Last year, I helped out a neighbor every so often by babysitting her two-year-old. She quickly filled me in on the basics: the child’s food allergies, TV rules and diaper changing specifics. The mom mentioned something I hadn’t heard before, but a quick Internet search told me she was not alone in her thinking. She asked that I only wipe the child if there was poop, but if the child had only peed, to just change the diaper and move on. Wiping after just peeing, she suspected, caused her child diaper rash. It was just a theory she had developed over time, but does it have some validity?
Logically, yes. The idea of wiping as an adult is to keep the area dry. But when a baby is wearing a diaper, that moisture gets whisked into the fluff of the diaper. Urine is sterile at first. Bacteria only start to develop over time. Most of the time, when changing a diaper with only pee, the child’s skin will be dry.
Another issue with wiping causing diaper rash can be the wipe itself. Wipes with perfumes or alcohol can irritate the baby’s sensitive skin. Check to make sure the wipes you’re using are perfume and alcohol free, such as Cuties Premium Baby Wipes. These wipes also have the added advantage of being hypoallergenic and having aloe and vitamin E in them.
An Internet search reveals that many doctors believe wiping after changing a pee diaper is unnecessary. Does this mean it’s always harmful to wipe a child after changing a pee-filled diaper? No. Every child’s skin and PH-balance is different. If your child is developing diaper rash, first pay attention to the diaper changing regimen, and see what changes need to be made.