One of the delights of infancy that children thankfully grow out of is nappy rash. Once your children have grown out of nappies, you can usually kiss nappy rash goodbye, but while the phase lasts (which is very short, when you consider the entire time your children will be under your roof and in your care) it is not very pleasant, causing grumpy, grizzly babies.
Nappy rash is caused by the alkaline properties of urine irritating the skin. Bacteria make the condition worse. The end result is chafed, reddened skin which can begin cracking if it’s left untreated. And it probably stings. Make that definitely stings.
Those who are trying to live more sustainably will be quite glad to hear that many of the best measures you can take to prevent or treat nappy rash are the greener ways to look after your baby. While plastic overpants and plastic-lined disposable nappies have their convenient side for a busy parent, they also create a breeding ground for the bacteria that make the nappy rash worse. This is yet another reason why you should not be using disposable nappies.
Frequent changing of the nappy also helps prevent nappy rash, simply because by removing the nappy and putting a fresh, dry one on doesn’t give the chance for the urine and bacteria to have a go at that soft, sensitive skin around a baby’s bottom. When you wash the cloth nappies, putting about half a cup to a cup of vinegar into the final rinse helps to neutralise the alkaline properties of the urine. Adding a dash of a gentle essential oil – lavender is the best for babies – puts a nice, gentle scent into the whole wash load.
Drying the nappies in the sunshine or at least in the fresh air rather than in the dryer is another way of reducing the chances of nappy rash. Probably, this is because the sunshine also helps to kill bacteria. Besides, the nappies often end up softer and smell fresher after line drying.
If the weather is warm, then letting your baby have some time with their little bottom in the open where the breezes can help keep things nice and dry. If the weather isn’t so warm, letting your baby roll or crawl around on a fluffy towel or mat near the fire or a heater (with a fireguard firmly in place, of course!) is another way to help prevent nappy rash.
The prime way of preventing nappy rash is to use a barrier cream to seal the skin away from the urine. While it isn’t quite natural, plain old petroleum jelly is an excellent barrier cream that does the trick. For skin that’s already been chafed, using a zinc cream is highly recommended. While this writer never got to try more natural oils on her children when they were still in nappies, it’s highly likely that a good vegetable oil would also work. If you’ve got the time or a handy relative, you could try experimenting with making your own creams by melting down beeswax into oil and stirring in a bit of water. It should work. Just don’t use baby oil – this is pure mineral oil.
Reducing friction inside the nappy also helps keep the nappy rash away, though not as effectively as a barrier cream. Cornstarch is the best natural alternative to talcum powder. Plain unscented cornstarch as found in your kitchen cupboard is the best option.
Nick Vassilev is the founder of a successful London window cleaning company called Anyclean. The firm provides a wide array of various cleaning services, all of which are carried out with passion and high level of professionalism. If you require more info about the cleaning services Anyclean offers visit http://www.anyclean.co.uk