What exactly causes a diaper rash? Is it yeast? Teething? Diet? Something in your diapers or diaper cream? Use this handy checklist to see what might be causing your little one’s rashy bum and to find out what you can do about it!
1. Is your baby clean? CHECK! Sometimes if your baby has a particularly impressive poop, it's hard to really get all the nooks and folds without giving your baby a full bath, so make sure all the tender parts are clean and dried before applying any diaper cream. Parents love Earth Mama’s Baby Wash because it’s chosen by hospital NICUs so you know it’s safe for the most sensitive of skin.
2. Safe baby wipes? CHECK! Speaking of wiping, make sure your wipes aren't a part of the problem. It’s easy to make sure they are part of the solution instead (pun intended). While store-bought wipes can be very convenient, the solution they swim in has to be preserved. Most artificial preservatives contain ingredients known to cause skin irritation. Very often, wipe solutions contain artificial fragrance and other worrisome toxins too. When in doubt, make your own baby wipes. It’s surprisingly easy and you’ll know just what’s in there!
3. Non-toxic diaper cream? CHECK! Is the diaper cream you’re using causing or contributing to the diaper rash? Many diaper creams contain the same worrisome ingredients as wipes: artificial preservatives, artificial fragrance, and petroleum-based ingredients. But it’s worse because those types of diaper creams stay on baby’s skin, which can really be really irritating. And since many also contain a moisture barrier, little parts don’t get much chance to breathe. Choose a diaper cream, like Earth Mama’s Organic Diaper Balm, that doesn’t have irritating chemicals.
4. New food? CHECK! Has there been a recent addition to your baby’s diet? Something might not be agreeing with your little one's delicate digestive system. We hear lots of stories of well-intentioned friends and relations thinking it was good idea to give your baby a “treat.” Sometimes a new addition to the diet can be more of a trick than a treat, so if diaper rash is a problem, make a mental note of any diet changes in the past few days.
5. Teeth? CHECK! Teething can cause what we refer to as “battery acid poop.” Theories abound as to why teething babies tend to have diarrhea, but whatever the cause, it can be miserable. The best remedy is to make sure your baby is changed immediately, because baby skin is no match for that terrible poop. Make sure your baby is wiped clean and the area is dry. Then before re-diapering, apply a good slathering of a safe, non-toxic diaper cream to guard the skin from coming in contact with the inevitable next poop.
6. Is it the diaper? CHECK! Babies can have reactions to the diapers they’re wearing, so be sure to check what they’re made from. The best way to avoid all chemical exposure from diapers is to use cloth diapers for all or at least some of the time.
7. Is it yeast? CHECK! A wet diaper is the perfect environment to encourage yeast infections — warm, moist, and relatively low in oxygen, as most diapers are designed to create a seal around chubby little baby legs. If a mom or baby is taking antibiotics, the likelihood of developing a fungal infection rapidly increases, as the antibiotics reduce beneficial bacteria that could help control fungal overgrowth. To know if what you are seeing is a yeast diaper rash, look for deep red (often scaly) patches with well-defined borders. Usually there will be little patches developing near the main rash. As fungal infections tend to be harder to clear up, the sooner the diaper rash is treated the better. To be safe, always check with your pediatrician.
Try Earth Mama’s Best-Selling Organic Diaper Balm, available in 2oz and the 4oz economy size.