Maternal and Child Health: Infant Formula Updates

As the national infant formula shortage continues, here is information to help families continue to provide infants the nutrition they need.

WIC participants should contact their local WIC clinic with questions about the formula shortage and available supplies.

Abbott has made an existing supply of its EleCare and other specialty brands of formula available to make up for supplies lost with the recent flooding at its Michigan plant. Parents should contact their pediatrician or other health care provider to get this product.

Federal government updates its recommendations for parents and caregivers looking for formula

The U.S. Health and Human Services Agency (HHS), has updated its recommendations for parents or caregivers that are looking for formula. Those recommendations include:

  • Try a new brand of formula.
    • Most babies will do just fine with different brands as long as they're the same type they are currently being fed.
    • Talk to your doctor or pediatrician about short-term options.
    • Talk to your doctor or pediatrician about substitutes for hypoallergenic or specialty formula.
  • Try a formula that is made in another country.
    • Some of these formulas include: Kendamil, Similac Pure Bliss, and Bubs
    • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has allowed these formula companies to market certain products in the U.S.
    • Stores are expected to start carrying these options soon.
  • Check smaller stores and drug stores. They may have more stock than big stores.
  • Search store websites before going in person. And make sure to shop at reputable retailers or pharmacies.
  • Check food pantries, charitable organizations, and others that may be able to help. WIC (Women, Infants, and Children’s program) clinics can help connect people to local food pantries.
  • If possible, only buy the formula you need in the immediate future and avoid stockpiling formula. This helps ensure other families have access to critical formula for their infants and allows manufacturers and retailers adequate time to restock shelves.
  • Work with health care providers to use Abbott’s Urgent Product Requests process to find specialty formulas.
  • Diluting or watering down formula can be harmful and may not meet a baby’s nutritional needs.
  • Making homemade formulas can be unsafe and may not meet a baby’s nutritional needs.
  • Avoid giving babies cow’s milk, goat’s milk, or plant-based milk until they are at least 1-year-old, as these lack minerals and proteins and can give babies digestive issues. In rare emergency situations, whole cow’s milk can be given to infants over 6 months-old, but parents and caregivers should consult with their child’s health care provider first.

More information can be found on the HHS website. Information for WIC participants and WIC clinics, and about program eligibility can be found on the WIC webpage.

Last Revised: July 12, 2022