Avoiding Diaper Rash with the 3 Rs
Written by Bonnie Stabrawa, Board Certified Pediatrician, Mom 2/4/2022
Replace - change dirty diapers promptly.
When your baby is in the same diaper too long, whether it is a “pee-only” diaper or a “poopy” diaper, two things happen:
First, the absorbent in the diaper gets overloaded, the diaper leaks and everything the baby is wearing gets wet and messy. More laundry. Ugh.
Second, something worse happens — diaper rash. When a baby sits too long in a wet or poopy diaper, urine and poop irritate your baby’s skin and cause diaper rash.
In medicine, leaving pee and poop on a baby’s skin too long is called an “insult” to the skin. The easiest way to avoid diaper rash is to keep your baby’s skin clean. That starts with changing your baby’s diaper as soon as you notice it is wet, and especially when it is poopy.
Most parents have a diaper bag that goes with them everywhere and anywhere they take their babies. The diaper bag holds everything they need to support baby when away from home, which is a lot. It’s heavy, you wish it were bigger, but you also don’t. Somewhere in that diaper bag, you have a portable diaper change mat. It’s about the size of a thermos bottle, which is why your diaper bag is so big.
So, your baby scrunches up that cute little face and then squirts poop so fast you wonder how it is even possible. You whip the portable diaper change mat out of your diaper bag and go to work. A dozen wet wipes later, your baby is clean (sort of), and clothes are changed. But the diaper change mat is a poopy mess. Ugh. You fold it up and stuff it back in your diaper bag, hoping the bad stuff doesn’t get all over the stuffed animals. And then, 30 minutes later, your dear, sweet, little baby scrunches up that adorable face… and does it all over again. Now, what do you do? Your only diaper change mat is already a mess. You decide to wait until you get home and you race to get there. Baby will have to sit in poop for a while. Visions of diaper rash swim through your head.
Or, because your diaper bag is so heavy, you decide to leave it in the car while you grab your baby and run into the store for just one thing… which turns into several things, and a talk with your best friend… and that’s when it happens. That dear, sweet, adorable little baby gets that look on the face you love so much and you are thinking, "No, please no, not now,” but it happens anyway. And you are without your diaper bag. Holding that dear, sweet child at arms length, you run from the store.
What to do? I recommend DubleRoo. DubleRoo is a clean, full-size, absorbent, waterproof, diaper change mat that fits in the back pocket of your jeans. It is so tiny, you can put several in your smallest diaper bag and still have plenty of room for other necessities.
With DubleRoo always at hand (plus a clean diaper and some wipes), you can change a wet or dirty diaper anywhere — there is no reason to delay. When you don’t delay diaper changes, diapers are less likely to leak, and it is much less likely that your baby will develop diaper rash. No more worries about having a clean place to change a horrible, awful, very bad diaper. No more worries about what happens when poop gets all over the diaper change mat. And, DubleRoo helps you avoid diaper rash. That’s better for your baby, and better for you.
Refresh — using soap and water.
In Part 1 of this series, I talked about the importance of “prompt diaper changes.” Because, the longer your baby sits in a wet, messy diaper, the more likely your baby is to get a diaper rash. “Best practice” is to change your baby’s diaper as soon as possible after you realize the diaper is wet or full of poop. Carrying a portable diaper change mat, a few wet wipes, and a spare diaper means you can change a diaper anytime and anywhere to help keep your baby’s bottom healthy. I like Fin & Viola’s DubleRoo diaper change mat because it is so tiny, it fits in the back pocket of a pair of jeans.
In Part 2 of this series, I am going to talk about the importance of a regular soap-and-water bath to keep your baby’s bottom healthy and free of diaper rash.
Wet wipes do a pretty good job of removing pee and poop from your baby’s bottom, but they are not perfect. Nothing beats a good bath for really getting your baby’s bottom sparkly clean. The two elements of a good bath are warm water and good soap.
Warm water cleans better than cold water, and warm water will make the bath more comfortable for your baby. How warm? Only a little bit above body temperature for a baby, which is a little cooler than you might like for your own bath. To be technical, about 100ºF to 102ºF.
The best soap to use on a baby is mild, non-abrasive, and “super-fatted.” Abrasive soaps are used by auto mechanics to remove really tough grease and grime — your baby’s bottom does not need abrasive soap. “Super-fatted” means that it has extra oils to replenish the good oils removed by wet wipes and washing. Once you try super-fatted soap on your own skin, you will never go back to regular soap. The mild, non-abrasive, super-fatted soap I like is Fin & Viola’s Soap for Baby & Me. It comes in cute animal shapes that your baby will love, and it has a signature thumb hole in the middle of every bar to make it easier to hold.
Replenish — oils to help maintain healthy and strong skin
In Part 1 of this series, I talked about the importance of “prompt diaper changes.” The longer your baby sits in a wet, messy diaper, the more likely your baby is to get a diaper rash. Carrying a portable diaper change mat, a few wet wipes, and a spare diaper means you are always ready so your baby does not have to sit in a wet, messy diaper. I like Fin & Viola’s DubleRoo because it is so tiny, it fits in the back pocket of a pair of jeans.
In Part 2 of this series, I talked about the value of regularly giving your baby a soap-and-water bath to get your baby’s bottom cleaner than is possible with wet wipes. I like Fin & Viola’s Soap for Baby & Me because it is mild, cleans wonderfully, and begins the process of replenishing healthy oils. It also makes bath time fun because the bars are shaped like animals with a convenient hole in the middle for your thumb.
The third step in the process that helps prevent diaper rash is replenishing oils. The skin on your baby’s bottom acts as an amazing membrane that is waterproof yet breathable. When it is healthy and doing its job as nature designed, it keeps good stuff in and bad stuff out.
Constant insult from pee, poop, wet wipes, and harsh soap strips away the oils that keep skin healthy. When that happens, skin cracks, bad stuff gets in, and the result is painful diaper rash. Fortunately, it is pretty simple to replenish the good oils that keep skin healthy and functioning properly. You want to select oils that are natural, without detergents and preservatives, heavy enough not to evaporate and quickly disappear, yet light enough that the oils can soak into and help strengthen skin rather than staying on the surface as a messy grease. I like Fin & Viola’s Baby Butter for all these reasons. I like it for my own hands too.
When, how, and where should you apply Baby Butter? When you can, rub in just a little on your baby’s bottom after diaper changes. Especially take time to rub in Baby Butter after a bath. Your baby will love the attention, and a little time without a diaper is good for your baby’s bottom. Use Baby Butter anywhere your baby’s skin seems dry. It is also good for eczema.
Baby Butter is not like lotion. Lotion is mostly water with a little oil and a bunch of chemistry to keep the oil and water mixed. Baby Butter is only good oils — no water, no preservatives, no complex chemistry. So, you only need a little — just a little dab on your finger, and then gently rub it in.
Perhaps the most important thing you can give your baby is loving attention. Rubbing in a bit of Baby Butter after diaper changes and a bath is a wonderful opportunity to give your baby gentle, loving care.
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