With New Jersey families facing difficulties obtaining baby formula due to the ongoing national shortage, the Murphy Administration is taking action to protect and support families.
- Gerber’s MyGerber Baby Expert: reach a certified nutrition or lactation consultant by phone, text, Facebook Messenger, web chat, or video call, who can help you identify a similar formula that may be more readily available
- Abbott’s Consumer Hotline: call 1-800-986-8540
- Abbott’s urgent product request line: ask your OBGYN or your infant’s pediatrician to submit an urgent product request by downloading and completing the form - PDF
- Mead Johnson/Reckitt’s Customer Service line: call 1-800 BABY-123 (222-9123)
Get Help Finding Baby Formula
If your family is impacted by the formula shortage, you can
- Talk to your OBGYN or pediatrician. They may have samples or can suggest a similar formula that is nutritionally similar to your infant’s typical formula and easier to find. They can also submit an urgent product request to Abbott on your behalf.
- Contact a certified nutrition or lactation consultant by phone, text, Facebook Messenger, web chat, or video call at MyGerber Baby Expert who can also help you find similar formula.
- Locate your nearest Community Action Agency (CAA). Your neighborhood CAA may be able to provide you with formula or connect you with local agencies that have formula in stock.
For Families with WIC
- Connect with your local Women, Infants and Children (WIC) clinic if you are eligible. They can help advise on your formula needs.
- Families with WIC can find a list of WIC approved vendors who may have infant formula in stock online. You may want to call first to see if the store has formula in stock.
- Substitutions are permitted for specialty, exempt formula that is prescribed by a health care provider. WIC has added some additional exempt formulas to their list.
Action From the Governor
On May 17, Governor Phil Murphy signed an Executive Order declaring a State of Emergency in order to activate State price gouging laws, consistent with President Biden's actions at the federal level. The order also coordinates relief efforts and enables State agencies to take any emergency measures necessary to protect families from issues arising from the baby formula shortage. Learn more.
Keep Your Family Safe
The NJ Department of Health recommends:
- Check for recalls: Risking serious illness is not worth the risk. If you aren’t sure if a formula is safe, check your formula’s lot code online or call 1-800-986-8540 to see whether or not it was affected by the recall. Impacted lots will start with a 22 through 37, not including the letter at the beginning. In February 2022, Abbott issued a recall of certain powered formulas of brands including Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare that were manufactured at a plant linked to potential bacterial contamination.
- Be careful of alternatives: Do not water down formula, try to make formula at home, or use toddler formula to feed infants without discussing with a pediatrician. Homemade infant formula recipes have not been evaluated by the FDA and may lack nutrients vital to an infant’s growth. Infants under one year of age should generally not have cow’s milk, milk alternatives, or toddler formula. Store brand versions of infant formula are FDA approved and should be considered as an option.
- Be careful online: If buying formula online, purchase from well-recognized distributors and avoid individually sold formula or formula from auction sites.
- Do not stockpile formula: We know you may be worried about your next supply, but all families need immediate access, and stockpiling may further exacerbate shortages. In addition, formula has a shelf life and should not be used past the “use buy” date indicated on the container.
- Advice from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Information
- Guidance from NJ Department of Health
- Maternal Health Consortia