If you are like me, then you love babies too. And I can’t bear to see an unhappy baby but a happily giggling and drooling face in the crib would steal my heart. A niece of mine wanted to flush her baby brother in the toilet because he dirtied his diaper and she was asked to change it.
Well, we are not in Elizabethan England. In those times, they apparently changed a baby’s diaper only once in four days! Mind you, they did not have disposable diapers but small square pieces of clothe. And whenever they changed, they hardly washed these diapers but hung them over the fire to dry. At least, those of the blue blood were lucky enough to get their nappies changed once a day! I wonder how they dealt with diaper rashes since zinc was not discovered by then.
Getting back to our world, we do not have to worry about cloth diapers. We have disposable diapers which need no washing or drying. Yet, the little ones and their mothers always confront a problem called diaper rash. Our modern world offers our babies with super absorbent diapers which keep the babies’ bottom clean and dry. But that is no miracle. These diapers contain sodium polyacrylate, a remarkable water absorbent. In some babies, diapers lead to rashes and skin irritation as they do not breathe. Toxicity of the diapers raise concern as they are said to cause damage to the vital organs and the nervous system.
The soft, delicate skin of the baby’s diaper area is always traumatised with urine and faeces and it demands extra care. It is made more vulnerable by the disposable diaper material and the lack of air circulation. So if your baby has a rash the best thing you could do is to say goodbye to diapers for a while.
- To make it easy and comfortable, choose diapers that fit your baby well. Skin should be dry when you put on the diaper. Change it frequently irrespective of what the manufacturers promise.
- If you are using cloth diapers remove them immediately when they are soiled. Wash them carefully to get rid of the soap residues and dry them under the sun. Use a safe detergent for the sake of the baby.
- Put the baby wipes down. This may aggravate the irritation. Clean the area with a dermatologically tested soap. Some people dry it with baby powder while some are against using powders. In any case, avoid scrubbing.
- Using vinegar in water can also help to minimise the irritation caused by urine.
- When the baby sleeps it is best to avoid nappies at all.
- Finally, do not forget to use diaper cream. A healing cream with white zinc oxide would protect and soothe the skin in the diaper area. Also, look for ingredients like gotu kola, lavender oil, tea tree oil, aloe butter, comfrey, marigold and chamomile extracts in the diaper creams to soothe the area. Ask your doctor for the best diaper cream.
Keep an eye out for any fever or sign of infection. You will need medical help if the rash spreads or if large bumps or ulcers appear and if the baby does not eat well.