Friday, June 11, 2010

"It Hurts Down There" A Lesson in Disposable Diapers

climbing a homemade slide clad in a
Blueberry Minky One Size Bamboo Pocket Diaper



My toddler and I recently traveled the country, living primarily out of our suitcase and hotel rooms as I had the annual opportunity to lecture on the prepuce and intact issues at several universities. Since leaving the collegiate world full time to raise my child, I've been blessed with this opportunity to get back into the classroom, dip my toes into some research, and do it in a way that is also baby-friendly for the sake of my child(ren).

One thing I came to find during these travels that I did not expect to learn is the value that cloth diapers have played thus far in my son's time earthside.

You see, we started our cloth venture primarily for three reasons:

1) Money. The amount that would be needlessly spent on plastic throw-aways is monumental compared to the investment we made on our pocket diaper stash.

2) Cuteness Factor. Is there anything more adorable than a chubby little baby running around in a soft colored diape?!

3) Tree Huggerness. My husband and I (more so myself - although maybe he'd say the same) have a hard time not recycling anything and everything that can be recycled, so the thought of throwing away mountains of chemical-laden, feces-filled plastics each year to just sit and sit and sit and sit and clog up the earth just a bit more... I'm not sure I'd be able to stomach it.

So for those reasons, we procured our little stash of Blueberrys, Wonderoos and Dilley Dallys and happily EC/cloth diapered our way through the months, never giving much thought to how friendly this method also was to our son's sensitive bum.

I've heard the horror stories from parents of plastic-clad kids - the awful chemical rashes that seem to spring up overnight. The blistering bums. The rash filled genitals. The nonstop painful crying when nothing is working to heal a baby's ultra sensitive skin - because a disposable is a disposable is a disposable. They are all filled with much the same toxic thing, even those that make an attempt to be a little more 'green.'

baby with chemical burns from Pampers disposable diapers


Reuters recently wrote about P&G facing a backlash from parents who find their infants with chemical burns and rashes due to plastic diaper technology. But could it really happen as quickly as everyone says it does?

chemical crystals that fill plastic diapers to absorb


One member of the Facebook page, Pampers bring back the old Cruisers/Swaddlers, submitted pictures after wearing a Pampers' diaper on her knee for 90 minutes:

Before:

15 minutes:
60 Minutes:
90 Minutes:

But still, I never thought it would happen to my little diaper-free/cloth-diapered babe. Until we started this trip. We packed some of our cloth stash and planned to use them at various locations where wash machines would be available. However, as time crunches were made and our adventures got rolling, it seemed easier to suck up my environmental concerns and plastic up my little guy.

Still not thinking much of it, except for the $9 I did not really wish to spend on garbage (that is where they are headed, right?), I was slightly surprised to find after just 2 changes my son had redness on his inner thighs and bum area where the diaper sat. I pulled out our trusty Calmoseptine (which I'd recommend to anyone, for just about anything) and we slathered it on.

Day two - my son brought me the Calmoseptine from the bathroom counter in our hotel room. Never had he done this before. He wanted me to put some on him. Yikes. He went diaper free the rest of the day during the hours we could manage to do so (slightly more challenging away from home).

Day three - and still no easy access wash facilities - I slathered on the Calmoseptine which had done wonders the day before, went diaper free as much as possible, and reluctantly placed another disposable on his skin during the hours it was necessary.

Day four - more of the same, still red. But we'd be in a new location soon.

Day five - His sensitive little areas were redder than I'd ever seen them before. My poor baby. Could 'nice' disposable diapers really do this much damage in this short amount of time? How does any baby handle it? My son signed to me that he 'hurt' down there - something he has never before experienced. I was surprised (again). And rather appalled. We got out the cloth diapers (and he lit up to see them), slathered on some more Calmoseptine, and made our way to our next destination - with laundry facilities.

We only had enough of our cloth stash with us for 2 days worth, but we made it work. My son never 'hurt down there' again. And I now have a reason #4 for doing a mix of EC and cloth diapering - the health and 'happiness' of my baby's skin and his comfort.

I'm fairly certain I will never look at plastic chemical diapers the same way.

sliding down the homemade slide (ala bookcase shelves)


MAY 2011 UPDATE:

Pampers Diapers are now being changed after thousands of babies have been reported as getting blisters from the "Dry Max" diapers formula. According to a Procter & Gamble representative, thousands of parents have complained to U.S. and Canadian safety commissions about rashes, sores, and chemical blisters on their youngsters after using the "Dry Max" diapers.

As a result, P&G has said they have lost many customers over the past year, and all the while the price for disposable diapers is increasing. Pampers and Huggies manufacturers have both made statements about their expectations that parents will be willing to spend more on a more "quality" diaper. "The task has become tougher as parents look to save money in the face of rising food and gasoline costs, and as a slower U.S. birthrate puts pressure on the diaper category," says one P&G rep.

