Whether you're a first-time parent or have multiple kids, seeing your baby's bottom erupt with redness, chapped skin and even blisters is unnerving. While it's something that almost every parent deals with occasionally, diaper rash can be hard to escape because the very thing that causes it -- diapers and moisture -- are in constant contact with your baby's bottom. If you try remedies to take care of the diaper rash and it still doesn't go away, it might be time to talk to your pediatrician.
Change your baby's bottom as soon as you notice he's wet. Allowing your baby's skin to remain in contact with moisture can exacerbate a diaper rash. Remember that while your little one might need frequent changes now, the amount of daily diaper changes decreases as your child ages. Still, it's important to keep diapering supplies on hand so you can change as soon as possible.
Wash your baby's bottom with water and avoid wiping the affected areas, warns AskDrSears.com. Wiping the area with wipes can cause friction flare-ups, so try using a bulb syringe to squirt warm water over the skin and then pat it dry when your baby has had a wet or dirty diaper.
Allow your baby's bottom to air out as much as possible, suggests the Cleveland Clinic. When your little one has a severe diaper rash, one of the best treatments for it is reducing the time spent in contact with diapers. After a changing, try letting your baby go naked for a few minutes before you replace the diaper to allow for clean, dry skin.
Coat your baby's affected skin with a diaper cream that contains zinc oxide or petroleum jelly, suggests the American Academy of Pediatrics. This creates a barrier between skin and moisture to give your baby's skin the opportunity to heal.
Try a new brand of diapers to determine whether your baby's reaction is being caused by the fabric in the diaper. You can order trial packs of diapers from manufacturer websites and test each one until you find the right fit. Or, consider swapping out disposable diapers for cloth diapers made from unbleached cotton, which might work better for sensitive skin.
Contact your doctor if your baby's rash is so severe that it blisters, involves broken skin or doesn't go away in two to three days. Rashes are rarely an emergency, so you can talk to your doctor about your little one's skin at your next appointment or call for a prescription diaper cream.