Diaper Wipes Are They Good or Bad For Baby’s Bottom?
Diaper wipes are a fixture on baby changing tables and are an accepted means for cleaning baby’s bottom. Many new mothers worry about the safety of using diaper wipes that have harsh chemicals, fragrances and alcohol in them. How safe are they?
In a study that made headlines, researchers from the University of Manchester published a study in BMC Pediatrics that refuted a recommendation from UK’s National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) to only use water and cotton wool on an infant’s bottom. The study found that Johnson’s Baby Extra Sensitive Wipes were both safe and as hydrating as using water.
Many pediatricians recommend that for infants under three months of age one should use only water and cotton pads, balls, or even a soft paper towel or wash cloth. Some of the fragrances and cleaning lotions in diaper wipes can irritate a baby’s skin, causing the skin to become raw and chafed. This can lead to a case of diaper rash.
Many brands have now started offering diaper wipes for sensitive skin, and unscented wipes. These are the best commercial options for cleaning baby’s bottom. Contrary to what some parents believe, diaper wipes are not unsafe but definitely can irritate little tushes, especially infants that have extra sensitive skin. Alcohol is a common ingredient, and that is very drying for your child’s skin.
There are several options if you do not want to use a commercial diaper wipe. Using cotton washcloths or cotton pads and plain water is one alternative. Another is do it yourself wipes. Making your own baby wipes is not only cost effective, but will give you the added assurance of knowing exactly what is touching baby’s sensitive skin.
One way to make them is to cut a roll of paper towels in half, removing the cardboard tube. Mix two cups of sterilized water, two tablespoons of baby wash, and one tablespoon of baby oil together in a container. Place paper towels in the container cut side down and seal container. Allow liquid to absorb for about ten minutes. Turn container upside down and absorb the liquid for another ten minutes. Wipes are now ready to use. Some moms find that adding a tablespoon of tea tree, coconut, or lavender oil adds an antibacterial property to homemade diaper wipes and stops mold from appearing in the wipes.
A couple other tricks to make any wipes more effective are to make sure baby’s tushie is totally dry before fastening the diaper, which is healthier for your child’s skin and helps cut down on diaper rash. Wipes can aggravate diaper rash. Another thing to be sure to do is not let your child sit in a wet or poopie diaper. If left in a dirty diaper, baby’s skin is harder to clean, and you may have to use more wipes. A final trick is to apply a thin film of petroleum jelly to baby’s bottom, which acts as a barrier so poops do not stick to tender little tushies.
It is a personal decision whether or not to use commercial diaper wipes. They are safe, but to help baby’s skin to stay less irritated, remember to use ones labeled sensitive or unscented.