Pediatricians warn against unsafe formula alternatives amid shortage

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Pediatricians are warning parents about resorting to unsafe alternatives to infant formula as shortages continue to cause panic.

Parents say they are driving to dozens of stores and still can’t find the formula they need to feed their baby. As desperation grows, so does the misinformation circulating online.

“I would advise parents not to use Facebook groups or social media, because while the advice is well-intentioned, it may not be scientifically sound,” said Dr. Rina Sanghavi, a pediatric gastroenterologist at UT Southwestern Children’s Health Dallas.

Pediatricians said these substitutes can make your baby sick and deprive him of nutrients.

A 1960s homemade infant formula recipe is being shared widely on social media. He requires putting evaporated milk and corn syrup in the water, and also suggests serving the baby some tea every day and orange juice when they reach three weeks of age.

Even though older generations might swear by these concoctions, pediatricians are urging parents not to use this recipe or any other homemade concoctions to feed their babies.

“What worked or what they thought worked in the 1960s, we have much better scientific knowledge now to know that this can cause short-term harm, but more importantly, long-term harm to the baby,” said Dr. Dr. Sanghavi. “

Pediatricians caution against using alternatives like this “old school” formula.

A homemade formula recipe can not only make your baby sick, but also deprive him of essential nutrients.

“None of them are safe,” she said. “None of them provide all the nutrition babies really need to grow, and in fact, some of them are harmful.”

Doctors also warn families not to try to dilute the formula to make the can last longer.

“This can cause problems, not just constipation or diarrhea, depending on whether you add more water or less water,” said Dr. David Aviles, MD Kids Pediatrics Certified Pediatrician. “You will get more formula, but it will be really dangerous for the baby.”

Cow’s milk is also not an option unless your baby is close to one year old.

“If your baby is close to 11, 11 and a half months, I think it’s okay to switch to regular whole milk,” said Dr. Sanghavi. “I wouldn’t change much before that because cow’s milk doesn’t have all the nutrients needed for a human baby to grow.”

In most cases, switching formula brands to what’s available is fine, unless your child has certain food sensitivities or allergies.

Before considering any changes, consult your pediatrician.

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