Natural Diaper Rash Treatments

We all know how miserable diaper rash can be for a baby. And when your baby is miserable, fussy, and hurting - so are you!

Baby stores and supermarkets stock dozens of diaper rash remedies, which range in price and effectiveness. Before you resort to buying a store-bought diaper rash treatment, here are some home solutions for diaper rash.

1. Air Time

Lack of circulation is a major contributor to diaper rash. After your baby's morning diaper change, wash your baby's bottom with lukewarm water and pat dry with a very soft towel. Then, let baby be diaper-free for as long as possible.

If you have a very young infant who can't move around, lay her on an absorbent towel or a hospital-style "chuck" which is an absorbent pad with plastic backing.

If your baby is mobile, let him run around outside if weather permits. If weather does not permit, try some diaper-free time on a tile floor (watching carefully for falls!).

Or you can give your mobile baby short, frequent air-out times throughout the day, always right after changing.

2. Frequent Diaper Changes

Make sure to change baby's diaper at least every three hours. You may even need to change your baby in the middle of the night until her diaper rash clears up all the way.

3. Breast milk

If you are nursing, try applying the breast milk to your baby's bottom. Breast milk has antibacterial, antifungal properties that can be very helpful, and breast milk soothes skin. Apply it gently to baby's clean, dry bottom.

4. Vinegar Rinse

If you are using cloth diapers, add a cupful of white vinegar to the laundry and rinse the load twice. Or you can add the vinegar during the first rinse cycle.

5. Cornstarch

Apply plain cornstarch to your baby's clean, dry bottom - just the way commercial baby powder is applied. Apply with each change.

6. Oils

Your kitchen cabinet may have some oils you can use. Coconut and olive oils can be effective against diaper rash. Coconut oil can be applied directly from the jar. Dust with cornstarch for extra protection. Olive oil should be mixed with water. In a blender or with a whisk, combine olive oil and water in a combination of 1/4 teaspoon water per tablespoon of olive oil. Blend until it is creamy and apply.

7. Aloe

If you have an aloe plant, apply the gel right from the leaves of the plant. Split the succulent leaves lengthwise and scrape out the gel with a knife. You can sometimes get the gel commercially, but make sure it is pure aloe vera gel, not a product containing aloe.

Things to Avoid

* Commercial baby wipes may be irritating your baby's bottom, especially if diaper rash has already started. Try using warm, moist cloths instead.

* Harsh soaps can also irritate baby's skin. Instead, add a little baking soda to baby's bath and rinse well.

* Diaper covers, especially plastic ones, decrease circulation and irritate the skin. Make sure that the diaper system you use isn't contributing to your baby's diaper rash problems.

If your baby has chronic or recurring diaper rash, make sure to ask your pediatrician for more ideas and advice for treating diaper rash.

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