Disposable diapers are a parent’s – and baby’s – best friend. They help make parents’ lives easier and keep babies dry and comfortable day and night. Unfortunately, one in two U.S. families are unable to provide this daily necessity according to a new study. These families struggle with what is known as diaper need.
The study, conducted by the National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN) and founding sponsor Huggies, also revealed diapers and other baby products are the fourth highest expenditure after mortgage/rent, food and utilities for families in diaper need.
Out of necessity, families will stretch their baby’s diapers in any way they can. According to the study, 40 percent of families in diaper need report keeping a child diaperless, whereas 39 percent will keep a child in a diaper longer. Researchers also found that 39 percent of families borrow diapers from family/friends and 25 percent stretch diaper use by cleaning and reusing soiled diapers. As a result, babies and toddlers left in dirty or reused diapers for prolonged periods of time experience more health risks, such as increased cases of urinary tract infections (UTI).
Diaper need even impacts life outside of the home. Three in five parents (57%) miss work or school due to lack of sufficient diapers. That’s because childcare, daycare or early childhood education programs require parents to provide diapers for the care of babies or toddlers.
Huggies, along with the National Diaper Bank Network, is working to help change things through the No Baby Unhugged program. Since 2011, Huggies has donated more than 200 million diapers and wipes to support the growth of the National Diaper Bank Network, which to date has increased from 40 banks to more than 300 in 47 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
The donations help a wide range of families: father living in a homeless shelter, the single mother living in a women's shelter, those suffering from unexpected job loss, and families who simply needed additional support to make ends meet. Their stories may vary, but the need is the same.
With the support of Huggies, the NDBN hopes to expand its member banks to all 50 states in the next few years. To learn more about how you can help or to find a diaper bank near you, visit http://nationaldiaperbanknetwork.org/. You can also donate your Huggies Rewards Points to the National Diaper Bank Network by visiting Huggies.com.