An idea? You may want to put your money into a reusable, re-sellable, non-chemical investment instead and get some good cloth diapers. Tips on making the switch to cloth, and ideas for selecting what is best for your family can be found in the related articles at the bottom of Diaper Days: Our Cloth Stash.


~~~~

67 comments:

  1. I cloth diaper all day and use throw aways at night. 95% of the time, he wakes up with redness around his peepee and butt area. I hate it. But I dont know what to do because he pees soo much during the night that cloth just doesnt work. I am trying again tonight with cloth. I cant stand this ugly redness. He hates morning diapee changes because of it.

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    Replies
    1. My friend had the most brillant solution, at night I stuff my son's pocket diaper with a disposable diaper. The disposable diaper never touches his skin yet it absorbs all the nightime wetness. Works great.

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    2. Brilliant!! I cannot believe I've never thought to do this before...

      Delete
  2. I think most people find your experience hard to believe b/c they forget the seemingly contradictory response from our bodies.

    See, this happens with other things in life. For example, someone who is allergic to cow products but has eaten them her whole life will not notice how badly they are harming her until she stops eating them for a period of time. Then when she goe back to them, she will be shocked at the extreme and immediate response from her body.

    When the body is assaulted daily, it shuts down and symptoms become atypical or subclinical.

    Your son was never exposed in the first place and thus had a healthy and good reaction immediately.

    I am learning about the dangers of sposies and cutting them out. We still had a few left and so I gave into temptation one day as we were heading out the door for all-day at the zoo...needless to say I got confirmation that my daughter's body is now working well. Her body does not tolerate disposables anymore.

    That being said, as far as I can tell there is ONE option for a disposable diaper: Tushies gel-free. They are unchlorinated and made of wood pulp. Everything except the closure tabs will decompose.

    I think putting the option out there can help during these "Tempting" moments. I've grabbed a few packs to keep on hand for after the birth. What if something happens...illness, intervention, fatique etc...I'd like my hubby to have something good to grab instead of buying sposies at the store.

    And a note to others: the gdiper lines and the grobaby biosoakers both contain the plastic/gel.

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  3. Thank you for writing this. We had a similar issue with our first child, using the "green" sposies. We've never done anything but cloth & ec with our kids since. Also, I've changed to cloth mama pads & moon cups for my own health and I've been happier and healthier since. No more pain down there for any of us :)

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  4. @guggie daly. Very true. I cut out dairy from my diet and when I do eat dairy now, I cant go to the bathroom for a few days. It gives me tummy aches too. & since my son is in cloth all day (NO redness or irritation, even if the diaper has been on too long) that when he goes into a sposie for 8+hours at night, his body freaks. & He is sensitive already lol

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  5. wow. very crazy. we cloth diaper, but use disposables at night. this just might change my mind (we use target brand)

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  6. unfortunately there is still SAP in the 'green' options - including Gdiapers so for us we just make sure we always have washing facilities.

    Cloth has been with us to New Zealand and Australia twice and we love it! This was a great blog post, loved the experiment that mama did

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  7. Great post! 1 more reason to use cloth. (Did I really need any more though??)

    @Ashley -- have you tried hemp for overnights? It is super absorbent. I've actually used it as an extra insert in our pocket dipes. My son is a super soaker as well. :)

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  8. All of the green diapers (Flip, Grovia, gDiapers) are still bleached etc:( I take my cloth of vacation with me and wash every 4 days no problem!! My dd is just over 2 and they don't stink in our open laundry bag, I was worried the first time but was SUPER impressed!!!

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  9. i have the opposite problem with my youngest. i have only recently converted to cloth (much reluctance from my husband for the first 2 children). i bought some pockets back when my first was a few months old but they leaked horribly (as in complete outfit change after 45 min). more recently i've asked friends who use cloth and they tested mine on their children. the inserts did not absorb (flannel). so now we use chinese prefolds for inserts. all of that to say, the pul on the pockets is not good quality so they leak, esp around her legs, and she gets vey red and irritated. sometimes i put her in disposibles for a day just to give her a break. i want so much to have a great cloth experience, but so far i'm not and i can't afford to buy more since this is the last baby.

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  10. A lot of people travel with flat diapers too, because they are easy to hand wash and air dry very quickly, in case there are not reliable laundry locations!

    I really don't think that the Flip inserts are bleached...but I may be wrong. The Grovia inserts however do seem to be pretty processed...

    But you are right Kristen, it is easy to travel with a quality wet bag. We have one in our car at all times, and even when the weather is over 90 it is hardly noticeable:)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Traveling with cloth wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. We have gone on several road trips with them as well as hand washing while camping! Not that bad at all really. We used receiving blanket flats stuffed into home made RRPs and went coverless most of the time, otherwise used dappis I LOVE THEM! :)

    You can't do it without a super wetbag though. I used a vinh thi wetbag for camping and even with the bag a few feet from our heads in the tent we never had issues.

