Bare Facts

One in five Canadians struggle to provide their baby with this basic essentials.

This is known as Diaper Need.


Babies kept in wet or dirty diapers for long periods of time are more likely to experience irritation and discomfort, causing them to cry more. When a child cries more often, the likelihood of abuse increases. These babies are also at greater risk of developing staph, urinary tract and other infections.

Some parents have no choice but to miss work or school, stay home when they need to go out and keep their children out of daycare due to a lack of diapers. This proves how diaper need contributes to perpetuating poverty by limiting opportunities that help families improve their situations.

The experience of diapering is a conduit for connection and love between caregiver and child. A lack of diapers contributes to an increase in anxiety and stress level which can strain the caregiver-child bond. 

Diaper Need affects a mother's physical and emotional well-being. They report feeling guilty, stressed, like a “bad mother”, frustrated and anxious. Mothers feel keeping their children in clean diapers is one of the most important things they can do.  Providing clean diapers is a means for them to show their children how much they love them. It also provides an opportunity to feel connected to their children while giving them a sense of pride and joy.


On average, a baby will use approximately 390 diapers during the first month of life. This can cost new parents up to $110.

The average baby uses about 60 diapers per week and approximately 240 diapers per month, which equals at least 2800 diapers in the first year alone.

The average cost of diapers for one year is $900. That's equivalent to the average cost of one month's groceries for a family of four.

On average, a baby will use 7500 diapers from birth until potty trained, costing parents almost $3000 for diapers.


Cloth diapers are not always the best option because most childcare facilities require a full day's supply of diapers and the start-up cost of cloth can seem overwhelming to families already struggling with the cost of living.  But there are options.  Check out our Cloth Diaper page for more information.