Diaper needs put stress on moms
July 29th, 2013
02:33 PM ET

Diaper needs put stress on moms

For many new moms, the first few years of childhood are a sea of stress. "Is my child eating enough?” “When will my child sleep through the night?” "Should I be doing this differently?"

Low-income moms face additional stress when it comes to providing diapers for their babies, new research shows.

A study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics shows nearly 30% of women have some sort of diaper need for their children. Eight percent of the women surveyed reported needing to stretch their diapers to make them last, meaning they're not changing diapers as often as they should.  

Re-using diapers and leaving them on too long can lead to more urinary tract infections and diaper rash. That's not only bad for the baby, it's also bad for mom, the study authors say. The researchers found 30% of the mothers surveyed reported experiencing some sort of emotional stress or depression over diapers. That stress can, in turn, impact their children.

“We know that maternal stress and depression contributes to child development," said Joanne Goldblum, who works for the National Diaper Bank Network, and is an author of the study. "Parents can’t spend the time, for example, talking to their child, reading to their child, playing with their child, when they are focused on providing just their needs met. And they’re stressed. So we know there is an immediate connection between stress and child outcomes."

In addition to Goldblum, two of the study authors are also affiliated with the National Diaper Bank Network, which is partially sponsored by the diaper company Huggies.

Goldblum wasn’t at all surprised by the findings.

“When I started the diaper bank, I started as a social worker. I saw families re-using diapers,” said Goldblum. “I saw them take the diaper off, dab the solid and put the diaper back on. Or hang the diaper up to air it out and re-use it.”

Does that seem extreme? Consider that an average supply of diapers costs $18 a week, which comes to $936 each year; yet a single mother working full-time at a minimum wage job may only make about $15,000 annually. That means the cost of diapers represents more than 6% of her annual pay.

This isn't just an issue for the very poor, Goldblum added, since people frequently have more than one young child in diapers. “When you get to the 70 to 80 dollars a month, times two or three, that can be stressful until you get to a certain income bracket.”

Low income mothers do have access to food stamps and the federal Women, Infants, and Children program; however, neither program pays for diapers.

And without adequate supplies, many working mothers are placed further in a bind since day care centers often require parents to provide diapers. While cloth diapers are an alternative for some families, Goldblum explained that for some families they aren’t feasible because “many child care centers don’t accept them,” and many laundromats won’t allow cloth diapers to be cleaned in their machines.

The study found that Hispanic women were almost twice as likely to report having diaper need, versus African-American women. While the study didn’t look at why, Goldblum said that anecdotally, “It’s a population that’s undocumented, and there’s a group less comfortable to look for services because they’re undocumented.”

In addition, women over 45 who were likely grandparents raising their children's kids, were found to have the highest diaper need.

“I think it’s harder for grandparents - they may not be working as much," explained Goldblum. "They didn’t expect to have children, so weren’t ready for children. They may have less savings."

Parents can reach out to the National Diaper Bank Network, to find a diaper bank near them.

soundoff (192 Responses)
  1. ascpgh

    Can't afford the diapers but you though it was a good idea to have a child?

    July 29, 2013 at 15:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jez

      And – if they can't figure out cloth diapers, are they intelligent enough to breed??

      July 29, 2013 at 18:18 | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      Well, they didn't abort the child, now did they? Which would you prefer?

      July 29, 2013 at 19:26 | Report abuse |
    • Chris Honry

      Yeah amazing how easy the legs open then how "hard" it is to get diapers. Tax payers need to pay for that, right?

      July 30, 2013 at 08:13 | Report abuse |
    • Pat Savu

      I have to agree that if they cannot afford diapers, they should not be having a child, but many of these low income chidlren are not planned babies. often they are the result of no contraceptives or contraceptive failures. Sadly many people cannot plan ahead more than about 15 min, and then create situations for themselves that are untenable.

      July 30, 2013 at 10:10 | Report abuse |
    • Emm

      Don't have kids! Seriously. I'm 31 years old, got a graduate degree, career woman, saving up money for when hubby and I want a baby. I chose not to get pregnant up until now. If you can't afford it, don't get pregnant!!! Didn't use BC pills, either! It's not difficult or expensive to avoid pregnancy! Just takes some brains.

      July 30, 2013 at 10:36 | Report abuse |
    • Pest

      Keen observation, Katie. If they can't afford diapers, then abortion would have been a more rational choice.

      July 30, 2013 at 11:39 | Report abuse |
    • bczu

      Perhaps they wanted an abortion or contraception but were denied it by politicians.

      July 30, 2013 at 14:52 | Report abuse |
    • bczu

      Emm- So you are putting yourself at risk for having a child with Autism. Which I'm sure you will apply to get help from the state to raise. Even though it was your choice to wait to have a child.

      July 30, 2013 at 14:53 | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      They should take the kids for the pure stupidity

      July 30, 2013 at 21:13 | Report abuse |
    • Thom

      Probably wanted to have an abortion and was talked out of it by SAVE THE WORLD and after she had it they left her high and dry......or they closed the clinic she was going to .........They try to get every expecting mother past 20 weeks and then you're on your own....... it's happened a million times already. It's going to get REALLY expensive for all those low income people to have all those babies they keep having without insurance or a job..........healthcare costs and welfare is already out of control and the GOP keeps adding to it with all these unwanted pregnancies.

      July 31, 2013 at 02:51 | Report abuse |
    • Charles Darwin

      I think you meant the plural "children" since most of them seem to have 4,5 or 6 babies and no fathers around.
      Some people are just too stupid.

