Almost all babies suffer from nappy rash in some form during their time wearing nappies - as a mum, it can feel inevitable. Seeing your baby's perfectly peachy bottom turn red raw and sore can be heartbreaking, especially when you've been taking care of their sensitive skin as best you can during nappy changes.
But, there are lots of nappy rash creams available to buy that will help clear up that red botty.
What causes nappy rash?
There are a number of causes of nappy rash. According to the NHS, the main causes of nappy rash are:
- Baby's skin being in contact with wee or poo for a long time
- The nappy rubbing against your baby's skin
- Not cleaning the nappy area or changing the nappy often enough
- Soap, detergent, or bubble bath
- Alcohol-based baby wipes
- Your baby recently taking antibiotics.
How to prevent nappy rash
You can prevent your baby from developing a nappy rash in a number of ways according to the NHS.
- Change wet or dirty nappies as soon as possible
- Clean the whole nappy area gently but thoroughly, wiping from front to back. Use water or fragrance-free and alcohol-free baby wipes
- Bath your baby daily – but avoid bathing them more than twice a day as that may dry out their skin
- Dry your baby gently after washing them – avoid vigorous rubbing
- Lie your baby on a towel and leave their nappy off for as long and as often as you can to let fresh air get to their skin
- Do not use soap, bubble baths, or lotions
- Do not use talcum powder as it contains ingredients that could irritate your baby's skin.
How to treat nappy rash
If you have found your baby's diaper rash isn't clearing up by itself, you can use a cream or other nappy rash treatment. There are three different types of nappy rash cream available, and it's important to know the difference so that you buy the best one to soothe the redness and soreness of your baby's bottom:
Use a barrier cream as a preventative measure in your daily nappy changing routine, as long as your baby’s skin is intact. Once your tot’s bum is completely dry, apply a super-thin layer before popping on their nappy.
If the skin on your bubba’s bum looks dry, itchy, or scaly, then an emollient will help to get their skin back into a state where it can deal with the onslaught of all the poo and wee. They soothe, smooth, and hydrate the skin, but you’ll need to reapply frequently.
If that nappy rash is starting to look a little worse, then apply twice a day until the rash resolves. It’ll help to soothe your child's skin as it gets to work on the bacteria, so it’ll quickly help them feel more comfortable too.
If your little one has a Candida nappy rash, the infection will need to be treated with an anti-fungal cream. Get your GP's advice first - they'll be able to identify if it is indeed a fungal infection. If you want to buy it over the counter, you'll probably have to speak to the pharmacist first to make sure you're getting the best product.
Find out more about the different types of nappy rash in our essential guide here.
When you should ring your GP
If your baby's nappy rash isn't clearing up after using a general nappy rash cream, if it's getting worse, or if it's bleeding and looking infected, then book an appointment with your GP to get it checked out. They can do a test to find out if the rash is infected and advise you on the best course of action.
Which are the best nappy rash creams?
With so many different creams on the market, we've rounded up the best nappy rash creams you can buy today to pop them in your online shopping basket now:
Best barrier creams
Bepanthen Nappy Care Ointment won Silver for Best Baby Skincare Range/Product at the Mother&Baby Awards 2019.
This is one of the most popular nappy rash creams on the market, and mums swear by it. You can use it as a barrier cream to prevent the rash from occurring, or, if the rash appears, apply it to soothe and heal that red bottom.
Mum Georgina says: "I would recommend this cream to a friend as it does what I would expect from a nappy cream. Luckily, it is rare for my baby to get a nappy rash but at the first sign of any redness I have put a small layer of Bepanthen on and the redness has resolved by the next nappy change. One small tube lasts a very long time."
Read more mum reviews of this product here.
If you don't have a pot of this in the bathroom, are you even a parent? It's a must-have and looks after bums and other sore bits throughout childhood. Just make sure you don't leave it within reach of little hands - it gets EVERYWHERE. The water-repellent base will prevent rashes from occurring, but if there is a soreness, it'll soothe and calm that bottom straight away.
If you need any more reasons to get a pot of Sudocrem in the house, here are 10 clever uses for your pot of Sudocrem that you've probably never thought of.
Sudocrem Care & Protect was shortlisted for Best Baby Skincare Range/Product in 2014 and 2015 - read our review here.
