How to Naturally Prevent Diaper Rash

DiaperHaving a newborn can be a challenge, especially if you are a new parent. The only way babies can communicate is through their cries. Smiles and coos, of course, will come later, but for the first six to eight weeks of life, parents will need to figure out what their newborn’s cries mean. Is your baby hungry or lonely? Has the baby had too much stimulation and in need of some alone, downtime? When was the last time the baby had a diaper changed? Is your little one tired? Learning your newborn’s cues and how to provide for such a little person can be overwhelming, but it is also very rewarding.

So, you’ve learned some of your newborn’s cries, particularly when their diaper needs to be changed. Diaper rash is very common and treatable. Diaper rash, also known as diaper dermatitis, is a rash on your baby’s bottom. Sometimes it can also be in your child’s private area.

One of the most common causes of diaper rash is that the baby has sat in the wet diaper too long. The chemicals from the urine and bowel movement penetrate the protective skin barrier and cause the skin to become irritated and inflamed, thus the rash. Diaper rash can also be caused by the diaper rubbing against your baby’s sensitive skin too much. Sometimes when an infant starts to eat solid foods, they have a diaper rash which may be a sign of food allergies. Another reason your baby may get a diaper rash could be because they are sensitive to the wipes you are using or to the diapers themselves. If this is the case, you may need to purchase unscented baby wipes for sensitive skins or use water in a spray bottle. For diaper sensitivity you may want to consider changing from store bought diapers to old-fashioned cloth diapers.

What if your baby develops a severe case of diaper rash, complete with small blisters and bright-red irritated skin? Since the baby’s skin is so sensitive, to begin with, and the diaper rash has made it even more sensitive, here are a few suggestions to treat and soothe your little one’s sore bottom:

  • Air Dry – Let your baby’s bottom air dry as much as possible. After bath time is a perfect time to do this and just let your little one hang out with you. By letting the air hit the affected area, the sores will naturally dry out and begin to heal. It might be a good idea to rest a clean, dry washcloth, or receiving blanket over your baby’s lap in case of an accident.
  • Use a natural salve – Use a natural salve, such as coconut oil or A & D ointment instead of store-bought diaper rash cream. Some of the store-bought creams can have hidden dyes and perfumes that can irritate the diaper rash further. Coconut oil is one of the best home remedies because it has anti-fungal, antibiotic and anti-microbial properties. A & D is also a great option because it moisturizes the skin and heals the sores.
  • Use Water – Avoid using wipes with any kind of perfumes, as this can make the diaper rash worse. The sensitive area may react to the perfumes in the diaper wipes. When a diaper rash is this severe, do not use wipes at all. Instead, use a clean, soft washcloth and wash the area with only water. Once the diaper rash heals, you can return to using fragrance-free wipes.

If with in a 24 hour period the rash doesn’t show signs of improvement, go see you pediatrician as the rash my either be infected, a fungus or may be a symptom of a more systemic issue.

Diaper rash can be prevented, and soiled diapers must be changed immediately, if not, as soon as possible. Frequent diaper changes are the best way to prevent diaper rashes from occurring in the first place. Click here for more information on diaper rash and diaper rash prevention.