      July 31, 2013 at 11:01 | Report abuse |
    • ron_T

      We had 5 kids and only used cloth diapers, we couldnt afford the expensive ones. Probably saved us 15K

      July 31, 2013 at 18:35 | Report abuse |
    • http://www.mensneakerus.com


      November 28, 2013 at 07:19 | Report abuse |
  2. Common Question

    The cost saving of using a cloth diaper would make sense for this situation. My mother had 9 children and could not afford to buy the fancy disposable diapers, so she used cloth. If fund are low this small investment would be worth the mothers added work of cleaning a diaper.

    July 29, 2013 at 15:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • momof2

      Cloth diapering is a solution, but as it mentions in the article, many day care centers will not allow cloth diapers.

      July 29, 2013 at 16:56 | Report abuse |
    • kdw31

      You would first have to solve the problems listed in the article. You would have to require day cares to take kids who are cloth diapered and you would have to require laundromats to allow them to be washed in their facilities. There may be some real health and safety concerns with having cloth diapers washed at a laundromat.

      July 29, 2013 at 17:27 | Report abuse |
    • cloth diapers are awsome

      Bleach baby, bleach! Cloth diapers are absolutely the way to go. They save money, they save your kid's butt and they are good for the environment. Before washing in the machine, remove all or most of the solid in a flushing toilet and then thoroughly bleach during the wash cycle in the machine. Don't have your own machine and have picky laundromats? There are diaper services that drop off clean cloth diapers and take your dirty ones for washing every week. There are plenty of ways around the problems. Daycare problems? Find a timeshare nanny or make your husband stay home to take care of the kids.

      July 29, 2013 at 18:46 | Report abuse |
    • kdw31

      @ cloth diapers are awesome. Did you really just suggest that lower income people could afford a timeshare nanny or for their spouse (if they have one) to stay home with the kids. That has got to be one of the most out of touch things I have ever read. Also if you truly want to help lower income women use cloth diapers then you would need to set up a charity that helps pay for the diapers and the diaper service such as the woman in the article has done using disposables.

      July 29, 2013 at 19:23 | Report abuse |
    • g2-fea1f7a98ca653f68da8851871b2be19

      Is bleach good for the environment?

      July 29, 2013 at 20:45 | Report abuse |
    • anna

      I used cloth diapers for both my children. With my 2nd, I opted to wash the diapers myself. It was not difficult and I even used a Laundromat when we were traveling. The laundromats had no issue with my washing pre-soaked diapers that did not contain solid waste. (I would have removed the waste from a disposable diaper as well. I know that some people don't, but really?????) We also had o problem with daycare. We did use a home care provider instead of a day care center, but thst would be more commonly available and more economical for a low income parent anyway.

      July 29, 2013 at 22:34 | Report abuse |
    • anna

      By the way, a package of 12 cloth diapers costs about $10. Five packages (62 diapers) will last the entire diapering life of a child. Fifty dollars plus washing costs (which will be almost indistinguishable from the rest of the cost of the family's laundry) is far more economical then years of disposable diapers.

      July 29, 2013 at 22:42 | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      How are low-income mothers affording day care if they can't even afford disposable diapers?

      July 30, 2013 at 15:16 | Report abuse |
  3. cindi premec

    I must say I find this somewhat disturbing. I was a single mother of two back in the 90's and also could not afford to buy diapers. I bought a used washer and dryer and used cloth diapers. It may be a little more work but my kids didn't suffer by trying to reuse diapers!

    July 29, 2013 at 16:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • kdw31

      But you had your own washer and dryer. I used to work with low income families living in housing projects. Almost none of the housing projects had washer and dryer hook-ups. The families did their laundry at a laundromat. As the article clearly stated people currently aren't allowed to wash cloth diapers at a laundromat. Until you change that then cloth diapers are going to be unfeasible for most lower income families.

      July 29, 2013 at 17:30 | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      Good for you! Now what do we do for the parent who has no washer to dryer and no money to buy one, or if they have the money, no place to put it because they rent an apartment and aren't allowed to own one? And what do you do with the day care center that absolutely won't allow cloth diapers? Things aren't so black and white for most of the world.

      July 29, 2013 at 19:28 | Report abuse |
    • anna

      So Katie – if they dont have washers and dryers, then wash by hand – it isnt going to kill you.

      And if the day care will allow cloth diapers then they can be put in a plastic bag for the mother to take home to wash.

      It is amazing how the women of years gone by managed without the mod cons we have today – but they did, so can these mothers too.

      July 30, 2013 at 10:41 | Report abuse |
    • Melanie

      I was a working single mom too and I didn't have the option of a washer and dryer as my apartment didn't have the hookups. I cloth diapered my son to save money and hand washed the diapers. I don't know if the laundermat I used would have allowed me to wash them there. I was too worried about the looks and fights I would get into with the other folks using the laundermat if I tried.

      As for the daycare, when I explained the situation and that if I couldn't use the cloth diapers my son could not be there, we managed to negioate something out. They ended up bagging each diaper just like they would a disposable and instead of throwing it out, put it in a wet bag for me. It was a smelly mess when I got home and had to open all the bags to wash everything, but when that's all you can afford you make do. I wonder if this isn't an education issue. Do these mothers even know about the option of cloth?

      July 30, 2013 at 10:56 | Report abuse |
  4. sybaris

    We used cloth butt wrappers. Here's the secret for the hyper-paranoid ............babies don't care or know the difference between cloth and the newest boutique disposables.

    Get a grip, babies are pretty durable and cloth will teach you new skills.

    July 29, 2013 at 16:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. holley

    Use cloth diapers at home and only use disposable diapers when out and about, that is a money saver. Or use cloth diapers all the time. Before the 1970s, that is what all families did.

