'One nappy a day' policies in effect as desperate families struggle in cost of living crisis

PA Images of a baby and a nappy
New research found 83% of families are being forced to ration nappies Credit: PA Images

Babies are being restricted to just one nappy a day because struggling families can't afford to buy them, baby banks have said.

Research by a UK baby bank network found 83% of families are being forced to ration nappies.

They found evidence of some parents using sanitary towels instead or reusing soiled nappies.

It has led to calls for urgent support for those struggling with rising costs.

The chair of a baby bank in Hartlepool, Emilie De Bruijn, tells ITV News: "It's becoming a must situation where if it's just a little bit wet, can we just squeeze that little bit more time out of it?

"Can we leave it that little bit longer?

"And it's because recently as well, the cost of nappies has shot through the roof."

Baby banks say children are only wearing one nappy a day because of families struggling with cost of living Credit: PA

Ms De Bruijn adds: "So not only has everything else gone up but the nappies themselves are now more expensive. Parents are coming more often.

"And we've had some ladies basically begging and saying, please, please, can you help me."

Meanwhile, the NHS advises parents to change a nappy as soon as possible after a baby has wet or soiled it.

Dr Dinta Thakkar, a GP from Leicester, has said this advice should not be ignored and warns of what could happen if babies aren't changed regularly.

She said: "If they're not changed often, you can develop nappy rashes so there is components within the wee and poo, most commonly ammonia which has contact with the skin and can cause skin irritation and then unfortunately babies can develop what we would class as a nappy rash, which is redness, soreness, you can get skin irritation causing little legions."

Research by a UK baby bank network found 83% of families are being forced to ration nappies

Although disposable nappies are the most popular choice for parents, reusable nappies are freely available from nappy libraries up and down the country.

Laura Davies, the founder of Nappy Gurus a charity based in Oadby, Leicestershire say reusable nappies can also be more cost effective.

She said: "A typical spend on single-use nappies over the course of infancy is about twelve hundred pounds, whereas we know that reusable nappy parents are typically spending about £300 on their nappies.

"Obviously, you've then got the cost of the washing but that factor is about £1.47 a week. That's including energy, water and detergent costs."

A government spokesperson told ITV News they are "committed to supporting families with children, which is why we increased both child benefit and child tax credits in line with inflation this year."