Friday, April 08, 2005

Diaper Rash Duty

My baby boy, Alexander, is 4 months old today. For the first 3 months of his life, his little bottom was easy to care for. I would simply remove his soiled disposable diaper and fasten on a new one. I never even had to use diaper cream. After three months that all changed. A very ugly diaper rash snuck up on us when we weren't looking. There was no obvious reason for him to get a rash. I still changed his diaper frequently and his diet had not changed. I just woke up one morning, removed his diaper, and faced a bright red, pimply looking rash.

Alexander is not my first baby so I thought I knew what to expect. I wasn't worried at all. I ran right out to my local drug store and picked up some handy dandy diaper ointment. Over the next couple of days I faithfully applied the diaper ointment at every diaper change. I used warm, dampened washcloths to clean his bottom in an effort to avoid the irritating chemicals in baby wipes. Much to my frustration the rash just got worse. I felt so sorry for my darling baby. I hoped it was not too uncomfortable.

On the third day I took the next step. I removed his diaper and let him go bare bottomed. I'll admit I was frightened at first. I know it seems strange to be frightened over a baby boy's bare buttocks, but I was scared just the same. Alexander is my first baby boy. All my other children are girls. I could easily let them go without diapers because all they could wet was the pad under them. Alexander, however, is a different story. I have learned first hand all the different directions in which baby Alexander can urinate. I have also unfortunately, had him spray me directly in my face. I hate to admit it, but it has happened more than once. So it was with much trepidation that I removed his diaper and placed him on his waterproof pad. He seemed to really enjoy being without a diaper. I imagine the air on his behind was quite a relief. He was all smiles and cute baby coos. He urinated into the air with a baby shout of glee. I cleaned him, the pad, and the rug. He was happy and dry once more. I put his diaper back on after about three hours. I made sure I applied a thick coat of diaper cream.

The next morning we got up bright and early (Alexander is already an early riser) and removed the diaper again. Low and behold the nasty little pimples appeared to be drying up. This time I kept him covered with a thin blanket. Another day of urine spraying ensued. He managed to kick the blanket off to spray my computer monitor, the wall and his unsuspecting ten-year-old sister. We went through several different blankets. We took it all in stride. Next came an amazingly large, mustard yellow colored bowel movement. It was a daunting task but I again cleaned his bottom and placed another waterproof pad under him. Honestly, it seemed he relieved himself 3 times more than usual that day.

Each day Alexander's diaper rash improved a bit. Finally, after 4 days of endlessly wet blankets, clothes, and family members, his rash healed completely. I've noticed, since the first rash, his diaper area tends to get red and sore looking rather quickly. Now, to prevent the development of another diaper rash, I let him spend at least a couple of hours every day without a diaper. It really seems to help.

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