Your Cloth Diapers Shouldn’t be Leaving a Rash.

Do you ever talk about cloth diapers and then someone tells you “I tried cloth diapering but my kid always got rashes?”

Ya, me too. I get it all the time.

People comment or message me on IG about rashes being constant and why they quit. One person even told me rashes were normal for cloth diapering parents. 

I want to squash that believe because rashes are not normal for cloth diaper parents. They shouldn’t be. I’m not a doctor and this isn’t medical advice this is a potential list of ideas of why rashes could happen with cloth diapered babies. 

If you’re struggling with a rash you’re not the rule, you’re the exception. 

The struggle with rashes is that like many things there are a variety of things to rule out that could be impacting your child and their skin. It makes it a big guessing game you have to work through. Today, we’re going to talk about a few of the common rash causing complaints, but this list is not exhaustive. If you know fo more reasons drop them in the comments for people to learn about and best yet offer a solution if you know of one. 

  1. Changes in Diet or Teething: Some children get rashes on their tushes with changes in diet or if they are teething or sick. This is the number one reason we get a rash in my house. Teething poops tend to be a little more acidic due to the increased saliva production. When the acidic poop touches the skin it begins to freak out. The same applies when my children eat acidic food like spaghetti. In general these rashes stay where the poop touched the skin and clear with a little rash cream and frequent changes. 
  2. Wash Routines: a bad wash routine can cause a rash these rashes tend to show up wherever the moisture of the pee held the lingering build up of detergent or yuck against the skin. Your diapers will typically smell foul like poop or ammonia. If this happens you need to tweak and reset your cloth diapers. You can choose to strip them, but I find that doing a deep clean wash or a couple hot rinses brings my diapers back to square one and we can start again. 
  3. Detergents: some kids are sensitive to detergents and even though your diapers don’t stink they will have a rash on their bum. Detergent sensitivity is claimed to be relatively rare but many detergents use fragrances that cause skin dermatitis in 1-3% of the population. You will probably know based on reactions in clothing if this is the case. 
  4. Wetness Sensitivity: and this one to me feels complex because it could be more related to the textile than the urine. For my children they screamed and complained when they peed and not so much had a skin reaction. They grew out of this, eventually. Some children will react to wet textiles or wetness against their body. They might get a little red. You can try increasing the frequency you change the diaper to keep the area dryer, and you can also try using different stay dry materials like fleece liners, silk liners, athletic wicking jersey liners, and pocket diapers. Some families find that wet cotton gives their child while wet bamboo ro hemp blend diapers does not. This is known as textile dermatitis and typically shows up with cloth diapers because you’re holding the wet textile against a very sensitive area. 
  5. Microfibre Rashes: if you’re placing microfibre directly agains the skin you can increase your chance of a rash. Microfibre draws liquid away rapidly and this will often overdraw the skin and irritate it. Microfibre needs to be wrapped in a natural fibre or placed inside a pocket cloth diaper. 
  6. Yeast Rashes – these tend to be diagnosed by doctors and if you suspect a yeast rash then go see your doctor for medical advice. Yeast happens because the groin is a wet moist area and diapers keep things wet and moist. There are a lot of different ways to treat your diapers. I don’t have any yeast experience. 

Did I miss a reason some people get rashes in cloth diapers? Drop a comment below. I know there are others. It isn’t the normal course of action but rather the exception to the rule. 

When it comes to treating rashes, I use Delish Naturals. I love it because it’s a not just for butts kind of cream and that means I can use it on chapped cheeks and noses. This is good because  It took me nearly 2 years to go through one tin of this stuff. Another brand I would recommend is Modern Botanical Company which is spearheaded by Kaitlyn who is an amazing cloth diaper mama of 3. She’s based in the united States.

1 thought on “Your Cloth Diapers Shouldn’t be Leaving a Rash.

  1. My son always seems to turn red/start with a rash in a specific cover and I’m wondering if it’s because it’s less breathable than others? Is this something you have heard of? I use prefolds and covers. I really hate naming names because this is a well-loved brand that’s works for a ton of people. The covers this brand makes feel more Iike rubber inside and is 2 layers of PUL. I’ve tested my theory a few times over different days and between other covers and this brand always gives the issue. Thoughts?

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