A Guide to Preventing Nappy Rashes
Soon after the birth of their children, first-time parents discover quickly that their babies’ skin is many times more delicate and fragile than the average adult’s. As their baby learns to acclimatise themselves outside the womb, their skin reacts with nearly everything around them! Rashes from spit-up, drool, or heat are common and can occur at any time during infancy.
With this in mind, one common type of reaction that a baby’s skin regularly has relates to the kind of nappy that the baby wears. These skin reactions, as you may know, are commonly called nappy rashes. In the following paragraphs, Little & Brave will simplify the science behind nappy rashes and give you the easiest methods to combat and prevent them as well.
So, what exactly is a Nappy Rash?
Simply put, a nappy rash is a common condition that affects infants and is characterised by red, inflamed skin in the nappy area. It is generally caused by irritation from wet or soiled nappies and can occur due to chafing and rubbing of the skin. In addition to this, a nappy rash can also stem from an allergic reaction to the material of the nappy worn by the little one as well. These rashes are not contagious but if left untreated, can cause discomfort to the baby,
Causes of Nappy Rash
Nappy rashes have numerous causes, a few of which are listed below –
Excessive friction between the nappy and skin
Most nappy rashes are caused by friction between a baby’s sensitive skin and a wet nappy. This results in a red rash on exposed areas.
Inadequate or Infrequent Cleaning
The delicate skin under a nappy gets red from irritants like poop, urine, or cleaning agents. It is thus crucial to make sure that the baby’s nappy is cleaned frequently and effectively with gentle cleaning agents.
Nappy rashes can occur from friction between a plastic nappy and the skin. Experts opine that commercially available plastic nappies are often guilty of hampering effective air circulation and keeping the nappy area damp, which increases the friction between the baby’s skin and the nappy. Further, as you may recall from our blog about the benefits of eco-nappies commercially available disposable nappies, which contain plastics, synthetic dyes, and other aggravating elements can cause anything from skin rashes to respiratory issues.
In contrast to this, nappies made of natural fibres are softer and gentler against the baby’s sensitive bottom. By minimising or eliminating the chemicals in materials close to a baby’s skin, you reduce the number of chemicals that absorb into your baby’s body, lowering the overall chemical contact for your little one. Remember – Chemical free is irritation-free!
Common Allergens in Products
Frequent contact with harsh soaps, detergents, and fragrances might disagree with your baby’s delicate skin. These allergens have frequently been linked to reactions on adult and infant skin alike.
How to Prevent Nappy Rash
Change Nappies As Soon As Possible
Changing a wet or dirty nappy frequently is imperative for health and hygiene reasons. Paediatricians worldwide state that nappy rashes are caused most when the tender skin of babies is in contact with a wet or soiled nappy for too long. Babies may thus be more prone to nappy rash if they're experiencing frequent bowel movements or diarrhoea. Frequently changing a nappy allows for the new nappy to effectively absorb wetness away from the skin.
Keep the Skin Clean and Dry Gently
Keep the skin clean by washing the baby’s bottom with warm water and patting it dry gently. Remember not to scrub.
Leave Nappies Off Periodically
Let the baby’s skin breathe whenever possible! Leaving them nappy-free whenever time permits will allow their bottoms to dry without any obstacles.
Make Sure Your Baby's Nappies Fit Properly
Ill-fitting nappies could increase the friction between the baby’s skin and their nappies’ As avoiding friction is key to avoiding rashes, this is why ill-fitting nappies must not be used.
Avoid Harsh Soaps, Baby Lotions, and Bubble Baths
Unless recommended by your doctor, avoid using soaps and baby lotions that contain harsh chemicals which may exacerbate your baby’s discomfort. Identifying the right hypoallergenic products for your baby’s skin is hard work, and it’s best recommended that you seek a doctor
How to Ease and Treat Nappy Rash
Fortunately, nappy rash is common in babies and can usually be treated at home. If the rash is causing your baby discomfort, a pharmacist can recommend a nappy rash cream or medicine to treat it at home. They may suggest using a thin layer of barrier cream to protect the skin. Other tips to minimise nappy rash include
- Using ultra-absorbent nappies that wick moisture away from the skin,
- Washing cloth nappies thoroughly to remove any soap residue that may irritate the skin,
- Avoiding using wipes that contain alcohol or fragrances.
Pharmacies can help you with purchasing nappy or diaper creams or ointments that contain zinc oxide or petroleum jelly to create a barrier between the skin and the nappy. As mentioned previously, avoid using products that contain alcohol or perfumes, as these can be irritating to the skin.
If however, your little one’s nappy rash shows no signs of fading within a week, ensure that you take them to a qualified paediatrician for the right treatment to take care of severe rashes. Persistent nappy rash that does not respond to nappy creams might need a medicated cream, such as an antifungal or hydrocortisone.
Transitioning to eco-friendly nappies is gentler on your baby’s brittle skin and the environment too; By effectively using nappies such as our well-made compostable disposable nappies, you ensure that your baby’s skin is in nature’s gentle hands. Our nappies are made with wood pulp, a plant-based breathable biofilm, no oil-based plastics, and no chemicals! This eco-friendly variant is made by the planet for your little one from renewable plant-based materials and is commercially compostable. Nourish the earth around us and let your baby’s skin breathe. Just shop with us today to bring your little one closer to a brighter and cleaner future.
Head on over to our frequently asked questions about our eco nappies and you’ll find all the necessary information to put your mind at ease. Believe us– a quick switch to Little and Brave Eco Nappies will leave you wondering why you hadn’t done it sooner! Head over to our post on eco-friendly nappy types to learn more.