Baby essentials are expensive. So much so, in fact, that it’s not unthinkable to assume that some parents have to take desperate measures. to secure diaperswipes and formula.
In a trending post on TikTok, former Walmart employee Brandon Tamayo he explained how he would never report customers he caught stealing diapers or formula. Why?
“Because they are expensive,” said Tamayo, “and children are expensive, in general.”
Tamayo was a receptionist who “checks your receipt before leaving the store,” he explained. But when he noticed baby products in someone’s bag or cart and not on his receipt, he let it go.
“Every time I’d see a customer, mostly a woman, when she’d look at the receipt and see Pampers or baby formula that wasn’t on the receipt, she’d just say, ‘Have a great day,’” she said.
The multimillion-dollar Walmart chain didn’t give out rewards for reporting the thieves, Tamayo said, and he only made $11.50 an hour, not enough money for him to want to report a mother who was just doing what she had to do to support her baby.
Tamayo is not alone in his position. Comments on the post she praised him for his duty, writing “not all heroes wear capes” and “a can of formula for my baby costs $44. There is no reason why it should cost so much…”
Others, however, were a little taken aback, commenting that although children are expensive, “there is no excuse for stealing.”
“Theft drives up costs for those of us who don’t steal diapers and formula,” user Emily Castanon wrote. “Business owners are going to get their money one way or another.”
This topic has been debated for a long time. Last year, police in Winterhaven, Florida took to Facebook to shame a father for stealing diapers. The post caused a stir as authorities tried to find the man on behalf of the store he robbed: Walmart.
The comments demanded that the police show some sympathy for the father, who was clearly struggling and in a difficult situation. Some people even offered to cover the cost of the stolen items if they left him alone.
Baby formula is one of the most stolen items in stores – which is why you might see it behind a glass case these days. Some point out that sometimes the thief resells it, but in these cases, it still goes to parents who can’t afford to get it the traditional way and at the original cost.
What all parents know is that paying for diapers, wipes and formula every month is not an easy financial task. According to the National Network of Diaper BanksThe average family will spend between $70 and $80 a month on diapers per child, and it’s not just hard to find formulahas gone up in price. According to the Office of the Surgeon General of the United States, the price of formula within the country varies between $1,200 and $1,500 per family during the first year of the baby’s life. Specifically, brands like Enfamil and Similac can cost around $1 per ounce, while less expensive ones like the Kirkland brand will set parents back around $0.50 per ounce.
Let’s remember, too, that not all moms and not all babies can breastfeed, and whether or not a new mother decides to breastfeed, she should be able to feed her baby without worrying about the cost of formula. It has to be more affordable, or free! — options not only for formula, but also for diapers. These are essential! It doesn’t matter if you’re a parent or not, it’s terrifying to think that someone might be struggling to afford these items that their babies desperately need.
Stealing is not okay, but let’s have grace for those who are not as lucky as others.
If you or someone you know needs help paying for diapers, you can visit the National Network of Diaper Banks to find help.