Diaper rash can range from being uncomfortable to extremely painful. It can result from staying in a warm, moist diaper for a long time, especially if it is filled with poop, which can be very acidic and quickly burn a baby’s delicate skin. But diaper rash can also result when babies get yeast infections or “thrush.” Thrush can result either from normal yeast that grows on the skin of adults or from yeast that proliferates when a child takes antibiotics. Diaper rash caused by yeast can result in bleeding and extreme pain and can be difficult to treat. If your child has a severe rash or thrush, talk to your doctor. Milder rashes can be treated with some safe and natural remedies.
Keeping your baby in a warm, moist diaper can lead to diaper rash. So make sure to let baby’s bottom air out and change her diaper frequently. Cloth diapers are said to result in fewer cases of diaper rash, so you might want to give them a try (see article on Diapers). But choose natural laundry products for washing your cloth diapers so you can avoid harsh chemicals that may find their way to baby’s skin. Check out our list of cloth diaper manufacturers and reusable swim diapers.
If you use disposable diapers, conventional brands have synthetic ingredients that can lead to diaper rash. Choose more natural options that are fragrance- and chlorine-free and contain wood pulp or cotton.
Natural Baby Wipes
You may also want to avoid conventional baby wipes. They can contain chemicals that can irritate your baby’s bottom and increase the risk of diaper rash. Instead, try cloth wipes with water or a natural wipes solution. Or try one of the more natural disposable options.
Diaper Rash Cream
Follow up with an all natural diaper rash cream. These treatments are just as effective as conventional brands but they do not contain harsh and potentially toxic ingredients that can dry out baby’s skin and cause allergic reactions. See our article on Personal Care Products for more information of the types of ingredients that can be found in baby products. Check out our shopping guide with a great list of natural diaper rash creams, balms and ointments.
You will want to avoid conventional baby powders as well. They usually contain talc and synthetic ingredients. Talc can sometimes be contaminated with boric acid (which can cause irritation of the lungs, skin and eyes and problems with the gastrointestinal tract) or asbestos fibers (a carcinogen). There are many natural baby powders available.
Or you can make your own baby powder by combining 1/4 cup corn starch with 10-15 drops of essential oil (lavender is a good choice). Simply mix the two together and put in a shaker (like an old baby powder bottle or herb jar).