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5 Ways to Cure Diaper Rash Naturally

What causes diaper rashes?

Diaper rash is very unpleasant and uncomfortable for poor little ones to endure. Sadly, almost all babies experience diaper rash at one point or another, so avoiding it is almost out of the question.

Diaper rash is usually caused by bacteria attacking your baby's bottom. The bacteria gets there from excessive wetness, which is then held in place by the diaper; allowing the bacteria to grow and form a severe case of skin irritation, or a rash. Other causes of diaper rash include diapers that are too tight and cloth diapers that have not been washed properly.

If you catch the rash very early, you may not have to do much to treat it. First, try washing your baby's bum really well, without irritating the skin too much. Then, dry the bottom really well with either a towel or a hair dryer set on the lowest setting. If you opt for a hair dryer, make sure to not hurt your baby with the heat of it. Keep it fairly far away from the skin and on the lowest setting. Once you have the bum dry, allow your baby to go without a diaper for some time. The rash needs to "air-out" or breath a little, which a diaper prevents.

If this doesn't work, or if the rash has already progressed fairly far, then you need to look for other options. If you don't want to use store bought creams with chemicals in them that you're not sure about, or simply don't want to introduce your baby to a product their skin isn't used to, try using some time tested methods first.

Do remember, if none of this helps, you may want to consult with your pediatrician about what options you have. Your baby's rash might have already progressed too far for conventional methods to work.

Breast Milk

Breast milk is kind of the cure-all for mommy and baby. Not only does it help your baby grow and thrive, but it can also cure common skin ailments mommies and babies have to face.

Mommies can use their own breast milk to help with cracked nipples, something all mommies face when breastfeeding. Breast milk can also be used to treat diaper rash.

The way to treat diaper rash with breast milk is by simply expressing a little of your milk onto the rash. Then, allow the milk to air dry on the infected area. Many mothers will claim that this has worked much better than any cream or any other product.

Naked Baby

One of the best ways to treat a diaper rash is to let your baby go without a diaper for intermittent periods of time. Preferably keep the diaper off for 30 minutes after every diaper change. This will help the rash air out and allow for a speedier healing process.

Most rashes, especially yeast infections, thrive in wet environments. No matter how many times you change a baby's diaper, it will still have a little wetness to it. This is why it's a good idea to let baby's skin breathe for a little bit without being constantly touched by a wet diaper.

For more complicated rashes, leave the baby naked overnight. Simply lay down an absorbent pad underneath them when they go to sleep.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil, like breast milk, is kind of a cure-all for naturalists and crunchy mothers. It can be used for a variety of things, one of which is to treat diaper rash. Coconut oil works especially well against diaper rashes that are actually yeast infections.

Coconut oil is touted as being a natural anti-fungal, antiviral, and antibacterial. It is safe and gentle for your baby and is also safe to use with cloth diapers. Coconut oil doesn't contain any sugars for yeast infections to thrive off of.

The best kind of coconut oil to use is organic and virgin, as this doesn't require any heating processing that would typically kill off all of the medicinal and nutritive benefits.

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Arrowroot Powder

An old time remedy was to use Crisco and corn starch on a baby's bum when they were dealing with diaper rash. We have since learned that corn starch can actually cause the rash to get worse if the rash is yeast related. Corn starch contains sugars that the yeast infection thrives on, hence why it is not a great treatment for yeast infections.

An alternative method to the old time remedy would be to use coconut oil and arrowroot powder in place of Crisco and corn starch. Simply rub coconut oil on the baby's bottom, then sprinkle a healthy dose of arrowroot powder. The arrowroot will stick to the coconut oil. Keep applying the combination until the rash is cleared up. Discontinue use if the rash appears to become worse.

Arrowroot and coconut oil are safe alternatives for those who cloth diaper, as they will not stain the diaper. Simply wash the diaper in its normal wash routine.

Arrowroot powder is the starch that has been extracted from the arrowroot plant. It is all natural and safe to use on children.

New Detergent, Diapers, & Wipes

The cause behind your baby's rash may be due to an allergy problem. Many babies are allergic to certain brands of diapers, as well as various chemicals found in detergents and baby wipes. If you think this might be the case, try changing brands on the products you use.

The best option would be to go with all natural products. Seventh Generation offers detergents, baby wipes, and diapers that are all safe and devoid of many harsh toxins that babies are allergic to. Seventh Generation products can be found at Target, Amazon, and Walmart. Pampers also now has a line of diapers, Pampers Pure, that doesn't contain many of the things found in disposable diapers that some babies are allergic to.

If you are concerned about the diapers you are using and want to completely change diapers all together, you might consider cloth diapers. Cloth diapers, especially unbleached cloth diapers, are devoid of nearly all the synthetic material you find in disposable diapers.

If you are using cloth diapers and your baby is having a rash, it may possibly be due to build up in the diaper. Try stripping the diaper, per the instructions of the brand of cloth you use, and changing up your washing routine. Sometimes it's as simple as using too much, or not enough, laundry detergent on cloth diapers.

