A diaper rash is challenging for both parent and baby. Discover 5 remedies and treatments for how to get rid of a diaper rash in 24 hours.
The dreaded diaper rash. No matter how careful you try to be, the baby still ends up with red bumps on his bottom or even around the thighs. Whether from diarrhea, an allergy, or being in a diaper too long, nearly every mom has had to deal with a severe diaper rash.
I know I did. Even mild rashes often made changing diapers difficult, so much so that I practically had to wrestle my babies to stay put. Wiping felt excruciating, and hearing their cries made you wonder how much longer this rash is here to stay.
They were also extra fussy not just during changes, but throughout the day, too. After all, a rash on any part of your body can feel miserable. You can imagine how uncomfortable having one around your bottom—with a diaper on, no less—can feel.
There were times when, no matter what I had tried, the rashes either took forever to go away, or kept coming back.
How to get rid of a diaper rash in 24 hours
The causes for diaper rashes vary. Some babies may have severe diaper rashes due to allergies or skin conditions that are best discussed with a pediatrician. This article addresses common causes of and home remedies for diaper rashes.
In my case, thankfully, I learned a few tricks to get rid of common diaper rashes, quickly and effectively. The rashes also didn’t come back as often as they used to, keeping my babies happier and less fussy.
Read below for strategies to cure your baby’s diaper rash:
1. Wash with water, not wipes
The ideal way to clean a diaper rash is with warm water, not baby wipes. Not only do wipes—even the sensitive kind—have ingredients that could irritate the rash, but the actual rubbing on your baby’s skin could make the rash worse.
Instead, use water, especially if the messes are mild.
Use flat cotton pads or a soft washcloth dipped in water to wipe most of the mess away, patting or at least gently wiping his buttocks. Think of the rash as a wound, something you’d be careful not to irritate further. You wouldn’t wipe a sensitive wound, and neither should you a diaper rash.
If even pads are making his fuss, carry him to the sink or tub to wash his bottom with your hand.
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2. Air your baby’s bottom out
Any contact with your baby’s diaper rash—including wearing diapers—runs the risk of irritating it even more. When you’re home, air his bottom out as much as possible.
For instance, do tummy time on an old towel on the floor, or place him on his back and drape another towel in front in case he pees.
Another option is to extend bath time. Give him an extra-long bath and allow him to play for a bit longer, if only to keep him out of a diaper even more. Every little bit of time out of diapers helps to heal the rash even quicker.
The less time he sits in a diaper, the faster the rash will go away.
Learn what to do when your baby suddenly hates diaper changes.
3. Use a good diaper cream
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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 and ointments can soothe his current rash so it doesn’t feel so itchy and irritating. It’ll also add an extra barrier on top of his skin 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 his diaper area dry is a must.
Now, which diaper cream to use? After talking with several moms, I compiled a few of our favorites below:
- Triple Paste (my preference)
- Desitin Maximum Strength
- Dr. Smith’s
- Butt Paste
- Petroleum jelly
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, even when you’re sleep deprived in the middle of the night. You want to avoid any moisture from making your baby’s rash any worse, and keep him comfortable while he sleeps.
At night, put him in a new diaper before feeding, even if he didn’t soil his diapers. Yes, even if it means you have to undo his whole pajama / swaddle / sleep sack ensemble.
The same is true for the daytime—follow the clock and change his diapers every few hours, more frequently than you usually do. Maybe you change after every nap, or every two hours. Perhaps you put him in a diaper with a wetness indicator so you can easily see if he has peed.
A clean, dry diaper is the next best thing to being bare-bottom. Regular and frequent diaper changes will help make that happen.
Learn what to do when your baby keeps peeing through the diaper at night.
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 diaper irritating.
If the rash doesn’t seem to go away or keeps coming back, one option is to switch to a different diaper brand. Buy a few in small packages at first to see if it makes a difference before getting a larger box. Consider cloth diapers, which tend to be more comfortable and gentle on skin.
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 instantly cringe when we open that diaper, knowing what we’ve got stacked against us.
At least now, though, you have the tips to help even severe rashes go away quickly and effectively.
Washing with water instead of wipes can reduce irritation. Using diaper cream and changing diapers frequently can 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 going up a size 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
- How to Save Money on Diapers
- 5 Easy Ways to Stop Leaky Diapers at Night
- How to Make Your Baby’s Diaper Changes Easier
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