When you have a new baby, you may be tempted to reach for the cornstarch when your little one gets diaper rash or has dry skin. But before you do that, read this article and learn what we at BabyCenter have to say about using cornstarch on babies. We’ll give you all the facts and then suggest some safer alternatives.
Worried that your baby’s skin is dry and irritated? Cornstarch might seem like a good solution. It’s cheap, it’s easy to find, and it feels soft and powdery. But the truth is, cornstarch can actually irritate your baby’s skin. Get the facts on cornstarch and choose safer alternatives.
Cornstarch isn’t the best choice for baby care. It might seem like it makes sense to use cornstarch as a skin protectant, but there are other options that are better for your child’s sensitive skin. Cornstarch has been known to cause irritation, rashes and other skin problems when used to clean delicate areas such as the rectum or genitals. If you have ever experienced an allergic reaction to this substance yourself, then you should absolutely stay away from using it on your baby’s delicate body parts as well!
If cornstarch gets into your baby’s eyes or mouth, seek medical attention immediately; ingestion of cornstarch can cause severe irritation of the gastrointestinal tract which could lead to vomiting and diarrhea (even after hours).
Why not use cornstarch for diaper rash?
The main reason cornstarch is not recommended for diaper rash is because it can cause irritation to your baby’s skin. Cornstarch may also clog pores and trap moisture, which could lead to yeast infections or other issues.
Cornstarch powder can also cause allergic reactions in some babies. Some parents reported that their children developed redness, swelling, and itching around their rectum after using the powder to treat diaper rash. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that “cornstarch should never be used on infants.”
What about other uses for cornstarch in baby care?
Cornstarch isn’t a good choice for baby care. The powder is unsafe to ingest and can cause skin irritation, digestive problems and even respiratory irritation. While cornstarch is safe to eat, it’s not recommended for use on babies because they have more sensitive skin than adults do.
Cornstarch is found in many products that you would consider safe for your baby:
- Baby wipes
- Diaper rash creams
- Powder formula bottles
What are some safe alternatives to cornstarch for baby care?
Here are some safe alternatives to cornstarch for baby care:
- Talcum powder
- Baby powder
- Baby oil (with some caveats)
- Baby lotion
- Baby wipes
- Baby soap * (if your baby has sensitive skin, be sure to use a hypoallergenic formula)
Our experts recommend avoiding cornstarch in baby care (and beyond).
We generally recommend avoiding cornstarch as a baby care ingredient. Cornstarch is a skin irritant, meaning it can cause rashes and other skin reactions in some people. It’s also a respiratory irritant, so it can cause wheezing and trouble breathing if inhaled or aspirated (breathed). This is why experts say not to use cornstarch on your baby’s bottom or face—it may aggravate existing skin issues and make them worse.
Finally, we don’t advocate the use of cornstarch in baby baths because of its possibility for causing eye irritation: As with any product that gets in your eyes, you should rinse them out immediately with running water when using cornstarch on your child’s body during bath time.
We hope we’ve given you the facts and confidence to keep your baby safe. There are so many safer alternatives to cornstarch, like aloe vera gel or coconut oil, that you don’t need to worry about using it on your baby’s skin. The best option is always finding a natural alternative that works for both of you!