3 ways to ward off cloth diaper frustration

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Don’t feel bad.  Even the most die-hard, committed cloth diaper mamas reach the point of wanting to give it all up.

For the most part cloth diapering is merely another task like unloading the dishwasher or setting the table.  It’s just something that is done second nature.

But, there are those days when everything routine becomes a monumental chore.  When changing yet another poopie diaper makes me teeter on the edge of insanity.

I don’t have it all figured out yet but here are ways that I ward off frustration:

  1. Simplicity.  Not only in regards to cloth diapers but in all of life.  I limit out-of-the-house activities to a bare minimum.  When we have those weeks where it seems like we’re doing something everyday, it takes the smallest thing to stress me out.

    Simplicity in cloth diapers is important as well.  Having all I need in one diaper helps me the most.  If I need to find more than one part it begins to complicate things.  That doesn’t mean I never use pockets or fitteds.  It means during travel, activities and general busyness I stick to my Bum Genius AIO Organics ;)

  2. Systems.  Having a specific place for clean cloth diapers and the diaper pail is extremely important.  The hugest benefit to having a system in place is it allows others to help you! There have been numerous times when my husband offered to change a diaper yet he couldn’t find where I had moved everything.  That led to his frustration and I ended up doing it because to tell him where everything was would take longer than just doing it.

    I’ve learned from that and now have kept the cloth diapers in one place for a couple of months now (although I was just contemplating last night moving it to a different room :D )  Although the location of the diaper pail is not convenient (in the garage by the washer), it is preferred at this point.  When I get my Leslie’s Boutique wet bag I may hang it in the bathroom.

  3. Sanitation. Had to pick an “S” to complete the trio.  Sanitation represents the washing.  Washing your cloth diapers would be a breeze as long as it’s: SIMPLE AND SYSTEMATIC!  Minimize the steps and do the same thing every time. This allows grandma, husband and even the mature 7 year old to step right in with the laundry.

    Having a stash comprised of similar items will cut down on the adjustments that may need to be made (ex. fitteds may take longer to dry, covers may need to hang dry, AIOs with internal soaker may need an extra rinse).  If you haven’t yet found that happy place with your wash routine here are some things to consider:

  • Are you currently having any problems?
  • Is baby sensitive to fragrances or ingredients in detergent?
  • Does baby have a rash right now?
  • Do your cloth diapers smell good when you take them out of the dryer?
  • Do you have hard or soft water?
  • How often are you washing?

Use the answers to these questions as a guide to making changes.  If the answer to the first question is no, then you probably don’t need to make any changes.  Washing your cloth diapers should be no different than washing a load of towels.  Keep that in mind.

I want you to enjoy cloth diapering all the time.  There was a reason you chose to cloth diaper, remind yourself of that the next time you’re ready to throw in the towel repurposed prefold.


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About Autumn Beck

Autumn is a wife, mother, homeschool teacher, friend and most important a follower of Christ. She began cloth diapering in 2005 and has experienced many joys and trials throughout the years. You can read more from Autumn over at https://www.facebook.com/beautifullyblessedlashes.

View all posts by Autumn Beck

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31 Responses to “3 ways to ward off cloth diaper frustration”

  1. Sarah Says:

    We are having the same problem Britt described. My daughter gets a flare up after a BM – it actually seems to burn her skin. We have been dealing with rash since the summer time – yeast, then staph – and it’s ALMOST gone. This is different, though, a separate issue. I wouldn’t worry so much about it, except that when we were in sposies during the staph infection, the burn from the BM cleared up very quickly. In the cloth, it hangs around. (We use BG Organics or prefolds with Flips, by the way. She’s sensitive to fleece.).

    Reply

  2. Summer Says:

    I’m relatively new to CD but we use ECOS (from COSTCO or a local health food store) with a couple of tbsp of baking soda and vinegar. We have been washing the diapers this way with every wash and have only had one load that stank – we rewashed and they were fine. My issue is in the morning. My son’s wet diapers STINK in the morning. I’ve read a lot of suggestions but haven’t found anything that works. We’re using a prefold with a hemp liner and a Thirsties Duo cover. Any ideas?

