DISCLOSURE: This post by L.A. Dads Group co-organizer Eli Lipmen marking National Diaper Need Awareness Week is sponsored by Huggies®, founder of the National Diaper Bank Network. Huggies has donated more than 200 million diapers and wipes to help babies in need over the past six years, most through the NDBN’s 320 banks throughout the United States. Read on to learn how you can help through this year’s #NoBabyUnhugged campaign.
There is nothing better than a hug from your child after you return from a long trip.
I recently returned from traveling way past my kids’ bedtime. The next day, my toddler woke up extra early and soon as he finished nursing (priorities, folks), he wrapped his arms around me in the biggest bear hug ever. It was truly the best love any dad could ask for.
This reminded me how fortunate I am to have a loving family. It also reminded me how many parents in California aren’t as fortunate. Many of them leave too early in the morning or arrive back home too late at night because they are working a second or even third job to put food on the table or diapers on their baby.
Diaper need real for many in California
In California, as in the United States, nearly a quarter of all families with a child under age 3 are living on an income that’s below the federal poverty line. I know about these issues firsthand from when I worked at a food bank. I met a young woman there once who was about my age with a child about as old as my daughter. She was in school working on her associate’s degree while her husband worked at a low-wage job. She came in for essentials for her child like yogurt, eggs, cheese and bread because her monthly benefits had run out.
The need to buy diapers and wipes causes a similar dilemma for parents like her. Diapers were one of our most sought after commodities because they are not covered under most government assistance programs. As a result, one in three parents in the United States struggle to provide clean diapers for their babies. In my experience I found that when the choice is between diapers and food or utilities, parents with limited incomes often take such shortcuts. I met parents like her who only changed a diaper if it was soiled; if it was liquid, they would keep it on.
That is why I am so inspired to see the many volunteers and donations from companies like Huggies to help ensure that every baby is clean, dry and healthy. The National Diaper Bank Network that Huggies helped to create is a critical resource for raising awareness about this diaper need issue. For example, did you know that in California alone, there are 13 NDBN-member diaper banks that distribute over 5 million diapers annually?
Donate diapers for happy, healthy babies
That equates to a lot of happy babies because as I have learned, a toddler with a wet or dirty diaper is not a happy kid. My son, for example, won’t eat or play when his is dirty and the longer he wears it, the more likely he is to get a rash.
And happy babies mean happier parents. Allowing parents to be home for a few extra hours because they don’t have to work a second job just to keep their baby in clean diapers also makes for a happier parent and child.
This week is Diaper Need Awareness Week and you can make a few babies happy. Every time you tweet using #NoBabyUnhugged, Huggies will donate diapers to Baby2Baby, part of the National Diaper Bank Network.
You can also host a diaper drive with your friends or playgroup or donate diapers to your local diaper bank and tweet about it. Your help means fewer babies go unhugged because their parents cannot afford the diapers and wipes they need. And as I found out after I returned from my trip — there is nothing better than a hug from your kid.
About our sponsor
Huggies® believes deeply in the Power of Hugs. The simple, loving act is proven to support babies’ emotional and physiological well-being. Huggies® diapers and wipes are inspired by a parent’s hug, – to nurture baby with care, cradle baby in comfort and surround baby in protection. Learn more at Huggies.com. #HuggiesCouncil