No matter what you do, or what you feed them, sometimes babies get diaper rashes. One of the more painful ones is a yeast infection rash. We've all got yeast in our bodies, but just like many things, sometimes normal processes get out of whack and create issues.
Yeast rashes suck and make big red patches with lots of spots. It spreads out into folds, looks painful (and often is), and is just bad news. Don't let it fool you either, yeast infections happen to boys as well.
If you take your baby to the doc, usually they'll tell you to go to the lady's section at the store and grab some of the same cream you'd put on your crotch if you had the dreaded YI, but there are a lot of other tried-and-true ways to help treat it at home without meds.
First let's look into cause. Has baby been on antibiotics, or if you're a nursing mom, have you? Or has baby had thrush? Either one can contribute to a yeast infection. Obviously if either of you is on antibiotics, you need to finish it, so right now your job is combating the yeast, but it might not clear up until you're done, sadly.
Consider baby's diet (if on solids). Is it high in sugar and carbs? Those can help feed the yeast as well, so cut down on both. This is true for you too, Mom, if you're prone to yeast infections yourself (ugh!). Diet plays a big factor.
Anyway, on to helping baby's tush.
First and foremost, if you're a nursing mom, squirt that breast milk on baby's butt! Whether straight from the tap, or if you'd rather pump and get it on there some other way, those antibodies even help kill bacteria topically (great for ear infections, cuts, sinuses, all sorts of things!). I know it seems really super-weird, but I swear, it's helpful.
Another thing that is a major godsend is coconut oil. Yeah, the same kind you use in cooking. Honestly, I don't even buy diaper rash products because coconut oil trumps them all. It's good as lotion for the family (and the oily feeling disappears in a minute or two, unlike other oils), it smells good, and is totally safe if baby puts their lotioned-hands in their mouth. Tasty, makes skin soft, helps diaper rashes, healthy, and kills yeast! It's ALMOST as cool as breast milk ... almost. If baby is old enough to eat solids, mixing a little coconut oil in with some (low sugar!) food can help, too.
Garlic also helps kill yeast and other infections, and is awesome for the immune system. Getting a kiddo to take raw garlic is not likely, but you can always use some minced fresh garlic in their dinner for a few days to help.
Same with probiotics, found in yogurt. The live bacteria is good bacteria, and helps fight bad bacteria. Live bacteria yogurt is also fantastic applied DIRECTLY. Yup, smear yogurt on your baby's crotch. Sugar free and no fruit, obviously! Berries in the crotch aren't going to cure anything. My daughter's doctor told me not to keep up the yogurt when she pointed out the skin looked like it was drying out, meaning the yeast was going away. Yay!
Speaking of drying out, air is also awesome for any rash.
Funny that so much of what is helpful topically is also beneficial when you eat it too, right? But when you're aiming for natural remedies, that's really common. My friends and I gave these same tips to a friend recently, but we weren't very clear about which food combo went where ... and laughed when she said her toddler said it burned when the honey yogurt with garlic burned her crotch. Oops! Just for clarification, garlic goes in the mouth, and honey just makes yogurt taste better.
And remember, if you use cloth diapers, or if your kiddo is old enough to be in underwear (and this applies to you too!), you have to "strip" the dirties -- wash them in vinegar and hot water multiple times to kill the yeast because it can live in it, and then you just put the yeast right back on the crotch. Icky, huh?
Have you dealt with your baby's yeast infection rash?
Image via Veganbaking.net/Flickr