It took us hours — in Fla. and NJ — to find formula to feed our baby
Having a child is the most rewarding thing you can ever experience in your life. Having that unconditional love for a tiny human that you brought into this world is an unexplainable feeling. It’s pure love. It’s easy love. It’s a love that makes you want to do anything and everything for your child.
But of course, there’s another side to it. Having a baby requires a lot of time (and not for yourself) and takes a lot of your energy. Someone once said to me they could never sacrifice their lifestyle to have a child. Although I don’t like the word “sacrifice” when it comes to having a baby, I understand what they meant.
Having a child is a commitment. Your life does change, but for the better. Your child will teach you how to have more patience, how to be more forgiving, and how to take your multi-tasking game to another level.
When my husband and I first found out I was pregnant, we were overly excited. But once that excitement settled down, we hit the books (or the internet) and read so much on how to be a parent. He won’t be happy I’m saying this, but my husband had never changed a diaper before our son was born. Needless to say, we had a lot to learn.
One thing that stood out for us was breastfeeding.
Every book, every article, every discussion board on my pregnancy app would flaunt the benefits of giving your baby breastmilk for at least the first year of their life. So I did what any new future mom would do and I bought everything I needed to do so.
Fast forward to my son being born last June. It was an overwhelming feeling of knowing my baby, who I carried for 9 months, was welcomed into this world.
But after speaking to four lactation consultants, I had to come to the realization that I would not be able to breastfeed my child.
After talking it out with fellow moms and reading more about formula, I was more comfortable with the idea.
I need to add that as long as your baby is fed, that is what matters. Formula feeding your baby is just as normal as breastfeeding your baby and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
There’s just one thing. Formula is expensive! Especially if your baby is on a special order like my son is.
My son had colic for the first three months of his life (if you know, you know, and I’m sorry you had to go through that as well). His pediatrician put him on a hypoallergenic formula that helps with colic and believe it or not, it did.
We started to experience the formula shortage back in January when we took a trip to Florida and figured we would buy his batch down there so we didn’t need to travel with a whole can.
We spent a whole day driving around Central Florida trying to find any place that sold formula. I can’t explain to you how many Targets and Publix we went into during our search.
Thankfully our son started solid food at the time so we were able to hold off on the formula for a few hours. It wasn’t until 5 p.m. that night that we were able to snag a can through the UberEats app at a Walgreens.
We thought it was just a fluke. Maybe Florida just needed a restock. When we arrived back home in New Jersey, it wasn’t any different.
It took us days to finally find our stock and we had to buy in bulk.
That has been the norm for us since January. How ridiculous does that sound?
And in case you’re wondering how much formula is right now, three 12.6-oz cans of our formula costs us $99.
I cannot imagine being a parent right now with a newborn who is solely dependent on formula. Every time I walk down the formula aisle at any store, my heart aches. I think about how many parents are struggling right now.
For those of you reading this, please know you are not alone and there are many people willing to help.
Ask your friends, your family, and your co-workers to be on the lookout at their local stores.
Call your pediatrician’s office and ask for samples. That should hold you over while you’re searching the stores.
There are so many local Facebook groups for parents that you can join where people are willing to share their stock. I am part of a wonderful Facebook group for Somerset and Hunterdon County moms and there are endless posts from moms willing to help.
My e-mail is at the bottom of this article. Please feel free to reach out if you are struggling with finding your baby’s formula. I am more than willing to help in any way that I can.
If you’re not in this situation, reach out to your family members and friends that actually are.
I hope more than anything that this shortage ends soon so we can go back to worrying about remembering that reusable bag to carry all of that baby formula home.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5's Morning Show Producer Kristen. Any opinions expressed are her own.
Questions, corrections, or comments? Send Producer Kristen an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Instagram.