What you need to know about nappy rash

Having a new baby is one of life’s most unique experiences – you’re simultaneously excited and terrified, elated and exhausted. You’re learning so much, even if you’re not a first time mum, about your baby and what they need and want from you. We begin to learn their own little way of communicating with you until you almost have your own language between you.

But one thing they can’t communicate? When they start to experience nappy rash.

There’s no need to panic - while it may seem serious to first-time mums, nappy rash is a common problem for babies and can happen to as many as 50% of infants at one time or another.

The key is in trusting yourself and the excellent care your providing your baby with to help prevent it, as well as trying out some tried and tested tips to help keep baby happy and nappy rash free.

Prevention is better than cure:

Using a reliable nappy that will protect your baby’s delicate skin is so important. You know what your baby needs, like Pampers New Baby nappies, which are specially designed to provide the softest and most caring protection. Their breathable outer layer, an airy top sheet, quick dry core and wetness indicator are all the helpers mums need to monitor wetness. They can ensure your little ones sensitive skin is protected from prolonged contact with urine or poo, so you can keep baby clean and healthy.                              

Thorough but gentle cleansing:

There are a few steps to changing baby’s nappy in a safe and cleanly way:

1. Wash your hands before and after a nappy change to prevent the spread of bacteria.

2. Clean your baby's nappy area thoroughly using a gentle cleanser, again to accommodate their delicate skin.

3. Use mild and alcohol-free baby wipe to gently clean the area – but be sure to always follow with warm water to fully clean them. (Mums and Dads can use this time to bond with baby, as they pat the skin dry with a clean towel, talking and singing to them in the early months.) Be sure to pat, not rub, as rubbing can cause irritation.

4. Always check your baby's skin is clean and dry before putting on a new nappy. Despite common practice, it’s actually recommended that you don't use talcum powder as it doesn't protect against nappy rash and can actually irritate baby's delicate skin – who knew?

Get some air time:

Another tip that isn’t necessarily common knowledge, is that we should try to keep baby’s nappy off as much as possible. It allows baby’s skin to breathe and can prevent bacteria build up. Also, make sure to keep the nappy loose as a tight nappy limits air flow and creates a moist environment which can cause the development of nappy rash.


We mums know that the balance between wanting to keep our baby’s mess contained and wanting to allow their skin to breathe is a tricky – and messy! - tightrope to walk. And one of our great saviours? Barrier ointments! It’s essential to apply a barrier ointment after each nappy change, to protect baby’s skin from irritation while also allowing it to breathe. This can help prevent nappy rash from occurring especially during times of weaning and teething, when it can commonly occur.

Weaning and teething:

Times of weaning and teething is hard enough for both baby and mum without nappy rash being thrown into the mix. However, it’s important to 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. As the saying goes, when it rains it pours! Make the weaning/teething phases easier on yourself – and them – by keeping an eye on their sensitive skin during this time.

Ask the expert:

Sometimes being a mum can feel like a lonely and uphill battle. It’s easy to forget that there are lots of others going through this and that you’re not alone in the struggles and joys of motherhood. There is always help on hand and 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!


If you have questions you'd like to ask sleep expert Lucy Wolfe, why not join our parenting event - it's free.


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