Occasional diaper rash is a normal occurrence for babies. When those sweet baby cheeks are inside of a diaper 24/7 for upwards of two-and-a-half years, you are bound to have a rash every now and again.
Some common reasons for rashes:
- Staying in a wet or dirty diaper too long
- Change in Mama’s diet (for nursing babies)
- Change in baby’s diet (watch food introductions)
- Sensitivity to detergent and/or buildup of detergent in diaper fabric
So with that in mind, here are six tips for preventing a rash or decreasing the incidence of rashes:
Give your baby diaper-free time every day.
Allow your baby’s skin to air out at least once a day for more than 10 minutes and preferably, expose the skin to sunshine. Rashes only flare up and proliferate in dark, humid, acidic environments – air and sunshine are the perfect antidote.
Cleanse your baby’s diaper area with just warm water and a cloth.
Make sure you wipe your baby’s bum at every diaper change, even if the diaper was only wet. While the urine itself on the skin will evaporate, irritating uric acid crystals will be left behind. By just wiping the skin clean with a cloth wipe and warm water, you’ll get rid of any residues, leaving your baby’s skin soft and irritant-free.
Make sure your baby’s diaper area is dry before you put on a fresh diaper.
Closing up wet skin in a watertight environment can be a recipe for a rash, so let the skin dry before you put on the new diaper.
These couple of extra minutes can be a really enjoyable bonding time between parent and child – often times newborns and young babies are alert at diaper change time and that’s when they’re cooing and looking around. Older babies sometimes love the routines that are associated with diaper change time – it’s the time when they get to play with a special toy or have a “conversation” with Mommy or Daddy. The minute or two that it takes for the skin to dry can become a lovely interactive time.
Change your baby often.
Leaving a wet or poopy diaper next to the skin for a prolonged period of time is a sure way to set off a rash. Although “prolonged” is relative – some sensitive-skin babies react to the presence of uric acid within minutes while others could go significantly longer before complaining. Regardless of length of time, however, the skin will flare up under these conditions, so it’s definitely in the best interest of both you and your baby to change the diaper as soon as possible once it’s soiled.
Create a stay dry layer.
If your baby seems especially sensitive to wetness, using a non-absorbent layer between your baby’s skin and the wet diaper can be a great way to minimize the skin’s exposure to all that dampness. Either choose a diaper that has fleece right next to the skin, such a pocket diaper, or add a stay dry layer by laying a liner in any diaper you use – fleece and raw silk are the most popular in this case.
If your baby is suffering from a rash and needs healing or in order to prevent a rash when your baby has to stay in his or her diaper for an extended period of time (ie nighttime), consider using a wool cover like the sloomb Knit Wool Covers. Wool offers the best breathability and allows moisture on the skin to evaporate, even when up against a wet diaper. We’ve heard it from parents again and again (and experienced it ourselves) – switching to a wool cover is the fastest, surest way to zap a rash when it starts.
Here’s to healthy, happy babies (and to all you mamas and papas who love them so well!).
~Photo Credit to Kyle Flood