With my first son, Phillip, we had a great pediatrician from India. This man was very gentle with babies and you could tell when he held a baby that he loved children. When my son was a few days old, this doctor told me something that I had a difficult time grasping at first. He said, "Don't wipe your baby's bottom every time you change the diaper."
This seemed foreign to me. I listened but I walked away thinking he didn't know what he was talking about. I was under the impression that I was to clean that baby thoroughly every time I changed him.
Well, I set out to do just what the doctor told me; after all, he was the expert and I was a new mom! I realized somewhere along the line that the doctor was right. The only time I would wipe the baby's bottom was when he had a bowel movement never when he was wet. Looking back I realized how wise that doctor really was. He understood that the PH of the baby's skin was the same as the acid in the urine. Rubbing the baby's sensitive skin 9 or 10 times a day, coupled with the constant PH change was a sure cause of a sore baby bottom. The urine didn't cause a diaper rash, the wiping did! There was one other culprit that would cause a rash and that was a bowel movement.
With 5 children over several years, I can tell you that diaper rash honestly did not happen at our house. I attribute this to a quick and immediate change with diaper wipes whenever there was a bowel movement and NO wiping baby's bottom when there wasn't a bowel movement. Over the years I received many snide comments from on-lookers and well-intentioned friends and family but I would happily report to them that it was the doctor's orders! What could they say to that?
To wipe or not to wipe must be a personal decision and I will leave you with this bit of "only wiping with bowel movement" information to do with what you will. One more thing though, after years of dealing with doctors, I wish I could tell you that they were all "experts" and that you should always do exactly everything they say, unfortunately, I have not found this to be true. I have found that there are some really good doctors out there and even then you should use your best judgment when dealing you're your child.
While we are on the subject of baby bottoms and baby wipes, you might want to use this recipe. I made these wipes for over 5 years and always had them on hand. They were easy and saved a lot of money and my husband and I always felt they were just as good as the store brand!
Home Made Baby Wipes
If you go to a second hand store you can pick up an electric knife for about $3 and use it to cut your paper towels in half the short way. I tried other paper towels that were cheaper than Bounty and they would fall apart and mold if you left them in the container, so stick with Bounty for best results.
- 1/2 Roll of Bounty paper towels
- 1-Cup Water
- 1 TBS baby oil
- 2 TBS baby shampoo or baby bath of your choice
- Rubbermaid cylinder type container or old baby wipe container.
Mix all liquid ingredients in cylinder container. Remove outside plastic and inner cardboard tube from paper towels and place them in the container and put the lid on tight. Flip container over and wait until towels are thoroughly saturated. Pull wipes from middle.
© 2003 by Michelle Shelton. All rights reserved
Michelle Shelton is an author, parenting coach, parent consultant, acclaimed public speaker, and parent educator. Michelle is the author of the well known column Life with all these Kids. Visit her web site www.askmichelleshelton.com or contact her at 480-577-8272.
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