Are Cost-Conscious Parents Being Less Generous With Diaper Changing?

The recent tough times have forced many parents to pay closer attention to the bottom line. But are they doing so at the expense of their babies’ bottoms?

Over at AdAge, they noticed that sales of diaper rash cream have gone up for the third straight year all the while sales for disposable diapers and the number of diaper-age babies has decreased.

Could it be that parents are changing diapers less frequently in order to save money?

“[I]t’s easy to see why parents would be more reluctant to do so,” writes AdAge. “Unemployment has been persistently high, and diapering, with costs estimated at $1,500 annually, is one of the biggest line items on the new baby ledger.”

There are, obviously, those who have trouble with this theory. Procter & Gamble, the makers of Pampers, tells AdAge it hasn’t seen any evidence of thrifty parents changing kids less frequently, and suggests that cost-conscious parents are starting potty training earlier in the process in an attempt to get their kids out of expensive diapers.

And in the comments for the AdAge piece, there is a suggestion that disposable diaper numbers have gone down because parents are shifting to reusable cloth diapers to save money.

We’re sure that many of you have theories on why there’s a spike in diaper cream but a dip in diaper sales. Please do share your thoughts with the rest of the class.

The Economy’s Latest Casualty: America’s Baby Bottoms [AdAge.com]