How Diaper Rash Develops
- Chafing from the diaper
- Irritation from urine or stool
- Skin may appear red or blotchy; time to intervene!
- Left untreated, scattered red bumps, blisters or open sores may form
- Bacterial or yeast infections can set in and require medical treatment
Prevent Diaper Rash
Change your baby’s diaper as soon as you see it’s been soiled. When diaper rash is present, keep baby’s diaper area clean, allowing baby’s skin to air dry before applying diaper cream and a clean diaper. See your baby’s healthcare provider if a red diaper rash appears swollen or has red bumps or raised areas.
Yes, you can diaper to prevent rash with the 10,000 diapers you’ll change before baby is potty trained. Nurses advise you diaper as follows to prevent diaper rash:
- Change baby’s diaper as soon as it’s soiled; diaper with wetness indicators will help you know if a sleeping baby needs a diaper change, and diapers with emollients help protect baby’s skin
- Use super-absorbent disposable diapers; experts no longer recommend cloth diapers because babies who wear super absorbent diapers have fewer and less severe episodes of rash
- Clean with infant-skin-friendly wipes designed for babies; they remove more urine and stool than any other method, and they’re much more gentle compared to water and cloths
- Always wipe gently and pat when cleaning baby’s diaper area—never rub while cleansing baby’s skin
- Apply a diaper rash cream anytime you see redness; use barrier cream with each diaper change if your baby’s skin is prone to rash, otherwise, use as needed. Wipe away any soiled cream at each change before adding more clean cream
- Avoid talc or any powders; these contain fine particulates and can irritate baby’s lungs
Babies born premature or hospitalized in neonatal care units experience more diaper rash than full-term infants. Ask your nurses about gentle skin cleansing and tips for preventing and treating diaper rash if your baby was born premature.
Diaper rash is seldom serious. With care, most diaper rash clears within 3–4 days. Left untreated it can be increasingly painful, leading to skin breakdown and sometimes skin infections.