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We have a 16 months old toddler boy. We are using 3 to 4 diapers on a daily basis. And each time we use diaper rash cream. We apply it each time, because if we miss once and if it's more than 30 mins since he pooped, we immediately see red rashes around the anal area.

We are concerned and guilty about using diapers in the first place and on top of it, using rash cream is very concerning to us.

Is it normal?

  • Can you clarify why you feel concern and guilt over use of diapers and rash cream? – Meg Apr 11 at 14:44
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    Upvoted @Meg's answer, but want to emphasize that waiting to change a poopy diaper for any reason is you bestowing a very painful rash on your child, even though it only looks red. If you've ever had bad diarrhea to the point where it hurts to wipe your bottom, then you know how your son feels (and adults wipe right away.) Poop burns! – anongoodnurse Apr 11 at 20:57
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It is pretty common for early toddlers, once they are eating solid foods, to have diaper rashes in any areas that poop comes in contact with. According to my child's pediatrician, this is usually due to a high acid content in stool that can irritate the skin. It can sometimes be related to diet, but isn't anything to be very worried about.

Management of this problem comes down to a few basic things:

  • Change wet or dirty diapers promptly. In particular, change poop diapers immediately when possible. You may find that using more than 3-4 diapers a day is needed to keep his skin dry and healthy. This depends mainly on the individual child's elimination habits, but 3-4 seems pretty low to me for a 16 month old.
  • Use a diaper cream, or a moisture barrier like petroleum jelly. In general these are very safe, mild and intended for use on delicate baby skin, and can be used every diaper change if needed, no reason for guilt. You can try more natural options like coconut oil if you prefer, but commercial diaper creams work better in my experience.
  • Maintain good hygiene of the diaper area. If you don't bath your toddler daily, you may have good results by washing the diaper area with a cloth, warm water and mild soap each day. Make sure to rinse and wipe so no soap remains on the skin, and pat dry gently.
  • Similarly, you can swap packaged baby wipes for a clean washcloth and warm water during diaper changes. This is helpful for babies with very sensitive skin.
  • Give your baby some 'diaper free' time so that skin can air out a bit. This can be messy, but for some babies is very helpful. Doing right after they eliminate before putting on the clean diaper somewhat helps with the mess.
  • If your baby experiences persistent, severe rashes and irritation, see a doctor to rule out a yeast infection or an allergy.
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If it's between your child's cheeks it's probably not because of the diaper.

My son gets red there too after his poops. The cream definitely helps. In my experience this is normal.

What would be a product of the diaper would be like if where their diaper meets their leg is red, around the groin. If that's red you might want to try to find a different brand that hugs their body differently.

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