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Rashes and Cloth Diapers

When I began cloth diapering I remember hearing that babies who are clothed diapered usually don’t experience as many diaper rashes as those who wear disposables. After reading this time and time again, I was disappointed when Brendan developed a diaper rash that I just couldn’t get rid of. Not having any luck with several diaper friendly rash creams, I had to resort to using disposables for a few days so that I could use cloth unfriendly, but rash inhibiting, Bourdeux Butt Paste without worrying about ruining my cloth diapers.

This all happened almost a year ago, so I wasn’t comfortable letting Brendan run around the house without a diaper at that point, so I alternated between using flat diapers without a diaper cover and disposable diapers at night while I treated his rash. However, it seemed every time the rash would go away and I would go back to my usual cloth routine, the rash would return! I tried everything I could think of – stripping the diapers, sunning them…you name it. In the end I switched detergents (from Charlie’s Soap, which I still use on clothing, to Rockin’ Green). Finally, after dealing with the rashes for a few months, they went away and stayed away.

Nowadays, the only time Brendan gets a rash is while he’s sick. Instead of reverting back to the disposables and zinc oxide rash creams, I discovered I am able to treat any rash with cloth diaper friendly Grandma El’s Diaper Rash Cream. This stuff works wonders and appears to work almost immediately when it comes to soothing the uncomfortable sting of a rash. In addition, I’ve noticed in most cases, by the time the next diaper change takes place the redness is gone and I have a happy little man again. I usually continue to use the Grandma El’s as a preventative measure until I am sure that Brendan is back to his normal, healthy self.

By Katrina

(Visited 7 times, 2 visits today)


  1. Ashley said...

    I had this disappointment as well — my son always comes out of his cotton diapers a little red. After fighting it and fighting it, we determined that our wash routine was leaving some funky build-up.

    Caveat? Our wash routine is coin-op, and it wasn't at all economical for us to run the wash twice.

    I finally took charge of my wash routine and am now just hand-washing with Rockin' Green. I may wash more often, and air-drying is a bitch, but the rashes are gone. I feel so in charge!

  2. Tricia said...

    Great post. My baby was red when I got her up this morning..not sure if it is just irritation from being in a wet diaper all night or something else… I use a liner when I use our homemade balm but worry about it shifting. I have been wondering what ingredients are considered CD safe, and what are not.

  3. Jennifer said...

    I have found the same thing with Earth Mama Angel Baby Bottom Balm. Long name, but totally a wonder. My daughter actually "requests" it when her bum hurts from a particularly acidic load. No joke, one day she started whimpering because she had a dirty diaper and when I checked, I didn't see it, so I let her be. She went to the changing table and got the jar of Bottom Balm and brought it to me. Speaks volumes for itself.

  4. Crystal said...

    I'm having the same problem you described except I still haven't found a solution. My DD's rash isn't horrible, but it lingers and won't go away. I've tried stripping, tweaking my wash routine and sunning my dipes. The sunning seems to help the most, but the rash still hasn't completely disappeared. How long after you switched to Rockin' Green until your son's rash cleared up? I use Charlie's Soap and have been seriously considering making the switch to Rockin' Green, especially now that you can get it for much less by purchasing two bags at the same time. Do you have hard water?

  5. Thanks for the tip on Grandma El's diaper rash cream. I am still learning about cloth diapers and I did not realize that the main name brands were harmful to them!

  6. Bee said...

    That's exactly what happened to me with my daughter when I started Cloth Diapering her at 8 months. It took until the last few months (she's now 17 months) before I could get rid of the rashes at all. I'm putting her back into cloth finally. I think I'll get some of that cream and hopefully it'll do the trick for us too! :)

  7. Jillian said...

    Great post! I had a similar situation in our house. Same solution, change detergent and soap.

  8. Erin said...

    We've been dealing with the same thing. I hate having to go back and forth between cloth and disposable. I too switched from Charlie's to RNG, and it's getting better. I'm also using fleece liners. How did you finally get rid of the rash? Was it the Grandma Eli's. I've tried Natural Essence, but I think that actually made it worse. Would love some advice… Thanks!

  9. Katrina said...

    If I remember correctly, it took a few weeks after the change from Charlies Soap to Rockin Green before the rash was gone forever. However, this was also around the time that we moved cross county, so our laundry routine/water type did change. I too had tried the Northern Essence balm, but it just didn't kick the rash like the Grandma Els did. It works fine on some light rashes, but the Grandma Els worked very quickly and seemed to sooth right away. I supposed that different solutions will work on different babies depending on the type of rash.

  10. Shannon said...

    thanks for the encouragement! I struggle with this and my daughter seems to have the start of a diaper rash every few days. I'll try the diaper cream you mentioned!

  11. Nikki said...

    Good to hear about the Grandma El's. I made the mistake of using a cloth diaper friendly salve without liners and I'm still having repelling problems. The brand is Motherlove. It does work well to treat the rash though. I'll use liners from now on.

    One thing that helped when my son ended up with a yeast rash was rinsing the diapers with vinegar for a few washes.

  12. Kat said...

    I'm having this problem, but I've always used RnG, so no clue what is up?! Orig she was in prefolds, then I switched to GM's & BSRB fitteds, I bought some micro fleece liners to pull the moisture away etc, but she still gets all red and this dry patchy rash after a day or two in cloth.

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