Friday, July 29, 2005

Poor Baby! It's Diaper Rash

Sometime in the lives of most babies, diaper rash will come along to annoy them. It is more prevalent after the baby has been started on solid foods, but that certainly isn't the only time that diaper rash can happen.

Parents often feel guilty that they somehow caused the diaper rash to develop, but much of that guilt can be avoided if you take steps to prevent the rash from occurring in the first place. That said, it often can't be avoided at all, so there are ways to keep baby more comfortable if diaper rash strikes despite your best efforts to avoid it.

The best way to prevent as much of this problem as possible is to make sure that the baby's diaper area stays dry and clean at all times. Don't let a wet diaper stay on the baby just because you changed it 30 minutes ago and diapers are expensive, for one example. The diaper should be changed at least a dozen times a day. Some baby doctors will recommend up to 15 times especially if the diaper rash has already started. If you are dealing with diaper rash check the diaper often and change it if it is wet or dirty.

While you may have baby wipes on hand for cleaning, they are not recommended to use if diaper rash is present. A soft wash cloth and warm water is a better choice. If the baby has soiled the diaper, a little very mild baby soap will be alright to use.

When the diaper area is dry again after cleaning, you may want to use powder, but make sure it is free of talc. This is not only diaper rash advice; talc should not be used with the baby at any time. Do not use powder or lotions that contain any perfumes. Even the powder with cornstarch that was very popular in the past is no longer recommended. Ask your pediatrician to recommend a powder that you can use. Often a medicated powder will work very well if it doesn't contain cornstarch or other adverse ingredients.

You may want to use a diaper rash cream at this time as well. It should contain zinc oxide which will help to keep the wetness from the diaper from touching the baby's skin. Make sure the skin is completely dry before putting a clean diaper on the baby.

A word of caution here is that you need to make sure the rash is actually diaper rash and not something else such as a yeast infection. If it doesn't clear up in the amount of time it should, give the doctor a call just to make sure. Most of the time it will indeed just be diaper rash, though, but it's always a good idea to be aware of the symptoms and the length of time healing should take just to be on the safe side.

Be extra vigilant about diaper rash as the baby is beginning to eat new foods. As more and more new solid foods are introduced, the bowel movements will be changing and this is a time that diaper rash could become a problem even if there hadn't been any difficulty with it in the past.