Nappy Rash – Cloth Nappies your Questions Answered




Nappy Rash - Cloth Nappies your Questions Answered

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Do Cloth Nappies Cause Nappy Rash?

Ever wondered whether cloth nappies could actually cause nappy rash? Well, the answer is no! Read on to learn more about how cloth nappies can help prevent your little one from getting a nasty case of nappy rash.

Nappy Rash FAQs

What is nappy rash?

Nappy rash is an annoying skin condition that can be caused by many factors, including wearing wet clothes for too long. One of the most popular theories is that cloth nappies cause nappy rash because they are tighter against the skin than disposable ones. However, research shows that there isn’t a link between using cloth or disposable nappies and getting a nappy rash. If your child does have this issue, it’s important to find out what causes their symptoms so you can treat them properly!

What are the symptoms of nappy rash?

There are several symptoms of nappy rash, including:

– Redness and sores around the genital area.

– Itching or sore skin in this area as well.

– Discomfort when your baby is sitting down.

– Dry, flaky skin.

– Foul-smelling nappy area.

Can nappy rashes spread all over the body?

Generally, no, nappy rashes are confined to the nappy area. However, there is a chance that the infection can spread to other parts of your baby’s body. This could happen if they have nappy rash and then scratch their skin, causing it to bleed or become infected. Make sure you treat any sores on areas other than the genitals as soon as possible so the infection doesn’t get worse!

What causes nappy rashes?

There are many different causes of nappy rash, and it’s important that you find out what caused your child to develop this skin condition. Some causes include:

  • Food allergies or intolerances.
  • Cows milk protein allergy (CMPA).
  • Chafing is caused by wet clothes for too long.
  • Getting a yeast infection after taking antibiotics or using steroid creams.
  • Contagious skin conditions such as impetigo and scabies can also cause a nappy rash! Don’t forget, it’s possible that your baby might get a nappy rash for no obvious reason.
  • Poor hygiene – remember to change a dirty nappy straight away and clean thoroughly around the area to prevent nappy rash.

Allergies to soaps or detergents Wearing wet clothes for too long Using the wrong type of nappies Having an illness such as chickenpox Not changing their diaper often enough Poor hygiene

Tips for preventing nappy rash

If you want to prevent your child from getting a nasty case of nappy rash, it’s important that you change them frequently throughout the day and ensure they are wearing clean clothes each time. It can also be helpful to use cloth diapers instead of disposable ones so their skin isn’t constantly in contact with wet clothes.

If you want your child’s case of nappy rash to be an isolated incident, it might help if you change them more frequently throughout the day. It can also be helpful to introduce a routine where you wash your child’s bottom after every change or at least several times per day!

How long does nappy rash last?

Nappy rash typically lasts between three and five days, however, if your child’s symptoms are more severe it can take up to two weeks for them to subside! It’s important that you treat the condition immediately once you notice any signs of irritation or discomfort because these rashes can be extremely painful and uncomfortable for your child.

What to do if my child has severe nappy rash

If your child has developed a severe case of nappy rash, it’s important that you see them to the doctor right away. You can also purchase over-the-counter treatments from supermarkets or pharmacies if symptoms are only mild and should start to subside by themselves within several days.

How to Treat Nappy Rash

Don’t fret – there are several ways to get rid of nappy rash! Choose one method below that best fits you and your baby. You can also use multiple methods at once if necessary, but make sure they’re all safe for him or her too (and remember: rashes often clear up on their own).

Change your baby’s nappy more frequently. Make sure that you dry their skin properly after every change (use a clean towel or pat them dry). If they wear disposable diapers, make sure to use sensitive wipes instead of the normal ones!

Make sure that your baby is drinking plenty of fluids so they can produce enough urine and reduce any yeast infections. If your baby is old enough to eat solids, make sure they are eating healthy foods with plenty of vitamin C and zinc (oranges, strawberries, red peppers), although introduce new foods slowly and monitor if any cause nappy rash. My own son used to get severe nappy rash if he drank orange juice.

