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Tips For Preventing Diaper Rash

By Katie |

One of the major questions I had while pregnant had to do with diaper changes. I didn’t know if I was supposed to put powder or cream or vaseline on the baby’s bottom during diaper changes, or if they were reserved for special diapering occasions. I knew they created all these products, so surely they had to be used at some point, right?

Thankfully my husband knew a little about this from his 2 years of pediatrics residency, but even that knowledge was pretty small. Apparently very few parents ask questions about non-rash situations, so he didn’t really have advice for every day diapering. So I asked a good friend, who has several young kids to get the low down. And more importantly, to get the information on how to prevent diaper rashes.

First, she told me that if the baby is rash free, you don’t need to put anything on them besides a diaper. This was a relief because I knew that having a boy would necessitate fast diaper changes to avoid getting peed on. And that has been pretty much the case.

As far as preventing rashes, she gave me several tips, ones that my husband echoed.

-Always changing poopy diapers when you notice them. Pee can be left for a lot longer because diapers are incredibly absorbent and therefore pull the moisture away from the baby, but they can’t absorb poop the same way. So if you let it sit on the skin, there’s a good chance it’ll get irritated. And since we had our first diaper rash last week, in the exact pattern of a the small bit of poop I missed while cleaning him off earlier that day, I can totally attest to this.

-Let the baby hang out without a diaper for a little while each day. We usually do this after bath time, both because he invariably pees in the bath so the risk of pee is less and also because I want his skin to be nice and dry before I put a new diaper on after the bath.

-Carefully clean all the folds. The folds are the sneakiest places for rashes and right now we’ve got a yeast rash in two such folds. Apparently I need to follow this advice a little better. I blame middle of the night, half awake diaper changing for this one.

-Apply cream when you first see the rash. I use the Burt’s Bees Baby and it zapped the non-yeast rash in about 5 or 6 hours last time. It’s also got a pretty great scent and didn’t bother my baby’s ridiculously sensitive skin, which was my worry. There are a million creams on the market, find the one that you like the best and that works well for you.

-If your baby’s skin is chapped or dry from a situation like eczema, put vaseline or another ointment on to trap in moisture. Thankfully Eli’s eczema hasn’t travelled below his neck yet, but we’re keeping this one in mind.

I know there are plenty of other strategies, but these are the most useful ones we’ve heard. And hopefully I can get my act together and start following them better for the sake of my little guy’s bottom.

What other tips do you have for preventing diaper rashes?

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About Katie



Katie is a former teacher, part-time PT, wife, and first-time mother to the baby with the best ears on the Internet. You can find more of her grammatically questionable writing at her blog, Overflowing Brain. Read bio and latest posts → Read Katie's latest posts →

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4 thoughts on “Tips For Preventing Diaper Rash

  1. Crysi says:

    Generic lotrimin covered in a thick layer of diaper rash cream when a rash first develops. My girls constantly got yeasty rashes so that became our first line of defense. Worked wonders.

  2. neal says:

    My mother-in-law cringes at the idea, but we let our daughter run naked in the backyard for as long as she wanted. It’d let her air-dry and she loved it. We’d give her drinks and let her eat food out there, and then she’d inevitably find a nice patch of dirt to pee on. Typically in her great-grandma’s garden, near the cucumbers (we lived with family for a little while). She’d sometimes go an hour or two running naked, and especially since we were cloth diapering, she loved the chance to not have a wet diaper attached to her 24/7. But we never told her great-grandma about the extra fertilizer. Some people are particular.

  3. rebekahkuschmider says:

    Turns out little girls are much harder to clean than little boys so I worry about rashes more this time. Thanks for the tips!

  4. marinka says:

    I’ve never, not once, used powder. I actually remember it not being recommended– is that no longer the case?

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