Your baby’s perfectly happy one morning and going berserk the next. You feed him, it doesn’t stop the crying. You hold him, it doesn’t do the trick either.
Then you check his diaper and find his plump bottom is as red as a baboon’s butt. What’s going on?!
Diaper rash is one of the most common and most painful things a baby can experience, and it’s not easy for parents or caregivers to watch a child go through it either.
There’s no need to panic, while it appears alarming, it is pretty easy to treat and deal with.
What Causes Diaper Rash?
- Prolonged exposure to urine – as absorbent as any diaper claims, it all has its threshold. When it’s nearing or have gone beyond its capacity, the baby’s skin may no longer be dry and free from urine contact.
- Prolonged exposure to poop – if a soiled diaper isn’t changed immediately, poop may cause irritation to the skin that may even eventually lead to unwanted infection.
- Changes in diet – not all babies react the same way when they’re introduced to new food. It’s normal for them to have changes in bowel behavior.
- Infection – a skin infection (either yeast or bacterial) may easily spread or grow near his groin region due to its moist and warm nature.
- Antibiotic treatment – some antibiotics will upset the flora balance in a baby’s tummy that may result in loose stools or frequent pooping.
- Skin sensitivity – some babies are born with sensitive skin—particularly in the groin area. Using new products such as powder, creams, lotions, or soaps might be too harsh for their skin to handle.
- Chafing or rubbing of the skin – a diaper that is too tight-fitting or is made from materials that aren’t as soft or breathable may cause irritation.
How Do We Treat Diaper Rash?
Yes, it can get a little scary the first time you see it, but you don’t need to immediately rush to your pediatrician or the hospital if your baby has diaper rash (unless it’s severe).
Diaper creams are easily available from any local supermarket or drugstore. You can also go for the more natural approach of using cornstarch-based baby powder or petroleum jelly.
The key here is to make sure that your baby’s bottom is protected from wetness that may further irritate his skin.
Step 1: Careful Cleaning
Start by cleaning your baby’s groin and butt areas thoroughly (but gently) with cool water. This will help soothe his skin from the itch, pain, and irritation.
Wash him with mild soap and make sure to rinse well. Use a soft cotton or microfiber towel to pat – not wipe – his skin dry and make sure to get in all skin folds and crevices. No amount of moisture should be left.
Step 2: Apply Rash Cream
Apply a thin layer of rash cream, cornstarch-based baby powder, or baking soda on your baby’s groin and butt areas. This will create a protective barrier between his skin and the diaper’s damp surface.
If you feel that his diaper’s material is what caused the irritation in the first place, switch to something softer with cloth-like and breathable material. The cooler his skin is, the less likely he’ll have that rash.
Step 3: Don’t Put Diaper Back On Yet!
If your baby is in between feedings and would not likely need to poop anytime soon, don’t put a diaper on yet after cleaning up. Let the air circulate in that area and it will help heal his skin faster. Do this for a couple of minutes in between diaper changes.
Step 4: Let Heal Naturally
This may take a couple of days before it goes away. Just proceed with constantly cleaning and patting his skin dry and that will help him a lot. Some rashes may crust over or appear to have some chafing. Do not pull it. Let it fall off on its own.