Diaper rash can be a terrible experience for baby and parents alike. The red, raw and painful rash is terribly uncomfortable for baby, and leaves you, the parent, feeling helpless to provide relief. Many of the standard rash treatments are ineffective or take too long to work. When it comes to a diaper rash, the best medicine is prevention.
How To Prevent Diaper Rashes
One of the best ways to prevent diaper rash is to limit the amount of time your baby’s skin is in contact with a wet diaper. Bacteria and skin irritation thrive in the warm, moist environment that a diaper provides. Some babies have more sensitive skin than others, and any irritation can prompt a rash.
Here are some ways to prevent them before they start.
Frequent changing. The longer baby sits in a wet diaper, the more likely she is to develop a rash. Just changing frequently, however, isn’t always enough.
Give the diaper area some air. Even with a dry diaper, the area is still subject to heat and moisture. Whenever possible, allow baby to go “diaperless” so that the skin can be exposed to fresh air, stay dry and be free of friction and irritation. Put down a waterproof mat, to let baby “air out.”
Limit exposure to irritants. Baby wipes, soap, lotion and detergent can all create irritation for baby’s skin. For the most part, plain water and a soft cloth is sufficient to clean baby’s skin. A baby has soft skin naturally, and it is rarely necessary to use lotion.