Top 4 ways to reduce and prevent nappy rash

Nasty old nappy rash. It seems to be one of those inevitable skin problems that every baby goes through at some stage. There are many things that can exacerbate nappy rash, among them teething, illness, introduction of solids, infrequent changing, allergies and reactions.

Sometimes, it’s very clear what is contributing to the development of nappy rash. Other times, almost impossible. It can be frustrating and disheartening for parents to try and correct a problem when the cause is difficult to pinpoint.

These 4 simple, natural ways are our own proven steps that we have taken with our five children to help reduce the incidence of rash. Wherever possible, use all 4 tips in conjunction.

1. Change frequently

Consistently, health care professionals advise that frequent changing is the best way to prevent nappy rash.  Of course, it’s also crucial to bath your baby regularly to ensure that lots of clean, fresh, warm water is used to clean those parts of the body that are usually covered by multiple layers of fabric. If your baby already has rash, it can be better to reduce frequency of bathing until the rash clears. Please check with your GP or child health nurse.

For further information about dealing with ongoing rash issues, please Click Here.

2. Use a barrier

If you’re using cloth nappies, try using a liner between your baby’s skin and the nappy. Microfleece and polarfleece are fabulous fabrics to use for nappy liners. They are cheap, easily accessible and require no hemming or special care. Grab 30 cm from your local fabric store and cut strips to size. The best thing about microfleece and polarfleece is that it wicks moisture away from baby’s skin and into the absorbent layers of the nappy, helping to keep your baby drier for longer.

You can also purchase biodegradable liners that help to draw moisture away from baby’s skin, and many modern cloth nappies are made with a “stay dry” layer or fleece of suedecloth directly against the skin.

TIP: if you need to use cream with your cloth nappies, be sure to use a liner.

3. Give nappy free time

When our little ones fall and graze a knee, we try to only resort to bandaids if we absolutely have to, because we know that allowing lots of fresh air to the sore will help it heal quickly.   It is exactly the same with little bottoms.

Where possible, let your baby enjoy nappy-free time. Lay them on a towel and let the fresh air work it’s magic.

4. Wipe simply

Disposable wipes may be handy when you’re stuck on the side of the road having to clean up a surprise, but they shouldn’t be used on a daily basis. They are loaded with all kinds of ingredients, which at worst, can irritate and inflame already sore skin and at best, simply aren’t required to clean a baby.

Invest in a few washers that you use only for baby’s bottom. Rinse them in warm water (cold is great to sooth irritated, red skin) and use them to thoroughly clean the area. If you don’t use cloth nappies, just wash these cloth wipes with your towels.

TIP: Use a particular brand or colour for baby’s bottom so you don’t mix them up with face washers or dishcloths.

Many thanks to ANA Founding Member, Eva from Seedling Baby for her time in compiling this post.

Eva Van Strijp is a mother of six, founding member of the Australian Nappy Association and creator of Seedling Baby. When Eva isn’t hanging out with her family or running a business, she’s eating chocolate, listening to podcasts or tending her veggie patch.