On average, a newborn will drink between 1.5 to 3 ounces every two to three hours. However, the baby will start eating more as they grow. Now, many parents are panicking because there is a baby formula shortage, which means that they’re struggling to find baby formula.
But what do you need to know about the shortage? And how can you find baby formula? Keep reading to discover everything you need to know to make sure your baby is fed.
Why Are There Formula Shortages?
There are two main reasons that there is a formula shortage. One of the problems is with the supply chain, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has affected the supply chain, but problems really started at the beginning of 2022.
Then, in February, the FDA closed one of the biggest manufacturing plants. This was the Abbott Nutrition’s factory in Michigan. Following the closure, the FDA also recalled many brands of baby formula.
This recall included the popular Similac cow milk-based formulas. However, the recall also included a formula that was a specialty formula for babies who have allergies.
The FDA had to close the factory because they were investigating whether there were bacteria in the formula that had led to two babies’ deaths. However, there weren’t enough factories to keep up with production while this one was shut down.
The plant in Michigan was the largest producer in the country, and its closure added strain to the entire formula system. This was also the largest producer of formula for babies who had high-risk allergies and other diseases.
However, in May, the shortage has gotten even worse. This might be because anxious parents buying up the rest of the formula and causing shortages. Stores have started limiting the amount of formula you can buy, but many people are buying more online as well.
Who Is Affected?
Before a baby turns six months old, they will normally feed on breast milk. However, after six months, they normally feed on formula. However, now, many babies are consuming more formula than ever before.
This is because there are a lot of pressures on women to go back to work after giving birth, which means they don’t have the right support to store enough breast milk, which grows the need for parents to find the formula.
However, the shortage will affect some parents more. The most affected parents are those who have a low income. There is a federal program for these women, and they’ll provide a lot of the formula, but the costs of the formula are going higher as they become more scarce.
It’ll also affect families who don’t have the ability to travel elsewhere to get formula. Some families are having to drive multiple hours to find the formula, and that will be harder for poorer families who can’t travel.
Many parents may also be buying elite brand formulas, which low-income families can’t afford. However, the shortage is also affecting different types of formulas.
The standard formula might be easier to find, but if you need specialized formula, these will be harder to find. Some babies who have damaged intestines, allergies, or special nutritional diets will all be affected.
What to Do About the Shortage
If you’re one of those families that were affected by the shortage, you might be wondering what you can do.
However, there are some important do’s and don’ts to find your baby the right formula.
Look for Different Brands
One thing you should do is to look at what other brands of formula are available. It’s safe to switch formulas as long as you make sure it’s the same type of formula.
For example, if you were using a soy formula, you won’t want to switch to a cow milk protein. Many brands are very similar. Your child might notice a little difference in taste, but most of them all taste the same.
However, if your child needs a specialized formula, then you’ll need to find another specialized formula, not a standard one.
Don’t Make Your Own Formula
The formula is a very difficult product to make, and you should not try to make your own at home. It needs the perfect balance of nutrients and water. For example, if the formula has too much water, it can be dangerous to the brain.
This is a very delicate formula that should only be handled by a chemist in a lab. Keep in mind that the FDA doesn’t regulate recipes for homemade formulas, so if you find one online, know that it could potentially harm your child.
Talk to a Doctor
Instead of trying to make your own formula, do talk with your doctor. Sometimes your pediatrician will have different samples in their office and have access to specialized formulas that can be difficult to find.
Doctors also have relationships with formula companies, and sometimes they can request a special shipment for their patients.
They can also advise you on what brand to try instead if your normal brand is out of stock.
Learn More About the Baby Formula Shortage
These are only a few things to know about the baby formula shortage, but one key takeaway is to just know where to look.
If you can afford it, there are many sites online where you can buy baby formula. If you’re in the United States, you may also want to buy the formula from other countries.
For example, you could find Hipp organic formula by checking out our website.