Cloth Diapering Diaper Rash Mailbox Mondays

Cloth Diaper Advice – Mailbox Mondays 9/24/12 – Rashes with Cloth Diapers

Rashes & #clothdiapers via @chgdiapers

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Danielle says:

We have recently been having issues with a diaper rash that won’t go away. No new detergents and been changing him every two hours or when wet or dirty. Overnight seems to be when the problem happens…I double stuff but have never stripped my inserts. Should I strip the inserts or any other tips?

I always recommend checking with your doctor when you have concerns about a rash. That said, when you are having a rash with cloth, I recommend first looking at your wash routine.

The most commonly successful routine is a warm rinse/quick wash, followed by a hot wash with detergent, and a double rinse. When your diapers are dry, then should smell like nothing but clean. If they smell funky, add more detergent. If they smell funky when your baby wets, try reducing the amount of detergent you’re using, add an extra rinse and/or try a different detergent.

If you notice redness with certain diapers, your baby may be sensitive to certain fabrics (like suedecloth) or may be extra sensitive to wetness (natural fibers.)

If it is mostly after a night time diaper, try adding extra absorbency. Hemp is fantastic for night time diapers since it is incredibly absorbent for its thickness. Top hemp with microfiber for a 1-2 punch of quick absorbing and high absorbency.

If you use the same diapers as designated “night time diapers” each night, try rinsing them right away to remove some of the ammonia/urine buildup. You can also consider a stay-dry liner if the diapers you’re using aren’t stay dry, and/or using a thin layer of cloth safe rash cream at bedtime, to provide an extra barrier at night.

Have you had rash issues with cloth?

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Maria Moser
Maria is the mother of 3, writing about cloth diapers & going green. You'll often find her juggling her preschooler and typing 1-handed in between sips of cold coffee. Maria works with many companies within the cloth diaper industry and beyond, providing social media management, product development and other services.
  • Maria D.
    September 25, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Based on my experience with my first son’s rash battles, a couple ideas come to mind:

    1. I agree with the possibility of your son being sensitive to the fabric. My son can NOT wear natural fabrics long because it will give him awful rashes– so it’s stay-dry all the way for us. I saved his old cotton diapers for my second son, and he gets absolutely no rash from it. Same diapers, different baby, no rash. My first son also benefited from a generous amount of naked time or wearing a coverless fitted at home– the more air in the diaper area, the better!

    2. Is there a possibility that he has a food allergy? In hindsight, I think my son had a mild food allergy because of the diaper rash combined with months of projectile vomiting. Teething can also make for bad rashes.

    3. I definitely second Maria’s recommendation for hemp at night. Your kiddo could be getting ammonia burns from being in an over-wet diaper all night. This may not be a popular option, but I’d try using a heavy-duty diaper cream (even if it’s not CD safe) with a liner on top of the diaper to help get rid of the rash once and for all. Then you can figure out where to go from there.

    4. Make sure you’re using enough detergent. The Abby’s Lane blog has a really good article on why you need to use MORE detergent, and not just one tablespoon or whatever crazy small amount is popular with CD’ers. If the fecal matter isn’t getting removed properly, the residue can cause rashes.

    I hope you are able to pinpoint the culprit! I know how frustrating ongoing rashes can be!

  • Beth
    September 25, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    I say start with a stripping of the diapers and inserts. Then I agree with Maria on the microfiber/hemp, that’s what we have to use and it works wonderfully (once you figure out exactly how much absorbancy you need). Start with stripping though, and make sure you rinse out the diapers in the morning, then there won’t be the nasty build up.

  • Susan M.
    September 25, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    What kind of diapers are they? Do they have a stay dry liner on the inside of the diaper? If not maybe it is not drawing away the moisture fast enough and microfleece liners might help?

    What does the rash look like? Could it be yeast which would also probably get worse in the moisture? If so, you might need an anti-yeast cream and then treat all the diapers and not put them back on until the rash has been gone for a couple days (I used bleach in my cycle when my daughter had yeast)

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