[See The Tale of a Bottom for background reading.]

Since Wednesday, a few things relevant to bottoms have happened:

  • Baby M has been in disposable nappies (albeit chemical free, supposedly rash-preventive ones) whilst at nursery.
  • We’ve been using a new kind of cream prescribed by the doctor (just an emollient)
  • Baby M has also had continued stupid amounts of nappy-free time whilst at home, complete with wee in the bed and poo on the carpet (nice)
  • Tooth No 19 has thoroughly sprouted, meaning that the nastiness of her wee dropped a few points (yay! but see below)

Baby M’s bottom of woe is now loads better: indeed, miraculously it seems, the rash (such as it was) has almost completely cleared up. Now, I could argue that the last two factors listed above are the sole reasons for this improvement. But in my heart I know that would be clinging to a fantasy more convenient than truth.

The truth is, the disposables and the cream have made a difference.

Today for example, Baby M was in a cloth nappy for a couple of hours – at her request – until I gave her a cuddle and could smell the ammonia a mile off*. I took the nappy off straight away and for the first time in a couple of days her bum was looking a little red again. From this, I conclude that at least when the ammonia / acidity levels of her wee are high from teething, cloth nappies do make her worse in a way that disposables seem not to**.

[* Yes it did get less strong, but has gone up to teething strength again. I think Tooth No 20 (the last one!) might be on its way again. I will be glad when this is over.]

[** I base my comments here on “eco-disposable” Moltex nappies only, which are (relatively, at least) chemical-free and have rash-calming ingredients like aloe vera. Pampers, I maintain, is still the nappy of the devil. Have you ever notice how much they STINK? Moltex don’t.]

I put some cream on, and left her bare-bottomed again. A little later she brought me the tube of cream, pointing at her bits, saying “‘appy, ‘appy” and looking sad. Clearly, she wanted me to put some more cream on because her bits were hurting – certainly she seemed jolly pleased when I did as asked. From all of which, I conclude that the cream, utterly pointless as I had previously deemed it, must be pretty soothing at the very least.

Overall I conclude: when baby has a bottom rash, and stinging wee, it may sometimes be a good idea to compromise your precious principles for the sake of her comfort.

So, Baby M, I apologise. If I’d got you some disposables and a tube of cream earlier, perhaps it would have cleared up earlier. I was too busy congratulating myself for knowing best, when in reality it looks like I didn’t.

We live and learn.