If you’ve recently given birth to a beautiful baby, congratulations! Caring for a newborn can be exhausting, but extremely rewarding. If you’ve cared for babies before, you should be familiar with nappy rash.
Diaper rash or nappy rash is uncomfortable for your baby, and it is a result of wet and dirty nappies. Urine can irritate your baby’s skin, so having a wet nappy on for a long time can cause nappy rash. The discomfort can unsettle babies and cause them pain. However, some babies get nappy rash no matter how well they are cared for simply because they have more sensitive skin.
Though most cases of nappy rash can be easily and successfully treated at home, the age-old adage still holds true: prevention is better than cure! Just because the nappy rash is very common doesn’t mean your little ray of sunshine should suffer the pain of a persistent rash. Here’s a list of things you can do to avoid diaper rash.
1. Change those nappies more often
2. Use disposable nappies
Disposable nappies are better at absorbing urine into the deeper layers, which leaves the surface of the nappy dry. However, if disposable nappies aren’t feasible, do try to change cloth nappies as often as you can. Do not put plastic pants over cloth nappies whenever possible as this can further reduce ventilation to your baby’s bottom.
3. Don’t use talcum powder
Don’t use talcum powder on your baby’s bottom as it will serve to further dry the skin out and can irritate the skin in the area. It also won’t protect against nappy rash! If a baby accidentally breathes in talcum powder, it can also cause breathing difficulties.
4. Clean your baby’s bottom thoroughly
Clean your baby’s bottom after each nappy change. Try to use only water or neutral soaps to avoid irritating the area with harsh soaps. Mothers must also beware: do not use wet wipes which have alcohol in them! It will aggravate pain from any existing rashes as well as dry the skin.
It is also a good idea to try to air your baby’s bottom as much as possible, giving her some nappy-free time to get good ventilation to the skin. Make sure her bottom is thoroughly dry before putting on a fresh nappy since moisture sets the conditions for a rash to occur.
5. Apply some barrier cream
Barrier creams work by forming a barrier on the skin which repels any liquids in contact with the delicate skin on your baby’s bottom. Barrier creams include zinc, cod liver oil and petroleum jelly. It is important to apply barrier creams on dry skin as it can act to seal moisture inside the skin if applied on wet skin.
If your baby is still experiencing symptoms and doesn’t improve after a week or so, do seek medical advice and bring your bub to the family doctor. The diaper rash may have been infected by thrush, which requires special creams to treat. Always remember, the best defence against nappy rash is a dry bottom!
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