- A dry bottom is the best defense against diaper rash, so change your child's diaper frequently or as soon as possible after it becomes wet or soiled.
- Clean your child's genital area thoroughly with each diaper change.
- Pat her skin dry – never rub it. You can also use a hair dryer set on low to dry the diaper area after a diaper change.
- If your child seems prone to diaper rash, spread a thin layer of protective ointment on her bottom after each diaper change.
- Don't use powders or cornstarch because the particles can be harmful to a child's lungs if inhaled. Also, some experts think cornstarch can make a yeast diaper rash worse.
- When your child starts eating solid foods, introduce one item at a time. Waiting a few days between each new food makes it easier to determine whether a sensitivity to a new food is causing diaper rash. If it is, eliminate that food for the time being.
- Don't secure the diaper so tightly that there's no room for air to circulate. Dress her in loose clothing.
- Use fragrance-free detergent to wash cloth diapers, and skip the fabric softener – both can irritate your child's skin.
- Wash diapers with hot water, and double rinse them. You also might add a half cup of vinegar to the first rinse to eliminate alkaline irritants.
- Breastfeed your child for as long as you can because diaper rash occurs less often in breastfed babies, although it isn't completely clear why. One theory is that breastfed babies' stool may have a lower pH, which makes their poop less acidic and less likely to irritate the skin.
- When your child does need to take an antibiotic, ask the doctor about giving her a probiotic as well. Probiotics encourage the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut, which may reduce your child's chances of getting a diaper rash.
- If your child goes to daycare or preschool, make sure that her caregivers understand the importance of taking these precautions.
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