Troubleshooting

Cloth Diaper Mythbusting: Can you use mainstream detergents or not?

by shethinksmedia

mythbusting,cloth diapersCan you use mainstream detergents to wash your cloth diapers?

This week we tackle the next hurdle in a good wash routine, which is detergent choice and amount.

Now, I know throwing in links is an easy way out of this topic, but we have taken time to write up solid and thorough articles on our website and our blog. So, I am going to link you to one article, and then copy/paste the other. Our easy detergent chart and information can be found here:
http://www.abbyslane.com/Cloth-101_ep_42-1.html#Q13

After taking a peek at that, you may be saying “but EVERY manufacturer doesn’t recommend mainstream detergents!“, to which I will answer “but they DO! And we have proof!“, in our article here:

Wash problems generally fall into two categories, tonight we are tackling the problem of the diapers smelling out of the dryer. This is usually caused by one of two problems

1) Wrong detergent

or

2) Not enough detergent.

Let’s start with number one, the wrong detergent. Here are some cliff notes for choosing a detergent:

  • Powders generally rinse out easier than liquid
  • The more natural the detergent, generally the less effective it will be with very few exceptions
  • Free and clears, especially liquid ones, can be notorious for buildup.
  • Mainstream powders and liquids are *fine* to use, you do not have to use a cloth diaper detergent to get your diapers clean.

Over 9 years of troubleshooting wash issues with thousands of clients, and our own 6 babies, we find one detergent leading the pack over and over again. Tide.
Tide? Before you shoot the idea down completely, take a peek at who else recommends Tide:

Fuzzi Bunz (recommends Tide Free, over 10 years in the business):
http://www.fuzzibunz.com/faq.php#wash9

Tiny Tush (over 10 years in the business):
http://www.tinytush.com/How-To-Wash-Cloth-Diapers_ep_51-1.html

Rumparooz (over 5 years in the business):
http://www.kanga-care.com/Cloth-Diaper-FAQ_ep_42-1.html#howto

GroVia (over 10+ years in the business):
https://www.gro-via.com/detergents.html

And for giggles, back when we opened in 2004 we (Abby’s Lane) started to advise Tide:
http://web.archive.org/web/20041021193833/http://www.lovebums.com/faqs.php

That being said, if you hate the idea of Tide, try another mainstream store powder, even a generic one if it fits the budget better. Worst case scenario, you strip and start over. In our first link we discuss some “green” detergents that work well, including Country Save and Planet, many of our eco-friendly households use those with a good amount of success.

The second part of this equation is using enough detergent. Unless you are using Rockin Green or Thirsties super wash, 1-2 tablespoons will not cut it. You have to use enough detergent to get them clean ( I use to the 3 line on my Tide powder ultra scoop for a load of diapers).

On January 24th, Bummis (over 20 years in the biz) had on their Facebook page:

Had a wonderful discussion with Steve “the detergent guru” again. We discussed how many people recommend using so little detergent and recommend Dawn to strip detergent residues from “suede cloth”, microfiber and other synthetics.

He does not believe it is a “detergent” residue that is causing repelling or stink in these synthetics. He believes what is really happening is that consumers are crea…ting a self-filling prophecy by not using enough detergent. This leads to microscopic soil being left behind. In fecal matter there are oils/fats from digestion. Polyester loves fats and oils and forms a chemical bond with them. If you are using too little detergent to release this soil, you will then get a microscopic build up of oils on the surface of the fabric eventually causing it to repel or stink.

While great at releasing grease on solid surfaces (think dishes) Dawn is not super effective on fabric. Hence it would work with a mild build up of oils causing repelling/stink but not on all cases. Best to avoid oily build up by using enough detergent to release oils from synthetics and enough rinsing/water to get rid of all detergent/soils left behind in the wash cycle.

