Before you convince yourself that your newbie mothering skills are to blame, know that diaper rash is universal -- it's caused when pee or poop rub against your baby's bare bottom. Diaper rash creams -- like Desitin, Balmex, A&D, Aveeno, Baby Aquaphor, Triple Paste, and creams from Huggies and Gerber, to name a few -- can cure most rashes. To prevent rashes, use one of these creams at every diaper change to form a barrier between baby's skin and her diaper contents. Beyond that, change diapers promptly after your baby poops, and about every three to four hours otherwise (with the exception of nighttime -- no need to wake a sleeping baby or yourself). If a rash appears, a bath and time playing naked, without a diaper, can help clear it up.
Some babies suffer a second-stage diaper rash, infected by yeast. If a rash reddens and worsens within a day, or if spots break out around it, see a pediatrician for the okay to use a yeast-killing antifungal cream such as Lotrimin (sold over the counter), or a prescription nystatin ointment like Mycostatin. Some doctors also recommend anti-itch cream, like hydrocortisone. --Jessica Hartshorn
Copyright 2009 Meredith Corporation.