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FAQ: Doesn’t Using Cloth Diapers Lead to Rashes?

Posted by Becca on 11/11/2011 to Baby Wearing

The answer to that is a resounding no.

Diaper rash happens when a baby sits in their own urine or feces for too long. A baby is not meant to stay in a diaper until it explodes. A diaper should be changed every time it is soiled. When that doesn’t happen, rashes inevitably occur.

In disposable diapers, rash happens because a baby is not changed soon enough or because of the chemicals that react with a poor baby’s skin. Some baby’s just have sensitive skin and are allergic to the chemicals in disposable diapers so their pediatricians prescribe cloth diapers as a remedy. But a lot of babies get rashes in disposable diapers because the absorbent chemicals not only wick unwanted urine away from their skin, but the baby’s natural moisture as well.

With disposables, you really have to use rash cream every time to create a barrier between your baby’s skin and the diaper. With reusable diapers, no barrier is needed. In the first place, cloth diapers are less prone to causing rashes because they don’t rob a baby of the moisture that they need. But the main reason that cloth diapered babies get less diaper rash is because the diaper feels wet when it’s been soiled so it gets changed more often.

The rumor that cloth diapers produce rashes is a fallacy and absolutely untrue. My daughter gets diaper rash for sure, but it’s only occasionally and generally caused by my failure to catch a poopy diaper in time, or by sheer laziness. When she does get rash, I’ve found that it makes it worse to put her in a disposable and lather her with rash cream because her skin reacts to the chemicals in the diaper.

The best thing for her is to go coverless, to use natural fibers such as cotton and wool, or to use a small bit of rash cream with her cloth diapers and put a diaper liner or a baby wipe between her bottom and the diaper to prevent buildup on the diaper. If diaper rash is the only thing preventing you from using cloth on your baby, you needn’t worry about it any more. It’s just a rumor. You’re actually doing your baby’s skin a favor by switching to cloth!

Meet Rebecca!

Becca G is a guest blogger for the Cloth Diaper Blog. Becca is a part time Spanish Teacher, a part time Stay-at-home-mom, and the wife of the best husband imaginable. Becca’s absolute favorite thing to do is to spend time with her little family. She also enjoys doing anything crafty – from making jewelry, to writing, to sewing, to photography.

Looking for adorable handmade wool soakers and more? Visit Becca’s Etsy shop: clothdiapermommy .