Make sure you are using enough, remember that seeing suds does not mean you are using too much. Some detergents are more sudsy than others, unless you have odors with the diapers out of the dryer or once freshly peed in, don’t sweat the suds! Really, if you don’t smell anything, don’t lift the lid, don’t even peek at the rinse cycle. If they smell great out of the dryer, and once freshly peed in, don’t worry about suds.

Email us with questions! Next week we wrap with final rinsing and drying!


Cloth Diaper Mythbusting: Washing diapers, Do you need a pre-rinse?

by shethinksmedia

mythbusting,cloth diapers

Washing Tips and the pre-rinse cycle!

This week we start a series on washing issues and the “right” routine for you and your baby.
To do this, we will tackle each step in the wash cycle, this week focuses on the prerinse. The prerinse cycle is a short 2-3 minute cycle that sprays down your diapers and spins the water out. No detergent is used, or should be added.

We advise that our customers do a WARM prerinse to begin their wash routine. In years past, we actually advised doing a hot pre-rinse, the reason for hot being that many water heaters didn’t get up to 120 in the pre-rinse, so setting it to warm gave you “just above cold” temperature water, setting it to hot gave you the higher temperature that is needed. In recent years with more sophisticated machines, we are adjusting our advice to say warm pre-rinse, not hot or cold.

If you don’t have the option for a warm or hot pre-rinse, you can do a little trial and error to see if your water conditions make it better to skip the pre-rinse completely ( I would advise using a diaper sprayer to rinse the poopy diapers individually before going in the pail if that is the case), or using a cold pre-rinse. Depending on how “pre-cleaned” the diapers are from your sprayer, many customers found they could eliminate this step completely, however if you don’t have that option or are running into issues getting them cleaned, opt for the cold. I would say for HE machines, go with the cold over opting out of the pre-rinse, if your machine is water efficient using as many rinse cycles as you can will help in the water-efficient wash cycle.

Bummis has a great article for some of the science behind the warm pre-rinse:
http://blog.bummis.com/2011/10/laundry-science.html#!/2011/10/laundry-science.html

In our practical experience and lots of testing with our customers, we found the cold pre-rinse set in stains and make it much harder to wash the fresh feces and urine out of the diapers. Switch your pre-rinse, see if it helps. If your water heater doesn’t get very hot, consider doing a hot pre-rinse to boost those temps a little.

Next week we go past the pre-rinse into the wash routine itself.
Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!
Stephanie
www.AbbysLane.com


Cloth Diaper Mythbusting: Is there such a thing as a truly cloth diaper safe rash cream?

by shethinksmedia

mythbusting,cloth diapersIs there such a thing as a cloth diaper safe rash cream?

Last week we tackled the myth of having to start over if your child shows a fabric sensitivity, by employing fleece or flannel liners (depending on why the child is reacting).  This leads into this week’s topic that you are restricted on diaper creams you can use with your cloth diapers. *BUT* you do need a liner.

Unfortunately we have yet to encounter one single diaper cream we can safely say “across the board” will not cause any problems.  Diaper creams work because they cause a barrier against wetness and your baby’s skin. This causes problems with cloth diapers because they can adhere to the fabrics and cause a barrier against the diapers absorbing urine. This is referred to as “buildup”.

But, there are some ways around this:

What we recommend, is the fleece liner system, or flannel liner if your baby is allergic to fleece, to use any cream you wish with your diapers. We do sell fleece liners, but you can make them for pennies (flannel, too). At your nearest fabric store, get a yard or so of fleece or flannel, and cut into rectangles to fit your diapers, roughly 15 x 5 inches. Fleece doesn’t need to be sewn on the edges, flannel does because it frays. Make a bunch, about two dozen. Put the cream directly on these liners, against your baby’s skin. Keep a grocery bag or wet bag handy just for these liners once they are used, don’t mix them with the rest of your diaper laundry. Wash separately from the diapers, so the creams don’t rinse off in the wash cycle and adhere to your diapers~

After about a week, check the liners. If they are slimy, stained and smelly, continue using this system, or try another cream to test. If they are washing clean, it is safe for your diapers :)
Even if you find a cream that is washing out clean, hang onto these liners. If you run into a medical issue and wish to continue using cloth, you may not have the option of a cloth-safe cream. Yeast, ezcema and antibacterial creams can all be very thick and tacky, so keep those liners handy to keep your baby in fluffy diapers without causing a headache to wash~
Washed your diapers with creams and having odor and buildup issues? Shoot us an email at Abbysane@aol.om!


