Here’s The Scoop On That Scoop Of Infant Formula You Just Can’t Find

Not that general newborn stress wasn’t enough, the universe is finding new ways to keep mothers on the brink of screaming.

Written by Team Scary Mommy
Shelves normally meant for baby formula sit nearly empty at a store in downtown Washington, DC, on M...
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Yes, the infant formula shortage is still going on. Not that general newborn stress wasn’t enough, the universe is finding new ways to keep mothers on the brink of screaming. Or are we just finding new places to scream?

With that in mind, Scary Mommy sat down with U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, M.D., and Sameera Fazili, deputy assistant to the president and deputy director of the National Economic Council at the White House, to get the latest on the formula shortage. In other words, we interviewed the nation’s top doctor and the person in charge of easing the pain of our hot mess supply chain. Both of these top ranked officials are also parents of young kids, and yes, they know how hard this time is for parents. Here are four formula facts to know:

Yes, substituting brands is OK. (Really.)

The overall guidance is that if you are unable to find your regular brand, substituting for one you do find in stock is OK. It is nerve-racking to keep switching, but experts say the key here is to swap within the same category (soy based for soy based, hypoallergenic for hypoallergenic, etc.). Here is a helpful chart describing which formulas within each category are comparable and safe to substitute for each other. Watch more from the surgeon general on how to think about substitutions:

How to Know When Everything Is Not OK With a New Formula

Babies, especially newborns, like to change up their vibe every week or so just to keep us on our toes. If you switch formula and notice changes in your infant, it can be hard to tell regular baby gas from bad baby gas. Here’s how the surgeon general recommends you look out for anything that could be potentially serious and warrant a call to your doctor:

Calling the Formula Factory Directly Is a Thing

If there ever was a “can I speak to the manager” moment, it is now. Apparently, parents seeking specialty formula can call the manufacturers who have special protocols in place to help you locate what you need. The phone numbers are below. Here’s what Fazili had to say about tracking down speciality formula.

Contact Numbers For Formula Manufacturers:

Moving at the Speed of Safety

Moms are programmed to hear the word speed and think “Uh oh, someone’s going to get hurt.” In this case, the government’s Operation Fly Formula and use of the Defense Production Act are aimed at ramping up access to product but not at expense of rigorous reviews and safety standards. In a word, if it is on a store shelf in the United States, it is safe and FDA approved. Here is what Fazilil had to say about safety:

Bottom line, shelves are still sparse, but the Abbott factory is back in action, so fingers crossed we should see inventory starting to hit stores in the coming weeks. Until then, remember formula is not like New York; you can’t make it anywhere. Only use sealed containers that are not expired and not on the recalled list. Then go and find the nearest pillow and have a good scream. The good news is that Target has a ton of pillows in stock.