Diaper Rash from Cloth, what to do? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 04-16-2008, 01:50 AM - Thread Starter
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I was so afraid this would happen, my 6 month old daughter has been in disposables since birth, never any irritation or diaper rash. She is not a sensitive baby to perfumes or fabrics.
Disposables have been great! But I thought I would try cloth diapering to save money and know what is going on her bottom.
I took all the precautions to make sure she didn't get a rash, the best cloth diaper detergent, using as lil' detergent as possible and triple rinses to make sure there is no residue left.
I am changing the diapers every hour on the hour or if they get wet or poopy sooner I change them right away. Two days in cloth diapers and my daughter has the first diaper rash she has ever had. She is wearing prefolds with hemp insert and bummis covers, at night I put her in the happy heinys with two inserts to make sure she doesn't have wetness sitting on her skin all night. She didn't have the rash in the morning from her happy heinys, it showed up after the second day in the prefolds before bedtime.
So I aired her out, let her butt hang out all day with diaper ointment she had a blast being free from her diaper, rash cleared up. I put the cloth diaper on and two hours later, two diaper changes and a rash. It's not the detergent, I'm positive even did an experiment of laying a prefold on her to see if it was the detergent aggrivating her skin, it didn't cause a rash until it became wet and she was laying on it and bumps appeared on her bottom where it was touching the prefold,so the problem is the moisture on her skin.

Any suggestions to keep her dry? I can't change her anymore than I am and I am using hemp. Should I switch to pocket diapers with the fleece like the happy heinys have? I live in the south so it gets toasty around here, I don't want to cook my lil' sqwirt or anything.
I would hate to have to go back to disposables I have $300 in my covers and prefolds, not to mention my pails and pail liners. Happy heinys ouch those were $19 a piece. I thought I was on top of things and had picked the best items to prevent rash, but that red spot on my daughters tush is telling another story.

I just need to keep her dryer without something that is thick and will get her too hot, it gets around 100 here in the middle of summer. But obviously the prefolds just aren't keeping the moisture off her skin.
Any help would be greatly appreciated! My daughter will be displaying her birthday suit proudly until I find a solution, "butt" she doesn't seem to mind
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#2 of 7 Old 04-16-2008, 04:26 AM
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I would suspect it is your detergent and when she wets the bacteria is being released. Soemtimes less isn't more with detergent. You have to find the right combo for your machine and water.

Also, at 6 months, she could be teething. DD3 gets terrible teething rashes.

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#3 of 7 Old 04-16-2008, 09:37 AM
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To me it sounds like you may be unsing too little detergent, and your diapers aren't getting clean. Try adding a little more. With all the rinses you say you are doing, it will all get out. It worked for us, when we started having issues.

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#4 of 7 Old 04-16-2008, 04:18 PM
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Some babies are sensitive to hemp. You might try bamboo for an insert. Or use hemp topped with microfleece for a stay-dry feel without going all synthetic (like the happy heinys). Could be the bummis are keeping too much moisture in also. They are a synthetic material also, so don't breathe as well as a natural fiber like wool. Possibly a looser cut side snap cover would let more air in, like Motherease Airflow or Bumkins with the mesh vent in the back or a fleece cover. Even though fleece and wool sound "hot" they are really much cooler than a PUL cover in hot weather.

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#5 of 7 Old 04-16-2008, 04:39 PM
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I am going to say it is due to too much detergent. I know you are using very little already and rinsing plenty but I have been though this and experimented for over a year with my now potty trained 3 y/o. I now have a 4 month old who has been rash free since birth. I have it down to a science. The urine reacts with detergent residue left in the diapers and causes a rash. It all depends on your water type. If you have hard water you need to use more detergent. If you have soft water you need to use less. I have soft city water and can only use a smigde (1/2 teaspoon) in my toploader. I also found it helpful to use vinegar in the rinse of my regular laundry to keep detergent build up at bay in my washer. My routine is cold prerinse with smidge of detergent then hot wash/cold x 2 with really hot water. I can tell if I am using too much detergent because my diapers have a certain smell. I did this for 2 years with my ds with no rash after battling rash for a year. I found the more detergent I used the worse the rash was. I also tried every detergent out there almost from tide free to allen's naturally and every thing in between. I now use tide free. Sorry for such a long post. I just want everyone to be successful at cloth. HTH
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#6 of 7 Old 04-17-2008, 02:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all your replies, I rewashed my diapers with more detergent and several of the other options and she still came down with diaper rash.

So I bought microfleece liners to keep the moisture off her skin, tada no diaper rash going on 4 diapers changes. She is sensitive to the moisture, which is what I first thought I just had to find something to wick the moisture from her bottom as well as the disposables do.

But thanks again! I have a happy cloth-bottomed baby now!
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#7 of 7 Old 04-17-2008, 02:53 PM
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when did she start eating solids? if she hasn't then never mind! but I read that also the poop or pee may be the cause. here is a good article about rashes and the causes:


So glad you found the cause, but this is a great article just in case you'll need it later...

Latina Mama of 3 and Wife of a great man since 1997
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