Cloth Diaper Mythbusting: Do you need to prep or pre-wash certain natural fabrics?

by shethinksmedia

mythbusting,cloth diapers

This week I want to start a series of “Cloth Diaper Mythbusting” articles, to ensure our customers are getting good information on how to use and treat their cloth diapers, and also make it easy and fun to do so.

This week I want to focus on the topic of…

PRE-WASHING NATURAL FIBERS

A topic that can be very confusing and overwhelming for a new customer, especially if you are purchasing a mix of fabrics. If you have bamboo, Cotton, Hemp or other combinations of these 3 fabrics, your diapers are considered “natural fibers” and ideally should get 1-2 pre-washings with your household items before using/washing them with the rest of your stash. You will read on other websites about very complicated ways to pre-wash things 6-7 times on hot with lots of detergent, or these “oils” will rinse out of your new natural fibers onto existing diapers and cause everything to leak.

Let’s start with a few points to remember:
1) If it is stay-dry, it isn’t natural. Polyester fabrics such as microfleece or suedecloth do not require any pre-washing at all, if you wish to do so once to wash off manufacturing residues or fluff them up,  that is fine, but technically they are good to go right out of the mailer.
2) If you completely forget pre-washing steps, it can be fixed. There isn’t much you can do to your cloth diapers, short of cutting the up or setting them on fire, that isn’t fixable. Just send us an email and we will figure it out 😉

For years now I think “they” have scared new customers into overestimating the powers of natural fibers in diapers and inserts. “They” referring to online support forums for cloth diapering families, even manufacturers and other retailers. One, two, three and four new natural fiber inserts or diapers just do not have the power to completely ruin an entire stash of diapers. Could they possibly not be in peak shape to absorb themselves?  Possibly, but I have seen too many people pre-wash one or two inserts 6-7 times before using them, which is a huge waste of time and water. If your wash routine is so sensitive to one or two inserts coating your existing 15 other diapers in the washing machine, you do not have a good wash routine. By the time you introduce a good detergent, hot water and several minutes of agitation, those tiny, tiny amounts of natural oils aren’t going to do anything to your diapers.

-PLEASE, DO NOT BOIL ANY OF YOUR DIAPERS-

There are far easier and less hazardous ways to prewash your diapers. Boiling will melt snaps, melt elastic, melt PUL, and greatly shorten the life of your fabrics, PLUS, it introduces a potentially dangerous situation trying to boil fabric on your stove. Take your diapers and/or inserts, wash them with your household laundry once, then after that wash and use them with your other diapers. There are VERY few exceptions to this, at Abby’s Lane I would say those exceptions are GroVia soakers and Sloomb/Sustainablebabyish Bamboo Overnight Fitteds. Now, do the exceptions listed there get 6-7 washings? No way, 3-4 is fine, and truly if you are using them during daytime periods where you can change as needed, do them 1-2 times and get them going in your rotation. They will get better with age.

For pre-washing, no detergent is needed, just warm to hot water, these temps combined with agitation will do the trick, which is why washing them with household items is ideal.

Now, some of you will follow this advice and start seeing leaks on your diapers? If this is the case, before you think your other diapers are repelling due to natural fiber oils and need to be “stripped”, please read this article on our blog, I am even going to copy/paste the relevant part for you below.

Stripping: We are going to cover how to strip the diapers.
Stripping refers to an action of doing something to the diapers to disinfect or strip them from detergent buildup, ointment buildup, old feces or urine buildup, fabric softener, basically anything that is hindering absorbency. Today I am going to review what does need to be stripped versus what doesn’t.