Give them a nappy rash cream or hydrocortisone cream that has been tested for babies. Nappy rash creams will help soothe any discomfort immediately! Use a natural one containing shea butter or similar natural creams if using cloth nappies or if your child has sensitive skin. We love Weleda nappy cream or the child farm nappy cream for cloth nappies.

Bathe them using plain water and pat dry gently (don’t rub ). After the bath, apply a generous amount of nappy rash cream.

If your child has any signs of infection (pus-filled blisters or red streaks), make sure to go see their doctor right away! You can also call NHS 111 if you need further advice about how best to care for your baby’s skin condition.

Consider switching your baby wipes to a more gentle type at nappy change time. Baby wipes often contain harsh chemicals and alcohol which can sting and hurt the baby’s delicate skin, especially broken skin. Barrier creams or baby rash cream will help protect delicate skin against wet or dirty nappies and nappy rubbing.

Should I use talcum powder?

NO! Talcum powder is not safe for babies and it’s easy to accidentally inhale the fine particles when using, which can lead to respiratory issues. It also clogs up skin pores, meaning that your baby would be more likely to develop nappy rash instead of preventing it!

Nappy changes in the past often included talc to keep baby’s skin dry however it’s worth noting that the risks of using talc on babies are significant.

When you should call your GP

If your child’s nappy rash is particularly severe or doesn’t heal up after using either of these treatments, it may be time for you to visit your doctor who can prescribe something stronger like an antifungal cream or a steroid cream.

Nappies & Nappy Rash FAQs

Are disposable nappies better for nappy rash?

Although there isn’t a link between cloth nappies and nappy rash, many parents still choose to use disposable nappies over cloth ones because they are seen as the better option. However, it’s important that you know what is happening in your child’s skin when wearing both types of diapers before making a decision on which one suits them best.

Are cloth nappies bad for babies with sensitive skin?

There is no evidence to suggest that using disposable or cloth nappies will cause your child’s skin to be irritated more than the other, however, if you are concerned about this it may be worth trying out both types of diapers and seeing which one works best for them!

What are the best nappies for nappy rash?

If your child does have a nappy rash, it’s important to treat them immediately. You can do this by removing the wet or dirty diaper and gently cleaning their skin with some warm water before applying a thin layer of barrier cream. It’s also recommended that you change diapers frequently throughout the day so your baby doesn’t experience discomfort or pain.

Are cloth nappies bad for babies?

Although many parents assume that using cloth nappies is uncomfortable or irritating on their child, this isn’t true! Using these diapers can actually prevent irritations such as diaper rash because they are made of a natural fabric that is gentle on your baby’s skin.

Should reusable nappies leave marks?

There is no evidence to suggest that using a cloth or disposable nappies can leave marks on your baby’s skin, however, if you are worried about this it may be helpful to try out both types of diapers and see which one works best for them!

You may need to consider your nappy fit, is it too tight? Is it in the wrong setting? Is a synthetic fabric causing a reaction? It is a heat sweat rash? Your child may benefit by switching to natural fabric like organic cotton which allows their skin to breathe.

Antibiotics & Cloth Nappies

If your baby recently taking antibiotics or has had a live vaccine then its vital to sterilise your nappies between washes.

Nappy Thrush & Cloth Nappies FAQs

What does nappy thrush look like?

If your child is suffering from nappy thrush and you aren’t too sure what it looks like, there are a number of signs to look out for. For example, skin rashes in the genital area may cause redness or irritation; white spots on their genitals that can be either thick or thin layers; bad-smelling discharge or itchiness.

What should I do if my child has thrush and I use reusable nappies?

If your child is suffering from nappy thrush and you are using reusable nappies, it’s important that you change them frequently throughout the day to reduce any irritation or discomfort. You can also try switching to a disposable diaper for the time being until their skin clears up!

You need to ensure that your cloth nappies are sanitised between each wash. Read our guide to deep cleaning cloth nappies here for help and advice is doing this.

Nappy Rash Creams FAQs

How often should I use baby nappy rash cream?

How often should I use baby nappy rash cream?

If you choose to use a nappy rash cream, it’s important that you apply the product every few hours or when your baby changes their diaper.

