We've been cloth diapering for a long time in baby years, probably beginning almost two years ago when little man was just a few months old. So far- it's been extremely easy. Diaper goes on, diaper comes off, gets rinsed, gets washed, repeat, and so on and so on.
Now? Not so easy.
I alluded to our difficulties in a previous post where you may have seen some disposable diapers in our stash, which we'd been using after a few trips to the pediatrician for rashes as a temporary solution until I figured out what the heck was going on with our cloth.
A few months ago, right before little lady was born, little man started getting recurrent rashes on his bottom. Previously, he'd had a few rashes that were more significant, but we were always able to clear it up within a day or two. Before little lady was born, little man began to have rash, after rash, after rash. And not just little, easy-to-fix rashes anymore. The new rashes he began to have were angry, red, blistery rashes. The hardest part about it was that they'd come on all of a sudden. One diaper change, his bottom would look great, the next he would have an angry red blister and be crying throughout the diaper change.
I have a really hard time seeing him in any kind of pain, so we'd automatically switch back to a disposable diaper and a heavier duty cream (that typically wasn't cloth diaper safe). In a few days, I'd be able to get his bottom looking and feeling so much better, and we'd venture back into our cloth diapers. It would be all well and good for a few days, and then again- all of a sudden- we'd be back to a sad looking bum.
Initially, we tried all of the typical recommendations for ammonia in cloth diapers, which may have been causing the sudden, blistery rashes, including:
- Rinsing each diaper (even just pee diapers) after every change.
- Washing more frequently.
- Using less detergent.
- Using more detergent.
- Stripping our diapers with blue dawn.
- Stripping our diapers with RLR.
- Changing detergents.
- Alternating detergents.
- Adding extra soak cycles before the wash.
- Adding extra rinse cycles (warm) before the wash.
- Adding extra rinse cycles after the wash.
And probably many more things that I can't think of at the moment.
These would all seem to work for a little while, and then the same scenario would happen all over again and little man's bottom would become red and he would begin to hurt. But the oddest thing? Once little lady was born and began to use the same diapers little man was using, she had no problems whatsoever.
Since little lady could wear our one-size diapers with no rashes or problems, we just assumed that little man's sensitive skin had finally started to react to the fact that his diapers were synthetic materials and not stay-dry in nature like a disposable diaper. (Little man has had previous reactions to some lotions and foods that touched his face while eating them, so we know he has pretty sensitive skin.) Our only option at that point would be to re-stash with all natural materials like an organic cotton, hemp, or bamboo. Since little man is VERY close to potty training and we don't have a ton of cash laying around to buy all-new diapers for a child who could be potty trained very soon, we decided to buy a few bags of disposables and try to wait it out.
Then little lady got her first rash about a week later after that decision.
And we started the whole procedure all over again to try and get our diapers as non-irritating as possible. Do babies get rashes? Yes. Could it have been a coincidence that little lady got a rash in the same diapers little man had such a problem with? Yes. Was I still freaking out about it anyway? Yes.
As of right now, I have done a few more things to our diapers, and we are just about to start back into cloth again for little lady. Here's what we're trying this time around:
- Diapers were soaked overnight in RLR laundry treatment.
- After being thoroughly rinsed and washed again, I then washed the diapers through two cycles of treatment with GroVia's Mighty Bubbles, which is said to help remove deep build-up on cloth diapers.
As soon as we get through the disposables (in the slightly small, incorrect size) I purchased for little lady... oops... We'll get her right back into cloth. Keep your fingers crossed for us, and I'll keep you guys updated as to if that finally worked in case anyone else is going through the same predicament. Which leads me to my next question...
Has anyone else been at the point of no return with your cloth diapers? What did you do to keep going?