No Parent Wants Their Baby to Deal with Diaper Rash
Whether you're a first-time parent or you're on to your last kiddo, every parent will end up dealing with diaper rash at some point.
It's never fun and it doesn't really get easier on your heart.
Watching your baby in pain, unable to stop it, and having to wait for some cream or bath to take effect can be one of the worst feelings in the world. Even once you have medicine for it, it doesn't go away immediately - you still have to wait.
But there are some ways you can help to prevent the severity and frequency of diaper rash. How, you might ask? It's easier than you might think! This article will take a look at some of the most common causes of diaper rash so we can better understand how it works, why it happens, and - best of all - how to prevent little ones from suffering more than they have to.
Common Causes of Diaper Rash
There’s a lot of different things that can cause diaper rash to strike a baby. Some of the most common ones include, but are not limited to:
- Irritating waste - Urine and feces irritate the skin. If your baby sits in a soiled diaper for too long (which is especially common once they start sleeping through the night), they will likely get a diaper rash. It gets worse with diarrhea, meaning that growth spurts can lead to more instances of diaper rash.
- New products - Much in the same way, because your baby's skin is so sensitive, even trying out a new lotion or soap can cause your baby to suffer from diaper rash.
- Antibiotics - This is because antibiotics eliminate bacteria - good and bad. This sudden imbalance can lead to diarrhea, which has a high chance of causing diaper rash. Please keep in mind that mothers who take antibiotics and breastfeed can also cause diaper rash.
- Yeast & bacterial infections - A small infection of the skin can quickly become an out-of-control diaper rash. That's because a diaper creates the perfect environment for bacteria and yeast to grow: moist and warm.
- Rubbing and chafing - This usually comes from diapers that are tightfitting and clothing that grips the skin. When coupled with a pre-existing rash and a long wait in a diaper, this is especially likely to cause an outbreak. Sensitive skin can be an issue if your baby is already prone to skin conditions. For example, if they are already prone to things like eczema, they may be more likely to succumb to diaper rash.
- New foods - This is because new food can cause more frequent stools. It can also be an allergic reaction to new foods that your baby has tried (or that you have eaten while breastfeeding).
Treatments for Diaper Rash
Ultimately, preventing diaper rash comes down to keeping the diaper area dry and clean. There are several good ways to go about this. To start with, wash your hands well before and after each diaper change. This is important because it can help to cut down on the amount of yeast and bacteria on your hands, which can help prevent diaper rash infections.
Naked time is a great way to air out the diaper area. This is a gentle, natural way to let everything dry out. You can easily put down a towel and let your baby have some naked time while they play. Use a clean towel to gently pat your baby's skin dry. Don't scrub, as this can exacerbate the issue. Obviously, this helps to keep your baby's diaper area dry.
Add a warm water rinse to your diaper change routine. Using warm water to help clean your baby after each change is a great way to avoid tough ingredients like fragrances and alcohol. Consider diaper rash creams and ointments. There are tons of great brands of diaper rash ointments and creams. If your baby suffers from diaper rash chronically, you may want to talk to your doctor about adding an ointment after every diaper change.
Don’t forget to keep diapers loose. Okay, not falling-off-loose, but don't over tighten them. When diapers are tight, airflow is prevented meaning that bacteria and fungus have plenty of uninterrupted breeding time.
You can also try cloth diapers. Now, this isn't a guaranteed fix, but some parents swear by cloth diapers. If your little one is suffering, it may be worth a try. Now that you understand where diaper rash comes from and how to help prevent it, you and your baby can rest a little easier!