If Formula is Hard to Find
Here are some Dos and Don’ts during a shortage.
Do contact your baby’s physician or healthcare provider with any questions, especially if your baby is on a restricted diet or has any medical conditions.
Do call ahead to nearby stores to find the ones that have formula before you travel.
Do check smaller markets and drug stores when big box stores and supermarkets are out.
Do consider buying formula online if you can afford it, only from well-established distributors and pharmacies.
Do buy only a 10-14-day supply each time. It appears unlikely that the supply is going to run out, and hoarding will only make shortages worse.
Do consider alternate or store-brand formulas if your baby is not on a restricted diet and has no major health problems.
Do check local social media groups for tips or help finding formula in your area.
Do contact the Alexandria Health Department or the Alexandria WIC office at 703.746.4998 for recommendations or resources.
Don’t purchase formula online from private vendors or auctions. You won’t know what you’re actually getting, and there is little or no control over pricing.
Don’t purchase formula from foreign or overseas locations. These products will not be FDA cleared, and may contain contaminants or ingredients inappropriate for your baby.
Don’t feed homemade formula from a recipe. Even if only safe ingredients are used, these formulas will not provide adequate nutrition.
Don’t water down or dilute your existing formula as your baby will not get adequate nutrition.
Don’t feed your baby any plant-based milks as they lack many key nutrients.
If NO Formula is Available:
- If your baby is 6 to 12 months of age and has no health or dietary problems, you may feed your baby whole cow's milk for short periods until you can obtain proper formula. This recommendation is only for urgent and emergency situations, and should not be done for a prolonged period.
- If you are still pregnant but will deliver soon, please give extra consideration to breastfeeding. Most women can breastfeed, and you are likely to avoid the formula shortage altogether. For more information, use the VDH Breastfeeding resources, CDC Breastfeeding Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), or visit the Virginia Breastfeeding Coalition website.
If your child needs a special formula, please contact their health care provider for recommendations for comparable formula to use.
If you are still unable to find a specialty formula, try contacting the manufacturer directly:
- Abbott (maker of Similac)
Healthcare Providers Urgent Product Requests for metabolic and PM 60/40
- Reckitt/Mead Johnson (maker of Enfamil)
Product access through Nutricia Navigator
Product access through Cambrooke Cares
- Kate Farms
Product access through Kate Farms Patient Advocate
Product access through Formula4Success1-888-848-2356
The VDH WIC webpage has updates regarding the shortage and other resources.
Infant Formula Information and Ongoing FDA Efforts to Increase Supply | FDA
Fact Sheet: Helping Families Find Formula During the Infant Formula Shortage | HHS.gov
With the baby formula shortage, what should I do if I can't find any? - HealthyChildren.org