Published On: Thu, Jul 23rd, 2020

How to Prevent a Diaper Rash

A diaper rash otherwise known as irritant diaper dermatitis, is a rash that typically occurs in infants and toddlers. There are many causes including a wet diaper, antibiotics, and various sensitivities. It can be upsetting to see your child uncomfortable, so you can take a few steps to prevent diaper rash from happening. Keep in mind that these steps are the same to treat diaper rash as well. However, if it gets too bad or will not go away you should see your doctor and seek medical advice. The following are the key steps to prevent diaper rash.

Right Tightness

Diaper rash can be caused by applying your child’s diaper too tight. Obviously you do not want it too loose as the contents may spill out, but having it too tight can irritate the skin and lead to diaper rash. You will want to put your child’s diaper on at a moderate tightness for the best results. To test this out you can run your finger along the leg holes once it is on to test how tight it is. If it is too difficult or too easy to move your finger you should try again. 

Change Diapers Often

One of the main causes of diaper rash is a baby sitting in a soiled diaper for too long. This can cause the skin to stay moist and allow bacteria to grow. The simplest way to prevent this is by frequently changing your baby’s diaper as soon as you see that it is soiled. Choosing a diaper with a moisture indicator can make it easy to detect if a diaper needs to be changed. 

photo/Regina Petkovic

Use a Baby Balm

Applying a baby balm with every use keeps the skin hydrated and protected against moisture or chafing. Application of a baby balm is vital throughout the day, but especially overnight since this is when your baby will be most likely to stay in a wet diaper for an extended period of time. Choose one with natural ingredients that will not irritate your baby. It is advised to do a spot test before total application to ensure there are no negative reactions. 

Rinse With Warm Water

While it may be an extra step, taking the time to rinse your baby’s private parts with warm water during every diaper change will keep the area clean and free of bacteria and unwanted substances. Make sure that after you rinse them you let them air dry or pat them dry with a gentle towel so as to not further irritate the area. This simple action could prevent a diaper rash from occurring.

Let Them Be Free

Putting a diaper on a baby is very convenient for the parents, but could be harmful for the child if they never have a moment to breathe. Try allowing your child to have at least a few minutes a day to roam free without a diaper. This may be easy for older children, but can give your child a chance to air out and prevent a diaper rash. Imagine if you were stuck in a diaper 24 hours a day how you would feel. 

Wash Your Hands

Finally, washing your hands before and after each diaper change is incredibly important to prevent you from spreading bacteria to your baby and from your baby to other places on their body or around your home. Washing your hands is the number one way to prevent the spread of diseases and can prevent diaper rash too. 

You should feel confident in your ability to prevent and treat diaper rash from happening to your baby. Through proper sanitation and effective habits you can prevent it from occurring. Also, note that whether you use disposable or cloth diapers the methods are the same.

Author: Jacob Maslow


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