We can prevent diaper rash by looking into the cause of the rash. While you cannot prevent your baby's bottom from being soiled by pee and poo, you can make a conscious effort to keep it clean and ensure a hygienic condition.
When your baby is still on milk or has just started on solids, check your baby's diaper whenever he wakes up from a nap. If there is pee or poo, change the diaper immediately. The most basic prevention is to avoid exposing your baby's skin to a soiled diaper.
Wipe your baby's bottom gently but thoroughly to ensure that there is no residual pee or poo on your baby's skin. When you wipe your baby, remember not only to clean the area around the anus and genitalia but also around the thighs, skin folds and lower abdomen. It will be good to use cotton wool moistened with lukewarm water and baby wipes alternately. Be gentle, do not to rub when you wipe.
When you clean your baby's genitalia, always wipe from front to back. If you wipe from back to front, bacteria may be transferred from your baby's bottom to her vulva. This may lead to "vulvovaginitis" or "bladder inflammation". If wet poo is found around the vulva, use your fingers to gently open up the skin folds and clean carefully.
If you are cleaning up after a pee, gently wipe your baby's penis head to make sure it is dry. After a poo, thoroughly wipe around his genitalia, including the area behind the penis and testicles where there may be hidden poo residue.
When your baby has diarrhoea, a larger area of his bottom will be soiled. It will be difficult to clean thoroughly using a small piece of cotton wool. If you wipe repeatedly due to the frequency of the diarrhoea, you may damage your baby's skin. Try to wash his bottom as much as possible instead of wiping.
Give your baby's bottom a quick wipe. Then place only his bottom into a basin filled with lukewarm water and wash the area. You may use the sink if it is more convenient to clean up after use.
If your baby can sit up straight on his own or if he can stand with some support, you may also wash your baby in the shower. But be careful that your baby does not slip and fall during or after the wash.
Lukewarm Water in a Plastic Bottle
This is a convenient method if your baby has yet to develop head control and needs support for his neck. When changing his diaper, leave the diaper under his bottom after unfastening it. Pour the water from the bottle and give your baby a quick wash.
If your baby's skin is not completely dry before putting on his diaper, heat and moisture may be trapped in the diaper. Use a soft towel to thoroughly wipe your baby's bottom after washing or bathing. Do not rub but gently pat dry with a towel. Allow his bottom to dry completely before putting on a new diaper. Give your baby some "bare-butt" time occasionally. Leave him "diaper-less" for a while to give his bottom a chance to "breathe".
Maternity & Gynaecological Clinic
820 Thomson Road, Mount Alvernia Medical Centre, Block A #B1-01, Singapore 574623