Having three tinkers, I’ve seen my fair share of sore tushies. Nappy rash is something that all three of my children have had in varying degrees, probably with Reuben holding the trophy for the most severe nappy rash of all.
Nappy rash was really an issue for Reuben, whether that was because we didn’t know the best ways to protect against it yet, being new parents and all, or because he was the world’s biggest fan of fruit I’m not sure. I suspect it was a mixture of both but predominantly the obsession with acidic fruit as our problems really started once he began to wean. He would eat buckets of mango chunks, gnaw on slices of pear and apple until his little belly was full… and of course at the time, I thought nappy cream was something you used AFTER nappy rash, not to protect against it. Wally.
By contrast, I had wised up with Toby. I knew that a good dosing of nappy cream at every nappy change was essential and Toby was a child who preferred much less fruit and a lot more softer foods. I wish he liked fruit more to tell the truth, but at least it helped us with one issue huh? By the time Edith came along, I really felt like old hat at this nappy rash protection business, fortunately we’ve really had no issues with Miss Edith at all other than a slightly red labia, which of course meant time for a bit of action before it developed into anything more.
With my experience in mind, I thought perhaps I could share a few of my tips with you. Obviously it should go without saying that this is 100% what worked for me and in no way is this medical advice, if you’re at all really concerned please do get in touch with your GP – I’m not a professional, just a mama who has been through it.
What are my top tips for protecting against the causes of nappy rash then?
1. Nappy free time – I remember creating a little zone for Reuban with blankets and cushions around the perimeter so that I could keep him in the one spot. Then off came the nappy! Swoosh! Nappies can be quite damp places, so taking them off as and when you can is really important. Even after Reuben had developed nappy rash, we still kept this up while we treated it and we saw a drastic reduction in how often he had a repeat bout.
2. Use a good nappy rash cream –I always kept a tube of Bepanthen in my changing bag. Always. I learnt the hard way with Reuban that it’s far more beneficial for your child to apply a small amount of cream after every clean nappy instead of waiting until there was no other option and you needed treatment cream. Protection is the way forward mamas, particularly at night when the nappy is on the longest!
3. Cleaning properly before putting on a fresh nappy – I remember my mother in law telling me that she was so pleased to see I used a wipe every time I took Reuben’s nappy off. I was a bit flummoxed… what else did she think I was going to do? When I questioned her on it, she told me that over the years she had known so many mums just take off the wet nappy and, unless it was soiled, just replace it with a fresh one without cleaning the area first. Urine can be really harsh on baby skin (any skin actually) so it’s so important to make sure you wipe the area first, whether it be a poopy nappy or just a wet one.
4. Boys and girls have different creases to clean – It’s true, I actually think girls are easier to clean than boys – other than in the instance of a poonami. It’s really important to make sure that you clean all of the creases in both cases. With my little boys, it’s often under the testicles that was missed when cleaning (obviously not intentionally, but if it’s just damp, you don’t see anything to actually clean and it can be missed) and that would become sore. Proper cleaning is essential, followed by applying a barrier cream like Bepanthen to help protect against any soreness creeping in. For Edith, it’s the opposite where over cleaning can cause an issue.
So those are my tips. What I would say is if your little one does develop nappy rash then you shouldn’t feel guilty at all. There is a reason that it is so commonly referenced and dreaded amongst mums. The most important thing that you can do for nappy rash is protect against the causes of it, not try to treat it after the fact. If you do find yourself in a position where nappy rash has settled in, I used to plop a couple of teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda in Reuben’s bath and found that this helped to soothe his sore areas – again, I have no idea if that will be for you, but it did for me!
For more tips and advice check out http://www.bepanthen.co.uk/
*This post is sponsored by Bepanthen but all thoughts are honest and my own.