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Rationing on Nappy Rash

It’s one of the most common threats to your baby’s happy gurgling and cooing -- and as a parent or caregiver, you’re almost innately at war with it. Nappy Rash is to children, what a sore throat is to an adult... painful, itchy and unwelcomed.

But there are ways to combat it and prevent it and that’s what we’ll be discussing here.

Firstly, what is Nappy Rash?

In its acute presentation, Nappy Rash is an inflamed, often red and sore-looking rash that appears on baby’s bottom or surrounding genital areas. After several bouts or long standing infection, it can appear as a hypo-pigmented discoloration.

What causes Nappy Rash?

Often, it’s caused by leaving a wet nappy on baby for longer than it should be. The combination of the damp and soiled nappy, the friction between the nappy and baby’s bottom and even the chemicals inside the nappy can cause baby discomfort if a rash should develop. Further, frequent bowel movements or diarrhoea can also be responsible. Certain medications, like antibiotics or steroids can also offset the balance and predispose little bottoms to nappy rash. Babies' delicate skin can also have an allergic reaction to the creams, lotions and rubs applied to the area.
Take heart that the presence of nappy rash is not a reflection of poor hygience or bad parenting skills. Almost all babies will experience nappy rash at some stage of their development.

Let’s be frank for a second...

When baby is still newborn, the copius amounts of nappies she goes through a day, can tempt a parent to want to wait until the nappy is more “full” before changing her. This is not the best way to go about keeping baby dry.

In as much as the nappy producers out there show you the new technology out to lock away wetness, first prize in the fight against painful nappy rash, is making sure baby is wearing clean nappies.

A good tip in the first three months, is to change baby's nappy at every feed time. This helps you remember the last change and prevents nappies staying on longer than necessary. When changing between nappies, ensure that the area is clean, dry and protected with a sparing spread of barrier so as to not block the pores that allow the skin to “breathe”.

Ensure that during every nappy change, that the area is cleaned well and dry before applying a barrier rub. Be sure to coat baby’s bottom and genitals (never on the inside of the vagina or under the foreskin of the penis) sparingly but effectively so as to not occlude the pores.


Most times nappy rash will resolve with home treatment. If there is nappy rash, using a more viscous and medically treated crème (we absolutely love and recommend Bennetts Bum Cream) on the area for a few days should help. Remember to clean and dry the area first. If it lasts longer than a week, you should consider going to your doctor as it could be a yeast infection called Candida Albicans (which is a type of fungus).

Also don't underestimate the effect of a little sun and a little fresh air. Let baby enjoy the only time in her life when she can go bottomless. Put down some linen savers and let baby roll around in her birthday suit in a room that gets a bit of sun and air. In no time at all, you'll be able to kiss the rash goodbye.

Remember though that in severe cases or where the problem is persistent, you may have to visit your doctor to determine if there is a more serious problem to your baby’s rash, like an allergic reaction to chemicals found in nappies.

by Leanne Naidoo

Nanny101™ is an Infant First Aid and Baby Care training institute that teaches parents, caregivers and even maids sound, medically-based techniques on what to do in an infant emergency as well as how to keep baby’s environment sterile and clean. Workshops run every Saturday, from 09h00 for families in Durban.

Nanny101™ is personally supported by David Bennett - the namesake behind the trusted Bennetts baby product range. David has kindly given us samples of his products to share with the parents and caregivers who sign up for our workshops. That means, not only do you get a first aid kit, comprehensive student manual, completion certificate (Maids only) and performance evaluation (Maids only), but you can take home Bennetts Bum Creme as well. We just love freebies, don't you?

Contact us at to find out about when you can attend a workshop.