While it may seem serious to first-time mums, nappy rash is a common problem for babies with as many as 50% of infants developing it at one time or another. Here are some of our tried and tested tips to help keep your baby happy and nappy rash free:
Prevention is better than cure: Apply a barrier ointment after each nappy change, protecting the skin from irritation while allowing it to breathe. This can help prevent nappy rash from occurring in the first place.
Thorough but gentle cleansing: Clean your baby's nappy area thoroughly using a gentle cleanser. Use a mild and alcohol free baby wipe to gently clean the area and follow with warm water. Use a clean towel to pat the skin dry, rubbing can cause irritation. Always check your baby's skin is clean and dry before putting on a new nappy. You should always wash your hands before and after a nappy change to prevent the spread of bacteria and don't use talcum powder as it doesn't protect against nappy rash and can actually irritate baby's delicate skin.
Get some air time: Leave the nappy off as much as possible allowing your baby’s skin to breathe. Also, make sure to keep the nappy loose as a tight nappy limits air flow and creates a moist environment which causes the development of nappy rash.
Dry bottoms equal no more tears: Change the nappy as regularly as possible to prevent the skin having direct contact with urine and faeces whilst ensuring that you thoroughly dry your baby’s bottom by patting (not rubbing) it with a towel after washing.
Weaning and teething: Take particular care to use a nappy cream at certain times- such as when your baby is teething or weaning, both of which can cause babies to develop painful nappy rash.
Ask the expert: Finally, if you are concerned about your baby, don’t be afraid to ask your midwife, pharmacist or doctor for advice. And remember, a dry baby is a happy baby!
Learn more about how to treat nappy rash