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      I would either do a vinegar soak (search for instructions on the blog) or soak in Rockin Green Hard Rock.

      Reply

  3. Sara Says:

    My sons pharmacist recommended the crisco, only he said to mix it with equal portion of an over-the-counter anti-fungal cream. (like lamisil) it worked GREAT with the disposables. i’ve only been CDing for a very short time and i was wondering if the crisco would interfere with the cloth diaper absorbancy??

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      I would NOT use Crisco with cloth diapers. If the rash is a yeast rash you will need to kill the yeast in the cloth diapers or reinfection will continue to recur. Also I would address the diet to prevent future rashes.

      Reply

    • Mel Says:

      I use Crisco with my cloth diapers, doesn’t seem to affect them.

      Reply

  4. Kerri Says:

    Please help me. I am determined to use cloth diapers but am having a terrible smell problem. Currently, I use Fuzzibunz and Rumparooz. I do have some leaking problems but am willing to work with it but I can’t stand the smell of my son’s diapers when he pees. It is a cross between garbage and cabbage. I rinse in cold, wash in hot, and rinse again a couple of times in cold. I have used Charlie’s, Rocking Green, Mt. Green, and biokleen and have had no luck. I have also rinsed, rinsed, rinsed, used baking soda, and tea tree oil. They have no smell when I pull them out of the washer or after they have dried but after he pees…yuck! In addition he seems to have a continuous rash that seemed to disappear after I used a disposable the other day. Any suggestions? I am getting desperate.

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      Kerri, I feel your pain as we are entering into this as well. Have you tried an overnight soak in Rockin Green? Or even a 2hr vinegar soak?

      Reply

  5. crystal Says:

    autumn,
    first, i LOVE your blog! second, a couple of questions: i just read on a site (can’t remeber the name right now) that using vinegar on cloth diapers with pul can damage the pul. have you ever had an issue with that? and on the drybees site they said that a large amount of returns come from people that use country save or charlie’s. i’ve paid a lot of money for my stash and i don’t want to be using something that can damage them. have you had any issues with charlie’s?

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      1) I wouldn’t recommend using vinegar in every cycle. I use it only on the occasion that I need to strip the diapers.
      2) I don’t recommend Charlie’s because of the frequency of complaints I read. I personally have used Kirkland’s Environmentally friendly and am currently using the washing ball…so far so good http://allaboutclothdiapers.com/want-to-join-my-laundry-experiment/

      Reply

      • Crystal Says:

        Thanks for your help! I’ve got another couple questions for you :) One: I bought some Sustainablebabyish organic bamboo fleece fitteds and knit wool covers. Their site recommends Ecover. I’ve only used it a couple times and haven’t had any issues but I’m not sure how much I should be using. Two: My guy decided to poop right after waking up before I could get his diaper changed. Needless to say his pee soaked diaper didn’t hold up well to the poo and it sent all over the inside of my NEW wool cover. Now the cover has a yellow-ish stain. Anything I can do besides sun it to get the stain out? Thanks!

        Reply

        • Autumn Beck Says:

          I’d use the recommended amount on the Ecover bottle. I don’t know how much time you want to spend on stains that won’t be seen but you could spot treat with Oxi-clean.

          Reply

  6. Mer Says:

    I have not tried this and can’t speak for it myself, but in case my baby ever had diaper rash a friend gave me a can of regular old Crisco of all things. She said it was the only thing that worked for her daughter’s horribly sensitive rashy skin when she was a baby. Her pediatrician recommended it. I have no idea what this stuff would do to a cloth diaper though…

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      We tried Crisco with Paisley when she was little. She had eczema spots and I read Crisco would help. It didn’t and it actually seemed to irritate it more.