    July 29, 2013 at 16:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Summer819

      Finally an intelligent option. They could also hand wash the cloth diapers at home if necessary. One wouldn't have to use a washer.

      July 30, 2013 at 08:42 | Report abuse |
  6. Elise

    haven't we become spoiled. My mom never used fancy bought diapers on the two of us. Cloth. We did not have a washing machine, it was a sink, a bucket of clorox water, rinse, and out on the line. Or if there is no line maybe a line can be rigges in the bathroom or another room. we had a clothes dryer over the fire in the livingroom. Ew? I lived in Wales, UK in a village in the mountains. Also there is the clothes rack to consider. They MUSTbe less than the diapers people are buying. Use them again? Are you kidding me? Don't these people know anything of times past? Sometimes one does not go to the laundomat. We had seeral months here in PA where we had no drains. Hand washing in the sink was all we could do, and it worked. My husband is one of seen children. He comes from here in PA. His mother used cloth diapers on all of them. It takes more work OK? Les convenient, and no Elizabeth Cohen the start up cost isn't that great. You could even take large whie towels and cut them down. I wonder how this present baby making generation would haev coped years ago. i think these days we have everything handed to us on a plate. Well, except diapers of course! LOL

    July 29, 2013 at 18:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Summer819

      Well said.

      July 30, 2013 at 08:46 | Report abuse |
    • Nikki

      Think you have it all figured out do ya?! Think that people are spoiled now comapared to days gone? Was your mother a stay at home mother or did she work? I can afford my diapers, but when mother and father work 40 hours a week, have to make dinner, do the shopping, and make time for baby, where is the time to wash cloth diapers? Cloth is a solution for some people, but not for EVERYONE! I can't believe some of the posts on here. How ignorant people are. You think because something worked for you, it will automatically work for someone else, who is in a completely different situation than you. The FACT is, these women who have babies and can't afford diapers are in that situation for a million different reasons. Not just one. Finding a solution to help thousands of women in the same situation for different reasons is not going to be just one solution. To truley fix the problem you would have to get to each individual woman and find out what exactly it is that could help her. That just can't be realistically done, so just keep your ideas to yourself until you can intelligently fix EVERYONE's individual needs.

      July 30, 2013 at 14:52 | Report abuse |
  7. Lauren

    I wish cloth diapering was encouraged more as an option. I feel like there's not enough awareness. It would be a lot cheaper for food banks to give out 20-30 cloths to a family and show them how to prep and wash them and that family would be set and would have to come back with that need again. We are very much middle class but we decided to go with cloth diapers to try to save money because children are expensive enough as it is! Cloth diapering is such a simple way to save money once you get into a routine.

    July 29, 2013 at 18:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ser

      yeah for real...i am not pro-cloth diapering or anti-pampers/huggies....you use what you can afford, is convenient, and you choose to.
      maybe the nurses in the hospital should explain and encourage cloth diapering more than breast feeding.....

      July 30, 2013 at 12:23 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Exactly how is a mom supposed to keep a supply of clean cloth diapers washing them by hand, while caring for said baby, any other children she may have, plus all the other responsibilities of parenthood? 20-30 diapers doesn't sound like much, but if you have more than 1 child in diapers or someone gets ill, you NEVER get the diapers cleaned and dried.

      July 30, 2013 at 13:51 | Report abuse |
  8. camom

    Can't you use cloth diaper and wash it in the sink at your house? Where I came from, that's what mothers of any income level do.

    July 29, 2013 at 18:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Katie

      Ok, that works for at home. Now, what do you tell the mother who needs to work (who won't go on welfare) and uses a day care that absolutely will not allow cloth diapers?

      July 29, 2013 at 19:29 | Report abuse |
    • summerday1

      @ camom – I would tell that mom to use cloth diapers at home and to use disposables in daycare. That would be 300-400 a year for disposables and $60 overall for all cloth diapers. It's not all or nothing. Washing diapers isn't rocket science. I don't understand what's the problem.

      July 29, 2013 at 23:29 | Report abuse |
    • summerday1

      sorry that comment was for Katie

      July 29, 2013 at 23:30 | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      I would tell her to find a new day care.

      July 30, 2013 at 15:20 | Report abuse |
  9. Sherri

    Well, here's the thing: if you can't afford to buy diapers, you should not be having a baby in the first place. I mean, diapers are one of the basics you will need. Food, clothing, diapers. If you can't even afford the basics, you need to not get pregnant in the first place. Birth control pills are a whole heck of a lot cheaper than feeding and clothing a baby. I know, some people get pregnant even when using birth control. But most people I know who get pregnant by surprise were not using anything or using it sporadically. Come on. Be responsible for your actions. And I AM a liberal but even I'm getting tired of all these women getting pregnant with no husband or other to help them. And expecting the rest of us to feed and provide for them.

    July 29, 2013 at 18:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • scars

      That would require access to birth control, which if you are poor (and young) can be difficult to get. Planned Parenthood is a good resource, but not everyone has access to them. And then there is the problem of getting people to actually use the protection. If Sarah Palin's daughter who had PLENTY of financial resources and knew better couldn't get it together enough to avoid an unplanned pregnancy - we shouldn't be surprised when young, poor and uneducated women find themselves pregnant.

      July 29, 2013 at 18:34 | Report abuse |
    • Lauren

      Sherri, are you suggesting that it is only the woman's responsibility if they get pregnant? At least they have the balls to stay and try to give their child a life while the dead-bet absentee father gets off the hook with virtually none of the blame. And fyi half of all pregnancies in the US are NOT planned, regardless if one is married or not.

