I was shopping at Target just the other day and happened to be in the “baby aisle” looking for one of those snack cups with the lids to let little fingers get in and not let the puffs fall out. I needed it as part of a baby gift basket. Useful for sure!!
So…while I am browsing, I see a young mother and her mother looking at diaper creams and obviously trying to decide which one to buy. I could’t resist offering help (always worry about being intrusive). When I asked what they were trying to treat the mother said, “ my new baby has this raw and red diaper rash right around his bottom”. “He is just 12 days old and I change his diaper all of the time….how could he possibly get a diaper rash? What am I doing wrong?”
As we say in Texas, “bless her heart”!!! I asked if she was breast feeding, and she was, then I immediately knew what she meant. A breast fed infant will poop ALL OF THE TIME. Many times you change a new diaper and as soon as the next diaper is put on the baby stools again. There are many times when your infant may poop a bit of stool during sleep and when you get them up they have a dirty diaper…all normal. No new mother guilt!!
The good news is that a newborn who is stooling a lot is probably getting plenty of breast milk as well…and that means they are gaining weight too! The flip side is that it is not uncommon for a newborn to get that raw red bottom during the first month or so of breast feeding. After that time, the stools do slow down a bit and diaper rash is less common.
The best remedy I have found for treating that tender new bottom is a combination of a diaper cream that contains zinc (Destin, Dr. Smith’s, or Boudreaux’s Butt Paste) and a bit of a liquid antacid (Mylanta, Maalox, Gaviscon). I put a blob of diaper cream in my palm and then pour a bit of the antacid into it and mix….you can’t use too much of the liquid or it will run off. Then I take that combo and coat the baby’s bottom. You can’t over do it. Use it with each diaper change. It seems to do the trick and is easy. Several years ago I told a mother about the concoction (she had 4 children and was very sleep deprived) and I just said use some antacid if you have some. She called later in the day and said she had tried to crush up the tablets and mix it with diaper cream and it wasn’t working. I have since learned to be a bit more specific about a LIQUID antacid.