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the mommyhood memos: cloth diapering mamas: throw me a life-line!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

cloth diapering mamas: throw me a life-line!

Yes, this is a post where I shamelessly ask for advice and help.

My head is spinning and I just need some advice from real moms! I'm having issues with our diapers and have spent hours over the last several weeks scouring the web and trying different things to no avail.

Here's how our dramas started: Levi gets incredible (horrific) rashes when he is teething. They are so bad (bleeding spots appear overnight or within hours) that we have to switch to disposables just so that we can use rash cream to help sooth and heal his sore bum (we use Butt Paste).

But then he started getting the rashes so often that I started to wonder if it was actually the diapers causing the problem (or exaggerating the problem).

We'd been using them for over half a year and I'd never had problems with odor or anything so I had never stripped them before. I decided maybe it was time for a maintenance stripping. It was certainly worth a try anyway, right?!

We use Bum Genius pocket diapers and I meticulously followed the instructions on their website for stripping. When I was finished with the process we tried using them again and he soaked through his diaper that night. The next day, I changed him at all of our "usual" times and every single diaper had leaked. (A few of them I caught sooner.)

His diapers had never before leaked until that day so I'm quite sure that whatever I did to strip them didn't help! (And surely his pee volume didn't change that drastically overnight, on the same night. That is just too much of a coincidence, right?)

Since then I've also tried bleaching them (and then doing 5-6 rinse cycles) and that has not worked either.

So my issues are: 1) they are (potentially?) causing a really bad rash; and 2) more recently (since stripping them), they have started leaking.

Note: My normal wash routine is cold rinse, hot wash with 1/2 scoop detergent, hot rinse, cold rinse, line dry.

Dear cloth diapering friends, help! Do you have any suggestions for me? I really want to solve this ASAP... but I'm at a loss as to what to try next. Oh, and please don't just say "try a Rockin' Green soak." I've not been able to find it in Australia!! 

stumped and feeling defeated,

Update 4/18: I just found that I CAN order Rockin' Green in Australia! YAY!!! I'm pretty flipping happy about it. And yes, I'm hoping they will solve all of my problems. Putting an order in today... I'll let you know if it's as fabulous as everyone says.

Are you pregnant? Link up with the Bloggin' Babes and Babies of 2011.
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adriel booker | the mommyhood memos | 2011
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At April 17, 2011 at 10:24 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

:( I am having the exact same problem right now.

Started out after I'd switched soaps. Then went back to my original soap and it didn't get better and then teething made it way worse.

So I tried stripping (the dawn method) and then rinsing like craaaaazy and now they seem to leak as well O_O

It is sooo frustrating

Next I've been told to try an oxygen bleach and turning the temp up on my water heater for a really hot wash.

*crosses fingers* I wish it were easier...

At April 17, 2011 at 10:47 PM , Blogger michaela said...

I had to strip my diapers three times to solve the leaking issues that weren't issues to start with. (oh my word, the effort). A friend sent hers to a diaper service to have them work their magic.

I use paw paw ointment with the cloth to fight the epic teething rash my daughter gets. How sad is it that Australia misses out on Rockin' Green? Purity works good enough for us though.

At April 18, 2011 at 12:16 AM , Blogger Trish @ A dream house for Trish said...

my babies suffered the same problem. Could you try a little white vinegar in the rinse cycle as it helps the fabric to release excess detergent as well as having natural disinfectant properties. My GP always recomends a realyy thick covering of petroleum jelly which tended to work well & when the rashe was at its worst a coating of hydrozole(a mild cortisone cream) before the petroleum jelly. Good luck!!!( I have 4 kids ranging from 17yrs down to 4yrs & live in Australia)

At April 18, 2011 at 6:55 AM , Blogger Jacqui said...

We've had problems with our Bum Genius causing rashes too - blisters even! We've done the usual stripping methods and the diapers are still holding a funky smell. Just bought some Rockin' Green yesterday and we're trying it out today. I'll let you know if it's worth all the hype - if it works, maybe we can find a way to get you some!

At April 18, 2011 at 9:38 AM , Blogger Hillary said...

did you use vinegar?

I also wash ours with about 1/4 of the detergent and two tablespoons of baking soda. We haven't had the leaking or the rash issues, so I'm not sure what's going on. Did you switch soaps?

At April 18, 2011 at 10:24 AM , Blogger Adriel (The Mommyhood Memos) said...

Thanks ladies. I have more questions but I've emailed those of you who have emails linked to your profile!! Appreciate your help so much.

At April 18, 2011 at 10:41 AM , Blogger JIll said...

We have had both those problems. The leaking sounds like you did not get all the detergent out from the strip. The rash part is hard, since little B rashes with in hours too. I try and to no diaper time every night. I also bought a couple of fitted diapers and a wool cover. I find that if I use those durning a diaper rash time it seems to help. Even if it is just one diaper change, so like 2 hours. The wool is breathable so the air is getting to his little bum. You could use a fleece cover which will do the same thing.

