Facts and Impacts

The Facts

  • A healthy change of diapers costs $100/month or more – for all ages.
  • Full time work at minimum wage grosses + $825 /month.
  • Average social security benefits are $875/month.
  • Safety Net programs do not cover diapers – not Food Stamps, not WIC, not Medicare (except hospice)
  • Diaper manufacturers don’t donate diapers unless you have quadruplets or more and can get them PR
  • Cloth is not an option. Childcare centers require parents to leave disposable diapers with their child, and adult supplies aren’t readily available in cloth.
  • 1 out of every 4 babies in Illinois is born into poverty.

The Impacts


  • Parents who can’t afford $100/month to leave disposable diapers at child care often leave the workforce until their children are out of diapers. Child care costs are subsidized, but there are NO subsidies for diapers.
  • A normal infant uses up to 12 diapers/day; a normal toddler 8/day. But in low income households, a baby may be in a single diaper all day or longer, increasing the risk of health problems, from skin diseases to hepatitis.
  • A baby crying non-stop from being in a soiled diaper for a prolonged time is more likely to be abused.

The Disabled

  • Many disabled babies never outgrow the need for diapers – not when they are 8, or 12, or an adult.
  • Adding diaper costs to uncovered medical expenses can devastate families earning an otherwise adequate income.
  • For school, job training or work, many disabled children and adults need diapers / incontinence supplies.

The Elderly

  • 15-20% of all adults over age 65 suffer some degree of incontinence.
  • Elder abuse is more likely in a multi-generational household facing the added stress of incontinence.
  • Healthy but incontinent seniors often become homebound if they can’t afford supplies. This impacts loneliness and depression, but also increases the need for assistance programs like
  • Meals on Wheels. The Diaper Bank’s supplies have helped seniors who haven’t left home in 2 years.
  • Incontinence is among the most common reasons for the elderly to be placed in nursing homes.
  • Prolonged illness can wipe out a family’s savings. Medicare covers neither prescriptions nor incontinence supplies, leaving little choice as to which the family will choose to purchase with their limited means.
We distribute diapers directly to people in need and through our Diaper Bank Partners. 
The Diaper Bank of Northern Illinois – providing diapers to children and adults in need.
Want to help McHenry County’s most vulnerable–our community’s babies, elderly and disabled?
Donate Today!

Do It With Diapers!