Many times, truly most times, when a customer thinks the diaper needs to be stripped, it is actually a scenario where more absorbency is needed, or the fit is incorrect for the baby. You do NOT need to strip if:

  • The diapers leak, but more than 30-60 minutes has passed
  • The diapers leak, but the entire diaper/fitted or insert is wet
  • The diapers leak but do not have odors to them

If you are having leaking but find that the above fits, you likely have an absorbency or fit issue, not a need to strip. Very, very rarely will buildup occur without an accompanying odor. If you have enough buildup left to hinder absorbency, you will be trapping old feces and urine, and it will stink. What may be a cause a need to strip is:

  • Odors out of the dryer, or once freshly peed in.
  • Leaking within the first few minutes of the diaper being on.
  • Leaking and the diaper is wet in spots only.
  • Use of creams, and you can see and smell spots where ointment has been.
  • Use of the wrong detergent, this is also evident when you take the diapers out and they have a sticky or tacky feel to them, almost like they are coated with something.

I like to highlight the odor key in all of this, remember you cannot ever mask the smell of poop. You can spray perfume on it, put bleach spray on it, it will smell like perfumed and bleached poo. It is incredibly rare when we see buildup not accompanying odors, it can happen, but really is very rare. If you suspect buildup and do not have any odors, we will first go the route of more absorbency/checking the fit. If you strip and it is an absorbency or fit issue, you won’t solve anything and be right back where you started with leaky diapers.

I do want to throw one more tidbit in,I see websites promoting the “water drip test” to see if your diapers are repelling. The idea being you dribble a few drops of water on the diaper, if it doesn’t sink in right away the diapers need to be stripped. The truth is I can do this on my perfectly fine pocket diapers and you won’t see it sink in, the pressure of the baby against the diaper pushes urine into it, so don’t rely on that test to see if you have buildup and need to strip.

There was a method that was very popular a few years ago in stripping, and I sincerely hope it has completely died out but I know some still recommend it. It involves using your dishwasher to strip the diapers. Now, this is a fire hazard, and will render your snaps and elastic pretty useless, so under no circumstances should you ever put your diapers in the dishwasher, please please please.

Another popular method is to put Dawn dish soap in the washing machine. We don’t recommend this either, your washing machine wasn’t made for dish soap, it is high sudsing and can clog the hoses. If you have a new washer under warranty you could void it. We have had customers who used Dawn, and when their machine broke and the repairman came, it was very easy to tell soap had been used, and the warranty was voided, so please take note of those problems if you go the Dawn route.

What is safer for you and the machine, is to bleach the diapers if you have buildup. 1/3 cup of chlorox in the detergent cycle with clean cloth diapers, and hot water, will take care of the problem. If you have cotton print diapers, dyed fitteds or prefolds, or cotton outer wet bags, you can use color safe bleach. That is the best method to strip, and safe for your machine. For disinfecting purposes, color safe bleach may not be appropriate as it uses hydrogen peroxide rather than chlorine to bleach, but for residue purposes it can work.

Make sure the diapers have been washed and dried, if they are soiled the bleach won’t do much. Once in a blue moon bleach is fine on your diapers, it is when it is used on a regular basis that you see premature wear and tear, just like you would on your clothing. PUL is dye fast and will not bleed from bleach.


Tips for solving cloth diaper ammonia problems!

by shethinksmedia

Last week we wrote a rather lengthy article on Ammonia 101 in our advanced washing tip series, today we will keep it more brief with a solution to solving your ammonia problems.

For any sort of bacterial rash or odor issue, the solution that we advise for your diapers is to disinfect them. Your child may or may not need medical follow up due to these issues, but that decision is best made by your pediatrician. For the diapers though, the solution to ammonia is first to disinfect, then to change the wash routine.

