There are so many great things to experience when you have a baby. But no matter how adorable that little tushie can be, diaper changing time is not one of the great things to experience as a new parent. Unless, that is, you like having sh*t on your hands, on the baby’s clothes, and everywhere in between. (I ended up with it sprayed across my eyeglasses once. Don’t ask.)
But wait: Diaper time can be even worse when diaper rash enters the equation. As babies wear diapers, the pH levels on the skin increase, sometimes leading to a bright red rash. Babies can’t verbalize how bad this rash hurts, but they have ways to make it pretty clear. You need to have the best diaper rash cream on hand at all times. These creams soothe the skin and usually clear up the rash within a day or two.
Now, we’re not going to try to convince you that these creams are as gross as the other parts of diaper changing. But they’re still pretty damn gross. They sometimes have a sticky, pasty consistency that seems to end up everywhere, especially if you use cloth diapers. Still, they’re a necessary part of baby care, so we have to put up with the goo. (They’ll appreciate our sacrifices later when they’re jaded teen-agers, right?)
Some of these diaper rash products are more like ointments, and the consistency varies from product to product. So if you simply can’t stand the way your current diaper cream feels, we can help you find a less gross product in our list that still works well. (Notice, we did not say “gross-free” diaper rash cream. No such thing exists.)
You’ve probably seen Sun Bum’s other skincare products lining the sunscreen aisle at Target or Ulta. (I mean, how could you possibly miss Sonny, their mighty yellow ape mascot??) Now they’ve got your baby’s needs accounted for too. Moms (and dads), get ready for this natural zinc oxide ointment to provide maximum rash relief when your baby needs it most. Their gentle plant-based product will take care of your baby’s bum in a pinch. Key ingredients—which include shea butter, cocoa butter, and aloe—work to soothe and nourish your baby’s skin. Whether the beach is your backyard or you’re on vacay and know you’ll be by the pool all day, don’t hesitate to reach for this summer-approved baby essential. This Amazon customer calls it miraculous: “After less than 24 hours this stuff eliminated all the irritated, bleeding spots and even the redness is almost totally gone.” That’s what we like to hear.
Baby Mantra’s diaper rash ointment is the go-to for preventing irritation and redness. It’s rated a 1 on the EWG Skin Deep cosmetics database, so it’s perfect for all infants and toddlers with sensitive skin. We love it when we find products that are deemed safe for babies, and this ointment is no exception. It’s made from plant-based ingredients (sweet almond oil, sunflower oil, and beeswax)… no harmful sulfates or chemicals in sight! In addition to preventing rashes, it works to relieve symptoms from the first application, while simultaneously repairing and replenishing your baby’s skin. One last thing: You’ll never have to worry about your little one crying up a storm due to burning sensations. In addition to “soothing relief,” customers report back that it’s safe for everyday use. When applying, a little bit goes a long way. Jennifer S. says, “The ointment has a medium-thick consistency and distributes evenly on the skin: not clumpy or runny.”
Paladin diaper rash ointment provides immediate, soothing relief. Don’t be surprised if rashes clear overnight—it’s that fast and effective. The simple formula and easy application makes it a no-brainer for your child’s use. Perhaps that’s why Paladin is backed by doctors and moms everywhere. One happy customer on Amazon went as far as to call it the “holy grail of rash creams” while another dubbed it a “secret magical rash ointment cream” that cures all. Limited ingredients, a super thick consistency that’s easy to spread, and staying power set this rash ointment apart.
Between each diaper change, apply a thin coating to combat skin irritants that can be way harsh on the baby’s skin. PSA: It’s also good for minor burns, chafing, and skin irritations so, yes, basically this $h*t does everything. We’d consider that a major win for the entire family.
If you’re going through the mess of applying diaper rash cream, you might as well treat a lot of things at once. A&D is almost a super cream, protecting skin with zinc oxide, while also minimizing itch and providing a protective barrier. A&D even says it’s safe to use on lips … but the taste isn’t great. Trust us.
Zinc oxide is diaper rash’s biggest enemy. So when you’re dealing with a really tough case, the 40% zinc oxide concentration in Desitin makes it the best diaper rash cream for diarrhea. Its high zinc oxide level also makes it a great cream to provide protection through the entire night. (Now if it could only convince the baby to sleep through the night, it’d truly be a miracle cream.)
