Until it didn't. Oh my goodness, we had yeast!
Yeast! It's a four-letter word in the cloth diapering world. The little buggers (spores) get into your cloth and live there, making it very difficult to get rid of it. And you can't use any of the creams next to your cloth, so what do you do? It's easy to feel overwhelmed. Unfortunately, our daughter had a very stubborn case of yeast rash. And as soon as we got rid of it, she had to go on antibiotics and it came right back. We dealt with it for about six weeks, but it's finally gone and hasn't come back!
Here's what we did.
As soon as we had a stubborn, reoccurring rash (lasted a week), we began treating it like it was yeast. We purchased an over-the-counter anti-fungal (Lotrimin, brand name; Clotrimazole, generic) and applied it twice a day. At first we used disposable diapers while I figured out how to treat her cloth diapers, but you can totally use your cloth diapers while treating the yeast. (Note: We did discuss this with our daughter's pediatrician before using the over-the-counter cream.)
Before you start using any product on your baby and to get an accurate diagnosis please call your pediatrician/nurse line before-hand. Sometimes they will want to see the rash if it persists so they can decide whether it needs a prescription cream or not (we ended up needing Nystatin when the rash came back with the antibiotics). Once you figure out what you need to do to clear up your child's rash, then you can begin tackling your diapers.
Here's what you'll need:
- Grapefruit Seed Oil
- Tea Tree Oil
- Sunshine! (Not pictured)
- Heat! (Also not pictured)
- Bleach, ½ cup in your wash. Make sure to rinse a few extra times to ensure there is no bleach residue.
- Grapefruit Seed Oil. About 20 drops per load should do it.
- Tea Tree Oil. About 20 drops per load should do it.
- Heat. Put your diapers in the dryer – this once won't hurt them! The heat kills the spores.
- Sun! Sun! Sun! Sun your diapers. Yeast doesn't like sun.
The first time I treated my diapers, I bleached them, rinsed a few extra times, washed like normal, then sunned them, then rinsed them again, then popped them in the dryer. Like I said, I was a bit overzealous. It got rid of the rash, but I probably didn't need to do all that. I had the Grapefruit Seed Oil on order, so when I got that in the mail, I also washed with that and Tea Tree Oil, which I already had on hand. (Note: I was using disposables while treating her diapers, so I could wash my entire stash a few times before using it again. Overzealous!!)
When her rash came back with the antibiotics, I did not want to use disposables again. I'm not fond of them (it's why we use cloth!), and they are crazy expensive! So I purchased some micro-fleece and lined every single diaper so I could use the prescription creams on her while she wore her cloth diapers. I washed these separately from the cloth diapers so there wouldn't be any cream residue transferred, potentially causing the diapers to repel. It was very easy!
Every time I washed her diapers, I added the Grapefruit Seed and Tea Tree oils and alternated between sunning and drying them. I also made sure to bleach the diapers once, just in case. This time the rash was gone within a week. It went much better! So don't panic if you think your child has yeast. If he or she does have it, it's not as terrible as it seems. You can treat it effectively with a few simple steps.
Disclaimer: As the author noted we recommend seeing your doctor to get an accurate diagnosis for your child. Also please check with cloth diaper manufacturer’s before you use any ingredients listed below. Some ingredients may void warranties. The post is written from the opinion of the contributor.