Documenting Diaper Need: Jordan’s Story (Missouri)

This story was shared with permission as part of our effort to document the issue of diaper need and what it means to American families. To protect the family’s privacy, identifying information has not been disclosed. The baby in the photo is from the family below.

How many children do you have? What are their ages?

We have five of our own plus an extra. Their ages are 8, 6, 4, 2, 6 months and our extra is 1 yr 4 months.

Why is your family experiencing diaper need?

I started cloth diapering 8 years ago with our first child. By getting used cloth diapers with what was given to me at our baby shower. We are now on baby #5 and we have taken in an “extra” because his mother (who I’ve known since I was a teenager) is not able to care for him. So that leaves me with three children (ages 2, 1, and 6 months) in cloth diapers. My stash consists of about half econo bum that I have bought over the last 4 months 1 at a time each paycheck and the rest is made up of the mixed varieties of used diapers bought w/ my first child. These diapers have been through 5 children and they were used when I bought them. Most of them have just about reached the end of their lifespan, and we are struggling with the choice of washing diapers twice a day to scrap by and have enough or to try to skimp on the bills to buy disposables to fill in the gaps. Most paychecks I buy either a cover or a pack of prefolds to replace one of the worn out cloth diapers we have and try to keep up with laundry. At this rate we should have a reasonable number of cloth diapers for all three kids by next year if we’re lucky. When I have to buy disposables I juggle bills, skipping trash one check, electric the next so that I can pay trash and so on.

Are you experiencing diaper need? We are working to raise awareness about this issue and would like to hear your story. If you are in St. Louis, Missouri, you may also qualify for assistance with cloth diapers through the Share The Love cloth diaper bank.

Why would access to diapers (cloth or disposable) help you?
If I had help getting diapers my electric bill would go down, It would be so much less stressful (and really when you’re changing three diapers at a time less stress is needed). And we wouldn’t have to buy disposables at all anymore.

How are you currently paying for diapers?
I’m paying for diapers by not paying for other things.

Are you now or have you ever had to choose between buying diapers and any of the following:
Answer: Utility Bills

Diaper need is a serious issue facing as many as one in three families with a baby wearing diapers. Recent studies showed that 1 in 20 disposable diapers is reused and that families facing diaper need are often choosing between diapers and essentials like food, utilities, or child care. Some readers may want to help the family profiled in this blog post. If that’s you, please respond appropriately in the comments below. Thank you.

23 thoughts on “Documenting Diaper Need: Jordan’s Story (Missouri)”

  1. To the woman in the story, THANK YOU FOR BEING A TRUE MOTHER. It is heart warming when someone will take in a child because it is right and do everything they can to provide. <3 I wish that I was in a position to send them diapers.

  2. I have about 30 one size Mother-Ease diapers that I can give up. I have a handful of covers to match and may have some additional covers that aren’t in great shape. Please let me know how I can give these to the mother in this story.

  3. If I knew how to get diapers to families who need them so much then I would, but I don’t know how to get them to those families! I have a box of cloth diapers that we aren’t using right now and while they are definitely used they have a lot of life left and could keep a babies bum covered. I wish I could send them to someone who needs them.

    1. If this family cannot use them, I know a woman who lives near me that will deffinately benefit from these. If you still have them please let me know. It would deff be appreciated.

  4. We are currently potty training. I am about to buy a few cloth trainers and that means I will have my small stash up for grabs. All diapers were bought new by me. They consist of mostly BG’s. I do have a few covers and prefolds somewhere. We don’t plan on having anymore children. I bought with intent to sell after we are done with them but I would be happy to give them to another family. I also can teach or give links to websites on crocheting your own wool covers and making covers from fleece. I have been there and saved during my pregnancy while I was still able to work, even getting an extra seasonal job to be able to buy cloth for our son. It was a choice we made for many reasons a huge reason was the cost. I now live here in Stl and I’m happy to help anyway I can.

  5. This article makes me so sad and I would love to help. I am a WAHM who, among other things, sews cloth diapers ( though not as great as cotton babies!). I would love to help.

  6. There has been a quick flood of responses to help this family. Thank you all for your willingness to help! I’ve reached out to Jordan to see what she would like to do next.

    For those of you who offered help that is above and beyond what is needed for this family, I’d invite you to wait and watch. I’ll be posting other profiles of families in similar circumstances and you’ll get another chance to step up. THANK YOU ALL!!

  7. I would like to donate some of extra diapers (10 with inserts) that we have to this family. There have been times in my life when I had to eat ramen for one too many days to pay the bills to keep a roof over my head and that was when I only was taking care of myself. I can’t imagine trying to do this with children too! And even though times are rough for this family they are willing to help another. Please let me know where to send the diapers so I can get them to her as soon as possible!

  8. Jen, I have sold most of my stash, but have a few diapers left and I’d love to donate them to a family in need directly. If Jordan has enough, please contact me via email with information on another family. Thank you :)

  9. I have:

    33 prefolds (some infant sized, some a bit larger)
    12 BG inserts (they might be doublers..I cannot remember which)
    5 Kushies doublers
    6 Econobum diaper covers (blues and greens)
    6 Kawaii Baby one size diaper covers (blues and greens)
    10 Kushies All In One diapers (10-22lbs)
    4 Snappis

    I would like to donate all of these to this family, if they would like them. Please let me know how I can do this.

  10. This is a great program!!! Way to help out the community, Jennifer!! My husband and I are blessed to be able to prepare for our first born (here any day now, due march 5th) by purchasing a mix of Econobum, BumGenius diapers with gift cards and monetary gifts. . . We chose to cloth diaper because my husband will be losing his job in May. The Lord blessed us with the knowledge of this happening, so we were able to prepare. . I know some families are not so lucky.

    I do know what it is like to choose some things over bills/ utilities. (Actually still happens), it is stressful and I pray for everyone in that situation. The Lord provides in all situations. . .and I thank HIM for equipping your company to help families in need, as well as with the knowledge and talent to invent such a system of diapering to help save struggling families, like my own. If not for your product, I don’t know how having this 1st baby would be financially possible. . it will still be tough (as it is for most families), but because of what Cotton Babies is. . . it is easier. Thank you!!

  11. I have some diapers I can spare; we totally understand this tough spot. If you’ve already received enough for this family, please let me know if there’s others we could give to. We’d love to help in any way we can. Blessings to this sweet family and you for raising much needed awareness.

  12. I would like to donate something. I work for Cotton Babies and I can help. I did not cloth diaper my kids, who are all teenagers now, but I had weeks, months and even a year when we had to choose diapers over paying bills. To all the struggling moms out there keep up the good work and pray a lot and GOD will get you through.

  13. I had a friend who had several children at a time in cloth diapers for a number of years (she has a total of 12 children, 1 to 1 1/2 yrs. apart) and she used to make diapers. Go to the fabric store, buy flannel fabric and get sewing. They were wonderful–she gave some to me as gifts. They were nice and big, held up for years and not boring old whilte! When they were getting too worn to use as diapers–great cleaning rags.