I know several of you with the knowledge and experience I'm seeking are in QC and Q&P, but I also think there are probably lots of more of you who don't necessarily keep up with those threads.
Here's what's going on:
We have a (fairly) new 9.5 month old foster son. He and his sister have been living with us for almost seven weeks now. The baby, for the most part, has had very mild diaper rash that comes and goes, depending on how much time he spends with us versus how much time he spends sitting in his carseat in a wet diaper on his way to and from visits. Bio-mom lives 1 hour away from us and he visits her twice a week. Meaning he sits in the carseat 4 hours a week, not counting the short around-town trips we make regularly. He always comes home from visits in a wet diaper.
That all having been said, the past few days his diaper rash has taken a jump into moderate to severe. The creases of his inner thighs alongside his testes are beet red and raw and painful to the touch, the skin where his penis joins his testes and the skin where his testes meets his perineum are also red, raw and painful. The perineum is so irritated and inflamed that when he cries during cleaning, he jerks his knees up into his chest and stretches the skin to the point where it bled today.
We do our absolute best to keep him dry and clean, but there is only so much control we have over diapering him. His bio-mom has told us that she did cloth-diapering on him due to rashes in the past.
Right now, we are using the disposables because he has to attend daycare and they won't accommodate cloth diapers.
So here are my questions, please feel free to lay out any advice or suggestions you might have!
1. Would it at least help alleviate some of the rash if we cloth diapered in the evenings and weekends while he's with us?
2. If so, what kind of cloth diapers should we get?
3. What can we do *right now* to help the rash?
We've discussed cloth diapering, but have never done it yet, therefore have no experience with different types of diapers or what we would like/dislike. We are more than willing to do this for him, just don't know the right way to start out. Please help!
I'm relatively new at this cloth diapering thing as our baby is only 9 weeks old, but here's what I'd say.
1. Air the baby out! Give him some time with nothing on at all. That is one of the best things you can do to help clear up a rash. Since he's probably mobile, you may want to confine him to a room that's easy to clean while he's enjoying his diaper-free time.
2. I'm not sure how a cloth/disposable combo will work, but at night I'd recommend a woolie over a super soaking insert like bamboo. The bamboo will wick the moisture away from his bottom and the woolie cover will promote air circulation. We use a kiwe pie + wooly bottoms.
3. Make sure you don't use a regular diaper cream with your cloth diapers. It will ruin them as it affects their ability to wick moisture - fixing it is quite a bit of work. Angel bottom balm was recommended to us and it's great. We were told to use it one a day, and sparingly, and it would be okay with cloth.
DW and I are moms to two teens (DD 17 and DS 15) adopted through CAS in 2007 and a toddler (DD 2) born at home in March 2011.
I have some cloth diapering advice and disposable help since I did both with Lennon.
For disposables the BEST thing I ever did for my kiddos rash was to buy a container of Aquaphor and a bottle of Milk of Magnesia, mix them together and use it as a diaper cream. It cleared up his diaper rash in 2 days because it cut the "acid" that was making the problem worse. You mix equal parts, it takes a while to get the consistency right and is a little slippery but it really works. Some pharmacies will mix it up for you. I also found that if I used pampers at all Lennon broke out in a bad rash because of the scent that is in them. I could only use huggies or target brand diapers.
As far as cloth goes, would daycare be opposed to using gdiapers? They have a disposable insert that can be thrown away so it really wouldn't be any more work for them but would still have some of the benefit of cloth as far as breathability. Plus you can just throw a cloth insert in them at home and not have to change to a new dipe.
I used gdiapers all day with Lennon and disposables at night (nothing stopped the leak once he hit about 8 months besides sposies) I agree with letting him be naked, now that the weather is nice I would take a big blanket outside, strip him down and let him go! If you do it right after he pees you will probably get a good hour before he goes again.
Good Luck- diaper rash is the worst, it is heartbreaking.
I am not queer (sorry!) but I personally would not do G diapers. A LOT of people have bad experiences with them. I would do a Flip stay dry they are also hybrid dipes (so you can do a disposable inner instead of the cloth) and work great overnight if you double the inserts. They are really economical and come in a 6 pack with 2 shells for $50. You won't have to buy different sizes either they last from birth to 35lbs and you could keep them for use on any other baby without a size issue. Good luck!
Young born-again mama and loving wife to DH and SAHP to two crazy girls we and believe !
Nakey nakey nakey bum! As much time as possible. Eliminate all soaps and creams and body products, including store-bought wipes. Use the expensive natural sposies, if you're using sposies. And cloth wipes with warm water. As for cloth, perhaps cotton prefolds? With no cover while at home? Or wool? Seraf can probably comment better on that. We never had a rash at all, so not speaking from experience, but passing on what worked for my friends.
Thank you all for your advice, I appreciate it.
