Dealing with a stubborn diaper rash is a normal yet frustrating part of parenting. Infants have sensitive skin, making them more prone to rashes, breakouts, and infection. Keep the rashes away from sun up to sun down by following these simple techniques!
Every parent knows that babies go through a lot of diapers each day – but it’s hard to picture just how many until your baby actually enters the world! You might find yourself emptying the diaper pail multiple times per day, especially in the newborn months.
But why do babies need their diapers changed so often? To prevent diaper rash, of course! Diapers help keep urine and stool away from your baby’s sensitive skin, but leaving a diaper on too long can cause a pesky rash that can be difficult to clear up.
Preventing diaper rash during the night
When your baby starts sleeping through the night, you don’t need to wake them up to change their diaper. However, they might be more prone to developing rashes as they use diapers for longer stretches of time, especially throughout the night.
Parents can help keep rashes away at night by:
Choosing high-quality diapers: Purchase diapers that are highly absorbent and pull the urine away from your baby’s skin. Pick diapers that prevent long periods of time that urine or stool sits directly on the baby’s skin.
Using a barrier cream: Using creams like Aquaphor, Vaseline, Cerave Healing Ointment, or any other cream that has a waterproof element to it can help prevent rashes. Put a protective layer of barrier cream on your baby’s diaper area before bedtime, and you might notice that your baby’s skin stays drier and cleaner throughout the night.
Parents might try cloth diapers.
Cloth diapers are more environmentally-friendly than disposable diapers, and sometimes can hold more liquid and prevent irritated skin on your little one. Even if you prefer the convenience of using disposable diapers during the day, opting to use cloth diapers at nighttime might just be the trick to protecting your baby’s skin.
Incorporate diaper changes into the bedtime routine.
If your baby’s skin is getting irritated during the night, be sure to change his diaper one last time right before bed. If your baby is a newborn and wakes frequently to eat during the night, it might be helpful to make a habit of changing your baby’s diaper before each nursing session. Being quick to change dirty diapers can help prevent your little one from developing a rash.
Preventing diaper rash during the day
Parents should choose diapers carefully.
Caregivers should opt to buy diapers that are fragrance-free, hypoallergenic, and do not contain harsh dyes. During the day, you should also try to change your baby’s diaper frequently to prevent urine or stool from sitting on your baby’s delicate skin for long periods of time.
Pick high-quality baby wipes.
Pick baby wipes that are fragrance-free and hypoallergenic. Many popular baby wipes have fragrances or chemicals that might smell good, but can irritate the skin.
If your baby currently has a diaper rash, avoid moisture and pre-moistened wipes altogether until the rash is healed. Instead, use plain water and cotton pads or a soft washcloth to clean your baby’s diaper area. Too much moisture can cause further skin irritation.
Use a barrier cream.
Some popular, well-trusted barrier ointments include Vaseline, Aquaphor, Vanicream ointment, and Cerave ointment. There are other brands that make quality barrier creams as well, so choose what works on your baby’s skin.
Use a diaper cream.
If your little one has an active diaper rash that won’t clear up after a few diaper changes, use a zinc oxide-based cream or ointment and apply it to the affected areas frequently throughout the day. Try to change your baby’s diapers as soon as you notice they are dirty.
Some tried-and-true diaper rash creams include Aquaphor 3-in-1, Desitin, or Triple Paste. Apply a thick layer of diaper cream after each diaper change and after bath time. These creams and ointments can help heal diaper rashes quickly and painlessly.
Avoiding diaper rash during playtime
If your baby is a newborn and spends most of the time being held or lying in one position, her diaper area might become irritated and more prone to rashes. Without lots of movement and airflow, moisture and bacteria become trapped against a baby’s skin. This can cause rashes and even infections if not treated promptly.
To prevent diaper rash during your newborn’s awake time, be sure to help her move positions periodically and avoid tight clothing and swaddles when she’s not sleeping. Don’t wait until you smell something to do a quick diaper change – watch the clock and change your baby’s diaper every 1-2 hours.
If your infant is older, keep their diaper area clean and dry during play time by checking their diaper frequently. Babies love to crawl and explore, so be sure to dress your little one in lightweight, loose-fitting clothing so that airflow is possible.
Many diapers have a line that appears when the diaper is wet and needs to be changed, so this can help keep your baby’s skin dry. Change wet and soiled diapers as soon as you notice them, and don’t wait until your baby starts getting uncomfortable.
Tips for diaper rash treatment
Allow your baby’s bottom to air dry.
Keep the diaper area clean and dry at all times.
Use a rash cream with zinc oxide as an ingredient.
Change a dirty diaper as soon as possible.
Use petroleum jelly as a barrier cream.
Watch for signs of skin infection or yeast infection.
If you see blisters that don’t heal in 3 days, or is accompanied by a fever, it’s best to call a doctor.
Use diapers and wipes made for sensitive skin.
Switch from baby wipes to cloth and warm water.
Change diapers more frequently throughout the day.
Treat the rash before it gets worse.
Assess if any new foods might be the cause.
Use a mild soap and warm water in the bath.
Pat dry, instead of wiping, tender skin.
Call the doctor if you think your little one needs antibiotics to treat the rash.
Thankfully, most diaper rashes are easily treatable at home. Some rashes are more persistent, so be sure to call a doctor if your baby’s rash doesn’t clear up in a reasonable amount of time or seems resistant to over-the-counter medication.
Meet Our KeaMommy Contributor: Kaitlyn Torrez
I’m Kaitlyn Torrez, from the San Francisco Bay Area. I live with my husband and two children, Roman and Logan. I’m a former preschool teacher, currently enjoying being a stay at home mom. I love all things writing, coffee, and chocolate. In my free time, I enjoy reading, blogging, and working out.