The second of our guest blogs from antenatal teacher Lucy Gulland investigates how to keep your baby’s bottom rash-free.
Diaper rash, common though it is, is a miserable experience for babies - and distressing for their poor parents too! It’s useful to understand exactly what’s going on to cause nappy rash, so you can stop it before it starts.
Wet diapers aren’t usually the problem!
It’s the combination of wet and dirty that leads to soreness.
Urine is sterile when it’s produced; it’s only when old urine on the skin mixes with the bacteria in faeces and produces ammonia that it becomes a problem. Ammonia is caustic on skin and that’s what causes the soreness and inflammation of classic rash.
So unless the skin is already sore, urine by itself is unlikely to sting, but once your baby has had a bowel movement, you’ll need to change their diaper as soon as possible.
What Can You Do To Avoid Diaper Rash?
Keep It Clean, Keep It Dry!Make sure the whole area is clean and dry, including folds of the thighs and up to the tummy. Change dirty diapers straightaway.
Washable Or Disposable?Use whichever diapers suit your baby’s skin best: cloth or disposable work differently on different babies, so go with what works for your little one.
What Are You Washing With?Detergent on clothes or cloth diapers can cause irritation which can lead to rashes or make sore patches worse, so make sure you’re using ultra-gentle non-biological laundry detergent.
No Soap, No Perfume, No IrritantsIt’s best to avoid foaming cleansers or wipes while a baby’s skin is so new. You can use cotton wool with natural baby oil (like Balmonds Bath & Body Oil) or warm water to clean the nappy area for the first six weeks.
Wipes AwayBaby wipes, as well as being terrible for the environment, can cause irritation even after six weeks; if you think your baby is sensitive to the fragrance, alcohol or other ingredients in wipes, you can use water-only wipes, or make your own with washable cloths.
What Are They Eating?Sometimes diet leads to caustic poos, either your own diet if you’re breastfeeding, or theirs, once they’re starting to try food for the first time. Keep a food diary and monitor occurences of diaper rash; citrus and tomatoes are common culprits.
Keep Cool!Let baby go bare often: overheating the diaper area can foster inflammation, thrush or other infections. A couple of hours without a diaper on can really help.
Protect And PreventUse a barrier cream whenever you notice redness; you probably won’t need to apply it every change, but an occlusive ointment like Balmonds Skin Salvation can protect the skin from the damaging ammonia, as well as caring for skin while it heals.
When To Ask For HelpIf the rash is infected (either bacterial or fungal), is spreading across the tummy or back, is hot, red and weeping, or hasn’t responded to five days of nappy cream, then talk to your GP or health visitor about medicated treatment.
Balmonds Skin Salvation
with hemp and beeswax