When you’re new to the baby-raising game, every bump or discoloration can seem to be cause for alarm, but there’s no need to panic just yet. William Sears, MD, pediatrician for more than 30 years and renowned author of more than 40 books on child care, offers the following tips on calmly caring for your babe’s bottom.
All babies have diaper rash. It’s a misconception that a baby’s skin will always be as soft and smooth as the day he is born. In fact, diaper rash is a common and normal occurrence in babies’ lives. Whether newborns or curious crawlers, babies rub around in their diapers, causing friction. When that friction is combined with moisture, bacteria and yeast from their urine and stools, diaper rash is bound to happen.
Diligence is key.
For newborns who regularly suffer from diaper rash, you should change soiled diapers or air out the unsoiled ones at least every two hours. Poopy diapers should be changed immediately. This routine may be difficult at first, but the frequency of stool movements will diminish as your baby grows. Parents with little ones who experience less
diaper rash can then become more lax in changing regularly.
Change it up.
If your newborn is suffering from diaper rash, try varying your diapering routine. This means using another brand of disposable diapers and/or switching to unscented wipes or plain water for cleaning. If you use cloth diapers, try adding a half-cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle to help remove alkaline irritants.
Treat bottoms with all natural creams.
To avoid diaper rash, use a daily preventative cream after each change to moisturize and protect baby’s delicate skin. Be sure to cleanse and thoroughly dry the area before application. For those with a severe diaper rash, try a thicker treatment cream with the skin protectant zinc oxide, to alleviate pain and offer immediate, refreshing relief. Due to babies’ sensitive skin, creams should always be all natural and free of harmful chemicals. Be vigilant about carefully reading the labels on any products you use on your baby’s skin.
For more diaper rash and baby care tips—and for information on Dr. Sears’ all natural baby care line (including diaper rash prevention and treatment creams)—visit askdrsears.com.