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Parents in despair looking for options amid persistent nationwide shortage of infant formula


CHICAGO (CBS) – Parents are trying hard to keep up with the national deficit baby formula – Several retailers are now limiting how much you can buy.

So what if you can’t find any? Marisa Perlman of CBS 2 received some responses on Monday as well as a warning from pediatricians.

Walgreens and CVS are just two vendors limiting the number of formulas you can buy – hoping to cut the supply issue.

But some parents say they are not available and they are forced to be creative to feed their children. And indeed, the shelves were empty in the aisle with formulas at Walgreens in West Loop, as well as at Target and the nearby Jewel-Osco in Schaumburg.

All because almost 40 percent of all brands are missing.

The Glen Ellen Piper O’Keefe is smiling at 11 months. But her mom Courtney is worried.

For the first time, they had to cut Piper’s mixture with cow’s milk – which didn’t go smoothly.

“Now she drinks half the mixture, half the cow’s milk,” Courtney O’Keefe said.

Pediatricians advise not to drink cow’s milk for up to 1 year. But O’Keefe says she has no choice for her daughter – she shows us her last six bottles of the mixture.

Several major retailers, including Walgreens and CVS, now limit customers to three baby formulas per transaction.

Employees of Pete’s Grocery store in Glen Ellin say they keep the formula under lock and key and worry that people will steal such a sought-after product.

Problems with supply chains, inflation and recalls – all this does not allow the formula to hit the shelves.

Dr Joshua Wexler of Lurie Children’s Hospital says some of his patients have lost weight and others have had to be hospitalized because they are very addicted to the mixture.

So what do parents do if their children are in such a state and they can’t find a mix?

“There are no great answers on how to get around the formula deficit. I mean, you know, ideally we need people not to stockpile, but in the end people should have enough supplies for their children; for their child, ”said Dr. Wexler, also medical director of the eosinophilic gastrointestinal disease program at Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University.

Families turn to so-called “mum brigades” online to help find options. There are online communities of moms who want to send the mix to those in need.

“It’s sad because a lot of people just don’t have the opportunity and they need a formula,” O’Keefe said.

Doctors say the best advice is to call a pediatrician first for alternatives. Your pediatrician will also give the best specific advice for your particular child because each child has different needs.

Doctors advise not to resort to cutting the mixture with water and do not try to cook your own mixture at home – which can be dangerous.

To purchase a formula, you can turn to online resources such as eBay, where you will see a serious rise in prices. But this option, of course, is not for everyone.


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