Should you use baby powder every diaper change?

Answered by Randy McIntyre

As an AI language model, I don’t have personal experiences or situations, but I can provide you with a detailed answer to your question.

Using baby powder during diaper changes has been a common practice for many years. However, the AAP advises against using cornstarch or talc-based baby powders. This recommendation is based on concerns about potential health risks associated with these powders.

Talc-based powders have been linked to respiratory problems when inhaled, and there is also a potential risk of ovarian cancer if talc particles travel through the genital area to the ovaries. While the overall risk may be small, it is still recommended to avoid using talc-based powders on infants.

Cornstarch-based powders are often considered a safer alternative to talc-based powders. However, the AAP still advises against their use. This is because cornstarch can create a moist environment, which may increase the risk of diaper rash or fungal infections. It is important to keep the diaper area clean and dry, and using powders can interfere with this goal.

Instead of using baby powder, the AAP recommends using simple, natural products to keep the diaper area clean and moisturized. Here are some tips to follow:

1. Clean with gentle wipes or warm water: During diaper changes, use fragrance-free wipes or simply clean the area with warm water and a soft cloth. Pat dry gently with a clean towel or let the area air dry before putting on a fresh diaper.

2. Apply a barrier ointment or cream: Use a thin layer of a barrier ointment or cream containing zinc oxide or petroleum jelly to protect the skin from moisture and irritation. These products can create a protective barrier and help prevent diaper rash.

3. Change diapers frequently: Regularly changing diapers is important to prevent prolonged exposure to urine and feces, which can contribute to diaper rash. Aim to change diapers every two to three hours or as soon as they are soiled.

4. Use breathable diapers: Opt for breathable diapers that allow air to circulate, as this can help reduce the risk of diaper rash.

5. Give diaper-free time: Providing some diaper-free time, especially after a diaper change, can help the skin in the diaper area breathe and reduce moisture buildup.

It’s important to note that every baby is different, and some may be more prone to diaper rash or skin sensitivities than others. If you notice persistent or severe diaper rash, it’s best to consult your pediatrician for further guidance.

While baby powder has been commonly used in the past, the AAP advises against the use of cornstarch or talc-based baby powders during diaper changes. Instead, focus on keeping the diaper area clean and moisturized using gentle wipes or warm water, barrier ointments or creams, frequent diaper changes, breathable diapers, and diaper-free time.