How to prevent diaper rash in babies? We’ve done all the worrying for you, Mamas, and have rounded up the most practical ways to keep diaper rash away from your baby’s bums!
A diaper rash or diaper dermatitis is just one of the many types of rashes a baby may develop on their skin. Like most baby rashes, a diaper rash has a bright red appearance that appears in patches. It’s a worrying sight for Mamas and incredibly uncomfortable for babies.
According to the Seattle Children’s Hospital, diaper rashes can appear from newborns up until they’re three years old. That’s right, Mama. So as long as your little one wears a diaper, a diaper rash is always a possibility.
What Causes Diaper Rash?
The answer may seem simple—most likely you’re thinking about stool sitting in the diaper for long, Mama—but there’s more to a diaper rash than meets the eye. Below are some of the possible causes for a baby’s diaper rash.
- Detergents or soaps that are irritating to baby’s skin. Some soaps and detergents can be harsh and drying on a baby’s sensitive skin, causing rashes.
- Urine and stool. Urine and stool alone won’t cause your baby diaper rashes. However, if you let your baby sit in a soiled diaper or fail to clean the bottom properly, the bacteria in stools can cause a diaper rash.
- Allergy to dyes. For babies wearing cloth diapers, they may also get a diaper rash if it contains dyes or made in a material that can irritate the skin. Even baby wipes can trigger rashes.
- Baby or Mama’s diet. For breastfed babies, what a Mama eats may also trigger a diaper rash. It can also be a reaction to something your little one ate for babies who are already eating solids. The latter is usually called acidic diaper rash.
- Antibiotic use. An article reviewed by paediatrician Michelle P. Tellado also highlighted that antibiotics could contribute to the development of yeast infection. This is because antibiotics tend to kill the good bacteria that prevent yeast.
- Diarrhea. If your baby has diarrhea, they may be more prone to develop a diaper rash because of the irritating nature of stools.
Signs of a Baby Diaper Rash
A diaper rash is generally easy to spot. Watch out for shiny pink or red patches on your baby’s skin, which are common in mild diaper rashes. But sometimes, the onset of a diaper rash can be noticed when your baby is fussy during diaper changes or when being washed. Meanwhile, in more severe cases, there will be spots, blisters, and even open sores.
How To Treat A Diaper Rash
Most of the time, diaper rashes go away after a few days with proper treatment. However, below are the best courses of action for babies if you’re at a loss on what to do.
- Keep them diaper-free as much as possible. Even short periods of air exposure is good to allow their skin to breathe. You can place a waterproof pad or even towel on your baby’s crib in the meantime.
- Change diapers frequently. The last thing you want is to aggravate your baby’s rashes by letting their bottoms sit in wet or soiled diapers. Do this until the rashes go away.
- Clean and wash the diaper area well. Avoid using harsh soaps and alcohol-based wipes. It’s recommended to use warm water when washing and pat dry the area.
- Apply a diaper cream to soothe and moisturise the skin. Be generous when applying creams, with KidsHealth.org recommending that it be smeared on thickly like cake icing. As much as possible, avoid steroid creams, which is generally not recommended for babies.
Most of the time, diaper rashes go away within two to three days. However, if your little one’s diaper rash persists, we recommend consulting a doctor to determine if it’s serious.
Easy Ways To Prevent Diaper Rash
As Mamas, we know that prevention is better than cure. So if you’re wondering how to prevent diaper rash, the answers are pretty straightforward:
- Change wet diapers frequently. Ideally, every two hours or when the diaper is soaked. If a diaper is soiled, wash and change right away.
- Dry the baby’s skin well after washing. Do not rub a towel against your baby’s sensitive skin as it can cause irritation.
- Avoid diapers that are too tight. Chafing due to too-tight diapers can trigger a rash. To know if your baby is ready for a bigger diaper size, check for marks on your baby’s skin after removing a diaper. If there is, it may be time to buy the next size, Mama!
- Apply a diaper rash cream. Maximise a diaper cream by applying it after every diaper change to serve as protection.
For a step-by-step guide on how to change a diaper, check out below, Mama!
How To Choose The Best Baby Diaper Rash Cream
A baby diaper cream is truly one of Mama’s best friends. But, sometimes, no matter how careful and clean you are when it comes to your baby’s bottoms, diaper rashes may still appear. That’s why it’s important to have a trusty baby diaper cream that can provide fast relief and protection from future rashes.
When choosing a baby diaper rash cream, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that Mamas avoid products with heavy fragrance and baby powder, as these tend to further irritate babies’ sensitive skin. As such, it’s best to seek more natural formulations which are gentler on babies’ sensitive skin.
Now, when the time comes you wake up with your baby crying because of a diaper rash, you know what to do with these tips we just shared!
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Hanna of Mama's Choice
A mama of one energetic toddler, Hanna likes to read books, watch baking shows, and play video games when her little one is asleep.