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  12. I have to say that after emailing a question to Pampers about the diapers they basically said taht they have NO responsibility for the rashes. This is amazing. Send it to the consumer affairs so they can sue Pampers for all the little ones who are suffering.

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  13. The ANSWER for nighttime diapering has to be Sustainablebabyish (Sbish) Multi snapless fitteds..the answer. I have a fully breastfed,full time cosleeping 8 month old son who nurses throughout the night and here's my story: I've tried sposies, fuzzi bunz stuffed to the hilt, and a variety of others and STILL been soaked by morning. I have been using the Sbish with a nightime interlock wool soaker for 4 months now and they have never leaked.ever. And i've loaned them to friends to try and they've never leaked for them..ever either. The prices is great..a 6pack for $99 Woot!! No rashes..no leaks...no marks on baby skin..TOTALLY customizable..these dipes are BOSS. (and i know you love the use of the word Boss) :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. I forgot to add the link..the sbish overnight answer diaper can be found here: http://sloomb.myshopify.com/collections/cloth-diapers/products/snapless-multi-contrasts

    also you can stalk for these on Spots (hyena cart) or Diaperswappers. Happy dry nights!!!

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  15. Ashley, could you try something like Flip, Grovia, or Gdiaper inserts layered with cloth at night? They do all contain the SAPs but at least not the nasty fragrances and all, and that way you could keep SAPs away from your son's skin.

    That knee picture is super scary. Thanks for doing that test so we don't have to!

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  16. I have a Thirsties wetbag and it started letting moisture (and smell!) through after maybe two months of use... what are better options for a wetbag?

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  17. Another option to consider for night time is elimination communication.

    We started out using a waterproof blanket. They are often called "pee sheets" or "accident blankets." It is a soft cotton blanket with a waterproof liner on one side.

    You just lay that out on the bed and maybe put a towel or two on top if you want to extend the margin of error (e.g. if you miss, you can just toss one towel in the hamper and keep going).

    DD did not like the sensation of going on herself and besides since we were co-sleeping and nursing it was simply to help her go potty in the night. I forget the actual dates but she was about 8 weeks I believe when she became completely dry (poo and pee) through the night. She would go before bed and in the morning upon waking up.

    Just an idea...

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  18. Oh, wow, this is frightening! We always travel with flats (we also overnight diaper with flats - two together plus an extra soaker is the only thing that works!)... and I was actually just thinking earlier (we may be moving to Australia later this year) that I might just ship our diapers down there and use disposables for the trip... this is making me rethink that!

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  19. I always thought a little redness was normal on a baby's bum...until I started using cloth. Now I know that a baby is *not* supposed to have any redness at all and I feel so terrible about using sposies when I didn't have to on my older son. I just didn't realize all of these cloth options were available at the time.
    I have a super wetter so I just double stuff his pocket diaper at night with to inserts and an infant prefold, with wool or fleece on top. He wakes up dry and comfy! It is totally worth it to spend $50 on a few good diapers just for night to not have to put them in disposables.
    that experiment really opens my eyes about the chemicals in disposables.

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  20. Don't forget that commercial wipes, even the "natural" ones, are also laden with chemicals. We've cloth diapered all three children. With our twins (our first children), we used a diaper service (our baby gift from the Grandparents). We quickly discovered that our daughter had inherited my sensitive skin. Even in cloth, she had constant diaper rashes. Our diaper service was willing to do a second rinse with baking soda to normalize the diaper pH, which helped a lot (most diaper services wash with bleach to kill the bacteria, since they're mixing diapers from many children). But we found she was still getting horrible, blistering rashes each week. I finally noticed that the rash always appeared after she'd spent several hours at my in-laws house. After repeatedly asking that they change her more quickly, and getting continuous reassurance that they were, we finally discovered that instead of using our home-made wipes, my mother-in-law was using store-bought wipes. Even though they were supposedly "chemical free" and "hypoallergenic", using those wipes for a few hours one day a week was enough to give her the same horrible blistered rash in that first photo.

    We will soon be travelling for two weeks with our youngest still in diapers. And, yes, I'll haul our cloth across the country on the airplane to avoid exposing her to the chemicals in disposables.

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  21. I had a very similar experience. I was taking my 16 m/o girl to visit her grandparents out of state. Apparently my dad was a bit disturbed by our cloth diapers when we visited last December for the holidays. (He thought they contaminated the washing machine.) To make a long story short, they bought us some sposies to use while we were there, and we did out of politeness.

    My daughter broke out in a horrible diaper rash, which I began battling with creams. She was just starting to really get into talking, and one of her first words was "rash." Now every time I change her diaper she says, "rash?" But she doesn't have the rash anymore because I switched back to cloth and got rid of those horrible disposable dipes. I plan to put our next baby in cloth from day 1. Disposable Diapers--NEVER AGAIN!

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  22. @Ashley--I used sposies at night for a while as well. When I switched to cloth at night, I tried different diaper combinations until I found what worked for us: a chinese prefold; a hemp doubler; and a cotton GroVia booster; with a wool soaker on top. The wool soaker really seemed to be the key to stopping nighttime leaks. I'm not sure if this combination will work for you too, but if you experiment a little, I'm sure you'll find something that works.

