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Last Updated on February 16, 2024 by Kiersten James

Today, we talk about 6 common foods that cause diaper rash in toddlers and what you can do about it.

Before we get into the foods that can cause diaper rash in toddlers, let’s quickly understand what it is. 

The average diaper rash happens when a baby or toddler’s skin in their diaper area gets irritated, red, and uncomfortable. Diaper rash is a very common issue, and certain foods can definitely make it worse.

Foods That Cause Diaper Rash in Toddlers

1. Fruits with Acid

Yummy fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits are wonderful, but their high acid content can sometimes make diaper rash worse. Try to limit how much citrus fruit your toddler eats, or dilute the juice before giving it to them.

2. Tomatoes and Tomato Products

Tomatoes are delicious, and we use them in many dishes. But they have acids that can irritate sensitive toddler skin. Even tomato-based things like ketchup, pasta sauce, and pizza sauce can make diaper rash worse. You might want to give your toddler less of these foods or find milder alternatives.

3. Strawberries and Berries

Berries are a summertime favorite, but some toddlers might have a harder time with them. Strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries have a little acid that can irritate the skin. So, when you give your child these fruits, try not to go overboard.

4. Spicy and Strongly Flavored Foods

Spices like chili powder, garlic, and onion make our food taste great, but are definitely among the common foods that cause diaper rash in toddlers. You could try making their meals less spicy or using milder flavors instead.

5. Dairy Products

Toddlers love milk, cheese, and yogurt, but some of them can get diaper rash from dairy. It might be because they’re lactose intolerant or sensitive to dairy. If you think this might be the case, talk to your doctor about other options or reducing their dairy intake.

6. Processed and Sugary Foods

We all know how tempting processed snacks, sugary treats, and sweetened drinks are. But too much sugar and artificial stuff can mess with your toddler’s tummy and cause diaper rash. It’s better to choose healthier, natural snacks whenever you can.

Best Ways to Prevent and Treat Diaper Rash in Toddlers

diy diaper cream with ingredients on concrete background

1. Keep It Clean and Dry:

One of the best ways to prevent diaper rash in toddlers is to keep their diaper area clean and dry. Change diapers frequently, especially after your little one has had a bowel movement. Use warm water and a gentle cleanser or baby wipes to clean their bottom, and make sure to pat it dry before putting on a fresh diaper.

2. Let the Air Flow:

Give your baby’s skin some breathing room by allowing them to go diaper-free for short periods throughout the day. Lay down a waterproof mat or towel, or get them outside in the grass to let your little one kick and play without a diaper. This helps to reduce moisture buildup and allows the skin to heal naturally.

3. Use a Barrier Cream:

Sometimes, the simplest remedies are the best. Try using natural ingredients like coconut oil as a barrier on your baby’s skin. This will help prevent friction and resulting irritation.

If redness or broken skin is already present, applying a natural barrier cream can create a protective layer between your baby’s skin and the diaper.

Look for products that are free from harsh chemicals and fragrances. If you like to make things yourself, try this easy homemade Natural Diaper Rash Cream without Zinc Oxide that I make and use with each of my kids.

4. Choose the Right Diapers:

Opt for diapers that are gentle on your baby’s skin. Look for brands that use hypoallergenic materials and avoid harsh chemicals. Cloth diapers aren’t everyone’s cup of tea but they’re worth considering if they are compatible with your family’s lifestyle, as they are breathable and can help reduce the risk of diaper rash.

Remember, every toddler is different and don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s important to pay attention to what works best for your little one and often, it’s as simple as a small change in diet. If your toddler experiences persistent or severe diaper rash, it’s best to consult with your child’s healthcare provider for further guidance.

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