JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Parents across the country are scrambling to find baby formula and data shows it’s getting worse.
News4JAX found that in Jacksonville there’s some supply, but also a lot of empty shelf space.
Local parents said they haven’t been able to find the formula their babies need anywhere and they’re getting desperate — turning to other parents on social media to try to see what they can find.
Nicole Brown said the baby formula her five-month-old son needs has vanished from store shelves.
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“An entire month was nothing… nothing online, nothing in stores nearby,” Brown said. “Luckily, I stocked up last time. So today when I opened my last can that kind of lit my fire a little bit.”
According to retail analytics company Datasembly, inventory of baby formula available was down about 31% in April because of inflation, supply chain issues, and recalls. And for families whose options are further limited by allergies — the situation is especially precarious.
Ashleigh Olsen said her nine-month-old is limited to a specific formula she orders straight from the manufacturer and there’s no word on when it will be available again.
“I can get Amazon delivered to my door. But I cannot get food for my child, I cannot feed my son,” Olsen said.
According to Datasembly, the numbers suggest the supply of baby formula will continue to get worse.
“It’s absolutely heartbreaking,” Olsen said.
Experts said diluting baby formula doesn’t provide the same nutrition.
“If you’ve already had a baby and it’s been having formula — I don’t encourage you to split it with water if you can help it,” Jamie Neal, founder of Life Tree Women Care, said. “And I don’t encourage you to feed your baby something that’s not food or baby formula.”
The former chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on nutrition said if the formula a baby is used to isn’t available, families are going to have to find the closest alternative.
Olsen said for her that could mean exposing her son to a potential allergic reaction. Another parent said they’ve had to change their formulas and it causes their baby to throw up every time he eats.
We’ve reached out to the FDA and some formula companies about the shortage and are waiting to hear back.
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