Help Break the Cycle

Why Diapers?

  • Without diapers, babies cannot go to childcare or participate in early childhood education.
  • Without childcare, parents cannot go to work or school.
    • Hence, too many babies live in home environments with more tension, less nurturing, and possible abuse. Their chance to develop cognitive abilities and language skills normally is in jeopardy.  And, frankly, an uncomfortable baby will cry — a lot.

Help Break the Cycle

The consequences of diaper need are astonishing.
Detrimental to Child Development & Well-Being
  • An adequate supply of clean, dry diapers is a preventative approach to infections, neglect, abuse, and unnecessary tension, physical and emotional stress.
  • Emotional, language, and motor skill development is delayed or damaged by environmental stressors and other risk factors.
  • Infants and toddlers that are reared in lower stress environments are more likely to have better outcomes as adults!
  • The brain grows to 90% of its adult size by age 3.  Experiences in the 1st years of life are extremely important for a child’s healthy development and lifelong learning.
  • Students that participate in early childhood education are 2.5 times more likely to go on to higher education. [1]
Obstacles to Employment & Training Opportunities for Parents
  • Most childcare centers, even free & subsidized facilities, will turn away a child who arrives without a day’s supply of disposable diapers.
  • Cloth diapers are not accepted at the vast majority of childcare centers.
  • Many parents can not go to work or school if they can’t leave their babies at childcare.
  • Barriers to employment and education contribute to chronic stress in families. [2]
Risks to Infant’s Health
  • Babies born into poor or low-income families can spend a day or longer in one diaper, leading to potential health risks.
  • Diaper rash can lead to secondary infections with fever, blisters or boils, fever, a rash that extends beyond the diaper area, pus or weeping discharge. [3]

Do the Math

  • If the average baby uses diapers day.  (Infants generally use more but we’ll stick with 8 for simplicity.)
  • And there are 30 Days in the average month.
  • Then the average baby uses 240 diapers a month.
  • $1,245 is the average monthly income for a two-person family considered at the poverty threshold level. [4]
  • Struggling families too often find themselves forced to decide between food or diapers.  What would you do?


[1] Economic Impacts of Early Care and Education in California.  UC Berkley Center for Labor Research and Education. 2011.
[4] Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Weighted Average Poverty Thresholds, 2012, released in September 2013.

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