The shortage of baby formula has reached a critical point in states like South Dakota. Some health experts say panic buying is contributing to the problem, while elected officials are pointing fingers at each other.

Pediatrician Dr. Esther Chung strongly advises against trying to stretch the formula you have by diluting it.

“We would say that that’s not safe, particularly for young infants, because it wouldn’t give them the proper nutrition and it could cause health problems.”

Other experts suggest calling your pediatrician for recommendations on available products. Industry officials say smaller stores and pharmacies might have more consistent supplies.

Chung says for older infants, parents can get a creative with pureed food.

“The other thing that people have tried is taking pureed foods that they’ve made at home and put them in little ice-cube trays. That way, they can freeze these little mini-meals and pull them out for later use.”

She stresses it’s still important for parents to follow pediatric guidelines in not introducing solid food to babies until they’re four to six months old.

Chung says a possible solution is to look for alternative brands sold under a store’s name, with ingredients often similar to name brands. She also discourages trying to buy formula products through Ebay or similar resale platforms, citing safety concerns.

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