A guide to the different types of nappies and tips on changing nappies and nappy rash.


There's a world of nappies out there, but they can be reduced to just two types – disposable and cloth.

Disposable nappies are the most convenient type of nappy and they come in a range of styles to suit the baby's sex, weight and time of use (night-time nappies are more absorbent). Environmentally friendly disposable nappies, which have less impact on the planet, are also available.

Avoid using wipes, which can add to the irritation.

Cloth nappies are gentler on the baby's skin and work out cheaper than disposables, despite the need for nappy pins, plastic pants and nappy liners. However, they involve a lot more work since they must be both washed and sterilised before use. Nonetheless, cloth nappies are currently gaining in popularity.

How many nappy changes?

Normally, you should be changing your baby about six times a day. If it’s less than this, then make sure that the he or she is not suffering from dehydration.

Nappy Rash

All babies develop nappy rash at some stage – it starts around the genital area and then spreads outwards. It is sore and irritating to the baby, but can be easily treated.

To Relieve Nappy Rash

  • Don’t let baby lie in a wet nappy – change it immediately.
  • When there is a bowel movement, wash the baby’s bottom with warm water and cotton wool (avoid using any type of soap).
  • Avoid using wipes, which can add to the irritation.
  • If using a cloth nappy, at night-time put a disposable pad in the nappy to soak up the urine that causes the rash.
  • Leave the baby’s bottom exposed to air whenever possible.
  • Get a zinc oxide barrier cream from your chemist to ease irritation and prevent the rash from spreading.
  • Make sure that cloth nappies are thoroughly washed. Adding half a cup of vinegar will help neutralise the ammonia that causes nappy rash.
  • Use a different type of nappy and see if things improve.

If none of the above proves helpful, seek advice from your public health nurse or doctor or visit Everymum's Baby Section for more advice and helpful tips.
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