Infant Formula Shortages
Resources and Information
The nation wide infant formula shortage has caused stress for families. Below is a list of carefully selected, up-to-date resources for Washington parents. The Information below comes from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Washington WIC program, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
What should I do if I can’t find formula for my baby?
Your pediatrician is the best source of information on your baby’s nutrition. Please contact them if you have any concerns.
For participants in the WIC program:
Contact your local WIC clinic to get baby formula benefits replaced or change baby formulas. WIC has expanded the types of formula they provide to offer more choices for families participating in the program. WIC coordinators can often tell you which stores have formula in stock. If you can’t reach your local clinic, call the state WIC office at 1-800-841-1410 Monday to Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm Check the Washington WIC web page for more information on approved replacement infant formulas.
Check with your OBGYN or pediatrician to see if they have formula samples on hand that they can provide.
For all other families:
Check smaller stores and drug stores or buy online from reputable distributors and pharmacies. Contact manufacturers directly:
Gerber’s MyGerber Baby Expert: reach a certified nutrition or lactation consultant by phone, text, Facebook Messenger, web chat, or video call, who can help you identify a similar formula that may be more readily available
Abbott’s Consumer Hotline: call 1-800-986-8540
Abbott’s urgent product request line: ask your OBGYN or your infant’s pediatrician to submit an urgent product request by downloading and completing the form – PDF
Mead Johnson/Reckitt’s Customer Service line: call 1-800 BABY-123 (222-9123)
Check out community resources:
Community Action Agency (CAA): Your neighborhood CAA may be able to provide you with formula or connect you with local agencies that have formula in stock.
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 infant formula and other supplies in stock.
Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA): 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. Find an HMBANA- accredited milk bank
In this urgent situation, the American Academy of Pediatrics says it’s OK for most babies to switch to any available formula, including store brands, unless your baby is on a specific extensively hydrolyzed or amino acid-based formula such as Elecare (no store brand exists). Contact your pediatrician to ask about specialty formula alternatives.
For participants in Basic Food (SNAP): Visit the Parenthelp123 web page or call 1-800-322-2588.
Check out the Additional Information and resources provided to get accurate information
To Connect to health care providers:
HELP ME GROWN WA Call their hotline 1-800-322-2588 for referrals and to apply for food and health resources in Washington State.
LOCAL WIC CLINIC (For WIC participants and families) Call to get infant formula benefits replaced or change baby formulas. WIC has expanded the types of formula they provide to offer more choices for families participating in the program. Check the Washington WIC web page for more information on approved replacement infant formulas.
For Participants in Basic Food (SNAP) visit the Parenthelp123 web page or call 1-800-322-2588.
Please visit Department of Health’s new nutritional guidance resources page for more information on what to do and actions to take that are safe for your child.