When you need to treat your baby’s diaper rash, the best place to start is with the root cause. We tend to want to treat symptoms – and sometimes that’s all it takes – but it helps to dig a little deeper and find out why your baby has a diaper rash in the first place.
We’re highlighting the most common causes of diaper rash, how you can prevent it, and a DIY diaper rash recipe.
Did you know that many of the diaper creams on the market contain toxic ingredients that aren’t considered safe by the Environmental Working Group?
Conventional diaper rash products like Desitin, Balmex and Boudreax’s Butt Paste contain fragrances, petroleum, and other toxic ingredients that may actually make the rash worse.
Before you start to treat a diaper rash, you’ll want to find out what caused the rash in the first place. There are just about as many causes of diaper rashes as there are solutions.
Some of the most common reasons a baby gets diaper rash include:
Teething | Teething babies produce a lot of extra saliva, and that saliva may be more acidic than normal. While most of the excess saliva will end up on the front of their shirts, they actually ingest a good bit as well. The increased acidity in their system can cause diaper rashes when your baby pees or poops.
Illness or medication | When a child is sick or on certain medications (antibiotics for example), they may be more prone to diaper rashes.
New foods, acidic foods, citrus foods, and other dietary sensitivities | It’s very common for your child to get a diaper rash after eating a new food, especially those that are acidic, like tomatoes.
Wet or soiled diapers | Sitting in any diaper for even a short time can cause a diaper rash.
Chemical, detergent, or fabric sensitivities | Disposable diapers and wipes are filled with harsh chemicals that can cause rashes. When using cloth diapers you might have detergent or fabric sensitivities that can cause rashes.
Heat | Your baby might suffer from heat rashes if they are outdoors in the heat or when they are overdressed.
Yeast, thrush, and other infections | These are perhaps the hardest rashes to cure because they tend to live inside your baby’s stomach. Breastfeeding and probiotic drops can help replenish the good bacteria in your baby’s gut.
How to Prevent Diaper Rash
Give baby diaper-free time | That’s right, take some time and allow your baby to run or lie around naked. The absolute best way to heal a diaper rash is to let it air out. Take this time to practice elimination communication or early potty training.
Change frequently | Changing your baby as soon as they pee or poop will prevent a diaper rash from occurring. Their tiny stomachs can only hold so much liquid so they may pee within 15-30 minutes of eating or drinking. Just because a diaper says it can last for 12 hours does not mean that they should.
Change diaper type, brand, or style | Conventional disposable diapers can contain plastics, gels, and chemicals. Cloth diapers contain no chemicals and are available in synthetic fibers and natural fibers. If you suspect the rash is from a chemical exposure or from a fabric type, try a different type of diaper. Conventional diaper wipes may also contain chemicals that your baby is sensitive to. Opt for a chemical free baby wipe or make your own baby wipes or you can just use a soft wash cloth with plain water.
Natural diaper creams, ointments | There are gentler products available on the market today that are more effective at healing and soothing a diaper rash such as CJ’s BUTTer, Earth Mama Angel Baby Bottom Balm, and GroVia Magic Stick.
DIY Diaper Creams | Coconut oil, avocado oil, breast milk, shea butter, and numerous other natural ingredients can be used on diaper rashes. They can be used by themselves or combined to make your own diaper rash cream or more natural version of a magic butt cream.
DIY Diaper Rash Cream Recipe (Safe for Cloth Diapers)
- Melt all ingredients together slowly in a sauce pan on the stove top.
- Pour the mixture into a bowl and place the bowl in an ice bath.
- Blend the mixture until creamy and store in a glass jar at room temperature.
- Mixture will harden or become a thick cream when cooled.
- Lightly apply to your baby’s bottom as needed.
- Earth Tones: Dye Eggs Naturally - April 14, 2014
- Sustainable Diapering Options for the Modern Parent - April 11, 2014
- Caring for Diaper Rash Naturally + DIY Diaper Balm Recipe - September 27, 2013