Your baby is starting to get his first teeth, but he's also getting a diaper rash!
Why are these happening at the same time? Is there a connection between teething and diaper rashes? In this article, we'll explore the connection.
Teething is Tough
There isn’t anything quite as awful as watching your child experience pain or discomfort, especially while teething. As parents, we go out of our way to ensure that our little one is healthy, vibrant, and well cared for.
Your baby is teething and you get a couple of chew toys to soothe their pain. That helps, so check! But your baby's skin is now irritated.
When teething, it's not uncommon for your little one to experience a rash from all of the excess drool. So you go figure that one out and finally get it under control.
But now your baby has diaper rash too? How is that possible?
It can be difficult when we’re faced with issues that we have little control over or that are unexpected. We're not always emotionally prepared for each and every surprise.
However, with the title of mom or dad comes the responsibility of finding solutions quickly. We want to make sure that when these issues do arise, we can help our little ones get back to their energetic selves.
How is it possible for my baby to get a diaper rash from teething?
Teething and Diaper Rashes
One guaranteed challenge that you face as a parent is teething. Your child will most likely be fussy during this time, as teething takes quite the toll on those little gums. You’ll be catering to a fussy baby, making breast milk pops, buying teething toys, and hoping that your little one finds some momentary peace.
Another issue that you will most likely face is the appearance of a diaper rash. No parent looks forward to either of these. However, are they connected?
Could teething be the culprit of the baby’s diaper rash? As if these problems weren’t bad enough on their own, now you may be dealing with both at the same time.
Thankfully, there are plenty of people out there who can help you with the teething diaper rash connection.
Does teething cause diaper rash? If your curiosity gets the better of you, you may head to the Internet for answers. Don’t be surprised to find that there might not be a clear answer. Since teething is something every child goes through, it’s no wonder that experts and parents have taken the time to learn everything they can about it.
When it comes to the correlation between teething and diaper rash, however, there are some mixed findings. Parents, doctors, pediatricians, and nurses seem to disagree.
Without scientific studies, it feels like a “he said, she said” situation.
Can Teething Cause Diaper Rash?
The BMJ, also known as the British Medical Journal, conducted a survey. Their goal was to find a link between teething and possible symptoms.
They provided questionnaires to 100 maternal nurses, 100 pharmacists, 150 family doctors, 100 pediatricians, and 100 dentists. They also held a survey for parents to account for their opinions on the matter. Clearly, they wanted to ensure that they had a broad spectrum of data.
An interesting finding is that most pediatricians held the belief that few children even have any symptoms during the teething stage. There was one common agreement in each group, however. This was that children who are teething show signs of irritability, drooling, and biting more frequently.
Babies usually begin teething at around six months. However, keep in mind that this is also the time when you introduce your baby to more solid foods. Many doctors argue that rashes occurring during the teething stage are more likely attributed to changes in diet.
Out of this wide range of medical professionals, nurses were pretty much the only ones who believe that diaper rash is a direct symptom of teething. Of course, mothers also showed that they believed teething causes diaper rash. How can we argue with that though – after all, moms know best, right?
Many Medical Professionals Think There is No Correlation
A pediatric practice conducted another study, which observed several children during the time that their teeth emerged.
They concluded that symptoms of irritability, biting, and drooling were common among the teething children.
However, much like the study done by the BMJ, they argued that teething did not cause loose stools or diaper rash. Clearly, it seems that professionals hold the belief that one cannot cause the other.
Most Mothers Have a Different Opinion
You may spend a lot of time reading the findings of trusted professionals. However, you may come to the conclusion that something else is causing your baby’s rash. Just when you think you have the answer, some contradicting opinions surface.
First of all, at one point in time, only 35% of pediatricians thought that the two were unrelated. However, this number has decreased as more doctors are finding a connection. Furthermore, the opinion among mothers and caretakers is that teething can be directly responsible for a child’s rash.
The Answer can be Confusing
You may not find the answer as to why your little one has that terrible red bum as easily as you’d hoped. As you can see, there’s little agreement when it comes to the research. Let’s put research and studies aside for now. Is there still a possibility that those sore gums are causing that sore bottom?
Well, let’s look at it from another perspective. There was one common aspect that medical experts and parents agreed on. In all of these surveys, there was a consensus that teething causes excessive drooling.
Maybe it’s the Saliva? Makes Sense...