First, I totally get that airing everything out will help him to feel better. We will try for some naked time as much as possible. He isn't actually mobile, he was severely neglected and is very very behind, developmentally. I'll try laying him on a blanket in the kitchen and seeing if that does anything for him.
Mizyellow, what a great suggestion for a diaper cream. Unfortunately there are definitely going to be times where he is absolutely stuck with the sposies.
I will make sure to ask daycare about using a hybrid diaper, maybe they'd be okay with it since we provide all our own diapers anyway.
Carmen, the lanolin is worth trying for sure. He doesn't always have a rash, though I would not be surprised at all if he does have some allergies. Bio-mom claims she suffers from several different allergies, but she's not "all there" so who knows.
Again, thank you!!!
If the rash persists, I would look at the possibility that he's reacting to what you're using to wash your dipes. We used Charlies for 3.5 years with DS then DD came along and REACTED to it so we had to switch to Country Save. And I'd keep staph in the back of your mind. We've had a couple rounds with staff - it usually has islands, some skin breakdown and bleeding. If it's staph antibiotic ointment will clear it up quickly. It's just that DS had a bad staph infection a while back and we kept treating it and treating it like a diaper rash and it got worse and worse until we took him to our ND and it was staph.
Glad your little guy has you.
Queer Parenting since 2007
A rash that is that bad is very often yeast. So, definitely looking at what he eats. You can add good bacteria to his diet if he already eats yogurt (make sure to get a plain yogurt with lots of active cultures) or even get a baby probiotic.
And I second the airing out! As much naked time as possible. If he's not mobile that makes it really easy because you can just lay him on a cloth diaper (or even drape it over him) but not close it or have a cover over it.
Also, is it possible to pause on the drive over to change him, until his rash is healed? I know it's a lot to drive him on such a long trip, but if he's peeing right when you leave an you change him on the drive, maybe he'll get some of that hour with a dry diaper?
Wow, a lot to think about regarding yeast infections and/or staph, hopefully he doesn't have those but it's important to be "in the know" and watch for it.
We will keep in mind detergents when we do cloth, and apparently we should be switching around brands of disposable diapers, maybe that'll help keep him more comfy. He's in the Pampers right now.
As of today, the rash seems less angry, though there are still a few places that are red. Just not AS red. And no bleeding, yay!
Steph, I would love it if he could be changed mid-way through the ride, but my wife and I don't provide transportation to or from visits. The visits are being conducted at each of the parents' homes, and supervised by a parent aide. The parent aide is also the person who does all the transportation. Unfortunately, the parent aides are just that - aides to the parents. They don't have a lot of regard for the kids, it seems a lot of the time like transporting children is just another line on their checklist of "to do's". We've complained several times about the length and frequency of visits, but the caseworkers all say that we have to show "significant damage to the children over a period of time" before anything will be changed. The initial court hearing about this isn't for four more months, which I find horribly ridiculous but hey, I'm just the foster parent, what do I know about these kids?
Thanks to everyone for their support and well-wishes for our little guy. I'm hopeful that we can find a solution that will keep him comfortable for the long haul.
The system drives me batty! This REALLY hits home for me. I absolutely hate that neglectful abusive parents have so many dang rights! This is a 9 m/o baby he could have a family that will love and rehabilitate him and have a chance at an amazing life instead of being so burdened by a horrific past. UGH <end rant>
If you are sticking with sposies I would get earth's best b/c they have no chemicals and have a wheat and corn absorbant base instead of those chemical laiden balls.
Young born-again mama and loving wife to DH and SAHP to two crazy girls we and believe !
We had some huge rash issues and tried pretty much everything (fresh air, switching detergents, switching diapers, creams and lotions...). Two things that made a noticable difference for us:
1. Cotton only when using cloth. Things like BumGenius made my DD super rashy. We sewed some cotton fitteds and used wool covers.
2. At night, we used Seventh Generation disposables. All night in cloth, even cotton/wool, was just too much moisture on her skin. In the Seventh Generations, she did really well. In fact, every time she got really rashy, we'd do a couple days in the 7th Gens and she'd clear right up.
Kind of a bummer, because I know it contradicts that whole "but cloth never causes a rash and disposables do!" theory, but that's what worked for us.
Good luck. I'm sorry your little one is facing such challenges.
A, partner to J, mama to O, now with a new username!
Building queer family since 2008!
(and oh, did i mention we're having twins?!?)
He's doing well, thanks for checking in! We switched disposable brands and avoided using heavy creams on him during the day because it just seemed that they were suffocating his skin. He spent a lot of time naked too. We are still discussing the cloth option, of course I think they would be more ideal for him but our lives are so crazy right now that the idea of adding more laundry makes us want to cry. Hopefully we will get there someday.
In the meantime though, we will keep letting him have naked time as a preemptive strike!