yeast and cloth diapers

When looking at our customer emails, one topic we see come up often is Y-E-A-S-T. Unless it is being used to make cinnamon rolls in your house you don’t want to have the word come up, yeast is a fungal infestation in the skin of your baby, which is encouraged by dark and damp environments ( ie: diaper area), and should be diagnosed by your pediatrician.

When you have the yeast diagnosis, here is what we recommend (next week we will go over tricks and tips to prevent it from coming back)

1) your doctor will likely prescribe nyastatin cream or gentian violet orally
2) when using one of the above products, we advise moving into disposables until the skin is completely cleared for 48 hours.
3) during this time, you need to disinfect your diapers. This needs to include diapers, wipes, inserts and other accessories. To do so, wash and dry as usual, then wash with just hot water and 1/2 cup of clorox (we used to advise 1/3 cup, over the past year we see more success with the 1/2 cup mark). Chlorine bleach is what can and will disinfect the diapers, color safe bleach uses hydrogen peroxide, which has not shown to be as effective.
4) if you have PUL pockets, AIOs and covers, the bleach will not fade them, as PUL is dye fast. If you have cotton print products, and do not want them to fade, you can sort these out and disinfect with a color safe bleach. HOWEVER, if the yeast comes back I highly recommend using chlorine bleach to disinfect them, you don’t want to fungus to keep regrouping and coming back, for the health of your baby (it can be miserable when it is a strong strain).
5) once baby has been clear for at least 48 hours, they can go back into disinfected cloth, make sure over the next 1-2 weeks you change frequently to promote air flow to their little bottoms to keep yeast away.


January 5, 2012. cloth diapers, Diaper Chatter, Diaper Rash, Q & A. 12 comments.

Diaper rash

We got a lot of questions after our last email about the nighttime chafing/wet rash if you are using natural fibers. Natural referring to cotton, hemp, bamboo or a mix of these. Any “organic” fabric will be a natural fiber. By definition, natural fibers will not be stay dry, the closest you can get to a natural stay dry liner is a silk liner (we sell these on the site), they are very thin, made from silk and you lay them in the top of the diaper. But, they are not 100% stay dry like fleece or suedecloth is, you will feel some dampness, they just wick away a good amount of the moisture. Your stay dry fabrics will be fleece, suedecloth, which are both 100% polyester. Microfiber is 100% poly but not stay-dry, it has to be fleece or suedecloth, or another variation of these. If you are using prefolds or fitteds that are natural fibers, you may have success with laying in a fleece liner. We do sell them here.

Or you can make your own. Go to a fabric store, ask for 1/2 yard of scrap fleece, and cut into 15 x 5 rectangles. No sewing needed, it won’t fray.
For fitteds, lay them in the middle, it will protect the core of the diaper from transferring wetness. For prefolds, if you are trifolding just lay them on top, between the baby and the prefold, if you are folding the prefold around:

1) lay the fleece liner in the middle of the diaper, place the baby on it, so you see the front half of the liner (the back half is under their bottom)
2) flip that front half of the liner up over their belly, almost as if they were wearing a pantyliner, so the top of the liner comes close to their belly button)
3) now fold your prefold around the baby, if you don’t flip the liner up it will get twisted in the prefold and not work (especially if you are doing the bikini twist)

Now, depending on the severity of the sensitivity to wetness, this may not be enough. It will protect their middle skin/genital area, but if they get rashy on their hip and belly, the liner won’t help with that if the diaper is getting really soaked. In this situation, I would first try to increase absorbency, if you can keep the wetness mostly in the middle by adding some extra hemp inserts, it cuts down on the wetness going to the sides of the diaper, and with the fleece liner may be enough to keep the rash at bay.

With any rash, please seek the advice of your doctor for any itching, cracking, bleeding, blisters or peeling. This rash is very mild to treat and will go away quickly with the use of fleece liners, if it is at all serious or painful looking it does need to be diagnosed.

November 18, 2011. cloth diapers, Diaper Chatter, Diaper Rash, Q & A. 1 comment.

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.