In an ideal world, each newborn would receive the best of care. The reality, however, shows that parenthood is an investment for which some families aren’t fully prepared.
Currently, more than 5 million children in the US live in poor or low-income families. While federal programs provide help for low-income mothers and children up to 5 years old, those safety nets don’t cover an essential need – diapers.
On average, a newborn goes through about 360 diapers per month. That comes to $70 to $80 per month per baby.
“Most people don’t think about the little things… As a society, when we think about policy issues, we think about really big picture things,” explained Joanne Goldblum, founder of The National Diaper Bank Network. “We think about housing and food; we don’t think about a diaper.”
Goldblum started The National Diaper Bank Network after witnessing the need for diapers as a social worker.
“I did direct services with families, I went to people’s homes, and what I saw was a level of poverty that even as a social worker and someone that really thought they understood what poverty in America looked like – I was so struck by what a lack of basic needs that existed for families,” Goldblum said.
An inadequate diaper supply can lead to keeping babies in a dirty diaper too long, which often results in serious health risks.
For the parent, it can mean no daycare while they try to work since most providers require at least a day’s worth of diapers.