Jennifer is a former microbiologist turned mom, writer, and pet sitter. Jennifer, along with her husband, three boys (plus a menagerie of pets) live in North Carolina. She has written for websites including Scary Mommy, Pregnant Chicken, BabyGaga, Her View From Home.
Home Remedies for Diaper Rash
Diaper rash is a common enough ailment that babies have to deal with. Their little bums rarely see the light of day and are encased in a wet diaper probably 75% of the time.
Diaper rash can start as redness in the diaper area and then develop into bumps that itch and feel uncomfortable. Serious diaper rash can cause breaks in the skin and even bleeding. It can be caused by being in a wet diaper too long, sensitivity to chemicals in the diaper, diarrhea, teething and even yeast or bacterial infections.
Luckily, there are many things you can do to treat diaper rash, some of which are remedies you can try at home.
Best Diaper Rash creams
The simplest thing to do for diaper rash is to use a barrier cream like Desitin or A&D Ointment. My personal preference is Boudreaux’s Butt Paste.
I just discovered the extra strength version with 40% zinc oxide. It covers well and leaves a lasting barrier to urine or stool in the diaper. Soaking in a warm bath is soothing to the baby’s bum and afterwards allow the diaper area to dry and apply the butt paste. I swear, there will be a noticeable improvement the next day.
DIY Diaper Rash Cream & Home Remedies
There are also some things you can try at home for treating diaper rash. Often diaper rash is caused by acidic stool or urine, a condition that is exacerbated during teething because they are swallowing more acidic saliva. Foods that cause acidic stools are tomatoes, citrus, and some dairy. Also, alcohol, chocolate and coffee, but precious few of us give those things to babies!
If baby is teething, try using a couple tablespoons of baking soda in the bathtub. The alkalinity of the baking soda will counteract the acidity causing the baby’s rash.
Another thing you can try is olive oil or coconut oil. Honestly, coconut oil is a miracle cure for a lot of ailments from dry skin to damaged hair and it’s healthy to cook with. It has antimicrobial properties that can help with diaper rash. Apply the oil (be it olive or coconut) to the baby’s dry bum before diapering.
You can even make a DIY diaper rash spray with ¼ cup of olive oil and ¼ cup of liquid aloe vera. This is a good option if the baby’s bum is too sore to wipe cream or lotion on.
For details on DIY baby wipes made just for sensitive bottoms, see this post.
When to See A Doctor For Diaper Rash
If the diaper rash is bad enough, you may need a visit to the doctor. The pediatrician can tell you if the diaper rash is caused by yeast or bacteria and prescribe treatment. What my pediatrician has told me in the past, for broken skin and terrible diaper rash (we’re talking bleeding), use two different barrier methods. Apply an ointment like A&D and over that a cream like Desitin or Butt Paste. Do this after every diaper change.
Preventing Diaper Rash
Preventing diaper rash may not be easy, but there are some things you can try. First and foremost, if the baby has a rash, change the diaper often. Wet diapers will exacerbate the issue. Be sure to allow the baby’s bum to dry completely before diapering.
Keep baby away from the acidic foods (easy on the wine). Cloth wipes are easier on the baby’s bum especially if he or she has a sensitivity to the wipes.
Diaper rash is a pain in the butt (see what I did there?) but there are many ways to treat it. Try some of the above options and let us know what works for you!