Nappy Rash - the low down

Nappy rash… ahhh… the concern of every parent. How do I avoid it? How do I deal with it?  Do cloth nappies cause nappy rash?

Interestingly, nappy rash was not something that was considered as big an issue in the past and has surfaced more in conjunction with the increased use of disposables.  In fact, using cloth nappies means you are less likely to get nappy rash.

What is nappy rash?  Nappy rash is a red rash on the buttocks, usually linked to wet or infrequently changed nappies.  However, sometimes when baby gets nappy rash, it can be caused any of the following:

  • sweat rash
  • heat rash
  • teething rash
  • thrush
  • chemical rash

Avoiding nappy rash is simple - keep the area well-aired and dry. Which would be fine if babies didn’t poop and pee so damn much! But this basically means, the number one factor for avoiding nappy rash is regular changes.

1. Change Regularly = keeps them dry

Guidelines recommend changing your baby at least every 2 hours. One of the reasons disposable nappies tend to cause more nappy rash is that they don’t feel wet on the outside and so parents leave their child in them for longer, but the child’s skin is still exposed to the bacteria and moisture from urine and faeces, so either cloth or disposable – change every 2 hours! Additionally, with disposables the longer the child is in them, the longer they are exposed to chemicals that can cause nappy rash (chemical rash).

One paediatrics study found that rashes only occurred in places where the skin directly contacted the dyes in the nappies. Also, the absorbency chemicals in disposable nappies also wick away natural oils from the baby’s skin causing skin irritations.

2. Nappy free time and use natural fibres = improved airflow

Being well-aired can be improved two ways. The first is giving your child nappy free time. This give bub’s wee butt some fresh air keeping it healthier. The other way is to use cloth nappies. Natural fibres are breathable and allow air to circulate, whereas the plastics from disposables do not allow air flow and can heat up the body causing nappy rash (heat rash or sweat rash) among other issues.

So, there you have it. 

If you think your wee bub is suffering nappy rash, start with the following changes:

  • frequent changing;
  • use cool, breathable, natural fibres;
  • keep the area dry (barriers creams can help, such as Little Dragon Baby Balm);
  • use our recommended detergents for your washing.

This will significantly reduce nappy rash.

Nappy Rash

Did you know?

Urine is sterile, but when your wee bub soils and this comes into contact with the urine, this is when nappy rash can occur.  So we recommend changing soiled nappies immediately.

On a personal note, we used disposable nappies on our son for the first 48 hours of his life and he developed nappy rash, we switched to our cloth nappies and the rash went away and never came back!