Saturday, January 06, 2007

Hopefully not the end of cloth diapering

Today, for the first time in close to two months, I put Eloise in a paper diaper. I know, shock and horror, right? I was so darn proud of the cloth run we were having and felt like it was one of my major accomplishments, a parenting goal I was actually achieving! And before anyone starts leaving comments about it, I know I'm no worse a mother for not putting my baby in cloth, it was just one of those things that I was a freak about. One of many, huh?

So I have written on and off about Eloise's booty. It's been a source of frustration in our household (along with the "reflux", which I will come back to). It started with some rashes that would come and go throughout the first couple of months of her life. I didn't actually do anything special to treat them, other than go 100% cloth, thinking that was the answer. Well, a few weeks ago she got crazy welts all over her thighs and tummy/back-- basically all of the places the edge of the diaper cover was touching her skin. She also had a pretty nasty looking booty rash that wasn't going away, so I took her in to see her pediatrician. We saw the woman who was newer in the practice, an ND, who I liked. She diagnosed the rash as yeast, wrote a prescription for Nystatin and said we could give Eloise Benadryl for the hives. The hives ended up going away without needing Benadryl and we diligently applied the Nystatin at every dipes change for several days. The rash never went away (and in fat started to look worse) and we went back to the ped, this time seeing the regular one, and she said the rash wasn't yeast, but rather a strep rash. Eloise started on antibiotics. Well, tomorrow will be the end of the antibiotics and her booty looks exactly the same as it did the day I brought her in. Her welts have returned and her booty is still bright red and yucky looking. I didn't want to risk ruining her precious cloth diapers by putting any cream or anything on her booty, so today I finally decided to get some paper diapers so I could start slathering her butt with Butt Paste. I have heard good things about it. We'll see. I don't know what else to do. I have posted about it on the message boards to no avail and can't seem to find any info online about what would be causing this. I don't know if it is better to keep her in cloth or keep using paper dipes. Is the butt paste going to help? Why isn't the infection clearing with antibiotics? Oh dear, there are so many questions I don't have answers to.

And in other, related, news, is the whole reflux thing. Eloise has been on meds for a few weeks for this. It seemed like she made an immediate, but not 100%, improvement right after we started the Zantac. It was sheer hell trying to get the medicine in her and we switched to the more pleasant tasting Pepcid. She started going through this phase where she was up every night for an hour to two hours just coughing, so I didn't really think the meds were working. Well, interestingly, her cough went away the night we started the antibiotics. Coincidence? Who knows. When I call the ped first thing Monday morning about the booty rash I will mention it to them.

It's so interesting to me that alot of medicine seems to be "well, let's see if this works!" and then try that and then it doesn't work so you move on to the next thing. In Eloise's short life I've been to the pharmacy half a dozen times to get medication for her. I don't even think I've been to the pharmacy for myself that many times in my life!

Ugh. I'm just beyond frustrated with this whole thing. And the irony is, I was so devoted to cloth diapers and we have invested alot of money in it, and now I might have to give it up. I can't tell if the diapers themselves are causing the welts or what. I don't want to keep trying new covers because they are very expensive and I also don't own a sewing machine, so I can't even try to make them myself (although lord knows I probably wouldn't even if I did own a sewing machine!)

If anyone reading this has some insight for me, please share. I'm willing to investigate anything for this rash.

ETA: I am also taking probiotics, at the ped's recommendation, to help with Eloise's skin issues. Not sure if that matters, but thought I would add it.


  1. How big is she? I have some wool that I can send if you are interested.

  2. Are you intested in hand-knit wool? I have some covers that are just sitting around right now if you want to give it a shot. It would also be helpful for me for sizing purposes.

  3. She is almost 17 lbs. and pretty long, I don't know her length. I would love to try wool. J suggested wool but I just can't go trying every dipe cover, you know? What do you want for it? Can you email me?

  4. Poor baby! Not sure that wool is the answer though as she may be allergic to it.

    Also, not sure why you don't want to use diaper cream??! I used cloth diapers for each of my kids -- creams sure never ruined the cloth! And they sure did help my babes when they'd have rashes.

