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Formula Facts

Formula Facts

Advice for Parents Facing Supply Challenges

A global shortage of baby formula is impacting families in Valley Health’s service area. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration is focused on ramping up production, but we know parents are feeling anxious. We hope the following suggestions and cautions will help you keep your baby healthy and fed until the situation resolves.

When Shopping

Store brands are just as safe and nutritious, so if you cannot find what you normally use, it is okay to try other brands of formula or to use a combination of powder and pre-mixed formula. Keep checking stores, ask if they can tell you when the next delivery is due, and check stock online. Create and use a support system; ask friends and family to help by keeping their eyes and ears open.

When Feeding

Always prepare formula as stated on the packaging label unless otherwise directed by your baby’s doctor.

For the safety of your baby, please:

  • Do not water down or dilute formula, as this reduces the nutrition your baby will get at meals.
  • Do not make formula using recipes found online or passed down from prior generations. They are not a balanced diet and may even be harmful.
  • Do not introduce solid foods before four months of age—younger babies’ stomachs are not ready to process these foods.
  • Do not use milk (raw milk, cow’s milk, goat’s milk, powdered milk, and evaporated milk) OR non-dairy milk alternatives (soy, almond, rice, coconut, hemp, cashew, or any other “milk”). These can make your baby sick.

Additional Considerations

If your baby is 12 months or older, formula is not necessary. You should begin the weaning process. (See link below.)

If you have continued challenges finding a good solution for your baby, contact your local WIC office by visiting or message your baby’s doctor’s office for guidance.

Infants are some of the most vulnerable members of our community. Every baby needs and deserves the support and advocacy of parents, other family, and community partners. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

We appreciate the guidance of pediatrician Collette Sabbagh, MD, with Pediatric Associates of Winchester.

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