Again, I am going to reference our fantastic washing article on our blog:
http://www.cloththatcounts.com/?p=997

To strip and disinfect the diapers, we recommend using bleach. Chlorine bleach is the only proven disinfectant for bacterial issues, and is safe to use on any of your synthetic fabrics, prefolds, coves or AIOs. The only diaper chlorine bleach can fade is any cotton fabrics that are prints or dyed, but depending on the severity of the rash, it may be a risk you need to take for the safety of your baby’s skin and health. If you have some of these diapers in your stash, you can bleach them with color safe bleach (which uses hydrogen peroxide rather than chlorine to do the bleaching), but if it comes back you may need to consider using the stronger, regular bleach. To bleach your diapers, wash and dry them as normal, then separate into piles of 12 diapers. You want to use 1/2 cup of bleach per 12 diapers per load, so you may need to do multiple loads. No detergent needed in this cycle, then rinse and dry as normal.
There are a number of methods you can research and google that suggest you can use essential oils, vinegar, oxi bleach, natural sunlight, plain hot water, or even drying on high heat to kill bacteria. Our official stance after years of research,working with hundreds of customers over the years, and continual reading on these method is that they are not as effective as chlorine bleach, and again, depending on the severity of the problem, may be the only thing that can fix the problem. A number of manufacturers approve bleach and recommend it for these issues.

I realize bleach isn’t “green”, but it is the more eco-conscious solution than disposable diapers, and when battling bacterial issues you really cannot work around the problem without disinfecting the diapers.

Additionally, we also recommend this treatment be used with any pre-owned diapers you purchase. Yeast and bacteria can live in diapers, and if you are buying from someone other than a family member or friend you know well, it is a process I highly recommend to avoid any contamination to your own child.

Next week we go over the wash routine itself in more detail.

Let us know if you have any questions!

Stephanie
www.AbbysLane.com


Cloth Diaper Washing 101 and Beyond

by shethinksmedia

This week we are diving into wash routine 101 and beyond.

Washing and stink issues continue to lead the majority of our customer service emails and calls, so we know help is always needed in these arenas!

We have our comprehensive overview on or blog here:
http://www.cloththatcounts.com/?p=997

Rather than go point by point as we have done in the past, I am going to go over the most common questions for washing that can be solved using our techniques in that article linked above.

The most common question we get from customers who need help with washing is in reference to ammonia. Now, the first question you have to really answer is whether it is ammonia or strong urine. Many customers we talk to who think they have ammonia will troubleshoot to no avail, then when true ammonia hits they always say “Oh, I had no idea how strong ammonia really is!”

Ammonia will sting your nose and smell very chemical-like. It almost always causes rashes, and can also burn your eyes if you get too close to it. If you can ever whiff cleaning ammonia, it smells pretty close to what diaper ammonia is.

A little Ammonia 101: Our human bodies cannot tolerate ammonia internally, so our bodies convert our urine to other byproducts. When our urine exits our body, and begins to break down, that is when you can get that “strong ammonia” smell. Now, if you combine urine that has exited our body with bacteria (could be internal bacteria, external, old feces from the pail, old feces on the diapers), you get ammonia. You *can* have ammonia in otherwise clean diapers, we have seen this time and time again in toddlers who wear disposables at night and have ammonia present in the morning. The bacteria needed to create that ammonia smell could be present in or on your child.

That all being said, the first step we walk customers through who have ammonia in he diapers is disinfecting the diapers, and re-evaluating the wash routine. 99% of the time this fixes the problem, and for that 1% that are still getting ammonia in perfectly clean diapers, increasing absorbency to break down the concentration of the urine and time the baby is in that diaper is the solution.

TIMES WHEN AMMONIA CAN BE NORMAL, AND ONLY THESE TIMES:
*BUT, please note:  Ammonia burn, rash or chafing is *never* acceptable, it is something we work with many customers to fix, usually by fixing the wash routine or increasing absorbency/breathability depending on why the child is sensitive to the urine.

