It happens to most babies. One day, you’re changing a diaper and notice your little one’s bottom is red, dry and possibly flaking or cracked. This is likely a common diaper rash. Not to worry–there are plenty of ways to treat your baby’s bottom. Below you’ll see how you might be able to prevent diaper rash and how to treat it.
CAUSES OF DIAPER RASH
- Too Much Time in a Wet or Dirty Diaper--The child may have been in a wet or dirty diaper too long. Prolonged contact between skin and urine and/or feces can be irritating to that sensitive baby skin.
- Skin’s Reaction to a New Product–Your baby may be having a reaction to a new product. Have you introduced a new brand of soap, lotion, wet wipe, or diaper recently? It may not be agreeing with your baby.
- Yeast Infection–The child may have a Bacterial or Fungal (Yeast) Infection. This is especially common if the little one has recently taken antibiotics. When giving your child an antibiotic, offer an infant probiotic supplement or plenty of yogurt (which is naturally probiotic) as well. The diaper region is especially susceptible to these types of infections since it’s warm and moist, making it a perfect breeding ground for bacteria.
- Reaction to a New Food–Like new topical products, sometimes a baby may get a diaper rash as a reaction to a new food. Introduce new foods one at a time so you can determine if something your baby is eating is giving him a rash. Then, eliminate that food from his diet.
- Diapers or Clothing Too Tight–Additionally, your baby’s clothing or diapers may be too tight. This will lead to chafing and rubbing which can sometimes result in a rash.
- Plain Water Baths–If your little one is having chronic rashes, you may want to try giving him a bath in plain water (no bubbles, soap, shampoo or anything) for at least 10 minutes three times a day. After bath time is done, dry him thoroughly and let him roam free for as long as possible afterward, which bring us to our next point.
- Naked Time–Allowing your little bundle of joy to go Au Naturel for periods of time can help air out the diaper region–leading to less severe and less chronic rashes. Allowing your baby to experience fresh air on his bottom could be just the trick. This requires some bravery and letting go on the part of parents–yes, your floor is probably going to get peed on. It’s ok! You can clean it.
TOPICAL OINTMENTS AND CREAMS
- Petroleum Jelly – Also known as Vaseline, this ointment provides a barrier between moisture and skin. It can help with diaper rash prevention more so than curing the actual rash.
- Zinc Oxide – This is what’s typically sold as diaper rash cream. It goes by brand names like Desitin and Butt Paste. It’s thick, pale, and looks like old-time sunscreen. It is more effective at treating an existing rash than preventing a new one from developing. It can have other ingredients, like aloe, that help sooth the itch and irritation for Baby.
- Aquaphor– Like Vaseline, this is another product that is best applied for prevention rather than treatment. Similar to vaseline, it creates a barrier, which won’t be helpful if the rash is already there. Some moms like to layer on a zinc oxide based cream (such as Desitin, A &D, Butt Paste, etc.) directly on the rash then apply Aquaphor or vaseline over the white paste. This can be a really effective method if you’re dealing with a stubborn rash.
OTHER METHODS OF TREATING DIAPER RASH
- Changing Brands–Occasionally, your child may be reacting to something in the fibers of the diapers or wipes you are using. Sometimes changing your brands of diapers, wipes or both can eradicate diaper rash problems.
- Plain Water Wiping–If you suspect the wipes may be causing a problem, and your child has a poor reaction to even the sensitive, fragrance-free versions, try using plain water. Use a washcloth or plain paper towels and tap water to clean baby’s bottom.
- Probiotic Supplements–If your baby was recently given antibiotics, be sure to keep the good bacteria alive by offering probiotics. If your baby is eating food, adding another serving of yogurt a day can help with this. If your baby is only having bottles, you can add an infant probiotic supplement to his milk. You will add 1/4 teaspoon to one bottle once a day. This can also help with constipation if your little one is having that issue.
- Coconut Oil–What doesn’t this stuff do? It’s a natural moisturizer that has antibacterial properties–making it a perfect home remedy for diaper rashes.
- Oatmeal Baths–Add one tablespoon of dry oatmeal to baby’s bath. The protein and saponin naturally present in oatmeal soothe Baby’s skin. Allow your baby to be in the bath for at least ten minutes. Remember to dry him thoroughly once bathtime is done. Do this twice daily until the rash disappears.
Most babies will develop a diaper rash from time to time, and it can usually be treated at home, by you. However, if your baby is experiencing a chronic or severe rash, or one that bleeds, contact your doctor. The two of you can develop a game plan to make sure your baby is as comfortable and rash-free as possible. Happy diapering!