Diaper rashes are one of those things that come along with having a baby. Some kids seem more prone to them and it isn’t a one treatment cures all sort of thing. Everyone’s skin is different and the causes of the diaper rashes vary.
Of my five kids, my daughter (second in the family) had the worst break outs. They started at about four weeks old and took a month of multiple creams and strategies to figure it out. It turned out she was allergic to disposable diapers and wet wipes. Cloth diapers were not an option in my husband’s mind so expensive all natural brands are what we turned to. I offset the cost by making my own wet wipes, which was easy and effective.
In the end, I learned what works and what doesn’t in the diaper rash world and that all rashes are not the same. Before we jump to the cures (which is probably why you are here!) lets look at causes. This is from Mayoclinic.org and sums it up pretty well.
- Irritation from stool and urine. Prolonged exposure to urine or stool can irritate a baby’s sensitive skin. Your baby may be more prone to diaper rash if he or she is experiencing frequent bowel movements or diarrhea because feces are more irritating than urine.
- Chafing or rubbing. Tightfitting diapers or clothing that rubs against the skin can lead to a rash.
- Irritation from a new product. Your baby’s skin may react to baby wipes, a new brand of disposable diapers, or a detergent, bleach or fabric softener used to launder cloth diapers. Other substances that can add to the problem include ingredients found in some baby lotions, powders and oils.
- Bacterial or yeast (fungal) infection. What begins as a simple skin infection may spread to the surrounding region. The area covered by a diaper — buttocks, thighs and genitals — is especially vulnerable because it’s warm and moist, making a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and yeast. These rashes can be found within the creases of the skin, and there may be red dots scattered around the creases.
- Introduction of new foods. As babies start to eat solid foods, the content of their stool changes. This increases the likelihood of diaper rash. Changes in your baby’s diet can also increase the frequency of stools, which can lead to diaper rash. If your baby is breast-fed, he or she may develop diaper rash in response to something the mother has eaten.
- Sensitive skin. Babies with skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis or seborrheic dermatitis (eczema), may be more likely to develop diaper rash. However, the irritated skin of atopic dermatitis and eczema primarily affects areas other than the diaper area.
- Use of antibiotics. Antibiotics kill bacteria — the good kinds as well as the bad. When a baby takes antibiotics, bacteria that keep yeast growth in check may be depleted, resulting in diaper rash due to yeast infection. Antibiotic use also increases the risk of diarrhea. Breast-fed babies whose mothers take antibiotics are also at increased risk of diaper rash.
Diaper Rash Creams
A large variety of diaper rash cream fills the shelves in the baby aisle at every drugstore. They vary in price and strength and can leave you scratching your head and hoping you choose the right one. I have been using a different method which is quick and inexpensive and in my opinion, works better than the creams.
Yes, baking soda. All of 49 cents a box. Sprinkle several tablespoons of baking soda into your child’s bath and let them play and soak for 15-20 minutes. Dry your child off and lather infected area with coconut oil before putting diaper on. The next morning the rash should be gone. (For more natural diaper rash cures check out “10 Quick and Easy Home Remedies for Diaper Rashes”) If not, continue to put coconut oil on rash after diaper changes and give a second baking soda bath. I have never had to give more than two baths.
A quick warning. Baking soda makes the tub slippery!
Give it a try and let me know what you think!