Cloth diapers & diaper rashes

We are back talking about rashes again in our series we have had the past few weeks. This week we are going onto a bacterial issue, that of Staph and/or MRSA. Some of the saddest emails over the years that stick out are from customers who had their babies battle this, and it was misdiagnosed by the pediatrician, or treated as a minor skin irritation that turned into something worse.

Staph does not come from the diapers, staph comes from another contact point, but needs a place to enter the body. The diaper area is the perfect place for it, since it is warm and damp, and the pressure points where the diaper is tighter on the skin can provide this opening. Staph usually presents as blisters, that may be fluid or pus filled, sometimes with a hard red center on the base of it. They will often start out looking like pimples, and many times will burst and reform within hours.

This has to be taken very seriously, if your baby exhibits these symptoms, you need to take him to the pediatrician, have it diagnosed, and if it is identified as a staph infection, please demand that it be cultured. Some pediatricians will not offer this, but you can insist it be done, and it is in the best interest for the health of your child. What they will do is take some of the fluid or pus in the blister and watch it grow over a few days in their lab, to make sure the antibiotic they prescribe will work for the bacteria that your child is infected with. MRSA is antibiotic-resistent staph, if your baby has MRSA, it means they will have to take the extra steps to make sure the bacteria will respond to the given antibiotic.

For staph and/or MRSA, we absolutely cannot recommend homepathic treatments, this can be serious if left untreated, and does get bad quickly if not taken care of. Sometimes yeast can have blisters that may resemble staph blisters, your doctor will be able to tell which it is, *usually* yeast will not have the raised fluid filled centers that staph has. If your baby is diagnosed with staph, he/she will need to go on an oral antibiotic, and likely be given a bactroban cream (antibiotic cream), and the diapers will need to be disinfected the same way you do for yeast. This involves chlorine bleach. Because of the severity of staph, I do recommend putting the baby in disposables until you can bleach all of your diapers and inserts, staph does not come from the diapers, but can live in them, even through washing and drying.

I have throwing this one out there because I usually get emails of parents new to cloth who fear getting into this rash situation. The truth is I have had it with my kids both in cloth and disposables, staph just wants a place to enter, if you catch it the baby will be just fine, and there is no proof cloth diapers increase the chances of infection from staph.


March 31, 2011. Diaper Rash, FAQ, Q & A. 9 comments.

Local customers: big announcement!

If you haven’t heard yet, we are moving (yes, already!) into a bigger, better, and more beautiful storefront. That’s right, the brand new Abby’s Lane brick and mortar is relocating.

All the details can be found on Abby’s Lane! We will be at this location for about two more weeks, then stay turned for a grand opening at our new location!

As always, we appreciate your business! We look forward to continuing to serve you both on the interwebs and in the storefront!

March 30, 2011. Uncategorized. 2 comments.

Winners :)

Jamie B and Cristin, thanks for playing in our facebook voucher giveaway !

March 20, 2011. Uncategorized. 2 comments.

Donate for Japan

This Living Social deal means for only $5 you can give $10 to the American Red Cross for the victims of Japan’s earthquake & Pacific Tsunami fund. Nice way to be able to make a difference!

March 18, 2011. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

BabyLegs Giveaway :)

Post here! Just a comment to enter of either “girly” or “neutral”, we will pick two winners, each for one pair , winners drawn Wednesday night at 9 pm Eastern πŸ™‚

March 15, 2011. Uncategorized. 284 comments.

More washing issues!

The ammonia and stripping articles have been going over well from our email feedback, I am excited to see washing issues being solved and clean diapers being the norm in the house πŸ™‚

This week we are going to start our Rash 101 series, going over common rashes/symptoms/causes/treatments that can occur in cloth diapers. Now, every week I will put the same reminder in this section, if your baby is in pain, bleeding, cracked or open skin, fluid filled blisters or open blisters, you absolutely must take them to the doctor immediately. As much as I love and adore homeopathic remedies, if your baby or toddler exhibits these symptoms, for their health and safety they must see a doctor.

We will start today with the most common ammonia/chafing/heat rash that can occur with babies. The symptoms of this will usually present as a mild sunburn wherever the diaper is touching, sometimes only in the contact points of the thighs and waist. The skin will be a dull pink color, with or without tiny red pinprick dots (not raised), in the warmest folds of the skin. Sometimes this rash will peel away as it heals, it will turn back to the normal color of the skin and slough off like a sunburn would, only to come right back. The most common cause of this type of rash is exposure to wetness that is irritating the baby, most common in natural fibers such as prefolds or natural fiber fitteds. Sometimes it happens only overnight when the skin is damp for a long period of time. It can happen with stay dry diapers as well, as urine sits in the pocket or AIO fibers, ammonia will breathe back onto the skin and can cause irritation, then the tighter contact points of the diaper can cause a chafing rash, and the peeling skin that accompanies this.

