Supply chain issues and product recalls have led to baby formula shortages across the country. Out-of-stock baby formulas are reaching 40-50% depending on where you live in the U.S.
Even worse, some stores are now limiting the number of baby formula products you can purchase in one shopping trip.
If shortages are causing you stress, don’t panic. Keep calm and read on to learn the Dos and Don’ts of feeding your baby when formula shortages are high.
1. Call the store to check what’s in stock.
Store managers should know when their next baby formula shipment arrives. With gas prices so high, driving around aimlessly can cost a lot. Do your homework before you head out by calling nearby stores to see what’s available.
2. Call your pediatrician.
If you’re struggling to find the formula your baby needs, ask your pediatrician for help. They usually keep baby formula samples in the office and can contact their sales rep for more, if needed. If your baby has allergies, sensitivities, or digestive issues, be sure to check with your pediatrician before trying a new baby formula brand.
3. Contact baby formula manufacturers.
Manufacturers are often happy to send free samples and coupons — so it’s always worth the ask. Contact your go-to baby formula manufacturer and ask if they’ll send any freebies your way.
4. Shop online.
Buying baby formula online is the easiest way to find what you need — and thinking outside the box is a big help. Look at online drugstores and baby specialty stores in addition to your typical big-box retailers. These links will take you straight to a variety of baby formulas online:
5. Sign up for baby formula rewards.
Some baby formula brands have their own rewards programs that send you free samples and discounts on their products. Signing up for these programs can help you get formula samples in times of need (or at least save you a few bucks on your next purchase).
- Enfamil Family Beginnings: Get free baby formula samples, rewards on Enfamil purchases, discounts, and other baby freebies. You can sign up for Enfamil Family Beginnings right here.
- Similac Rewards: Get exclusive savings on baby formula, free samples, instant discount codes, nutrition guides, and a free Shutterfly photo book. You can sign up for Similac Rewards right here.
- Earth’s Best Family: Sign up for their newsletter to instantly receive three coupons valid on Earth’s Best products. You can sign up for Earth’s Best Family here.
- MyGerber: Get $10 off every 5th qualifying purchase on Gerber.com and other perks. Sign up for MyGerber here.
6. Use coupons.
Here are a few things to avoid:
1. Don’t use toddler formula.
Babies and toddlers have different nutritional needs, so toddler formula doesn’t have the same nutrients as baby formula. Plus, your baby’s digestive system is still developing and may not be as strong as your toddler’s.
2. Don’t give your baby non-human milk.
Cow milk, goat milk, and almond milk are big no-nos for babies under six months. Babies don’t have enzymes to break down lactose, so they’re unable to digest non-human milk at young ages.
3. Don’t dilute your baby formula.
Too much water in your baby’s formula reduces their nutrient intake per feeding. Even worse, it can lead to water intoxication, which can be fatal for babies in worst-scenario cases.
4. Don’t make your own DIY baby formula.
Homemade formulas are just as dangerous for babies and can cause malnutrition. Plus, they can include certain “ingredients” that your baby’s tiny kidneys won’t be able to process.
5. Don’t hoard baby formula.
Of course, you love your baby more than anything and don’t want them to go hungry. But once you find the formula you’re looking for, only buy what you need.
Be respectful of other parents facing the same shortages. They’re just as concerned for their little one’s nutrition as you are!