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Going Coverless

Posted by Becca on 1/7/2010 to Cloth Diaper How-To

My daughter, Bunny, got a rash.  Not just a little, lets-use-prefolds-and-wool rash, but a rash so bad that it required some naked time and even a thick dose of rash cream.  It was awful.

It was all my fault, too. My precious little daughter normally avoids rashes due to her wonderful cloth diapers, but she’s also the type of baby who doesn’t really mind walking around in her own poop or pee, so she doesn’t exactly let me know if she needs a diaper change.  That, coupled with the fact that she hates getting her diaper changed and fights me tooth and nail meant that I left her in not one, but two poopy cloth diapers for far too long over the course of two days.  So the rash that she got from the first poopy cloth diaper was intensified to open sores and bleeding when I didn’t catch her second poopy diaper in time.

I can’t even begin to tell you how awful I felt.  It was one of those heartbreaking, guilty, mommy-failed moments and I felt like crap.

What’s worse, is that she had just started going to daycare once a week.  The daycare allows her cloth diapers, but mostly because I didn’t really give them much notice or a choice, so cloth is definitely new for some of them, and then here I am bringing in my extremely rashy and scabby cloth-diapered daughter in for them to take care of one morning a week.  I’m sure I’ve scared some of them away from cloth for life!

Ditching the covers

I had to do something to help her poor little bottom heal.  It was just so sad to see, and I was eager to relieve her of the pain and myself of the guilt.  So I went to prefolds or fitteds with a wool cover.  This is better for rashes, of course, than PUL diapers that lack breatheability, but because wool doesn’t feel wet when she pees, I still left her in her pee for too long—mostly because I just wasn’t aware she’d done it.  So I put caution to the wind and went coverless.

Now, I sew fitted diapers and sell them on Etsy, so you’d think I’d have enough of them, but because I use a mixture of everything, I didn’t realize that I didn’t have enough fitteds for her to use them full time.  So I cut and sewed like a madwoman and literally made each diaper just in time for me to have to change her.  It was crazy.  At one point, I’d just run out of fitteds and energy so I used a prefold with safety pins (because you should never use a snappi without a cover).

Lessons learned

We went coverless for a little over a week and as the scabs on her terrible rash healed I learned a little about going coverless. Doing so helps you become more aware of your child’s peeing and pooping schedule.  You usually can tell soon after he or she has gone to the bathroom that they’ve done so.  With pee, the fitted diaper will feel damp.  With poop, you’ll smell it a lot more quickly.  It’s hard to forget or ignore a diaper change this way.

I did not end up with puddles of pee everywhere.  If you use diapers that are absorbent enough, you won’t end up with messes of pee all over your house or on your clothes.  The outside of a soiled fitted diaper feels damp to be sure, but usually it isn’t even enough to dampen my clothing if she is laying against my stomach or perched on my hip.  And if you think your child is a heavy wetter—well, you may be right, but you also might not be changing him or her frequently enough. Sometimes Bunny only peed a little at a time, but did so every half hour to an hour depending on how much she nursed or used her sippy cup.

My daughter’s skin stayed dry most of the time that she was without a cover and her rash was able to heal quickly and for the most part, naturally. Fitted diapers are so much cuter without a cover! I love showing off the pretty prints and designs that normally are only seen at diaper changes!

Since Bunny’s rash went away, we’ve been going coverless a lot more here at home.  First of all, I just love the breathe-ability factor and it really helps me pay attention to her bodily functions.  Second of all, I just love looking at all the little diapers I’ve made or have bought that are so adorable!  We don’t do coverless away from home or at night, but when we’re here during the day, those fitteds get used and my covers gather dust!