Keeping Your Baby’s Bottom Clean and Dry

According to a study in the journal Pediatrics published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, many American families struggle with the cost of diapers. In fact, the average household spends approximately $1000/year on this essential for baby – a significant expense for those families on public assistance or surviving on a low income.

Because one out of three mothers in the study needed help buying diapers, this simple expense created reported stress in this population. Eight percent of moms changed diapers less frequently to economize, and thus, put their babies at greater risk for diaper rashes and local infection.

Currently, WIC and other public assistance programs do not fund the purchase of diapers, so the National Diaper Bank Network, a non-profit organization, has worked to set up 100 diaper banks in the US so far. If you visit you can see if there is a diaper bank near you. There is also information on the website if you are interested in starting a diaper bank in your community, or just want to offer support.

Keep in mind, if there isn’t a diaper bank near you, you can network with friends, your place of worship, service organizations, or your co-workers and you can make a difference for a little one in need. You can dial 2-1-1, a hotline available in most areas of the US, for guidance and how to help.

If you are lucky enough to help, please consider doing so. If you need help, it’s out there. Just get on the web and see what this wonderful network can do to help keep your baby’s bottom dry, clean and happy!

-JJ Levenstein MD FAAP



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About Dr. JJ Levenstein

Dr. JJ Levenstein is a board-certified pediatrician and fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and in 2012 retired from her thriving private pediatric practice in Encino, California. She served on the staff of CHLA and Encino Tarzana Hospitals for 20 years and was consistently voted one of the Best Doctors in America® from 2003 through 2012. Drawing from her experience as a pediatrician and mom, Dr. Levenstein serves as president and co-founder of MD Moms, makers of Baby Silk, the first personal care line for babies developed by pediatrician moms. She serves on the board of United Cerebral Palsy LA, is an active writer and sits on the advisory boards of several child-centered websites. She is an accomplished chef and completed culinary school in 2013! She has had a lifelong interest in child nutrition and all things related to preventive health.


  1. Shanna M says:

    I’ve never heard of diaper banks before,but they sound like a great idea. We’re currently expecting our 4th baby in August and going to look into cloth diapering. I just wish I had done it with my other 3 kiddos.

  2. I love my cloth diapers. I spent about $350 on everything. That is all for the entire time my baby wears diapers.

  3. peggy fedison says:

    I had NO idea there were diaper banks!! What a great idea for people that cant afford diapers or need help in getting them. How awesome is this!!! I am impressed!

  4. Jessica Long says:

    ALso consider using Cloth diapers, I have aquired an enough modern cloth diapers to diaper my baby for free. Using flour sack towels or even using old tshirts and inexpensive yet very attractive covers are a very cheap and easily hand washed a way to diaper even if you don’t have the resources like a washer or access to one, Organizations even exist to help you obtain cloth diapers (mine were gotten from freecycle and craigslist) but Giving DIapers Giving Hope, Cloth for Every bum and The Rebecca Foundation all can give you resources to get diapers. If you have them you dont have to constantly worry about where diapers will come from. We are a very low income family and having diapers for my baby that I will never have to throw away has given me the motivation and confidence to explore other ways to sustainably parent that don’t cost any money at all. There are support groups on Face book (“cloth diaper support group” is one) And if you need help or have questions about cloth diapers there is a lot of information there. YOu don’t have to throw money away! Lots of Day care centers do take cloth (in fact most states have regulations regarding cloth diapers) and you don’t need fancy detergent or do lots of extra laundry either! People diapered their babies for centuries before, disposable diapers existed, and lots of people dont ever have the thought of how easy it can be! I never thought of it with my first child. I could have saved thousands and kept all that poop outta the landfill!

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