Confessions of a Cloth Diaper Mama: Diaper Rash Troubles

Okay, its confession time.

For the sake of not being too graphic, and for obvious reasons, this post won’t have any pictures of my poor little girl’s tushy. But trust me when I say it gets bad. Really bad.

To start with, you have to understand that Eden has a milk allergy. When she has a reaction, a couple of things inevitably happen. She gets mucousy/diarrhea poos that last for about 2 weeks, and she gets a rash. This rash sometimes clears quickly, but usually hangs around for as long as the reaction does due to the consistency of the poos. And then it can be really hard to clear up… It is not fun at all. Also, I have learned that my girl is *really* sensitive to her skin being wet.

I loved my hemp Best Bottom diaper inserts for their absorbency, but not so much for their moisture wicking capabilities. The main downside to hemp, is it feels wetter against skin. And apparently, Eden just can’t handle the amount of wet, especially overnight. So you can see how with a milk allergy, and sensitive skin, sometimes cloth diapering has been a challenge. Also, she almost always poops in the early morning, so she doesn’t necessarily get changed right away because she just doesn’t wake up. By morning time, she has a rash. This led to terrible rash cycles.

So bad, I almost abandoned cloth diapering completely. And you know how I love cloth!

We tried everything. Earth Mama Angel Baby Bottom balm, not enough. Coconut oil, not enough. Fleece liners to wick moisture, not enough. Biodegradable liners to lift off poo, not enough and poo stayed against her skin too much and the material makes her skin red. Using zinc oxide creams applied in *very* thin layers and using biodegradable liners, not enough. (The idea being you can use the zinc oxide creams with a liner to protect your diaper, and then toss the liner. But this solution didn’t give her enough of a barrier from the wet and the poo.)

When her skin gets like this, it can actually get to the point of breakdown and open skin. You can see why I was getting so incredibly frustrated. I just couldn’t keep her skin clear. So then I broke down, decided I couldn’t keep cloth diapering her out of sheer stubbornness when she was suffering for it, and put her little hiney in disposables for about 2 months. It took a while of extra strength Desitin to clear up her little hiney, and then I didn’t want to put her back in cloth yet because she was still having the occasional milk reaction poo. Once we were clear of rashes and reactions for a little while, I decided to give cloth another chance, but making some changes.

I have started revamping my stash, so that it is primarily microfleece inserts with hemp doublers. It turns out this is the perfect solution for us. Because she wets so heavily at night, the hemp gives her the absorbency she needs. But because she is so sensitive, the hemp is on bottom and never against her skin. The microfleece goes against her skin, and provides the moisture wicking she needs. And I am very happy to report she has been almost completely rash free!

The other night an edge of hemp did peek out from under the fleece and ended up against her leg, so I put her in disposables for a couple of days, lathered her up with Desitin, ad we are clear again! Hooray! I am so, so thrilled we have finally found a solution that works! At the first hint of rash, we switch straight to disposables until she clears up, and then back to cloth. I will take it! I was getting really sick and tired of buying all those diapers! They are crazy expensive. I am much happier using them only when necessary for a rash, and using cloth the rest of the 95% of the time. Yay cloth!

I also talked to the lady at my favorite cloth diaper store, Baby Cotton Bottoms for the locals, who suggested a few things. The one I am most interested to try is raw silk liners. Apparently they have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and are incredible as rash healers! And at only $3 ea, I think I may have to grab up a few of these the next time I am in there. It would be a nice alternative to switching to cloth every time she gets a rash, and a good bit cheaper, too. In fact, the lady at the store said her son was pretty sensitive too, so she just put him in one of these at nights and nap times and they were able to stay rash free. I might just have to give these a shot. If I do, I will definitely let you know what I think!

Have you had trouble with diaper rash? What worked for you? Its just terrible, isn’t it? But I am so glad to have my little girl healthy again! Yay!

Woolzies Dryer Balls GIVEAWAY!!!

Because I love Woolzies so much, and want to share them with you, I’m hosting a Woolzies Dryer Balls Giveaway! And this just makes my heart all warm and fuzzy inside :)

Entering is easy, just enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. A random winner will be selected and contacted about their fabulous prize! This giveaway is available worldwide, so share with your friends, people!

For more information about what Woolzies are, see my product review.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Product Review: Woolzies Dryer Balls

Woolzies Dryer Balls are exactly that. Dryer balls made out of 100% wool. They shorten drying time and are a natural fabric softener. So instead of using dryer sheets, which cause build up and shouldn’t be used on towels or things like cloth diapers, wool dryer balls are completely natural, don’t leave any build up or residue, and help to shorten the drying time of your load.

As a fabric softener, these are absolutely just as effective as dryer sheets, but I can also use them on my towels and cloth diapers, which I love! I love that I can put them in with Eden’s diapers to help keep them nice and soft for her little sensitive bum.

They are advertised as helping with static cling, but I can’t say I have personally experienced that. Although, I do live in a dry climate, and don’t really have much luck in this area with dryer sheets either. So, maybe its just my dryer or where we live, who knows…

As far as drying time is concerned, I have definitely noticed a difference. The caveat here is that you need a minimum of 6 dryer balls to shorten drying time, and more = shorter drying. For our family, I have noticed about a 20% decrease in drying time of big loads. This is especially true for a larger load. I have been able to decrease the heat used to dry my laundry as well as a shorter time. For our cloth diapers (as long as I am doing the full load) the drying time has decreased from 90-100 minutes to 70-80. These do still need to be on high heat but I am pretty happy with a 20 minute shorter time frame!

