Mom Confronts Parents of Twins After They Cleared All the Baby Formula Off the Shelves

Parents of young babies are under a lot of extra stress right now. With the national baby formula shortage, parents are at their wit's end and plagued with the possibility of running out of food to feed their little ones. This is especially concerning to parents who have babies on specialized formulas —ones that can't be easily swapped out for another brand.

And that's a very real issue for one mom (OP) who has been struggling to find baby formula locally. Getting her hands on a few cans wasn't without drama when she came across some. First, she stood up for what she needed, but now she's worried that she acted beyond what was appropriate.

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The mom shared her story to Reddit and asked for advice to get some perspective.

Posting to Reddit's AITA community, OP details the story of a confrontation she had with a fellow mom.

"My husband and I just had our first child last month. I haven't been able to find formula anywhere," she admitted. "He’s on a sensitive brand of formula due to the fact that I wasn’t producing enough milk to feed him.”

Finding formula has been an incredible struggle, OP shared. “Last week I drove 2 hours to another store just to get some of his formula,” she recalled. “The shortage has been very exhausting and stressful to deal with.”

Recently, OP found out her local store had baby formula in stock.

“When I get to the aisle, I saw an older couple taking some formula off the shelf,” OP added. “The aisle was small so I just waited patiently. I realized they weren’t stopping and eventually they had about 40 cans of formula in their cart, emptying the shelf.”

OP spoke up and asked the other parents “if I could have just about 4 cans for my newborn at home.” Which didn’t go over well.

“The husband scowled at me, and they started pushing their cart away. I said excuse me, and that they couldn’t just take all the formula when I clearly needed it as well.”

The other parents told OP “they got there first.”

OP recalled that the other parents said “they had twins to feed. So basically not their problem.”

OP explained that she “was stressed and furious at this point” so she did what she needed to to feed her child.

“So I cut in front of their cart and started grabbing a few cans. I figured they hadn’t paid for any of this so why not. I wasn’t gonna let my baby go hungry because they wanted to grab all the formula.”

We can all predict that the other parents weren’t happy. They “started yelling all sorts of stuff at me, but I quickly made my exit. They called me selfish, a--hole, etc.”

And that’s when a manager at the store stepped in.

“A manager came up to me as I was checking out and said that next time I should get assistance instead of grabbing it,” OP explained. “He explained there was a limit and they wouldn’t have been able to buy it all anyways.”

This is where OP’s dilemma comes in. She’s not sure what she did was wrong – it felt appropriate at the time — but said it probably wasn’t right either.

“I feel justified (sorta) in my actions but I’m not sure if that was totally correct,” she wrote.

That's why she asked people on Reddit for opinions.

“Your actions were not the best actions. But you didn’t know there was a purchase limit, so I understand why you felt the need to do it,” one person wrote. “Technically, it is not illegal to take something out of another person’s cart. While it wasn’t good form and you should get the store manager involved next time, so they can take the heat.”

“People that stock up like that are definitely part of the problem and reason for this formula shortage,” another commenter shared. “I understand two babies need more formula than one baby, but you wouldn’t buy 20 cans at a time for one baby so there isn’t a reason to buy 40 at once for two babies.”

“You all just want to make sure your babies are fed, which is stressful when you aren't sure when or where you'll be able to find suitable food again,” noted someone else. “Like any parent, all of you were doing whatever you could to ensure your kids' survival.”

“If they did have twins, depending on how big and hungry they are, 40 cans isn't nearly a hoard... especially grocery store size cans,” added someone with another perspective. “I would say that's 3-4 weeks, MAYBE 6 weeks. Which is still stocked up but I wouldn't say hoarding.”

It’s so stressful for parents looking for baby formula to feed their little ones.

There aren’t a whole lot of options available for parents who can’t find the baby formula they need for their kiddos. But we also need to be mindful that other parents who use formula for their babies are stressed as well.

Experts advise against hoarding baby formula because that can make the supply even more challenging for everyone. It’s also important that parents don’t dilute their baby’s formula or attempt a homemade version.

It’s a good idea to check in with your baby’s pediatrician if you’re struggling to find formula for your little one.

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