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Make Baby Supply Kits for Newborns in Need

by Jamie Littlefield - Senior Editor, Children's Issues
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Twenty-two percent of children are born into poverty. Many new mothers lack the basic baby supplies needed to keep their infants safe and healthy. Without these vital baby supplies, such as reusable diapers and gentle soap, newborns risk illness or even death.

Young mothers often have babies without access to or knowledge about the type of baby supplies their new child will need. Impoverished families in the United States and in countries around the world are often unable to afford the baby supplies that many middle-class families take for granted. A year of disposable diapers, for example, can cost hundreds of dollars – a price out of reach for many needy families. Baby supplies are especially helpful in refugee camps, third world clinics, and hospitals in low-income areas.

You can help a newborn have a brighter future by putting together a baby supply kit. Baby supply kits provide new parents with the items necessary to properly care for their child. With access to a blanket, hygiene supplies, and a few pieces of clothing, a desperate parent will find hope and a baby will get a better chance at life.

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Most organizations ask that volunteers send baby supply "cuddle kits" in a zip lock bag or in a simple drawstring pouch.

You should be able to pick up all of the items for your baby supply kit at local discount stores. You may even consider throwing an "un-baby shower." Simply invite friends and family members to your home and ask each of them to bring one of the necessary baby supplies. It's an entertaining and quick way to make several baby supply kits in one evening.

Some of the most needed baby supply items include:

  • receiving blankets
  • cloth diapers
  • diaper pins
  • baby socks
  • gentle soap
  • undershirts
  • gowns

Before you put together your baby supply kits, decide how you would like to donate them. Some organizations have very specific guidelines about what type of products can be included. Completed baby supply kits can be given to any of these humanitarian organizations:

The Mennonite Central Committee sends newborn kits to hospitals, clinics, and refugee camps in Bosnia, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, North Korea, Serbia, Russia and Ukraine. You can deliver your baby supply kits at one of their many baby kit drop-off locations in the U.S. and Canada.

Newborns in Need provides baby supplies to hospitals in the United States. They focus on babies born to poor or unprepared mothers, and also send baby supplies to shelters in emergency areas. You don't need to create a formal kit to donate; just take a look at their list of needed baby supplies. You can mail your baby supply donation to the address they provide.

Room To Grow accepts new or used items in excellent condition for infants as well as children up to age 3 years. All donated items go to families living in poverty in the New York City or Boston areas. You do not need to assembly a formal kit; the organization provides a list of items it will accept.

When you've finished your baby supply donation, treat yourself to a nap. Your "cuddle kit" will make a big difference for a needy newborn and her family.

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