Never mind the blowouts – her bum is SORE. At first it was only a bit red. But then you got stuck in traffic and then she had to go, and then she had to wait. And wait. So now it’s redder than last month’s fave nose, tear-inducing and utterly exhausting to clean, and you’re not sure but you think there might even be, gulp, blood. Oy.
Zinc, zinc baby.
This is one of the more common questions we’re asked. We should already have an entertaining little CRUNCH to forward along but, well, there’s nothing funny about diaper rash. Here’s how to deal with that red and sensitive baby bum:
- Avoid diapers as much as possible. We’ve never met a baby who didn’t like nudie time (unless she’s cold). Let her lounge on anything you don’t mind getting dirty because yup, there’s always that
- Make sure her bum’s clean. Wiping will sting/hurt/bring on the tears, so do your best to dab rather than smear. Whenever possible, we passed on the wipes and used our handy hand-held shower spray to wash bidet-style, being extra careful because babies are slippery when wet! Also make sure she’s totally dry before diapering: if her bum’s still wet you’re locking in more moisture (read: making it worse) when you seal it up. Another reason for extra nudie time!
- Think about switching your cloth diapers with disposable or vice versa. Cloth breathe, which is great for healing, so they’re ideal when dry. But once it’s wet, it’ll irritate her skin like yesterday’s blueberries. If you can change her right away, then cloth’s your best friend. If you’re out and about and can’t guarantee she won’t be sitting in her, um, filth, for more than a minute, go with disposable. Unless of course your babe has an allergic reaction – like Jack did when a certain brand-name changed their product years ago creating rashes all over North America. Whoops.
- Zinc it up. Our go-to diaper rash cream is extra strength Zincofax, which has 40% zinc oxide, a superstar skin-calmer. It also helps burns and acne – too bad it doesn’t do anything for stretch marks… boo. We use fragrance-free (regular strength) Zincofax on Lola before bed, which has 15% zinc oxide, for a non-rashy bum vapour barrier. As we explained way back here, we disposable diaper at night and cloth during the day, so no cream is necessary when she’s awake UNLESS she’s got a rash going on (which is great because liners never seem to work for us and cream gunks up cloth diapers something fierce). We also change her asap once she’s wet/dirty… you’re welcome Lola.
- Ask your doc for hydrocortisone cream if it’s not getting any better and definitely if it’s bleeding. Once she’s clean and had some fresh air, dab a little HC on first, lather on the extra strength Zincofax, and diaper her up until her next “elimination”. And repeat.
This too shall pass. If you stay calm through her tears, go heavy on the cream, and give her some extra TLC, she’ll be on the road to recovery before you know it. Just in time to throw you another curveball… anyone teething yet?
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