Newborn Care: Nappies
13:24 (GMT+2), Wed, 20 July 2011
Everything you need to know about nappies and caring for your baby's buttocks:
This is something that you will do at least 4 000 times for each baby you have, so it is worth doing well. Good buttock care at each nappy change will prevent painful, unsightly rashes. These tips will keep baby's buttocks as smooth as they should be:
How many nappies will my baby need in the early weeks?
- Change soiled nappies promptly.
- If at home, wash baby's buttocks in the basin or a bowl with sufficient water and a gentle soap at every change.
- Avoid cleaning with cotton wool and oil.
- Do not routinely wipe your baby's buttocks down with a moist flannel.
- Pre-soaped wipes should only be used for convenience when travelling or away from home.
- Once cleaned, leave your baby to play without a nappy for ten minutes to allow the area to dry well.
- If she has a rash or sensitive skin in this area, expose the buttocks to five to ten minutes of direct non-midday sun each day to speed up healing.
- If she has a bad rash, moisten a rooibos teabag with two teaspoons boiling water, allow to cool, place on affected area and leave on under nappy until the next change, as this has skin-healing properties.
- Stubborn rashes often indicate a thrush infection and this should be treated with an anti-fungal cream like Daktarin or the tissue salt kali mur.
- Choosing a good-quality disposable nappy helps to prevent rashes and irritations.
By Sister Lilian
- Remember, babies' sizes vary so rather don't buy too many disposable nappies in one size until you see how your baby grows.
- In the first 6 weeks of life, especially if breastfeeding, almost every nappy is soiled and she can easily need between six and ten nappies a day.
- From 6 to 12 weeks this should settle at about six nappies a day (breast babies will be soiling a lot less by this stage, sometimes only one nappy a week because breast milk is so perfectly digested).
- After 3 months, right up to 6 months, five to six nappies a day will be fine unless there is a tummy bug doing the rounds.
- From 6 months, five nappies a day is usually sufficient.
- After 1 year, as few as four a day until your baby is off nappies altogether.
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