So there I was, scrolling through my Facebook feed when I happened upon something that really jumped out at me.
I read the article and thought “What the hell…”, but I didn’t have much time to really digest what I’d read because I needed to feed O some peaches. As I sat there spooning the peaches into his mouth (and watching them mix with slobber and dribble down his chin), I thought about what I’d do if I couldn’t afford diapers. My first thought was of those poor babies… No one deserves to start life that way. I feel bad when O sleeps all night and wakes up with a seriously soggy diaper. I can’t imagine scraping poop off and re-using diapers. Just…no.
As it turns out, Aragon is far from alone. Thirty percent of the women interviewed for a new study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics said they’d experienced a time when they could not afford to buy the diapers their kids needed. And a full 8 percent reported that they would “stretch” the diapers they had when their supply was running short by leaving a wet diaper on their child or partially cleaning the diaper and reusing it.
Honestly, my gut reaction was to join the “If you can’t afford diapers, you shouldn’t have a baby” camp. Just like anything else, though, there are so many ways this could have happened that I just don’t think that’s a totally fair reaction.
-Suppose you are married, your husband is the breadwinner and you stay at home with the kids. Your husband is killed in a tragic accident and since he had no life insurance you’re up a creek, basically.
-OR you’re a single woman, working a decent job and managing to meet your child’s needs. The company you work for goes out of business, or you get downsized… Since you were living paycheck to paycheck you have nothing saved up.
– Go ahead and insert the stereotypical, ‘irresponsible people can’t take care of themselves, add baby to mix and shit goes downhill’ situation here. A lot of people are likely thinking it…I know I did, for a second.
The thing is, I just can’t figure out what to think about all of this except that it needs to be fixed. Like, now. I’ve been told that government programs (Like WIC) don’t supply diapers, only wipes. That doesn’t make a ton of sense to me… I get that wipes are cheaper but diapers are kind of a necessity (unless you’re one of those diaper-free people…and in that case, um…good luck).
I also think there are alternative options to disposable diapers that need to be considered. Are cloth diapers fun to deal with? I doubt it very much, but they’re far more budget friendly than diapers. Same thing with wipes…you could easily use a washcloth. Disposable diapers and wipes are very much a luxury, not the only option. If it came down to it, I have tee shirts that I would be willing to use to keep O’s butt dry.
But I guess this isn’t about what I would do, or what I think of the situation. This is about those babies…
I’m saying we need to figure this out.
What can be done to fix this? I’d like to know what my readers have to say. If you have any ideas, let me know in the comments!