cloth diaper dilemma

I think all of you know now how much I love using cloth diapers. There are so many reasons why I do it: health, environment, wallet, aesthetics. . . I have offered you comparisons on different brands that I have tried and now, I’m stuck.

The red marks around Jude’s chunky thighs, around his belly and within the diapering regions have chapped, peeled and turned tomato red, only relieved by wearing disposables with a liberal applications of Eucerin and steroid cream.

At first, I thought it was the detergent, so I made the necessary changes even though I had washed his clothes in that detergent and he wasn’t showing a reaction on the rest of his body. No change. Back to disposables until it healed.

Secondly, I tried switching from the bum genius 3.0 (which I still love) and tried out the Bummis whisper wrap covers with fitted 100% diaper rite cotton prefolds. I really liked using the Bummis and they were much easier to use that I had previously anticipated. The interior diaper zone healed up. Around the thighs and belly stayed raw and chapped, where the polyester exterior met the cotton interior.

I think it’s safe to say that Jude has developed a polyester allergy. The microfiber on the interior of most of the cloth diapers on the market is made of polyester. The waterproof exteriors are made of polyester. I’m not really sure where to go from here. I know I can sell the diapers I have on craigslist and they retain a decent amount of value but I don’t know where to go with that money. I am researching diapers that have outer covers that are wool, but I’m not sure how they work. And dang, they are expensive!!

For those of you who cloth diaper, what has your experience been so far? Any suggestions for me?

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18 Comments

  1. Posted April 28, 2010 at 8:44 am | Permalink | Reply

    I’m so sorry! That’s so frustrating. Just when you get your own system down, something comes up and you have to rethink it all. Not sure what to say about non-polyester diapers, many of the companies don’t list their content so I’m sure it is hard to tell. I do have one Good Mama diaper and I believe they are cotton and bamboo, so maybe not polyester? They are pockets, but the waterproof exterior comes in less contact with the skin because of their design. Might be worth looking into. Not that they are any cheaper though. :-/ Good luck!

    • Elizabeth
      Posted April 28, 2010 at 9:25 am | Permalink | Reply

      I’ll check it out! Thanks!

  2. Laurie
    Posted April 28, 2010 at 11:08 am | Permalink | Reply

    I think that Bun Genius makes an organic diaper. It doesn’t seem like that would have any PLU in it. There are tons of people on Etsy that make cloth diapers, too. Finally, have you considered using prefolds or contours and covering with a wool soaker? You have to change the baby often in cloth anyway, and felted wool is super soft….just my 2 cents…

    • Elizabeth
      Posted April 28, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

      BG does make an organic bum genius but the outer is still the waterproof fabric that’s made out of polyester. I forgot about looking on etsy – I will certainly do that! I have a bunch of prefolds already so I may be giving the wool covers a try – they are about $40 a piece though which seems so expensive! I hear you only need a couple though . . .

  3. Posted April 28, 2010 at 11:28 am | Permalink | Reply

    Oh, I’m so sorry to hear about his allergy. I would recommend wool covers. You really only need three and just handwash in the sink if they get soiled. I recently bought two Imse Vimse wool covers from Wildflower on N. Lamar near the old Whole Foods. I was happy to be able to touch and feel the cover before committing as opposed to buying them online. They also have Mother-ease Sandy’s bamboo diapers which I plan to use for night time. My son Oliver is 17months and we’ve been using BG 3.0s exclusively, but they don’t seem to be doing the job at night anymore. The way I justify the cost, is that I wouldn’t blink if I found a blouse for $28 (cover) or $16 (fitted diaper) – and these are SO, SO much more useful.

    • Elizabeth
      Posted April 28, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for the recommendations – I haven’t been to Wildflower before, I need to check them out! How much for the wool covers that you got? I’ll check both the brands out that you’ve recommended. Thank you!

      • Angela
        Posted April 28, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

        The wool covers were $28. Instead of buying special lanolizing solution, you can melt a dab of lanisoh in the sink with some olive oil soap. I think Green Mountain Diapers has a tutorial. I absolutely love Wildflower – even if I just go to browse. The store smells amazing.

      • Angela
        Posted April 28, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Oh, and I LOVE the idea of sewing your own soakers using thrifted wool sweaters. You would just need to lanolize those too. If I had more time I would be all over this idea!!

