Keeping Baby Clean and Dry: Free Diapers for Low Income Families
Do you have a little one at home or on the way? If so, congratulations! There are many exciting adventures ahead for you and your baby. There are also a lot of diaper changes, because the average infant uses about 2,200 and 3,000 diapers during the first year! This works out to an average monthly cost between $60 and $100 each month.
If you’re among the millions of Americans who qualify as low-income in these unprecedented times, you may be concerned about covering the cost of all those diapers. The good news is that there are many options to help get free diapers for low-income families as well as other resources like nutrition assistance, so keep reading to find several ways to get the help you need.
Free Diapers for Low-Income Families
For those looking for help getting free diapers, it’s often best to start locally. Talk to charities and organizations in your area. They may have grants or other financial help to meet your needs.
Here’s a detailed list of diaper resources and ideas.
Government Laws to Help Low-Income Families
The government has numerous resources in place and on the way to help low-income families access necessary resources such as diapers. In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has made this even harder for many people. New laws are now in place to provide the help you need to get basic daily supplies.
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA)
The ARPA provides $1 billion in Pandemic Emergency Assistance funding. This extra money supports the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). It’s a short-term benefit for families with children through September 2022.
ARPA gives up to four months of extra cash payments to qualifying people. This can include Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) with children or TANF recipients. TANF may help pay for childcare, child welfare, and more.
The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program
The MIECHV program gives support to parents with young children and pregnant women. These families must live in areas facing risks and barriers to healthy living. If you qualify, you may choose to have home visits.
This creates a partnership with child development, social service, and health professionals. They help you set and meet goals that increase your family’s well-being and health.
The ARPA lets these home visitors use MIECHV funds to give out diapers. They work with local diaper banks to provide this support.
Explore Local Options
You may be surprised to find how many resources are available in your city. Check out the following ideas for places to help you get what you need.
National Diaper Bank Network
See if there’s a National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN) near you. They take diaper donations and help connect people to resources in the area. You can find local diaper banks, food banks, and charities on the NDBN website.
The Early Head Start and Head Start Programs
Children enrolled in Early Head Start and Head Start Programs receive free diapers during their visits to Head Start centers.
Ask the Hospital About Free Diapers
Talk to the hospital where your baby was delivered to see if they give free diapers. Many facilities provide this service for low-income families.
Look for Product Giveaways
Often, you can get free diaper samples from big diaper companies. Their goal is to get you to use their product.
You may need to sign up for a membership trial, but you can cancel after getting the free diapers. Some companies will give you free diapers if you call their customer service number. Describe your situation and ask if they can help you.
Diaper companies also offer drawings and giveaways on their social media accounts. You may wish to follow them and watch for opportunities.
Ask Friends and Family for Help
In American cultures, families, and friends often give expectant mothers baby showers. The goal is to celebrate the upcoming birth and help provide items needed for the baby. Many stores offer a “Baby Registry” to create a wish list of items you would like.
Use this opportunity to ask people to give you diapers, wipes, and other essential items. This helps the person choose exactly what you want and need. When you register, some stores give you free diaper samples and other discounts.
Consider the Option of Using Cloth Diapers
Some individuals may choose cloth diapers that can save money since they’re reusable. Diaper covers allow you to place the diaper inside and secure it like a disposable one.
Before you go this direction, however, be sure you have access to the necessary laundry facilities to handle all those diapers.
Free Baby Formula
As with free diapers, there are several avenues to help you get free formula for your baby. The following list gives you a number of different options to explore.
Join Formula Companies Programs
Often, formula companies give away samples to promote their product. Visit the different businesses’ websites to find a variety of offers.
You can receive new parent and caregiver coupons, gift packs, advice, and tips. This may include discounts on diapers, formula, and other baby needs.
Ask Your Doctor
When you take your baby for a checkup, ask if they have formula samples you can get. Sometimes companies leave samples to promote their product to parents.
Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
WIC provides federal grants to states. The goal is to distribute supplemental food, make referrals, and offer nutrition education. Also, they work with low-income pregnant women and those who are or are not breastfeeding.
These services extend to infants and children up to the age of five who are at nutritional risk. Eligible individuals can get low-cost or free baby formula on a routine basis. SNAP provides nutrition for moms and their children as well.
Watch for Sales and Coupons
Look in your local newspaper, mail ads, and online for coupons and sales. This can help save you money on baby diapers, formula, and other items.
Check Out Your Local Food Bank
Community food banks have a variety of products and resources. This can be a great place to find free baby formula.
Free Baby Items
When working with an organization that is providing you with free baby diapers or formula, ask about other items they may have available. Many times, they may offer other products free for low-income families.
Examples of other free baby stuff include clothing such as onesies or hats. You may also find free breastfeeding supplies, pacifiers, and wipes.
Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Cards
In 2004, states started using the EBT card system to manage SNAP payments. These are available to low-income families in all 50 states.
The EBT card is like a debit card. It’s given to families that meet the state’s requirements. The state government tracks your card’s use in the EBT system.
You’ll need to find stores that accept EBT cards. This electronic system lets SNAP participants buy food with their SNAP benefits.
When using your SNAP card, money is taken out of your EBT account and given to the store.
It’s important to know that the state regulates what items you can buy with this card. For example, you can’t use SNAP or WIC to buy diapers.
Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) Cards
The U.S. government created P-EBT cards to help during the COVID-19 pandemic. New laws give the Secretary of Agriculture the authority to approve state plans. This office also administers the P-EBT program.
Now eligible school children can get temporary emergency nutrition help. These extra benefits are loaded onto current EBT cards.
The P-EBT program also helps younger children in eligible households. This applies to families using SNAP. You may get extra funding on your EBT if your covered childcare facility or school:
- Decreases their hours of operation
- Decreases the number of children who can attend
Be sure to check with your local offices to learn about the specific benefits available. Each state creates its own rules and benefit programs to help its citizens.
Do You Need Help Getting Free Diapers?
With the financial stress of the COVID-19 pandemic, many families need extra help. For those who are expecting or with new babies, we hope this information on free diapers and nutritional support helps you and your family access the resources you need to thrive.
Save Money on Your Wireless Phone Service
If you qualify for SNAP benefits, you also qualify for Lifeline service. Lifeline is a federal benefit program that makes it possible for low-income consumers to receive access to free or heavily discounted communication services. Click here to find out more and apply for this valuable benefit.