Infant Formula Resources

NCDHHS works in partnership with parents, caregivers, medical providers and WIC agencies to ensure safe and nutritious options for North Carolina families to feed infants. We have developed resources to support you and your baby.

Important Reminders

  • Remember that most families have multiple safe options for their infants even if their usual formula is not in stock. This graphic of standard formula options can help you make decisions (English, Spanish). If you can’t find formula or can’t find your baby’s typical formula, work with your child’s health care provider to determine the best feeding plan.
  • Do NOT water down your baby’s formula to stretch it out, it can be extremely dangerous to your baby to do so.
  • Do NOT make homemade formula. A baby's nutritional needs are very specific, and homemade formula may contain too little or too much of certain vitamins and minerals, like iron. 
  • Do NOT buy formula from online auctions, unknown individuals, or unknown origins. Storage and shipping conditions may impact formula safety.

Infant Formula Resources for Families

Learn more about available resources and guidance on what families can do and what to avoid:

Additional Information for WIC Participants

NCDHHS supports families participating in WIC in breastfeeding and using formula. Visit the WIC website to get the latest resources for WIC participants.

Breastfeeding Resources and Support

Breastfeeding is an important option for many families. These handouts provide information and resources to support you:

More information is available at these sites:
WIC Breastfeeding Resources
NC Making It Work Toolkit
Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute
American Academy of Pediatrics

Information on Formula Imported from Other Countries

The federal government has made changes to allow more infant formula from other countries to be sold in the United States. Families can follow updates and product information on the FDA’s website.

With more formula from other countries on store shelves, review these recommendations for using imported formula:

  • Follow the mixing instructions on the product label. These instructions may be very different from what you are used to. Some instructions will be in metric units. For more information, review the FDA’s Tips for Preparing Imported Infant Formula. 
  • Do not try to import formula yourself, because you can't be sure it meets U.S. safety standards. Rely on what has been approved by the FDA. Contact your pediatrician if you are unsure if a formula has been properly imported.  
  • Imported formulas may be labeled as "Stage 1" (for the first six months after birth, but generally can be used throughout the first year), and "Stage 2" (just for babies who are over 6 months of age).  
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics also has helpful guidance on using imported formula

Download social media graphics to help families safely use formula imported from other countries.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram: English and Spanish
 

Infant Formula Resources for Health Care Providers