Diaper Rash: Info, Tips, Tricks, and More

Diaper Rash: Info, Tips, Tricks, and More

Diaper rash: the arch-enemy of the baby bum. Yup, one day you’re out there dancing till the sun rises and the next, you’re searching for tips to deal with baby butt rash. Ah, adulting!
If you are currently on a detective mission to find out all you can about diaper rash, there’s both good and bad news for you:

The bad news: chances are, you will have to deal with diaper rash at some stage of your journey as a new mama. If your baby is in diapers, this is part of the (ultra-cute) package.

The good news: there is absolutely no reason to berate yourself for it. This doesn’t give you a low parenting score in the early mamahood department. Baby diaper rash is totally normal and very common.

All that being said, there are some measures you can take to help prevent and treat diaper rash—and the more you know, the easier it is to get things sorted.

Let’s start at the beginning. What does diaper rash look like?

What is diaper rash?

Baby diaper rash is an inflammation of the delicate skin on your baby’s bum, thanks to that handy diaper that does such a good job of protecting your home from a constant barrage of projectile poop.

We’ll be honest, diaper rash looks sore. Those pink and red bumps can seriously irritate your baby. But, there are easy ways to treat it, and it’s nothing to worry about.
(Of course, if it gets severe or is accompanied by any other symptoms that you are worried about, such as high fever, contact your doc.)

Baby diaper rash info

What causes diaper rash?

So, seriously. How do babies get diaper rash? (As in, is this completely necessary?)

Well, of course, as is the case with all questions child-rearing, there are no one-size-fits-all answers here. One thing that you can almost bet on, however, is that most diaper rash tends to share the same delightful culprit: baby poop.

Enzymes from poop (and pee) can get into your little one’s delicate skin and the skin can respond by getting irritated. Makes sense.

But not all bumpy butts are made equal. There are various types of baby diaper rash—each one requiring its own specific course of action:

  1. Chafing. Chafing is a common cause of diaper rash and happens from the diaper rubbing up against that delicate little baby bum. It could be a result of the diaper being a little tight, something to watch out for as your baby grows at what seems like an impossible rate.
  2. New foods. New foods may result in new poops. Introducing solids might mean a change in frequency or consistency. For breastfeeding babies, a change in mama’s diet may also change things up in the baby poop department.
  3. Yeast or bacterial infections. All of us are prone to infections down there. Babies are no different. A yeast or bacterial infection may grow out of small localized bumps that spread to a larger area.
  4. Wiping woes. Some babies have more sensitive skin than others. Changing to a new baby wipe may lead to baby diaper rash. Other allergy culprits? Laundry detergent, baby powder, lotions. Getting to the bottom of this (no pun intended) may require a little trial and error.

The next question might just be the biggest one for the mama mind:

Are diaper rashes painful?

The short answer is, yes. They can be. If you’ve noticed that your little one is a whole lot fussier at changing or bath time, diaper rash may be the culprit. It can be particularly painful if it’s very raw and red. But if you notice any bleeding, it may be worth checking in with your doc.

Another reason to consult with your healthcare practitioner is if the actual act of peeing or pooping appears painful. This may mean that something beyond diaper rash is at fault.

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Tips on how to treat diaper rash

Fear not, mama! There are ways that you can help your little one through this.

Of course, prevention is always better than cure, but for many babies, at least one episode of diaper rash is going to sneak in there at some point.

Some things you can try to do to keep it at bay?

  1. Change is good. In many respects. But specifically when it comes to baby diaper rash. Leaving diapers too long can increase the likelihood of poop and pee wreaking unnecessary havoc on your poor baby’s bum.
  2. Let them go commando. Give your baby a taste of freedom by letting them go diaper-less when possible.
  3. Loosen up. The diaper that is. When they’re too tight, they can create a chafe-friendly, moist environment that rashes just love.
  4. Steer clear of the talcum powder. Many mamas of yore used talcum powder to dry things up down there and, in turn, stave off rashes. We have now discovered, however, that powders are not too great for babies to inhale. Rather, opt for a gentle pat with a clean towel and some diaper-free time.

And, inevitably, no matter what you do, the rash will come anyway. So what can you do about them?

Diaper rash treatment

What cures diaper rash fast? There are a variety of creams on the market that can help your baby’s tush return to its former glory. If it’s regular ol’ diaper rash, petroleum jelly or zinc oxide are the way to go. Clean the area, dry it thoroughly, and then pop the cream on.


If there is a bacterial or fungal infection, your doctor may prescribe a specific cream that deals with the issue at hand.

Either way, you’ve got this.

👶 More from The 411:
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How to Give a Newborn a Sponge Bath
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Newborn Dry Skin: What to Know and What to Do
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