COLORADO SPRINGS — The Department of Agriculture is now providing waivers to states, including Colorado, for parents and caregivers who receive WIC benefits, which are geared to benefit new mothers, infants, and children under five years old.

The waivers will allow caregivers to buy different brands of baby formula for free. Typically, WIC only covers a few, select brands, but this program removes those restrictions.

Abbott Nutrition is the exclusive provider for about half of parents who use WIC benefits, but the company has been dealing with a recall since February, which has led to massive formula shortages across the country.

Abbott could not specify how many units the recall included, but brands like Similac are among the best-selling formulas in the U.S. and overseas.

Most regular baby formulas contain the same basic ingredients and nutrients, so parents shouldn’t hesitate to change brands.