The average American baby bottom sees 6.3 diapers a day.

Story highlights

CDC reports disposable diaper sales fell a whopping 9% last year

There was a 2.8% increase in diaper rash cream, despite fewer babies

Parents shell out an average of $1,500 a year for diapers

Parenting.com  — 

Brace yourself for yet more stark economic news: babies may be suffering from more diaper rash in this down economy, reports Advertising Age, which is labeling “America’s baby bottoms” as the “economy’s latest casualty.”

Yes, that’s right: tiny heinies as the latest economic indicator, according to Ad Age.

Here are the hard numbers: the Centers for Disease Control reported that the number of babies ages 2 and under fell 3% last year while disposable diaper sales slipped a whopping 9%. And yet, there was a 2.8% increase in diaper rash cream, despite fewer babies.

Parenting.com: How to potty train in one week

The inverse relation between diaper and rash ointment sales started in 2009 but has intensified in the last year, according to data from Deutsche Bank.

The average American baby bottom sees 6.3 diapers a day, and with parents shelling out an average of $1,500 a year for diapers, it’s easy to see why some might turn a blind eye to a slightly damp diaper (especially when disposable diapers are so absorbent nowadays).

Parenting.com: Our favorite cloth diapers

And of course, parents are doing everything they can to meet their families’ needs with less money, but is it really at the expense of their tots’ tushes?

We wouldn’t be surprised if other explanations beyond parents skimping on diaper changes included folks making the switch to increasingly popular cloth diapers, others pushing potty training earlier, which Pampers marketer Procter & Gamble suggested, and even just more aggressive marketing efforts on the part of diaper cream makers and retailers.

Parenting.com: Huggies debuts new camo designer diapers

Has the economy caused you to change your diapering strategy in any way?