Diapering Decisions

Cloth diapers or disposables? Many new parents have debated this question as we all want the diapering decisions that are best for our little ones. When it comes to the environmental effects of disposable diapers in comparison to cloth, the evidence shows that there isn’t much difference between the two.

The goal of diapering is to contain baby’s waste while also preventing rash. Experts agree that disposable diapers are most effective in preventing rash because of their super absorbent ability to hold urine and stool away from baby’s skin. , due to their highly absorbent properties.

Most newborns go through about ten diapers a day, so be sure to stock up well before the baby arrives!

Diaper Rash Basics

Diaper rash is most commonly seen in infants age 9 to 12 months. Exposure to urine or feces, mixed with friction, can cause skin irritation leading to rash. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises that irritant diaper dermatitis can occur from constant and prolonged contact with urine and stool. Irritant diaper rash looks like a pink or reddened area of skin on baby’s bottom or genital area.

Yeast diaper rash is caused by an overgrowth of yeast, a type of fungus found naturally in the baby’s digestive tract. This yeast overgrows and presents itself around the diaper area most commonly when the baby has taken antibiotics. A diaper yeast infection has pink or red patches like an irritant diaper rash, but will also include small bumps.

Prevent Diaper Rash

1. Change soiled diapers as soon as possible to reduce moisture on baby’s skin.

2. Cleanse the area gently with wipes designed to remove urine or stool from baby’s skin.

3. Give your baby diaper-free time as much as possible.

4. Apply a thick layer of diaper cream containing zinc oxide at each diaper change. It’s not necessary to remove any diaper cream at each chance; simply wipe away any soiled cream as needed.

5. Use superabsorbent, disposable diapers to keep the skin under the diaper as dry as possible.

6. Call your baby’s pediatrician if the rash has not improved after a few days or if you notice blisters, a worsening rash, pus coming from the rash; or if your baby develops a fever. These are all possible signs of an infection.

AWHONN thanks its partner, Huggies, for support of the Diapering Zone.

For more everyday diapering tips, visit resources from our partner, Huggies.

DID YOU KNOW…that one in three families do not have all the Diapers they need. Access our DIAPER DRIVE where you can find where to donate diapers in your community, or receive diapers as may be needed.

Author

Aliah Thomas RNC-OB, is a perinatal nurse who has worked in women's health for her entire career. She also serves as a Facilitator in the Nurse Residency Program for new graduates at her hospital and is passionate about patient education and advocacy.

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