Authored By: Dr. Preeti Sharma
Sr. Consultant Paediatrician
Using a diaper seems to be a very easy task but if certain basic rules are not followed during diapering, it can lead to diaper rash, skin infection, urinary tract infections etc.
Cloth diaper vs. disposable diaper –
- Both kind of diapers have their own set of pros and cons.
- Cloth diapers have to be changed immediately after they are soiled.
- Cloth diapers allow flow of air and babies are less likely to develop diaper rash.
- Disposable diapers absorb urine and prevent the baby from feeling the wetness but if the child passes stools they also have to be changed immediately.
- Air circulation is not good in disposable diapers increasing chance of baby developing diaper rash.
- Some babies may be sensitive to the material used in disposable diapers.
- If a baby develops diaper rash with disposable diaper it is best to use cloth diapers till the time the rash heals.
Cleaning cloth diapers –
- Cloth diapers should be washed separately.
- They should be soaked for a longer duration before washing.
- Detergents should be preferred to washing soap.
- Detergents containing fragrances or fabric softeners should not be used as they can cause irritation to baby’s skin.
- Disinfectants like Dettol or Savlon can be used. Add approximately 1 cap to 1 bucket of water during soaking.
- Rinse thoroughly to ensure that all detergent and disinfectant is washed off.
Diaper change –
- Once the baby has passed stools the diaper should be changed immediately and the area should be cleaned thoroughly.
- Wipes or cotton balls can be used for cleaning.
- If you feel your baby is developing a rash after use of a particular brand of wipes, you can try changing the brand or try using cotton balls.
- For baby girls always clean from front to back (start from vaginal area and then go up to perianal area). This helps in preventing urinary tract infection.
- The area should be dried after cleaning by patting with a clean cotton cloth. Never rub the area.
- If your baby has sensitive skin or has a diaper rash, apply diaper rash cream after cleaning and drying.
- Wash your hands before and after a diaper change.
- Put on diaper a little loosely to allow for air circulation.
- In new-born babies make sure the diaper is below the umbilical cord till the time it falls off.
- If possible allow child to be diaper free or put on cloth diapers for a few hours every day.