Free Diapers for Low Income Families
One of the largest expenses when your baby arrives besides food will be the constant use of diapers. If you are a low income family or single parent these ongoing costs will be harsh reality. 1 in 3 low income mothers in the US has had to make the decision between feeding their baby and providing diapers. Avoid this type of decision by taking advantage of different financial assistance programs in addition to non-profit and community services. There are many programs that provide free food and diapers to struggling families throughout the US.
National Diaper Bank
The US National Diaper Bank is an organization committed to providing diapers to families in need. According to NDB, 1 in 3 families need diaper support. Disposable diapers can cost a family $70-$80 per month per baby and diapers cannot be purchased with food stamps.
The NDB is a national organization that does not distribute diapers itself. Instead it relies on local organizations to distribute diapers on behalf of the NDB, much like food stamps and local food banks. However you can find a distributor organization near you by visiting the NDB website.
If you do not find a distribution center near you, often these organizations further partner with local agencies to provide direct help to those most in need. If you do not see a local distributor in your area, call 2-1-1, available in every state. This service will help connect you with the proper organization that can help you with your specific need.
An alternative to disposable diaper sources is the use of cloth diapers. Being able to reuse these diapers provide a more sustainable environment and a lower overall cost for parents. Since these diapers are much more expensive to buy at the outset, there are organizations willing to lend diapers to low income families providing a zero diaper cost to the family. Giving Diapers Giving Hope is one such national organization. This is not the only organization providing cloth diapers, in fact there are many, but not many that operate nationally.
Here are a few of the larger free cloth diaper organizations:
- Cloth for Every Bum in Georgia, Texas and Michigan
- Jillian’s Drawers in Ithaca, NY
- Help a Mother Out in California
- Share the Love, various locations nationally
If you prefer cloth, there are options to provide free diapers for your family. You may also find a local family getting rid of their supply of cloth diapers or a local cloth diaper bank if you search local classified websites. You can also apply to many local charitable organizations with your reasoning to receive emergency funding for the start-up costs of cloth diapers.
The last option to cut costs on diapers is to simply go diaper-less. Although it sounds ridiculous in western culture, most of Asia uses an elimination communication strategy for toilet training and most children are trained by the age of 6 months to 1 year. Even the New York Times has reported that the toilet training age in 1957 was a mere 18 months in North America, whereas today it can be as late as 36-42 months old.
Going diaper-less can be achieved if you need to save money and want your child toilet trained as early as possible. Of course you could always use a hybrid system that takes advantage of cloth or disposables when absolutely necessary and attempt this new technique for in-home training.
Other free items that a new mother may be interested in include free breast pumps or baby furniture and items. Babies can be expensive, the more financial assistance the better for those needing help.
Please share any other programs that can benefit those needing help with diapers and other essential items needed for babies.