Diaper Rash Creams: The Dirty Cloth Diaper Secret You May Not Know

When my daughter was born, I knew everything there was to know about her cloth diapers. I had maneuvered through the terminology (All-in-ones? Pockets or covers? One size? Snaps or hook-and-loop?) and extensively researched which type and brand would fit our needs. I knew precisely how to wash them in my particular machine and was armed and ready with the right laundry detergent, a sprayer attached to our toilet, and a clothesline waiting patiently in our backyard. I was prepared. Or so I thought. Even with all the meticulous preparation, there was one potential pitfall I hadn't even considered and that almost did me in: diaper rash cream.

It wasn't until my daughter's first diaper rash that I learned the hard way that diaper rash creams and cloth diapers do not necessarily go hand-in-hand. As it turns out, those generous applications of Boudreaux's All Natural Butt Paste did not wash out of her diapers. "But it's all natural!" I cried. "How can this be?" Somehow, despite my research and countless cloth diaper conversations with friends who use them, I had never been warned against using diaper rash cream.

Since then I have learned that there are many brands of diaper rash creams, natural or not, that will stain cloth diapers, coating them and making them less absorbent. Fortunately, however, there are also many brands that work beautifully with cloth diapers.

If you are planning to cloth diaper, take heed. All that money and time spent on the perfect diapers can all be for naught if you've not done your diaper rash cream research.

Check out these great resources for more info:

  • And for those of you who have already made the same mistake that I did, not to worry, Pooters Diapers has a great method for removing staining creams from your diapers.

I have now switched to California Baby Diaper Rash Cream, which proudly claims to be "Cloth Diaper Safe" (and incidentally smells better and seems to work better for my daughter than Boudreaux's anyway). And fortunately for me, after many washings, that Boudreaux's has almost completely come out of most of her diapers.

Have any of you cloth diapering parents out there stumbled across this same problem? Let us know in the comments about your experiences with mixing cloth diapers with diaper rash creams.

MORE CLOTH DIAPERS ON APARTMENT THERAPY:
A Look Inside Cloth Diapers
A Look Inside Cloth Diapers: An Update

(Image: Lauren Pavao)

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Lauren is an aspiring minimalist with a love for design, a former English teacher with a lingering crush on the Oxford comma, a health nut focused on conscious living, and momma to a spunky and spirited little girl oblivious to her role as muse.