Dealing with Rashes
Do cloth nappies cause more rashes than disposable nappies?
Do disposable nappies cause more rashes than cloth nappies?
Nope. I don't think so either.
Babies get rashes, its part of nappy life, and most of them are short lived and minor. When they aren’t though, it can be really stressful for parents.
Do creams help?
Many babies don’t need any creams on their bottom at all, especially during the first few days. Meconium actually helps prepare the skin for its exposure to regular poop.
It can be really nice to put a soothing moisturising cream on after a bath or if you notice a little redness, which is why your pack contains a small pot of bottom balm. It is easily washed out so you don’t need to use a liner with it. You only need a tiny amount. If your baby doesn’t need anything on it’s bum, this balm works perfectly as a lip balm or even makeup remover!
If your baby has quite a sore red rash and you are needing to use a thicker cream which is zinc based, such as Sudocream, that’s fine, just make sure you are washing on warm or hot. Using a liner can help protect the nappies whilst also keeping a dry layer next to your baby’s skin, but is not essential.
Help, its bad!
If your baby has a rash which is not improving we suggest getting it seen by your midwife/Plunket Nurse /Tamariki Ora Nurse/ GP to ensure it does not need medical treatment. If your baby is diagnosed with thrush and you are treating them, stop using the nappies until the rash is completely clear. You will need to sanitise the nappies with a quick 30 min bleach soak. See our Deep Cleaning and Sanitise blog post.
Common cause of non-medical rashes
Poop sitting on the skin too long
This is usually somewhat obvious as it right where the poop sits on the skin. Use a barrier cream containing Zinc, layer it on thick, don't fully wipe off each nappy change, just pat it lightly with a soft cloth until clean.
Skin that is sensitive to moisture
This is normally just a general light redness rather than a red angry rash. Use the fleece liners in the hire pack as a stay dry layer. Change nappies every 2-3 hours. Offer some nappy free time if possible.
Ammonia build up in the nappies
Nappies which aren't quite getting clean enough with your wash routine can overtime result in ammonia in the nappies. There are usually signs that your wash routine isn't effective, such as stains requiring the sun to remove them. Signs of ammonia build up are that the nappy comes out of the wash smelling clean, but as soon as your baby wets the nappy it has a strong offensive urine smell. Or a very smelly nappy bucket that smells out a room. This problem is usually easily corrected with some tweaks to your wash routine, get in touch! If baby has a rash and smelly nappies, stop using the nappies immediately until you have sanitised them and neutralised the ammonia.
Sensitivity to laundry detergent
This is possible but very rare. Many detergent companies like us to believe that babies have more sensitive skin than adults, but the evidence does not support this. If you have skin that is sensitive to fragrance, your baby may also, or they may not. Plant based ‘Eco’ detergents are not anymore gentle than mainstream detergents. If your baby is sensitive to fragrance in detergent, they will get the reaction on other parts of their body than just their nappy area. If this happens, switch to a fragrance free detergent.