Every parent wants their child to be happy and healthy. Having a clean nappy makes a big contribution to this.
But in Australia, tens of thousands of families experience ‘nappy stress’ and struggle to access enough nappies to change their children as often as they need to.
In these households, it can often mean having to make the choice between nappies and other essentials.
What is nappy stress?
Research by The Nappy Collective in 2019 estimated around 280,000 children across 150,000 families experience nappy stress in Australia. These children require approximately 430 million nappies a year.
The research, which was aimed to better understand social needs and support gaps faced by families experiencing nappy stress, revealed nappy stress is driven by three main factors - lack of income, high cost of living and broader social disadvantage.
People can be short on nappies for a variety of reasons which include fleeing domestic violence, experiencing or being at risk of homelessness, seeking asylum or experiencing challenges with mental health or substance use.
Those experiencing extreme nappy stress can spend almost 10 per cent of their weekly disposable income on nappies and are likely to cut back on other essentials, like food, so they can afford nappies.