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Nappies and Diapers

You will have to use nappies or diapers until your baby is potty trained. Baby can take up to minimum 2 years to gain full bladder and bowel control. So, you have to give consideration to which type of nappies you would prefer to use: reusable or disposable. There is a wide range available in the market today. It all depends on your convenience and circumstances.

Disposable versus Reusable

Neither type has an edge over the other since both have pros and cons.

• Reusable nappies are cumbersome - they need to be washed, sterilized and dried. They are no better at preventing nappy rash.

• Disposable nappies are expensive.

• Reusables or washables are more environment-friendly so more ecologically sound.

• Disposables have an adverse impact on the environment in the long run.

• Traditional reusables are bulky and can be uncomfortable for baby when he is mobile; modern reusables are specifically shaped and many come with Velcro fastenings so safety pins do not become an issue. It is a good idea to also use disposables with it to avoid heavy soiling when baby has a BM.

• Disposables are highly absorbent; it means that the nappy is less likely to leak and baby's skin stays drier. You still need to change your baby often - on the average about 10 nappies in 24 hours in the initial days.

• For reusable nappies you would need nappy pins or modern clips or Velcro tabs, liners and waterproof pants and buckets for soaking and sterilizing.

Things you will need

• Changing mat or towel

• Tissues

• Nappy (diaper)

• Baby wipes or cotton wool

• A bowl of warm water

• Barrier cream (Vaseline or diaper rash cream)

Cleaning your baby GIRL

Always clean baby's vulva and anus from front to back to avoid spreading bacteria from the anus to baby's vagina. Rinse away the faeces gently with damp cotton wool or wipes. Do not clean inside the labia.

Cleaning your baby BOY

When you remove the diaper, cover your baby boy's penis with the diaper or point his penis down so that he doesn't pee out; exposure to air causes baby boys to pee sometimes. Clean around the penis and scrotum with water. Always wipe the anus from front to back. Do not attempt to pull back the foreskin as this remains fixed until he is much older.

Changing Nappy

• Always change baby on a firm flat surface with a mat or towel underneath. Protect your back by either kneeling or using a table of the correct height.

• Never leave your baby unattended even for a few minutes; even a newborn can wriggle off a mat.

• Accumulate all the essentials you would need before attempting to change the nappy. Always give your baby air-time to play bottom free so that air gets to your baby's bottom as much as possible.

• Make sure you clean all the creases and folds of baby's skin with cotton ball dipped in water. Dry the area with a towel or napkin; put a fresh nappy under the bottom. Apply a think layer of barrier cream and close the nappy.

• Dispose off the contents but not the disposable nappy in the toilet if possible; do not flush the disposable nappy or liners down the toilet. Wrap the used diaper well and dispose them in bags in a covered bin or diaper pail.

• Some babies have sensitive bottoms and need a cream or ointment with each change: you can choose to use petroleum jelly which is suitable for rashes or dry skin. Use it after each diaper change. Or there is the white zinc oxide meant for babies who are more prone to rashes. It is thicker in consistency - use on all babies having diarrhea. Avoid any cream with steroids such as cortisone or hydrocortisone.

• Avoid using baby powder on a baby this young; it can get into your baby's lungs, cause irritation and even breathing problems. It can even worsen a diaper rash.

• Baby wipes are convenient alternatives when you are out and about. Buy unscented and alcohol free versions; dip in water to make cleaning more thorough and gentler on your baby's skin. Since wipes can irritate tender skin, reserve its use when you go out and stick to cotton wool whenever possible.

Diaper Rash

It is certainly preventable if you are vigilant about changing his nappy on time and frequently, especially if there is a BM. Bacteria in faeces breaks down the urine to release ammonia which ulcerates the skin. Use barrier cream as a preventive measure mainly; in the event of sore bums leave baby's nappy off whenever possible and apply the cream at every change. If rash persists for more than 3 days check with your doctor.

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Disclaimer: Information contained on this Web site is intended solely to make available general summarized information to the public. It should not be substituted for medical advice. It is your responsibility to consult with your pediatrician and/or health care provider before acting on any advice on this web site. While OEM endeavors to provide up-to-date and accurate information, it is not liable for any advice whatsoever rendered nor is it liable for the completeness or timeliness of any information on this site.
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