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Consumer Watch: When you don't have enough money for diapers

Infant Crisis Services in Oklahoma City provides formula, baby and toddler food, diapers, blankets, clothing and other basic necessities by appointment. (ICS)

Caring for a baby is expensive, and The National Diaper Bank network says one in three moms in the U.S. say they can't afford enough diapers. In Oklahoma, Infant Crisis Services is one organization that is helping babies with free diapers.

The cost of diapers for one child is at about 80 dollars a week. For families with more than one young child, the cost can get overwhelming fast. Babies can go through 6 to 10 diapers a day, and many families can't afford that, so they are forced into leaving a child in a diaper longer or even re-using diapers.

“They have to decide, do they put the gas in their car or do they buy the formula and diapers the baby needs, and it is a hard decision. I wouldn't want to make that,” says Miki Farris, executive director and co-founder of Infant Crisis Services.

If you cannot afford the one thousand dollars a year for diapers, families run into other problems.

especially when babies need them at home and a week’s worth of diapers at daycare.

“If you can't afford the diapers, you can't take them to day care, and you can't go to work, so it is kind of a vicious cycle,” says Farris.

Infant Crisis Services says it has helped more the 300-thousand babies in the 34 years since they opened. The group helps with disposable and cloth diapers five times over the course of a baby’s life. If you want cloth diapers, you will need a washing machine in your home.

You can also save money when shopping for diapers. Avoid advertising traps, and buy the cheaper diapers. Also, look for membership savings. Amazon Prime members can save 20-percent on diapers. You can also hunt for coupons before heading to the store.

Government programs like foods stamps are meant to help families in need, but diapers and wipes are not on the approved purchase list.

The Infant Crisis Services can help with children from newborn through three years old. You do need to make an appointment to have access to 40 to 50 diapers per visit. They also have formula, baby food, and some clothing.

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