Special Note for Cloth Diaper Users

If you use cloth diapers, especially the pre-folded kind, make sure the creams and oils you are using are safe to use with the cloth diaper. Many creams and oils break down the fibers of the cloth diaper, lessening their life expectancy. Also, some of these oils and creams can cause staining that will not come out.

To avoid this, switch to disposable diapers until the rash is cleared up, or simply use liners within your cloth diapers if you don't already do so. Breast milk, coconut oil, and arrowroot are all cloth diaper safe methods and will not stain or degrade the diaper.

Final Thoughts

If you're a breastfeeding mother, something you eat regularly may be the culprit behind the rash. Look through the foods you have been eating since the rash first occurred and see if there is anything new in your diet that might be effecting your baby. Consult with your pediatrician about possibly following an elimination diet to see if that helps improve your baby's symptoms.

If your child is not breastfed, consider the formula that they are using or the solid foods they are consuming. Are they on a new formula? If so, they may be having a reaction to it. If they're eating solid foods, then do as you would if you were breastfeeding. Look through the child's recent diet and see if there are any new foods that might be the cause behind the problems.

There are so many more alternatives to conventional diaper rash creams than just the five that are listed in this article. However, the five that have been listed are easy to do, easy to purchase, and very effective.

Do your own research and decide which method is right for you. If the rash continues to get worse, seek out professional help.

Your baby may be a little fussy and in need of extra attention when going through a diaper rash. Do as much as you can to comfort and bond with your little one to help them feel as comfortable as possible. They are not simply being clingy during a time like this. They are uncomfortable and in a little bit of pain, so they need all the love, hugs, and kisses that they can get.

Homemade Diaper Rash Cream (Cloth Diaper Safe)

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Daniella Lopez


Michelle Lee on May 11, 2018:

Thank you we just found out about a week ago got our little one was allergic to Luv diapers and it's slowly getting better but going to try using the breast milk and seeing if that helps. Thanks so much

Mariam Shams from Sheffield on February 20, 2016:

I used to always clean my baby on the bathroom sink with running water from the tap when he was newly born then since he grows up I take him to clean him in the bath tube and again I have to be very careful as he might slip from my hands. al hamd lellah he never got any nappy rashes so far

Allie D from Canada on January 24, 2015:

Great ideas! Another suggestion I've heard is natural Aloe Vera gel. I bought some at the health food store, and it has definitely helped when my son has had diaper rash.

Baby Diapers Online on February 07, 2014:

I am very happy to read your articles it’s very useful for me, 

and I am completely satisfied with your website. 

All comments and articles are very useful and very good.

Your blog is very attention-grabbing. I am loving all of the in.

turn you are sharing with each one!….

baby diapers on December 21, 2012:

"I am very happy to read your articles it’s very useful for me,

and I am completely satisfied with your website.

All comments and articles are very useful and very good.

Your blog is very attention-grabbing. I am loving all of the in.

turn you are sharing with each one!….

Daniella Lopez (author) on November 01, 2012:

Thanks for the lovely comment! :)

Tiffany Delite from Wichita, KS on November 01, 2012:

thank you for this great hub! it has been a long time since my kids were babies, but i don't remember them getting to many rashes. i always used an diaper rash ointment at the first sign of a rash, but i would have tried one of these home remedies in a pinch...thanks again! blessings

Daniella Lopez (author) on July 21, 2012:

Air drying and breastmilk have worked the best for me. Thanks for reading and commenting. :)

Sasha Kim on July 21, 2012:

Air drying usually works for me! I've never heard of olive oil being used, it sounds great. I'll have to try it. I bet olive oil would be good for baby eczema.

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on April 27, 2012:

I used the naked baby technique also. You offered many more useful tips and pointers. Useful hub!:)

Daniella Lopez (author) on February 04, 2012:

Most mothers I have spoken with have suggested that to be the best method as well, Kitty. Thanks for the vote and tip!

Kitty Fields from Summerland on February 04, 2012:

The best way I found was to let my daughter go without a diaper for awhile or what you call the "naked baby" technique. Thanks for sharing. Voted up and useful!

Daniella Lopez (author) on January 14, 2012:

@thumbi: The oatmeal bathes are just water with oats soaking in the water. The oats can be the kind you cook with, those work just as well. And no, you don't have to bath the baby once again directly after the oatmeal bath. Hope that answers your question. :)

@Susan: Sorry this info is late for you, but I hope it'll be useful with your grandbabies. :) Thanks for reading!

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on January 14, 2012:

Wish I had of read this hub about 23 years ago. My twins had diaper rashes and I would have much more preferred to use a natural product rather than buying zinc ointment. But the zinc did work and do the trick. I will remember reading your hub though when I become a grandmother.

Great article.

JR Krishna from India on January 14, 2012:

Nice little suggestions. What are Oatmeal bathes exactly? Do we have to wash with clean water again after oatmeal bath?

Daniella Lopez (author) on January 13, 2012:

Thanks for reading! I hope the mommies that you sent it to find it handy. :)

Lissette from Central Florida on January 13, 2012:

I don't have any more babies to try this on, but I did find it interesting enough to send it to 4 babies in my life and a grandma.

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