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The 7 Best Tips For Preventing Nappy Rash

What does nappy rash have to do with sleep?

Well, anything that’s uncomfortable and irritating to a baby will likely disrupt their sleep! Nappy rash is a particular pain as it’s very itchy and very uncomfortable.

What is nappy rash?

First of all, it’s very, very common! In, fact the NHS estimates that 1 in 4 babies and toddlers have it at any one time. So if your little one has it please don’t feel like you’re doing anything wrong. Nappy or diaper rash is that redness and irritation to the nappy area caused by your baby’s delicate skin barrier becoming compromised. This is from skin being in contact urine and faeces, which is both wet and different to the skin’s natural pH causing it to breakdown.

The skin on the bottom or nappy area will look inflamed and sore. On babies with lighter skin the inflammation will look more red. On little ones with darker skin the inflamed area might look brown, purple or grey. Sometimes, in more severe cases, it will look raised or swollen or there might even be breaks in the skin.

My 7 Top baby care tips for preventing nappy rash:

  1. My number one tip is some nappy free time. Leaving the delicate area out to air and dry really helps. I often, recommend doing this during some awake tummy time. Goes without saying to put a towel down for this for the inevitable accident!
  2. Go for very absorbent nappies that fit properly and change frequently.
  3. Friction can worsen nappy rash so wipe very gently with cotton wool and water then pat dry.
  4. If your using baby wipes when you’re out and about make sure they are fragrance and alcohol-free. Also check for an ingredient called methylisothiazolinone- this can be really irritating.
  5. If you’ve had a particularly large poo explosion it can be easier to have a quick bath!
  6. If your noticing mild redness or inflammation this is the time, if you’re not already, to start using a barrier cream to protect the skin. Apply thinly at each nappy change.
  7. Avoid talcum powder as this can worsen things and cause irritation

When to head to the GP or pharmacist:

If you suspect nappy rash it can be worth speaking to your pharmacist. They will be able to take a look at your little one’s rash for you if necessary and advise on the most appropriate creams. They have extensive knowledge on products available and will be able to provide advice on the one that’s right for your little one.

If the rash is worsening or very inflamed and angry looking. Or your baby is distressed or if it’s not improving with these measures head to the GP to have it assessed.

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Anna Bracher - Private Health Visitor

About Anna

RN, BA (HONS), MSC.

Anna is a qualified health professional specialising in sleep. Aiming to empower families to get more rest through responsive methods without leaving little ones to cry alone.

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