      July 29, 2013 at 19:52 | Report abuse |
    • Bisnono

      My sister married a man who beat her and terrorized her and her kids before she was able to divorce him. To wonder why men don't just step up to the plate and "take responsibility" is an ignorant assumption that it's a simple fix. The last thing any of us want is for this monster to be anywhere NEAR my sister or his kids. And despite numerous court orders and him going to prison, he has yet to pay a dime of child support, and even tried to claim his kids as his dependents on his taxes after the divorce when the kids were living with their mom.

      July 29, 2013 at 20:27 | Report abuse |
    • Shelia

      wait! liberal woman like yourself said us mommies can do it all....

      July 29, 2013 at 22:11 | Report abuse |
    • Aine57

      In reply to scars:

      "... access to birth control, which if you are poor (and young) can be difficult to get." Really? When I was young, you had to be married to get some kinds and for condoms you had to ask the pharmacist in person. NOW, HOWEVER, there are condoms right there at the check-out in many, many stores, and they're cheap, and spermicides are sold off the shelf. So they're not the pill - they're better than nothing, and if some :"poor, young" woman or girl thinks she can't afford these items, what makes her think she can afford a child?

      "And then there is the problem of getting people to actually use the protection." How does it become MY responsibility and/or YOURS to make sure that someone else adversely affected by the possibility of an unwanted pregnancy doesn't bother to consider their own interests and that of any potential child? It doesn't take much intelligence to observe that babies cry, soil their diapers, generally can't be taken to work, and cost a lot of money. Anyone even slightly aware of their surroundings cannot help but notice these things. Yes, it is sad that someone ends up pregnant when she doesn't want to be, but if she knows the facts of life and is having sex with men or boys who refuse to use birth control, she needs to use it herself or not sleep with them. Sex without protection is also a great way to get dangerous and sometimes fatal STDs.

      As far as Sarah Palin goes, I don't actually think that last kid is hers, but even if he is, it is a fact that she can probably financially afford to carry through an unplanned pregnancy, which your hypothetical girl cannot. It's not fair, but it's reality, and if women and girls either don't look after themselves in this very basic way or lack the discernment to do so, any resulting children will likely suffer from a similar lack of care.

      July 30, 2013 at 02:48 | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      I was abstinent for most of my college years, by choice, despite being on birth control pills. Others can learn to do the same.

      July 30, 2013 at 15:22 | Report abuse |
  10. Bisnono

    Have any of you suggesting cloth diapers ever worked full time AND cared for a baby? If you have the LUXURY to stay home with your baby, great, do cloth. But try getting up at 6 am, feeding the baby, and doing 2 diaper changes before your husband has to leave for his crummy job and drop baby at daycare or he'll get fired for being 1–yes ONE minute late–clocking in. Meanwhile, you are trying to get yourself ready to get to your own crummy job, and you have an 8 am conference call, so you can't be late either. You get home, and the baby is screaming and colicky, can't fall asleep till midnight, then gets up to breastfeed every 2 hours until you start the cycle all over again at 6 am. Now, tell me EXACTLY when in my day do I have the time to wash a dozen or more soiled diapers by hand? Is that before or after I wash his bottles from daycare? Do I just not cook dinner or sing to my baby, or not have 10 minutes to just pee and have my body to myself again without a little human attached to it?

    I love my son more than anything. And thankfully, my husband and I have the resources to buy disposable diapers. But to expect parents who are hungry, depressed, maybe raising one or more children, possibly working multiple jobs, maybe doing it without a partner to lean on, and doing it on a limited income, to also try to find time to wash diapers every day is NOT realistic. Try finding a diaper cleaning service in neighborhoods that don't even have access to a grocery store other than the corner gas station. Do you think poor families just aren't working hard enough? It's not enough that they're already working 12 hour shifts or 3 jobs, and trying to make a life for their families–no, you won't be satisfied until their hands are also covered in poop too, just so that you can somehow feel superior.

    July 29, 2013 at 20:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Betty

      Yes, I worked and used cloth diapers. My Mom worked and used cloth diapers and both my Grandmothers worked and used cloth diapers. That was before someone invented the disposable ones. In fact we had to go to work and they did not even have child care facilities, which meant we had to hire someone to come in. And we could not even deduct it from our income tax. You young people have been spoiled.

      July 29, 2013 at 20:42 | Report abuse |
    • anna

      I worked full time, cared for 2 young children, and used cloth diapers. For me it was an environmental choice, (best research at the time showed that disposable diapers would last intact in the landfill for longer then the baby would live) but I was pleasantly surprised to find that not only was it more economical, it was also much better for my baby's development. Both of my children potty trained themselves before the age of 2. I avoided years of changing and buying diapers. My kids also never suffered from diaper rash. Personally, I did not find washing the diapers to be a hardship. Deposit any solid waste in the toilet (as I would have with a disposable), put the used diaper in a soaking pail with a secure airtight lid, and re-diaper. On washing day(s), the entire pail went into the washing machine. When traveling, we frequently used laundromats. They had no problem with me washing pre-rinshed cloth diapers in their machines. They would have a huge problem with someone trying to wash soiled diapers containing solid waste. And yes, I have hand washed diapers in a pinch. It was no more difficult or involved then hand washing any other article of clothing.

      July 29, 2013 at 22:23 | Report abuse |
    • summerday1

      @Bisnono, Life is sometimes harder than it has to be. Babies need a lot of care and work, but if there's a father in the picture, then it doesn't have to be as difficult as what you are describing.

