Diaper need is a serious issue in the United States. 1 in 3 families report having not enough diapers to change their babies as many times as is recommended on a daily basis.
What does this mean?
Babies pee up to twenty times a day in the first months. Due to how time consuming and expensive it would be to change a baby twenty times a day, it is recommended that parents change their babies every two to three hours. This is the set minimum amount of changes to ensure a healthy baby. When babies sit in waste, they will get diaper rash. When they sit in it for longer periods of time, they are prone to get open sores, as well as bacterial and yeast infections. Some parents have reported having to use one diaper a day, as opposed to the eight to twelve diapers a baby should go through.
So far what we have learned is awful, but it gets much worse.
Lack of diapers affects parents’ stress levels, as well as their mental health. Low-income mothers who do not have enough diapers for their children are more likely to report depression and anxiety than other low-income mothers. Diaper need has such a profound effect on the wellbeing of the family that it is “directly linked to child abuse.”
Diaper need negatively affects a child’s development, in addition to causing horrible stress to a family. Daycares require adequate supply of diapers to admit children. When there is not enough, this directly affects parents’ ability to work, thus contributing to a cycle of too little income to afford diapers and other basic needs. Families affected are put in a position where they must choose between food and diapers.
Development of motor skills, language, and emotion can be damaged or delayed for children living in these circumstances. The effects of diaper need extend farther into life than you might expect, when children who are able to benefit from early childhood education are 2.5 times more likely to partake in higher education.
You cannot buy diapers with food stamps. There is little to no government assistance for purchasing diapers, as well as other essential needs such as toilet paper, tampons, or soap.
What about cloth diapers?
Ideally, it seems cloth diapers would be the shining answer, and environmentally friendly to boot. Here are some of the reasons why at this time disposable is more functional as well as accessible for families affected by diaper need:
Many families experiencing diaper need do not have their own washer and dryer.
Many Laundromats and community laundry facilities do not allow cloth diapers.
Not all daycare centers are guaranteed to accept cloth diapers.
Cloth diapers require a large financial investment to purchase at the onset of use.
On May 21st, 2016, Music City Doulas will be hosting our first annual diaper drive and 5k to benefit the Nashville Diaper Connection.
This will be a large community event. Here’s how you can get involved:
Head up a Committee
Be a vendor
Be a sponsor
We need your help! This is a way we can tangibly make a difference for parents, and positively affect the health and prospects of all our children in Middle Tennessee.
Let’s do this together. Stay abreast of new information on our Facebook Event page, and register to participate in the 5k and Family Fun Run on our Active Registration page. If you would like to be a volunteer, committee head, vendor, or sponsor email us at email@example.com.
We look forward to seeing you there! Show us what you’ve got, Nashville.