Eliminate the problemTo clear up an early, superficial diaper rash, clean your baby’s bottom well after each diaper change with nothing but pure water and cloth baby wipes. When you dry baby’s bottom, either pat gently or use a warm blow dryer.Better yet, let your baby’s bottom breathe. When your baby spends time without a diaper, the circulating air helps to heal. Remember to put down a waterproof pad or sheet and watch your baby closely.
Rather than just treating symptoms, deal with the cause of the diaper rash. Start by eliminating all scents and dyes in diapers and wipes themselves. Choose laundry detergents without added scents. Next, consider new foods your baby has eaten recently. Stop any new foods to see if the rash clears up. If your baby is breastfed, look at the foods the mother is eating. The baby may be experiencing an allergic reaction.Make sure your cloth diapers aren’t making the problem worse. When wet diapers sit unwashed, the urea in urine becomes more alkaline, which explains the ammonia smell you may sometimes notice. Vinegar is acidic. Adding one cup of white vinegar to your cloth diaper pre-rinse can lower the pH and help your detergent work better to clean the diapers.
Simple homemade diaper rash recipesDiaper lotion or ointment will create a simple barrier between baby’s skin and wetness or they may be medicated to promote healing.
Diaper CreamMake barrier diaper cream or medicated diaper cream in your own kitchen.
- Base: shea butter, cocoa butter, or high-grade lanolin. Start with 1/4 cup as you experiment with your recipe.
- Lighter base: mild oil, such as almond, apricot, jojoba, or olive oil
- 1/4 cup or more herb-infused oils. Calendula, comfrey, or St. John’s Wort. Infuse your own oils by cooking dried herbs in the oil on low for 30 minutes or by leaving the herbs in the oil for several weeks.
- 1 Tbs or more melted beeswax for stiffer cream or balm
Baby Wipe SolutionFor mild diaper rash or to prevent future rash, try a simple baby wipe solution recipe. Keep your cloth wipes in this solution, or add a little to a dry wipe from a spray bottle near the changing table.
- Base: 1 cup water
- A few drops of lavender or tea tree oil promote healing and smell nice
- Several tablespoons of aloe vera to soothe skin
- 1/4 cup vinegar discourages yeast growth
- WebMD - A recent study in the journal Pediatrics finds a link between diaper rash and the dyes found in some disposable diapers.
- Ask Dr. Sears - Specific tips to minimize and treat diaper rash.