Nappy Rash - what to do? Some hints and tips for dealing with it
What is Nappy Rash?
Nappy Rash happens when a babys skin is exposed to wet or dirty nappies for too long (regarldess of whether you are using cloth nappies or disposable nappies).
There is a misconception out there that using cloth nappies causes nappy rash. THIS IS NOT TRUE. Babies can get nappy rash no matter what type of nappies they use. I personally find that my babies got a nappy rash everytime they used disposables (at kindy) but were fine when they were at home using cloth nappies.
Even though urine is sterile, germs on your baby’s skin and in the nappy can change harmless chemicals in the urine, into skin irritating chemicals like ammonia (and cause skin burning - ouch!)
But having a nappy on for too long isn’t the only cause of nappy rash. Nappy Rash can be also caused by:
- irritations on bubba’s bums by the skin rubbing against the nappy (cloth or disposable),
- fragranced wipes,
- powders and soaps,
- sensitivity to wetness,
- sensitivity or allergies to certain fabrics (or plastic in the case of disposables), or
- fungal infections (like thrush).
Working out which one is your problem will be a matter of trial and error. If you are concerned that your bubba may have thrush, you should seek medical advice ASAP to ensure it is treated promptly and to make sure that is the problem.
With the other problems, see our comments below about how to help.
Treaing true Nappy Rash
If your bubba does have nappy rash (and not something else), there is not need to ditch the cloth nappies (as disposables wont really help much more).
You will need to:
- Creams - Get a good cloth nappy safe nappy rash cream that is safe to use with cloth nappies and start using it (we sell CJs Butter and GroVia’s Magic Stick - both miracle creams that also smell divine (and are relatively inexpensive));
- Change Nappies Often - Keep your baby’s bum dry - change your nappies regularly (more regularly than usual);
- Use Staydry Nappies - If you have nappies that are designed to keep your bubba’s bum dry - use those (e.g. any nappy topped with Suedcloth or similar stay dry materials - contact us if you are not sure).
Remember, you must see your doctor if the rash persists (to ensure it is not something else that needs treatment).
How can you tell if your Baby is allergic to certain Fabrics (or wipes)?
The easiest way to work out if your baby is allergic to certain fabrics (or wipes) is to take them out of the equation.
If you think they may be allergic to a certain fabric, try using a nappy liner made of a different fabric or try an insert that is made of a different fabric. For example, if you think your bubba is allergic to your Itti Bitti Tutto (that is topped with Suedecloth) try another nappy that is not topped with Suedcloth, like the Pikapu AIO, GroVia Hybrid (with Staydry soakers) or the Tots Bots Easyfit or try a Tots Bots Booster.
How can you tell if your Baby has a sensitivity to wetness?
Try changing your baby’s nappy much more frequently (like every hour) to see if that helps. You obviously will not be able to maintain this forever, but it might help you diagnose the problem.
Some cloth nappies are designed specifically to keep baby’s bum dryer than others (like GroVia’s Hybrid stay dry soakers or nappies that are topped with Suedcloth like Bubblebubs Candies, all of the Bonnibuns nappies, Bumcheeks Pocket nappies, all of the Designer Bums nappies or any of the Green Kids nappies. Only use these types of nappies to see if that helps.
Fungal Infections - what do you need to do?
See your doctor and make sure your bubba gets the proper treatment.
DO NOT use cloth nappies that have been used when your baby has the infection. They may contain the bacteria or fungal spores and re-using them may cause the rash to re-occur.
We recommend that you wash all affected nappies with Canesten Hygiene Laundry Rinse (after running a hot - not too hot - rinse through your washing machine). You can get it at most pharmacies and supermarkets, but you can request a free sample on the Canesten Website.
Always make sure that using the Canesten Hygeine Laundry Rinse will not void your nappy warranty (if your nappies are still in warranty). If you are unsure, we can check for you. However, most nappy manufacturers do not warn against it, but they do recommend minimal useage. Despite this, we recommend checking this before you do it (if your warranty is still valid).
Note: only use the Laundry Rinse (not the cream). The cream could clog up fibres in most cloth nappies.