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A Baby Diaper Troubleshooting Guide

Diaper Rash: Prevention and Treatment continued...

Diaper rash treatment:

  • Over-the-counter zinc oxide cream can soothe diaper rash.
  • For irritation and allergic reactions, a mild topical zinc oxide cream or petroleum jelly ointment may offer relief. (Allergic reactions to diapers are extremely rare.)
  • Diaper rash related to a bacterial infection -- usually caused by Staph or strep bacteria -- appears bright red and in some cases can blister. It requires medical attention. Your pediatrician may prescribe antibiotics.
  • For diaper rashes related to yeast infections, your baby’s doctor may recommend an over-the-counter topical antifungal cream.

Stopping Diaper Leaks

Baby diapers can leak for all sorts of reasons -- the size or brand of the diaper that needs changing, or how you put them on. Here are some common causes of leaks and how to leak-proof your baby’s diaper:

  • If your baby is two weeks old or younger, he probably still has his umbilical cord stump, which diapers don’t lie over smoothly. Be sure that when you put baby’s diaper on, it’s fitted snuggly below the stump.
  • The diaper may be too big or too small. Try going up a size -- or down, if the diaper is too loose.
  • The diaper may be the right size, but fastened too loosely. Try closing it tighter.
  • A baby boy’s diaper sometimes leaks if it has been fastened with his penis pointing upward. Try directing the penis downward as you put on his diaper.
  • Your baby is between sizes. In that case, the solution is time. Wait a few weeks and then try the next size up.

Preventing Pin Sticks with Cloth Diapers

Do you love the idea of using cloth diapers, but worry about the pins? Here’s how to pin safely:

  • Buy diaper pins that are stainless steel and have plastic protective heads that lock, so they won’t pop open as baby moves around.
  • Keep your hand between baby’s skin and the pin during diapering, so you won’t stick baby.
  • Look into buying disposable diaper tape for cloth diapers. Velcro-fasten diaper covers or cloth diapers fitted with snaps or other baby-safe fasteners are also an option.