I would like to welcome everyone to our first week of answering your cloth diaper questions. Today's questions comes from Kristi on our facebook page. She writes: "My baby has a really red bottom today after two dirty diapers in a row. Is there any diaper cream that I can use with my cloth diapers or am I stuck using from my disposable stash because I have several tubes of Boudreax ButtPaste and Desitin that were gifts. And why does this happen more with dirty diapers than the wet ones?"
I am going to break her question down into different parts. First "Is there any diaper cream that I can use with my cloth diapers". Yes!! There are plenty of great cloth friendly diaper rash creams. We carry three different cloth friendly creams. One of my personal favorites is Earth Mama Angel Baby's Bottom Balm. It is allergy tested, vegan, and made with organic olive oil. It is infused with a blend of antibacterial and antifungal herbs that promote healing.
We also carry Eco Sprout Bottom Balm. It comes in a 2oz twist up tube (think glue stick). It is made with all natural ingredients and essential oils. The twist up tube design makes it great for a hands free, mess free application to baby's bottom. They also recommend it for any dry skin area on your or baby.
Our third cloth friendly rash cream is Grandma El's Diaper Rash Remedy and Prevention. It creates a breathable barrier and promotes healing.
There are also many other brands available. CJs BUTTer, Motherlove, and California Baby are the first that come to mind. Organic coconut oil is also very popular in the cloth diapering community, and another personal favorite of mine.
You can also use those non-cloth friendly rash creams that were gifts as well! The key is protecting your diapers from these creams. Creams like ButtPaste and Desitin use different oils that do not wash out like the creams mentioned above. They will stay on your diapers and repel urine and cause leaks. The simple answer is to use a liner. We sell a disposable liner made by Eco Sprout that lays nicely into the diaper and will protect the surface. You can also cut up scraps of fabric or old blankets to make a liner. Fleece is often the most popular choice of fabric because it provides a stay dry surface as well. This is also what you would need to do if you ever need a prescription rash cream and still wish to use your cloth diapers.
Now for the second part of Kristi's question: "why does this happen more with dirty diapers than the wet ones?"
First, let's talk about urine. When your baby first pees, their urine is sterile. Exposure to sterile urine will not cause a rash. But as baby sits in that diaper, the urine mingles with naturally existing bacteria and that causes a change in pH which can lead to rashes. This is not immediate, which is why we don't see as many rashes caused from just wet diapers.
One other thing to note. There are certain foods which will change the pH of urine. Highly acidic food (citrus, tomatoes) can cause a pH change, making urine irritating to the skin during the initial pee. If you are in the process of introducing new foods to your baby, keep an eye out for foods that irritate baby's skin.
Now onto the poop.
Poop naturally contains more skin irritating substances which can cause rashes quickly. Especially in back to back dirty diapers where the skin hasn't had a chance to heal from the first poop. Poop is also affected by the food we eating for changes in pH too. Mandarin oranges were never kind to my son's bottom.
If you have a frequent pooper like my son, or just a baby with a red bottom, there are a few things you can do to heal up that redness fast. Getting exposure to air will help the skin heal faster than putting a diaper immediately back on baby. When my son was younger I used to spread out old bath towels on the floor and let him have his tummy time naked on the towels. If he peed, it didn't both me and I'd just toss them in the wash. When he was older we had to be more creative to give him his naked time.
Another solution to expose baby to more air if naked time isn't feasible, is to choose a more breathable diaper. You can choose a fitted diaper or prefolds. These diapers are great if you are at home. You can let baby go around the house without a cover and just monitor for when the diaper becomes too wet. You can also use a fleece or a wool cover for added protection.
One final note about rashes. If you use disposable wipes, you may want to consider switching to cloth wipes and plain water. Most disposable wipes contain some alcohol or other additives which can potentially aggravate the already sensitive skin. If baby seems really sore, just splash water on their skin and avoid using wipes altogether.
Does anyone else have any additional tips??
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