With the increase in baby formula shortages, desperate parents are resorting to desperate measures to feed their babies. A big portion of the media is also not helping the situation by putting wrong matters at the center of the discussion, as is the example of the discussion: are immigrant babies to blame for American babies not getting their formula?
There is a lot of misinformation around. When parents look up online, they might find homemade formula recipes which could be not nutritious enough or even bad for their health. This is why the best measure for parents to take right now is to talk to the baby’s doctor. There is also a new government website to help parents find the baby formula, which includes guidance, assistance, manufacturer hotlines, and community resources.
What not to feed babies
It is important to remember that infants under 6 months old should not be fed homemade formulas, watered-down formulas, toddler formulas, cow’s milk, goat milk, or any plant-based milk. Many of these do not contain the nutrients required for a baby’s development, and others could be downright dangerous.
What you can feed babies
The US Food and Drug Administration is working with Abbott Nutrition to resume production and increase the supply of infant formula as soon as possible. In the meantime, work together with your baby’s pediatrician as much as possible to come up with a solution. Many pediatricians might even have a stock of formula samples in their offices, so always ask.
For babies who are close to their first year, toddler formula could potentially be a good alternative, provided they visit their pediatrician regularly, to make sure they are receiving the proper nutrition.
Whole cow’s milk is also a temporary option for babies over 6 months old, provided they don’t have any special needs or allergies.
As a last resort, parents can find high-quality formulas online, manufactured in Europe or Australia. Make sure to order from reputable sellers.
Lastly, it is good to remember not to panic. The government is working around the clock to solve this shortage. Trust the experts and do not follow online rumors and nonmedical advice. When in doubt, talk to your baby’s doctor.