      Reply

  7. carmen Says:

    I practice EC with my baby, we never needed once ointment or cream, because she is mostly dry. It is way easier than changing poopy diaper.

    Reply

  8. William Says:

    Britt, There is a natural and more soothing treatment for diaper rash, and that’s Virgin Raw Coconut Oil! Autumn has graciously allowed me to place this note on this blog to inform you and anyone else out there struggling with stubborn diaper rash. We have just started our website, CoconutRemedy.com, and we are extending a free offer to any readers of this blog a Free Sample of Raw Virgin Coconut Oil to try on their baby. It’s 100% natural, safe and edible, so you don’t have to worry about accidental ingestion. It also works well on cradle cap and other irritating skin conditions. Our website is still under construction, so if anyone is interested, simply send an e-mail to CoconutRemedy@Yahoo.com with your name and address and we’ll send a sample out as soon as possible!

    William Sells,RN
    CoconutRemedy.com

    Reply

  9. Whitney Says:

    Oh, Autumn, thank you, thank you, thank you for this post!! I decided to cd while I was pregnant and yet after I brought her home I couldn’t get the prefolds and covers to work so I gave up for a few months. I needed simplicity! By then she had out grown her prefolds and covers so we used BG’s 3.0. But I didn’t have a system and on those really long days that she wouldn’t nap or I was just plain exhausted, I would grab a disposable because it was easy. Once I had a system it was great! But then she started getting horrible red rashes that looked like burns and were painful because she would cry when I tried to wipe it. I asked other cd-ing mom’s and they said she was probably having a reaction to the detergent. So I started making my own detergent and it went away. But then it came back. I gave up and have been using disposables for a couple of months now. I’ve tried sunning the diapers, striping them, nothing seems to work. I don’t want to give up. I know that cd-ing is best for her. I felt so guilty for letting my BG’s just sit in a drawer. Thanks for reminding me that it’s normal and okay :)!

    Reply

  10. Anastasia Says:

    Britt sposies do NOTHING for that type of rash! I’ve been diapering the SAME child for 11 years (ok, he is disabled, lol, have to add that) & have tried EVERYTHING to rid him of the yeast rashes! WORSE at night, yuck! sposies did NOTHING to help the problem & may have made it WORSE! (because he didn’t take them off, flannel feels NASTY when wet) he never pooped in them after about 5 years old but night wetness was a problem for a LONG time & so was the rashes!

    one thing I DO know, his diet is VERY heavy on the carbs! simple sugars DO feed yeasts & sugar DOES come out in urine! “Leftovers” can also come out in poo but most especially BACTERIA which will exaggerate a yeast problem! IF the system is unbalanced then yeah there will be problems!

    Yogurt can help TONS if eaten with live cultures, or you can even just buy the cultures themselves at GNC! Also Acidophilus Bifidus milk works too!

    The dishwasher would be to BOIL the diapers. Some new washers also have a sanitize setting (95 c! on mine) which is the same thing! I’ve also poured pot after pot into the washer but it was time consuming & never stayed hot enough in my opinion!

    Also if she is just plain eating something that does NOT agree with her that will screw up the WHOLE system! (love ice cream, love it, hate the aftermath, unless I go over my due date, then it sure beats castor oil, lol)

    Good article Autumn! my frontie IS kinda small so I do lots of pre & post rinsing but otherwise YES it is a LOT like washing towels! (& the towels feel better too)

    as for the towels themselves, the smaller hand towels BECAME by diapers for the first 2 babies, lol, cheaper at the time!

    Reply

  11. Mikaela Says:

    my cloth diaper simplicity is most defiantly Bum Genius AIO Organics! I still keep around a few prefolds and wool because I just can’t resist, but my BG’s are the ones I reach for on the stressful days. I am still looking for a good night time solution though. I have been using my BG’s for days and nights, but I was thinking of switching to fitteds and wool/fleece for night time. Any suggestions on a good nighttime fitted???

