Disclaimer: This article does not seek to offer medical advice, and should not be treated as such. Please do consult your local pediatrician for the best remedies for diaper rash.
Your baby starts crying again, and you wonder for the 5th time that morning, what could it be this time? She’s fed, had enough sleep, her diapers was changed barely half an hour ago and the air conditioner is merrily chugging away so she couldn’t possibly be feeling hot. As you open the clasp of her diaper you realize that bumpy red rashes have spread across her bum. Diaper rash is a common occurrence, and happens to 1 in 2 babies; and thankfully, it’s typically easy to treat.
What is diaper rash?
A warm, moist place like your baby’s diaper is the perfect place for diaper rash to grow. It appears in small or large red splotches, or sometimes manifests in bumps or scales on the bum or genital area. The skin is swollen and tender, and sometimes inflamed in more severe cases.
What causes diaper rash?
The most common cause for diaper rash is often related to moist or soiled diapers, although other common causes include naturally sensitive skin, or chafing from a too-tight diaper. Additionally, as your baby grows, the introduction to new foods will alter the consistency of your baby’s poop, which might also cause diaper rash.
Home remedies for diaper rash
There are a few handy home remedies that are easily accessible.
- Petroleum jelly
Almost nothing can replace the king of creams and ointments. An inexpensive, effective option that works well, petroleum jelly contains fewer dyes and fragrance than some lotions and creams.
Apply to soothe inflamed skin to create a barrier that protects your baby’s bum from coming into contact with poop or other irritants.
- Baby powder
An easy way to ensure your baby’s bum stays cool and dry. Use a small amount and pat gently onto skin, ensuring to steer clear of your baby’s eyes, mouth and nose.
- Air time
Probably the easiest remedy there is. Before changing to a new diaper, lay baby down on a dry towel. Babies don’t have to constantly be wearing diapers, and giving their bottom some air time will allow the skin to dry well and enjoy the breeze.
- Cloth diapers
If you believe your baby is having a reaction to a perfume or dye in their disposable diapers, you may want to give cloth diapers a try. With cloth diapers, you know exactly what will come in contact with baby’s most delicate skin.
Some babies respond well to natural fibers like organic cotton, while others prefer Stay-Dry materials that wick moisture away from baby’s bottom.
Other general tips would be to wash your hands before and after every diaper change, and use only clean water with mild cleansers to wash your baby’s bum. Avoid strong products with alcohol and fragrance as well. Stay on the lookout after your baby’s meal, and be quick to make diaper changes when necessary. If your baby’s diaper rash persists or gets worse, reach out to your pediatrician. Your baby may have a yeast rash or may require a new course of treatment.