    I am not a regular reader, so forgive me if this is something you've addressed -- have you eliminated foods from your diet? Dairy, eggs, wheat, peanuts etc. She may be reacting to something you're eating. (One of my kids was quite allergic: nasty diaper rashes were one result until I eliminated the trigger foods).

    Next: another thing that really made a difference with more than one of my kids was to use only the purest of the pure laundry detergents -- hypo-allergenic, no scents etc. Made a world of difference. (I was home-washing).

    Make sure the cream you are using on her isn't making the rash worse. Lanolin for example can be terrible for a baby who is sensitive to it. Also, give her plenty of naked time every day to allow her skin to air dry and breath. Don't use any body lotions, powders or soaps on her.

    When you need to clean her during a diaper change, don't use anything but water to wash her, then gently pat her partially dry and allow her time to air dry before rediapering.

    *Again, maybe you know all of this -- just trying to think of everything!

    Good luck!

  5. Thank You, Beth!

    Let's see, I have always thought that diaper cream ruined Fuzzi Bunz (which we use with a mix of prefolds). Not sure why I thought that, is that not true? I applied that line of thinking to the prefolds, as well.

    I have not eliminated anything from my diet. It has been suggested to me by aquaintances, but the ped didn't think we needed to go there yet. I have wondered about this.

    We use Bio-Kleen detergent. All atural, no fragrance.

    Not sure if the cream is making it worse. Today is day one, so we'll see!

    We always use plain water on a wash cloth to clean her, except for the very rare times I need to use a wipe then I use Lansinoh wipes. Maybe six times in her whole life.

    We started doing nakey butt time, but not sure how much is enough?

    Thank You again! These are all things I need to consider.

  6. I say use the diaper cream with your cloth... I have and have never had a problem.
    Poor little Eloise. I hope this nasty rash goes away soon. How frustrating for you!!!

  7. Hey there, this is Noel (Jason's wife). We used cloth dipes for the boyz and both suffered from assorted rashes - eczema, yeast, you name it. (Not b/c of the cloth diapers, just in general.) Some suggestions:

    1) you can use diaper creams with cloth diapers as long as there is no cod liver oil in it, a component of some. But I found aquaphor to be the best cream for irritation.

    2) give her tons of naked butt time. I know it's chilly there, but you can bundle her top and put on thick socks/leggings, and lay a bunch of prefolds under her. This should be much easier with a girl - you can imagine the fun we had with the boyz! I would also also use cloth diapers without the cover, enabling her bottom to breathe. You can use a prefold, just twist once through the legs and fasten with a pin or snappi. You go through a lot of diapers this way but it should help her bottom clear up.

    3) I also used the wool diaper covers, mostly at night, but it is helpful during the day in this situation where you are trying to heal a sore booty. I can check if I still have ours - we used aristocats. (I've given most of my diaper supplies to a neighbor who is trying cloth with baby#2.)

    4) Birth & Beyond is a terrific resource there for all sorts of diapering questions. I know it is a long haul from where you are at but just give them a call.

    Hope this helps! Noel

  8. I second the elimination diet. Especially dairy and soy. Seriously...and I'm not just saying this because I have a very sensitive babe. I think a lot of babies are sensitive and the symptoms get passed off as something else.

    I would have done the elimination diet first before I tried any meds on her. (I'm certainly not saying this to make you feel are such a great mother!!) But something as simple as eliminating dairy can clear up a whole mess of problems. If the reflux is aggravated by certain foods, the meds won't cure it.

    Just curious...what is the elastic made out of in the dipes you're using? Could it be some kind of latex causing her to break out around th edges where it is? Maybe that's as long shot.

    Anyway, I totally know what it's like to have an unhappy baby suffering from various things. It's hard :( I hope things get better for you soon.

  9. I have zero cloth experience, but nakey butt time tends to clear up most rashes-maybe it will help? Hey, you could always start e.c.-ing, with all the nakedness...