If typical diaper rash cream grosses you out, you’re not alone. (You’re also not alone about feeling guilty that you’re so disgusted by the texture of something that helps your baby.) This Triple Paste ointment uses a mix of zinc oxide and petrolatum to create a consistency more like a paste, so it’s easy to apply. It’s expensive per ounce, but it’s tough to put a price on the value of keeping the grossness level at a 4 or 5 out of 10 versus an 11.
When searching for the best diaper rash cream, it’s not always one type fits all. For babies who suffer from yeast infections on occasion. the Boudreaux’s ointment uses balsam to allow diaper rash to heal without causing flare-ups. It’s also free of lanolin, which some babies are sensitive to using. (Ultimately, we have to respect a product that’s confident enough in its quality to call itself “butt paste.”)
If you’re using cloth diapers … well, you’re a better parent than me. As you probably know, typical diaper rash creams do quite a number on cloth diapers, creating an unholy mess that may make you question your decision to become a parent. Grandma El’s ointment uses no zinc oxide, leaving it with a nice consistency and almost a clear color, which is great for cloth diapers. It’s expensive per ounce, but it also has the ability to help with heat rash, eczema, and more sensitive skin issues.
Babies get diaper rash sometimes. Bigger kids (or husbands who didn’t learn anything in Boy Scouts) get into poison oak or poison ivy sometimes. This ointment from Rugby helps with all of those skin problems and more. It’s a zinc oxide-based ointment that has a no-frills design, allowing it to be offered at a great price per ounce.
Unlike some other choices on our list, this cream has a nice, thin consistency. You’ll be able to apply it quickly with a minimum of mess. Yay! The downside? It’s a bit pricey per ounce. (The best things are never cheap, after all.) This Weleda product ranks as a best natural diaper rash cream, thanks to its ingredient list and its lack of fragrances and synthetic preservatives.
If you love using Burt’s Bees lip balm, shampoo, and makeup, they also make one of the best diaper rash creams for diarrhea. It has nearly a 40% zinc oxide concentration, creating a paste with a pleasing consistency that will stay in place and keep the baby’s bottom protected. (Just one word of advice: Keep your Burt’s Bees lip balm and diaper rash cream in different places. When you’re sleep deprived from caring for a baby with diaper rash, you never know what yellow container you might mistake for lip balm.)
If you’re going to name your company Earth Mama, you better know how to create amazing organic products. (Fortunately, Earth Mama does, or this section would have an entirely different tone.) Its diaper rash balm contains only certified organic, plant-based ingredients. It’s clearly a best natural diaper rash cream for cloth diapers, as it contains no mineral oils. It even works to soothe minor cuts and scrapes, so it’s useful for every kid in your house … even the one who cries more than the baby each time she gets a microscopic scrape.
If you can’t resist a baby product that has a cute bunny on the bottle — and honestly, who can? — this diaper rash cream is for you. Fortunately, it’s a good product that easily qualifies as a best organic diaper rash cream. It uses zinc oxide, but it has no petrolatum (derived from petroleum), so it’s safe for babies with sensitive skin.
Have we mentioned yet that diaper cream is f***ing gross? Here’s an idea: When you sense that your bundle of joy is just starting to develop a case of the dreaded bright red rash, the Magic Stick is the answer. It’s easy to apply with a minimum of mess. It’s a lightweight material, so it’s designed for helping with mild cases of rash, preventing them from becoming worse. It’s not made for a rash that is as red as your MIL’s face — well, let’s be honest — pretty much any time you spend more than 5 minutes alone with her.
Diaper rash sucks. Diaper rash for a kid with sensitive skin takes sucking to a level rarely seen since season 11 of The Bachelor. But Honest Company’s product easily ranks as a best natural diaper rash cream, as it uses organic ingredients that are safe to use on sensitive skin, while still delivering fast results.
Another option when you feel like a diaper rash is imminent is using this Aquaphor ointment. It nourishes and moisturizes the skin, while protecting it too, giving you quick results. And just look at how happy the cartoon baby is on the jar. How can you not trust a product like that? Most babies only look that happy when they’re in the process of filling their diapers with sh*t, which necessitates more diaper cream — mind blown.
When you need more crap like this for your baby—and who doesn’t—check out our best baby gear product guides and find some more things you can’t live without.