nappy rash
Health

Treating and preventing nappy rash

All you need to know about treating,  preventing and soothing nappy rash.

Nappy rash is a common condition thought to affect up to a third of nappy wearing babies at any given time.

It causes your baby’s skin to become sore and irritated in the area around the nappy, and covered in pink or red spots or blotches. Caused by the ammonia in the urine, which irritates a new baby’s very sensitive skin, it can sometimes be the result of a fungal infection. Most nappy rashes are mild and can be treated with a simple skin care routine. Your baby may cry more often than usual and be irritable.

Contact your GP immediately if your child develops severely inflamed (swollen and irritated) skin.

How to treat nappy rash

It helps to change the baby’s nappy often. Clean the whole nappy area thoroughly, wiping from front to back. Use plain water and cotton wool rather than baby wipes, patting the area dry with a soft towel. Airing your baby’s bottom after topping and tailing is also beneficial, as it allows the skin to breathe and heal without being covered up. Some babies are more prone to nappy rash than others, so try to ensure baby is not left in wet nappy.

If your baby has nappy rash or sensitive skin, it’s a good idea to protect it with a thick barrier cream after every wash. To protect the red skin, you can use a zinc paste or barrier cream, which is available at the chemist: zinc forms a protective surface over the skin. There are also ointments that can help to seal in the skin’s natural moisture, without drying out your baby’s delicate skin. Antifungal cream may be necessary if the rash is caused by a fungal infection.

How to prevent nappy rash

The treatment tips for nappy are very similar to helping to prevent nappy rash. Make sure to change wet or dirty nappies as soon as possible.

  • Top and tail your baby daily – but avoid bathing them more than twice a day as that may dry out their skin.
  • Gently pat your baby dry after washing them – avoid vigorous rubbing.
  • Put your baby down to lie on a towel and leave their nappy off for as long and as often as you can to let fresh air get to their skin.
  • Never use perfumed soap, bubble bath or lotions on your baby’s bottom.

More like this:

Diagnosing a rash
Poo decoder
How to change a nappy

ASK LOUISE

Q My son is 18 months old and has just started saying his first words. It is an extremely exciting time in our house and my husband and I are eager to encourage his speaking as much possible. What advice would you give us on how we can foster this without bombarding and confusing him?

AThere is nothing better than hearing your baby begin to talk. All the hard work you have put in over the last two years is coming back tenfold.
Toddlers will vary significantly with ability and speed of which they talk however a guide would be about 50 words by 2 years of age. The most important thing to watch for is that your baby/toddler is cooing and babbling and begins to string sounds together like “Mama/Dada” They should have a wide range of speech sounds and like to imitate you and things they hear.
There are many ways that you can promote Speech and Language development at home:
1. Slowing down your own speech and taking time over conversations with your little one. Every day is a new experience when you are 18 months, nappy changes, bath time, baking a cake brings endless opportunity for you to interact and offer new words for them to hear and repeat. Make eye contact, smile and use exaggerated tones to keep things interesting and fun for your tot.
2. Review the toys that you have on offer to your tot and ensure that they give plenty of open ended play opportunities. Role play is a wonderful way to allow children to take the lead. Kitchens with lots of plates, cups and pots. Fill the pots with dry pasta and allow your child to cook and serve you. Playdoh, painting, gardening and sandpits are also great for allowing your child to take the lead and babble about what they are doing. Read plenty of books together and point and allow them time to answer any questions that you ask.
3. Limit screen time. Overuse of televisions and iPads do not give your child opportunity to interact in a two way manner.
4. Ask your child lots of open ended questions “What’s that?” “Where are we?” Point at things they know the answer to for boosting confidence (Car/ Car, etc.) When they don’t know the answer, explain it to them. Limit baby talk and speak clearly with good pronunciation, remember you are the teacher and they will copy you.
If you are concerned about your child’s speech and language development, be sure to speak with your GP or developmental Health Nurse. They are very skilled at understanding the difference between speech delays and spotting something that may require professional attention.
Enjoy watching their little brains absorb the world around them and listen to what they have to say. It won’t be too long before they won’t stop talking to you, asking “Why Mummy/ Daddy?” every 5 minutes….

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ASK LOUISE

Q My son is 18 months old and has just started saying his first words. It is an extremely exciting time in our house and my husband and I are eager to encourage his speaking as much possible. What advice would you give us on how we can foster this without bombarding and confusing him?

AThere is nothing better than hearing your baby begin to talk. All the hard work you have put in over the last two years is coming back tenfold.
Toddlers will vary significantly with ability and speed of which they talk however a guide would be about 50 words by 2 years of age. The most important thing to watch for is that your baby/toddler is cooing and babbling and begins to string sounds together like “Mama/Dada” They should have a wide range of speech sounds and like to imitate you and things they hear.
There are many ways that you can promote Speech and Language development at home:
1. Slowing down your own speech and taking time over conversations with your little one. Every day is a new experience when you are 18 months, nappy changes, bath time, baking a cake brings endless opportunity for you to interact and offer new words for them to hear and repeat. Make eye contact, smile and use exaggerated tones to keep things interesting and fun for your tot.
2. Review the toys that you have on offer to your tot and ensure that they give plenty of open ended play opportunities. Role play is a wonderful way to allow children to take the lead. Kitchens with lots of plates, cups and pots. Fill the pots with dry pasta and allow your child to cook and serve you. Playdoh, painting, gardening and sandpits are also great for allowing your child to take the lead and babble about what they are doing. Read plenty of books together and point and allow them time to answer any questions that you ask.
3. Limit screen time. Overuse of televisions and iPads do not give your child opportunity to interact in a two way manner.
4. Ask your child lots of open ended questions “What’s that?” “Where are we?” Point at things they know the answer to for boosting confidence (Car/ Car, etc.) When they don’t know the answer, explain it to them. Limit baby talk and speak clearly with good pronunciation, remember you are the teacher and they will copy you.
If you are concerned about your child’s speech and language development, be sure to speak with your GP or developmental Health Nurse. They are very skilled at understanding the difference between speech delays and spotting something that may require professional attention.
Enjoy watching their little brains absorb the world around them and listen to what they have to say. It won’t be too long before they won’t stop talking to you, asking “Why Mummy/ Daddy?” every 5 minutes….