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      Mikaela, the BEST nighttime solution is a sustainablebabyish bamboo fitted (magic diaper) w/ a sbish wool soaker. Never had a leak on to the sheets. The diaper is soaked in the morning but contained.

      Reply

  12. Theola Says:

    I agree with anpnek. When my youngest teethes he gets horrible rashes, occasionally with blisters and raw areas. It seems that they actually get worse when he uses disposables (at daycare) so don’t feel pressured to give up. Breatheability, frequent changes and time were all it really took. I discovered that he hated commercial wipes and preferred a wipes solution liberally applied to a washcloth when he was at his worst. I also learned that a cornstarch powder soothed him more than ointments sometimes.

    Good luck!

    Reply

  13. Priya Says:

    Hi,

    I’m a new mom, my son is 2 months old. I’m a regular reader of your blog and just started trying out cloth diapers. I’ve a very basic question. I’m currently using prefolds and diaper covers. However when the weather gets pretty cold , his bum becomes very chill as his diaper was wet . so, How to manage using cloth diapers during winter?

    Reply

  14. anpnek Says:

    I find that my little guy gets a rash from a BM only when he is teething. And sometimes he seems like he is teething for weeks.

    Reply

  15. Virginia Says:

    Ironically as I was reading this it happened to me. My 2.5 year old had one massive poopy diaper. I normally use a cover and stuff it with a flat, prefold trifolded and a doubler. But this diaper was so bad it got everywhere and I resorted back to my simplicity; a BG 3.0 with some added doublers. I do love prefolds and covers for him at night because they generally work better for him at night but I’m 9 months pregnant and exhausted I go right back to the easiest thing for us!

    Reply

  16. Jennifer Bailey Says:

    Have you introduced cow’s milk yet? My mother gave some to my 11 month old the other week and even though it was maybe only 3 or 4 sips it was enough to cause a week’s worth of dirreha and really horrible diaper rash. The rash looked like someone burned his tush and he’d cry every time I wiped it and refused to sit up or sit on someone’s hip, it must have hurt so bad.

    Reply

  17. Elizabeth Says:

    My son is 10 months old, and we have recently had a similar problem. I thought he was having an allergic reaction to something, too. After eliminating just about everything from the little man’s diet, we are still battling the rash. His too flares up after a BM. How do you strip prefolds in the dishwasher? I have never heard of that!

    Reply

  18. Jessica Says:

    Just a thought, Britt, but since it seems to flare up with a BM, maybe she’s developed an allergy to something she’s eating? Maybe your ped. can suggest something in her diet that might be causing it and you could try eliminating that for awhile.

    Reply

  19. Britt Says:

    My 13 month old daughter has just begun getting frequent diaper rashes. She has a prescription antifungal cream that seems to be going ok with her cloth diapers (mostly prefolds, with BG 3.0 pockets overnight) until she has a BM when it gets all red & irritated again. We change her as soon as she’s wet or soiled and strip her diapers regularly with blue dawn and always prewash and then double rinse with cold after washing her diapers in hot. We let her crawl about bare-bottomed in the backyard just after lunch to air-out … but soon it will be too cold to do that. Our doctor is less concerned than we are with her newly acquired but persistent rash. He thinks disposables would be better as they draw the wetness away. Some days I am ready to give it all up but I do think she does better with her prefolds than the pockets (with the stay-dry suede cloth). I just ordered her some new GMD prefolds and some Mother-ease bamboo & organic cotton fitteds. I’m planning on changing her from mostly PUL covers to wool and fleece but don’t know what else I can do in this frustrating battle against this rash.

    Reply

    • Autumn Beck Says:

      britt, it sounds like you are going about everything the right way. she may be sensitive to suede-cloth. you may try out a fleece inner pocket if you want to have a few handy. what detergent are you using? have you ever tried stripping the prefolds in the dishwasher?

      Reply

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