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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 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.
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 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 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 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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!