Plenty of proven remedies for diaper rash may be prepared with ingredients you might already have in your home, offering a safe and effective method of relief for your baby. Sometimes, too, you can change your diapering and laundering habits to help heal diaper rash. But if taking care of your baby's diaper rash at home is not working or your baby seems ill, you might need to call your baby’s pediatrician for guidance or to rule out other possible medical conditions.
Kitchen Cupboard Remedies
For a soothing soak, WebMD recommends adding 2 tablespoons of baking soda to warm water in a baby tub or bathtub. Allow your baby to sit in this mixture, with your constant supervision, three times a day for 10 minutes each time. For babies whose umbilical cord has not yet fallen off, skip this step and use plain water to clean the affected area. Next, ensure your baby’s bottom is completely dry by patting it gently with a towel. You can then add a layer of ointment containing petroleum jelly, especially recommended if your baby is under 2 months of age, or zinc oxide.
Making Rash Cream
A homemade cream offers an alternative to those on the market with fragrances and additives, which might irritate already-sore bottoms, but the cost of the necessary ingredients makes such creams a more expensive choice than a single remedy off your store's shelves. When making a cream, the Mayo Clinic cautions, avoid phenol, camphor, boric acid, benzocaine or salicylates, which can be toxic for babies. AskDrSears.com suggests this recipe: mix zinc oxide, white petroleum ointment, lanolin ointment and aluminum acetate together.
Alternative Care Ideas
Some remedies for diaper rash don’t involve anything more than a change in baby care. Because diaper rash is often caused or exacerbated by wetness, leave your baby’s diaper off for longer periods of time during the day and night to increase air flow around his bottom, placing him on a towel or waterproof pad. Babycenter.com recommends washing cloth diapers in fragrance-free detergents without fabric softener, using hot water and double rinsing. Add 1/2 cup of vinegar to the first rinse to help clear alkaline irritants from the diapers. Avoid using plastic diaper covers while your baby has a rash, and if you use disposable diapers, secure them less tightly and fold the edges away from the body as much as possible.
Seeking Medical Help
Sometimes a diaper rash can be caused by a medical condition or won’t heal on its own. Healthychildren.org recommends watching for blisters or sores filled with pus, a rash that won’t go away or looks like it is getting worse after two to three days of treatment, a bright red rash with red spots on the edges if your baby is taking an antibiotic, or a rash accompanied by a fever. If your baby has any of these symptoms, call his doctor during his next business hours. He may want to see your baby to rule out as the cause yeast, impetigo, allergies, cellulitis, psoriasis or other issues.