3 questions to learn if your baby's gut is healthy.
By: Dr. Tanya Altmann MD
Diaper rash is a common condition in babies and newborns that appears as red, irritated skin in baby’s diaper area. While it often bothers baby, it can even be more bothersome to parents. Was it their fault for not changing baby frequently enough? Up until recently, diaper rash was only thought to be caused by prolonged exposure to moisture, poop, and urine. Just recently, a new link was uncovered between diaper rash and the rising pH levels of baby’s poop. If you’re unfamiliar with pH and why it matters, a higher pH means more alkaline and a lower pH means more acidic. Contrary to popular belief, it’s beneficial to have a more acidic environment in a baby’s stool. The more acidic environment means that stool enzymes (known to be harsh and irritating to baby’s sensitive skin) won’t be activated to cause irritation and skin breakdown.
Here’s my approach to combating diaper rash, including tips to treat irritated skin and restore a healthy pH environment in baby’s diaper.
One thing all parents should remember is that most babies will get diaper rash at some point, but if you spot it early and take preventative measures, it should clear up quickly and not bother anyone. If your baby gets frequent rashes, a diaper rash persists, is causing discomfort, or if you have any concerns about your baby’s health, talk to your pediatrician.
Dr. Tanya Altmann is a leading pediatrician and best-selling author. Her expertise lies in baby nutrition and gut health, but she also speaks to everyday parenting issues. Altmann is the author of What to Feed Your Baby and Baby and Toddler Basics, as well as editor-in-chief of the American Academy of Pediatrics' parenting books, The Wonder Years and Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5. Dr. Tanya has made numerous media appearances and contributions over the years, but she would say her most important role is being mom to her amazing three boys.
There’s nothing quite like that moment when you slowly open baby’s diaper, praying that it’s only the expected in there. Poop. Pee. Nothing more. And then you see it. The first small red bumps that seem to multiply with every diaper change. When your baby has diaper rash, you want to nip it in the bud, before more severe diaper rash lays claim to baby’s soft, tender skin.
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