Nappy Provision: Special Needs Mum Takes on the Supermarkets

Laura Rutherford by Laura Rutherford Additional Needs

Laura Rutherford

Laura Rutherford

Mum to Brody & Sydney. Inclusion campaigner. Tesco Junior nappy co-creator.

Brody has Global Development Delay(GDD to those who are familiar), hypotonia, hypermobility and epilepsy.

As a result of his GDD, he is non-verbal and isn’t yet potty trained.

On the 30th November 2015, I decided to post on a leading supermarket’s Facebook page about providing larger nappies.

To explain:- size 6+(the largest size supermarkets sell) is becoming too small.

I was feeling frustrated about the situation and how this is yet another difficulty parents like me face - finding suitable products easily and at a reasonable price.

The response to the post from other parents was great in terms of support and understanding.

However, I decided I needed to step it up a notch and as a result created a Change Petition asking ALL of the supermarkets in the UK to provide larger nappies.

The louder we shout, the more chance we have of being heard, right?

Well-meaning followers, point me in the direction of the continence service, which Brody is soon to be referred to.

Whilst there is no doubt that this service is beneficial, what a lot of people don’t realise is that there is an inconsistency with how the service is operated around the UK.

For example, I have discovered the following from talking to other parents -

• The age a child is eligible varies(where I live it is 4, someone explained that their child wasn’t eligible until they were 8)

• Some parents, despite their child’s disability, find that they are not eligible.

• The waiting time differs depending on where you live.

• The number of nappies provided also appears to vary.

As a result of this, either due to being ineligible or not having enough nappies, parents have no option but to buy nappies online, which can be inconvenient and expensive.

Well-intended people, also highlight that Pull Ups are available.

However, these are designed for children in the process of potty training who have some bladder control.

The feedback is that they are less absorbent with fewer in a pack at a greater price tag.

Liz Crook contacted me with a photo that I thought was apt.

It showed how much money she spent on a pack of nappies for her newborn (£2), 15 month old (£4.50) and 5 year old disabled child (£14).

Of course, the nappies for her disabled child had fewer in a pack for the hefty price.

There is a huge gap in the market.

How great – and yet simple – would it be to be able to go to your local supermarket and pick up a larger size when needed?

Not spending over the odds or waiting for an online delivery when you’ve run out.

I really hope that the supermarkets listen and our voices are heard.

You can sign and share my petition here.


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