      July 30, 2013 at 00:52 | Report abuse |
    • mbluesky

      It's hard work being a parent and I'm not telling you what to do, but we've found cloth diapers are pretty much as easy as disposables. The cloth diapers we bought (flip) almost never have diaper blow-outs. We had one blow-out in 4 months. When we've traveled with disposables, we need to pack twice or three times as many clothes as we normally use, because the disposables seem to leak all the time. So I'm not sure you are really saving much laundry time. And the diapers paid for themselves very quickly.

      July 30, 2013 at 04:44 | Report abuse |
    • Elizabeth

      I I worked full time, had an extensive travel schedule and cloth diapered my child. I was also the bread winner for my family. I only used disposables on the plane. We only used a service when staying at a hotel where there was no access to a washer. I stayed at some very nice upscale hotels and ALL had access to washers and dryers.
      The reason to use disposables is convenience alone.
      As for the "finding time to wash 12 diapers" among a colicky baby, depression etc, then the conversation isn't about diapering it is about parenting and other items and being using a disposable isn't going to change that situation at all. We washed the diapers on hot with all the underwear. You rinse the cloth prior to washing when solids or heavy wetting so no different. Laundromats allow so many other things to be washed and to say they don't allow cloth diapers means they don't allow underwear.
      Ultimately cloth is lower cost and lower hassle.

      July 30, 2013 at 09:13 | Report abuse |
    • kathy

      Even if both parents are working it is still not an excuse for this kind of behavior. To scrape off fecal matter and put it back on is neglectful child abuse. It is horrible. Too many organizations are willing to help parents build a cloth stash to do this. As a parent who when through severe postpartum depression and odd there is no excuses. I would bag the soiled diapers and clean them at the end of the day and every third day wash em. There is countertop and portable washer machines that hook to a basic sink. There really is no excuse. Disposable diapers are a luxury item like paper plates! No to be the norm for people on a budget. I repeat yes it might be a little bit more work to cloth but if it prevents parents from abusing their child by leaving pee diapers and scraped off fecal mattered diapers on their child than it is their responsibility to cloth. People need to take responsibility for their actions.

      July 30, 2013 at 10:23 | Report abuse |
    • kathy

      I meant o c d. Lol autocorrect

      July 30, 2013 at 10:26 | Report abuse |
    • anna

      Wow you sound like you have a really crummy life – perhaps you should have thought twice about having any children. Everything sounds like too much trouble for you.

      July 30, 2013 at 10:46 | Report abuse |
    • kathy

      What! Because I hold myself accountable I have a crummy life and shouldn't have kids. What an asinine statement. Lol lots of moms deal with postpartum problems. That doesn't make them bad moms. Lol so only people who should have kids is ones who use disposables. Lol you gave me a big laugh.

      July 30, 2013 at 10:51 | Report abuse |
    • Melanie

      I worked full time and had a child I cloth diapered. My husband left us so there was no husband to drop the kid at child care like you suggest though that would have been nice. Did all the things you describe happen to me? Yes. Did I still hand wash my diapers so my kid could have clean diapers? Yes. My kid didn't ask to be born and I wasn't about to let him suffer because his father left and I didn't have money. It sucked when he was little to try and do it all myself, but I was the adult and I did it because there was no other option. Children shouldn't suffer because adults make bad choices and/or life is rough for there parents.

      July 30, 2013 at 11:16 | Report abuse |
    • Pollowog

      Yes, I worked full time and used cloth diapers for years. It's called taking responsibility and not having to be pampered. Get up earlier if you have a problem. Or don't have kids. And to Chris, yes I believe abortion would have been better in some cases than having the child suffer. Are you going to pay for all the kids that suffer at the hands of incompetent parents?

      July 30, 2013 at 14:18 | Report abuse |
    • dt

      I so badly want to see you make this pathetic argument to someone from about 200 years ago. They'd take turns being shocked how lazy you are, and fascinated how you get so little done with so much technology. Wah.

      July 30, 2013 at 14:42 | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      I'd say look for a new job. Not all of us are home by choice.

      July 30, 2013 at 15:24 | Report abuse |
    • AbbyJ

      My husband and I both work full-time. We use cloth diapers for our baby. They are NOT as much trouble as you are making them out to be! I spend less time on diapers than I do cleaning pump parts and getting bottles ready.

      August 30, 2013 at 17:08 | Report abuse |
  11. Jennifer J

    Why is there never any mention of perhaps the fathers of these babies contributing to the cost of caring for them? Cloth diapers have been around for years and yes, may be a bit more time consuming, but are a lot cheaper.

    July 29, 2013 at 20:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Shelia

      Because daddy's are much more then a bank maybe you should ask where is dad in these children's lives.

      July 29, 2013 at 22:07 | Report abuse |
  12. Betty

    For several hundred years women in this country used cloth diapers. Those children did not get infections. It is the medical profession trying to scare women. And yes, that was in the good old days when women washed clothes by hand. Raised all by kids with cloth diapers! Going to a baby shower, give them some cloth diapers.

    July 29, 2013 at 20:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tony

      So you're willing to subsidize their income, rent, and food because they can't work a job as they have wash diapers and stay at home?

      July 30, 2013 at 10:44 | Report abuse |
    • Oh Betty...

      Seriously, they did not get infections? Have you ever looked at the infant mortality rates from 100+ years ago? Rewrite history much?

      July 30, 2013 at 16:37 | Report abuse |
  13. Mr Snuggles

    Maybe I will be accused of being a heartless conservative, but why are people having kids if they can't even afford diapers? Go to school and get a job first. Hello?

    July 29, 2013 at 21:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Michelle

      That would make too much sense. Apparently in this day and age it's much better to be irresponsible and expect handouts.

