Last week Carter developed the worst diaper rash I’ve ever seen (note: I’ve only ever seen her diaper rash but still it was bad). We knew it was bad because she screamed during diaper changes and was pretty fussy. That is a big deal for Carter – Blake and I are completely aware that we have “trick baby“- she hardly ever cries- usually if she is fussy it’s because we’re doing something wrong. Clearly, we had done something wrong along the way that had caused this and we were hell bent on fixing it as quickly as possible. I did what most moms would do in the situation – I googled any solution I could find. Blake is generally skeptical of this “google” strategy but his “status-quo” method wasn’t working so I started testing and implementing any and all diaper rash remedies.
First I tried to pin down the cause. Unfortunately typing “cause of bad diaper rash” into google is similar to typing in “headache” as a symptom in WebMD. There are a bazillion things that can cause diaper rash and I immediately began questioning all my recent parenting decisions.
Had we switched to whole milk too fast? We made the switch a few weeks ago and she seemed fine with it but now I’m reading about the plethora of babies who had awful reactions. Solution: Revert to a formula for a few days (our breast milk reserves were out!) to see if that would fix it.
Was it something she ate? Her diaper rash appeared one day after her first birthday party. At the party she had cake and barbecue… did she have a buttercream aversion? Solution: Implement the BRATY diet. Luckily she LOVES bananas (almost obsessively).
Was it the wipes? We use Huggies wipes and she has always been fine with those but then the news broke that they apparently have fiberglass in them.. was this just a cruel coincidence or had I been wiping her sensitive skin with glass shards. Solution: utilize the huge stock of baby wash clothes we got before she was born and use those to wipe… no not wipe… “pat” clean.
Did our diaper cream suck? The short answer here is Yes, yes it did. We used to use Balmex and Destin but the low-maintenance nature of Carter had lead us down the arrogant path to generic brand diaper cream. I know, we’re ashamed. Seriously, who doesn’t splurge the extra $3 for brand name diaper cream to prevent painful blisters from forming on their kid’s ass? The answer: us. Lesson learned! After the first screaming diaper change – I bought ALL the creams. That picture up top is proof. (Not pictured: The Aveeno Oatmeal Bath Soak).
Should we stop using disposable diapers? I was really hoping and praying that this was not the cause so I put blinders on and didn’t even consider this as a possibility.
I even let her run around with no diaper for a few hours per day. Blake hated this strategy, but literally every source I read mentioned this as a legitimate way to cure the rash. Carter didn’t love it either… after about 5 minutes of no diaper she crawled up the stairs to the clean laundry basket and brought me a pair of clean shorts… I got the message – she’s fine in just a diaper but draws the line at anything less than that (makes me a little proud!). I put the shorts on but left the diaper off – I figured we clean the dogs pee and poop off the floor so why not hers. Still though, there was hardly any improvement in the rash.
After switching away from whole cow’s milk, changing her diet, eliminating wipes, using various creams, giving soothing oatmeal baths and allowing her to crawl around with no diaper, the improvement in the rash was marginal and she was still not happy about it. Neither were we.
But then, the Best Diaper Rash Cream EVER was shared with me. Carter’s day care teacher mentioned Maalox cream as a possible solution. I figured I would pick some up at Target, at this point I would try anything- BUT, it’s not something you buy, it’s something you make. So I whipped up the concoction. Here’s the recipe:
The Best Diaper Rash Cream EVER:
- 1 oz. Maalox (or generic antacid)
- 1 oz. Aquaphor
- A sqeeze of anti-fungal medication
Mix all ingredients and apply liberally to the entire diaper area. Top with Boudreaux’s Butt Paste. I stored it in her 2oz food containers.
This cream is magic. The diaper rash was 100x better in 4 hours and completely gone (blisters and all) in 3 days.
I’m not completely clear on how it works – here’s is what I know: The active ingredients in the Maalox neutralize the acidity of the pee and poop. The Aquaphor helps heal the damaged skin. The anti-fungal just ensures it’s not a fungal rash (if you know that’s not the case, you can leave it out…. I have no idea how you would know though so I added it). The Butt Paste creates a great barrier between the skin and the diaper.
We have now transitioned back to whole milk (I’m so glad it wasn’t that) and her normal food (which still consists primarily of bananas and mac and cheese). We’ve returned to using wipes (although we switched to Pampers Sensitive wipes mainly because of the potential for fiberglass in the Huggies – I don’t know whether that’s actually true, but I’m not taking chances). We’re not going back to generic diaper cream… at this point we have about a year’s supply of all the good stuff.
Next time your kid has killer diaper rash, skip all the other crap and head straight for the anti-acid aisle. The Maalox cream is LEGIT!