If you don’t put any products on in between these times and only once per day, this won’t be sufficient enough for them!

What barrier cream can I use with cloth nappies?

If you are using cloth nappies, it’s important to choose a barrier cream that is free from any perfumes or chemicals or petroleum-based products (yes, sadly most nappy rash creams contain petroleum!). This will ensure your baby’s skin doesn’t become irritated when in contact with the cream.

A nappy cream baby balm made from natural oils is ideal as a nappy rash treatment when using washable nappies. If it is just a mild nappy rash then just apply a little bit to the irritated skin.

Can adults use baby nappy rash cream?

YES! Although many parents assume that using a nappy rash cream is only suitable for babies, this isn’t true! These products are often specially formulated to be gentle on your baby’s skin but can actually benefit adults too. They work by sealing moisture in the affected area and preventing further infections from occurring which helps heal it up much faster.

Is coconut oil good for nappy rash?

YES! Coconut oil is a natural product that contains many essential vitamins and minerals which make it great to use as an alternative treatment for nappy rash. It’s also been proven to be much gentler on your baby or child’s skin than other products such as zinc oxide, petroleum jelly or even A&D ointment. Many people are now using it as a natural nappy cream and it is suitable for use with reusable nappies.

What are the best nappy rash creams for cloth nappies?

If we had to pick one overall we would opt for Weleda nappy cream, but really it depends on how bad your rash is and your child. Any good natural barrier cream at nappy change time will make a huge difference.

Can I use metanium nappy rash ointment with reusable nappies?

Yes along as you use a paper liner to prevent your cloth nappy from being destroyed. Metanium nappy rash ointment contains zinc oxide which is the number one ingredient used in barrier cream to create a protective barrier against moisture. This means that if you use this product on your baby’s skin it will help stop their sensitive areas from getting irritated and causing them pain when they are wearing reusable cloth diapers, but it will also prevent any moisture from seeping out of the nappy onto their skin. Once you have used a barrier cream on your child’s bum, it is important to change them every couple of hours or so depending on how wet they are and keep applying more throughout the day until their rash disappears!

What barrier cream can I use with cloth nappies?

Use a natural one that can be applied to cracked skin, offering skin protection but does not ruin your nappy. If you have a particularly stubborn rash you can use any cream as long as you use a disposable paper liner to protect the cloth nappy. This is because the barrier cream can clog the holes in the nappy and stop them from absorbing and working well.

You can also use medical-grade lanolin which works well on the severe rash. Just smooth it into the nappy area gently then put a paper liner between nappy and cream.

Nappy Free Time

One of the best things you can do to treat nappy rash is to give your baby lots of nappy free time, no matter what time of nappies you are using. Your baby’s nappy rash will often heal itself with a bit of fresh air! This allows their skin to breathe and reduces the risk of any further infections.

How can I treat nappy rash with home remedies?

How can I treat nappy rash with home remedies?

There are a number of natural ways you can help soothe your baby’s nappy rash at home using simple ingredients such as breastmilk, baking soda or even mashed potatoes!

These are easy to apply and absorb well into the skin.

What is the best nappy rash ointment?

There are many different types of nappy rash creams on the market, all with different ingredients and levels of effectiveness – it really depends on your child’s skin type as to which one you should use! An antifungal cream will be suitable to treat fungal nappy rash and these can only be prescribed by your doctor. You can use antiseptic healing cream and many are natural


There isn’t a link between cloth nappies and nappy rash, however, if you do have concerns about this it can be helpful to try out both types of diapers before making a decision to see which one works best for them! It’s also important that parents understand what is happening in their child’s skin when wearing cloth or disposable nappies so they know what factors are causing the issue.

This article was written by: Gian MIller – Full-Time Writer, Baby Whisperer & Dad of 3.

Gian spends a lot of his time writing. A self-proclaimed baby whisperer, Gian has been through it all with his own children and is passionate about sharing his hard-won wisdom with other parents. When he’s not writing or changing diapers, you can find him playing the guitar or watching baseball (or preferably both at the same time).

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