Tips for finding a formula
Plan offerings may vary by store and region:
- Try calling ahead or searching the website for a WIC store or pharmacy to check their supply. If you are buying formula without using WIC benefits, be sure to shop at reputable stores or pharmacies.
- Check small stores and pharmacies. They may not be out of stock when major stores are.
- If you can’t find your favorite brand of formula, check Michigan’s WIC Temporary Choices list for powdered formulas and try to find a different one at local stores.
- If you can’t find your formula or a substitute at the store, be sure to check with a store employee. Sometimes an additional form is placed behind a counter in another location, or they may be able to tell you when their next shipment is due.
- Buy only the formula you need quickly (10-14 days) and avoid storage. This helps other families gain access to formula and gives stores time to restock their shelves.
- Note that some stores may limit the number of formula products customers can purchase.
- Check food pantries, charities, and others who may be able to help. Call 211 or your local WIC clinic to learn more about local food pantries.
- If you can’t find a formula, you can also call your health care provider. They may have examples or ideas of other local agencies that can help.
Do’s and don’ts of formula shortages
What to do
- Do feed your baby breast milk or formula.
- Do call your WIC clinic for breastfeeding support if needed, and click here for more information on breastfeeding, including milk sharing.
- Do see tips for finding formula above and Michigan’s WIC temporary choices for formula if your baby’s formula is hard to find. If you can’t find your baby’s formula, including temporary substitutes, call your WIC clinic for help.
- Do contact your WIC clinic or health care provider if your baby is receiving special formula for allergies or a medical condition and you cannot find the special formula.
What you should not do
- Do not give your baby homemade formula. This is dangerous and will not meet your baby’s nutritional needs. Click here to learn more about the dangers of homemade formula.
- Do not ‘dilute’ the infant formula to stretch it further. This should never be done. Adding extra water to formula can dilute protein and mineral levels, and lead to low blood sodium levels and other electrolyte disturbances that may require hospitalization.
- Do not feed your baby cow’s milk, goat’s milk or plant-based milk until at least one year old, as these milks lack nutrients and can cause digestive problems. In rare emergency situations, whole cows may be given to healthy babies over 6 months of age, for up to 1 week, if supported by your health care provider. Click here to learn more about formula milk substitutes and be sure to speak with your health care provider if you’re considering using them.
- Do not buy the formula from sources that are not trustworthy as it may be a scam.
- Do not purchase or use the recalled formula.
For more information, click here: With the shortage of infant formula, what should I do if I can’t find any?
Find more resources on the Michigan WIC website about recall and formula supply changes.
We encourage WIC families to contact their local WIC clinic for assistance. Families can also contact their healthcare provider, local public health agency or community organizations. If you have any questions or are concerned about feeding your baby, or if you are using formula for special medical needs, talk to your health care provider.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Formula Search Website During Formula Shortage