Diaper Rash Revisited

Since this post in June 2013 I’ve added two more babies to the crew! I don’t have a ton of new things to add, but I had a few minor changes to make. And I wanted to repost is for those who hadn’t seen the original post! I hope it’s helpful!

Diaper rash can be simple at times and also so frustrating. We use cloth diapers (except for this last baby) and rarely had diaper rash unless we were introducing new foods or if they had eaten something acidic that just ate their little heinies raw. I think there are some kids that just have sensitive skin and others who can tolerate a bit more.

I will say that with all four of the kids we haven’t been able to do cloth diapers overnight. All of my kids would sleep at least 12 hours at night and by the time they woke up they were miserable. The diapers didn’t leak after all that time, but their little heinies were BRIGHT red and the diapers had a STRONG ammonia odor. All four kids had the same problem and they were good water drinkers too. I don’t think their urine was ultra strong, but I think the length of time in it really affected them. It would take at least ½ the day for the redness to subside only to start it all over again a few hours later.

I felt so bad for them. So we have decided to do disposable at night time and that has worked so much better for us. I know another option would have been to wake up halfway through the night and change them, and that did work. But I’m not that die hard and I’m ok with 1 disposable a day… besides I REALLY like my sleep. Considering it is somewhat limited these days I’ll take the few extra minutes, thank you!

There are two main types of diaper rash:

Irritation/skin breakdown

This usually occurs from BMs that are really acidic, diarrhea or sometimes not having their diaper changed frequently enough. It also can be hard to get on top of especially when it starts to get bad. It can seem so frustrating that as soon as things start to look up, a big bad poo and we are back to square one.

Eventually it will get better. Sometimes there is just an adjustment phase after starting new foods as well. I know while the babies were exclusively breastfed we rarely had any rash at all unless we didn’t clean all the creases well enough.

Some of my favorite creams or pastes to use area as follows:

  • Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Diaper Cream – I especially liked the lavender scent – who wouldn’t like a bum that smells like flowers! I think this did extremely well for the tougher rashes. It’s sticky and would last a few diaper changes. There is no need to scrub it off after each diaper change, just add a little more if needed. It’s also phthalate and paraben free.
  • Earth’s Best Baby Care Diaper Relief Ointment by Jason- this is also another great cream that has no parabens, hypoallergenic, and fragrance free.
  • Mercola Organic Diaper Cream – I’ve heard raves about this cream, but I’ve never used it myself. I know it is a great company with great products, so I can only imagine it works well! This is also paraben and phthalate free.
  • Earth Mama Angel Baby Diaper Balm – This is a new favorite. It’s very oily instead of a sticky white cream. I LOVE it! But this last baby we haven’t been using cloth diapers (trying to get our house ready to move and I thought it was going to happen before now, and I didn’t want a stinky pail in the bathroom!!) This wouldn’t be good for cloth diapers since it will make the diapers repel liquids, but quite fine for disposable! This is also paraben and phthalate free.
  • Lanolin ointment – I used this all the time. It is so sticky and thick it provides a barrier and works great.
  • Essential oils: (VERY important to make sure you have a high quality oil, especially when applying them to babies.  I post more about this here) The following oils can be used alone diluted in coconut oil or by making a blend. Sandalwood (calming and soothing), Myrrh (anti-inflammatory and antiseptic), Lavender (soothe pain and calm irritation), and Helichrysum (tissue repair and healing).
  • Make your own: There are plenty of places to find online recipes for diaper cream. I’ve enjoyed following the Passionate Homemaking Blog and I really like her recipe  for diaper cream.

Yeast Rash

Another common cause of diaper rash is a yeast diaper rash. These rashes are much harder to get rid of. Yeast proliferates in dark, warm, moist environments and that is exactly what a diaper is, most of the time.

These rashes are beefy red, have raised bumps and are very textured and sometimes swollen. Aisling had a diaper rash like this soon after she was born and we had a hard time getting rid of it. She had it off and on for about 2 months. We were able to completely kick it only after stripping all of the diapers.

The easiest, but not necessarily the best way (in my book) to get rid of a yeast rash is to use an anti-yeast cream like miconazole or clotrimazole. It is not recommended to use the creams that are for vaginitis as they are too strong a dose. The brands for athlete’s foot are the same medication, but a lower strength and are ok to use. I would recommend talking to your Dr. before trying this, though.

A more natural way to fight it off is to try using acidophilus. Sometimes the bacterial normal flora is low (especially after using an antibiotic) and it allows the yeast to grow. Using the acidophilus will help keep it in check and put the good bacteria back where it should be!

Another more natural way is Melaleuca essential oil.  It is especially good for a yeast diaper rash. PLEASE always dilute this oil, especially on babies and todlers.  It’s very spicy and will hurt if applied with out being mixed in another oil.

Apple Cider vinegar will also kill a yeast rash, but if the bumps are open then it will really sting and burn. Also if it touches any of the mucous membrane around the anus or vagina it will sting as well. I have put it on the rash with a q-tip before or cotton ball so that it doesn’t trip into sensitive areas.

Ways to prevent diaper rash:

  • Change diapers frequently
  • Wash with wet cloth or fragrance free, alcohol free wipes
  • Give baby 10 minutes with no diaper on twice a day
  • Don’t cinch the diaper too tight. Allow some room to move around
  • Use a natural, gentle, organic diaper cream
  • Try different brands of diapers (if using disposables) – may be sensitive to the chemicals in one particular brand. (All of my kids are sensitive to the elastic in the Target diapers and get red rashes around their legs and waist.)


Symptoms to see your Dr. for:

  • Worsening of rash after home treatment for about a week.
  • Bleeding rash
  • Rash that looks like it may be infected: open sores, oozing, warm to touch, etc
  • If a fever develops the rash may be infected

I hope you’ve found some of this information helpful. Please let me know if you have questions or anything else that you’d like to know!

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