Major stores set limits on buying baby formula

An empty formula shelf at a Palm Beach County store on May 9, 2022.jpg
Posted at 4:50 PM, May 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-12 10:25:25-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Parents are fighting an uphill battle for their babies' health due to a shortage of baby formula, with parents saying they've gone to the store but went home empty-handed.

The baby formula supply problem is only getting worse. Nationwide, 43% of baby formula stock is gone and parents are desperate.

The shortage is so bad, Publix, Target, CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart are all setting a baby formula limit, which varies by store.

Some moms tell WPTV they're now resorting to buying off Craigslist while others are looking to buy donor breast milk from other moms

"We have about three cases of formula left in this house," said parent Mandy.

For Mandy and her 10-month-old dairy intolerant daughter, she doesn’t have many options

"I have been using some donor breast milk to try and stretch the formula that I have left longer," Mandy said.

Industry experts say coronavirus-related shutdowns greatly impacted the supply chain for baby formula. There was also a massive recall of Abbott’s Similac formula back in February.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also shut down a manufacturing plant in Michigan after five babies reportedly came down with bacterial infections.

In a statement Tuesday, the FDA said it's "doing everything in their power to ensure there is adequate product available where and when they need it." The agency is meeting with major manufacturers to "better understand their capacity to increase production."

The agency has also informed Abbott that it "has no objection to the company immediately releasing product to individuals needing urgent, life-sustaining supplies" of specialized formulas.

As it could still take several weeks before it gets easier for parents to easily find formula, pediatricians said you should consult with them first before making any changes.

Pediatricians said most times, babies can transition safely to another brand and can be able to provide you the name of another comparable brand.

They said you should not use non-human milk like cow, goat, nut, or oak milk as an alternative. Those milks lack the nutrients infants need for physical and brain development.

Pediatricians also warn against making your own formula at home. It's very tricky and the formula may not have enough nutrients.