Grandmas always say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and never has the saying been truer than when it comes to diaper rash!
Diaper rash is an irritation on a baby’s bottom, usually because of irritation from a wet or dirty diaper.
Baby’s bum is a particularly sensitive area, especially on some babies. My older son had buns of steel; he probably had one or two diaper rashes that I can remember. My younger son had diaper rashes so constantly that I would apply diaper rash cream every single time I changed his diaper.
In fact, that’s not a bad strategy for a baby prone to diaper rashes because when it comes down to it, they are easier to prevent than they are to treat.
The first defense against diaper rash is to change the baby’s diaper frequently. The drier baby stays, the more his skin is protected. At first, I felt like I was changing my son’s diaper too frequently; it wasn’t even wet when I’d go to give him a clean one, but it went a long way in keeping his diaper rashes under control.
The second tactic is to keep a barrier between baby’s skin and the diaper. A diaper rash cream or a layer of simple petroleum jelly applied thickly to baby’s bum works wonders. Our moms used baby powder, which helps absorb moisture. Now, we know that it’s not good for baby’s lungs to inhale powder, but if you keep it neatly contained and controlled in your hand when you apply it, that could also help.
Next, be proactive if your child is on antibiotics. They can change the PH of your baby’s stools or urine, making them more susceptible to irritation. The same goes for new foods. You never know how a baby will react to a new food, and the irritation might manifest in their diaper!
As always, make sure that when you change their diaper, they are very clean and completely dry when you put a new one on. It’s also not a bad idea to let them “air out” a bit after a bath so their bottom can dry completely.