The National Diaper Bank Network released a new report highlighting diaper need in the United States. From the report: “Families are considered to have diaper need when they cannot afford a supply of diapers adequate for changing at healthy intervals. Diaper need is a public health issue that threatens not only child health, but also maternal health and household income. Prior research has documented a link between maternal stress and depression and the experience of diaper need.”
Key findings from the new report include:
- Diaper need has increased sharply. 47% (almost half) of families reported diaper need in 2023. In the first diaper need investigation in 2010 and in several subsequent studies, approximately 33% or 1/3 of families reported diaper need.
- Diaper need forces families to cut back on other essentials. 46% of families reported reducing other expenditures to afford diapers, with most of those households cutting back in multiple areas. The most common cutback was entertainment outside the home (56%). Other common areas for cutbacks included food (35%) and utilities (19%).
- Diaper need is associated with stress and worry. 70% of the respondents reporting diaper need said that they were stressed or anxious about their responsibilities as a parent or caregiver. 53% said they felt judged as a bad parent/caregiver because they could not afford diapers.