Cloth Diapering Failure

6 diapers

I am trying to convert to cloth diapers for X, but so far, all I am is a cloth diapering failure.

This all started with a nasty rash.  We tried a different brand of disposable diapers, which left X with a bout of what we think was allergic contact dermatitis on his legs.   An angry, red bumpy rash that started along his legs where the diaper rubbed. The rash flared up and bumps spread down his leg and also appeared on his tummy area at the top of where the diaper rubs against the skin there.

A switch back to his regular brand didn’t do the trick.  The rash was still there, angry.  We tried some eczema lotion and hydrocortisone 1% with no luck.  Two weeks in, we headed to the pedi for help. A prescription cream later and we were still having issues.  This is when I thought it might be good to try cloth diapers to see if it would help the issue.  It seemed as if his skin was still being irritated in even his previous brand of disposable diaper.

At the beginning, I had wanted to cloth diaper.  The cost savings seems to be the greatest advantage. While the environmental effects have been debated,  I think the soap, electricity,water cost/waste seemed a lesser evil than 500 years in the landfill.  Additionally, I wasn’t crazy about the idea of all those chemicals on baby.

But with returning to work, daycare didn’t really do cloth diapers.  I wasn’t able to really see much savings or benefit to doing it part-time, so the traditional disposable route we went.

But then, the disposable rash came 18 months later.  So, off to the cloth diaper store we went.  I settled on some Bumkins All-In-Ones for daytime changes and a wool/cotton fitted with a cover to battle the potential all night wetness.

Failure #1: The Bumkins were falling apart already and had small holes after 3-4 washes.  Turns out the ones I purchased had a faulty design and the company is sending me replacements.  But they were still workable for now, so I have been still using them until the new ones come.

So yesterday, we had our first all day in cloth. With an extra insert on naps and an outing, it all seemed to work.

Last night, we wrapped X in the layers of soaker pad, fitted diaper, and cover.

Failure #2:  We woke up with a small leak, which wasn’t a huge deal, but we also had a HUGE stink.  I am trying to wash it out at the moment.

I continued on with cloth for the day.  At lunch time, after putting the diaper on only an hour earlier, but then…..

Failure #3.  X was sitting on my lap at lunch and drenched me with pee.  Major diaper leakage after a minimal wear time.

Ugh, so maybe the ones I picked out are over-all  just defective, but this does not seem to be working.

He’s back in disposables, but I am nervous to see if it flares his rash again.  But I am nervous to continue with cloth because really, I just don’t have tolerance for leaks if I am changing frequently, and I would have to shell out more money to have enough stash to really do it full time.

So after spending about $130 for a one-day stash, I am feeling defeated, a little grossed-out, and a little poor.

So we shall see what these replacement ones are like, I am hoping for better luck.

Any ideas to turn this into a success??



2 thoughts on “Cloth Diapering Failure

  1. What a bummer! Hopefully you can make cloth work for your family. Here are my ideas:
    Make sure all the diapers are prepped before you try again. If they’re natural fibers, they need to be washed and dried about 5 times to reach full absorbency. Also, make sure you’re using a cloth safe detergent (original tide works for me) and no fabric softener or dryer sheets on any of your laundry. It’s petroleum based and gets in the diapers and hinders absorbency.
    Next check that you have a good fit on your kid. This takes trial and error. Too right or too loose can cause leaks.
    Finally, since you have an older baby who’s probably got some bladder capacity, see if the standard inserts might need a boost with a doubler or extra insert. If my toddler drinks too much at once, she will pee through any diaper. So I need to monitor fluid intake and change more often when she’s thirsty.
    Those are my ideas. Goo luck!

  2. Thank you for the tips. I did some more washes and it helped but that particular one was just not absorbant enough at all. I think it was a little harder starting out with a toddler.

    I got the replacements from Bumkins but actually returned those. I am testing out Nicki’s bamboo all in ones and BumGenius elementals with more luck so far.

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