    Another poster said that good nighttime diapers are really worth their price. We found that wool was really worth the investment for nights.

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  23. What a great blog! Great comments too. I was going to recommend hemp to Ashley, but the SBish is a good idea, too. I use two hemp inserts and a cotton prefold with a Bummis polar fleece cover at night, and they don't leak.

    I would suggest that the mom with the leaky cloth diapers give a few other brands a shot, and make sure she's washing with the right stuff. Also, with cloth, you can't let them sit too long like people often do with disposables. Those plastic suckers will hold something ridiculous like a jillion times their weight in liquid, but cloth doesn't. The only leaks I get are if her diaper is too wet and she's sitting, so compression leaks. Other than that, none. I also highly recommend cotton prefolds (not birdseye) with Wonder Wraps covers (hurry before they aren't available anymore); I also lay in a two-layer microfiber insert.

    Phew. I had a lot to share! I am looking forward to reading your blog more. What a great find! Thank you!

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  24. Just another night solution suggestion:

    We have had great luck with Drybees Fleece Pockets for nights. We stuff them with 2 med/lg microfibers. The fleece lets them breathe and the micro sucks up that moisture like mad!

    Yesterday, both inserts were soaked, but the cover was dry and so were the jammies and my bed. That diaper must have weighed close to 2 pounds!

    Keys to night:

    -A good fit. Gappy legs or a too short rise are no good.
    -Adequate absorption. We find that double microfiber works well for us. Hemp is also great for nights, as it holds a lot and is trim. Many people find a combo of micro and hemp to be a great night solution
    -Good breathable cover. Heavy duty fleece and wool are the best options. We do use PUL pockets at night on occasion - but bums are redder and we get wicking at the seams.

    -Stay Dry layer. This is key for us, as both girls have sensitive skin and can't stand being wet for extended periods.

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  25. I have 4 kids ranging from nearly 17 to 6. I tried to cloth dipe my first two and gave up, didn't try with my third, but planned to use cloth and did successfully w/ my 4th. None of my first three had any trouble with the diapers hurting their skin and one has very sensitive skin and eczema. My 4th (now 6) did have some problems with the disposables the few times we tried to use them so we stayed with cloth full time. And now I am hearing about babies being BURNED. One of my clients had a baby that was burned by Pampers a few months ago. That was the first I'd heard of it but have heard a lot about it since. I think they changed what they are putting in them or the processing. This didn't happen 17 years ago. It's crazy.

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  26. Thank you for this and your post about how to try cloth! My sister is expecting her first baby and considering cloth.
    I have never used anything but cloth on our baby butts. However, she has long suspected that I am a bit weird.
    I'll direct her to you and you can explain things to her!
    I just discovered this blog and am really enjoying it!

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  27. I thought night time cloth diapering would be impossible for my all-night-nurser-heavy-wetter until I tried a hemp Very Baby Simply Nights with a wool interlock cover (love the Lana covers!). You can get the VBSN in bamboo, too, but it doesn't seem to hold up as long. Our hemp ones are still going strong over a year later.

    We have not had a leak. EVER. since trying these diapers. This is coming from a mom who did double stuffed BG 3.0's with at least one change during the night yet still had a wet bed almost every morning!

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  28. I second FamilyQ's comment about nighttime solutions. The sustainablebabyish fitted (snap) works great. We use a wool soaker shortie from Little Beetle and have never had a nighttime leak ever!

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  29. Well, I am really sad that my children both break out in rashes when in cloth diapers. We use prefolds - because they are cheapest - and both my girls have gotten red, blistery rashes. :( We switch them to disposables (Target's store brand) with diaper cream and the rash clears up. I have tried washing using super-hot water, hanging them in the sun, ironing them (to kill anything that might be living in them), bleaching them with as gentle a product that was still bleach as I could find, different detergents, vinegar vs. no vinegar... I am going to get something to disinfect my washing machine next.

    It truly sucks that this keeps happening, and nobody is able to solve it. I hate putting them in cloth on principle/frugality and then having them get rashes. Thanks goodness my 2 yr old is now using the potty some and my 5 yr old has been out of diapers for over 2 yrs... this problem always gets worse once they are toddlers. For about the first year, we don't have many rashes, but after that, it is practically non-stop. :(

    Maybe somebody else has had this experience and fixed it? So far everyone has just been baffled when I describe this problem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We solely used cloth (even overnight, even on trips) from the time my daughter was 1 month to 26 months old. We used disposable the first month because of a rough post-partum recovery, and then for about a month when she was about 14 months old due to a very horrible, very persistent yeast rash. Using disposables was the only thing that worked to finally clear it up. I washed and washed and stripped and sunned the diapers and then just took a break until her skin was totally clear. Anyway, our experience with cloth was great except for that once, but it was incredibly frustrating when it was going on.

      Delete
  30. Erin ~

    Rashes during cloth use typically occur for 2 reasons:

    1) the chemicals or detergent used on the cloth - or not getting clean and fully rinsed in wash cycles

    2) having fabric that does not wick away from skin and/or not being frequently changed if this type of non-wick-away diaper is used.

    The 1st can be solved by using a gentle detergent like BioKleen

