diaper laundry

Good morning, readers! Hope you all had a fabulous weekend! We have been enjoying the uncharacteristically warm and sunny weather here in Bloomington, and getting plenty of outdoor time before it plummets into winter. In addition to soaking up the 65 degree sun, we have had a busy week of working, and we also had baby Bear’s six month well baby check. SIX MONTHS! Big sad mama tears.

Anyway, six month well baby check led to an overall good report. Baby Bear is huge (97th percentile for height – any of our local mamas who have met him will not be surprised by this statistic!) and healthy, and for that we are so thankful. We brought up two concerns to our pediatrician. One is that Bear is a swell baby who seems to detest sleep. I’m no stranger to sleep deprivation, as Bee was not a super terrific sleeper either, but Bear takes the cake for averaging 6-12 wakeups a night. We got a few helpful tips to try, and then some not-so-helpful advice that I won’t be trying any time soon. Ah, well. At least there’s coffee.

The SECOND concern, and the reason for this post, is that Bear has been battling a pretty gnarly diaper rash. Now, rashes can be very normal – teething can cause rashes, and Bear has been teething like crazy, and so we attributed this rash to teething, and applied our favorite cloth diaper-safe diaper balm (Earth Mama Angel Baby, for the record) and made a note to bring it up at his appointment should it continue. Welp, that sucker continued. The doctor took one look and very affirmatively declared it a yeast rash.

This is where I have to include a very obvious disclaimer: I am not a doctor. WHAT?!! No, really, I’m not. I’m just a girl in the world, and I am not here to offer medical advice in any way. If your baby has a rash, I have to recommend that you use your judgment about seeking proper medical advice. 

Anyway, we had confirmation from our trusted pediatrician that what we had here was a yeast rash. Yeast thrives in dark, warm, moist (*shudder*, hate that word, sorry!) places, kind of like EVERY DIAPER EVER. The other thing about yeast that is notable is that yeast is a real son of a gun to treat, because it can hang out in cloth diapers and continue to reintroduce itself to your baby, creating a never ending cycle of stupid yeast rashes for your poor babe. In this case, your normal wash routine just isn’t going to cut it. In order to treat my diapers, and bomb them to kill that yeast, I followed the directions given by one cloth diaper company, GroVia, on their website.

*ANOTHER DISCLAIMER* … this treatment includes using bleach. In our monthly Cloth 101, I give this same disclaimer, and that is that anytime you go using any additives in your wash routine, you need to be aware that it may void your warranty for some companies. I ALWAYS recommend following the care instructions provided by each diaper brand, as well as cross referencing with the brand’s customer service, if your warranty is something that is important to you. I want to be very transparent here. I know that the leg work of checking with each company can be tedious, especially if you have reached collector status and have #allthebrands, but I have to recommend doing so.

In order to treat diapers for yeast, it is recommended to use a tiny bit of bleach. I should note that not JUST diapers need to be treated – if you use cloth wipes, throw those in there, too, as well as the wet bags or pail liners you use to store your dirty diapers. While you are treating the rash, it is recommended to use disposable diapers (or, if you use hybrid style cloth diapers, switch to the disposable inserts). My doctor (MINE, NOT YOURS! Kidding, but again, speak to your medical professional) did caution that the rash has to be completely clear for over 48 hours before it is truly gone. So we will be in “sposies” until then.

To treat, run your regular wash routine of a cold rinse, and then a warm or hot wash with enough detergent and water to get those diapers nice and clean. Now, you will want to run a wash cycle on WARM, with either 1/8 cup for HE machines, or ¼ cup for regular top loader machines, of bleach. I let my washer fill first, pause the cycle, and then add my bleach, while praying out loud to the cloth diaper Heavens that I’m doing it right. (it’s fine, I swear, but don’t you get a little nervous? That’s okay. We can work through our feelings together.) Do not add detergent, just water and that bitty bit of bleach. After, I would recommend a rinse cycle, to make extra sure that your diapers are bleach free and good to go. Dry according to your care instructions. That’s it!

I hope that you don’t ever need this advice, but if you do, I hope you found this helpful! Off to run that final rinse cycle, I will see you next week!