1) in the diaper pail, when you lift the lid, ammonia wafting can be normal.
2)in the morning diaper. When a diaper has been on for 8+ hours, it can smell of ammonia in the morning.

If your baby pees early in the night, that is 8+ hours of urine sitting in a nice, warm, moist environment, so it will smell in the morning. Adding absorbency to break down the concentration will help, we can also troubleshoot the wash routine, but it still may be the norm for your baby.

To see why the nighttime diaper can smell like ammonia, imagine peeing on a tee shirt (similar to your fitted/prefolds/pocket inserts), wrapping it in a plastic bag (cover/pocket) then leaving it for 8 hours, it would stink to high heaven when you opened the bag, on the flip side, if your had your 2 month old pee in a little tee shirt and did the same thing for 3 hours, the stench wouldn’t be nearly as much, hence why your newborn never had this problem but at 17 months does (volume/concentration/age factors)

For the pail, it can vary based on lots of things, if you keep an open pail in a broom closet and wash toddler diapers every 3-4 days, your odors will be very different from a closed pail in a larger ventilated room washing every 1-2 days. Buildup-free diapers still do this in pails, it doesn’t matter how clean they are going in, if you have the right combination of volume and age in urine, it can produce the same effect just given time. I see “have an open pail” as frequent advice for preventing ammonia, but air doesn’t do anything to prohibit bacterial growth. A closed lid pail isn’t airtight, even if it has a lockdown feature, unless you vacuum seal it after each time you put a diaper in, you allow lots of air flow in the pail to open and close the lid every 90 minutes to a few hours, plus the lid itself doesn’t seal air out, so it is fine to have a closed-lid pail (this is beneficial for other reasons than containing odors, like keeping out bugs-yes it does happen-and exploring little children).  When you have an open pail, the odor just has more room to dissipate in, and not hit you in the face when you open the lid, so if you are happy with your closed-pail lid there is no reason to switch~

Phew! OkY, so we tackled what ammonia is, when it is normal, and when it isn’t. Next week we will get into more washing 101 and beyond tips!

Stephanie
www.AbbysLane.com


Tips and Tricks for keeping baby yeast-free!

by shethinksmedia

Last week we discussed some basic FAQs about yeast, this week we conclude with tips and tricks to keeping baby yeast-free.

Helping keep baby yeast-free

When your child is yeast-free, a great preventative measure during hot weather is to sprinkle corn starch in the diaper area. Corn starch washes out very easily, and poses no laundry issues, and is non toxic and safe to use. Do not do this, however, if your child has existing yeast, or is coming off of a bout of yeast. Corn starch will feed an active fungal infection, making it worse and doing so very quickly.

As far as cloth diaper fibers go, we typically see more yeast cases in natural fibers than in synthetic stay-dry fibers. One side of the table will say that natural is best to increase air flow, as yeast does best in warmer, damp areas. However, the other side says that dampness will cause yeast to get a hold faster and stronger, so it is best to stay in synthetics with frequent changes. Our anecdotal evidence suggests that second theory to be true, while heat and wetness both contribute to yeast, we see more success with stay dry fibers and frequent changes than we do with staying in natural fibers and frequent changes. This will vary by customer though,so if you use natural fibers, don’t give up on the first go around, treat the yeast and see how your baby does with frequent changes and corn starch. Some families have just found adding a fleece liner at nighttime when the baby s in the diaper the longest works best for them to keep the skin drier. If you use synthetics and are battling yeast, natural fibers may provide relief as well. If it is possible, “naked baby” time or going cover-less (with fitteds or prefolds) is beneficial as well, letting them run or roll around to give their skin as much air and light as possible in between changes.

Please email us with any questions, we want your baby to be in cloth, but we want them to more importantly be safe in their cloth, and keeping their skin healthy is at the top of that list :)

Have a wonderful week!
Stephanie
www.AbbysLane.com


Yeast Rash FAQ, How can you tell it’s really yeast?

by shethinksmedia

Last week we reviewed how to treat a diagnosed case of yeast, this week we are going to go over symptoms and some “FAQs” of this skin issue.

