HOUSTON, Texas -- Times are challenging for Taylor Miller and Brianna Burton, two sisters who are mothers to young children, as they are struggling to find baby formula.
"About a month ago is when we couldn't find anything in the stores," said Miller. "We've literally had people from California to Delaware trying to find formula to ship to us, and nobody can find anything."
According to Datasembly, which is a website that tracks the availability of items, the out-of-stock rate on baby formula is currently 31% across the country.
They say that number stayed between 2% and 8% in the first half of 2021 while rising to 11% in the second half of the year.
"I went to the grocery store almost every day trying to find the formula and there was nothing," Burton said. "There was literally nothing."
So what's the reason?
Dr. Victoria Regan is with Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital, and she said the biggest ongoing problem is supply chain issues.
"Production for formula, even starting last year, was a little bit on the decline," said Dr. Regan, who is the hospital's vice president of women and children's Services.
On top of that, there was a major recall of formula by Abbott Nutrition earlier this year.
Regan says things will slowly ramp back up, but a major improvement won't be seen in the near future.
"It's going to take some time, unfortunately," Regan stated.
Dr. Regan told ABC13 that babies who don't require special formula can mix and match which formulas they receive, but says it gets harder to do as older babies get used to a particular brand.
She also recommends reaching out to your pediatrician, especially if your baby has special dietary needs if you're struggling to find formula at retail outlets.
ABC13 has confirmed that Target, WalMart, Walgreens, and CVS have placed limits on the amount of formula individuals can purchase.