The sudden appearance of a diaper rash can cause any parent to worry. While it’s true that cloth-diapered babies generally experience fewer rashes, there are instances when red, irritated skin make an unexpected entrance. The culprit? It might not be the cloth diaper itself. In this blog, we’ll delve into the common causes of diaper rash, providing you with valuable insights on why your little one’s sensitive skin may be reacting and how to heal it swiftly. Let’s unravel the mystery behind diaper rashes and empower you with the knowledge to keep your baby’s skin as rash-free as can be.
Infant skin is different than adult skin. It’s thinner, more prone to dryness, and sensitive to chemicals and outside agents. Because of this, many babies react to seemingly harmless lotions or soaps. If you have multiple children, you may find one reacts to a product that the other was fine to use. It’s not uncommon for a parent to have to use a special hypoallergenic detergent or lotion for their baby until they’ve reached an older age and their skin barrier has thickened. If your child is experiencing a rash, we recommend investigating the diaper cream or lotion you are using before concluding the diaper is to blame. Although, many parents find themselves using cloth diapers because their baby reacts poorly to the chemicals of disposable diapers.
Sickness and Medications
During bouts of illness babies often develop a rash due to their body attempting to fight whatever bacteria is present. Babies on an antibiotic are more likely to develop some sort of rash. Sometimes the sickness may be the rash that needs to be treated, or the rash is a symptom of the sickness. Always consult a doctor to get recommendation on treatment if you are concerned.
Tip: It is important to clean diapers thoroughly after a yeast infection to insure all yeast spores are killed. Frequent changes and air time will help clear up the irritation.
All babies will go through growth spurts and times of great development. During the teething stage especially it is likely that you will find more diaper rash. As you will discover, babies produce extra saliva during teething…aka they become a drool monster! This excess saliva can cause irritation on their skin around their face, neck and chest which is where a drool bib can come in handy. This saliva also irritates their digestive track as they swallow it and can cause irritated skin around their bum, potentially resulting in a diaper rash.
Tip: Change your baby more often during this time or leave more naked time for air exposure. We also recommend preventive measure to protect their skin like using our Organic Healing Balm. The oils and beeswax in the balm create a barrier between the skin and poo which will help prevent a rash from forming.
Environmental Changes & New Foods
As your diet as a nursing mother changes sometimes the results will translate into a diaper rash. Another food milestone is transition to solid foods, and this can cause some irritation as well. With berries or acidic foods your baby may react to these until they’re system has adjusted. Most of these will clear up with time as the stomach lining adapts to the new foods. If your child is allergic to a food this can also show up in the diaper.
Babies are more prone to develop diaper rashes in the summer due to the increased temperatures. Changing often, keeping them cool and in a shady place, and giving diaper-free time can help prevent rashes in the summer. Potty training may also surprising present a time when rashes may pop up. The change in routine, sitting on a toilet, and new habits can cause a rash to pop up until their body has adapted. Baby skin is just that sensitive! Any changes or stresses can show up as a rash.
Tip: Many of these causes pass with time, but using cloth diaper safe cream or balm to protect their skin will help.
Soiled and Wet Diapers
If your baby is in cloth it is important to change their diaper at least every 2 hours and after a bowel movement. This may feel often and while cloth diapers are absorbent they don’t have any ultra absorbent synthetic gels to wick moisture from the skin. Changing this frequently helps prevent rashes from forming due to the moisture. For longer stretches of sleep you may want to add more absorbent layers, use a fleece liner which is moisture-wicking, or use an eco-friendly disposable diaper. Some babies naturally have more acidic urine. You can tell this is the case because soiled diapers will have an ammonia smell after sitting soiled for a day or two.
Tip: Frequent changing (every 1-2 hours) will help. You can also use a cloth diaper safe cream to help clear it up.
As we wrap up our dive into the world of diaper rashes, remember that parenting is an ongoing journey of discovery. Diaper rashes are a common challenge, but armed with the right knowledge, you’ve got this! Whether it’s sensitive skin, teething, environmental shifts, or new foods causing a stir, our tips are here to help you navigate with ease. If you ever need more personalized advice, reach out—we’re here for you. Happy diapering!