Red, Itchy Bottoms? What To Do When Your Baby Has Diaper Rash

The first time you discover a scattering of tiny red bumps on your baby’s sweet bottom, you’re bound to be a little freaked. But diaper rash is pretty much part of the baby’s journey. But there are a few things you can do to soothe that red itchy bottom.

My daughter was all of 2 months old when I had my first battle with diaper rash. Born bang in the middle of a very hot summer she developed these little patches of redness on her bottom, around her private parts, and inner thighs.

Oh, my poor little baby was so uncomfortable. It broke my heart to see how crazy red it had gotten. I had been so careful about changing her diaper the moment it felt a little heavy. So what could have caused it?

Causes Of Diaper Rash


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Wetness: Most diapers are designed to absorb the liquid when a baby urinates. However, there is some amount of moisture that does remain in the diaper. Couple that with the moisture of the baby’s skin and it would cause an outbreak. The baby’s skin is also extremely sensitive.  The problem gets aggravated when your child’s urine mixes with bacteria from his/her stool and stays pressed to the skin. Babies who are suffering from diarrhoea are more prone to diaper rash.

Chafing: Once the baby starts moving or trying to crawl, the diaper is bound to move a little. This constant movement against the skin can cause diaper rash too. Also when the baby is in between diaper sizes – the diaper may be a little tight or a little loose, their little folds of skin get irritated and turn red.

Infection: The primary cause of diaper rash is prolonged and increased exposure to wetness/moisture against the skin. When your baby pees, the skin’s pH levels get affected and lets the bacteria grow more easily. The stuff that stops diapers (anti-leak formula!) from leaking also prevents air circulation, creating a warm, moist environment for the bacteria to thrive, resulting in a rash.

What You Eat: When you’re breastfeeding your baby, what you eat is what they get as nourishment. Citrus food like oranges could cause diaper rash in babies because they are acidic in nature and your baby’s bottom is very sensitive. So if you need some Vitamin C avoid the oranges and have some mangoes instead.

What Baby Eats: When your baby moves to solid food, the food he/she eats will change the consistency of the stool. This could trigger a rash too.

Allergy: The rash may be a reaction to the wet wipes you use to clean the baby’s bottom or to the diaper itself. Sometimes, the laundry detergent, soap or lotion used could also set off a reaction.

How to Make Your Baby More Comfortable

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  • Change your baby’s diaper every two hours. The moment he/she poops you need to get the diaper off.
  • Avoid wipes if possible. Go old school and use cotton soaked in warm water instead. Any fragrance or alcohol in wipes could cause a reaction. If you can’t do without wipes then make sure they are alcohol-free wipes.
  • Leave the baby undiapered for a while. Place a towel under the baby and let him/her be free for a bit. The air drying will help ease the irritation.

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  • Before you put the diaper back on make sure the area is dry and put a layer of diaper rash cream. Most diaper rash creams contain zinc oxide. Zinc oxide doesn’t mix with water and keeps it away from your skin. Wet diapers won’t cause diaper rash because your baby has a layer of zinc oxide cream that repels the wetness.
  • If you’re out of diaper rash cream don’t worry, coconut oil or Vaseline or aloe vera gel which is found in most Indian households works wonders too. It forms a protective layer between the baby’s little bottom and the pee and poop.
  • Stay away from baby powder. The corn starch in the talcum could worsen the situation.

When To See A Paediatrician

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  • If your baby develops a fever.
  • The rash turns painful to touch.
  • The diaper rash begins bleeding or blistering.
  • If it doesn’t subside in 5-6 days.
  • If any swelling develops around the rash area.

Diaper rash usually goes away within 2 to 3 days with proper care. Your diaper rash situation will disappear once the baby is potty trained and off the diaper.

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