How Parents Can Manage The Baby Formula Shortage in Modesto-California

Published Aug 06, 22
4 min read

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Ed note: If you’re overwhelmed by the current formula shortage, you’re not alone. For expert advice and answers to common questions about the shortage, read our article on What Parents Can Do About the Formula Shortage. There are many benefits to breastfeeding, and it’s recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) as the optimal source of nutrition through your baby’s first year of life.

What Types of Baby Formula Are There? There are four main types of formula: , as its name implies, uses cow’s milk as its main ingredient, but the milk has been treated to make the protein more easily digestible. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), cow’s milk formula is the most prevalent type of formula on the market and makes up about 80% of all formula sold.

Hydrolyzed formulas may be either partially or exclusively hydrolyzed and are often marketed as “calm” or “gentle.” These types of formulas are designed for babies who can’t tolerate cow’s milk or soy-based formulas or for babies with a protein allergy. is made from soy and contains a protein (soy) and a carbohydrate.

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is designed for babies who have particular medical needs, such as premature babies or babies with a high risk of developing allergies. Baby formula comes in three forms: that you mix with water; , also mixed with water; , sometimes called ready-to-use, that is premixed and doesn’t require adding water.

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Instead, talk with your pediatrician about which brand and type is best for your baby. The best choice will be the formula your doctor supports and that your baby accepts. The good news is that all baby formula is heavily regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and has to meet the same basic nutritional requirements.

“I recommend families prioritize having an infant formula that’s accessible,” says Dr. Fradin. “If it’s hard to obtain from a local store or if you travel, that may cause unnecessary stress.” And don’t spend too much time stressing over a store brand formula versus a name brand, or whether or not the formula is organic.

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Fradin, are essentially the same as name brand. And while organic formulas may be less likely to contain traces of pesticides or growth hormones, the evidence for benefit from organic baby formula is slim. “Certainly I would prefer a baby be fed non-organic formula than a family be stressed and rationing a more costly organic formula.” .

Powdered formula is the least expensive type of baby formula and the most convenient to store. Concentrated formula is more expensive, but is a bit less messy to prepare than powder. And ready-to-feed is the most expensive and has the most waste, but it’s also the most convenient. Take marketing claims like “boosts brain development” or “helps soothe a fussy baby” with a grain of salt, says Dr.

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“Many of these claims are based in scientifically valid theories,” she says. “However, at best, there is indirect evidence of benefit.” Check out How to Choose a Baby Formula for more information on selecting the best formula for your baby and your family. What Water Is Best for Baby Formula? Although it can be confusing to know what type of water to use when mixing baby formula.

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Fradin advises that tap water is usually fine, but to always check with your pediatrician first about your town or city’s water. “In most parts of the U.S., tap water works great to mix formula,” she says. Some water labeled “baby water” doesn’t contain fluoride, and may actually do more harm than good.

According to Dr. Fradin, though, that type of messaging is just that: marketing. “Formulas marketed for supplementation purposes are essentially no different than other infant formulas,” she says. “This is because the nutrient requirements for all formulas are the same, so supplemental formula doesn’t have special ratios or different nutrients.

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If you can’t find your favorite formula, it’s safe to switch formulas unless your child requires a special type of formula (in that case, check with your pediatrician first). And since all infant formula in the U.S. is overseen by FDA, you can be confident that any formula you find will be safe and contain the vitamins, minerals and proper ratio of carbohydrates and proteins to help your baby thrive.

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It’s made with something called 2’-FL Human Milk Oligosaccharide—HMO for short—an immune-system nourishing prebiotic similar to one found in breast milk. (HMO is important because it feeds good bacteria to the gut, where the majority of the immune system exists.) There’s also nutrients that support brain development, eye health and developing cells.