A couple weeks ago, my sweet two week old (at the time) son broke out in a nasty diaper rash on his tummy, which quickly spread to his inner and outer thighs, and his right butt cheek. My first thought was, But Im using CLOTH DIAPERS!! And we had been since day one. You see, at birth, the hospital staff slapped a disposable on his brand new bottom and minutes later, to their dismay, he was changed to his Rumparooz Lil Joeys. And that was the last he would see of a disposable diaperor so I thought.
Ive been cloth diapering for a little over a year and Ive only had to deal with one diaper rash. Since I was new to cloth diapering at the time, I did not want to take any chances with diaper cream and liners. As most of you know, conventional diaper creams create a barrier on your cloth diapers which, over time, will prevent absorption and render your diapers useless. So, my solution at the time was to put my little one on waterproof pads and leave her bottom naked for a few days while she healed. Naturally, it made sense to do the same with my baby boy. And then I remembered the incident from two days before...
As I was changing his Diaper Rite prefolds, with absolutely NO warning, he proceeded to sprayyes, SPRAY everything within a foot and half with urine. This included his sweet little face, his hair, clothing, myself, etc. SOscratch the waterproof pad ideaback to the drawing board.
My second instinct was to leave him in prefolds, loosely snappied and coverless so his skin would breathe and hopefully start to heal. I changed him as soon as he would wet, sometimes two or three times an hour. By night, the rash was worse. How could that be?? Again I thought, Im using CLOTH! This isnt supposed to happen, right?? Wellit did. And now I had to act fast before the rash got even worse. Here I was in the middle of the night with no cloth diaper safe diaper cream. What I did have was a tube of Desitin Id gotten from the hospital. In the back of my head I could hear my mothers voice ranting and raving about Desitin being a cure-all for skin ailments, ESPECIALLY diaper rash. Soagainst my better judgment, I slathered his rash with Desitin, *gasp*, and put his little bum in a sposie*double gasp*. (For those that use disposables on a part time basis, please dont take offense!)
This went on for two days and TA-DA!!! My little one had a rash that was just as red and bumpy as it had been two days before, (What? You thought it worked??) except now his skin was peeling away as I tried to wipe the Desitin off his skin completely.
So to the internet I turned.
I had heard of coconut oil being an effective way to treat diaper rash, but I wasnt 100% sure and needed more information. I found out that coconut oil, which I already love in the kitchen, is excellent for cloth diapering as well. It is naturally anti-fungal and anti-microbial and is said to eradicate diaper rashes quickly and effectively! And yes, it is safe for cloth diapers! So I put it to the test.
I went to the pantry and got out my organic cold-pressed extra virgin coconut oil and, still a bit skeptical, I dipped my fingers in it and let the excess drizzle off onto my babys skin. I spread it all over the rash and put his prefold on. This was Saturday afternoon. I continued with this at every diaper change, gently wiping him with cloth wipes and a basic homemade wipes solution (water, liquid castile soap, jojoba oil, tea tree oil, lavender essential oil) and allowing him to dry before applying fresh coconut oil. Sunday morning, there was NO rash. NO redness, NO bumps, NO irritationthere was NOTHING. Just pristine, newborn baby skin. And I was converted.
If that is not enough to get you to at least TRY it, then here are some huge bonuses to using coconut oil:
- Its easy to find. You could probably get it at your local grocery store!
- It washes right out of cloth diapers and a little (a few drops) goes a LONG way.
- It makes your little ones butt smell yummy!
- Its great as a moisturizer for both you and baby.
Please note, coconut oil does become solid at temperatures below 76 degrees. This is not an issue as it melts quickly. Just scoop some of it with your finger and rub on your palm before spreading onto your babys bum. Works like a charm!