Yeast, by definition, is a fungal infection. It loves warm, damp areas of the skin, which makes it perfect for the diaper area and mouth (also known as thrush).

Just a side note here-in nursing babies, if mom (or baby) is on antibiotics, it will be easier to pick up yeast. Yeast can be transferred to baby by mother during nursing, so if you experience sudden pain while nursing, look into thrush as a possible cause to get treatment for yourself.

DISCLAIMER-For any rash that is painful, itchy, bleeding, cracked or blistery, please seek the medical advice and treatment of your doctor or pediatrician, our advice below is just a general overview of yeast, Abby’s Lane does advise a medical professional diagnose and treat your baby for any significant rashes.

Yeast will typically present as a splotchy red rash, it can be all over the diaper area, or only in the “hot spots” on the thighs, around the rectum and in other creases. It may appear to be dry on the surface, with raised bumps accompanying it. In older babies, it may seem itchy. Yeast may also appear as a general redness in these areas, it usually will not respond to over the counter creams, and needs a prescription anti-fungal to clear it.

Yeast can also spread beyond the diaper area, up the torso and into the armpits. If your doctor has prescribed an anti-fungal, you should see a dramatic improvement within 48 hours, if you do not, please consult your doctor for either a stronger anti-fungal, or possibly a second look at the rash.

Over the counter creams for fungal infections as helpful to a point, however you run the risk of having it reform and coming back even stronger if it doesn’t work all the way (we see this with our customers somewhat frequently), so for that reason, we always advise seeking a prescription anti-fungal to get rid of it the first go around.

A few years ago I started to notice a trend in our “yeast” customers and their babies, through their doctors and dermatologists, I noticed a trend that showed babies who dealt with yeast more than once ended up also being diagnosed with mild to moderate eczema. After tracking this for a few years, we now encourage our customers who have dealt with yeast more than once to seek treatment for eczema as well. Eczema is a skin issue that will disrupt the healthy flora of the skin, making it much easier for yeast to start and grab a deep hold of the skin. Treatment is very simple, while using an anti-fungal, you will be given a steroid cream as well. Or, sometimes a “triple cream” is given, which is an anti-fungal, steroid and barrier cream all rolled into one ointment. We see this even in babies and toddlers who have not had eczema anywhere else on their body, it can be specific only to the diaper area.

For this reason, talk to your doctor about it, and see if eczema may be at play as well.
Next week we will go over some other tips and tricks to staying yeast free!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!
Stephanie
www.AbbysLane.com


Tips for common summertime cloth diaper yeast rash

by shethinksmedia

Last we went over our Swim Diaper 101, and were excited to get several emails for customers taking the “plunge” into reusable swim diapers!  This week we are going to switch gears and get into some common diaper troubleshooting issues.

The most common rash issue we tackle is yeast, especially in the warmer summer months. Below is our advice on what to do if you are diagnosed with yeast, next week we will get into some detail as to how to prevent it, troubleshoot it for children who have multiple bouts with it, and other random tips we have discovered over the years of working with our customers.

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 get the diagnosis:

  1. Your doctor will likely prescribe nystatin cream or gentian violet orally, other anti-fungal creams may be used depending on the severity of the rash.
  2. When using one of the above products, we advise moving into disposables until the skin is completely cleared for at least 48 hours. IF the rash is really stubborn, I would advise stretching this to 3-4 days.
  3. During this time, you need to disinfect your cloth diapers. This needs to include cloth diapers, cloth wipes, inserts and other cloth diaper 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.

As always, please email us at abbyslane@aol.com with any questions or concerns and we’re happy to help!


Diaper Chatter, Can cloth diapers make your baby bow-legged? What stinks?

by shethinksmedia

This week we are going to cover some hot topics that many customers will think indicates a problem, but is just the reality for using cloth diapers. In short, this isn’t a problem, so don’t try and fix it.

