Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Diaper Cream and Cloth Diapers - How to Treat Diaper Rash

Diaper rash can be frustrating for parents and painful for baby. Many babies get diaper rash from harsh chemicals found in disposable diapers, and the diaper rash often goes away when they switch to cloth. But that’s not always the case. Babies can get diaper rash in cloth.

Believe me, I’ve dealt with horrible diaper rash on Baby T ever since he started eating solids. He has sensitive skin, so I had to play around with detergents when I was washing my own diapers. And I had to make sure I did several rinses or he would get diaper rash. I even went without any detergent for a while.

But the diaper rash wasn’t really caused by the cloth diapers or the detergents. They were caused by Baby T’s acidic poop. That’s right. For a while, he was pretty much only eating fruit. If he pooped and it wasn’t changed immediately, he would get diaper rash. The detergents and the wetness of the cloth would then exacerbate the diaper rash, and I had to load him up with diaper cream.

What kind of diaper cream can you use with cloth diapers?

CJ’s makes BUTTer that can be used to treat diaper rash on cloth-diapered babies. It comes in a stick or cream form and is all-natural. It can also be used to protect skin against windburn, to moisturize your cuticles, and to treat eczema, so it’s a real multi-tasker.

How can I protect my cloth diapers from diaper cream buildup?

If you use a product like CJ’s, you shouldn’t have any trouble with buildup. But if you’re using another product or want extra protection, use a liner in between your baby’s bottom and the cloth diaper. You can cut up an old fleece sweatshirt or buy Bummis Bio-Soft Liners. Then you can slather on the diaper cream!

What if the diaper rash is not going away?

Diaper rash can be caused by a number of things. It’s hard to figure out what causes it, but the treatment is usually dependent on the cause.

Diaper rash that is not caused by yeast can be effectively treated with breastmilk, but breastmilk can make a yeast rash worse.

Can diaper rash be caused by heat?

Yes. The diaper rash could be an aggravated heat rash. If that’s the case, adding diaper cream and a waterproof diaper cover could hold in the heat and make it worse. It’s best to air out a heat rash. When around the house, let baby loose without a diaper or with just a fitted or prefold. When you feel that it’s wet, change it immediately. Using breathable diaper covers, like wool soakers, can help the air circulate and prevent moisture from being trapped near baby’s sweaty skin. (Yes, you can even use wool soakers in the summer. In fact, this was the only way I recently was able to get rid of my son’s heat/diaper rash).

If diaper rash is caused by acidic foods, use Mylanta as a diaper cream.

You heard right. Mixing Mylanta or another acid-reducer with some olive oil and using it as a diaper cream can combat a diaper rash caused by acidic foods.

Some Tips:

If you're using any kind of scented wipe solution or disposable pre-moistened wipes, try switching to a washcloth with water. If you're only been using a washcloth with water during diaper changes, try switching to a gentle wipe solution, like Baby Bits.

When Little M recently had a diaper rash that was caused by heat, I tried to keep the wet diaper from pressing against his skin. Instead of folding the diaper in the front, I folded it in the back so there was less bulk in front (where the rash was). I also avoided using a snappi. I just folded the diaper and laid it in the cover so nothing was pressing against his skin.

Finally, Little M started crawling. And his diaper rash went away. It was Liz’s creative thinking that led me to believe maybe Little M’s diaper/heat rash was exacerbated by his army crawl, when he was dragging his body around on the floor. If that’s what is causing your baby’s diaper rash, maybe you can try to entice baby to crawl by dangling a rattle in front of his face. That may be the only thing that makes the rash disappear.

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