Half of all diaper rashes only last a day. But the other half can last ten days or more. Here’s how you can help your little one get through it.
Change your baby’s diaper frequently. The presents your baby deposits into her diapers are what causes diaper rashes. The acidity irritates baby’s sensitive skin, but you may be able to keep it from turning into a full blown rash by changing the diapers often. This minimizes the time the irritants are against the skin. Use a diaper rash cream to create a barrier between the skin and the diaper in case you can’t change a dirty diaper immediately.
Skip the powder. Baby powders tend to have added fragrances and other unnatural things, says expert Sharon Graff-Radell. Cornstarch, however, is a great alternative because it doesn’t contain additives.
Let baby’s bottom air out. Moisture on the skin causes diaper rash, so let your baby’s skin dry by letting him play in his birthday suit for a bit.
Try super-absorbent diapers. You still have to change your baby’s diaper often, but these diapers are better at wicking moisture away from the skin better than their original counterparts. Dr. Rau says that there are a lot of studies proving that babies who use these diapers get fewer rashes than those who don’t.
Pick your baby wipes carefully. A lot of baby wipes contain alcohol, which can irritate the skin even further. Read the label to find ones that don’t. Or skip the wipes completely – you can use cotton balls dipped in baby oil, or use a squirt bottle of warm water.
Break out your blow dryer. Using a rough towel on baby’s bottom probably doesn’t feel so good. Linda Jonides suggests using your hair dryer set on low, before applying diaper rash ointment, Vaseline, or cornstarch.
Cloth diapers need special treatment. To keep your cloth diapers from contributing to your baby’s diaper rash, add one ounce of vinegar per gallon of water for the diapers’ final rinse. This will keep the pH level in the diapers where it should be so it doesn’t aggravate the condition.
Give older babies cranberry juice. Diaper rashes can form when the high pH caused by urine and feces in the diaper irritate the skin. It sounds strange, but Jonides says just 2 to 3 ounces of cranberry juice will help lower the pH in the urine.
Your diapers may be the cause. If, despite your best efforts, your baby’s diaper rash just won’t quit, it may be the diaper itself. Dyes in certain diapers and training pants may be causing an allergic reaction for your child. Try switching diapers and see if that helps.
Should you call your child’s pediatrician? A typical diaper rash doesn’t need your doctor’s intervention, but there are times when you should definitely give them a call:
If it’s been a couple days and the rash isn’t getting any better, even though you’re trying everything to help.
If it looks really bad or there are blisters, boils, or pus.
If your baby has a fever with the rash.
If the rash isn’t limited to the diaper area, and begins spreading up your baby’s trunk or down the legs.
Meet the experts:
-Vice President of the International Nanny Association
-Founder of www.findthebestnanny.com
-Owner of TLC For Kids in St. Louis, one of the first nanny and child care agencies in the U.S.
Linda Jonides, B.S., R.N., C.P.N.P
-Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in Ann Arbor, Michigan
John D. Rau, M.D.
-Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician
-Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine
-Director of the Riley Child Development Center in Indianapolis.
The Doctors Book of Home Remedies by the editors of Prevention Magazine
DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor. Please discuss medical concerns with your health care provider.