The My Expert Midwife No Harm Bum Balm won Gold in the 2021 Mother&Baby Awards Best Nappy Cream category.
This rich but simple nappy cream provides gentle, effective relief and protection, and helps to prevent skin damage and soreness. Midwife developed and mum approved, this 100 per cent naturally derived, ultra-smooth serum takes care of the delicate skin. Containing only five ingredients, including medical-grade lanolin for skin protection and calendula for soothing redness and soreness, this rich but thin serum glides on easily without dragging sore skin. The one-handed dispenser is hygienic and helps when managing a wriggling baby.
Mum tester Julianne says: "This product is so smooth and easy to put on. It has reduced the time spent changing my daughter's nappy as she no longer suffers from redness after I have been using it for over two weeks. I have found other products are larger to carry around so this fits perfectly into my changing bag so it is the ideal product for a busy Mum."
Read the winning review here.
The Weleda range was shortlisted in the 2019 Mother&Baby Awards Best Baby Skincare Range/Product category.
Specially formulated to look after babies' bottoms, this gentle but effective cream is an Mother&Baby favourite. It contains completely natural organic ingredients, with each Weleda product researched by a team of midwives and pharmacists to support the development of healthy skin.
Mum Victoria says: "I would recommend the Weleda range as they are a reasonably priced complete range that is suitable for a baby as well as older children, particularly those with sensitive skin. The whole range smells divine and they last well as you only need a small amount. The nappy cream is also good, rubs in easily and it seems to prevent nappy rash well."
Read our full review of the Weleda Calendula range here.
The Good Bubble Organic Coconut Oil won Silver in the 2021 Mother&Baby Awards Best Nappy Cream category.
Suitable for newborns and those with sensitive skin, this lovely tub of virgin, organic coconut oil is an ideal moisturiser for happy bottoms, helping to protect delicate skin. The multi-purpose wonder balm can be used on dry skin for both baby and mum. It's also perfect for winding down after bath time with a gentle baby massage. Paediatrician approved and clinically proven as suitable for sensitive and eczema-prone little ones.
Mum tester Carol says: "I really love all of this range. The containers that they all come in excellent and suitable for what's inside. My favourite is the wash with the push-down lid as the fragrance is lovely. Another favourite is the coconut oil moisturiser that's suitable for newborns. My little one has dry skin, and this has been amazing. I like how the products are all-natural based, and there are no nasties inside."
Read our full tried and tested review here.
The Burt's Bees Baby Diaper Ointment was Shortlisted in the 2021 Mother&Baby Awards Best Nappy Cream category.
Burt's Bees Baby™ 100% Natural Diaper Rash Ointment has protecting properties to treat and prevent diaper rash. It's 100 per cent natural with 40 per cent zinc oxide, the maximum strength needed to seal out moisture that can irritate your baby's bottom.
It'll nourish and recondition your baby's skin naturally with shea butter, lavender oil and jojoba seed oil while creating an emollient layer to absorb wetness leaving baby's skin soft, dry, and smooth.
Mum tester Tammy said: "The Burts Bees Diaper Ointment is easy to use and smells great. It dries in quickly which definitely makes life and nappy changing a lot easier! I have used the cream on my newborn and 2 years old and both have been fine using it. My newborn kept getting a nappy rash, but since using this she has been fine."
Read our full review here from our real mum testers.
The Childs Farm Nappy Cream was shortlisted in the 2021 Mother&Baby Awards Best Nappy Cream category.
Childs Farm Nappy Cream contains aloe vera, cocoa and shea butters to create happy bottoms protected from nappy rash. These super moisturising ingredients keep skin cells plump helping to form a barrier against bacteria and infection. Suitable for newborns and upwards, it's dermatologist and paediatrician approved as suitable for sensitive skin and safe for people who may be prone to eczema. Listed as 'cloth safe' by the UK Cloth Nappy Library Network, it is registered with The Vegan Society and certified by Cruelty-Free International.
Mum tester Sophie says: "I would recommend the Childs Farm Nappy cream to other Mums, particularly if they had eczema as it seems so gentle but effective, and my little one has never had a significant nappy rash as a result. It can also be used on other problem areas such as dry or irritated skin, and I used it with success behind my baby's ears."
