The Dreaded Diaper Rash!!! AAHHH!!!
Let's first start with this important message: Just because your baby experiences a diaper rash, does not make you dirty, careless, a failure or a horrible mom or dad! So whoever makes you feel bad in any way about your baby's diaper rash, needs to be excommunicated out of your life! (just kidding). Just educate them about diaper rashes, and send them to this article for more insights.
When you bring that beautiful bundle of joy home or even if you delivered your baby at home, after a few days when all the high of having a brand new baby wears off, you start to experience the never ending poop and pee cycles. Along with that, comes major sleep deprivation. Unless, you've got a nanny, night baby nurse, and/or a helpful grandmother, you are going to be sleep deprived on some level. That's just the beauty of having a newborn.
Before you have the baby, you have a baby shower and are gifted with many diapering options, which usually include; Pampers and Huggies, some Costco, Huggies and/or Pampers wipes and you are all set, RIGHT?! If you were like me, a borderline crunchy mama, you said, "I am gonna go with seventh generation or honest diapers and wipes".
So when I had Ziggy, a whopping 9.5lb, 21.5in baby...I was in shock, elated, mesmerized, in love and exhausted. In the hospital, the nurse did all the diaper changes, so as a first time mom, I really had no idea. See, during my pregnancy, I spent most of the time preparing for the birthing experience, not the actual baby part. I was all about hypnobirthing, yoga and getting through labor. In the hospital, I noticed that the nurse did all the diaper changes using water and cotton balls, even for the first poop diaper change. She cleansed him, and after a few seconds, applied a Pampers diaper.
Of course, from my baby shower I was gifted with Pampers, Huggies and wipes. So naturally, I said, I'll finish those diapers then move onto Seventh Generation or Honest diapers.
Two days later I brought Ziggy home, and boy was I exhausted! To add to it, I was healing from a difficult birth. Thank God for my doula(highly recommended)! She showed me a routine that helped me stay sane and less overwhelmed.
After day three, Ziggy started experiencing all kinds of happenings in his diaper that I did not expect or prepare for. First thing I noticed was orange-red like spots in his diaper. I was scared! I mean what was that?!!! Is he bleeding? What is going on? All these scary thoughts ran through my head, naturally, as a first time mom. My wonderful doula educated me that it was something called Brick Dust Urine.
Brick dust urine occurs when the baby passes very concentrated urine, which deposits uric acid crystals in the diaper that can vary in color from pink to red, and orange like. It is completely normal for many newborns and will go away after the fifth or sixth day when your breastmilk supply increases.
After that experience, I thought "ok, all good now"...yeah, think again. Week two brought the beginning of the most challenging three months of my parenting journey, also the most rewarding, because it inspired the creation of our signature Baby Body Butter.
Three months of hell
It started with tiny little red bumps scattered around his butt, but since it was not a classic diaper rash, I assumed "oh it's just some newborn sensitive skin"...first time mom(no clue). It went away after a couple of days. Then a true diaper rash showed up, yes a true diaper rash, that seemed to not go away for three months!!! At this time I was still using Pampers diapers and some organic wipes I purchased. I lost my mind. I mean I was changing him every two hours for pee and right away when he pooped but he still ended up with a diaper rash! I called every grandmother, mother and friend I knew and the slew of advice flew in. I felt like a failure, I was so disappointed in myself.
First, I switched to Huggies, then Honest diapers, then Seventh Generation diapers with organic wipes, the rash improved slightly but was still there. After a week, I went to the urgent care, and was told, "oh, change him often and keep him dry, it will go away", but it didn't. It persisted.
I was at a loss, and he and I were sleep deprived from changing every hour even at night! It was hard, to say the least.
What did I try?
Okay, I tried buttpaste, triplepaste and Desitin, what a nightmare! It made things worse. It left a wound that looked almost like a chemical burn on his skin.
Then I went to A&D, Grandma El's and vaseline, no improvement.
So, my friend gave me the solution of burnt cornstarch...Yes burnt corn starch; that did do the trick but, it was very messy and the diaper rash kept coming back.
I even tried cloth diapering, but that created a whole other problem, which I'll save for another post.
My saving grace
I took to the internet, since I was already doing a lot of diaper free time, this method was an easy transition. I discovered something called, elimination communication. What is elimination communication you ask?
Elimination Communication: is a practice where in which a caregiver uses timing, signals, cues, and intuition to address a baby's need to eliminate waste. Caregivers try to recognize and respond to babies' bodily needs and enable them to urinate and defecate in an appropriate place. (wikipedia)
So, you spend time studying your baby's elimination habits, like do they pee right after they feed, when they wake up, while they are feeding...etc. It does take some time and a bit of a learning curve but it worked. EC along with bamboo diapers, and Ziggy's Pudding-plant based skin nutrition baby body butter, started healing the rash.
I also had to create my own wipes and wipes solution, recipe below...read on.
The healing method
I needed some type of barrier to protect Ziggy's skin from his own pee and poop, that's when I went into my lab and started creating our signature Baby Body Butter.
My system was, using elimination communication to help him eliminate in the potty or toilet, while I hold him, then wash him at the sink with mild soap and water, apply Baby Body Butter then put on his diaper. When we would go out, I would use my handmade wipes and solution to clean him, apply the Baby Body Butter and then put on his diaper. This system worked wonders. After three months of hell, Ziggy never had another diaper rash.
- Do not panic. Be kind to yourself!
- Be mindful of your diet, (acidic foods, allergy triggering foods).
- Use diaper free time(time with diaper off and their butt is exposed to air), and if you are up for it, try the EC method.
- Wash your baby with soap and water with every diaper change.
- Use chlorine free diapers and a great diaper rash prevention and healing moisturizer such as our signature Baby Body Butter with every diaper change.
- If outdoors, use a wipes solution like the one provided below.
- Be kind to yourself, sometimes these things happen, stay calm.
My kids have very sensitive skin, and cannot tolerate being in contact with a soiled diaper for more than an hour, maybe your child/children are just as sensitive. As a parent you have to adapt to your own children and figure out what works.
Recipe: Wipes solution
Fits an eight ounce container...
4 oz of witch hazel
2 oz of aloe vera juice
1.5 oz of Jojoba oil
10 drops of tea tree oil
Shake well before each use, apply to baby's skin directly or to your own handmade wipes to cleanse the area.
***It may seem like your baby will be in diapers forever, but don't worry, this is such a short period of their life, this too shall pass, so enjoy every moment***
Did you have a nightmare diapering time with your baby? Share your experience and insights in the comments section.