If the past two years have taught us anything, it’s that nothing in this life is certain. It feels like anything could happen. From toilet paper and food shortages to skyrocketing gas prices and the revolving door of looming COVID strains, it’s hard to wrap your mind around where this world, our economy, and our overall sense of normalcy are headed. Adding to the endless list of supply chain issues, parents have now found themselves amidst the most concerning shortage of them all: baby formula.
At the moment, nearly 43% of popular baby formula brands are sold out, which is up 3% from a shortage of 40% in late April, according to an analysis by Datasembly. As a result, just as they did with toilet paper and cleaning products during the height of COVID, major retailers such as CVS, Target and Walgreens are now limiting how much baby formula can be purchased at a time. For now, the shortage is still getting worse as production remains down and customers begin to panic buy (which we do not encourage).
To make matter worse, Abbott Nutrition issued a huge recall in February that took select versions of Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare formulas off the shelves. This would lead the Food and Drug Administration to reveal findings of unsanitary conditions and procedures at one of the formula maker’s production facilities in Michigan.
As the FDA works with Abbott to reopen and resume production at the Sturgis, Michigan plant, the formula company is also pushing to increase Similac production at its other plants around the country and is also shipping formula from Europe to the U.S. to provide some relief, according to the Wall Street Journal. At the same time, the WSJ notes that the Reckitt Benckiser Group, which makes Enfamil, is working around the clock to increase formula supplies amidst the crisis. Meanwhile, The White House has invoked the Defense Production Act and will bring in formula from Europe as a stop-gap solution.
Datasembly also revealed that shortages have been more dire in some states than others. Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota face shortages between 50% and 51%. Meanwhile, states such as Missouri (52%), Texas (53%), and Tennessee (54%) are facing even greater depletion, according to Datasembly.
As of May 19, relief is, fortunately, on the way. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Robert Califf told a House subcommittee that parents should begin seeing an improvement in formula availability “within days” but said that “it will be a few weeks until we’re back to normal,” according to NBC News.
Where Can You Buy Baby Formula Online?
Depending on where you live and what formula your child uses, there are still some places to buy baby formula online and have it shipped to your home. Many of the options in stock are now taking between two weeks and two months to arrive. As of Thursday, May 19 at 2:30 p.m., there are still a handful of places where you can find baby formula in stock online. Although it may be difficult to order and have shipped to your door the same day, you can still find a very small supply that ships in two days at Amazon with Amazon Prime and Target (free shipping on orders over $35). Walmart also offers shipping in less than three days on select products with some baby formula options included.
So for parents searching for baby formula for sale online, Amazon, Walmart, and Target are excellent resources for buying formula online. All three online retailers accept SNAP EBT and P-EBT on eligible products in all states except Alaska and Hawaii. SNAP participants can also save on Amazon Prime, paying only $6.99 per month for an Amazon Prime Membership as opposed to the regular $14.99 per month membership fee.
Parents in need can also check Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist for additional resources. Just be sure that you’re only purchasing or accepting baby formula that is sealed for safety.
Below, we’ve gathered baby formula you can buy online. Although, this list is not one size fits all since all babies don’t drink the same formula and some may have sensitivities or restrictions that prevent them from doing so, we’re hoping these options will provide some kind of relief for desperate parents. Again, in this time of uncertainty, panic buying can exacerbate supply shortages, so we recommend ordering only what you need for now.
Similac Alimentum with 2′-FL HMO Hypoallergenic Infant Formula
Similac Sensitive Liquid Baby Formula
Similac Advance Ready to Feed Infant Formula, 6-Pack
Burt’s Bees Baby Organic Baby Formula
Similac 360 Total Care Infant Formula
Love & Care Advantage Non-GMO* Infant Formula Milk-Based Powder with Iron
Similac Advance Powder Baby Formula
Alfamino Infant Amino Acid Based Infant Formula with Iron
Gerber Good Start Baby Formula Powder
Gerber Good Start Ready to Feed Baby Formula, 16-Pack
Else Plant-Based Complete Nutrition
Nestle Nan 1 Pro Infant Formula Powder
Gerber Good Start Baby Formula Powder
Plant Based Lactose-Free Baby Formula
The Best Baby Monitors of 2022, Tested and Reviewed by Parents