Opening your baby’s diaper to find a red, irritated bottom is something that almost all parents will encounter at one point or another.
While diaper rashes are rarely serious, they can still be a source of stress and discomfort for you and your baby. Learn how you can prevent and treat diaper rashes right from home, as well as when to see a doctor if an infection occurs.
What Causes Diaper Rashes?
Most diaper rashes are caused by leaving a dirty diaper on for too long. Although some diapers are able to hold baby’s urine and feces for many hours, try to set a goal to change a diaper every few hours.
Your goal as a parent is to keep the diapered area as clean and dry as possible. Be sure to change wet or soiled diapers as soon as possible to prevent future diaper rashes. When changing your child’s diaper:
- Clean the diaper area well
- If wipes are irritating to baby’s skin, clean the area with a simple washcloth and water
- Pat the area dry, as rubbing dry can cause skin breakdown
- Let the area fully dry
- Apply a thick layer of diaper cream or ointment and repeat at every diaper change
Signs That Your Baby’s Diaper Rash Is Serious
Most diaper rashes are not serious enough that you need to see a doctor and can be managed at home. If you think your baby’s rash is serious, here are some signs that it is time to contact your pediatrician.
- If the rash isn’t getting better or is even worsening after 2-3 days
- If baby develops blisters or areas with pus
If you notice either of these symptoms it could mean that your baby has a yeast or bacterial infection and will need alternative treatments.