Report: Nearly Half of Parents Struggle to Afford Diapers

In this Aug. 24, 2004 file photo a shopper and her child look at diapers at a store in Little Rock, Ark. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File)
AP Photo/Danny Johnston

The price of diapers has skyrocketed since the pandemic, causing financial strain for parents and low-income families, Fox Business reported on Thursday. 

As parents well know, babies can go through more than a dozen diapers every day. The average package price for that necessity has increased from $16.54 in 2019 to $21.90, according to NIQ data on U.S. sales of disposable diapers.

The National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN), a nonprofit that works with diaper banks across the country and helps groups collect and give out free diapers to those in need, reports that nearly half (47 percent) of American families are struggling to afford diapers in 2023. 

“Goods are really expensive,” said Joanne Samuel Goldblum, CEO and founder of NDBN. “We saw the increase of SNAP and WIC during COVID, and that’s going away. I think that’s a huge factor in this.”

Muriel Smith, executive director of the St. Louis Area Diaper Bank, told the outlet that it expects to distribute more than three million diapers to more than 700,000 families this year. Smith noted that many families who receive diapers never fully bounced back after the pandemic and often live below the poverty line.

“Since the pandemic in 2020, it has increased tenfold almost for us,” Smith said. “Before the pandemic we distributed about 1.5 million diapers out to the St. Louis community. We now distribute twice as many annually.”

Smith pointed out that the lack of diapers can end up harming a child if they are not changed enough.

“Obviously for the child that’s a physical issue because they might be experiencing more UTIs or diaper rash,” Smith stated.

Goldblum noted that the rising cost of diapers also forces families to “cut back on other things” like entertainment, food, utilities, and rent.


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