For a regular load, I have been able to decrease everything by one heat setting from what I used to dry them at, as well as about a 20% shorter time frame. I will go ahead and note that if I am doing a smaller load, especially with the diapers (but also everyday laundry), it doesn’t necessarily seem to help a whole lot. The smaller load still seems to take about 100 min to dry, but they do come out nice and soft :)

Another thing you can try is adding essential oils like lavender to the balls, and it only takes a couple of drops. This gives your laundry a nice scent. I haven’t tried this yet, purely because I haven’t bought the oil yet, but I have heard great things about this method and fully intend on trying it out. Once I do, I’ll give you an update!

Grade = A- Yes I would definitely recommend these! And look forward to adding some essential oils for a nice scent :)

Pros: Overall, I have been very pleased with the Woolzies Dryer Balls. In the long run, they are much cheaper than dryer sheets and don’t cause buildup or residue. I have seen a shortened drying time and decreased heat settings. Everything definitely comes out comfy and soft! Cheaper than dryer sheets when spread out over time. They are also hypoallergenic.

Cons: I have not noticed any difference as far as static is concerned, and some things even seem a bit more staticky. I also have not had decreased drying time for the smaller loads of laundry (which is the opposite of what is advertised, maybe I should do a time trial comparison…) More expensive upfront cost compared to dryer sheets at $35/set of 6.

 

P.S. See their website for additional information and purchasing options (set of 3/6).

P.P.S. It is important to note that while I was given a free set of Woolzies Dryer Balls to write this review, all opinions expressed are strictly my own. I had already heard great things about them and wanted to give them a try.

Did vs Didn’t, Seeing the Positive

So I have discovered today that something I really struggle with is seeing the positive. Instead of seeing how much work I have gotten done, I can only see how much there is that still needs to be done. Today I had a wonderful friend come over to help me clean. She saw my first blog post and told me, “I love cleaning so much! Can I please come help you?!” I mean, my goodness, who would say no to that?! So today she came over to help clean. But instead of seeing how much we had accomplished in only about an hour an a half, I saw how much more needed to be done in my entire house.

This morning I made the bed. Today we scrubbed two bathrooms. Tonight I did the dishes. But what did I see? That the laundry wasn’t done. Eden’s highchair tray needed to be washed. The window sill in front of my sink is dirty. The floor isn’t swept. And on. And on. And on.

This needs to stop. If I am going to accomplish the goals I have for myself, and achieve a clean and orderly house for my family and my children, this must stop. I need to see what I *have* done. Not what I haven’t. Because there will always be something that didn’t get done.

But today Jd and I are able to look back and laugh at how incredibly messy we were in college. I mean guys, it was bad. I really was *that* roommate (once again, sorry about that guys!) But I am so incredibly determinded to change this pattern in my life! And I can positively say that I have come a *very* long way!!!

And so, for the hilarious moment of my day, but one that could bring an impressive amount of accountability…
I was brought into my manager’s office today for the yearly employee evaluation. Now since I am a new employee, we aren’t evaluating past goals, but coming up with goals for this next year. I was asked to come up with two goals, one work related, and one personal. The work related was pretty easy really, I want extra education in our area (trauma). The personal is a bit funnier.

I decided that my goal should be doing the dishes every night (since that is what I have the hardest time with) but was quickly informed (through chuckles) that it somehow needed to be a measurable goal. So that means, I need a chore chart? Like I’m in kindergarten? Okay, yeah, maybe I do need one… Fortunately she didn’t feel like a chore chart for the whole year was quite necessary, but at least a month or so.

With this in mind, I have decided to find some super cute chore chart to help me stay motivated and accountable. Maybe a Melissa and Doug magnetic one? Maybe this one? We shall see… Any fun ideas that have worked well for your family? I will let you know how it goes!

Scrub-a-dub Tub

Let me start this post off by saying that you don’t realize how truly gross your bathtub is until you have taken a nice camera with a good flash, and taken a picture of said bathtub. So…

We have all seen those posts on facebook that claim that baking soda is the most magical bathroom cleaning agent in the world. Well I decided to test that theory. Enter gross bathtub.

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 Really, really gross bathtub

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So gross, I’m a bit embarrassed to put these online…

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But here goes nothin’

 

The pinterest ideas say to use blue dawn dish soap (also hailed as one of the most amazing cleaning agents ever, apparently amazing for stripping diapers. To be tried at a later date…) but all I had on hand was Palmolive original dish soap, so I used that. I didn’t measure anything very specifically, just eyeballed everything. I started with the baking soda, and dish soap and then added vinegar until I had the consistency I wanted (paste-like).

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Since my tub was so bad, I wasn’t convinced that just applying it and then rinsing off after a few minutes would actually work. I decided to scrub the concoction into the tub walls (using a basic Ikea scrub brush) and then let it sit.

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I scrubbed pretty much everything, including the faucet and soap dish.

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After scrubbing, I let it sit for probably an hour (the baby was not interested in cleaning at this time, so it sat for longer than was probably necessary) and then just rinsed it off with the shower head. Unfortunately, one pass didn’t quite do the trick.

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And Eden decided to join me as I did a second application. This time, the results were much better (probably would have been even more dramatic if I hadn’t run out of baking soda. I used an entire box). And now I have a nice clean bathtub that I’m not afraid to bathe my baby in!

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Admittedly, it isn’t perfect and the walls could use some love, but that’s all I got done for this day. And it spurred me on to a fun craft to add some decoration to Eden’s bathroom (more on that later! Stay tuned, it’s pretty much adorable!)

P.S. It worked really well on the sink too. Yay clean bathroom!! IMG_1961.JPG