NAM Taping Tips
The results that you get from the NAM are amazing, but anyone who has used it knows that it can be challenging at times. One of the most troubling issues you may find will be keeping the tape on your little one’s cheeks because they have such sensitive skin. You may find yourself going through tons of different base tapes, skin preps, and removal methods. Out of all of our trial and error, here are our top tips and tricks for other moms to consider on their NAM journeys:
- Use a skin barrier/prep before applying any tape to the cheeks, such as Cavilon by 3M (which can be found in wipes or a spray and both can be bought on Amazon).
- Use a base tape on the cheeks, as this will act as a foundation that the steristrips stick to better. The benefit of using a base tape is that while steristrips are changed daily (sometimes more for extra drooly or spitty babies), base tape is meant to stay on for several days or more, so there is less irritation to the cheeks because you aren’t peeling it off every day. When looking for a base tape for your cleft cutie, you will want one that is medical grade and allows the skin to breathe – look for hydrocolloid, latex-free, sterile dressing/bandages. The three that we have seen many cleft mommies have success with are CVS advanced healing bandages, Tegaderm and DuoDerm.
- When cheeks are REALLY irritated, you can fold up some gauze and apply that directly onto the broken skin, then put the base tape on top/around it. This way, you can continue taping but it’s not sticking straight on the broken skin!
- For moms that need to do premaxilla taping, we found putting some cavilon on first, then applying the Y cut steristrip and then applying a piece of steristrip horizontally on top was the best way to get it to stay put. For many moms, the premaxilla taping was the hardest part of NAM taping to manage by far, as it never wants to stay on! Here is a pic of the premaxilla tape, how this taping suggestion looks on without NAM, and then with NAM.
- For removing base tapes, we found it was best to leave them on until they were practically falling off, and then we found a few different methods that worked to remove them the rest of the way. You can soak them in water or slather them in Aquaphor and let them sit to loosen up and then peel off. You can also use baby or olive oil, and take a q-tip and gently pull up the tape slowly until they are off. Also, there are adhesive removers that work super fast, such as detachol or remove wipes (although these can sting irritated cheeks, so be careful).
- To help irritated cheeks heal, sometimes you just need to take a break for a few hours or a day and let their cheeks breathe. Also slathering with Aquaphor while the tapes are off will help them heal. You just have to be sure to get all of the Aquaphor off before applying your new base tapes or they won’t stick.