    http://astore.amazon.com/peacefparent-20/detail/B0017L924Q and always doing a 2nd cold water rinse.

    The 2nd can be solved by using diapers that do not leave moisture next to baby's bum like pocket diapers (soaker stuffed inside and inside layer next to skin stays somewhat dry).

    http://www.wonderoos.com/

    Pocket diapers still need to be changed more often than a disposable... but most parents would agree this is a GOOD thing (to interact with and get our babies into new diapes - or go diaper free for a while) rather than letting them sit in the same diaper for 6-8 hours a day. :)

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  31. Thanks... I sometimes think the problem is that they don't get clean enough, because they stink. People are always saying they can have an open pail that doesn't stink, but ours - ick, the urine smell is overpowering after two days. I have stripped them in hot water... I may try Biokleen, then. How much of it do you use in a load? I have a regular top-loading machine... I have been doing only about a tablespoon of powdered detergent per load. maybe I just need to use more? Everyone says that too much detergent will cause buildup.

    I would love to use pocket diapers - I have a couple that I got on eBay - since it keeps the skin drier, but the cost is my concern there. I do have a friend who just bought 12 one-size BumGenius diapers and washes pretty much every day. Or if I got some FuzziBunz I could stuff them w/ the prefolds and then not feel like we wasted money on the prefolds.

    Thanks for your response!!

    ReplyDelete
  32. We bought the majority of our pocket diapers new on super sales online in various locations (about $10-18/diaper; normally $20-$30). They are fully adjustable so work for all the diapering stages (and with multiple kids - or have a high re-sale value). Worth the $

    We do not use a pail at our place for the stink factor. They go straight into cold water in the washer where they 'soak' till there are enough to do a load. The poopy diapers are set to the side after being rinsed in the toilet and get washed on hot (separate from the urine only diapers which are washed on cold). Saves on hot water $, eliminates the need for any type of pail, and keeps diapers stink-free. We've been using the same stash for almost 2 years now and have never needed to strip them doing things in this manner.

    When using Biokleen you need very, very little for washing diapers. Really, diapers tend to wash cleaner with less detergent in the first place. Just enough to get them sudsy - a sprinkle. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  33. Well, I am motivated to look into getting pocket diapers if we have a third baby one day... I also remembered that with my older child, when she was about 2 and a half, we finally took her to a dermatologist for her blistery diaper rash, and he actually examined a bit of her skin under a microscope and found it to be yeast... so I am obsessive about washing them all on hot, and doing things like hanging them in the sun when possible during summer months.

    I'm looking into Biokleen now... we have used Sam's Club store brand, Charlie's Soap, Allen's Naturally, and a sample of Country Save so far. I have seen people commenting on Bac-Out, also made by Biokleen... I can't remember if I read that people were putting that on their cloth diapers, but it seems like I remember reading that...

    Thank you so much for your advice! From a financial standpoint, I really want to make cloth work, not to mention just having less garbage getting thrown out! Thanks! :)

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  34. I am not sure if you've already seen this info at Zrecommends but it's interesting stuff!!!!

    I cloth diaper most of the time, aside from when I get a little lazy with the laundry on occasion :)

    Steph

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  35. @Julie - if your cloth diapers didn't work (absorb) for your friends' children either, did you try out their diapers on your child? Also, you could try using your pockets as AI2s (don't put the insert in the pocket, use the diaper as a cover instead) to ensure that the problem isn't with the inner layer. And to help the PUL hold up... add absorbency. I'm finding that more absorbency is the answer to a lot of leaks :) Some PUL is simply better than others, though. I have an AMP and and AppleCheeks and while the fit and design is almost identical, the AMP PUL is noticeably thinner to the touch, and that diaper will leak faster.
    @Erin - It's odd that your diapers are fine for the first year (or so). Have you looked into (food) allergies or intolerances? eg 1 year is generally when babies go from formula/breastmilk to cow's milk.
    Also, if you use baby powder (esp corn starch) that will make a yeast infection worse, since it's high in sugar and feeds the yeast.

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  36. It's not just Pampers Dry Max that is leaving chemical burns on our little ones. My daughter kept getting them when we used Pamper's Easyup's... its was so bad we thought they were are senstive wipes, we put 2 n 2 together and determine it was the Easyup's. As soon as we stop using them and went to Huggies Pullup's she ceased getting them.....

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  37. @ Henry and Irene... no food allergies that we know of, at least not that the kids eat (my older child threw up every time she ate sweet potato, oddly enough, so she doesn't eat it now!). I breastfed the oldest until age 3 and am still nursing the younger one, and we don't do hardly any cow's milk other than in some cooking. I do wonder if eating more solid foods has anything to do with it, because those poops can be a bit, uh, icky sometimes! Not that they sit in it for long... And my older child had excema, but my youngest has great skin, olive complexion. It is strange... The only other thing I can think of is that they are in the smaller size prefolds for only 4-6 months, and then they stay in the next size until they are out of diapers (15-30 lbs... they are both pretty thin), so maybe there is a long-term buildup of them not getting clean enough, or something?

    ReplyDelete
  38. @henry and irene,
