The Challenges and Realties of Diaper Area Cleansing for Parents

Christine Furber, Carol Bedwell, Malcolm Campbell, Michael Cork, Charlotte Jones, Lois Rowland, Tina Lavender

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Objective: To explore the complexities of diaper area cleansing reported by women participating in a randomized controlled trial designed to compare optimally formulated baby wipes (Johnson's Baby Skincare fragrance free wipe) with cotton wool and water. Design: A mixed-method design incorporating quantitative and qualitative methods to explore maternal views and experiences of using baby wipes or cotton wool and water to cleanse their newborn's diaper area over an 8-week period. Setting: Participants were recruited from a large regional maternity hospital in Northern England. Participants: Participants included 280 women and their healthy term newborns; 252 provided 4-week data (90.0%) and 237 provided 8-week data (85.0%). Methods: Data from diaries and structured face-to-face interviews at 4 weeks and telephone interviews at 8 weeks were transcribed and thematically analyzed to identify themes. Quantitative data were compared between randomized groups using descriptive statistics and two-group tests, where appropriate. Results: Major themes identified highlighted the practical realities of diaper area cleansing, diaper area cleansing and everyday life, and living with the rhetoric that water is best. Baby wipes were perceived as more convenient efficient at cleansing. Some women using cotton wool and water did not cleanse skin after urination alone. Diaper changing was significantly more frequent in the baby wipes group at 4 weeks, but there was no significant difference between the groups at 8 weeks. Conclusion: Women are faced with a complex environment regarding diaper area cleansing and need clear evidence-based advice and guidance on effective diaper area cleansing. © 2012 AWHONN, the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)E13-E25
    JournalJOGNN - Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012


    • Baby wipes
    • Diaries
    • Mixed method


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