For a number of different reasons, sometimes it is difficult to find your child’s preferred formula. It can be stressful and heart-wrenching after getting used to one formula and having trouble finding it. Some kids are picky about their formula. Some kids because of various health issues can only have certain kinds of formula. There are things you can do to get your child fed.
- Do not dilute your formula. This can cause major health problems for your baby. It is not worth stretching the formula a couple of bottles by risking making your baby sick.
- If your child needs a particular formula for medical reasons, call your pediatrician. S/he may have connections to help you get some.
- If you are tempted to make homemade formula, call your pediatrician. This may be an option for some kids, but don’t assume that your kid is one of them. Your pediatrician will have a good idea of what is safe and healthy for your child.
- It is safe to change brands. If they are out of your preferred brand, you can switch to another brand that sells a similar type of formula. (For example, if you always get Similac for gassy babies, you can switch to the store brand for gassy babies if that is all that is available.)
- Ask family and friends to keep an eye out for you for your preferred brand. It always takes a village to raise a child, and it is all more true when there are difficulties. Let them know you are looking and to text you if they see it anywhere.
- Connect to online parenting groups. Local parenting groups online can be good resources to find formula.
- Search off the beaten path. Look at different stores, drug stores, gas stations, your corner grocery store, and online. You may be surprised by some of the places that sell formula.
- Spring for already-made formula. Formula that is already mixed and ready to drink, can be more expensive and for that reason, it is often easier to find.
- Check out your local milk banks. In many localities, women donate breast milk to milk banks for babies in need. These milk banks can be a good resource when you can’t find your formula.
- If you are partially breastfeeding, you can pump more to try to encourage your breasts to produce more.
- If your baby is over 6 months, cow’s milk can be a temporary replacement.
- If your baby is around 1 year old, toddler formula can be a temporary replacement.
- Formula for premature babies can be a temporary replacement, but please don’t do that if you have any other option. We should keep the premature formula on the shelves for premature babies.
- Do not hoard. Formula shouldn’t be used after the best-by date, and hoarding isn’t going to help anyone in the long run. Remember the toilet paper shortages of 2020?
It can be scary when you can’t find your baby’s usual formula, but there are options to find something to feed your child. Helping one another and thinking outside the box will get your family through.
By Bethanie Ryan