      My husband and I stopped at one child who is five now, because that's what we can comfortable afford on one income (I gave up my career to be a stay at home mom). Sure, we could have more and collect welfare OR we can be responsible and admit that one is all we can fund with our current income. Meanwhile all my female cousins have 3-6 kids each, all receiving WIC and food stamps. It's sickening.

      July 30, 2013 at 09:08 | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      Right.. because EVERY child is born is planned. *rolls eyes* Teen pregnancy is a thing of the past and doesn't exist, right?

      In what world do you live in because it ain't reality.

      July 30, 2013 at 10:45 | Report abuse |
    • Del W.

      I agree with you; in the best situation, a baby should be planned. You sound smart enough, however, to know that for a lot more reasons that just blatant irresponsibility, conception occurs in a less than ideal situation. I wonder how a conservative then balances their pro-life views with the fact that without abortions a lot more low income babies will be born. Does that paint you in a corner a bit?

      July 30, 2013 at 13:15 | Report abuse |
  14. PBW

    The biggest problem with this article is that they are failing to mention that it's DISPOSABLE Diapers that people are crying about. Why not do what all our parents, grandparents and great grandparents did. Get cloth diapers and wash and reuse them as necessary. They are a lot cheaper than throw away diapers. This story is plainly manipulative, liberal nonsense.

    July 29, 2013 at 22:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Vicki

      Why is it liberal? I would venture to guess that most people using cloth these days are liberal, due to the environmental impact of disposable diapers. Stop blaming liberals for everything. Or do you find it offensive that liberals are trying to help these needy famillies by providing diapers?

      My husband and I both work full time and we use cloth diapers on our daughter. I've invested about $500 (although you could do it for much cheaper) and those diapers will last her until she is potty trained and also for our next child. They are just as easy as disposables, although we have the convenience of our own washer and dryer.

      July 30, 2013 at 10:16 | Report abuse |
  15. Shelia

    clearly the answer to this problem is a government funded free diaper voucher..

    July 29, 2013 at 22:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • anna

      You actually want the government to start paying for diapers? Talk sense please.

      July 30, 2013 at 10:50 | Report abuse |
    • Rush Limbaugh

      would give a whole new meaning to "Pampering" the poor.

      July 30, 2013 at 12:09 | Report abuse |
  16. JH

    Here's an idea – Stop Having Sex! Stop stop stop stop stop. It's not that hard to do. Focus your attention on your education or your work. Go to college. Get a Degree. Work hard and get a promotion at work. Get your life together and then worry about sex. No sex = no babies = no problems! It's not that difficult to understand people!

    July 29, 2013 at 22:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Michelle

      But that would require common sense and self-control!

      July 30, 2013 at 09:09 | Report abuse |
    • The Other Bob

      And I thought Horatio Alger was dead! But life isn't like a Horatio Alger story, so maybe you need a little time out in the real world.

      July 30, 2013 at 13:29 | Report abuse |
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  18. thesewomenarepathetic

    These people should be sterilized.

    July 29, 2013 at 22:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tony

      That's what they said about your parents.

      July 30, 2013 at 10:52 | Report abuse |
  19. pattyslist

    LAZY! LAZY! LAZY!!! First having babies that they cannot afford to take care of and then TOO LAZY to wash out diapers. I wsometimes washed diapers in the bathtub ( after soaking in Clorox) and hung them in my attic to dry. Later I bought a drying rack. It is NOT necessary you to use disposable diapers. I was a single mother who worked full time. NO, it was not easy, but I never had money to buy disposable diapers. I also cooked all meals as it was cheaper than buying things already made up.

    July 30, 2013 at 01:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. cindy

    uh ... stop having babies ... but that is a problem – no baby, no welfare check ...

    July 30, 2013 at 02:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Mommy101

    Why don't people consider early potty training? In India babies as young as 10 months old are potty trained – only requirement is that they are able to sit. In America everybody has their kids in diapers until 3 or 4 years which is way too long and too expensive!

    July 30, 2013 at 08:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Pollowog

      Try not to stereotype. I'm American and all my kids were potty trained by the time they turned 2. I personally don't think it's right to try and potty train someone 10 months old. They should at least know how to walk so they can get to the toilet on their own.

      July 30, 2013 at 14:23 | Report abuse |
  22. GI Joe

    Insurance pays for Viagra, but not birth control or abortions. Shame. Also, have you seen the red states with folks on welfare having more little babies they can't afford? Then they complain about food stamps. Vote the republicans out. They are unrealistic.

    I'd rather a woman answer to her God than be forced to give birth to babies she can't afford and probably doesn't want.

    July 30, 2013 at 08:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • L

      Birth control is covered by most insurance now and if you are poor you can get it for free.

      July 31, 2013 at 12:02 | Report abuse |
  23. Chris Honry

    IT'S THESE DEADBEAT WORTHLESS "DADS". Who are NOT MAN ENOUGH to pay for their crotch fruit. Man up, wimps. A 13 year old can get a girl pregnant.

    July 30, 2013 at 08:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Carolyn

    There isn't a single state that bans the use of cloth diapers, though some have more restrictions than others for how the centers handle them.


    Some require proof that the child is allergic to disposables. I think any doctor, told by a mother that she can't pay for disposables, would write that letter. It's ridiculous anyway. There's no difference putting a cloth diaper in a wet bag than putting a disposable in the trash.

    The problem is probably because of a lack of licensed, affordable daycare. Most of these low income women probably have few sources for daycare, most of which are unlicensed, therefore they have little choice if that person refuses to use cloth.

