CLEVELAND (WJW) – If you’ve stepped into the baby aisle at any store lately, you’ll notice the formula shelves are empty.

“It’s terrifying. If you look at the shelves, it looks like COVID toilet paper. Empty,” said Tru Crozier, of Rocky River.

Crozier recently turned to formula after her six-week-old baby Keen had trouble feeding.

“A lot of moms think that they are going to breastfeed but sometimes things don’t work out that way,” said Crozier.

Her ‘new mom’ stress is only compounded by the nationwide formula shortage, which is affecting stores in Northeast Ohio.

“Our phones are ringing off the hook. We are getting so many MyChart messages from concerned parents,” said Dr. Richard So with Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital.

So believes the shortage is due to a mix of supply-chain shortages, product recalls and inflation.

“I think the message for brand new parents is they shouldn’t be brand specific. It may be more expensive or ready-to-feed. Use it, but what we don’t want you to do is make your own formula,” said So.

Dr. Kevin Turner with UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital warned parents to never dilute infant formula. He also advised against switching to cow milk too soon or using toddler formula.

“It can cause problems with nutritional and electrolyte imbalances in the infant,” said Turner.