How Your Choice Of Baby’s Nappy Impacts Nappy Rash
Think about it! A newborn baby’s skin is sensitive. The air affects skin profoundly, with different babies reacting differently to dry and moist climates. Not only does Baby’s skin take some time to adapt to the changed environmental conditions outside the womb, but it is more delicate in structure and sudden contact with water for cleansing, baby cosmetic products, an array of fabrics, and direct contact with urine and faeces, all impact skin health.
Water used to bath Baby in or clean her buttocks is totally different from amniotic fluid and much harsher for a small baby’s skin – that’s just one of the reasons why one shouldn’t bath babies often or completely in the first month.
Even the gentlest baby cosmetics may contain chemicals, some of which can be quite harsh on Baby’s skin too. The buttocks are cleansed more than any other area, making product savvy and selection critical. And sometimes, it’s even better not to apply any barrier creams or lotions, than to use products which themselves may cause irritation.
Almost every fabric has the potential to irritate skin, especially Baby’s delicate skin. This could be from detergents used to clean, chemicals involved in the manufacture, and the inherent nature of the fabric, to name a few. There’s no real telling ahead of time, but the more natural and organic the fabric, the less adverse impact there will usually be for babies with sensitive skin (often found to run in families).
In the womb, Baby passes urine (and sometimes a bit of meconium stool) into the amniotic water, but this is a sterile ‘system’ and Baby’s skin, protected as it is by the creamy white vernix layer, is adapted to handle this, and Mother Nature has an efficient cleansing system to back it up. After birth, Baby’s skin will be far more prone to the irritating and burning effects of urine and stool, and for this reason one of the early challenges parents face is how to approach the vital issue of nappy selection.
Impacting on this is the busy modern life of many families – how do Mom Jane Soap and Dad Joe Soap balance convenience and quality care? How do they find the best fit for their baby? Given so many factors leading to possible buttock rash, how do they navigate this basic yet amazingly complex issue?
I’m a great believer in marrying practicality with the best and safest options. While some babies will need their busy parents to look for cloth nappies to minimise nappy rash, most will do just fine if they have a disposable nappy that meets the needs for air circulation, gentle touch on the skin, and effective absorption to draw away urine and soft poo from the skin. These three criteria are essential for the prevention of nappy rash in babies in disposables.
So, a nappy that stays dry longer and actively draws moisture away from the skin, while being soft as a baby’s bum and allows air to permeate the outer layer, will help protect your baby’s skin from the dreaded buttock rash! Simple, really.