- by Dr Gowher Pebbles n Pearl Pediatrics and Child Care
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- Feb 09 2017
Tips on treating and preventing diaper rash
Nappy rash is very common in babies, particularly when they're 9 to 12 months old. So, at some stage of parenthood, you're likely to unwrap your baby's nappy and be confronted with a rather tender-looking bottom.
Here are some tips that can help you get through this tender problem:
- Clean your baby's genital area thoroughly with each diaper change. Pat his skin dry — never rub it. Occasionally soak your baby's bottom between diaper changes with warm water by running tap water over it or by squirting with a water bottle.
- If your baby seems prone to diaper rash, coat his bottom with a thin layer of protective ointment after each diaper change. Skip the talcum powder, as the dust is harmful to your baby's lungs if he breathes it in. If you want to use powder, choose the safer cornstarch-based type. Shake powder into your hand, away from your baby; never directly on or near him, and keep the container well out of his reach at all times. At every diaper change, carefully wash away any powder that accumulates in your baby's skin folds.
- Don't secure the diaper so tightly that there's no room for air to circulate. Loose clothing will let your baby's bottom breathe. Avoid plastic pants and other airtight fabrics.
- Don't wash cloth diapers with detergents that contain fragrances, and skip the fabric softener — both can irritate your baby's skin. Use hot water and double rinse your baby's diapers. You might also add half a cup of vinegar to the first rinse water to eliminate alkaline irritants.
- Breastfeed your baby for as long as you can. Breastfeeding boosts your baby's resistance to infections in general and makes him less likely to need antibiotics, which can contribute to diaper rash.
- If your baby goes to daycare, make sure that his caregivers understand the importance of taking these measures to prevent diaper rash.
- When the weather is warm and your baby can play outside or in a room with an easy-clean floor, leave his diaper (and ointment) off for as long as possible every day. Exposure to the air will speed healing. Consider letting your baby sleep with a bare butt whenever he has a rash. A plastic sheet under the cloth sheet will help protect the mattress.
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