Formula Shortage Resources for Families

June 21st, 2022

Baby bottle graphic with the text, "Resources to Help Families Find Formula During the Infant Formula Shortage"

Helpful information and tips to find formula and keep children healthy

The infant formula shortage continues to affect families across the country.

Formula is not only important for babies’ nutrition but also for some young children, teens and adults with medical needs.

Several resources are available nationwide and here in Illinois to help families during the shortage:

  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) website has resources in a variety of languages to help families find infant formula during the shortage. These resources include information on safe substitutes, formula company contacts and community programs.
  • The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) has trained caseworkers to help families with formula questions. You can contact the IDHS Help Line at (800) 843-6154. The Help Line is primarily for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Women, Infants and Children (WIC) participants but is open to all Illinois residents.
  • For Illinois WIC participants, a waiver now allows for flexibility in the size and type of formula available to buy with WIC benefits. More details are on IDHS’ “Having Trouble Finding Formula” page.
    • Illinois WIC programs also provide a wide range of support for breastfeeding mothers and funds for healthy foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables. More information and updates can be found on the Illinois WIC website. Families can also call (217) 782-2166 for additional support
  •, the parenting website of the American Academy of Pediatrics, provides tips on finding baby formula during the shortage and what you may safely consider if you can’t find any. The site is updated regularly with helpful information and the latest guidance.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released information on the international formulas that will soon be on store shelves in the United States. Some of these formulas have different mixing guidance and will require conversion from milliliters to ounces. The FDA has a “Tips for Preparing Imported Infant Formula” handout available to help. (The handout is also available in Spanish.)

Remember that you should not water down your baby’s formula to stretch it out. You also should not make formula at home or discard formula unless it is expired or part of the recall.

HHS notes that in most cases, you can feed your baby any brand of formula that is available.

If your child has special health needs, be sure to check with their doctor about medically appropriate and safe feeding alternatives. Your doctor may have samples in stock or know of other local organizations that can help.

Please contact your pediatrician for guidance on adjusting feeding practices and be sure to stay in touch about any issues or concerns with your child’s nutrition.

Live Early Intervention Video Visits Now Available

April 8th, 2020

Illinois Department of Human Services logo

Families may now receive EI services through video for their infants or toddlers with disabilities or delays.

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) is making Early Intervention (EI) services available through live video visits.

Families may now receive services through video for their infants or toddlers with disabilities or delays. EI services include help with movement, learning, interacting, behavior and self-help skills.

The virtual visits are in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

“In light of the COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, Early Intervention face-to-face services were suspended on March 16. Since then, the IDHS Early Intervention team has been hard at work to secure an effective way to continue EI services, virtually,” according to an IDHS news release.

Families can work with their EI provider in real time with video and audio features over the internet.

IDHS says it is developing tip sheets to help families understand the process and get the most benefit out of their live video visits.

EI providers will contact families this week as they launch the live video visits.

Families can access EI services through the IDHS website.

Guidance and training for video visits is available on the EI Clearing House website.

Families can also find more information on using telehealth services and virtual therapy sessions in our COVID-19 resources and support list for families at .