When you have a new baby you have a good number of tasks continually running through your mind on repeat. Feed the baby, what side did I feed last, change the baby, tummy time, skin to skin, make sure dad gets time with baby, feed yourself … and maybe shower or brush your teeth.
If you have other children you have a whole other list of to-dos mixed in. The last thing we need to deal with is a diaper rash! Your child is fussy and maybe even pulling at their diaper then you open the diaper and see right away why they are so uncomfortable. Diaper rash, red uncomfortable inflamed skin, can affect newborns and up until your child is potty trained. It is caused by several things: allergic reaction, friction or rubbing, an irritant like fragrant baby wipes or the most common skin wetness from wet or soiled diapers. It can happen quickly and, thankfully depending why they got it, can go away just as fast.
I remember being in the hospital after having our first child and thinking they just let you go home with a baby? Nine months went by and an intensive prenatal class and I hadn’t thought much about what happens after you leave the hospital.
The one question I did have for my midwife was when do you use diaper cream? I think I was given 10 different brands at my baby shower and I assumed it was pretty important. Her response was perfect – try not to; only use it when your little one is red as a barrier against the diaper and to soothe any pain. She said using it when it isn’t needed can make unnecessary prolonged wetness in the diaper which is one of the causes of diaper rash. Instead make sure you have diaper-free time every day so your little babe can air dry. Put on a cotton onesie and put a mat or towel down; I currently use a Peapod mat they are made by a Canadian company and you might have caught them on Dragon’s Den. The mats feel and act just like a towel but are water proof so any accidents or spills do not go through the fabric. These mats come in handy for lots of baby and big kid mishaps. I also used this time for tummy time or just playing with my girls on the floor. The kids always love it when you get down on the floor to play with them!
When it is time to finish and put the diaper back on it is best to use a washcloth and warm water over baby wipes as many babies and toddlers can’t handle the fragrances or additives. This is easy at home but when you are out of the house a fragrance-free baby wipe can do the trick; check the ingredients before purchasing. Also important is to make sure the area is dry, pat don’t rub and if we have some redness apply a zinc based diaper cream. I have always used weleda’s calendula cream to soothe the red areas and prevent the rash from rubbing against other skin or the diaper. My girls are very sensitive to fragrances and this product checks all the boxes. Side note: works great on dry skin for the whole family!
Makes sure if you have a recurring diaper rash or a rash that will not go away or gets worse to go see your healthcare provider. Let me know what creams worked best for your little one?