Now of course, there are exceptions to every rule, if you need to make sure this doesn’t present itself for your baby or your family, please email me at AbbysLane@aol.com and we can go over some possible solutions, but in general, these issues don’t indicate a problem.

AND IN BOLD-please note that our official stance is that a rash or skin issues, or baby being uncomfortable is never the “norm”, so if you are having any of these situations and baby is suffering, it is not considered normal, please email us to troubleshoot some solutions.

1) My diaper pail stinks when I open it!
This can be and in most cases is completely normal. Again, if baby has rashes, OR if your stink is out of the dryer or off the drying line, or in a freshly peed diaper, we have problems. If the stink is in the pail, it can be completely normal. If you are washing every other day or longer, you have feces and urine sitting in a warm, dark and packed pail for 24-36+ hours. Diapers are fabric, and fabric in these contents will stink in these conditions. When you open the pail you will catch a whiff, when you close the lid the problem should be solved.

2) My wet bag stinks when I open it!
See above.   Also normal if the diapers have been in there for several hours, especially poopy ones. If your clean, out-of-the-dryer wet bag stinks, we have a problem, email me to troubleshoot.

3) I used to be able to use a disposable for 4-6 hours, my cloth diapers leak after two. Now, this can be tricky, depending on what you are using the diapers for. Generally speaking, the daytime capacity of a cloth diaper should be 2 hours, less if there is a bowel movement involved of course. Nap time and nighttime are the exception, where you can stuff the diapers to last longer, or use a different system of diaper to last longer. But, in general, you don’t want urine breathing onto their skin for more than two hours at a time. Urine + time+ bacteria=ammonia, and even in stay dry fabrics will breathe onto their skin, breaking down their healthy skim flora and introducing more chances for rashes. We all have times where we need more absorbency, and of course that is fine, but for the majority of daytime purposes, this is considered normal. Less than 2 hours, we may have a fit or absorbency issue, so email me for help.

4) My baby can crawl/walk/sit up in disposables, but can’t in cloth diapers. We get this one quite a bit, concern over milestones that seem to be delayed or impaired by cloth diapers. For the majority of babies this will be the case, but we are talking about a very brief period of time before the skill is mastered in cloth diapers. Disposable diapers have been in use for about 40 years, every generation before wore cloth diapers, many quite bulkier than today’s diapers, and milestones were not a concern. Some options are trimmer than others, but my general advice is if you are concerned, give it 2-4 weeks, 99% of the time you will see them develop to the cloth diapers to meet these milestones, it just takes a little more time and coordination. On the flip side, we often here of much more confident walkers because they are falling down a cushioned bottom.

5) My baby looks bow-legged in cloth diapers! Somewhat similar response above, but with a little more science behind it.  The fact is most babies will appear to be bowlegged, this is completely normal in toddler development:
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=57409
True bow-legged disorders can be diagnosed by your pediatrician, but it is not caused by cloth diapers, even bulky ones.

Additionally, cloth diapers are frequently recommended by doctors to fix hip dysplasia, as they offer the proper spacing for leg and hip development. Babies in disposable diapers with hip dysplasia have to wear braces to space their hips, but modern doctors are more frequently leaning towards recommending cloth diapers for this purpose, as it supports the proper growth for a developing baby.

6)My diaper bag doesn’t work with cloth diapers. Many of the super cute diaper bags out today are really just too…small…so yes, this one is true.   The best diaper bag in our experience is a regular backpack. Easily worn on your back to leave you hands free, nice roomy compartments to carry cloth diapers, durable and can last through lots of washings, and dad won’t balk at lugging it around.

Email us with any questions you have, we are always happy to help make cloth fun and easy for your family, and troubleshooting annoyances or more serious issues is a good place to start~

Have a great week everyone!
Stephanie
www.AbbysLane.com


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