All Moms Deserve Help Paying for Expensive Diapers

What everyone says about babies being expensive is true, of course, but we should be more specific: Diapers and formula are two of the most exorbitant childcare costs (excluding day care and college). If you're fortunate enough to be able to breastfeed for a year, there's an obvious solution to the formula issue. But diapers? Not so easy. That's why it makes perfect sense to drop the tax for diapers.


One lawmaker has proposed a new law that would make diapers exempt from state sales tax in his state. Right now, diapers are treated the same way as clothing, which is why they are subject to sales tax. SNAP recipients are not allowed to use their benefits on diapers, putting them in the same category as pet food, alcohol, and cigarettes—which is loony.

One out of every three families reportedly struggles to buy diapers, according to the National Diaper Bank Network, which can cost up to $100 per baby each month.

I live in New York City, which is one of four states, including Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and New Jersey, that don't require retailers to charge a diaper tax. In all honestly, the $10.50 I now spend on a package of 18 diapers doesn't seem any less outrageous without tax added on, but every single cent we can save is a step in the right direction. All states should pass similar laws NOW because parents need relief.

The best argument I've heard for why diapers should be cheaper is that adult incontinence pads are exempt from state sales tax. They, like diapers, aren't articles of clothing—they promote good hygiene. If there's one category in which they belong, it isn't fashion, it's health.

More from The Stir: Cloth Diapers Aren't Worth the Trouble So Don't Even Bother Trying Them

Maybe you're saying: Use cloth diapers—our grandmothers got along just fine with them, right? A lot of day cares don't allow children to wear them and laundromats don't usually look too kindly on moms trying to wash soiled cloth diapers in their machines.

I find wonderful bargains on websites like, but it's presumptuous to assume every mom has an Internet connection and/or a debit or credit card that she can use to purchase cheaper diapers. And those great deals you can sometimes find at a Target or big chain store? It takes a car to get there. When you're stuck buying diapers at your local grocer, you often wind up paying more.

Let's do what we can to help all moms care for their babies. All little ones deserve a healthy start in life.

Do you think we should help parents with the cost of diapers?


Image via theritters/Flickr 


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