    July 30, 2013 at 10:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. ProgressiveMom

    I LOVE how Pro-Lifers want to ban abortion entirely (usually a last resort for low-income or single women), but show ZERO compassion for women in these situations who can't afford diapers, formula, etc. These same people will spend tens of thousands of dollars adopting babies from China when there are thousands of children here in the US who need loving homes just as much. What would Jesus do?

    July 30, 2013 at 10:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Pollowog

      I don't know what Jesus would do, but I'd like some of those thousands of dollars to give to my son and his wife who can't conceive. They can afford a child (probably even disposal diapers), just not the 'front money' to get one. Something's really wrong with the adoption system over here.

      July 30, 2013 at 14:27 | Report abuse |
  26. Tony

    So let me get this straight. Pro-lifers want to abort babies only if they come from poor families? Wow... just... WOW. That's some righteous Christian values there.

    July 30, 2013 at 10:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Tony

    I love how people who suggest using cloth diapers think that they magically and instally clean themselves. We use cloth diapers not for cost, but for being "green". Most of these low-income household have 2 working parents or a single working mother. Where do you think they can find the time to wash diapers and work? Also, quality cloth diapers are an EXPENSIVE initial investment. Go to any Target store and price them. The initial kit cost over $100 and comes with SIX (6) resuable diapers, inserts, and covers.

    July 30, 2013 at 10:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Carolyn

      All in one (AIO) or pocket cloth diapers are expensive. But prefolds and covers aren't particularly expensive and they're what people used until the invention of disposables. One extra load of laundry every 2-3 days doesn't seem that far out of reach. If it's between that and causing my child to get an infection or rash, you better believe I'll do the extra load of laundry. They also have 7ish months to gradually build up a stash of cloth diapers.

      July 30, 2013 at 10:51 | Report abuse |
    • dt

      Make your own.

      July 30, 2013 at 15:18 | Report abuse |
  28. GrowUp

    This is not about cloth diapers, washers and dryers, re-using diapers or no diapers. This is about not having kids you are not prepared to raise financially, emotionally or otherwise. This is about being a responsible adult. Don't start with the "what about rape, incest and contraceptive failure" nonsense. The overwhelming majority of these kids are NOT the result of rape or incest so stop with that cop out for not wanting to face facts. Contraceptives are also highly effective so save your breath on that one too. The bottom line is that people need to take responsibility for their own choices and stop blaming everyone else for their predicament.

    July 30, 2013 at 10:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tony

      LOL! You might as well ask for world peace and to end hunger. THe real world isn't some fairy tale. We have poor people who get pregnant, most of them unplanned. It happens... get used to it, that's reality... unless you are one of them pro-lifers who only want to abort poor babies.

      July 30, 2013 at 10:50 | Report abuse |
    • GrowUp

      Wow. I pity your kids. Btw, kids cost money to have and require work–even for poor families. So, get over it if you choose to have a kid. Not my problemo.

      July 30, 2013 at 10:53 | Report abuse |
    • GrowUp

      Newsflash: contraceptives are cheaper than buying diapers. Grow a brain or don't shack up.

      July 30, 2013 at 10:57 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Glad someone caught the actual meaning of this article. I agree 100% with you – if you can't afford to raise a child, DON'T have one. Perhaps if these women were a bit more picky about who they had sex with, they wouldn't be having all these kids. Yes, there are other things to do besides having sex, just find one of them. Stay in school, get an education and then a job. Wait until you're older to have kids.

      July 30, 2013 at 14:01 | Report abuse |
    • Pollowog

      You're my hero!!

      July 30, 2013 at 14:29 | Report abuse |
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    July 30, 2013 at 12:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. motherof3

    Some mothers are not welfare bums looking for hand outs. I was a new mother of an 18 month old and a one month old when i lost my job. i had little saved but my husband was still working and the coast of diapers was just to much. We opted for the cloth ones at home. then three months later my Husband was laid off as well..talk about hard times. We didnt even have money to buy wipes anymore. We made ends meet doing trivial work here and there. So we used cloth diapers all the time and a wash cloth to clean our kids. Hand washed everything including our own cothes. It took almost a year and a half before my husband got a descent job. 4 yrs for me. that was 6yrs ago. we now have a third son(happy surprise) now i use cloth diapers for him as well. Life just puts us in situations sometimes, just have to use your head and some self reliance to get through it.

    July 30, 2013 at 12:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Seriously

    I think, before I did something so disgusting to a baby, I would simply use cloth diapers. Sadly, people must actually be this stupid.

    July 30, 2013 at 13:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Waida Liu Godfrey

    I agree with "motherof3". I had only 2 children. I flushed the solid waste down the toilet by holding onto one end of the diaper, then washed them by hands. Hanged them out on the clothes lines to dry. In the wintertime they froze into hard solid boards, but softened indoors. Ha, ha. Wipes? I rinsed their bottoms with soap & water under the faucet afterwards. Super clean! Never a diaper rash. Now they grow up to be healthy adults with no problems. We really don't need commercial diapers. Travelling? Put a plastic pant over the cloth diaper [in case it leaks].
    Life is easy, don't make it hard.

    July 30, 2013 at 13:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • bczu

      Only problem is people work full time now. And no day care is going to do that for you.

      July 30, 2013 at 14:55 | Report abuse |
  33. Chris

    When my twins were born we thought about cloth diapers. Unfortunately we couldn't find thick quality diapers in our area, nor could we find ANY diaper cleaning services. Yes, disposables are expensive, messy and take up a lot of space but when you can't locate cloth you really have no choice. The idea of a plastic container full of used cloth diapers is totally disgusting – a diaper service doesn't pick up every day you know. Child care providers don't want the problem of cloth diapers – think of all the separate used diaper containers they would need, the issues of sanitation etc and making sure individual parents get the right diapers back.