    i no longer use the inserts that came with the diapers. those were what leaked horribly. i'm now using either a chinese prefold or 2 microfiber towels. there is still leaking at legs almost every diaper, even when changed every 2-2.5 hours. nighttime is our worst leaking. i use a chinese prefold with a flat folded to be 8 layers and i was needing to wash her pjs every day and her bedding at least 2-3 times per week. the entire outer cover would be wet. now we put a knit wool cover (thanks to a good friend who knits!) and she is dry in the am :-) she does not like to be wet, so not sure that your suggestion of using pocket as a cover would work, but may try it with the prefolds. if we planned to have any more children, i would buy other diapers, but we don't. for now, we're making due with what we have. thanks for your suggestion :-)

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  39. While I had purchased 6 cloth diapers (FuzziBunz) before the birth of my daughter (wanting to try them but unsure if I would like them), I got sucked into using disposables at first. As I slowly began using our 6 cloth diapers, I decided I wanted to go full time and bought more.

    The other day, I had a wedding to be in and let my mom watch my daughter for the afternoon. She had some Pampers she had bought to have on hand just in case she ran out of the cloth diapers while my daughter was there (good idea - I thought). Well, since I was gone all afternoon, except for running back to feed her twice, they used up the cloth diapers I had brought and put a Pampers on her.
    My daughter got a red patch from wearing that ONE Pampers disposable (that she used to wear for about two months after she was born - but hadn't used for 3 months). It took two days for it to heal and go away! I'm sorry I ever even used disposables at all - especially when she was so tiny. I won't be doing it at all with my next baby.

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  40. I do think one of the aspects of parenting that I never expected was the need to "listen" to my child. And each child is different. We used Pampers with our first and he had only rare diaper rashes, and almost none once he was older than a year.

    We cloth diapered after four months with our second for money, and skin care reasons. Our second gets rashes MUCH more easily (though our first is the one with eczema, not the second. Weird.) We are very happy with our GroBabies. And after a year, they are holding up well. He almost never has a rash, even with a SOAKED diaper.

    However, I have a friend who CD with her first, but her second baby had very sensitive skin, when she was exposed to wet. So, she had to switch to disposables so that her daughter didn't have damp next to her skin at all.

    Like I said....listen to your baby!!

    My Google account isn't working....this is Kimberly

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  41. Regarding those who say they "MUST" use disposables because their babies are sensitive to having 'wet' against their skin -- this is a myth regarding cloth diapering. The simple solution is to switch to *pocket diapers* which wick away moisture from the skin, go on like a disposable, and trap moisture inside the insert. There are wide variations in cloth options today, and this is one that will solve this problem if it is one that you've dealt with in the past.

    More on pocket diapers: http://www.drmomma.org/2010/01/diaper-days-our-cloth-stash.html

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  42. I want to second what DrMomma said - it has taken a lot of trial and error to find a cloth diapering system that works for my son. He simply cannot tolerate wet natural fibres - he comes up immediately with scald marks. This disappoints me because I really wanted to use prefolds, but it is what it is. We switched to fleece and microsuede-lined pockets and no more redness, even overnight.

    A friend has the opposite experience - her daughter comes out in a rash if she uses any synthetic materials.

    My son gets no rash in disposables either, but throw-away diapers are simply not an option in my world view.

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  43. We cloth diapered our son until very recently. Now he's in prefolds half the day and disposables the other half. He's a LARGE 2 1/2 year old and has outgrown large fuzzi bunz. He uses the potty sometimes so I'm not excited about replacing the stash with extra large anything. I have a handful of covers and he's allergic to wool. I fully encourage the use of cloth, even part time!

    And the lady with stink, original blue Dawn does work really well with stripping diapers and it's easy to find with no shipping. Biokleen works great for the people it works for, my son ended up reacting to it. Good luck!

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  44. WOOL is the answer for leaking.

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  45. That's too bad about baby's skin! Poor babies - burned!
    I only used disposables - all the brands - whatever is/was sale - my kids are 3 and 4 now and my 3 year old still is in diapers at night and never have I seen even the suggestion of redness on her skin. And no! I don't work for a diaper company. I wonder what it is that causes some children to react so poorly and some to not have the slightest reaction? My children are athletes! accross the board -no alleriges, asthma, food intolerances etc. and they don't even seem to get any colds. I know we are are fortunate. - are some kids just a little more senstive than others "period" to everything these days? and I'd like to know what is causing that. I cannot even count the number of parents I know who have children who are allergic to everything, have asthma, have a tonne of food intolerances, get a rash at the drop of a hat and have a constant runny nose. What's going on!?

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  46. The distance from a urine filled diaper to a babies nose is only inches. A babies nose is sensitive to smell, and learns the world through his senses. It is sad, that for most babies, they learn the world smells like urine.

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  47. Im so glad I made the switch almost a year ago. Could not be happier. For those who use sposies at night, I would rather have a soaked bed to wash than a rash on my baby anyday! It is crazy to think that something that has become so common for everyday use is actually causing so much HARM in our lives without even knowing it.
    I have had family members put a sposie on DS and As soon as i find out, even if he is napping, I snatch him up (not literally) but in the same sense, and I remove the garbage from him.
    Im so lucky that my almost 2 year old son is already potty learned. We have been dry for 3 nights and been wearing underwear to bed.