If your baby has this type of rash, and you are using natural fibers, trying putting fleece liners in the diaper for each change to promote dryness, you can also sprinkle cornstarch in the diaper to absorb wetness (if you do this and you see the rash become immediately worse, you may have yeast which can feed off of cornstarch, so if that happens you need to see your doctor for an antifungal quickly). For our natural fiber babies using a fleece liner will solve this the majority of the time. If the baby only gets this rash at nighttime, and you already use stay dry diapers, if the baby is very sensitive you may need a mild cream to help protect the skin (make sure you use liners for the cream to prevent buildup), but before using cream regularly I would increase absorbency to break down the concentration of the urine. Also, frequent changing is important to allow air to heal the skin, and keep ammonia away to allow the rash to go away. Increasing the absorbency of your diapers can also help, it will break down the concentration of the urine in the diaper. Forthe chafing rash, a pea sized amount of vaseline or a clear-ish color ointment will help, rub it in at every diaper change, this small amount on the legs will not cause buildup in your diapers and will help that skin heal. For babies who have very sensitive skin, as we move into the summertime if this rash keeps coming back you may need to look into diapering options that allow lots of air flow. This nice thing about this rash is it is very quick to heal once you take the above measures. Usually within 24 hours you will see a dramatic improvement if not completely resolved. If you go 2-3 days and it is not getting better, or it gets worse, you may have another rash issue on your hands so it is important to watch how it progresses.

March 10, 2011. cloth diapers, FAQ, Q & A, Wash routines. 1 comment.

Gift Voucher Giveaway :)

Yeah for 3500 fans on facebook! Join us over there if you haven’t already, we always have good stuff going on πŸ™‚

We are giving away 2 $50.00 vouchers, simply enter below by leaving a comment, 2 winners picked Friday, March 18~

March 7, 2011. Uncategorized. 457 comments.

Hump Day winner~

Congrats to Amber L for winning the Hump Day wet bag prize πŸ™‚

March 4, 2011. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Hump Day Giveaway~

I am celebrating being able to eat a big yummy lunch today πŸ™‚
Let’s pick one winner for a Planet Wise medium wet bag. Comment below on what excites you most about spring!

March 2, 2011. Uncategorized. 203 comments.


This week we are going to take a second to chat ammonia, we are getting lots of emails about what is normal/what isn’t, so I think it should be addressed πŸ™‚ Ammonia cannot “live” in our bodies. It is toxic to our internal systems, so our body converts urine into other ingredients until it leaves our bodies, when it meets air it will convert back to ammonia salts and other byproducts. When you have ammonia in your diapers, sometimes it is normal, sometimes it isn’t, so take a look below:

When it IS normal:
-When you open the lid to your pail, or unzip your all day wet bag, and you smell ammonia
-When you go to change your baby or toddler’s nighttime diaper after having it on for 6+ hours

When it is NOT normal:
-When the diaper has been on for less than a half an hour and you are wondering why your baby smells like a fraternity bathroom.
-When you take your washed and dried diapers and press them to your nose and take a deep whiff, and have ammonia odors.

Nighttime ammonia is completely normal, and will get stronger as they get older. Newborns have very pure urine, they are eating formula or breastmilk, and their output is in small and frequent spurts. As babies get older, they gain muscle control, holding urine for longer periods of time, and releasing it in higher quantities. Plus, their intake isn’t as pure, figure in solids, dirt and small plastic toy pieces from their older sisters who never put polly pocket’s shoes away, and you get a mix of conditions for ammonia to be stronger. Also, if you put your older baby/toddler to bed, and they pee right away, that urine is going to sit there in some sort of covered fashion for 8+ hours. Dip your cotton tee shirt in the toilet, put it in a ziplock bag and sniff it the next day, you have the same scenario here. What you can do is add absorbency to that diaper, if you can dissipate the urine and distribute it a little more so it isn’t as concentrated. This can help a great deal, also adding different fibers to the diaper instead of all microfiber/hemp/cotton to vary the density of the fabrics. Disposables use lots of chemicals to mask this smell, and to me a perfumy/ammonia disposable stinks worse then ammonia/cloth (personal opinion though). Same deal in the pail, when those soiled diapers meet air, they will off gas ammonia, and as time goes by this adds up.

Now, if you have it on the other two times, you likely have buildup/not enough detergent. You can refer back to our other washing articles or email me at AbbysLane@… if you fall into this category. Usually, fresh diaper ammonia is buildup, ammonia out of the dryer is not enough/wrong detergent. Fixing it can be easy, but you do need to catch it. Ammonia left behind on a baby’s skin can cause a nasty chemical-like burn, it will be bright red and painful, so keep an eye out. If you are getting that rash from the nighttime diaper, time to switch up fabrics/absorbency. For some this means using a fleece liner on natural fabrics, for others just increasing the absorbency of your natural fabrics can work. For very sensitive babies, sometimes a barrier cream is needed (but please follow our liner advice so you don’t get cream buildup).

Let me know if you have questions!

March 1, 2011. cloth diapers, Diaper Chatter, Q & A. 1 comment.