Utah mom Lauren Whitney was having a tough week when she went to her local Walmart to get diapers for her 18-month-old daughter, Rosalynd. But when she got to the aisle, there was nothing left in Rosalynd’s size.
It was just too much for the mom of four to take.
“So basically I’ve just had like a really rough week,” Whitney told TODAY Parents. “I was demoted at work for a really stupid reason, and it just kinda created stress. I went to a few other stores first. I ended up at Walmart and I was just looking for diapers…and there was just none in her size anywhere. And I think it was the straw that broke the camel’s back for the week. And my emotions kind of bubbled up and I was like, ‘Somebody needs to hear this.'”
Whitney took to the social media video sharing app TikTok and recorded a video of herself crying, a video that has since gone viral with more than 5 million views.
Whitney, who works part-time at a movie theater to help subsidize her family’s income, said that for her family, she doesn’t have the opportunity to bulk buy like some.
“There’s so many people out there like myself that we, we don’t get paid very much,” she explained, adding that her husband is ex-military and a full-time student. “So, you know, we’re low income families and so it’s hard for us to be able to just go out and buy a large amount of things at one time.”
“When we do have the funds to be able to go purchase things and it’s not there for us to buy, it’s very frustrating,” Whitney said. “So those people that are buying in bulk or that are clearing the shelves make it harder for those of us that either are low income or only get paid every two weeks or even once a month.”
Panic buying refers to the phenomenon when consumers buy unusually large amounts of a product in anticipation of, or after, a disaster or perceived disaster, or in anticipation of a large price increase or shortage.
On Sunday, the National Retail Federation and the Retail Industry Leaders Association urged shoppers to restrain themselves from hoarding, asking that if they didn’t need an item in the next two weeks to leave it for someone else who does.
“Hoarding and stockpiling creates unnecessary gaps between the time that someone who truly needs a product can find it back on retailers’ shelves,” they said in a statement. “This is particularly important for our most vulnerable neighbors — the elderly and those who are struggling with other health issues.”
Whitney got diaper eventually, but here again are my tips for alternatives to diapers in a pinch.
- Burp Rag. I’ve used cloth diapers as burp rags, so why not the other way around? Usually they are thick and will do the trick for a short amount of time at least. If you usually use cloth diapers and have a liner, then it should work a little better.
- Wipes. If you have the kind of wipes that need to be wetted prior to use or if you have any wipes that have dried out, they can be used in a pinch while you pick up some more. I would not advise using wipes that are wet, as this could cause a rash.
- Receiving Blanket. I wouldn’t suggest using your favorite one, just in case, but if you are out and about and have no other options then this will work. Most people have a receiving blanket in their diaper bag for infants, and it is large enough that you can fold it a few times for added layers or tie it around them.
- Maxi Pad. This may be a little embarrassing if others see you use one; however, it is also very effective. Maxi pads are made to be absorbent and can hold enough to give you the time needed to get some real diapers. Make sure you have it secured into a diaper bottom or onesie, so it doesn’t slip.
- Cheese Cloth. I would recommend folding this one as many times as you can and place it in a diaper bottom or onesie, the same as you would for a maxi pad. Since cheese cloth is made to have liquid wrung through it, you want to make sure you have as many layers as possible, and don’t rely on it lasting a long time.
- Dishtowel. Again, I wouldn’t use your favorite one, but at least this one will be more absorbent and may buy you some additional time.
- Wash Cloth. Depending on the size of your washcloths, you may want to use more than one, and either fold them or wrap them around and tie at the waist.
- Pillow Case. Go for cotton and not silk or satin for best results. Bunch it together and tie or pin it up like a cloth diaper.
- Napkin. I would suggest cloth, and not paper, but again stay away from your favorites. You can couple a few together for added protection and pin up the same as a cloth diaper.
- Paper Towels. Notice the plural on towels as one will not cut it. I would use about four or five and fold up to insert the same as the maxi pad listed above.
I hope these tips help! Good luck, moms (and dads and caregivers!)