Teething is a milestone in a baby's development that can bring about a host of changes, including sleep disturbances, irritability, and even changes in their bowel movements. One of the lesser-known side effects of teething is the possibility of developing nappy rash. Nappy rash, also known as diaper rash, is a common condition that affects many babies and is characterized by red, irritated skin in the nappy area. In this blog, we'll discuss how teething can cause nappy rash and what parents can do to prevent it.
how teething causes nappy rash & ways to prevent it
how teething causes nappy rash
Teething can cause nappy rash in a few different ways. Firstly, when babies are teething, they tend to drool more than usual. Digesting this extra moisture can upset little tummies and lead to skin irritation and breakdown in the nappy area, particularly if the skin is left in contact with wetness for prolonged periods. Additionally, when babies are teething, they may experience changes in their bowel movements, including increased frequency or looser stools. This can also contribute to nappy rash, as the acidity of the stool can irritate the skin in the nappy area.
preventing nappy rash during teething
Fortunately, there are several steps parents can take to prevent nappy rash during teething. Here are some of the most effective strategies:
change nappies frequently
One of the most important things parents can do to prevent nappy rash during teething is to change their baby's nappy frequently. This will help to keep the skin in the nappy area dry and reduce the risk of irritation. Experts recommend changing nappies every two to three hours, or more frequently if the baby has soiled the nappy.
use a barrier cream
Another effective strategy for preventing nappy rash during teething is to use a barrier cream. Creams made from natural, nourishing ingredients are most gentle on sensitive skin and help to soothe irritation, soften and protect baby’s skin.
A protective cream helps create a barrier between delicate skin and the acidity and moisture from baby’s urine and faeces. Nappy creams with active ingredient zinc oxide are well known to offer the benefits of astringent and antiseptic properties, providing topical protection that helps promote healing and keeps skin clean.
When combined with anti-inflammatory botanicals, such as lavender and nurturing oils such as jojoba or shea butter, they can create a soothing and effective solution for the treatment and prevention of nappy rash . Be sure to apply the cream after every nappy change, paying particular attention to the folds of skin in the nappy area.
give the baby plenty of nappy-free time
Another way to prevent nappy rash during teething is to give the baby plenty of nappy-free time. This allows the skin in the nappy area to air out and can help to prevent moisture build up. Experts recommend giving babies at least 10-15 minutes of nappy-free time every day, and more if possible.
choose the right nappy
Choosing the right type of nappy can also help to prevent nappy rash during teething. Some parents find that cloth nappies are less likely to cause irritation than disposable nappies, as they allow the skin to breathe more easily. Alternatively, parents may wish to try different brands of disposable nappies to see which work best for their baby's skin.
avoid using wipes with fragrances or alcohol
When changing nappies, it's important to avoid using wipes with fragrances or alcohol. These ingredients can be irritating to the skin, particularly during teething when the skin is already more sensitive. Instead, use a mild, unscented wipe or simply use water and a soft cloth to clean the baby's skin.
consider teething remedies
Finally, parents may wish to consider using teething remedies to help reduce the symptoms of teething and minimize the risk of nappy rash. There are several different remedies available, including non-toxic textured teethers that provide gentle counterpressure to sore gums, cooling teethers to reduce inflammation and if really problematic, some pharmaceutical products as recommended by your health care specialist. These can help to soothe the baby's gums and reduce the amount of drool, which can help to prevent skin irritation.
when to seek medical advice
In most cases, nappy rash during teething can be managed effectively using the strategies outlined above. However, in some cases, nappy rash may become more severe and require medical attention. Parents should seek medical advice if:
- - The nappy rash is severe, with blistering or bleeding skin
- - The baby is in significant discomfort or appears to be in pain
- - The rash does not improve after several days of home treatment
- - The baby develops a fever or other symptoms of illness
In these cases, a doctor may recommend additional treatment, such as a medicated cream or ointment.
Teething can be a challenging time for both babies and parents, and nappy rash is just one of the many potential side effects. However, by taking steps to keep the nappy area clean and dry, using a barrier cream, giving the baby plenty of nappy-free time, and choosing the right type of nappy, parents can minimize the risk of nappy rash during teething.
If nappy rash does develop, it can usually be managed effectively at home, but parents should seek medical advice if the rash is severe or does not improve after several days of treatment.
By being proactive and taking steps to prevent and manage nappy rash, parents can help their babies get through the teething process more comfortably and with less irritation.
It's also important to remember that nappy rash is a common condition that affects many babies, regardless of whether they are teething or not. While teething can increase the risk of nappy rash, there are many other factors that can contribute to this condition, including the baby's diet, the type of nappy they are wearing, and even the weather.
By paying close attention to the baby's skin and taking steps to prevent and manage nappy rash as soon as it arises, parents can help keep their baby soothed and smiling.
In addition to the strategies outlined above, there are a few other things parents can do to help prevent nappy rash. These include:
- - Avoiding tight-fitting clothing that can trap moisture and irritate the skin
- - Using a gentle detergent to wash the baby's clothes and bedding
- - Avoiding fabric softeners and other additives that can be irritating to the skin
- - Using a gentle body wash to bathe the baby, and avoiding bubble baths or other products that can dry out the skin
By taking a holistic approach to preventing nappy rash, parents can help keep their baby's skin healthy and comfortable. While nappy rash can be a frustrating and painful condition for babies, with the right care and attention, it can usually be managed effectively. By staying vigilant and taking steps to prevent nappy rash from occurring in the first place, parents can help ensure that their baby stays happy, healthy, and comfortable during the teething process and beyond.