Hey Y’all, it’s Erin. I’m not sure how familiar you are with the phrase “diaper crisis.” I want to talk to you about what diaper crisis means, how families are dealing with it and how cloth diapers can help.
Diapers are at the top of every new parents’ list of “things to buy,” and for good reason.
Many baby showers have a diaper raffle. Guests are put in a draw to win a prize if they bring diapers.
When someone draws a blank about what to get expecting parents, it’s often suggested to “just get them diapers.” New parents always need diapers.
Expectant parents post pictures of huge towers made from all the diapers that they’ve been given. There’s even cakes or other shapes made out of diapers to give to new parents.
Diapers are a huge part of a baby’s life. In fact, babies can require diaper changes anywhere from 6 to 12+ times a day.
According to the Huggies Every Little Bottom Study 30% of mothers surveyed have had the devastating experience of not being able to afford the diapers that their child needed. Parents are having to make decisions between all their essentials to fit diapers into their budget.
So what happens when a family can’t afford diapers?
The same study found that 8% of women interviewed had left a wet disposable diaper on longer to get more use. Some tried to partially clean and reuse the disposable diaper.
Leaving a diaper on too long leads to rashes. Therefore, a financial concern can quickly turn into a health concern.
Rashes can be mild but can also become very serious. Regardless of the severity, it’s going to require additional interventions such as a barrier cream, medications, or doctor visits. This causes an even greater financial burden for families.
The diaper crisis is experienced by families everywhere who struggle to have clean diapers for their children.
Cloth diapers can help with the diaper crisis, but some argue against them.
Cloth diapers are designed to be reused over and over. Therefore, once families have a stash of diapers, they don’t have to buy new ones. Unless they need to replace a diaper or want to add to their stash, they’re set.
There are organizations who advocate against using cloth diapers as a resource for families in poverty. There are a few reasons given by these groups:
- Daycares may not allow cloth diapers.
- Cloth diapers are more expensive.
- Many families do not have access to washer and dryers and many laundromats will not allow cloth diapers for sanitation reasons.
Regarding the first concern, check out this post on cloth diapering at daycare! This will give you great insight into how to have conversations with child care providers about cloth diapers. You can see what the laws are for your area about cloth diapering and child care.
For the second concern, I’m going to agree for a moment. Cloth diapers can be expensive. They can be an investment up front. This can be a turnoff, especially when you’re in poverty or are struggling to make ends meet.
However, there are some great organizations that help families get cloth diapers. The Rebecca Foundation is one of them. They help families in various circumstances get a stash of diapers to use.
Another solution to the financial burden is buying used. There are lots of groups selling gently used diapers for cheaper. Here is one just for Lil Helper diapers!
The last concern was that families don’t have access to washers and dryers to clean the diapers.
The “simplest” solution to this is that cloth diapers can be hand washed.
This post from Fluff Love University talks about how you can wash diapers without a washer.
Here is a video showing how to hand wash cloth diapers.
Dryers are not required for cloth diapers either.
In fact, hanging diapers to dry is better for the environment. As a bonus, air drying/hanging to dry will actually result in a longer life for your diapers!
How can you help?
One really great way to help with the diaper crisis is to donate to groups such as the Rebecca Foundation. You can give monetary donations or physically donate diapers.
LilHelper as a company really values giving back. It’s built into the core values. Here is another amazing way that LilHelper has helped families in need with diapers.
You can also educate and advocate for cloth in your community. Cloth diapers are not the norm for most of us. They can be very intimidating. However, through education and advocacy, our communities can become more aware and comfortable with cloth diapers.
Sharing pictures of your little one in their Lil Helper Diapers on social media helps to normalize cloth diapering. It opens up the door for conversation with your friends and family.
Every little bit helps, and we will all have to work together to bring an end to the diaper crisis that so many families are facing every day.
Enough from me, I want to hear from you.
What experience do you have with diaper crisis? Has it impacted you or a loved one?
What are additional resources you are aware of that could help families in need?
Share in the comments below!