may have access to samples, formula representatives or charities that can help. 

2. Shop Outside of the Grocery Store 

The grocery store isn’t the only place to find baby formula. Convenience stores, pharmacies, specialty stores and food banks may have more supply. Call your local specialty store or find your local food bank to check for availability. 

3. Order from the Manufacturer

You can order formula directly from a reputable distributor or manufacturer. If they’re back-ordered, you can connect with your local WIC for more support. 

4. Reach Out to Your Local Community

Whether that’s through a Facebook group or a local parenting club, contact people around you in the same situation. They may have found an alternative solution you haven’t heard of. Or better yet: they may have extra cans of formula they can share with you. 

5. Start Introducing Solids 

If your baby is over six months old, you could start introducing some solids. Here are some tips on how to get started.

What Not to Do 

Keep your baby safe by avoiding these alternative options. 

  • Do not make your own formula. 
  • Do not dilute formula. 
  • Do not buy formula from auction sites. 
  • Do not buy formula from overseas. 

For more information on what you can and can’t feed your infant, check out this article from the American Academy of Pediatrics. 

Remember, we’re all in this together. For additional information and nationwide resources visit the CDC.



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