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Going Commando and Embracing the BRAT

These are two things I experienced with my 15-month-old son this week.

I now consider myself lucky because in all of his 15 months, he’s only

had one mild diaper rash. Last weekend, I noticed a little pink on the

inner part of his tushy. I thought to myself, “No biggie. I’ll just dust off

the Desitin I got from his baby shower a year a half ago and things

should be cleared up in no time.” 

I was almost elated about it because I felt a little jilted that I never got a

chance to utilize some of the products other parents use on their infants

and toddlers on a regular basis. Every time I pack his diaper bag, there

are a handful of items I always pack but never use; Desitin, Johnson &Johnson 

shampoo, body wash and powder. 

I mean...you never know when you could be doing your weekly, bi-

weekly or monthly (in our case) grocery shopping and your child needs

his or her hair washed. It could happen, right?

Anywho, Monday morning, I dropped Joshua off at daycare and advised

them that his stool was a little softer than usual but it was nothing that I

was concerned about. By Tuesday, his stool was even runnier and I was

seeing everything he had eaten throughout the day. For example, whole

dried cranberries and apple chunks...not a pretty sight. 

When I picked Joshua up from daycare Tuesday evening, they told me

he was a little fussy and they believed it was due to his raw bottom.

When I got him home, everything from his inner thighs to the top of his

bottom was bright red and almost looked swollen. I was at a loss for

what to do. As I tried to re-diaper him, he screamed louder and more

passionately than I had ever heard him scream before. There were no

tears, just a look of fear as if he was telling me through his eyes,

“Mommy help me!” 

Still uncertain about what to do, I ripped off his diaper and let him soak

in a lukewarm bath. This seemed to calm him down and within minutes

he was quiet but noticeably shaken. The next morning, I opened

Joshua’s diaper, and was extremely disappointed to see that his rash

was significantly worse. It looked as if someone had literally burned his

skin off. 

I called the nurse’s hotline and was told to air dry his bottom as much as

possible. Another option would be to let him soak in a lukewarm bath. Do

not use wet wipes because some of the chemicals in the wipes could

irritate the skin and to apply a liberal amount of ointment such as

Desitin, Butt Paste or Vaseline. The nurse also told me not to use

Neosporin or Hydrocortisone...however, I can’t tell you why. The nurse

said that if there is no puss or bleeding on the bottom, to try the

solutions they suggested and see how Joshua’s bottom looks the

following day. 

The next day, Joshua’s bottom looked a little better but there were two

spots on his bottom cheeks that would not clear up. The problem I was

running into was that every time he pooped and I cleaned him up, the

wash rag would wipe away the new skin. I decided to take Joshua to the

doctor because I was all out of ideas. I was also concerned about his

continued diarrhea, despite the fact I had started implementing the

BRAT (banana, rice, applesauce, toast) diet, the day before. 

The doctor told me the burns on Joshua’s bottom was due to the acid in

his stool. She thoroughly explained to me how I should clean him at

each diaper change and how to appropriately apply the ointment so he

could heal (see attached video for demonstration).

After following the doctor’s instruction, Joshua’s rash was 10 times

better the next day and nearly gone within two days. This horrible

adventure has lasted a total of 9 days. I had him on the BRAT/BRATY

(the ‘Y‘ is for yogurt) diet for 2 days and the diarrhea was cleared up by

the third day.

So this is what I learned in a nutshell;

Do’s

  1. Air dry as much as possible
  2. Soak in lukewarm bath with 2 tablespoons of Baking Soda for no more than 10 minutes at a time.
  3. Apply a liberal amount of ointment (Ex: Desitin, Butt Paste - these are Zinc Oxide skin protectants or Vaseline which is a petroleum jelly skin protectant) It’s important to note that these do not heal the skin, they just protect the skin from moisture...as stated by Joshua’s pediatrician.
  4. Gently wipe at each diaper change and only remove the top layer of ointment so you do not wipe any new skin away. Squeeze water over the irritated area if the area is too raw to wipe.
  5. Change diaper frequently. Per Joshua’s pediatrician, it is not abnormal to change a diaper 10-12 times a day or more when a diaper rash is present, especially if diarrhea is involved.

Don’ts

  1. Do not scrub.
  2. Do not use wipes.
  3. Do not use Neosporin.

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