7 Ways to Treat Diaper Rash 1 of 10
Almost every kid will suffer from diaper rash at least once, and it is generally unpleasant but not serious. Hopefully, these suggestions mamma a mamma will make treating this common ailment less of a pain in the well, you get the point.
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1: Change the diaper often
The ammonia in urine can be caustic, especially if that little bum has been floating in it for hours. Pediatricians recommend changing diapers every 2 hours, and more frequently if your tot has diarrhea. When you change him or her, wipe him or her well. Wipe off any feces and then wipe again for good measure. Even if its just urine, wash it off! (This goes for boys too.) It may look clean down there (and, technically, urine is sterile), but think about it youd rinse yourself off if youd been sitting in your own pee for awhile too right?
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2: Switch diaper brands
Are you using cloth or disposables? If youre currently using cloth diapers, try switching to disposables for a week while the rash clears (if you wash the diapers at home, try adding vinegar to the rinse cycle). If youre using disposables, try a different brand, your child might just be sensitive to the chemicals or absorbent gel liner. You can get disposables that dont have chlorine (like Seventh Generation) or the gels (like Tushies), and you can get hybrids (like gDiapers) that give you the best of both worlds, as far as rashes are concerned.
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3: Change your wipes
Baby skin is much thinner than adult skin and doesnt yet have all of the defenses that we old folks have. Sometimes the chemicals and fragrances in disposable wipes are too harsh for their tiny tushies. Consider using extra gentle wipes or even just plain water. Some parents go as far as to wash their children under running water with every diaper change and others keep a stack of washcloths near the change table and wet them with warm water as needed. If youve got to wipe off something particularly sticky, use mild baby soap, otherwise plain water will do the trick.
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4: Keep them dry
After wiping, make sure you pat that bum very dry. You might even want to use powder to absorb any remaining moisture. Cornstarch is fine for that, but if youre worried about baby inhaling anything, baby powder now comes in roll-on and even cream-based form.
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5: Be on the offensive
Every few diaper changes, slather on a nice thick layer of ointment: A&D, Vaseline or other petroleum jellies are great preventatives. They block moisture from reaching that sensitive skin. If your baby has loose stools, or you start to notice a general redness on his bottom, switch to a cream with a high concentration of zinc oxide (like Desitin or Sudocrem), which provides an even stronger barrier.
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6: Let that bum run around naked
Air is natures remedy for diaper irritation. If your child has a rash, let him or her go without a diaper for as much of the day as possible (this is obviously more difficult if your child is crawling). If your baby is not yet mobile, lay him or her bare-bottomed on a few soft swaddling blankets or a play mat. If theres a chill in the air, baby legwarmers are a great solution (they were actually created for this reason). If youre super brave, you can do this with toddlers, too, but be prepared to clean up the messes that will inevitably occur.
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7: Get a prescription
Very serious yeast infections will likely require a prescription corticosteroid/antifungal cream to be used per doctors instructions. However, if you recognize the early signs of yeast infection, you can also sparingly use a combination of an over-the-counter antifungal cream that contains an imidazole nitrate (found in womens topical yeast infection treatments or any athletes foot cream), a 1% hydrocortisone cream, and a very strong zinc-oxide ointment to get the same result. The antifungal and hydrocortisone creams should only be used very short term to treat an existing outbreak never as a preventative treatment, and always get the okay from your doctor first.
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When to call the doctor
If your babes bare bottom doesnt respond to any of these options, dont hesitate to call your doctor with your concerns. A happy heiny makes a happy household. Okay, that sounded terrible, but its true.
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