Formula may be hard to find due to COVID-19
Many stores have low supplies of infant formula because people are over-buying or stockpiling formula. The amount of formula being produced remains the same. There is not a manufacturing problem.
Tips for finding WIC authorized formula
- Call before you shop to ask if the store has the formula you need.
- Call your WIC office and ask for help locating a store with a supply.
- Call your doctor’s office and ask if they have any samples from the formula company.
- Call 211 to get the names of food banks in your area.
- Ask friends and family if they can order a small supply of formula online and have it sent directly to you. You cannot use WIC benefits online, but a small amount could help until you find the formula in the store.
Are formula companies sending free formula when you call the 800 number on the can?
No. This is a false rumor that has been spread online. Enfamil has responded to the false rumor with this statement:
Contrary to rumors in some online social networks, we are not distributing free cases of formula. We are instead focused on ensuring equitable availability for every baby.
Why making homemade formula is dangerous
From the American Academy of Pediatrics:
Recipes for homemade formulas on the internet are not safe and do not meet your baby’s nutritional needs.
All infant formulas sold in the U.S. meet strict rules about ingredients.
Homemade formula mixtures may not have enough iron and vitamins. They could also have too much of certain nutrients that your baby’s kidneys cannot handle.
Homemade formula could get contaminated with germs which could lead to infection.
The first year of life is a key time for your baby’s body and brain to grow. Your baby could suffer long-term harm if they do not get the right blend of nutrition. Even a short period of poor nutrition can be harmful.
Do not add extra water to your baby’s formula
Do not try to make more formula by adding extra water. Always follow the formula label instructions or those given to you by your baby’s doctor. Adding extra water to formula is dangerous and can lead to very serious health problems. Your baby may not get all the nutrients in the right amounts.
There are no safe alternative milks to replace formula
It is not safe to use regular cow’s milk or other types of non-dairy milk to replace formula before your baby’s first birthday. None of these alternatives have the right amounts of very important nutrients including protein, iron, and vitamins. Do not use any of the following in place of formula for your baby:
- Regular cow’s milk
- Toddler milks
- Goat’s milk
- Plant-based milk substitutes such as soy milk, almond milk, or oat milk
- Formulas sold online that are imported from other countries
This information can be found here: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CFH/DWICSN/Pages/WICCovid19Info.aspx