Diaper rash is a very common ailment among babies. There are so many different remedies out there. But there’s no need to waste time researching and buying any of them. As an experienced nanny and mom of many, I found the most effective cure for diaper rash was also the simplest one.
Step One: Bath Time with Specific Soap
As soon as you notice a sign of diaper rash, give your baby a lukewarm bath with a very mild, fragrance-free moisturizing soap. I prefer homemade soaps. But of course, not everyone feels like making homemade soaps. Health food stores usually have similar choices. Look for those with the least amount of ingredients, that have no fragrance, and that contain mostly moisturizers.
Step Two: Air Dry
Once your baby is done with the bath, pat the skin dry gently, with no rubbing. Then, place him or her on a towel to air dry with an open diaper underneath, in case of an accident. If your baby can play, provide some toys for entertainment. Leave the baby like this as often as possible until the rash is gone. The air helps keep moisture away from the affected area and should feel good on the rash. You will likely notice your baby is much happier without the diaper, for this reason.
Step Three: Homemade Powdering
If the simple air dry technique isn’t working, try making a homemade powder. Never use over-the-counter powders, as they contain talcum, fragrance, and other ingredients that can cause or worsen diaper rash. Talcum is also bad for your baby’s lungs. To make the homemade powder, simply heat up some plain, unbleached flour in a saucepan. Test the temperature and when it’s warm, but not too hot for baby, sprinkle the flour onto the baby’s skin and on the open diaper. Be careful not to allow the baby to inhale the flour. While it is less harmful than talcum powder, it is still not ideal for your baby to inhale it.
I recommend never using the over-the-counter diaper rash treatments. With many babies, these can cause more problems than they resolve and are full of harsh chemicals.
If the above advice isn’t working, it’s possible your baby may have a yeast infection, rather than diaper rash. It causes similar symptoms and looks similar. Yeast infections are extremely common in baby girls, due to the moisture from the diapers. Your pediatrician can prescribe medication safe for your baby, if this is the case.
Switching from disposable to cloth diapers can help alleviate diaper rashes, especially frequent ones. The cloth helps your baby’s skin breathe easier. Disposable diapers also have chemicals and other harmful materials that may be causing your baby’s skin to get irritated.
*I originally published a version of this elsewhere (no longer published there).