Inside: Diaper rash causes and some solutions.
Diaper rash is big fat no fun! My first child never seemed to get diaper rash at all, so I thought I was one lucky girl! Then came my second and third and fourth… and I realized that diaper rash is just something that every mother has to deal with at some time or another.
Getting a handle on diaper rash will really help you in surviving the newborn phase and beyond.
Diaper rash is obviously painful for babies and toddlers. I mean the screaming, screeching, and attempting to leap off the changing table (or whatever other surface they are on) was the first clue here. What I always try to do with diaper rash is (a) treat it immediately to bring relief, and (b) determine the underlying cause.
Here are some diaper rash causes to watch out for:
1. Acidic foods. Last month I gave my 18 month old orange juice a few times in one day (which is very abnormal for me) and I noticed his bottom became so red. He’d stop what he was doing and look at his diaper and start hitting it. The acidity in the urine caused his bottom to burn until the diaper was removed.
2. Antibiotics. My son had a double ear infection and sore throat and was prescribed antibiotics. They did a bad number on his stomach, poor thing, and gave him diarrhea and diaper rash. We treated the diaper rash topically to help give him relief, and it did, but it didn’t completely go away until he was off the antibiotics.
3. Diarrhea. Any disturbances or changes in digestion and bowel movements can cause diarrhea. Of course diarrhea often has other causes on its own, but sometimes occasional spells of diarrhea will cause the bottom to be upset. I’d attempt to determine why they have diarrhea and go from there. I know doctors say teething and diarrhea are not medically related, but I have always found them to be in our family.
4. Diet changes. It’s common for children to get diaper rash right around the time they’re being introduced to more solids. That’s often why experts suggest you giving your child a new food and waiting a few days to determine their reaction. In this case you’d definitely treat the rash topically to bring relief then perhaps try an elimination diet.
5. Sensitive skin. If you find yourself consistently treating diaper rash topically, but it never fully goes completely away then it could be a matter of sensitive skin. Perhaps your detergent, diaper brand, wipe brand, or brand of underwear are bothering the skin. Again, treat topically then try other materials or detergents, trying one at a time.
6. Infection. Since babies have such little chubby cuteness, they can often get yeast or fungal infections in the folds of their skin. This can cause diaper rash and because the areas are covered with a diaper and likely other clothing, it’s a warm moist environment, which is a breeding ground for infection. In this case you’d treat the infection.
7. Chaffing or rubbing. When my little man’s chubalicious legs started growing and I hadn’t gone up a diaper size, he started to get diaper rash on his thighs. It actually took 3 days for me to catch on. In my defense I also have a newborn. I treated it well, upped the diaper size, and all is now well.
Tips to relieve diaper rash
1. Treat with a salve. Use a fast acting cream to help bring relief to your baby or toddler. Balmex (which I loved because it’s thick and creamy so it goes on easy but really creates a barrier) is proven to reduce redness in ONE diaper change (which is fast) and it has soothing Vitamins B5 and E. Getting it less red immediately will help the little one, particularly if you are going to have to an elimination diet or something that takes a while to determine the cause.
2. No diaper time. This is great if you have tile or can put your kids outside. The other day I had my kids go outside in the backyard and my toddler had no diaper time and his bottom was less irritated. Plus, they say this helps with potty training ;).
3. Plain water. Wash with plain water instead of soaps or washes that have chemicals that might cause further irritation.
4. Change frequently. When there is diaper rash abounding it’s a great idea to change diapers frequently so you don’t let the diaper contents worsen the rash. Change frequently, but if you are going out or will be unable to change as quickly as you’d like put on a cream that will block wetness and irritation.