Study shows parents’ inability to provide diapers to children can lead to mental health problems

Posted at 5:49 PM, Jul 22, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-22 19:50:59-04

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – When new parents bring home their bundle of joy, the last thing they should worry about is providing the basic necessities like food, shelter, clothing and diapers.

A 2013 study published in the Pediatrics Journal shows that almost 30 percent of women say they didn’t have enough diapers to change children as often as they’d like--leading them to feel depressed and anxious.

Gina Cornia is the Executive Director of Utahns Against Hunger and works with struggling families who find it difficult to pay for diapers.

“Most of their money is probably going to rent, things like gas, utilities, and so there's very little money left over for other necessities like diapers,” Cornia said.

According to the Yale University Study, infants use 240 diapers per month and that adds up to a yearly cost of $936. For a single mother working full-time who earns about $15,000 a year, she spends 6 percent of her salary on diapers.

Working parents who choose to use cloth diapers on their infants as a cheaper alternative are finding out it’s not a practical solution, especially if they want to put them in daycare.

“Daycare providers don't allow you to use cloth diapers; you have to use disposable, and disposable diapers are expensive and they're an absolute necessity,” Cornia said.

Government assistance programs like food stamps or WIC do not cover diapers or baby wipes, forcing some families to turn to local resources.

Kat lives in Ogden with her husband. The couple has four children. She is struggling to make ends meet and is finding some help at The Catholic Communities Services of Utah in Ogden. They provide necessities to families in need to help calm the nerves of parents who want so desperately to give their child the comforts they deserve.

“I come every month to get diapers for my kids," Kat said. "It's not that I'm not providing for them, but, at the same time, this helps me and it helps dad as well."

Cornia says Utahns are very giving when it comes to filling up local pantries with food, and she encourages people who donate food and other supplies to local food banks to also give diapers and baby supplies.

In addition to the Catholic Community Services of Utah, people can also turn to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Leaders can direct those in need to a Bishop Storehouse where they can receive a supply of diapers.