the diaper rash to end all diaper rashes

(Admittedly, this is a post about diaper rashes. Thou art warned.)

Let’s just call these last few weeks what they’ve been: a deplorable diaper dermis diagnosis debacle. Short and simple.

OBaby had a sad, sad and totally uncomfortable rash that started sometime in early December. I told myself it was from him being in a disposable diaper all day one time (Mommy *might* have forgotten to adequately stock his diaper bag before taking him to the nursery at my moms’ group so he was put in a loner dipe, and holy heck, disposables? You can leave those things on for.ev.er. compared to cloth. But that’s another blog post altogether). So we went ahead and treated the symptoms.

Lots of aquaphor, lots of lanolin cream (yes, you read that properly. The cream you put on your poor cracked, nursing nipples is also good for baby bum-bums when they are poor and cracked), lots of fresh diapers, lots of diaper-free time (God bless my ever resilient area rugs), and lots of baking soda and oatmeal baths. Baking soda neutralizes the rash and the oatmeal soothes the skin.

The kid got so many baths, in fact, that he came up with this really neat, new trick to do in the tub:


Twice. TWO NIGHTS IN A ROW during his baking soda and oatmeal bum soaking bath, the kid goes for it. Notably: PROCEDURE FOR HANDING THIS SITUATION IS NOT IN THE PARENTING MANUALS I HAVE BEEN READING. It was. not. pretty. Also? Because of the things we added to the water to help his rash, the water was, how do you say? translucent. The first time he “went for it”, we weren’t sure what was going on for a while, since our view was obscured by the foggy water.

Wait, too many details? But my life is SO GLAMOROUS, friends! Why wouldn’t you want to hear all about this kind of thing?!

So, the rash. Right? Right. We treated the symptoms and, after learning not to leave our son in the bathtub *quite* so long, his bottom started to clear up. Things were on the upswing.

For about a week.

And then it was back, with a vengeance. The same rash, but worse, and this time – Heaven help me but I have to tell you this part because it is actually kind of important to the story (you know, the story about my son’s bottom) – the smell of his diapers, even just the wet ones, would literally make your eyes water. So. Strong. So. Stinky. Something was clearly, CLEARLY wrong with my poor boy’s sweet little tush.

(He is so going to thank me in 19 years for referring to his tush as little and sweet.)

After smelling that diaper, I did what any good parent would do: I put it inside 3 nested ziploc bags and prepared to take it to the doctor for some sort of chemical lab testing. That smell could not possibly be naturally occurring. I called the pediatrician’s office and left a very detailed and methodical voicemail for the triage nurse using all sorts of adjectives that y’all don’t even want to know could apply to babies’ bums. I was willing to give any and all information needed (even specimens) to get to the… ahem…

bottom of this.

::snort snort::

After about 40 minutes, the triage nurse called back to talk to me. She agreed that it was the, shall we say, ‘state of my son’s diapers’ that was causing the rash, and then I braced myself for the plan of attack. How would we figure out what sort of strange tropical disease could be causing his diapers to be so strong? What tests and procedures would be required? Should I keep more diapers stashed away for research?

He’s dehydrated. Have him drink more water. Water down some Gatorade or juice if you need to, but get a lot more liquids into his body.




We began the intensive treatment called “operation: water” that very moment. And wouldn’t you know, the diapers as soon as that night were worlds better and in the week since, his bottom has all but (::tee hee:: ‘all but’ ::tee hee::) recovered.

Water, friends. After all that? Water.


Whaaaaaaat, Allison? No picture to go with this post?

I know, right? You’re disappointed, I can tell. But, please let me assure you: over the course of this deplorable diaper dermis diagnosis debacle, I have not once, but twice, asked my buddy Google Images Search about diaper rashes and O MY RETINAS you do not want to know what mine eyes hath seen. You cannot get those kind of things out of your brain once they have entered it. So, you are welcome for not posting a picture here. O, and OBaby, you are welcome, too.

19 Responses to “the diaper rash to end all diaper rashes”

  1. Erin

    I feel for you! Two weeks before Tommy started having seizures, he started with these horrible diapers and even more horrible rashes. His poor sweet little tush was bloody and I was horrified. We’ve since learned that the diapers and rash are a warning sign of his seizures, but I also did far too many Google searches on diaper rashes all of which are now seared into my brain!

