Diaper rash…cloth diaper mom or not, we all hate those words. It likely means our baby is in discomfort. Diaper rashes happen from time to time whether you choose disposable or cloth diapers. Teething, viruses, food allergies can all cause a rash to pop out of no where even when you change your baby on a strict schedule. It happens. If you’re using cloth, you may wonder what creams are safe to use with your diapers. And what about those times when you have to use a prescription or doctor recommended cream that isn’t safe for your diapers?
First, let’s talk about why you can’t use any old cream while using cloth diapers. Most of the mainstream diaper rash creams that are readily available in stores contain zinc oxide, petroleum, or other heavy oils which is bad news for cloth diapers. The creams help protect baby’s bottom by repelling moisture, but this also means they stick to the cloth and many times do not wash off, causing repelling in your diapers. It likely won’t happen with just one use, but repeated use will cause the diaper lining to repel liquids. If you’re diaper isn’t able to soak up baby’s pee, then it becomes pretty useless. Sure, you will find mom’s who swear they’ve always used mainstream creams like Desitin and Boudreaux’s full-time without repelling, but repelling is real and it does happen. How do I know? Trust me when I say that throwing away five pocket diapers isn’t cheap and an expensive lesson.
If you happen to use a diaper rash cream that isn’t safe for cloth diapers by mistake, you can try to scrub it off the diaper by hand with a bit of plain dish detergent and a toothbrush. Scrub, scrub, scrub and do your best to get all the greasy cream off your diaper. The dish detergent is great at cutting through the grease with a little elbow grease.
In the case that you need to use a prescription cream or other mainstream cream, simply put a liner in your diaper. I would recommend a disposable liner simply because it decreases the chance that a washable liner with the diaper rash cream will end up in the wash with your diapers. If you do use a washable liner, be sure to wash them separately from your diapers.
Now, let’s talk about creams that are safe for use with your diapers. While you might luck out and have an awesome cloth diaper store in your local area, most of us end up ordering our cloth diapering supplies online. Creams stocked in cloth diaper rash stores have ordinarily been proven safe for cloth diapers time and time again. In many cases, they have been specifically formulated not to cause build-up or repelling. If the cream doesn’t state that it’s cloth diaper safe, I would avoid it.
We tried Babyganics because it was easily available at our local baby store. It did not claim to be cloth diaper safe, but I had read reviews that claimed it didn’t cause repelling or issues on other people’s cloth diapers. It worked great at healing and preventing diaper rash. It didn’t cause any problems at first for us, but a month or two into using it and I had major repelling in some of our diapers. Five of them couldn’t be saved and thus, I lost five diapers. It was a lesson learned. Don’t use it unless the manufacturer claims it’s cloth diaper safe and proven not to repel. You can read a million reviews, but if it doesn’t work for your diapers and isn’t proven, it’s not worth it.
What works for some diapers may not work for others so it’s important to keep that in mind when taking recommendations from other cloth diaper moms. Water hardness, detergent type, wash routines, and diaper types all play a roll in how well diapers perform. Natural fibers, especially flat and prefold diapers, are MUCH easier to clean than pockets and AIO diapers. So what works on one person’s diapers may not work on others.
What are some of the well proven, most loved cloth diaper safe rash creams? Here’s a list of creams that have been used over and over and tend to be proven cloth diaper safe by manufacturers and customers alike. Some manufacturer’s produce creams that are cloth diaper safe, but they may also recommend use of a liner due to staining or possible repelling in diapers. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s specific instructions for use on cloth diapers.
- Classic CJ’s Butter Cream – This is my personal favorite. The scents are divine, the cream works great, and it is proven not to stain or repel. Their spritz works well too BUT has caused repelling in some customer’s diapers so it’s best to stick with the cream for cloth diaper purposes, or at least use a liner with the spray…
- Thirsties Booty Love is full of organic oils and natural herbs, and is proven cloth diaper safe.
- Motherlove Diaper Rash and Thrush has zero toxins and is even safe to be used on nipples while breastfeeding.
- Angel Baby Bottom Balm is vegan, allergy tested, and proven to be cloth diaper safe.
- Grovia Magic Stick is great for moms and dads who prefer not to touch baby’s bottom while applying cream. Just rub it on and it protects and heals.
While cloth diaper parents often see less rashes as cloth allows baby’s bottom to breathe more than disposable diapers, there are creams out there to help out when baby does get a rash. Luckily, most of them contain few to no chemicals and are full of all natural goodness. And even you don’t use cloth, these creams are a great healthy alternative to many of the chemical-laden creams found in big box stores.
*This post contains some affiliate links and my 100% honest, unbiased opinion.
Need a laugh? Check out our Ode To CJ’s over at The Cloth Diaper Whisperer.