Diaper Accessories

Best Diaper Cream for Cloth Diapers – Safe Creams for Cloth

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One thing many people do not realize when they begin cloth diapering is that the diaper cream they are used to using may no longer be a good choice. Why is that? Some ingredients used in rash creams are oily and do not come off with regular laundry detergent. Rash cream that does not wash off completely can cause repelling and leaks. Rest assured, there are many great safe creams for cloth diapers. The best diaper cream for cloth diapers is a personal preference, but in the list below you will find the top rated ones!

Side note: If you accidentally use a cream on your diaper that isn’t recommended, do not worry too much. A one time use is not likely to cause an issue. If it does, you can use a grease-fighting soap like Dawn to scrub the diaper with.

Cloth Diapers Reduce Rashes

Before we get into different rash creams, let’s rejoice over the fact that cloth diapers have the potential to actually reduce the amount of diaper rashes a baby gets. Cloth diaper materials are far more breathable than disposables, and air flow is the best thing to treat and prevent rashes.

Some people that have tried cloth felt their baby got more rashes that way. If that is the case, it is likely an issue with your wash routine or laundry detergent, not the fact that you used cloth instead of a disposable. Also, sometimes skin might look a little red, especially in places where the elastic sits on the skin. That is not actually a rash. Minor red indents are normal and not harmful in the slightest. Think about when you wear socks and then take them off–sometimes you might notice some red indents where the opening of your sock sat on your ankle or leg. That is normal and can happen with diapers, too. It’s not harmful, and it’s not a rash.

All of that said, sometimes rashes happen. Both of my children got the WORST rashes when cutting a tooth. THE WORST. I still shudder when I think about it. But as long as they weren’t cutting teeth, their bums were very happy. For those times you need some ointment, here are your best choices.

Grandma El’s Diaper Rash Ointment

grandma-els

Grandma El’s goes on really smoothly, which is nice when the baby doesn’t like you touching the rash. It provides a great barrier against moisture and works to soothe irritation. It isn’t messy at all, which is my favorite part.

It is fragrance-free and great for sensitive skin. Grandma El’s is a hypo-allergenic formula that works well for almost all babies. This cream is a great choice for an all-purpose diaper cream to have on hand at all times.

Boudreaux’s Butt Paste – All Natural (Green Tube)

boudreauxs-butt-paste

As you may know, there are several varieties of Boudreaux’s Butt Paste. The kind that is best for cloth diapers is the All Natural (or the green tube) variety.

This cream is preservative and paraben free, and it is made with only 8 simple ingredients. There is no petroleum or other harsh ingredients. There is a pleasant amount of aloe to soothe irritated baby bums. One thing I love about this brand is it is easy to find in any store if you need some ASAP.

CJ’s BUTTer


CJ’s BUTTer is a popular choice among cloth diapering parents because it is an extremely versatile cream that can be used for a number of issues outside of diaper rash, like eczema or cradle cap. You can get it unscented or scented with natural essential oils. This cream has no sulfates or parabens. CJ’s BUTTer is nicknamed by some “the miracle in the tub.” It’s great for more than just babies! Pregnant mamas can slather it on itchy skin. You can use it for dry, rough hands and soothe and prevent wind burn. Some people even use it as a hair treatment! Basically, there is a lot of things you can do with this cream that are even cooler than spreading on a baby butt. It’s a cream worth having on hand, that’s for sure.

Burt’s Bees Multipurpose Ointment


Burt’s Bees Multipurpose Ointment is a great choice for cloth diapers. Note–this is different from their diaper cream. Make sure you get the multi-purpose ointment, not the diaper ointment! This is another all natural cream with coconut oil and beeswax to help soothe irritated skin. It can be used for eczema, scratches, cuts, and any irritation. Burt’s Bees is a trusted brand and usually isn’t too hard to find in stores around town.

California Baby Diaper Rash Ointment


California Baby is another natural brand of baby products. Their diaper rash ointment is a soothing blend of zinc oxide and essential oils. It can be found at many grocery stores–I know my Target carries it! There are no petroleum based ingredients, and it is free of synthetic fragrance. This cream is a popular choice among many moms.

Options Outside of Store-Bought Creams

There are other ways to soothe baby bums outside of diaper cream, too.

