Gear Up for Baby

Diapers are an essential part of dressing babies and toddlers 

Cradles to Crayons’ Gear Up for Baby initiative aims to serve expecting mothers and caregivers with the basic essentials that every newborn needs: diapers, baby wipes, baby soap, and more.

Diapers are one of the most crucial parts of dressing a young child from head to toe. But many families lack the resources to afford the high cost of diapers, making diaper-need a daily reality for too many families across the United States. 

The Need

There are no state or federal government benefits specific to preventing diaper need, and diapers are tax exempt in only eight states. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is the only cash assistance program that allows families to buy diapers. However, only 23 percent of families living in poverty receive TANF funding. These insufficient funds are often stretched across rent, utilities, and more—leaving families to stretch diaper supplies as far as they can. Without diapers, caregivers working low-wage jobs or attending school face unfair barriers to essential infant care.

With the support of our community, we can make sure our families feel prepared with the baby essentials their family needs. We highlight this program with a series of events and opportunities to give back during the summer months to focus companies, individuals, and families on the critical need for baby and toddler support. Email us at communitychicago@cradlestocrayons.org to learn more about the following opportunities:

Host a Diaper Collection Drive

Host a Virtual C2C Baby Shower

Want to support Gear Up for Baby, but don’t have time to put together an event? We can set you up with a unique Amazon wish list and fundraising page. You email the links to friends, family, and co-workers and you’ve got a fast and easy way to collect items and raise money to help children and families in need. 

Spread The Word

We need your support in sharing the Gear Up for Baby program with your networks through email, social media groups, and word-of-mouth!


This year Cradles to Crayons will receive over 14,000 requests to help Chicagoland children from birth to age 3. During May and June alone, the Gear Up for Baby program aims to raise enough money and collect enough product donations to fill 7,000+ of these orders. We need your support to make that happen! 

Donate Now

Our Impact 

“A young pregnant mother and child with autism arrived in Chicago from Guatemala with no resources. Relocating to the United States is no small feat, and the family faced many challenges and barriers. One of her toughest challenges was finding the support to help her understand and navigate some of our systems and locating community resources. Thanks to Cradles to Crayons the young baby received diapers, clothing, toys in her developmental age, shoes, and hygiene items. The mother said, “I am thankful for the support that I received through the Infant Welfare Society of Chicago Community Health Center and Cradles to Crayons. My little daughter will not feel the cold of the winter anymore. I’m very grateful.”