A diaper rash is challenging for both parent and baby. Discover 5 proven remedies and treatments for how to get rid of a diaper rash.
The dreaded diaper rash. No matter how careful you try to be, the baby still ends up with redness beneath the diaper. Whether from diarrhea or an allergy or being in a diaper too long, nearly every mom has had to deal with diaper rashes.
I know I did. Diaper rashes often made changing diapers difficult, so much so that I practically had to wrestle my babies just to stay put.
They were also extra fussy not just during changes, but throughout the day, too. You can imagine how being uncomfortable in your diapers can make for a bad day.
There were times when, no matter what I tried, the rashes either took forever to go away, or kept coming back.
How to get rid of a diaper rash
The causes for diaper rashes vary. Some babies may have severe diaper rashes due to allergies or skin conditions that are best discussed with your baby’s pediatrician. This article addresses common causes of diaper rashes.
In my case, thankfully, I learned a few tricks and home remedies to get rid of common diaper rashes, quickly and effectively. Not only that, the rashes also didn’t come back as often as they used to. It was a win-win for all!
Take a look at these strategies to get rid of your baby’s diaper rash:
1. Wash with water, not wipes
The ideal way to clean your baby when he has a diaper rash is with water. Not only do wipes—even the sensitive kind—have other things in them that could irritate the rash, but the actual rubbing on the skin could make it worse.
Instead, use water, especially if the messes are mild.
Use flat cotton pads dipped in water to wipe most of the mess away. And when you do, try to pat or at least gently wipe with the pad. Think of your baby’s rash as a wound, something you’d be careful not to irritate further.
Then, carry your baby to the sink or tub to wash his bottom with your hand.
2. Air your baby’s bottom out
Any contact with your baby’s diaper rash runs the risk of irritating it even more. If you can, air your baby’s bottom out as much as possible.
For instance, see if you can do tummy time on an old towel on the floor. Or place him face-up and drape another towel in front in case he pees.
Another option is to extend bath time. Give your baby an extra long bath and allow him to play for a bit longer, if only to keep him out of a diaper even more.
The less time your baby is in a diaper, the faster the rash will go away.
3. Use diaper cream
At some point, you’ll need to put your baby in a diaper once again. When you do, apply diaper cream to his rash as well.
Diaper creams can soothe your baby’s current rash so it doesn’t feel so itchy and irritating. It’ll also add an extra layer between his skin and the diaper so the rash isn’t in direct contact with the diaper. And finally, the cream will keep his skin from getting moist and making the rash worse.
The key to applying diaper cream is to make sure the area is dry before applying the cream. It’s this moisture that can make rashes worse, so keeping it dry is a must.
Now, which diaper cream to use? After talking with several moms in our SSBE community, I compiled a few of our favorites below:
(Disclosure: these are my affiliate links. Thank you for your support!)
4. Change diapers frequently
Confession time: I wouldn’t always change my babies’ diapers in the middle of the night. If they only had wet diapers, I’d simply feed them when they woke up and put them back to sleep.
But with a diaper rash, regular and frequent diaper changes are important. You want to avoid any moisture from making your baby’s rash any worse.
Follow the clock and change the baby’s diapers every few hours during the day. Maybe you change after every nap, or every two hours. Or perhaps you put him in a diaper with a wetness indicator so you can easily see if he has peed in his diaper.
At night, put him in a new diaper before feeding instead of only if he has pooped. Yes, even if it means you have to undo his whole pajama / swaddle / sleep sack ensemble.
A clean, dry diaper is the next best thing to being bare-bottom. Regular and frequent diaper changes will help make that happen.
5. Switch diaper brands or sizes
Sometimes it’s the diaper itself that could be making the rash harder to go away. Every diaper is different, so that even if one baby is fine in one, another could find the same type of diaper irritating.
If the rash doesn’t seem to go away or it keeps coming back, one option is to switch to a different diaper brand. Buy a few at first to see if it makes a difference before getting a larger box.
Another option is to move up a size in diapers. Sometimes we forget how quickly our babies grow and overlook the signs that they’re ready to size up. If your baby has elastic imprints on his skin, or securing the diaper seems tight, it may be time to get the bigger size.
No parent wants to see the dreaded redness of a diaper rash. We all instantly cringe when we open that diaper, knowing what we’ve got stacked against us.
At least now, though, you have the proven tips to help diaper rashes go away quickly and effectively.
Washing with water instead of wipes can reduce irritation. Using diaper cream and changing diapers with regular frequency will help soothe and prevent the rash from getting worse.
Keeping your baby diaper-free as often as possible will minimize diaper use and help the rash go away faster. And finally, changing diaper brands (or even using cloth diapers) can be a long-term solution for those rashes that simply won’t go away.
Now diaper changes can be quick and simple once again—no wrestling required.
Get more tips:
- 5 Ways to Keep Your Baby Comfortable in Diapers
- Baby Items that Make Life Easier
- How to Get Used to Life with a Baby
- “At What Age…?” Baby Development Milestones You Don’t Always Hear About
- Useful Tips for New Dads in the Newborn Stage
Tell me in the comments: What are your best tips on how to get rid of a diaper rash?
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