The WIC infant formulas have changed as of August 1, 2022! WIC changed the milk-based formulas offered from Enfamil brand formulas to Similac.
The soy-based Enfamil formula offered remains the same. Learn more below.
Please contact your WIC office to see which formulas are available.
Are formula brands the same?+
All standard formulas for healthy babies must meet the same strict guidelines established by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Formulas must meet high standards for both quality and nutrition. Both Similac and Enfamil brand formulas have similar products with similar ingredients,
and most babies easily tolerate transitioning from one brand to another.
Will larger or multiple sizes of containers be allowed?+
No. The containers are around the “12 ounce” size that makes 90 ounces of prepared formula. The size and type will be listed in the benefits issued.
Can you tell me a little more about the Similac formulas?+
Available as of August 1, 2022
The primary formula in the new contract is Similac Advance.
This is a standard, milk-based formula designed for healthy, full-term infants. In most cases, Similac Advance will be offered first to WIC families.
It comes in both powder and concentrate. It contains prebiotics.
Another option in the contract is Similac Sensitive. This is a milk-based formula that is lactose-free designed
for babies with fussiness and gas. Note: Most babies tolerate lactose just fine because lactose is in breast milk.
A third option with the contract is Similac Total Comfort.
This is a milk-based formula that contains partially-hydrolyzed protein, reduced lactose, and prebiotics for babies with delicate tummies.
Why has WIC made this change?+
Each State WIC program has a contract with a formula manufacturer or manufacturers to receive a rebate for the formula they provide participants.
When the rebate contract is renewed, WIC is required to award the contract to the bidder with a rebate bid that results in the lowest net cost to the WIC Program.
This allows the State to serve more participants.
As of August 1, 2022, CDPH/WIC is contracted with two different companies. Similac will be the milk-based formulas brand,
and Enfamil will be the soy-based formula brand.
How do I mix the new formula?+
Prepare formula exactly as directed on the formula label or as directed by your healthcare provider.
This is the same way you prepare Enfamil Infant powder.
What should I expect when I change formula brands?+
Babies generally do just fine when changing from one brand of formula to another.
All major brand name formulas provide adequate nutrition for babies and contain similar ingredients.
I use my WIC app a lot, especially at the store. Can I find out what formula I can buy on there?+
Yes. The California App will list the benefits available to you. Buy the brand, type, size, and number of cans listed in your WIC Food Balance.
What amount of formula can I buy?+
Buy the brand, type, size, and number of cans included in your WIC Food Balance.
My baby gets special formula with a prescription from the doctor. Will that change too?+
If your baby has a doctor’s prescription for a special formula, continue to work with the staff at your WIC office.
They can help with requests for medically necessary formulas.
What if I try to make the change and my baby will not take Similac?+
Every baby is different. Most babies will tolerate Similac just fine.
If you have concerns with how your baby is adjusting, talk to your baby’s health care provider.
Will I see changes in my baby when making the switch to a new brand of formula?+
It is unlikely that you will see any changes since formula brands are quite similar. To ensure a smooth transition,
be sure to prepare your baby’s formula exactly as directed on the new container. When changing from one brand to another,
you do not need to make any changes to how much or how often you have been feeding your baby.
I have heard that my baby’s poop can be different on a new formula.+
A change in how often baby has a poopy diaper or a slight change in the color of baby’s poop is normal.
If you are concerned about any changes you see, talk to your baby’s health care provider.
Will my baby spit up more on the new formula?+
It is possible, though unlikely, that a baby may temporarily spit up more than usual when they change formulas.
This may happen because the formula has a different taste than a baby is used to. If this happens, it should improve over time.
If the spitting up seems to get worse, discuss with your health care provider.
My baby does not seem to like the new formula and makes a face.+
It is possible-and this is more likely with an older baby-that your baby could notice that the new formula has a different taste or smell.
It may take a week or so for your baby to get used to the taste of the new formula. This is normal.
What if my baby is allergic to the new formula?+
An allergic reaction is very unlikely when you are changing brands for the same type of formula.
For example, changing from Enfamil Infant to Similac Advance is not a change in the type of formula. They have similar ingredients.
If your baby is showing signs of an
talk to your health care provider right away.
What if my baby really is struggling with the new formula?+
Most babies can change to a new formula without any problems.
If you think your baby is having a difficult time changing formula, talk to your WIC staff or your health care provider.
Always use the measuring scoop provided with the formula and read and follow mixing instructions on the can.
Do you have additional pamphlets I can look at about formula feeding?+