Diaper need is an issue in this country. A new study reveals a startling issue – 1 in 3 American mothers struggle to provide diapers for their babies. These mothers have had to cut back on basics such as food, utilities like heat or electricity, or even child care in order to provide enough diapers.
The Problem. Virtually all mothers believe that diapering is one of the most important things they can do as a mother, yet some are unable to for a variety of reasons:
- Many community-based organizations don’t provide diapers.
- Public resources are limited as food assistance programs generally do not cover diapers.
- Many Laundromats do not allow cloth diapers to be washed for sanitary reasons, making them an unrealistic option for mothers who don’t have in-home or private laundry access.
This lack of clean, dry diapers may cause physical and emotional suffering for babies:
- Babies in diaper need may be kept in wet, dirty diapers for extended periods of time or, in more extreme cases, made to wear used diapers that have been cleaned or dried out.
- Babies in diaper need are more likely to show signs of irritation and discomfort, cry or suffer more from more diaper rash when they can not be changed than babies who are not living in diaper need
Another critical impact is mothers’ abilities to carry on with necessary daily activities. Nearly 1 in 4 mothers struggling with diaper need have missed work or school, stayed at home when they needed to go out, or kept their babies out of daycare because they did not have enough diapers.
Diaper Banks. Diaper banks are making a remarkable difference in many lives, by collecting, storing and distributing free diapers to babies and moms in need.
Most diaper banks were started by individuals who discovered that less fortunate moms in their communities didn’t have enough diapers. These dedicated citizens started to collect diapers through diaper drives and fundraising events. Soon, they were running the nation’s first diaper banks. “I’ve seen moms use plastic shopping bags to diaper babies. This simple basic thing – providing diapers – can make such a direct impact on people’s lives,” says Kristin Grabo, Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona.
Every Little Bottom. At the moment, there are only a handful of diaper banks in the nation. Kimberly-Clark’s Huggies Brand, which commissioned the study, is leading an effort to help make millions of diapers available to babies in the U.S. with its new Every Little Bottom program.
“As a result of this study, we now better understand the widespread extent of diaper need in this country, and we are committed to getting diapers to babies in need,” said Stu Schneider, senior director of the Huggies Brand. “We understand that diaper donations are only part of the solution. This is just the beginning of our long-term commitment to help.”
In the next eight months, Huggies will donate up to 20 million diapers to help get diapers to babies and moms in need. In order to accomplish this, the company has forged partnerships with several national and local organizations to help spread the word about diaper need and get people involved at the community level.
Visit www.EveryLittleBottom.com for more information and learn how to get involved.
Local Diaper Banks by Region
Bay Area Diaper Bank, Silicon Valley, CA
Help A Mother Out, Greater San Francisco and Greater LA Area
LA Diaper Drive, Los Angeles, CA
WestSide Baby, Seattle, WA
Atlanta Community Food Bank, Atlanta, GA
Destiny Diaper Bank, Southwest Florida
Diaper Bank of Southern AZ, Southern AZ
Diaper Bank of Northern Indiana, South Bend, IN
The St. Paul Diaper Bank Partnership, McHenry, IL
The Diaper Bank of Connecticut, New Haven, CT