    for those heavy wetters, all I can say that has helped us was to cut back on fluid intake closer to bedtime. Bug use to drink 5 cups of milk from 4pm-11pm. and now Its just 1. And we put him on the potty 3 times before bed and make sure he is empty at bed. His potty chair sits next to his bed so he knows where to go when he has to go.
    I also taught him how to remove his diaper/underwear on his own so that if he has to go he can. He plays in his room with his toys and I go to check on him and he will be naked and playing but the potty will be full and the diaper/underwear dry.

    I highly recommend potty learning early to get them taught sooner so theres less worry about diapers, (cloth or sposies) and as far as training pants? we use gerber trainers from walmart/target. no need for more sposie crap! Plus sposies cause more chemicals/trash/waste in the landfill. and they prolong the potty learning process. Goodluck to you all.

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  48. Using Seventh Generation disposables and never ever had a problem with rash or burn.

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  49. We cloth diapered our oldest and cloth diaper our 1mo old. B/c I didn't want to invest in a newborn stash and deal with reselling them after just a few weeks, we used chlorine free sposies and "sensitive" wipes for the first 2 weeks. Within 2 days of birth, my baby girl was bleeding in her diaper area. I was slathering on the diaper rash cream and kicking myself for my laziness. My poor baby! We ended up using our cloth wipes instead of disposable after only a few days at home and we put her in cloth before our stash fit her, happy to deal with extra laundry and leaks if it meant she was happier and healthier b/c of it. So much for a "healthier and more environmentally conscious disposable diaper...

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  50. Erin The rule of thumb is if your diapers stink right out of the wash then you are not using enough detergent and if they stink after they have been peed in then you are using too much detergent.

    That being said I recommend trying out Rockin' Green. It is the only cd friendly detergent my sensitive kids can tolorate.

    Every single brand of disposables gave my son chemical burns. I literally tried every brand on the market at the time (2007) the store brands actually were not nearly as bad - maybe they are cheaper because they don't add as much gel stuff to theirs? I finally switched my son to cloth on my pedi's recommendation and no problems ever again. When my dd was born we used pampers in the hospital (with plans to switch to cloth when we got home) and she had the same reaction to disposables as my son did so we put her in cloth and it disappeared too.

    I have personally tried over 50 different brands of cloth diapers and many, many cloth diaper detergents - I review them for my blog. If any body has any questons feel free to ask.

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  51. I went from being a Clothe Diaper mama to a disposable one when we were forced to move from our house into an apartment without laundry facilities. I simply cannot go to the laundrymat enough to go with my preferences to CD. So I have been using sposies for the last year. We use Pampers Cruisers and before that we used Swaddlers. All of them had dry max, and I am happy to say that we HAVE NOT experienced the rashes that you all are talking about. He has had a few episodes of diaper rash this year, nothing huge and only when he tries new foods.

    I agree that the weird plstic beads in the diapers are just more trash for the landfill. But THE ONLY time we ever saw them or they came in contact with my son's skin was when we, as parents were too tired and were negligent (always at night for us). Not changing your baby enough, so that the diaper becomes so engorged with pee and the dry max granules cannot absorb anymore is a hazard. Just like not not changing your CD baby is a hazard.

    I would prefer to CD, personally, but as a working class person who struggles financially, I cannot afford a Washer/Dryer investment. I think a lot of folks forget that when they demonize sposies. Sposies are used by working class and poor people for a reason. We pay more in the short term, because we cannot afford little luxuries like our own w/d.

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  52. I had used Pampers with my son since he was born. Suddenly one day, when we went up a size (and used dry max) he had a REALLY red, bleeding rash on his bottom. It was only a few days later I started hearing about the controversy. I stopped using them right away, and at the time, switched to Huggies Natural diapers (I think thats what they were called, or Organic or something). But they were really expensive. We started struggling financially and I started using Parents Choice cheap diapers from Walmart. My son started getting a rash again- this time at the top back of the diaper. I had to put petroleum jelly on him every night (he went diaperless throughout the day for potty training) just to avoid it getting bad. I had tried cloth diapers (Gdiapers) once before and hated them. But I was started to get desperate. I finally took the plunge a couple months ago and tried some Bum Genius CLoth diapers for my son (one size, since I'm expecting number two soon I thought I could use 'em with both kids). My son loves them. No rash. Although he is doing great with potty training and doesn't go in his diaper much anymore. But he actually asks to have them on and likes picking on the colors- I can tell he thinks they are comfy because he only wanted his disposables off. I'm really love CD so far this time, but I'm a little nervous how newborn blowouts are going to be with them! lol :) I don't think I'm going to be using disposables again except for special circumstances. I just don't want to support putting chemicals on our little ones. My husband laughs at me because he says I'm slowly turning into a granola. So glad so many people complained. Only now, how knows what disaster they will come up with next with their new formula!

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  53. I hate to be "putting down" a product but... For Erin who has obviously had lots of issues I would hate for her to try something new and have it still not work. I know everyone is different but my 2nd baby who is 15 months now is my first first cloth diapered baby.

    I had heard over and over how great Rockin' Green was, cloth mamas were boasting about it everwhere. So that's what I bought. Well after over a year of using it and CONSTANT diaper rashes we switched detergents about a month ago.

