Things You Can Do to Prevent Diaper Rash
While there is no guarantee that diaper rash can be prevented, there are things you can do to help decrease the chances. Some tips include:
- Change your baby's diaper as soon as it becomes wet or dirty. The less your baby is exposed to skin irritants like urine and/or stool, the better.
- Clean well -- make sure that all the stool is removed from your baby's bottom.
- Allow your baby's skin to dry completely before putting on another diaper.
- Avoid baby wipes that are scented or contain alcohol and/or chlorine.
- Apply a preventative cream or ointment to create a barrier between your baby's bottom and moisture. There are several great products out there, most of which are lanolin- or petroleum jelly-based. They all work to lock out the bad moisture and protect sensitive skin.
- Avoid using plastic pants or diapers with plastic lining. These limit any chance for airflow and trap moisture in.
(Click Diaper Rash Prevention for more tips.)
Cloth Versus Disposable: Does It Matter?
Diaper rashes do not necessarily favor a particular type of diaper. Both cloth and disposable diapers have pluses and negatives pertaining directly to the likelihood of an outbreak of diaper rash.
Disposable diapers tend to do a better job at preventing leaks than cloth diapers do. While that is a good thing, disposable diapers hold heat and moisture in so well that it could set up a good environment for a diaper rash.
Babies wearing cloth diapers, on the other hand, may get rashes often if they are not changed quickly enough after the diaper is soiled. This is because cloth is not as good at wicking moisture away from the baby's skin as the materials used in today's disposable diapers.
Regardless of your choice of cloth or disposable diapers, the best thing you can do is change them frequently. This will decrease the chances of a diaper rash happening in the first place. Most rashes can be treated at home without contacting your healthcare provider.