HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – Since March 2022, a baby formula shortage across the United States has had parents scrambling to find the formula they need for their infants.

“My daughter has only been on formula for about a week. She’s three-weeks-old. We had to switch to formula about a week ago, and immediately when I came to Walmart like on the Tuesday after, we had to switch her. There wasn’t anything on the shelves, so we have people in McComb, in Philadelphia; we have people in Kentucky that are looking all over for us,” said Katelee Cloys, who is a first time mother.

Doctors said baby formula is crucial for a baby’s proper growth.

“Baby formulas are well balanced carbohydrates, proteins, minerals and fats that are optimum for brain growth,” said Dr. Patricia Tibbs, a pediatrician at Ellisville Pediatrics.

With the shortage, doctors said parents should not make their own formula at home.

“They are not safe. They really aren’t. They haven’t been tested, and there have been cases of infant deaths from these homemade formulas, so I would suggest that that’s not the way to go,” said Tibbs. 

Parents have the option of switching to generic brands for babies over six months to try introducing purified, no salt, solid foods. Doctors said the most important take away is that parents should not water down formula because it could lead to kidney failure and seizures.

Parents are encouraged to talk to their child’s pediatrician about the recommendations for baby formula.