The main cause of the chaffing monster is wetness. Staying in a wet or soiled diaper causes irritation and ultimately can lead to skin breakdown. As a baby gets older and sleeps longer through the night, they stay in a diaper longer, thus staying wetter and soiled. Also, as babies get older and eat more solid foods, their bowel movements change, causing more frequent and loose stool. Cloth diapers can contribute to irritated skin as well. The cloth in diapers lacks the absorbency of disposable diapers and keeps a baby wetter when soiled. Disposable diapers should be used when an outbreak occurs but parents can go back to cloth once the rash clears. When a baby is sick and on an antibiotic, stools change and can cause a diaper rash more frequently. Antibiotics also can contribute to yeast infections on the skin as well.
How to Prevent Diaper Rash
So, what can new parents do to prevent diaper rash? Sometimes the small, redness will go away with just one application of some diaper rash cream and that's it. But, for the times it doesn’t and how to stop it from happening, the first thing parents need to know is good hygiene habits. Hand washing is very important before and after a diaper change. Cleaning the skin with fragrance-free wipes and patting the baby’s bottom dry will reduce chafing and irritation. Also, parents should make sure the diaper is not too tight, but rather snug and not rubbing on the inside of the baby’s thigh. Diaper free time helps dry baby’s skin and prevents a rash outbreak. After the bath is a great time to let the baby be without a diaper before bedtime when the diaper stays on for longer. Finally, the baby’s skin needs a skin barrier from wetness like diaper cream. A petroleum-based, and zinc oxide cream is the best to combat and prevent diaper rash. Parents should also apply the cream with an applicator such as the SwipenSnap diaper rash applicator. This keeps germ contamination at a minimum as there is no skin contact and keeps the parent's hands clean from messy diaper rash cream. It also is very gentle to the baby’s irritated skin.
Diaper rashes are a rite of passage for new parents. It is part of the new baby list of concerns for parents. Knowing the causes and some prevention techniques can help sleep-deprived and groggy parents when diaper rash strikes.