At April 18, 2011 at 10:55 PM , Blogger Jennie {Clover and Violet} said...

Okay, I had a friend with similar issues, and she ended up boiling her inserts to get them really clean. The problem turned out to be her washer, but she knew she was having problems because her diapers were stinking. Also, I don't know if it's available there, but try California Baby rash cream. It is cloth diaper safe and readily available in the US. My little guy gets heat rashes if he's in the car for prolonged periods, so I always just start with the diaper cream (it also smells nice and isn't sticky like other brands I've used). Also, have you considered a warm rinse instead of cold, this really helped my diapers get cleaner. Oh, and I always pre-rinse my overnight diapers.

At April 19, 2011 at 4:39 AM , Blogger Katherine said...

oh cloth diapers... we love you, we are perplexed by you... we have had rash issues as well. the general response to any leakage is to keep stripping. we did an overnight soak in oxy-clean (maybe that's just here in the states?) and then rinse rinse rinse. and rinse some more.

so odd that it started abruptly AFTER you stripped them. our bumgenius leaked and i realized i had butt creme build up on the diaper, so the pee was sliding right off and out the leg. we use burts bees because that doesn't coat the diapers.

good luck!

At April 19, 2011 at 5:04 AM , Blogger Jennie said...

I use the same diapers as you, but have no advice :( I hope someone has a helpful suggestion!!!

At April 19, 2011 at 1:31 PM , Blogger Amy Sullivan said...

Oh my gosh! I just read your Little Teachers post that you linked-up at Dena's. Crazy, rocking good. My fave of the bunch for sure.

At April 19, 2011 at 11:59 PM , Blogger Anna said...

I just sent your post to my friend who teaches moms about cloth diapering. She has some faqs on her website.

Hope you find the answer!

At April 20, 2011 at 12:11 AM , Blogger Emily said...

Hi! A friend of mine sent me a link to your post. I am the cloth diaper expert out here and I know I can help you with your problem.

I see you ordered Rockin Green and that is the first step to correcting your problem. RnG is the BEST cloth detergent on the market and is worth every single penny. Second, NEVER EVER EVER use bleach (or any other additive for that matter, but ESPECIALLY bleach)on your diapers: NEVER! The bleach will eat at the PUL on your diapers and ruin them. Bleach also voids the warranty on almost every brand of pocket diaper there is. Depending on how much you used, that could be your problem. Bleach causes teeny tiny holes in the PUL causing leaking, so if RnG doesn't fix the problem then you may need to replace your diapers :( (I know that is totally not what you wanted to hear). The good news is you can probably find some like new diapers for really cheap on

As for the rash, switching him into disposables may be causing his rash to get worse, due to the high amount of chemicals found in disposable diapers. You CAN use cream in cloth diapers just make sure you use a liner. There are biodegradable rice paper liners you can buy and there are also reusable fleece liners you can buy. I have even made my own by cutting up some pieces of scrap fleece fabric.

Stripping should not be a regular occurrence, I have been using cloth for 4 years now on all my children and have stripped diapers only once and since switching to RnG about a year ago I haven't stripped at all.

If all else fails, some children have such intensely sensitive skin that they can only use organic, unbleached cotton diapers and synthetic diapers irritate their skin as well. The good news about that is that organic cotton prefold diapers are only about $2-3 a diaper!

I hope that helps! Feel free to send me an email if you have any more questions: and my websites are and

At April 22, 2011 at 7:15 PM , Blogger Adriel (The Mommyhood Memos) said...


Thanks for your help. I've emailed you but am writing here too, in case others read the comments for tips. :)

Re: the bleach issue... The Bum Genius website says that you can use 1/4 cup bleach once a month. I certainly didn't use it that often, so would think it highly unlikely that bleach caused any problems. I doubt they would put that in print if they weren't SURE it was ok.

And the rash? It always got better when we switched to disposables so that we could use the rash cream (Butt Paste). I think using fleece liners is a great idea though. I will have to take a trip to my craft store. :)

I don't think Levi has sensitive skin as the kid would go all day with a wet or pooey nappy if I let him. It doesn't bother him in the slightest and also doesn't give him a rash. (I know because I've forgotten on a couple of occasions - poor little dude.) The only time he's gotten a rash is when he's badly teething, and then recently when the issue (I think) is detergent build-up.

I did get the Rockin Green and it's come in now and I've completed a good soak and wash process. We'll see what the outcome is tomorrow after his first night back in them in a while. RnG did say that it could get worse before it gets better because it causes the detergent toxins or whatever to rise to the surface as they are being eliminated... so if that happens so another soak and another until it's no longer an issue.

So we'll see. FINGERS CROSSED!

Thanks again for all of your help ALL OF YOU LADIES. Really appreciate you taking the time to pitch in your experiences. Hopefully I'll be back here to update with some good results soon. xx


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