Host: How should I care for my baby's diaper area?
Dr. Ann Kellams: Well, in the first few days we are really looking for how many wet diapers and poopy diapers they are having. So I think the very first thing would be to be very aware of when the baby is voiding and stooling and sometimes it's even helpful to keep track of it on a piece of paper because in the wee hours of the morning it's going to start to blur together. As far as what you need to do it's basically, wiping off. You can use the commercial baby wipes. I generally recommend the unscented ones because there is no need at all for other chemicals and scents and perfumes. Removing the stool, the disposable diapers these days are so good at absorbing urine that you almost don't even have to change them if it's been one little void. But if you see visible soiling I would remove that with a wipe.
Diaper ointments are not necessarily needed unless you start to see redness or irritation and at the first sign of that I would recommend a very greasy, goopy ointment like a vaseliney feeling, not the creamy kind and apply that with after each diaper change or with each diaper change. If the redness is not improving or not going away or seems to be getting worse despite using the diaper ointment with every change then we recommend that the baby be seen, because there are things besides just irritation from urine or stool that can cause a rash.