Staying Ahead of Diaper Rash: Prevention & Treatment

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Staying ahead of diaper rash can be tough. We’re currently dabbling with the idea of potty training, and I won’t be sad to see the diapers go. Most babies will get through around 5,000 diapers each before potty training. If you have twins we’re talking about 10K diaper changes! With all that pooping, wiping and changing, it’s no surprise it’s difficult to avoid diaper rash.

Although we often associate sore bottoms with moisture, there are a number of culprits for causing irritation. I’m sharing my experience with staying ahead of diaper rash, my choice of barrier cream and some awesome tips from other moms. 

staying ahead of diaper rash prevention treatment pin

Causes of Diaper Rash

If you’re getting repeated spells of diaper rash, consider these causes:

  • Diapers staying on too long causing prolonged exposure to moisture,
  • Teething (look out for cheek rash too),
  • Allergies/sensitivity to products or a particular brand of diaper,
  • Antibiotics,
  • New foods (more on this below).

All this can cause quite the irritation and George has a few things to say about it. Check out our fun little video:


Sensitivity to New Foods

Frequent diaper rash is often at it’s worst when introducing solid food. We had it the worst around 9mths-1yr when our boys were starting to drink less formula and eat more food. Little tummies have never been exposed to solid food before, and it can be a bit of a shock to the system. The Twins really struggled with acidic foods such as the tomato sauce on pizza or pasta and fruits such as clementines. They loved all of these foods, but it would usually cause a messy diaper and sore bottom, even when changed quickly. 

Dairy products, wheat, and beans can also be difficult to digest at first. Remember to introduce foods slowly and change diapers more often during the weaning process.

Sensitive Skin

I feel frequent wipes could cause dryness and irritaion (Shelley)

 I’ve heard many moms complain of sensitivity to certain types of diapers or wipes. I would agree that ready-to-use wipes are incredibly abrasive. Handy when you’ve come across a surprise poop which has been carried inside the diaper for a little too long. Not so good for sensitive skin. 

Some kids are really sensitive to products. Weirdly, one of my identical twins is more sensitive than the other… genetics is beyond me sometimes!? I’ve stopped using bath wash on him altogether because he keeps getting irritated by it. He’s recently suffering from eczema on his face which I wonder is due to wiping his face with ready to go wipes. His bottom is no different, and I stick to a hypoallergenic barrier cream to help protect his skin.

Preventing Diaper Rash

Keep Bottoms Clean and Use a Barrier Cream

The best way to prevent diaper rash is to keep bottoms clean and dry. This is often enough, although if you find baby suffers often with diaper rash, you can use a gentle barrier cream with every change. DESITIN® Rapid Relief Cream forms a protective barrier between your baby’s skin and irritating diaper contents. It repels unwanted moisture, is hypoallergenic and will help treat any existing irritation too.staying ahead of diaper rash prevention treatment changing

homemade cleansing spray/wipes

I’m always impressed with all the natural cleaning products moms come up with, and bottom cleaning is no different! Many of my online baby ladies opt for washing baby bottoms over using branded wipes, and even create their own soothing oil infusions to help prevent diaper rash:

I’ve been using my own wipe spray for years! I start with infusing jojoba oil with chamomile flowers, add lavender and tea tree oil, then mix this base with a witch hazel and water combo. It must have serious preventative qualities because 3 babies an no diaper rash to speak of. (Jenelle)

Some moms even add goodies to their baby’s bath water to help soothe and prevent irritation:

We use a combo of Tea Tree and Lavender essential oil with water in a spray bottle for our cloth wipe solution. 19 months and still have only had 3 stints of minor diaper rash. Baking soda and Epsom salts in bath water pull toxins from the body and soothe skin. It’s amazing for kids and their mamas! (Abby)

Treating Diaper Rash

Even if you manage to stay ahead of diaper rash most of the time, when teething and trying new foods it’s almost impossible to not suffer a few spells of that pesky rash. Keeping sore bottoms clean is extremely important, and the best way to do this is a soak in the bath. Don’t pour the water too hot as it can be quite the sting for poor baby, and until the rash has cleared I would recommend bathing every day, even if you don’t usually bath that often.staying ahead of diaper rash prevention treatment bath

After a good soak in the tub:

  • Pat dry (no rubbing) with a clean towel,
  • If it’s really bad, leave the diaper off for a little while to let the skin breathe. Bottomless time can work wonders.
  • Apply DESITIN® Rapid Relief Cream to soothe and treat before dressing with a fresh diaper. The zinc oxide in the cream repels moisture and allows diaper rash to heal.

When changing between baths do not use branded wipes:

  • Change baby laying on a clean towel,
  • Gently but generously splash with warm water (no soap) and a soft cloth until clean,
  • Pat dry with a clean towel and apply DESITIN® as above.

Other moms have told me coconut oil, nipple cream and cornstarch can also be used for treating diaper rash. Cornstarch is the main ingredient in baby powder (since we discovered talcum powder is dangerous), it helps keep the skin dry, absorbing any excess moisture.

I hope these tips can help you stay ahead of diaper rash. If you are worried about how severe your baby’s rash is getting, speak to your pediatrician. I also recommend checking out DESITIN® treatment tips, they even have a useful diaper rash evaluation guide so you can gauge what you’re dealing with –>  here.staying ahead of diaper rash prevention treatment desitin

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About the author

Katherine is an electrochemist, hiking enthusiast, and family lifestyle blogger. As a mom of three, including twins, she enjoys DIY, travel, and eating good food. British born, Katherine moved to the US in 2014, and now called Las Vegas home.

10 thoughts on “Staying Ahead of Diaper Rash: Prevention & Treatment”

    • Cloth diapering is a funny one because I’ve heard some say it’s worse for diaper rash, others say it’s better. I wrote a huge post on cloth diapering a while back and I really wish I’d done the research before I had my kids because I think I would have given it a go if I understood all the options!


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