What is Nappy Rash?
Nappy rash is the inflammation of baby's skin around the nappy area. It can be mild with minor bumps or severe with blisters and broken skin. Nappy rash is very common and most babies will get it at some stage. Babies between the age of 9 and 12 months are at increased risk of developing nappy rash however it can occur at any age whilst baby is wearing nappies.
What Causes Nappy Rash?
Nappy rash is more likely to occur;
- For formula fed babies than breastfed babies.
- When baby starts solid foods.
- When baby has a sensitive skin conditions such as cradle cap or eczema.
- Taking antibiotics (either baby or breast feeding mother).
- When baby has frequent, watery bowel movements.
- When baby has a cold because their natural defenses are not working as well as they should.
- Thrush can aggravate nappy rash.
- Ammonia (chemicals in babies urine that irritates the skin).
How to Prevent Nappy Rash?
1. Use a Disposable Nappy with NO nasty Chemicals
Disposable nappies will better absorb urine and leave the surface of the nappy that is next to the skin dry. An extra preventative would be to use a disposable nappy that is free from nasty chemicals.
Apart from the generic brands like Huggies and Babylove there are some excellent quality eco friendly disposable nappies that contain absolutely no nasty chemicals or Toxins.
Bambo Nature Nappies are made from wood pulp making them a very good natural and biodegradable nappy solution, especially for babies who suffer from sensitive skin or eczema. The ultra thin and super absorbent design draws wetness away from baby’s delicate skin. Even with repeat wetting, baby will stay dry and comfortable. A couple of other great disposable nappies with no nasty chemicals in them are Moltex Eco Nappies and Ecoriginals Nappies.
2. Change Nappy Frequently
It is important to change your baby's nappies regularly such as before or after every feed and immediately after they have done a poo. This is because the bacteria in the stool combined with urine can make the skin sore and lead to nappy rash.
If you are using cloth nappies you will also need to change your baby every time they have done a wee. This is because cloth nappies stay damp against the skin whereas most disposable nappies have the technology to wick the moisture away from the skin.
Another is the Wotnot Baby Wipes which are 100% biodegradable and compostable and contain more natural ingredients. A fairly new brand to our market is WaterWipes where there are only two ingredients being 99.9% Aqua and 0.1% Citrus grandis seed extract which is the preservative needed to keep the wipe moist.
Try and give your baby's bottom some nappy free time every day to allow air to circulate freely. Make sure they are lying on an open nappy or a towel if the floor is not easy to clean!
How to Treat Nappy Rash?
All of the above techniques can also be applied to help clear up baby's nappy rash. Nappy free time is a must and the more of it the better. Using disposable nappies and baby wipes that are free from harmful chemicals will also aid in clearing up nappy rash. If your baby's rash has developed into thrush, don’t use a barrier cream or ointment, as this can make the rash worse.
How long will Nappy Rash take to heal?
Generally nappy rash should clear up in about 3-4 days. If it does not show signs of improvement then you should consult your Health Nurse or Doctor as the nappy rash could have developed into thrush or a bacterial infection and become very sore and uncomfortable.
Remember, nappy rash is very common and can happen no matter how careful you are about looking after your baby’s bottom. Following the above tips can help prevent or at least minimise the severity of nappy rash caused by the indirect factors which are out of your control. If you are unsure of your baby's symptoms, see your health professional as it could be something more severe that needs medical treatment to heal.
Next Blog Post - March 2016
We talk to a lot of new mum's here at The Nappy Shop and many of them are seeking information about swaddling their baby and safe sleep practices. So we thought we would dedicate our next blog post to giving you some tips for safely swaddlling your baby for better sleep.
Sources for this article: