WASHINGTON — A nightmare turns into a reality for many families when they arrive at their nearest retail stores and see empty shelves where baby formula should be or a minimal amount of baby formula.
In the midst of gas price surges, groceries shopping causing a dent in people's wallets, and inflation increasing, families are facing another challenge yet again: finding the baby formula.
The baby formula shortage is being called a national crisis as many families are getting frustrated and panicking trying to feed their babies.
As a result, some families are taking this shortage into their own hands by watering down or creating their own formula at home. However, pediatricians and health workers are urging parents or guardians not to use online DIY recipes in making their own baby formula.
If I can't make my own baby formula or find any in the store, then what now?
WUSA9 wants to reduce the burden for you or anyone you know who is in need of baby formula with a list of resources and tools to find baby formula.
If you or someone you know can't find baby formula or run extremely low, then see these resources below.
Where can I find baby formula?
We compiled a list of resources and tools on how you can get your hand on some baby formula.
- The Napkin Network allows you to donate unexpired and unused baby formula. Those who are in need can submit a request and a team member will reach out to you.
- A Facebook group called Nova Baby Formula Finding Resource allows families across the DMV to gift, sell, trade, or find baby formula throughout the region.
- Greater DC Diaper Bank: Accept more than just diapers and wipes, as well as formula, breastfeeding supplies, and more to families in need.
- Feed the Fridge will start giving out free baby formula Thursday, May 19 to anyone in need.
- Gerber's MyGerber Baby Expert allows you to talk to a certified nutrition or lactation consultant by phone, text, video call, Facebook messenger, or web chat, who can help you identify a similar formula that may be more readily available.
- Abbott Nutrition has a consumer hotline at 1-800-986-8540. An OBGYN or your infant's pediatrician to submit an urgent product request on your behalf by downloading and completing this pdf form.
- Reckitt's Customer Service line: Call 1-800-222-9123
- United Way's 2-1-1: Dial 2-1-1 to be connected to a community resource specialist affiliated with United Way who may be able to help you identify food pantries and other charitable sources of local infant formula and baby food.
- Feeding America: Call your local food bank to ask whether they have an infant formula and other supplies in stock.
- Human Milk Banking Associate of North America: Certain HMBANA-accredited milk banks are distributing donated breast milk to mothers in need; please note that some may require a prescription from a medical professional.
- Contact your local WIC office to identify or obtain additional sources of infant formula nearby.
- You should not water down formula or try to make formula at home, or use toddler formula to feed infants. Don't discard the formula unless it is expired or is part of the recall. Check your formula's lot code to see whether or not it was affected by the recall.
- You can find more guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
- Call your OBGYN or pediatrician to see if they have in-office samples or can suggest a similar formula that may be more readily available in stores and is nutritionally similar to your infant's typical formula.
Do you still have unanswered questions about the baby formula shortage?
Below is a series of articles that can help you get an understanding of the baby formula shortage.
- RELATED: No, homemade baby formula is not safe for babies
- RELATED: How a mom group is helping struggling families get infant formula
- RELATED: White House launches webpage to help families find baby formula
- RELATED: Yes, the U.S. government provides formula to migrant babies at the border, as required by law
- RELATED: Parents swap, sell baby formula as Biden focuses on shortage
Sign up for the Get Up DC newsletter: Your forecast. Your commute. Your news.
Sign up for the Capitol Breach email newsletter, delivering the latest breaking news and a roundup of the investigation into the Capitol Riots on January 6, 2021.