Daycare and Diaper Rash

How to prevent/treat diaper rash when you’re not the only one caring.

We get it, finding reliable childcare is a top priority, especially when it comes to diapering and hygiene. It’s great when kids come back from daycare singing new songs, but less cute when they come home with diaper rash. The good news is, there are things you can do beforehand to make sure diaper rash doesn’t become an issue. And if it already is, don’t worry – we have some tips for that as well.

  1. Choose a diaper-friendly daycare.
    What does that mean? When touring or considering a daycare, ask about diapering. Are they lackadaisical, or do they have clear procedures/policies that prioritize diapering? Look for a daycare that emphasizes cleanliness, regular diaper changes and proper hygiene procedures. Make sure the staff understands the importance of preventing diaper rash and is willing to work with you to maintain your child's comfort.
  2. Provide your daycare with your products.
    Provide your daycare with the exact same diapers/wipes/creams you use at home, and let them know how much product you typically use (different people apply different amounts). When you find what works for your little one, stick with it at home and outside of it. Even if your child doesn’t currently have diaper rash, this precaution will help prevent a rash from developing.
  3. Diapers can make a difference.
    Set your child up for success by choosing a high-quality diaper. Opt for diapers that are specifically designed to be gentle on the skin and breathable, and promote moisture absorption. Avoid diapers with excessive fragrance, as they can irritate sensitive skin. Similarly, choose fragrance-free wipes.
  4. Make the most of applying a barrier cream in the morning.
    Before dropping off your child at daycare, apply a thin layer of a pediatrician-recommended barrier cream, preferably one that is fragrance-free and hypoallergenic, on your child’s clean, dry skin. Share information about the cream you are using with the daycare staff so they can reapply it as needed throughout the day.
  5. Step up the schedule.
    Many daycares do diaper changes on a regular schedule instead of on an as-needed basis, which means little ones might have a wet diaper for longer than their skin is used to. If diaper rash is a problem, request that your baby be consistently changed more often.
  6. Dress you child for success.
    Clothing options also can influence diaper rash. When appropriate, opt for loose-fitting, breathable clothing made from natural fibers such as cotton. Avoid tight-fitting garments or materials that trap moisture against the skin.
  7. Dial in on your child’s diet.
    Some diaper rash can be caused by a reaction to foods. Ask for a log from your daycare on what your child is eating. Can you pinpoint any patterns? Consult with your doctor about avoiding potential allergens that might be contributing to the problem.

Implementing some or all of these suggestions should greatly help you address diaper rash, but the most optimal outcomes will come from open and consistent communication with your daycare. You are on the same team, and with a supportive and diligent care facility, you can beat diaper rash for good.