The thought of bub getting diaper rash gave me nightmares most of the time after he was born. Thankfully, I have escaped it thus far not by luck or coincidence but following well thought out strategies to prevent nappy rash completely. Before I give you my tips, here is some information on what this problem really is.
What is nappy rash?
Nappy or diaper rash is a skin problem that develops in the area beneath an infant’s diaper and are common in babies between between 4 and 15 months old. They may be noticed more when babies begin to eat solid foods. Diaper rashes caused by infection with a yeast or fungus called Candida are very common in children. Candida is found everywhere in the environment. It grows best in warm, moist places, such as under a diaper.
What are the common causes of diaper rash?
1. Prolonged contact of the baby’s skin with urea/urine
2. Diapers which do not absorb urine to the maximum so that the baby’s skin is in contact with its urine
3. Baby’s skin is wet or dirty when a clean diaper is put on.
4. Diapers put on very tightly such that the baby’s skin cannot breathe
5. Harsh bath products which could dry out the baby’s skin
6. Not giving the baby’s skin air time
My tips that I followed each time since bub was born are:
1. Changing diapers frequently, every two hours or less, do not let the diaper get very full especially in the night when because of sleep deprivation a wet diaper can be easily overlooked. This should be your main checking point each time. I also always change bub’s diaper before giving him a feed so he is comfortable and dry while feeding.
2. Do not use fragranced baby wipes. These can irritate a baby’s sensitive skin. Buy unfragranced dry wipes which you can wet with warm water and use to clean bub. These normally cost you much less than buying the branded baby wipes.
3. Ensure baby’s bottom is completely dry before you put on another nappy. Give bub some air time between nappy changes that is, leave him/her nappy free for some minutes. Allow skin to air dry.
4. Do NOT ever use baby talcum powder or creams on baby’s bottom or even body after you have wiped bub dry between nappy changes. Not only do they irritate baby’s skin, they leave it moist so providing a perfect environment for a rash to develop. They are totally unnecessary.
5. Use organic, natural baby products as much as possible. Although they are slightly more expensive than off the shelf or well known baby brands, they are much much better for baby’s skin.
6. Give bub nappy free time each day in the morning / evenings. We call it ‘nudie time’ where bub is free of nappies for at least an hour each day.
7. Wash baby’s bottom with warm water between nappy changes and especially after he/she does a poo. The water will wash away any acid, or urea and ensure that bub’s skin remains clean. (my mum gave me this tip).
8. Diapers should not be closed too tightly, this will stop baby’s skin from breathing, it’s similar to wearing tight underwear – are you comfortable when your underclothes are tight? Also, experiment with different nappy brands until you find one that does not leak easily. I use the Dymples brand after trying all the others including supermarket brands and it’s great value for money too!
9. Have a supply of cloth nappies on hand for a change from the disposable diapers. Although they take a little bit of work, they are much better for bub’s skin. Do not use plastic underpants as they do not allow air to pass through. Again with cloth nappies, change immediately when wet.