Nappy rashes are not fun. If your baby has a misfortune of getting a nappy rash, they can be as painful as they look. A nappy rash is often red and sore, sometimes with raised or swollen skin. If it gets really bad, the nappy rash can develop into broken skin. This can cause your baby to become irritable. Anyone would be if they had a rash on their bum.

So what causes a nappy rash?

A nappy rash can develop from wearing wet or dirty nappies for too long. The dampness, friction and ammonia from urine can irritate your baby’s sensitive skin, resulting in redness, lumps and bumps on the affected areas. A rash can occur anywhere on your baby due to various reasons but nappy rashes are the most common and easiest to prevent.

How do you prevent a nappy rash?

Change your nappies frequently.

The longer your baby sits in a wet or pooped nappy, the higher his or her chances of getting a nappy rash. Changing to a clean nappy will ensure that your baby’s bottom remains dry and clean.

Let your baby’s bottom air.

This lets your baby’s skin dry and give it a bit of breathing space. Skin is not meant to stay damp for a long time. Letting your baby bottom air allows the skin to dry properly before you put another nappy on. It doesn’t have to be long – a few minutes can make a difference.

Clean your baby’s skin.

There’s no need for perfumed wet wipes or anything fancy. A warm wet cloth can and will do the trick. Disposable wet wipes are often loaded with chemicals and sometimes alcohol. While the convenience of disposable wet wipes are great, they can dry up your baby’s skin, cause flaking and contribute to your baby getting a nappy rash. A warm wet cloth is cost effective in the long run and is friendly towards your baby’s bum. It’s just water after all and that’s usually enough to get all the number ones and twos off your baby.

My baby has a nappy rash, now what do I do?

Keep your baby’s bum clean and dry

Nothing is worse than having the same environment around the bum that caused the rash in the first place. Keep your baby’s bum as clean and dry as possible. Use a barrier or rash cream to help prevent the rash from getting worse. Rash creams should get rid of the nappy rash in approximately 3 days. If the rash remains after 3 days, you should take your baby and see a doctor about it because it might be something else.

Changing and choosing your nappies

If you’re using disposable nappies, check that it’s not the nappy itself that is causing the rash. Some brands have additives that helps with absorbency of the nappy. For some babies, it can result in a reaction on the skin that is like a nappy rash. If you’re using reusable nappies, make sure that your washing powder is gentle, softener free and fragrance free. Some washing powder can cause irritations and make sure that your cloth nappies are wash thoroughly.

Check your nappy size

Your baby is constantly growing and the packs of disposable nappies you brought by the dozen may no longer fit your baby. Am overly tight fitting nappy can cause chafing. The constant rubbing against the skin can also contribute to a nappy rash. Reusable cloth nappies grow with your baby, so there’s no need to worry about sizing.

See a doctor

If the nappy rash doesn’t seem to get better after a day or two, it might actually be a skin infection like thrush or underlying skin condition like seborrhoeic dermatitis or psoriasis. It’s better you seek professional medical advice rather than trying to solve it on your own.