Pregnancy and Beyond

"Diaper rash" may vary from a mild redness that clears on its own, to painful open sores or blisters that need medical care. Diaper rash may be caused by too much moisture, chafing (friction or rubbing) or lengthy contact with wet or messy diapers.

Diaper rash is more likely to happen when babies:

  • Are not kept clean and dry.
  • Have frequent bowel movements, especially in overnight diapers.
  • Are taking antibiotics.

There are several ways to prevent your baby from getting diaper rash:

  • Gently clean baby with mild soap and water after wet or dirty diapers. Do not smear on ointments without washing.
  • Using too much soap or commercial diaper wipes can dry out the skin and cause irritation.
  • Change diapers immediately after bowel movements.
  • Use mild laundry detergent when washing cloth diapers.

When diaper rash appears:

  • Change diapers even if the diaper is just a little wet.
  • After gently washing, pat baby dry and keep his diaper off for at least 15 minutes.
  • Apply an ointment that contains zinc oxide to the rash.

Call your health care provider if your baby has a rash that does not clear up within 2-3 days. It may be a yeast infection requiring a prescription.

Wash your hands and your baby's hands after diapering.