As a result of nationwide scarcity of child meals, dad and mom are turning to out-of-state networks

Marzolino recently received more supplies from a family in California and sent a formula that August can’t take to a family in Texas. Right now, Marzolino has enough formula for about a month, she said.

“There’s a lot of networking going on and people getting their supplies out of their closets and doing their best to reach out to other families and bring them to them while we wait and see what happens.”

Danielle Kopicko’s four-month-old son doesn’t have allergies that severe, but she also relies on other parents to help each other.

“As much as people say … there’s this panic and people are buying up all the stocks, people are also trying to be kind and help each other out,” she said.

Kopicko said her neighbor gave her a large can of unopened baby food, and she also has family members in New York, Maryland and Michigan who are helping her find more baby food. The last time she was able to buy formula was a month ago.

She is also breastfeeding her son but cannot produce enough breast milk to give up formula altogether, although she said she will try to pump more at work and at home.

Some parents have also started Facebook groups to help each other find baby food.

dr Katie Lockwood, a primary care pediatrician at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said families should contact their pediatrician if they are unsure whether their children can transition to other types of formulas. She said that while it can be more difficult for children with special medical needs, regular cow’s milk-based formulas are very similar to each other and parents can switch between brands. She compares them to Coke and Pepsi.

“If you were in a restaurant and you were served your non-preferred brand, you would taste the difference, and you would not prefer it to the brand you are familiar with. But if that other leading brand went away, you would eventually get used to the taste of the non-preferred brand,” Lockwood said.

Even if your baby prefers one brand or another, her taste will adjust over time, and she may “digest these formulas equally well,” she added.

Lockwood, like the American Academy of Pediatrics, cautions parents against diluting the formula or making their own at home because children, especially children under six months, are still developing their kidneys and are very sensitive to the balance of water and other chemicals in them formulas and foods.

“So it can be dangerous to try to make something that would normally be done in an FDA-regulated lab at home,” Lockwood said.

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