The baby formula shortage that had parents scrambling earlier this year has eased up, but families are still struggling because inflation is hitting other baby supplies.
Fox News stopped by a store to see how much it would cost to buy a few of the basics for a baby. A week’s worth of diapers, three packs of wipes and a 12-ounce jar of baby formula would cost around $60.
To help ease the financial burden for families, Baby’s Bounty in Las Vegas has given out nearly 2 million free diapers to families in southern Nevada since 2008.
“Diapers right now are really, really expensive,” said Angie Melgar, a new mom receiving free diapers from Baby’s Bounty. “Everything right now for babies, anything in general is expensive. So this is just a big help.
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The cost of diapers has increased 20% over the past year, while baby food has increased 11.8% and car seats 41%.
In addition to its diaper bank, held twice a month at two of its locations, Baby’s Bounty gives bundles of baby items.
The bundles include an infant regulation car seat, blankets, a play mat, 25 items of clothing and more.
“This is what someone might receive at a baby shower,” said Kelly Maxwell, the executive director. “We hear from our bundle clients that without these items, they would have nothing to care for their newborn.”
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Baby Center, a digital parenting resource, found parents would spend at least $16,000 on basic items for a baby in the first year.
It’s especially tough on low-income families.
“We see monthly incomes in the $500 range quite often so that they can absolutely not afford to buy all of these items,” Maxwell said.
Inflation is also hitting nonprofits like Baby’s Bounty.
They buy about 75 car seats each month.
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“It’s one thing if you’re buying one car seat, right. But when you buy 75 and distribute those, it’s a big number, too big a strain on smaller nonprofits that are doing nearly all of the heavy lifting in our communities,” Maxwell said.
They also became a “de facto formula bank,” as Maxwell described the situation during the height of the baby formula shortage, helping 700 families.
“My employees were emotionally drained. We were all exhausted from the frantic calls from our clients saying things like, I haven’t fed my baby in 12 hours because I can’t find any formula,” Maxwell said.
The team of four was “operating basically a match service for formula,” she said.
Baby’s Bounty, a member of the National Diaper Bank Network, will launch its mobile diaper bank next month, with a van traveling across southern Nevada three times a week to help those with limited or no transportation.
The National Diaper Bank Network has locations nationwide.