Don’t Be Rash

by anna on July 31, 2008


Mini has come down with a severe case of diaper rash. I’m not sure how it happened, but he’s been fighting off a bug of some kind for a few days now, and this virus has had, uh, an effect upon the ecosystem of his diaper region. It has messed up the pH or something. Maybe you were wondering how to deal with diaper rash? Maybe not. Sux 2BU.

I have had to deal with this before. The first time he had a diaper rash, I trucked him off to the pediatrician. This was our default policy for months 0-12: Fever? Pediatrician. Screams when he lies down? Pediatrician. Hangnail? Pediatrician. Stink eye? Pediatrician. Oh, I felt stupid doing it, don’t get me wrong, but I did it anyway. I guess it made me feel responsible. The diaper rash appointment was a last-minute, squeeze-in one, so I had to go see the one pediatrician in our practice I had not seen yet. She went to USC. Undergrad.

But beggars can’t be choosers.

On that visit, the USC pediatrician sent out a “sample” for “testing.” The test–whatever it was–came out negative and cost $45. But I am under the impression that it would have been much worse if it had been positive. I also learned that for the type of infection he had (and he has now), the treatment is as follows:

Apply copious amounts of Boudreaux’s Butt Paste every time you diaper. This product looks like diarrhea and stains like oil. If you do not put down a cloth diaper first, you will have to buy all new minky Pottery Barn Kids contour changing pad covers after using it. You will probably have to buy all new minky Pottery Barn Kids contour changing pad covers after using it anyway. And, I think the label’s claim of a “pleasant scent” is misleading. I would say that it merely has a scent that won’t do anything more to make you feel like vomiting. But the consistency is good, and the graduated-from-USC doctor seems to think this is the best kind of diaper ointment on the market.

Apply Clomitrazole 1% cream 3 times a day when diapering, before the Boudreaux’s Butt Paste. We did this wrong the first time, and put it on every time we changed his diaper. We ran out of the stuff in like two days. This Rx cream costs $30 and wasn’t covered by our insurance. Yes, the insurance for which we pay a small fortune in premiums each month. But then, they don’t want to pay for Mini’s ear myringotomy, either, so why am I surprised? Where was I–oh yes, the cream is not covered by insurance, but you can get an over-the-counter version for about $6.99, but it will be labeled “Athletes Foot Cream” and/or “Treats Jock Itch,” and this will prompt questions from your spouse as to whether you “got the right thing.” You did.

Sitz bath. Why is it called this? Because you make a bath and then you sitz in it. That’s Mr. Right-Click’s line, don’t look at me like that. As I’m writing these steps out, I realize this whole process is not unlike the process of recovering from an episiotomy. But that is a sunshine-filled walk down memory lane for another day.

Expose to direct sunlight whenever possible. Now this one is tricky, since if you sit around with your naked 15-month-old on your lap, sans diaper, butt aimed directly up at the sky, you run the risk of: (1) well, acting as a makeshift diaper to your son; and/or (2) being reported to CPS. Last time this happened, Mr. Right-Click sat on our deck with Mini’s ass in the air and fielded strange looks from the neighbors, but nobody said anything. But of course they didn’t–this is LA!

Stop using regular baby wipes until the rash clears up. What do you use, then, you ask? Well, we go back to our newborn diaper protocol, which is to fill up one of those thermos dispensers they have in coffee shops with warm water, and use that to moisten cotton pads. Sadly, these cotton pads are more easily described than found. Target used to sell larger size round cotton pads, but they recently discontinued these. You can also use washcloths, but that is NAH-STEE if you ask me. The best product I know of is available at The Pump Station, a store with two locations in LA. They buy these cotton pads in bulk from an unknown and shady distributor–that I cannot find despite numerous google searches–and then repackage them as $12 “soft bottom cloths.”

Yesterday I drove to the Pump Station with the purpose of buying these soft bottom cloths, and a world of memories greeted me at the door. For those of you who do not live in LA, The Pump Station is a store that is aimed towards new and, as the name suggests, breastfeeding mothers. It started as a place where you could rent breast pumps, but they now hold childbirth classes there, have breastfeeding support groups, as well as stock a bunch of nice (and expensive) baby and kids clothing, toys, and accessories.

I spent a great deal of time at the Pump Station about 15 months ago. I remember one time when I was deciding if I should rent a hospital grade pump or just use the one I had bought, and I called the Pump Station for a consult. I explained to them the situation–which was that Mini was extremely resistant to breastfeeding, and I later found out this was because he had a protein intolerance and I had to stop breastfeeding anyway–but I could get him to drink pumped breastmilk semi-calmly from a bottle. “So you gave him a bottle,” the woman said on the phone, all aren’t-you-ashamed-of-yourself-toned. This is strictly against policy at the Pump Station–it’s all boob, all the time, or nothing with those people. It’s kind of like that on the entire West Side of LA, actually.

Just another thing you fall prey to when you’re a mother to a newborn–excessive guilt over not feeding him exclusively with the boob. My son may end up less intelligent and with more health problems because of it! Or so everyone says! Whatever.

When you’re feeding your newborn, you do what works.

So, the Pump Station has a bunch of crazed super-boobers working there, but they also have nice PJs and super soft blankies. So I stocked up on a few items for Mini to help him through his painful butt period. First, in the tradition of the Lamby-Lamb, a Giraffey-Giraffe. And then, some new PJs. Which he enjoyed along with his copy of Eat, Pray, Love. I wonder if he’ll actually be able to finish it.

{ 9 comments }

J. July 31, 2008 at 11:46 am

When your kid, who’s back-of-the-head is quite adorable, has a tanned butt, that will be so very L.A.

anna July 31, 2008 at 11:48 am

Touché.

anna July 31, 2008 at 11:48 am

I am mastering the art of taking photos of Mini that show him . . . yet do not show him.

Signed,
Jean-Paul Sartre

lisa July 31, 2008 at 5:47 pm

I feel ya. We are in the midst of the worst case of diaper rash I have ever witnessed.Today I made the hubby call the pediatrician so he would look like the clueless one as what to do.I gave up on the whole washcloth wiping and succumbed to washing her lady business with the sink sprayer.

anna July 31, 2008 at 7:02 pm

aww, poor kid. try the sunlight, it really works.

Cecilia August 4, 2008 at 9:08 pm

After 6 babies of my own, and years as an OB nurse I can give you thumbs up on all the above tips for helping the rashed up bums. Basics: keep it rinsed with water (no wipes/alcohol), let it air out as much as possible. The only tricks you were missing: extra fluid if possible to deep the urine diluted…. and before you apply any diaper creams, gently blow the babies butt with a hair dryer SET ON LOW. One of my sweeties was in a body cast for 6 weeks so believe me I am the Queen of keeping the butt in a healthy state.

Souther' Mother August 7, 2008 at 4:17 pm

I have been fortunate enough to avoid the Chernobyl diaper rash, but the mention of Boudreaux’s Butt Cream brought me back. One of my first posts was about BBC. The cat’s name also happened to be Boudreaux. Hijinks ensued.

http://southermother.blogspot.com/2007/04/this-post-based-on-true-story.html

Mary Anne August 24, 2008 at 7:00 pm

I can totally identify with you on this one!!! I am speeding up a post I had in cue to this Tuesday just to give you a much needed laugh from a Mom who has lived through this nightmare before. With what you are going through, you may need to see how bad we messed it up. :) It will make you feel superior for the rest of your days as a Mommy!

anna August 24, 2008 at 7:10 pm

Cool! I’ll look for it.

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