I have had the pleasure of cloth diapering all of my children at one point in their lives.
My oldest, Sydney, was cloth diapered using a diaper service in the spring of 2009 when she was 22 months old, this didn’t end well and we were back in disposables about 6 weeks later.
My second daughter was born in June of 2010, and at the age of 2 months she started having all kinds of skin issues. At four months she went to a dermatologist who told us that she had chemical burns from disposables, a yeast infection, severe eczema in the diaper area, and it was all infected. We left the doctor’s office and went straight to our local Cotton Babies and started looking at cloth diapers. We never had another issue with chemical burns, yeast or infection. But that darn eczema didn’t want to leave. It was finally resolved when she was almost two-years-old, and potty trained. After Audrey I pretty much thought I had this cloth diapering thing figured out.
Then, we had our first son on April 5th, 2012, and Zachary changed how I cloth diapered. With Audrey getting the stink out of our diapers was very easy and I never had any problem. When Zachary was born I discovered something I hadn’t ever had to deal with previously; my baby’s pee was really stinky.
For the first time I was having very stinky issues!
My husband would comment about how badly they stunk and eventually we had to add TWO hot water washes to the normal washing routine. At first I added prettier smelling detergent, and while that made the diapers smell better, it wasn’t taking away the biggest problem. It was just masking it. As soon as Zachary peed the stink was back, and it was much worse! (Those two additional washes do not have any soap in them. This was luckily an inexpensive solution.)
A few weeks ago we had to take Zachary to the doctor to find out about his stubborn diaper rash. Turned out he had a bacterial infection and a yeast infection. The instructions were to put him in disposables for a week while we treated it with antibacterial creams, and then to bleach the diapers in hot boiling water.
I chose to treat his infections with the prescriptions, which made the infections stop, but he still had this lingering rash. It wasn’t infected anymore, it was just pink. It wasn’t raised, it wasn’t open, it wasn’t bleeding. But it was just there. After washing all the diapers I soaked them in hot water with Tea Tree Oil.
To help get rid of his lingering rash we have started adding coconut oil to his bum, as well as making a paste out of breast milk and baking soda (you could substitute the breast milk with water if you are no longer breast feeding) along with making sure he has a nice strong, thick barrier on him bum before he goes to bed (we prefer Grandma El’s.) When he first wakes up in the morning I put corn starch on Zachary’s bum to help absorb any extra moister.
All of these remedies are cloth diaper safe, relatively inexpensive, and all things I had around the house. And I’m excited to see that “the lingering” is starting to fade.
Have you struggled with severe rashes on your little one?
Samantha Thyme Sherman is a stay-at-home mama to three beautiful blessings that she named Sydney (5 years), Audrey (2 years), and Zachary (1 year.) She lives in the Pacific Northwest, and adores the rain. She started cloth diapering in 2010 when Audrey had severe eczema in the diaper area and has been passionate about it ever since.