Read our full tried and tested review of the Childs Farm Nappy Cream here.
The Neal's Yard Remedies Baby Barrier Cream was shortlisted in the 2021 Mother&Baby Awards Best Nappy Cream category.
Help keep baby's skin soft and comfortable with this cream. Made with nourishing organic beeswax and organic chamomile, it is suitable for baby's delicate skin and 100 per cent natural. Recommended for babies from three months old, apply at each nappy change to help keep baby soft and comfortable and prevent nappy rash in the future.
Mum tester Danielle says: "My daughter has been using this cream for 3 weeks now, and we are yet to have a nappy rash breakout, so it’s a big thumbs up from me. I love the smell and texture of the cream and a little bit goes such a long way. In addition to this, it’s so easy to apply, and I find there’s less residue left behind after using the product compared to others I have used in this market. This makes it easier for me when trying to get the clean nappy on after applying. We both don’t get in such a mess!"
Read our full review of the Neal's Yard Remedies Baby Barrier Cream here.
The Kit & Kin Baby Bundle was shortlisted for Best Baby Skincare Range/Product at the 2019 Mother&Baby Awards.
This all-natural certified organic balm from Kit & Kin is specifically designed to soothe baby's sore skin, using naturally nourishing oils and botanical extracts. It smells divine and smoothes over your tot's bottom to create a barrier, preventing a rash, or soothing nappy rash once it appears.
Mum Lauren says: "I used it on several minor rashes and scratches at night and they all but disappeared by the morning. It’s also a treatment for sore and inflamed skin, nappy rash and dry spots. You also only need to use a tiny amount, making it much better value than other toiletries in the range."
Read our full review of the Kit & Kin range here.
Best emollient cream
When Sophie Knight, Commercial Content Editor for M&B, first had her baby boy, Eli, every single mum she spoke to about nappy rash talked about 'the one in the yellow tube'. She swears by this, and it was rare for his little bottom not to be smeared in yellow cream for several months. If there was a hint of redness, she smeared this emollient cream on, and it would clear up very quickly.
Best antiseptic cream
Hands up if this antiseptic cream made regular appearances throughout your childhood? It's a traditional favourite for good reason - it's reliable and trustworthy for giving antiseptic protection and healing to nappy rashes, and everything else for years afterwards too. Your first aid cabinet isn't complete without a tube of this.
Review: "What can I say about this well-known product? It is a lovely, soothing antiseptic cream and works really well on cuts and scrapes. It does not have an overpowering smell, as with some other antiseptic ointments, which I like. Probably my favourite treatment for broken skin."
Best antifungal cream
Canesten clotrimazole cream is used to treat fungal nappy rash. It's a pharmacy item, so you'll have to complete a questionnaire at checkout to buy this, to make sure you're getting the right product for your needs.
What's the best nappy cream?
Honestly, all of these nappy rash creams will work wonders soothing your little one's bottom, and the best one for you will depend on the condition of their bum.
That said, out of the range of barrier creams, we love the Weleda nappy cream.
Weleda's 100 per cent certified natural baby range works with all types of babies' skin, from normal through to hypersensitive. Packed with Calendula, a popular herb used in skincare and medicinal products, it'll soothe irritation, comfort the skin, and even has antiseptic, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Not only is it a deeply nourishing, protective barrier cream, which cares for the delicate skin of the nappy area, but it's also completely free from synthetic preservatives, fragrances, and colourants.
Dermatologically tested and developed with the assistance of physicians and midwives, we know that the Weleda nappy cream will help to naturally care for and support your youngster's skin.
Trying out the Weleda Baby Calendula Collection, our mums said:
Mum tester Victoria: "I would recommend the Weleda range as they are a reasonably priced complete range that is suitable for an infant as well as older children, particularly those with sensitive skin. The whole range smells divine, and they last well as you only need a small amount. The nappy cream is also good, rubs in easily, and it seems to prevent nappy rash well."
Mum tester Amanda: "I would highly recommend the calendula products. I loved the smell and how soft and moisturised my baby's skin feels after using them. They feel quite luxurious."
Interested in trying more Weleda products for you and baby? Check out our mum reviews below: