What is Diaper Need?

Diaper need is the lack of a sufficient supply of diapers to keep an infant or child clean, dry, and healthy.

Is there Diaper Need in the US?

  • One in three American families experience diaper need.
  • 5.2 million children in the U.S. aged three or younger live in poor or low-income families and are the most at risk of experience diaper need.
  • Infants require up to 12 diapers per day, toddlers about 8 which makes the cost of disposable diapers $70 – $80 per month per baby.
  • No state or federal child safety-net program allocates dollars specifically for the purchase of diapers.
  • Without transportation, buying diapers at a convenience store rather than a large “big box” store can significantly increase the monthly cost of diapers.
  • Most childcare centers, even free and subsidized facilities require parents to provide a day’s supply of disposable diapers.

Why is it important that babies have clean diapers?

  • Children wearing diapers for too long, or parents trying to clean and reuse disposable diapers, puts children at risk for staph and other infections.
  • A wet baby sleeps poorly and cries at night, and so a tired parent or older sibling has further difficulties at work and at  school

Check out this Fact Sheet from the National Diaper Bank Network to learn more about diaper need in the U.S and why programs like Marie’s Mission are so important.