When my little boy was just a few weeks old, we encountered a nasty rash. It didn’t seem to bother baby, but like all parents, I wanted it gone as fast as possible. I tried creams, oils, powders, diaper changes every 1-2 hours, diaper-free time…. Nothing seemed to work. I felt overwhelmed and frustrated to not know how to help my baby overcome this common issue.

I was 1 step away from either calling the doctor or buying a medicated (and probably preservative-ridden) diaper ointment when, with the help of my mom (aka a “Baby Whisperer”) it dawned on me: A simple and Zero Waste! rash prevention technique. With it we have cut down use of diaper cream down almost completely. This has saved us money (each eco-friendly, non-toxic diaper cream tube is about $8+!) and has prevented a ton of waste in the form of non-recyclable plastic tubes. (Yep — squeeze tubes are not recyclable.)

A Zero Waste Rash Prevention Solution

What you need: 

  • Empty spray bottle filled with lukewarm water
  • Soft cloth wipes

To help heal your baby’s bottom from a rash OR prevent them from getting one, rinse your baby’s bottom after every poop. After cleaning your baby’s bottom like you normally would, tuck your cloth wipe under your baby’s bottom, spray the tush well with water, and then pat it dry with the wipe. Make sure your baby’s bottom is very dry before putting the diaper back on. That’s it!

Why it works

Cleansing your baby’s bottom with pure water will help remove any poop that is aggravating or initiating a rash.

How it’s Zero Waste

You’re using a reusable spray bottle and reusable cloths, avoiding the waste of nonrecyclable plastic tubes and wipes.

Tag-Along Remedies

After you cleanse and dry your baby’s bottom with pure water, you can try these remedies to make rashes go away even faster.

Use a strong, non-toxic diaper cream

Cleansing my baby’s bottom with pure water was such a simple godsend for us. But adding non-toxic, zinc-based diaper cream onto a very bad rash after cleansing and drying it can help the rash disappear fast, and without chemical-laden medicated creams. I recommend Burt’s Bee’s diaper rash — it comes at a maximum strength of 40% zinc oxide, as opposed to 10% or 15% like other brands, and it’s free of harmful preservatives and parabens. A stronger cream means you can use less, which is great considering this product comes in a non-recyclable tube.

Use a talc-free and cornstarch-free powder

You can also apply powder to your baby’s clean bottom — but beware of cornstarch! It can aggravate/feed yeast rashes, a specific kind of rash caused by candida. I recommend Ora’s Amazing Herbal Baby Powder. It has replaced diaper creams in our household almost entirely. 

What do you think? Have you tried this technique? Let me know in the comments!