    I agree with what you're saying about medicine-it is so much less an exact science than most doctors will let on. When Brute Force was an infant we had a rash on his face that we struggled with, got 3 or 4 different diagoses about it, lots of different suggestions for treatment. We used some kind of eczema cream for it, and that kept in check but didn't totally get rid of it-and it eventually went away on its own with the warming of the weather, and never has come back.

    I just hope you get the rashes and the cough somehow sorted out once and for all. Maybe they're connected? Paging Dr. House?

  10. Thank you for the suggestions. And "Hi!" Noel!

    To be honest I've been pretty resistant towards elimination diets. For a lot of reasons. I used to attend a natural health school and it seemed like everyone would immediately start an elimination diet every time they experienced any tiny health thing and would run around boasting about how they don't eat this, or don't eat that. It soured my opinion on the whole thing. I also am soooo connected to some foods that I would have to eliminate. Foods that I don't just like, but that have deep emotional components. I know, I'm a wussy. I also was put off by the length of time it would take to see results from an elimination diet-- if that even was the cause. I should probably do one in conjunction with the meds, but honestly I have no problem jumping towards meds first over a diet. I also talked with the ped about an elimination diet and they thought it most likely was not related, but to keep it as an idea. In her experience, that is not something that solves the problems Eloise has. Of course, that's her opinion, and I've been given wrong advice by her before, so who knows. I just am resistat to it and am clinging at anything to stay away from it, KWIM?

    I should research it more.

    In addition, Eloise is taking a Nakey Butt nap. In her babylegs. Sooooo cute :)

  11. JenMidwife from MDC5:04 PM, January 07, 2007

    Hiya Mamamilkers,

    Sorry to hear that you're having such a tough time w/ Eloise. One thing that I've heard is great for protecting your FBs when using diaper rash cream is flushable liners

    I know what you mean about feeling like you don't have any answers!!! Good luck!

  12. That sounds exactly like what my daughter would get, for us it was dairy. She would get welts that were open, they looked really bad. We would put burts bees diaper cream on as a barrier while they were healing as well as a fleece liner.

    good luck to you


  13. well. i'm lagging. but i have mono, so that's my excuse. anyways. what form of vit c are you taking? and, you can use dipe creme on cloth, even FBs, but you have to watch what kind you use. we've had fantastic luck with baby badger balm. (they should have it at your local HFS). and, too much nystatin can make a yeast infection worse. you should only apply nystatin once, or maybe twice a day. and, if you have powder probiotics, you can sprinkle that on her bum too. and, if she'll take a sippy, you can put them in her sippy. or dab some on your nipple before she nurses.

    strip all your dipes with dawn, and start washing the FBs in dawn, not biokleen. biokleen can build up, and even if it's not making your dipes leaky, it can still irritate, you know?

    those flushable liners also make rashes worse, cuz they stay soakey wet. get you some fleecey blankets on the cheap from walmart, and cut them into strips, if you're worried about using creme on the fbs. it's fine on the prefolds, you just have to wash on super hot to get it out.

    i still vote eliminating dairy. ;) i miss it like i miss legwarmers, but it's been a good thing for peanut. when she weans, tho, i'm eating a gallon of ice cream, and then a whole box of mac n cheese, and then some chili cheese fries, and then some doritos. and then i'll probably have to go to the hospital and have my stomach pumped, but it'll SO be worth it. which probably isn't encouraging in terms of nudging you towards a no dairy diet. it's not that bad. really.

    yep. that's my story, and i'm stickin to it. i know there was something else i wanted to talk about...but i can't think of what.

  14. You ladies are killing me with all this non-dairy talk! Ahhh!!!!

    I take alot of Emergen-C. It works wonders for me, I love the stuff. I can't imagine life without it. Can you tell I'm really dramatic? lol

  15. try just taking plain ole sodium ascorbate. sprinkle some in some apple juice or whatever. it's actually pretty good for you, better than most vit. c supps, because it comes with it's own sodium, and vit C requires a sodium ion to effectively be utelised by the body. usually, tho, it has to suck one out of your cells. so. yeah. sodium ascorbate. good stuff.


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