    And we finally have no rashes! My poor baby :(. And me! This whole time I was thinking I was doing something wrong(too much detergent, not enough, not enough rinses, etc) I wish I hadn't put so much trust in a product that I never even considered it was the issue.

    Obviously it works for many people, as so many rave about it. But as the time goes on I hear of many having issues with it too. So just had to bring it up...

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  54. LuvbunsdiapersJune 20, 2011 1:12 PM

    I cant agree more! as a mother and business owner selling cloth diapers! its beyond me why people even purchase these throw aways! i hea alot of moms say he cant afford the initial start up of cloth diapers thats why i keep my prices low always $10 a diaper and thses rock! my kids all would get severe diaper rash and the money to buy tem is insane!!!

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  55. As Earth mama mentioned, Rockin' Green is wonderful for many people, but it doesn't work for some. Our baby also had constant rashes while using it and when we switched to BioKleen that I saw suggested on DrMomma somewhere else, everything cleared up and there's never been a problem since. So mommas have to try out what works for them and stick with that. :) Just another insight since I know some people put in a lot of money into something and wonder why it isn't working for them.

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  56. I love CDing but for long trips, we have had great success with Nature Babycare diapers. They are corn based, at least 70% biodegradeable and chemical free. We have had no rash issues when we've used them and NO leak issues which was super handy when we went through a period of leaking through every night with cloth. If you ever find yourself in a position to "need" disposables again, I highly recommend these. They are harder to find (not in most stores) but a good deal through Amazon.com esp if you do the "Subscribe and Save" option (which you can cancel after one purchase). Just beware they fit slightly differently (Sweedish diapers) - they are tall and thin compared to most U.S. dipes but they still work great for my chuncky monkey in the size recommended by weight.

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  57. I am so sorry that you and your little had to go through this! Thank you so much for sharing your story and getting this information out there!

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  58. with my son we did disposables for the first 6 months (didn't know any better) then started switching to cloth. As he got a little older if I tried to put a disposable on him he would freak out (screaming, throwing the diaper, grabbing a cloth one and begging for it) so yeah... if we need to put on diaper cream I use one of the disposable inserts for the flip diapers with a cloth diaper and try to hide what i'm doing from my son lol

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  59. I've had my son in cloth since he was about 2 months old because he would get sores that wouldn't heal in sposies. They cleared up almost the moment we switched to cloth. Now he is pretty well potty trained at 2.5 and only wears a dipe at night. A little while back we were preparing to go out of town for about a week and I had a little pile of sposies that had been in a bag of hand me down clothes that we got somewhere. In an effort to minimize our baggage I was going to use those posies for his night times. We were planning to leave around bed time and drive through the night, I put that paper diaper on him and went ahead with our preparations to leave. Within minutes he was complaining that it was hot and itchy. He took it off himself within 10 minutes. I just shrugged and decided he was probably right and I tossed the wet bag and fuzzybuns stash in the car.

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  60. What a great post! We had a similar experience. I had to switch my daughter from disposables to cloth by six months. She had horrible chemical burns that just made the doctor scratch her head. Silly. Why didn't anyone think it might be the diapers?!? You can read about my experience here: www.GreenMommyDiapers.com
    There are also links to free diaper patterns and video tutorials on how to make them yourself. Anyone can do it!

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  61. http://bongobaby.myshopify.com/ is where to go for Eco-nix and other nappies as we call them in Australia.

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  62. This is so interesting to me! I had the opposite experience with my target brand vs my Best Bottoms CD's! I started with posies (we just didn't have the money for the initial investment that cd'ing requires, no matter what anyone says!), then five months in attempted to CD'ing. Within 24 hours LO had the FIRST rash of her life...wearing cloth! I was floored! Perhaps, and this is just an uneducated guess, but, perhaps, the CHANGE affects the baby more than whatever the product may be?

    I'm a natural mom: baby wear, eat food from my own organic garden, BLW, etc...but I draw the line when my bambino gets a rash from something that's supposed to be better for her! I'm an AP disposable diaper mom.

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    Replies
    1. Many babies cannot handle cloth that does not wick away moisture (and more still cannot take the detergent that is frequently sold on the shelf). So to do cloth without rashes for babies who need dry bums, you have to use a pocket diaper that will wick away like a disposable, change often, and then use a natural detergent (like BioKleen or 7th Generation) and double rinse on cold each time laundry is done to ensure they are truly clean (hang to dry - no dryer sheets). Doing these things likely will prevent rashes in little ones who would otherwise get them.

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  63. We are big fans of cloth diapers. I can't imagine putting something so toxic (not to mention expensive!) against my baby's body for 24 hours a day for 2-3 years. The only time my son ever had diaper rash was when we were on vacation and I used disposables because there were no laundry facilities.

    We've been using Terra Baby pocket diapers because they wick away moisture and were very economical. But, I often tell people that a T-shirt with a waterproof cover works, too!

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