    July 30, 2013 at 14:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Shayne


      A diaper cleaning service?! LOL you and your wife too good to wash them yourself?

      July 30, 2013 at 16:48 | Report abuse |
  34. dt

    I love how most of these comments use the assumption a mother/father can't wash their kids' diapers by hand. Grow up and get to work, stop asking others to do it for you.

    July 30, 2013 at 14:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Lynda Elaine

    What an incredibly stupid story. Cloth diapers. Better for your kid, better for the environment and much cheaper than disposables.

    Bunch of lazy a s s people today.

    July 30, 2013 at 15:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Thom

      Did you know that about a million babies a year are injured or poked with diaper pins ?

      July 31, 2013 at 02:55 | Report abuse |
  36. chris s

    You all did notice that the "study" was sponsored by Huggies. The entire thing reads like an ad for disposable diapers. Even the diaper bank they mention has a corporate sponsor, Huggies. Kind of reminds me of the baby formula companies giving away freebies in third world countries to kick start the market there...

    July 30, 2013 at 18:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Thom

    Poor unemployed moms need cloth diapers..... middle class and wealthy ladies use disposable and have sitters and day care to change them for a cost. Hand washing doesn't get them very clean either if you don't have access to a washer near by to wash them when you need them.

    July 31, 2013 at 02:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Carrie

    Interesting to see how many struggling for diapers have smart phones which more than likely costs more to maintain. Needs vs wants. Part of the problem with people these days!

    July 31, 2013 at 11:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Dana

    Cloth diapers are not a choice for many people and for many reasons. You all compare and complain about not people not being able to buy disposable diapers but you dont know their situation. Plus if you read correctly its not the taxpayers paying for this. These are donations from people who are better of and other sponsers. I work 40+ hours a week. I supply my child with insurance and all benefits. My husband also works 40+ hours a week but at a minimum wage job. i also have an auttoimmune diorder that limits my movement. I have a problem affording diapers on top of day care and other costs for my child but in no way possible would i be able to use cloth diapers. Physically i wouldnt be able to use them nevermind wash them. Daycare doesnt accept them, and you don't just uproot your child and move them to a differnent day care due to that. Cloth isn't a viable option for everyone. You cannot judge peoples stories when you dont know them.

    July 31, 2013 at 11:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • kk2

      Dana- your autoimmune disorder did not keep you from moving to have sex or give birth...guessing you still wash yourself in the shower...you just sound lazy-sorry!

      July 31, 2013 at 12:46 | Report abuse |
  40. Dana

    Apparently the response i wrote back to you kk2 didnt post for some reason. so long story short you dont know the situation with the accomidations i need for eberyday mundane tasks. and actually it did prevent me from giving birth naturally. Until you know what its like living with a dibilitating desiease you should count your blessing and not look down on others

    July 31, 2013 at 13:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. catluvgal

    I'm SO sick of the continual stories of "The Single Mom". Pregnancy is preventable and prevention is FREE! Let's stop enabling stupid people to breed when they cannot afford to raise a child(ren) without gov't assistance and in about 20 years much of the societal and financial problems we face will be much declined. Oh, and let's get some robust law enforcement going regarding fathers of these kids paying child support, eh? We are just a bucket of idiots right now. It really needs to change.

    July 31, 2013 at 14:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Thom

    Speaking of Obamacare......... did you realize it will save about $12B a year just in the savings of the uninsured going to ER's and never paying????? Yep !!! Hospitals double the bill when you are uninsured to try to recoup half that they normally get from our tax dollars for those without insurance

    yes, correct....Just in the savings from the uninsured going to ER's and not paying, Obamacare will save taxpayers $12B a YEAR now just on that one thing alone. Premiums are also cut in half in many states and will end up being in all states by the end of 2014. Employers who do insure their employees will also se a big cut in premiums and save millions too

    July 31, 2013 at 20:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Lara

    My mother, God rest her soul, gave live birth to 7 children but was mother to 8. She told me once that dirty diapers were contraceptives best friend.

    She used cloth diapers on us all but used a diaper service. My mom also used 'cloth diaper liners' a kind of semi disposable thing that caught poop and made washing cloth diapers easier. Do they still make them?

    August 1, 2013 at 04:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Jim Sessoms

    What! No diapers with food stamps? I can rember my wife washing cloth diapers and have them freeze on the line outside in Germany! What we have here is low income, low intelligence, no initiative moms who shouldn't be moms!

    August 2, 2013 at 18:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. debaser71

    What's up with the focus on moms? Can't dads also be a parent to an infant? I thought this was the "parenting" section but I seem to have stumbled into the mommy section. No tips on makeup or shoes?

    August 6, 2013 at 09:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. dragonfire0477

    Luvs are the best. They hold the most, leak the least, chafe the least, and are nearly the cheapest.

    Also, baby urine is sterile, which means you don't need to wipe them every time they pee. Less wiping means less diaper rash, less creams for said rashes, and fewer cranky babies. Took me till the third kid to figure that out...

    September 4, 2013 at 15:51 | Report abuse | Reply
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  50. Margaret

    I'm sick and tired of reading articles that state, "cloth diapers aren't an option". It's as if society today is above using cloth diapers, or that disposable diapers are the ONLY option in today's day and age. I put 6 kids through cloth diapers and rubber pants (yes, with diaper pins) in the 80's and into the 90's, and all grew to be healthy, happy, well-adjusted adults, and not one suffered any ill-consequence related to wearing old-fashioned diapers.

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