What Causes diaper rashes in the first place?
Below you will find one of the most comprehensive and up to date lists there is for cloth diaper safe creams for diaper rash. First, I wanted to stress that you also clear up the underlying problem; otherwise the diaper rash creams will just keep coming back. I’ve compiled the most common causes of diaper rash creams and how you might get to their causes.
- Are the diaper rash creams from ammonia build-up? Or simply from the diapers not getting clean in the wash. Does your little one’s tushie look red, like bad sunburn wherever the insert touches? After they pee, does it smell so bad that it burns your nose hairs? You may need to fix your wash routine. Ammonia means they aren’t getting clean in the wash. Once you’ve got a good routine and hopefully gotten rid of the stink, read this to see ways you can prevent ammonia from coming back.
- Does the rash look like what I described above, except youu also notice that the diapers smell like a poo filled barn yard even after a wash, it also means they aren’t getting clean. You’ve got to get the wash routine fixed otherwise they will just continue to smell and cause rashes. This is a good place to start. That article gives a good foundation for a solid wash routine.
- Is the rash yeast? Yeast tends to grow in the folds of baby’s skin, but can grow anywhere on their tush. A yeast rash can look red, irritated and raised. Once it gets worse you may see slightly raised red dots and it may begin to look scaly. You need to disinfect your cloth diapers and treat the rash FAST!
- Is the rash from product sensitivity? You may need to shop around for another detergent that doesn’t aggravate your baby’s skin the minute it touches it. If you use the same detergent on clothing and they don’t have an issue, this isn’t likely the problem.
- Is the rash from sensitivity to disposable wipes? All disposable wipes contain a preservative (even the water wipes). Some little ones are more sensitive to this. Try using cloth wipes and buy or make your own healthy wipes solution.
- Finally, if all of the above don’t clear up the rash, consider the possibility that there might be an allergy to a material used in the diaper. This is rare and only a very small amount of children have these types of sensitivities. Suede cloth is one thing that may cause a sensitivity. It is made of the same stuff as microfleece (100% polyester). However, it is thinner and more resistant to pilling making it look new longer. Try using natural fibers against baby (cotton, hemp, or bamboo). Also, some are allergic to PUL or TPU used in cloth diaper covers. Alternatives include covers made from fleece and wool. You can eliminate that suspected fabric and see if the rash clears. If it does, you know that is the issue.
- Most importantly, if you are unable to clear the rash after a few days and it looks like baby is suffering…call your pediatrician! Sometimes we all need a little backup!
Ok, now that we have the underlying problems clear…here is the list of cloth diaper safe creams and best diaper rash treatments! I will be including the original list with Autumn’s remarks about the creams as well as my own. This way you are getting two for the price of one! If I added my comments to a cream on the list I will note it with a (J). The * indicates that it has been personally used by Autumn or I and what our favorites are!
**Please note that even petroleum based rash creams can be use on NATURAL fibers such as cotton, bamboo, and hemp (no liner required). They will wash out in a good wash routine that uses HOT water. However, stick with this cloth diaper safe list if you are using any synthetic materials such as those that are found in pocket diapers or anything with a stay dry lining. Petroleum based creams will not wash out of those. **
Diaper Rash Creams
Aden & Anais Mum & Bub Soothing Ointment: Free of phytoestrogen, parabens, petroleum oils, phthalates, gluten and soy. It does contain fragrance though so may not be ideal for super sensitive skin.
Aveeno Soothing Relief Diaper Rash Cream w/ zinc oxide
Baby and Eve everyday bum balm : Organic, Made in Canada
*Bee All Natural’s Organic Baby Powder: Any baby powder not made with talc is safe for cloth diapers. Just use sparingly when applying as too much can create a cloud that can be inhaled. It’s for the tush, not your lungs ;)
*Babyganics Non-Petroleum Soothing Protective Ointment: Thicker cream, good to use as a moisture barrier on babies prone to wetness sensitivity. No fragrance so also great on sensitive skin.
*Balm! Baby- Diaper Balm: This is one you may not have heard of but I think it is wonderful. The Diaper Balm is also a First Aid ointment. So good in fact, that my mom used it on her radiation burns while she was going through cancer treatment! I can’t say it enough, I love this one!
* Bee All Natural Diaper Rash Salve: (J) Quickly clears up rashes from ammonia or sensitivities. The tube fits nicely in a diaper bag as well.
*Bee Green Naturals CocoBum Cream: (J) Nourishes, protects and heals. This is a creamier blend made by a WAHM. She states on her website, that due to the ingredients used, texture varies depending on the weather and temperature.
Bourdeaux’s All Natural Butt Paste (green tube): This is available in many drug stores and places like Walmart and Target. The main ingredient is zinc, which is cloth diaper safe. Zinc may stain but will not cause repelling.
*Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Ointment: Yes, this has zinc in it. Zinc is CD safe. It has been known to cause staining for some people. If you have that happen, don’t be alarmed. I like to use this when I want a good thick barrier cream.
*California Baby Diaper Rash Cream: can be purchased at many grocery stores and Amazon. Great aromatherapy scent. I have this thing about zinc oxide creams, as I apply them I immediately feel at ease as if they work faster and better. There have been cloth diaper users that claim this product leaves stains on their diapers. I have not experienced this yet. (J) I also have had no problems with zinc creams. I like that I can buy this in pretty much any local grocery store as well.
Calmoseptine: This comes highly recommended from pediatricians. Menthol helps to immediately relieve skin issues and zinc provides an excellent barrier.
* CJ’s BUTTer: (J) This is my other favorite that I reach for A LOT! I find if I really want to moisturize, this is the one. It works well when Sophia’s sensitive skin reacts to (a sometimes unknown) irritant. I also love the spritz, but I like the tubs as well. The Love Spell is heavenly smelling! (A) I LOVE the spritz, especially the pixie pie scent! I use it after every diaper change. It keeps Camden smelling good and his skin soft and supple.
*Earth Mama Angel Baby Bottom Balm now known as Earth Mama Organic Diaper balm: Use it on anything from bug bites to razor burn to yeast rashes. Very popular with many cloth diaper manufacturers. This company knows how to make great products. (J) I love this cream! It’s one of my favorites, read my review to find out more!
Eco Sprout Coconut Stick: This is a simple stick made up of 100% Organic unrefined virgin coconut oil blended with beeswax and vitamin E oil. Easy application and basic ingredients.
* Grandma El’s: Grandma El’s is my go to recommendation when someone needs a barrier ointment. I love the smell and wish it was gluten free so I could still use it.
GroVia Magic Stick Diaper Balm: (J) Made with natural and organic ingredients. Good if you don’t like to get your hands messy. However, because it is touched directly on baby, you will need a separate stick for each child if you have more than one in diapers. GroVia also has a version of this available with zinc in it.
Hello Bello contains zinc
Honest Company Organic Healing Balm: Some may worry that beeswax isn’t cd safe. It totally is, plus it is also a great to lock in moisture. It is also naturally anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-allergenic, and germicidal.
Honest Company Rapid Relief Diaper Rash Cream: Goes on smooth and rubs in while still leaving enough of a barrier to help soothe skin.
*Kissing Blake Bum Balm I really liked this on rashes that had an open sore. It helped to speed the healing. There are no colorants or dyes, phthalates, formaldehyde, mineral oil, petroleum, or fragrances Ingredients: Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, Koalin Clay, Beeswax, Lavender EO, Tea Tree EO
Lanolin: The kind used as nipple cream. Or what you use on wool to make them waterproof. Any pure brand is safe for cloth.
La Petite Creme Diaper Cleanser Lotion: (J) I’ve used this as both a rash cream and a cleanser and I prefer it as a rash cream. It may just be because I’m not really used to cleaning bums with a cream instead of a spray though. Very creamy and easy to use.
*LuSa Organics Booty Balm: (J) Made with organic ingredients. Good for diaper rashes as well as cuts, scraps, drool rash, windburn and sunburns. I am a big fan of all of the LuSa products.
* MotherLove Diaper Rash and Thrush Ointment: Very versatile. I’ve used it on fungal spots with great success.
NYME Organics Bun Glaze
*Organic unrefined virgin coconut oil: (J) This one is nature’s moisturizer. The ultimate cloth diaper safe ingredient. You can find this at any grocery store in their health food section. It is found in solid form. You can apply it by rubbing some between your fingers first. The friction will soften it up enough to be able to apply to little one’s bum. I found this to be a little more work than I wanted to be bothered with; but lots of people use this with great results.
Palmers Cocoa Butter Rash Cream
Peas in a Pod Bum Balm
*Pooters Skin Therapy: (J) I turned to this stuff to treat a tick bite Sophia had. I then started to use it on a regular basis on any redness I saw. Cleared it up quickly every time. This is an excellent product for eczema as well.
* Thirsties Booty Love: An excellent cloth diaper safe choice to apply every night before bedtime. Booty Love ointment will protect baby’s sensitive skin throughout the night from moisture and ammonia vapors. Anytime I used a barrier ointment at night my children wouldn’t have a red bum in the morning if the diaper reeked of ammonia. Sometimes ammonia can’t be avoided but still needs to be properly washed out. Make sure you are rinsing well and using a deep cleaning detergent appropriate for your water type.
Jenn is a long-time cloth diaper educator and a passionate small business advocate. She has worked in the reusable diaper industry for over a decade, helping millions of families via her websites All About Cloth Diapers, Thinking About Cloth Diapers and Cloth Diaper Geek as well as hundreds of small businesses during that time. Her goal always to provide simple, reliable information.