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 three U.S. families are unable to afford this daily necessity. These families struggle with what is known as diaper need as reported in the study Diaper Need and Its Impact on U.S. Families .
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 or toddlers.
Huggies, along with the National Diaper Bank Network, is working to end diaper need. Since 2011, Huggies has donated more than 200 million diapers and wipes to support the growth of the National Diaper Bank Network, which has grown from 40 diaper banks when it was founded to more than 225 in all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
With the support of Huggies, NDBN is working with member diaper banks and advocates to end diaper need. To learn more about how you can help or to find a diaper bank near you, visit http://nationaldiaperbanknetwork.org/.