Diaper rash cream is an essential for any nursery. All babies, regardless of the type of diapers they wear, or the amount of times they are changed will get a certain amount of inflammation on their bottoms. This can turn into a strong diaper rash, but if cream is applied early on, when the skin is only red and not breaking out in welts, then further irritation of the skin can be avoided.
Diaper rash occurs because the skin in the area is wet for long periods of time. The urine breaks down to form ammonia, which is what causes the smell of a wet diaper. If there are any cracks in the skin the ammonia irritates this are. Chafing can be created by an ill fitting diaper which, and due to the rate of growth of a baby, many parents end up using up an old packet of diapers which are too small before purchasing the next size up. This is then made worse by any bacteria entering the wound. Some babies are very quiet, and despite the parents best efforts, sneaky soiling can be missed.
Diaper rash cream has two functions to help this situation. Firstly it acts as a barrier cream, keeping the moisture and bacteria off the skin. Secondly it will have some kind of soothing, anti inflammatory action on the baby's bottom.
Baby skin is very sensitive, and true to the saying "smooth as a baby's bottom" it can be very soft. For this reason it is worth getting an all natural cream to avoid irritating the skin any further. Most commercially available balms have petrochemicals and solvents in them. It is worth paying a little bit extra and getting a good quality, natural diaper rash cream.
Another option for new parents to think about is switching to reusable diapers as these don't contain any of the absorbent chemicals which can irritate baby's skin like the disposables can. Two worthwhile pointers for choosing reusable cloth diapers are to look for hook and loop fastenings as these can make the diaper fit a growing baby better, and snap in one varieties or prefolds with a PUL cover are easier to dry than all in ones.