Did you know that about 7% to 35% of the infants get diaper rash before the age of 3? Diaper rashes have become almost inevitable these days. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Giving your baby a regular diaper free time and applying diaper cream in some form or the other is a sure way to keep diaper rashes at bay.
Should I use Diaper Creams?
I think diaper cream is a must-have baby item. My kids hardly ever had diaper rashes. In my nearly four years of parenting two kids, We have encountered diapers rashes once or maybe twice. I credit that to using cloth diapers, regular diaper breaks and religiously applying chemical free diaper creams.
The diaper area is exposed to acidic wastes constantly and is prone to develop redness, itchiness and all these initial symptoms when left untreated can turn into a severe diaper rash.
When to Apply Diaper Cream?
I apply diaper cream after every diaper change. If this seems too much for you, you can do once in the morning and once before night. I heavily stress on applying diaper cream during your night-time diaper change because night time diapers sit there hugging your baby’s bum for more than 6 hours.
Although applying diaper cream on every diaper changes in uncalled for. But, be sure to apply to start applying cream when you see some starting signs of diaper rash.
- Skin inflammation, redness or a rash.
- Whenever your baby passes loose stools. This can be due to diarrhea,teething or when he is on a antibiotic medication.
- When your baby starts solid foods. Introducing solid foods can change the composition of stool which can irritate the diaper area.
How to Choose the Best Diaper Cream?
When it comes to any baby care product, choosing a quality, non toxic product is crucial. Especially for something that goes over the skin. Remember the anything that you put on a baby;s skin is absorbed into their body via the skin. Also, some chemicals in diaper creams can t rigger diaper rash or even worsen them and backfire on you.
General guidelines to keep in mind:
Avoid petroleum Jelly. Petroleum jelly appears to be effective but it doesn’t have any skin nourishing qualities. Opt for creams with Shea butter, beeswax or cocoa butter instead.
Choose balms that contain soothing herbs like Calendula, Lavander that will reduce skin inflammation.
Check out my post on the best organic diaper cream to choose the one that will best suit your need.
If you can’t afford to buy organic diaper cream for regular use, I recommended using organic virgin coconut oil for daily diaper changes and reserve the branded diaper cream incase of mild rashes.
Step by Step guide on How to Apply Diaper Cream:
When it’s time for a diaper change, gather all the required supplies. Many have a dedicated diaper changing area loaded with all the essentials in a diaper caddy. I had a diaper caddy with a handle which I filled with cloth diapers, cloth wipes, and a wipe solution.
- Baby wipes or Cloth wipes
- Clean diaper
- Liners (for cloth diapers, if required)
- Water or Cloth wipe solution (for cloth diapers)
- Diaper cream
- Wet bag or foot open garbage can
- A toy or a book
- Diaper cream applicator (if needed)
2. Place the Baby in a Safe Place
If you are putting your baby on the change table, make sure to strap the baby secure. We did not have a change table, so all our diaper changes happened in the crib, on the bed or the floor over a play mat. I used Peapod mats, a waterproof mat, and placed the baby on top of it for diaper changes.
3.Remove the Dirty Diaper (& Discard)
Remove the dirty diaper from your baby’s bum and keep the soiled diaper far away from baby’s arms reach. Better yet, discard the diaper immediately.
Babies are unpredictable; they can grab the dirty diaper and take that to their mouth in a jiffy.
I have a wet bag hanging at one end of the crib, and I immediately toss the dirty diaper inside the wet bag. Wet bags are reusable bags with a waterproof material used for cloth diaper storage. However, it can also be used to store dirty disposables. You can empty the wet bag into a trash can at the end of the day and wash them with regular laundry.
4.Keep the baby entertained
Some babies hate diaper changes and freak out when you strip them naked. While some get hyperactive and would defy to stay put. Sing a song, talk to your baby or let them play with a toy to keep them distracted while you get the job done.
5.Wipe Baby’s Bum:
Wipe the baby bottom clean. Keep the baby wipe container open and ready to go. Take a wet wipe and clean the baby’s bottom thoroughly. For girls, clean the bum from front to back to prevent the spread of bacteria.
Fold the wipe again with a clean surface facing outside and wipe again until the bottom is completely clean. Use another wipe if needed.
Beware that babies tend to urinate when the diaper is off. Be extra careful if you have a little boy as they tend to spray on your face. I always put a prefold cloth to cover my boy’s penis to catch any accidents. You can use a cloth wipe or any old cloth. Some even use baby wipes to catch accidents, but using cloth as a back up works much better as fabric material is more absorbent than a wipe.
Do not place a clean diaper until the last step when everything is clean and ready to go. I have wasted so many diapers, where my babies poop in the middle of a diaper change. Placing a prefold or an old cloth is the best bet. You can simply dump the poop in the toilet and wash them in the regular laundry.
Be prepared to master things with a single hand. This skill is much needed when there is poop. You will have to hold the legs up and wipe the baby’s bum, all while making sure that your baby is not touching the poop and shoving it in their mouth (Don’t think your baby is not going to attempt this!)
6.Apply Diaper Cream
Diaper creams are very moisturizing, and a little will go a long way. Take a blob or a pea-sized amount of diaper cream on your fingertips. With firm finger strokes apply the cream over the diaper area.
For baby girls, always apply cream from the front towards the back. Diaper creams are meant for external use only. Therefore, do not put them inside the vagina. ButtCheeks, in between the cheeks, labia and on the crease of her thighs are safe areas to apply diaper cream. Similarly, do not use the cream inside the anus or rectum.
For baby boys, never retract the foreskin of his penis. And avoid putting any cream on the urethral opening from where they pee. Other rules remain the same for little boys too, cover the bumcheeks, area between the bumcheeks and between the thighs. It is safe to apply diaper cream on the scrotum and the penis for boys.
If applying with your finger seems like a messy job for you, you can use a diaper cream applicator. This modern innovation lets you slather diaper cream single highhandedly without touching anything.
7.Put on the Clean diaper
Remove the prefold cloth and place the clean diaper below baby’s bum. Make sure the diaper is in the center of the bum and put on the diaper.
8.Wash Your Hands
Don’t forget to wash your hands with warm water and soap after every diaper change. I would also recommend cleaning your baby’s hands. Babies tend to scratch their bum the moment you remove the diaper. It is a constant struggle to keep their hands away. Even if you didn’t see your baby touching the soiled area, it is safe to wash their hands, just to be sure.
Sum It Up:
Congratulations! You have successfully changed a diaper! Changing diaper is harder than it sounds but you will eventually learn all the ninja skills needed for this act.
Let’s go over all the important steps in applying the diaper cream correctly,
- Keep all the required supplies ready (diapers, wipes, diaper cream applicator,etc.,)
- Place the baby in a safe place
- Remove the soiled diaper
- Keep the baby entertained.
- Clean baby’s bottom thoroughly
- Apply the diaper cream in the diaper area
- Put on the clean diaper
- Wash your hands and baby’s hands(if needed).