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Infant Baby Formula

Infant Formula Shortage

Safe Options for Baby

Many families around the country are plagued with anxiety surrounding recent formula shortages. Many have been looking into homemade formula recipes including those using evaporated milk, corn syrup or other ingredients found in many kitchens.

The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly advises against the use of these homemade formulas for a few reasons: First, infant kidneys are unable to regulate electrolytes like adult kidneys can. The use of these homemade formulas can cause serious electrolyte imbalances that can lead to seizures and even death in infants. Homemade formula containing corn syrup can contain botulism spores that can cause life-threatening infections in young infants. Finally, these homemade recipes can lack several essential nutrients needed for babies to grow.

Instead, consider the use of generic alternatives including store brand options such as Parents Choice (Walmart), Up and Up (Target), CVS etc. These companies are required to follow the same standards as name brands such as Similac and Enfamil. They contain all necessary nutrients and electrolytes your baby needs.

Avoid watering down formula to stretch out the time a can will last. This also can lead to electrolyte disturbances in your baby. If no alternative exists, infants greater than 6 months can use whole cow's milk for a short period of time until formula is able to be obtained. It is okay to mix cow's milk and formula together to stretch out the time a can of formula will last.

If your baby needs specific formula for a medical concern such as high-calorie or hypoallergenic formula, do not hesitate to consult your pediatric provider to discuss feeding needs in the midst of formula shortages.

Check out the AAP's website or contact your provider for more information.

Samantha Kiedrowski, MD
Samantha Kiedrowski, MD

Dr. Samantha Kiedrowski practices Family Medicine and Obstetrics at CHI St. Alexius Health Dickinson Medical Clinic.

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