Diaper rash is incredibly common and varies in appearance and cause, so sometimes it’s challenging to figure out what’s causing your baby discomfort. If you’ve recently transitioned your kiddo to solid foods, you might be looking at a food intolerance.
Can Certain Foods Cause Diaper Rash?
The short answer? Yes. When your child starts eating more solid foods, their bowel movements change, and diarrhea is one of the top causes of diaper rash. If you’re noticing an increase in irritation, it’s possible some of their new foods aren’t sitting quite right with them.
Dietary Triggers of Diaper Rash
The key word here is acidity. Foods high in acid can irritate a baby’s digestive system. Here are five foods to avoid to prevent chronic diaper rash:
Citrus fruits: Highly acidic, fruits like grapefruit, lemons, limes and oranges can trigger diarrhea and cause discomfort.
Pineapples: Pineapples contain a lot of acid. Opt for alternative tropical fruits like mango or papaya that are gentler on baby’s tummy.
Strawberries: Strawberries are very acidic, but other berries like blueberries are more alkaline and might be a calmer alternative.
Tomatoes: Tomatoes, along with any products containing tomato, such as ketchup or spaghetti sauce, can exacerbate diaper rash.
Dairy, peaches, prunes and plums: While not as acidic, these are common diarrhea triggers. If you notice that cutting out the foods above isn’t helping, you might look at these culprits.
What to Do if Your Baby Has a Food Intolerance
First, it’s important to note the difference between a food intolerance and a food allergy. If you’re only noticing diarrhea and diaper rash, it’s likely a food intolerance. If you start seeing hives, shortness of breath or even anaphylaxis, your baby is having an allergic reaction, and you should seek emergency medical help.
For food intolerances, try eliminating those high-acid foods for a while and then reintroduce them later as your baby’s digestive system adjusts to more solid foods. You can also consult your doctor to put an elimination and reintroduction plan in place.
If you notice diaper rash developing, try feeding baby some starchier foods like bread, rice, crackers or pasta. These will help prevent diarrhea. If the diaper rash worsens, or if you notice fever or infection, visit your doctor.