Welcome back to the school of cloth – week three. Link up to this week’s posts here or stop by for more tips on diapering needs. This week we talk about diaper needs. Diapers can be an expense that puts a great financial strain on parents and I want it to be very clear that there IS help out there.
When my husband and I became pregnant with our first son, we both had full-time jobs. I had every intention of returning to work shortly after his birth because I knew we wouldn’t have enough money to pay our bills otherwise. Long story short, I ended up leaving my job to stay at home with him full-time. After doing the math, working would have meant that almost my entire income would be going to daycare and gas for my commute. Leaving my son and seeing him only 1-2 hours a day for about $100 a month was not worth it for me. So my decision was made. We made it through losing half our income, and no we are certainly not rich people. We struggled a bit, and at times still do.
I didn’t really learn about cloth diapers until my oldest son was fifteen months old and baby number two was to be born in four more months. We were always able to get diapers in the those first fifteen months, but I’m not going to lie, some months it was really tough to find the money to cover them. A couple of family members would also surprise us with a box here and there. I was always amazed at how quickly we went through disposable diapers. I changed my son every 3-4 hours, more often if he had a rash or had pooped. I often felt guilty for leaving him in a diaper that long, but I also felt like there was no way we could afford more diapers. I was trying to keep my son healthy as well as stretch our diaper budget.
When I first discovered cloth diapers and wipes, I was thrilled. Even when we only had fifteen diapers, I was so happy to be able to change my son more often and help keep rashes away more easily. As a month would pass where I didn’t have to buy disposable diapers, I would buy more materials to sew more diapers. I could easily change my son every 2-3 hours or more and not worry about it costing us money. Our diapers were washable and reusable, it didn’t matter how many we went through in a day! And his little bottom got fewer and fewer rashes.
I remember once my sister and I went to the grocery store. I was comparing the prices of diapers and I asked my sister why someone would pay $8 for a small box of diapers when they could get so many more in a box for $18. She said, “Maybe you don’t have $20 to spare”. It was just a general comment, but it hit me and has stuck with me. I have a soft heart and a very strong desire to help other people. My mother ingrained this in me and it is something my children are learning as well. There are parents out there who love their children as much as I love mine. They do the best they can for them and some months, they probably don’t have diaper money. They worry what they will do.
What happens when you can’t afford diapers? You get desperate. If you don’t have anyone to ask, stealing might even come to mind. I’ve heard it countless times on the news. And I have seen bags of diapers laying open on a shelf in a store. It breaks my heart. So, I want to let anyone out there know THERE ARE OPTIONS! There are people out there that can help you find diapers whether they be reusable cloth or disposables. If you or someone you know struggles to buy diapers, PLEASE read the next few paragraphs.
Diaper Aid Hub has provided this list of charities that give diapers as well as accept donations for diapers. I would also urge you to speak with your local WIC office as they can often put you in touch with local diaper banks.
Here is the list from the Diaper Aid Hub and a map that can be useful in locating diaper banks in your area: https://www.zeemaps.com/map?group=527319)
www.facebook.com/TheRebeccaFoundation – serves national
https://www.facebook.com/GivingDiapersGivingHopeFoundation – Gloucester, MA, Low income families in the continental US
http://www.cottonbabies.com/cblovelocations.php >25 cities around the US. click the link to find out more.
https://www.facebook.com/JakesDiapersForPeru – Jake’s Diapers is a cloth diaper bank, dedicated to helping babies in need, wherever they may be.
http://www.jilliansdrawers.com/ – Ithaca, NY, diapers available with a WIC card in store
AGAPE GO Green Save Money Cloth Diaper Program- Bloomsburg,PA
www.facebook.com/pages/Operation-Fluff-Planet/180698285321955 – Newark, Delaware and surrounding areas
www.facebook.com/sweetcheeksdiaperkits – North Carolina – Partner with Gulford and Randolph County WIC
https://www.facebook.com/tricitiesdiaper is a general diaper bank, but they are adding reusable cloth diapers to their inventory.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/575166639182923 – 2 Diapers 2 Share is focused on low income families or families with a specific reason for needing assistance in Halifax, Warren and Vance counties in North Carolina.
https://www.facebook.com/diaperingwithlove – Diapering with Love, a division of Green Onslow, located in Jacksonville, NC and serving the local community. We lend to low income families (follow WIC guidelines).
www.facebook.com/clothforeverybum – Georgia low country
https://www.facebook.com/BabyCycleFL – Serving anyone on government assistance of any kind in Pinellas County, FL
www.facebook.com/ClothMyHeart – South West Florida
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Rebecca-Foundations-Cloth-Diaper-Closet-South-Florida/153706291457959 – South Florida; The Big Bend chapter serves Leon, Wakulla anf Franklin counties.
www.facebook.com/ribbonnstitches – Leesville, LA
www.facebook.com/ClothDiaperOK – Oklahoma City, OK
https://www.facebook.com/DFWClothDiaperProject – Dallas, TX
www.facebook.com/Fluffywishes – West Michigan
https://www.facebook.com/nestlingsdiaperbank – Nestlings Diaper Bank serving families in Ottawa County, MI
www.faceboook.com/HeinyHelpers – Bloomington, IN – A program of First United Church
www.facebook.com/pages/Cover-Your-Bum-Cloth-Diaper-Bank/380357702000624 – Springfield, MO
http://www.facebook.com/trfcdc.wmo – West Missouri
https://www.facebook.com/groups/425409360851835/ – Omaha and Bellevue, NE
https://www.facebook.com/BattleBumms/ – provide cloth diapers to low-income military families in the Colorado Springs, CO area
www.facebook.com/CutieBondoonieDiaperKits – Yakima, WA – uses WIC income standards
https://www.facebook.com/OneClothBottom – Cloth diaper lending pantry for low income families serving Tacoma, Washington.
www.facebook.com/clothforacause – Prince George, British Columbia – Chapters across Canada
www.facebook.com/Cloth4ACauseBulkleyValleyArea – Houston, British Columbia
www.facebook.com/cloth4acause – Chilliwack, BC
www.facebook.com/gpcfac – Grand Prarie, Alberta
www.facebook.com/MedicineHatClothForACause – Medicine Hat, AB
www.facebook.com/ClothForACause.SO – Southern Ontario
www.facebook.com/pages/Cloth-for-a-cause-Victoria-Area/315060698516089 – Greater Victoria
If you didn’t find one for you, here’s another list that might include more: https://www.facebook.com/ClothDiaperBankPhoneBook
I also want to point you back to my post from a few weeks ago on about diapering on a budget. I know I’ve pointed us back there a couple of times during the school of cloth, but it is for a good reason. There are a number of resources there to help you cloth diaper with little or no money. I promise, it is possible!
I sincerely hope this posts help someone in need of diapers. I have discussed my want to help a cloth diaper bank or even start one with my husband often the last several months. I have donated some gently used diapers and I am hoping to do more.
If you want to make a donation to a cloth diaper bank, please check out any of the ones listed above. Or even do a simple google search for cloth diaper or regular diaper banks in you area. Many will come up.
Not having a lot of money doesn’t mean that people don’t deserve to be parents. It also doesn’t mean that they don’t make good ones. I believe most parents do the best they can for their children regardless of income. It’s okay to need a little help sometimes. And there are people out there happy to help.