        • Elizabeth
          Posted April 28, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

          Good call on using the lanisoh – I have that already and maybe even some olive oil soap. This is getting cheaper and cheaper! Yay!

  4. marcella
    Posted April 28, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

    have you checked with your doctor? my son just had strep [on his skin] and the pediatrician said that they can get a rash real bad around the private area. that was my 2 yr old, but mason also had a rash too [the one jude’s age]we applied desitin, a+d, and budreaux’s and nothing has worked. we also cloth diaper. i think it may be a little of what my tot had. it’s starting to go away, but it can be bad. also, it could be the food he’s eating, or teething. you said you were just recently giving jude food, right? and if he’s teething, it could lead to that too. so many different things it could be, but definitely check with the doc about it being a polyester allergy first before giving up on cloth diapers! hope this helps!!

    • Elizabeth
      Posted April 28, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

      The doctor has seen the rash already. She said it was definitely an allergy to something as the scaling of the rash indicated that. She was the one that gave me the steroid cream to make the inflammation go down. The reason I’m pretty sure it is a polyester allergy is because only the parts of his skin that come into contact with the waterproof layer or microfiber layer are the ones that get red. The other day he had a new shirt on that has a polyester collar and he had a little rash form that went away as soon as I took the shirt off. Same thing happens with the diapers. The rash goes away almost instantly with disposables and it starts almost instantly when I put the diapers on him.

      Thanks for the suggestions though! It was helpful to think through everything. I’m definitely not giving up on cloth diapers! I have a couple other things to try before I call it quits!

  5. Shelly
    Posted April 28, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I think cotton prefolds and wool covers would be a great option in this case, although I haven’t used them myself. If you’re willing to take the time to learn to knit or crochet (assuming you don’t already), it’s really easy to make covers. Also, you could buy some wool sweaters from the thrift store and sew them into diaper covers. I’ve seen lots of tutorials and patterns to do so in the course of my Internet life – you could probably Google it.

    • Elizabeth
      Posted April 28, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Brilliant idea on thrifting wool sweaters! I don’t know how to knit or crochet but I would like to learn. Thanks for the great idea!!

  6. Erin
    Posted April 28, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I know someone else recommended maybe making your own. My sis-in-love made her own following some of the recommendations on this website, if you’re interested: http://www.celticclothswholesale.com/. I mainly use GroBaby dipes, but I have a couple homemade that she made me that I LOVE! I really need to learn to sew now that I’m remembering this website…

    • Elizabeth
      Posted April 28, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks! Good patterns. I always hear good things about the GroBaby system, but now, sadly, we won’t be trying them out. You should definitely learn how to sew your own diapers! Sewing is really not as hard as most people think it is. 🙂

  7. Sheri
    Posted April 28, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Hi Elizabeth – I’m not sure if this is something that someone mentioned already, but you could always buy used wool cover (if that doesn’t gross you out). Diaperswappers.com is a good resource. Also, I’ve had a lot of friends use old wool sweaters to make covers, so it’s a ton cheaper. Good luck!

  8. Ali
    Posted April 28, 2010 at 10:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I made some wool diaper covers out of thrifted sweaters. Make sure they’re soft, not itchy, felt them, and then go to town! I managed to get 2 out of some of the sweaters. I just googled “make wool diaper cover” and got some great patterns for free! There are options to do a pull-on type and to do the aplix-front type (I haven’t made those as I didn’t have the aplix or elastic, but they look fairly simple). They need less washing, but they do have to be washed if soiled (I just use a little Ivory or baby shampoo to spot wash). Used Lansinoh to lanolize. They are bulkier, but fairly easy.
    Oh, have you tried any fleece covers? Those may be polyester, though…

  9. Rosie
    Posted April 29, 2010 at 5:40 am | Permalink | Reply

    Wool covers from Thrifted sweaters are a great or what about a blanket? If you knit then maybe knit some shorties or longies and they would be less expensive.

    Microfibre should not come in contact wiht babies skin anyway as it can draw to much out of it, micro fleece is ok.

    I know there are some companies here that do cotton outers (some are quilters cottons so maybe try one of those but it I guess it is expensive to try.

    I have to finish some AIO soon for my boy, if you like I could try cotton outers, I can’t guarantee they won’t wick though, I’ve never sown cotton outers.

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