    • AllisonO

      O, Erin. That breaks my heart. I hope you, Tommy and the fam are making it through. And that you have stopped googling things ;). No one needs that in their head.

  2. april c.

    ahhhh we had SUCH a terrible rash one time, too! like little baby burns – i tried EVERYTHING, baking soda baths {almost hourly}, scorched flour {very stinky….} and finally ended up with lots and lots of naked time, with disposables and a highly efficient diaper cream at night. finally it went away, and we are back to our cloth diapers…. ew, i hate those disposables!!

    glad OBaby is back to his normal self :)

  3. Jacki

    hilariously written. you are brilliant :)

    by far one of my favorite posts! ::tee hee::

    and so glad O Baby’s bottom feels better. I am sure Mommy and Daddy feel better too.

    and also. Preston’s diapers have been VERY strong (wet) and I thought he needed some water (I was thinking dilute) so it is confirmed. Thanks girl :)

  4. Michelle

    Who would have thought…dehydrated?!?!? I’ve seen those “O MY RETINAS” pictures…YIKES! I use to question how a child’s tush can get so irritated, thinking what horrible parents those children most have, then my youngest was born and gets HORRIBLE (raw/bloody) diaper rash when he’s teething. I regret my nasty thought towards those rash children’s parents!

  5. Sarah Robbins

    I agree, it was probably the disposables. Did you know the companies won’t release the chemical ingredient list for what they put in them? That says it all to me. . . Yuck. Just for your future diaper rashes- liquid Maalox is AMAZING at clearing up a diaper rash. Sounds crazy, but keep some on hand just in case because it does the trick like no other.

  6. Kimberly

    Google will get you every nauseating time.
    PS. We got a free sample pack of Pampers dry Mac and they literally peeled the skin off of my wee one’s bum. Every time he had to pee be would cry. Turns out that those diapers were causing a chemical burn on my wee ones bottom. It took heaps of cream and baths to rid it.

  7. Brandy

    This post made me miss our cloth diapers. Our youngest kept getting rashes w/our cloth diapers. No matter what we did. Broke my heart to go back to disposables. We’re going to work on potty training soon, so she’ll be out of diapers altogether soon. Next baby we have, whenever that is, DEFINITELY going back to cloth!

    She actually had one of those horrible rashes that went away, came back with a vengeance, and OH BOY the STANK of those diapers. Amazing what more water will do, eh? LOL

    Stanking up the bathtub … ROFL … oh gosh. WHen our oldest was a toddler, that seems like the ONLY WAY we could get her to go poo. We watched for the signs she was about to start and popped her on the toilet, but not after having a few floaties (you’re welcome for that visual. Sorry.) in a couple of her baths lol

  8. Heather

    I too have done the google ‘baby diaper rash’ search and would like to bleach my eyes out afterwards if possible! Our son had a horrible diaper rash when we were potty training (so beware of that stage as well) and ended up having a yeast infection which was why it was so horrible for him. Glad to hear you got it all straightened out…I wll have to remember the water thing just in case!

  9. Suzanne

    Sometimes those awful rashes are actually yeast infections and the fastest way to treat them is to use Monistat. But I’m sure OBaby appreciates you not putting lady parts cream on his butt and then telling the internets about it. Also very effective: gentian violet, which will turn bebeh butts BRIGHT PURPLE and makes for hilarious pictures.

    Man, your kid is going to HATE me.

  10. Amanda

    Tee Hee!! This post was hilarious! I’m glad you got to the bottom of that rash. :) We had some ammonia-smelling diapers for awhile, and I think stripping the diapers helped… but dehydration may have been the true problem!

  11. Moriah

    i feel your pain. poop and butts are all we talk about in this house. glad you figured out the rash/stinky poo problem! :)

  12. Lisa H.

    Poor baby – and I feel your pain about the pooping in the bathtub. Jack did that 2 weeks ago, and it ended up touching him on the leg – oh the horror. Since then, he’s scared to go in the tub. Oh, motherhood :-)


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