  1. Lanolin–nursing mamas may already have this on hand as it’s a common cream used to soothe sore nipples. You can use it to help soothe and provide a moisture barrier for baby’s bottom, too.
  2. Coconut Oil–this is also a common household item known for it’s moisturizing and healing properties. This is also perfectly safe to use on babies!
  3. Air time–When my sons’ teething rashes would get really bad, I found diaper-free air time to be essential. Is there potential for disaster? Yes. But nothing heals a rash better than airflow.
  4. Baking soda baths– You can add 1/2 cup to 1 cup of baking soda to the bathtub, depending on the side of the bath. The baking soda will help soothe the rash. After the bath, I found letting baby have some air time to be very beneficial.

I hope you now have some ideas of cloth diaper-friendly ways to treat and prevent rashes. Do you have any rash tips or tricks to share? Leave them in the comments below!

the-best-diaper-creams-for-cloth-diapers

Holly Lee

I'm Holly and I'm the mom of two awesome young boys with a girl due summer 2020. We have been cloth diapering for 6 years. My family and I live in Minnesota with our dog, Ruby, and cat, Gherkin. Outside of Rocking the Cloth, I am also a middle school teacher. Thank you for visiting Rocking the Cloth--feel free to email me at holly@rockingthecloth.com if you have any questions or concerns. I'd love to help!

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14 Comments

  1. Wow, I had no idea about all of the different alternatives for safe creams for cloth diapers. You provide a lot of great tips and insights for parents who are going through this or have yet to go through this process. You also bring up a great point in the laundry process that can contribute to a rash. It looks like you have another article on that, which is great. I appreciate the value you provide in this article. Keep up the great work!

    1. Thanks Daniel!

  2. Holly, this is such a great article for those of us in the diaper wearing phase of parenthood! i have thought of making the switch to cloth diapers, and this post was very encouraging!

    1. Thank you Darci! I’m so glad it helped you out! 🙂

  3. Glenys says:

    Thank you for this great article about the best diaper cream for cloth diapers.  (cute fact: We call them nappies in my part of the world!)  We used cloth nappies for my babies and I agree that some creams can leave an oil stain or a “dirty look” to the nappies even after you have cleaned them. It’s nice to know that there are alternatives out there that won’t annoy the baby or stain the fabrics – I “invested” in cloth nappies and wanted to hand them down to my second child.  I have used Bert’s Bees because I think that honey is a great natural healer. It worked mostly for my child.  Other than “air time” I could not work out your #1 recommended product. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Holly Lee says:

      That’s awesome, Glenys! Glad you have had success with Burt’s Bees. To be honest, they’re all excellent creams. The personal favorite in our home is Grandma El’s, but I would happily use any of them.

  4. Lynne says:

    You know, I never used cloth diapers but kind of wish I would’ve considered it at the time. I guess my thoughts have changed since then and I just feel cloth would’ve been a more natural, less harmful (to the earth) way to go about diapering. I totally get how some creams could be really bad for cloth diapers. I used to use Aquaphor on my daughters  and it worked really, really well but it would probably be bad for cloth diapers. I like the list you made. They are made more so from natural ingredients and that definitely sets better with me now. I just had a funny picture reading the one about the CJ’s butter – pictured someone using it on their kid and then slapping some in their hair. 🙂 Thanks for the great list and I can definitely see how it will be very useful to cloth diapering moms!

    1. Holly Lee says:

      Thanks Lynn! I’m glad you enjoyed the article! 🙂

  5. Shane Black says:

    Hi Holly!

    Thanks so much for writing this blog!

    I have a one year old son and he is prone to breaking out with nappy rash when the weather heats up, so it’s super important for me to stay on top of his nappy rash. You provide some good options and information about prevention and treatment, thanks!

    Cheers, 

    Shane

    1. Holly Lee says:

      Glad it helped, Shane! Hope his rash clears up and he stays rash free!

  6. glenda says:

    Hi Holly,

    Thank you for this review article on products that reduces cloth diaper rashes, I enjoyed reading it and gained some valuable information on diaper creams that are especially made for a cloth diaper to ease some laundry issues. And also your review of the different product on diaper creams was indeed helpful, and searching for a diaper cream will be much more hassle free.

    1. Holly Lee says:

      Glad it could help Glenda!

  7. Alexander says:

    Baking soda bath, followed by some air time and then I think Grandma El’s Diaper Rash Cream sounds like the ultimate combo to knock down a baby bum rash.

    I like your article, it is very informative, detailed and easy to read. Now I know just what to do for a baby with a diaper rash or just solid prevention.

    Thank you

    1. Holly Lee says:

      Thanks Alexander! A baking soda bath and airtime really helps a ton!

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