Monday, January 7, 2013

Myths and Misconceptions: Babies With Sensitive Skin..

I've decided to do a series of blogs all about common myths and misconceptions about cloth diapering! If you have any ideas feel free to comment here, share on my twitter, or post to my facebook page any myths or misconceptions you have heard, especially ones that really drive you nutso!
Myth/Misconception #1
Today we are going to talk about one of my least favorite myths about cloth diapering. It's my least favorite because it's just so not true and not only does it discourage people from cloth diapering but it discourages people from cloth diapering who would probably benefit the most from doing it!
Cloth Diapering Will Irritate Babies Who Have Sensitive Skin and Will Cause Rash
One of the reasons we started cloth diapering and cloth wiping were because my little one has VERY sensitive skin. Every diaper gave him a rash, some more so than others, and wipes especially did it. Every kind of wipes besides pampers sensitive gave him a terrible rash. Yes money was another huge issue but the skin was the biggest reason. I couldn't stand seeing my little one's tush all raw! In all my research I've found a lot of great stories about moms switching to cloth and it helping clear up their rash problems. But recently I've heard a lot of moms tell me on the Internet and in person "My child's skin is too sensitive for cloth diapers, they cause rashes!" This is simply not true.
Stay Wet? Not if You Use Something Stay-Dry!
One reason people give for them causing more rash is that they stay wet. This also is not true. Yes if you are using prefolds or flats, baby will feel wetter sooner. But you don't have to have a prefold/flat up next to baby's bum! While prefolds still worked for my son we noticed he did still have a little bit of a rash when using them from feeling the wetness, so we switched to pockets. I LOVE pockets, especially rumparooz, because they have a stay-dry layer that sits next to baby and takes all the wetness away, drawing it into the absorbent material inside! You can stuff pockets with prefolds, flour sack towels, flats, or inserts. Whatever works, plus you can customize your absorbency. You can also buy stay dry prefolds. OsoCozy staydry prefolds are my favorite prefolds, and they give us a great fit too. So baby doesn't have to be wet and feel wet!
Timely Changes Changes Things!
Another thing that can help with the wetness issue is if you change baby often enough. I won't lie, you will probably need to change your baby more than if you were using disposables. But it's so worth it. The natural fibers are so much more gentle on your baby's skin than the scratchy rough paper of disposables! Just try wrapping one disposable around one knee and one cloth around your other knee. You will be able to see quickly just which one is more comfortable. As long as you change your baby often enough, baby won't be irritated by urine. It is suggested you change a cloth diaper baby anywhere between ever 2-3 hours or more if you have a light wetter and/or a very absorbent diaper.
Chemical Stay-Dry is Not the Same, so Irritating!
Last but not least, disposables tend to dry babies out. Why is this? Because there is gel inside the paper lining that is made to absorb the wetness, soaking it up. That is why a disposable diaper swells when wet. And that's why if you accidentally run one through the washer, you find beads of gel all over everywhere. Not only can the chemicals irritate baby's sensitive skin, but the gel won't discriminate against urine and skin moister, it draws it all out and absorbs it all. This is very drying to baby's bum and it causes rash and irritation.

Does That Mean Your Baby Will Never Get A Rash?

Not always. My son has had a few rashes since starting. One was due to ammonia buildup which we have since solved, and the others have all been due to being sick and/or teething. We find if you use LuSa Organics Booty Balm with a disposable liner (I like EcoSprout), both of which you can buy here at Mama's Emporium, things clear up pretty quickly, even the nastiest of teething rashes! Using an Amber Teething Necklace we got at Mama's Emporium as well has also helped tons with how much the little one drools while teething and makes things much easier on him and me! If you don't want to mess with liners, I suggest CJ's BUTTer which you can also buy at Mama's Emporium. CJ's can also be used as a nipple cream for nursing moms, for dry skin, eczema, and even as a preventative at every diaper change, every day, or just after the bath to keep baby protected.

Bottom Line

The bottom line is I encourage all mama's with children who have sensitive skin to at least try cloth. Don't just try prefolds either, try pockets, AIOs, AI2s, and other kinds. Maybe try more natural fibers like bamboo and hemp. Experiment till you find something that will work for your baby. I'm sure if you play around, change baby plenty, and use creams as needed, maybe even use CJ's as a preventative every so often, and you and baby's skin will all be much happier!


  1. I didn't cloth diaper, so I fount this article very interesting. Thanks for sharing!

  2. (Hubby's account) We have *very* sensitive skinned babies! The prefolds can irritate their skin, as you said, but if I have them in the fleece-lined fuzzibunz or Jungle Roos, they do great!

  3. Although I no longer have little babies at home - I am all for cloth diapering. I love this article.

  4. My son had a terrible reaction to the chemicals in Pampers. They burned his poor skin, and caused many rashes after we switched! Sensitive skin is affected by dissposibles too. People always assume sensitive means no cloth. I love cloth diapering!

  5. Interesting. I'm past the diaper stage, but useful.

  6. I know, and I'm ashamed to say it, I used to think if you had sensative skin you couldn't cloth diaper! But I am so happy to find out the opposite is true! We use pockets with a stay dry inner to keep the prefold from touching the skin yet we stuff them with prefolds so they are super absorbent! My son's diaper area has never looked so good! I'm glad so many of you are finding this a useful post!

  7. Great post! This is one reason I'm glad we decided to cloth diaper before our daughter was born. We used disposables and store bought wipes with her when she was still little little and she got a rash bad enough when she was about 3 weeks old that we had to get a prescription cream. :( (This was before I knew about newborn sized cloth diapers. Guess I should have done MORE research before she was born. lol) We started using the cloth diapers, homemade wipes, and warm wash clothes for non-poopy changes and she hasn't had a rash since!

    1. I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter's rash! I'm glad she is better now!

  8. Honest diaper reviews are also useful to buy newborn products as they are natural in use and you can easily take these for your little babies to protect their skin from harmful rashes.