Diaper Rash in Newborns: Preventing, Causes, Treatment and Remedies

Whilst many blanket diaper rash under the same umbrella for babies of practically all ages, it’s actually stranger for infants to develop this condition as new borns. Most commonly associated with slightly older babies when solids begin to be consumed, this doesn’t mean diaper rash doesn’t occur in newborns – and systems of care may marginally diverge.

So, if your newborn demonstrates symptoms of a bad rash and you’re unsure how to approach treatment due to their frail age, this article can help.

What Causes Diaper Rash in Newborns?

Also referred to as diaper dermatitis or nappy rash in other territories, what causes diaper rash in newborns trails the same concepts as older babies. Typically caused by irritation due to wetness or chafing, diaper rash traditionally develops into flaming redness or pinkish tinges surrounding your baby’s diaper area. More prevalent due to infrequent diaper changes and allowance of urine and stools to stay in contact with your baby’s body for too long, bouts of diarrhea can exacerbate the condition.

In addition to generalized irritation, a yeast infection, bacteria and even allergies could be contributors too. Often generating a more severe rash than basic irritation, if you notice your newborn is bleeding and in prominent adversity, it’s recommended to visit a healthcare professional for advice as opposed to curing the rash at home.

Is Newborn Diaper Rash More Dangerous?

Provided you administer correct treatment and don’t aggravate the condition, newborn diaper rash isn’t considered any more vexing than slightly older babies. But if you’re intensely anxious and worried, there’s no shame in visiting your local pediatrician and receiving personalized help. It’s instinctive for parents to feel disturbed if anything appears abnormal with their newborn, and consulting a doctor is an essential step in putting your mind at ease.

Newborn Diaper Rash Treatment

Due to the sensitivity of a new born’s skin, being prudent and gentle is crucial when administering newborn diaper rash treatment. One of the best tips for introductory treatment is to simply let your baby’s bottom air out! Whilst inconvenient and impractical to leave them without a diaper for lengthy periods of time, mere 10-20 minute intervals of airing out the skin can help reduce excess wetness and keep the skin feeling dry.

And it goes without saying, every time your baby urinates or empties their bowels, gently clean the area with a warm washcloth and ensure the skin is completely dry before fitting a new diaper. Maintaining cleanliness and dryness is key, in addition to frequent diaper changes.

Newborn Diaper Rash Remedies

As well as basic care practices discussed above, there’s a few essential newborn diaper rash remedies that need to be included. Simply slapping on a random cream isn’t going to cut it – you need to purchase a specialist diaper rash cream or ointment to ensure your child’s fragile skin isn’t going to be aggravated further. With each individual diaper change, spread a generous layer of your chosen natural cream all over the affected space to soothe and help the rash diminish. You can also use a petroleum jelly substance like Vaseline to create a buffer against urine or bowel movements getting into explicit contact with the skin.

Preventing Diaper Rash in Newborns

With diaper dermatitis being considered the most common skin issue for early infants, it’s highly likely your baby may develop it at some point – if not already. This doesn’t mean you’re a crummy parent or haven’t been looking after your child properly; it’s sometimes inescapable due to the overt sensitivity and vulnerability of a newborn baby’s skin. But to reduce the risk of such dermatitis developing and causing your child pain, administering a diaper change rapidly after your baby urinates or defecates and faithfully changing throughout the night too will markedly avoid excess moisture and bacteria thriving.

Better still, the simple act of breastfeeding your baby can have dramatically positive effects too. Research has steadily shown that breastfed babies are less likely to develop diaper rash due to the nutrients in their mother’s milk. High amounts of tailored calcium and vitamins from breast milk can help naturally prevent an array of skin conditions – including diaper rash.

Chance of contracting infection can also be reduced too, meaning the risk of your baby developing bacterial infections or candida (yeast) dermatitis is lowered. Therefore, if you’re already a breastfeeding mother you’re automatically helping protect your baby against developing painful diaper rash.

However, if you’re choosing not to breastfeed this doesn’t necessarily mean you’re exposing your baby to greater risk. Many milk formulas have been specifically designed to emulate the nutritional benefits of breastfeeding, meaning many moms consider them to be the next best thing. But many pediatricians and midwives would probably still advise toward breastfeeding simply because of the bespoke, tailored nature of your milk being able to provide your baby with exactly what they need to remain as healthy and strong as possible.



Article References:

  1. https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=diaper-dermatitis-90-P01896
  2. https://patient.info/childrens-health/nappy-rash-leaflet
  3. https://www.libero.com/your-stage/articles/baby/when-to-change-a-diaper/
  4. https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/petroleum-jelly
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5472239/