Saliva is beneficial to babies as it coats the gums, and helps break down food. However, with the excess of drool, babies often swallow much more than normal. Saliva acts as a natural laxative, which would cause your little one to have more frequent diapers.
As we know, a major cause of a red bum is wetness. If your child’s stools are wetter than normal and have a higher acidity due to saliva, then there has to be a connection between teething and a diaper rash. After all, teething is the culprit of frequent drooling.
It’s interesting that medical professionals can all agree on this, but have such varying opinions on whether or not teething causes diaper rash.
You will have to make your own decision on which side you agree with.
How Do I Treat Diaper Rash?
Regardless if your child’s exciting milestone has caused the diaper rash, you’re going to want to get rid of it fast. We want our little ones to cope with teething without any added discomfort. The good news is that diaper rash has been around for some time. It’s so common that there are plenty of remedies to treat it.
Cream or Ointment
Most diaper rash treatments are either in the form of a cream or a protective ointment similar to Vaseline. Zinc Oxide is one of the primary active ingredients that helps heal diaper rash. There are several products that you can purchase in most stores, including:
Desitin is a fairly inexpensive diaper rash solution. It's active ingredient is Zinc Oxide (about 12%) and it creates a protective barrier on the skin. It's also fragrance free.
Boudreaux's Butt Paste also has Zinc Oxide as its active ingredient. It has more Zinc Oxide than Desitin (40% Zinc Oxide in Boudreaux's Paste vs. 12% in Desitin).
Burt's Bees has some amazing products. I love their lip balm, but that also have a great diaper rash ointment. Burt's Bees also has Zinc Oxide as its active ingredient (40%).
Aquaphor is a great multi-purpose ointment for rashes and dry skin. It's good on diaper rash and almost any other skin issues your child might experience. It's active ingredient is Petrolatum (41%), not Zinc Oxide.
5. Organic Products
There are so many more options, but the ones above are some of the most popular. What’s great is that there are a lot of products that are natural or have fewer chemicals.
If you’re the kind of parent who likes to make sure that you only expose your child to completely natural products, there are some great options that you can create yourself. Oils are a wonderful option. They act as protective barriers, separating the moisture from your little one’s bottom.
If you choose a natural oil, you also have the added benefit of organic medicinal properties. These include antifungal and antibacterial benefits, without the possibility of harmful chemicals.
Some natural oil options for diaper rash include:
1. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is one of the most popular natural oils that's great on skin. If you've never tried it, I highly recommend checking it out. Just be sure to get unrefined (usually called cold pressed, extra virgin), so that you get all of the natural healing properties in it.
2. Almond Oil
3. Jojoba Oil
These oils are going to act very similarly to an ointment.
DIY Diaper Rash Cream
You can create a true diaper rash cream yourself. There are several DIY resources available. This is one of my personal favorites:
1. Mix ¼ cup coconut oil, ¼ cup shea, and 1 tablespoon of beeswax. Simply place them in a glass bowl. Then heat it over an inch of water, preferably on a stovetop pan.
2. Bring the water to a boil, and allow everything to melt.
3. Take it from the heat and add two tablespoons zinc oxide, and one tablespoon of bentonite clay. Don’t worry; both of these ingredients are natural and straight from the earth. You also have the option of adding an essential oil.
4. Pour the remedy into a jar of your choosing. Keep it upright and keep it in a dry, cool area. Ta-da! You have your very own homemade diaper cream, which will last up to three months.
Sometimes You May Need to See a Doctor
It’s an amazing feeling to be able to care for your child and heal their pain. However, there are some signs you should be on the lookout for.
If your child’s diaper rash involves broken skin, blisters, or doesn’t resolve after a week of at-home treatment, you may want to see the pediatrician. There is always a possibility that the rash could be more severe, and your little one may need medication.
If you use an ointment or cream for the rash, you already changed diaper brands and wipes, but it doesn’t seem to heal, you will also want to visit your child’s doctor. This is because there is a possibility that the diaper rash is not caused by wetness or irritation at all. Instead, it could result from allergies or other sensitivities.
Teething can be exciting for a parent because it means that your little one is growing right before your eyes. Of course, it may not be so fun for the little one. If they happen to have a diaper rash at the same time, you can take care of it with confidence.
Regardless if they’re linked, I’m sure that you will do your best to keep your little one happy. Soon you can purely enjoy the sight of those pearly whites peaking out from behind that smile.