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Many people switch to cloth diapers because it is one of the best natural diaper rash remedies. Many babies are sensitive to all the harsh chemicals found in disposable diapers and making the switch to cloth clears things up instantly.
However, from time to time, even in cloth diapers, your little one may have about with diaper rash. Though this should be the exception, not the rule.
So what are some natural diaper rash remedies you can use to help your little one’s tushy feel better, without using over the counter diaper rash creams?
Diaper rash creams that contain zinc oxide, waxes and oils (especially fish oil) are very hard to wash out of your diapers, can leave stains and can cause your diapers to repel water (not a good thing).
What Causes Diaper Rash?
There are many reasons why babies get diaper rash. It is always a good idea to pinpoint the cause, if you can, and eliminate the culprit. And, if your baby’s rash does not clear up quickly with these suggestions, it is very important to see your family pediatrician for guidance within a few days.
Here are some of the top things that cause diaper rash:
- Diaper rash is most often caused by a combination of wetness and friction. Babies that are not changed often enough, or who are in a too tight fitting diaper can easily get diaper rash.
- Hanging out in a poopy diaper for too long will do it.
- Using a diaper and/or cover that cannot breathe. Most of the cloth diaper choices out there are breathable, some more than others. Avoid those plastic pants used years ago!
- Sometimes the food that the baby eats (or mom if the baby is nursing) can cause diaper rash, especially foods that are highly acidic.
- Using fabric softener or bleach on your diapers can leave harsh chemicals on the diaper that will irritate baby’s sensitive skin.
- Antibiotics can sometimes cause yeast infections that often looks like diaper rash.
- Detergent residue left on your diapers caused by using the wrong type of detergent or if your diapers is not getting rinsed out well enough. The best way to fix this problem is to strip your diapers.
- Using a type of detergent that your little one is especially sensitive to.
Ways to Prevent Diaper Rash
- Change your baby’s diaper often. I know, sometimes easier said than done, but letting your baby hang out in a wet diaper is a sure fire way to cause irritation. And change the poopy diapers immediately. Make sure the baby’s bottom is dry before putting a new diaper on.
- Clean baby’s bottom really well at every change.
- Use wipes that are scent and alcohol-free. Better yet, use cloth wipes with either plain water or a mild wipe solution.
- Add vinegar (just plain old white distilled) to your rinse cycle. This helps to restore the pH of your diapers and may help to rinse out any detergent residue left over from washing.
Natural Diaper Rash Remedies
- Let your baby’s bottom breath. Let her go without a diaper for a while to get some fresh air and dry out.
- Don’t wipe the infected area, wash with water and pat dry. Wiping will further irritate this very sensitive skin.
- Try washing and blow drying baby’s bottom on a low setting after every change until the rash clears up.
- Some people swear by using a little cornstarch to keep the diaper area dry but use caution if you try this. Corn starch will cause a yeast-based infection to get much worse!
- Try switching the laundry detergent you are using.
- Place a fleece liner inside the diaper, especially at night. This will help your baby stay feeling dry. I have used just some cut up fleece I purchased at the fabric store.
- Switch to a more breathable type of diaper, like cotton fitted or prefold with a wool cover.
- Olive oil has helped sooth diaper rash with my kiddos.
- You can try using essential oils mixed with the olive oil. There are many that are soothing and healing. I like tea tree oil, it is anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. Other good ones are calendula, chamomile, and lavender.
- Here is one of my favorite all natural diaper rash remedies – breastmilk! Just put a little right on the rash. When I tried this, I was AMAZED how quickly that nasty rash cleared up.
- Shea butter is very soothing and has natural healing attributes. Avoid lotions that call themselves shea butter, but have tons of other junk in them. Go for the pure stuff.
- There are some all natural diaper rash treatments that don’t contain zinc oxide and/or fish oils. You can find these at most natural food markets.
- If you do end up using regular old diaper cream, use a liner inside the diaper to try and keep the cream from staining your dipes. If you can’t do that, or you forget, or you just didn’t know, I highly recommend that you strip your diapers after the diaper rash is all cleared up and you have stopped using the diaper rash cream.
If none of these natural diaper rash remedies helps, or if your baby is really suffering with no end in sight, please consult with your pediatrician!