HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Being a parent is hard enough without throwing in a pandemic, shortages and inflation all while taking care of a child in diapers.

As the Great Diaper Drive 2022 is underway, News 19 shares how one Huntsville mom is navigating these challenges.

Ashley Smith is a mother of two. Knox is 18 months old and Lily is four years old.

“Learning to adapt is probably the major thing I’ve had to do as a parent, and think on my feet, and recover,” Smith explained. “And know that anytime you have a plan it’s never going to go right. It’s always going to change, so you really just have to roll with the punches.”

She’s had a lot of practice with that. One of those lessons came from the price of diapers.

“We would do 120 diapers for $50 and now it’s 100 diapers for $50. And we also could get 68 for $25.00 and now it’s like $25 for 44,” Smith said. “We do Amazon subscribe and save to try and knock a little bit of price off of that $50.00 mark with the larger size of diapers. And I’m a little bit more mindful and try to just shop around to different stores just to see who’s carrying the better deal that month.”

Lindsay Barron with Rocket City Mom says the price of diapers has increased significantly over the past few years.

“We’ve seen the cost of diapers from 2020 go up from an average of about $550 a year for a parent to diaper their child to over $840 per year,” Barron stated.

One in three families struggles with diaper needs, according to the National Diaper Bank.

“So, we have seen a lot of people in North Alabama that need diapers that have never needed them before and we’re seeing that in multiple agencies,” Barron said.

The Smith family is not affected by diaper insecurity, but they know what it feels like to worry about their child not having what they need due to the recent formula shortage.

“I’m not able to breastfeed so we have to use formula…I was putting messages on Facebook saying I will come and pick up this formula. He had a sensitive stomach. I could only use specific brands and my pediatrician didn’t have it,” Smith explained. “It’s a really scary feeling to know that you need to provide something for your child that you don’t have.”

And she doesn’t want any other mom to feel that way.

News 19 is collecting diapers for the Food Bank of North Alabama Diaper Bank. Diapers are the most requested non-food item at the food bank.

“I think this Diaper Drive is great. Just one way to help moms who may be struggling right now, just to take a little something off their plate,” Smith said.

We need your help collecting 175,000 diapers and wipes for babies right here in our community.

Diaper drop-offs are located at Walmart locations across North Alabama. On November 10, News 19 will hold a blitz day. Members of the news team will be accepting and counting diapers at the Walmart on Madison Boulevard. The drive officially ends on November 11.