Diaper need affects one in 3 families

What Is Diaper Need?

Diaper need is a growing problem in our country. A clean diaper means a happy baby, but according to new data from The NDBN Diaper Check 2023: Diaper Insecurity among U.S. Children and Families,  1 in 2 U.S. families cannot afford enough diapers to keep their infant or child clean, dry, and healthy. These babies are more vulnerable to painful rashes and urinary tract infections and have more trips to the doctor. 3 in 5 parents miss work or school because they can’t afford the diapers required to leave their baby in Childcare. Clean diapers are a basic need of every baby and toddler.

Without clean diapers:

  • babies are exposed to potential health risks and toxic stress;
  • mothers are at risk for increased maternal depression;
  • parents are unable to access child care, which require a daily supply of diapers; and,
  • parents miss work or school.

3 in 5 parents

miss work or school because they can’t afford diapers

Diaper need cycle
Diapers aren't basics, they are an essential need for babies and toddlers
Diaper Need affects a provider's ability to work

* Need is more than a footnote. Here are the facts.

State Diaper Statistics.

State Diaper Statistics

Diaper Need In your State

Leading Research into 2023 & Beyond

The National Diaper Bank Network and the Alliance for Period Supplies lead and advance academic research that helps inform policies and programs.

Basic Needs Research.

Frequently asked questions

Can’t people use food stamps to buy diapers?

SNAP and WIC are not available to purchase diapers. They are nutrition programs administered by the Department of Agriculture. NDBN does not advocate for these programs to be used for diapers.  Diapers would be a big cost addition to these programs that already face budget challenges.

Diapers can be bought with TANF cash assistance. However, only 23 percent of families living below the Federal Poverty Level receive cash assistance through TANF nationwide. In 13 states, fewer than 10 of every 100 poor families receive cash assistance. The funds they do receive are not enough to buy diapers and pay all the other expenses (utility bills, rent, other hygiene essentials, clothing, etc.) that money is supposed to cover.

Why don’t people use cloth diapers?

NDBN’s mission is to ensure that all babies have an adequate supply of diapers. Cloth diapers support this mission significantly. While cloth diapering is not a good fit for everyone, it can provide a cost-effective way to diaper children.

Many of our member diaper banks offer cloth diaper programs. These programs provide cloth diapers and education to interested families who qualify to help alleviate the cost burden and also the stress associated with worry over affording diapers.

Let’s end diaper need

There are many ways to get involved and help fight diaper need. The little actions of many individuals get bigger when we work together. Learn how you can get involved.