Battling the Yeast Beast
September 30, 2013 8:25:00 AM EDT
So, my motto is: Don’t get cocky about something, because once you do, there’s a good chance someone is going to knock you right off of your high horse. Well friends, I got cocky.
Whenever I’d cruise the cloth diaper chat forums, I’d sometimes see talk of yeast diaper rashes. One of the things I love about using cloth diapers is that it seems like my youngest has had a lot less rashes than his brothers and sister did in disposables. On the seldom occasion that he does get a little red, going diaper free or a bit of coconut oil clears it up in no time. So instead of reading more about yeast rashes to prepare myself should my son ever get one, I scrolled on passed. I thought to myself, “I must be doing something right, because my son hasn’t got a yeast rash yet!” For some reason, I thought my little boy was immune to getting that type of rash….boy was I wrong.
It started on a Friday. When I went to change my son’s diaper, I noticed the creases in between his legs were getting a little red. I tried my go to methods… I wiped him with a wet cloth wipes, dried him off, and let him run around for about 10 minutes without a diaper. That usually takes care of the redness, but surprisingly, this time it didn’t. I put a thin layer of coconut oil and a new diaper on him.
For the rest of the day I continued using a coconut oil at every diaper change. Unfortunately by bedtime there was no improvement. I decided to break out the big guns. I grabbed the “NOT cloth diaper safe” Desitin and a roll of disposable liners. I didn’t want to get any of the ointment on the microfleece lining of the diaper since that could lead to repelling and leaking issues. I lined his nighttime diaper, slathered his bottom with diaper rash cream, and we went to sleep.
When we woke up the next morning, I expected his bottom to be completely rash free… Imagine my disappointment when I found there was no noticeable difference at all! I continued to use the liners and Desitin, along with very frequent diaper changes for the rest of the day.
When Sunday rolled around, I was starting to get frustrated. Not only was the rash not improving, it was actually looking a little worse. Instead of just being red in the creases, there were little pimple like spots in clusters within and outside of the red area. Why does he still have this rash?? Is there build up on the diapers? They don’t stink and they aren’t leaking! Then it hit me…Oh, no…wait…this must be yeast. Well, shoot.
I got online and started looking at pictures of yeast rashes and, lo and behold, the pictures looked a lot like his. My boy was NOT immune to yeast rash and my arrogance had caught up with me. Since the doctor’s office was closed, I picked up an over-the-counter antifungal cream and started using it on my son’s rash with the liners.
I was happy to see that by Monday morning his rash was starting to improve! I continued to use the cream and by Tuesday evening, the rash was pretty much gone. I washed the load of dirty diapers and hung them to dry. We had battled the Yeast Beast and came out victorious! Or so I thought… We may have won this battle, but soon I’d discover that we were in for a war....
Wednesday started off looking pretty good, but after several diaper changes he was starting to look red again. By Thursday morning, the bumps were back! After more searching on the internet I came to realize that the yeast was still living in his diapers! We had to get rid of it, or the cycle was just going to continue. I needed to kill it. Kill it dead.
So back to the web I went. Luckily I came across an awesome post written by Brea on the TGN blog! After enduring a long, tough battle with the fungus among us, she slayed the Yeast Beast! I also found this amazing chart from Thirsties about disinfecting your diapers. After reviewing the chart and Brea’s suggestions I felt I was armed with enough artillery to finish the fungus off once and for all!
My son’s pediatrician armed us with a prescription strength antifungal cream, and I sought out Grapefruit Seed Extract. GSE must be precious liquid in my village, because it was nowhere to be found! The wellness store employees seemed pretty confused…What is this Grapefruit Seed Extract, you speak of? We carry Grape Seed Extract, but alas, no GrapeFRUIT Seed Extract. So I ordered it online “rush delivery”. In efforts to try to kill the yeast in the diapers, I turned up the temperature on the hot water heater to 130 degrees (temporarily!), and waited about an hour for it to heat up. Then I washed the diapers and hoped that the water was hot enough to scorch the yeast and kill it dead.
Two days later, the delivery man brought the precious liquid to my door. I had continued to use the antifungal his pediatrician had prescribed, and I was relieved that his rash was almost completely clear. I wanted to be sure I killed all the yeast and spores completely in his diapers, so just to be safe I washed all his diapers one more time, and added 20 drops of GSE to the final rinse. I ended up doing two loads, making sure to wash any diaper my son may have come in contact with. I poisoned those suckers AND their little spores too!
It appears that we have obliterated the Yeast Beast. My son’s diaper area is completely healed and has been for over a week now. Should the yeast beast ever rear its ugly head again, I now have a full arsenal and a wealth of knowledge to send it running back to its momma. Yeast is not just a “cloth diaper” thing. It can happen in disposables too, and it can happen to anyone.
My advice is if you come across good information, even if you think it may not pertain to you, go ahead and read it. Store it in that filing cabinet up in your noggin. You never know, it may come in handy someday. And also, if you are the owner of a high horse like I was, you might want to go ahead and get off of it too….
Note: While I was able to battle yeast while I kept my baby in cloth diapers, in some situations it may be best to temporarily use disposables while treating your baby. This way may make it easier for you to treat your baby and disinfect your diapers. When the rash is gone, your baby’s beautiful cloth diapers will be there waiting for you!
Also if you do temporarily turn up the temperature on your water heater to disinfect your diapers, remember to turn it back down to a safe temperature to protect your baby from accidental burns. The CDC recommends water heater thermostats be set at 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.
*This post is not intended to be used as medical advice. Any concerns about your baby’s well-being should be first and foremost addressed by his or her health care provider. Always check with your doctor before giving baby any prescription or over-the-counter remedies.
**I have purchased all products mentioned in this post. Although I am compensated for my time writing, all opinions are 100% my own.
Stephanie Beck is the mother of a dinosaur expert, a set of twins somehow born 13 months apart, and a wild baby boy. After losing her job as a doctor’s nurse (while on maternity leave) for standing up for her rights to pump at work, she went back to her previous job as a Labor and Delivery nurse. While she was so happy to be back in a job she loved, the newest member of her family could not tolerate being separated from her. He refused to take a bottle no matter what she and her husband tried, and screamed the entire time she was away. She realized as much as her family needed that extra money, her baby needed her more. Now Stephanie is learning to adjust to being a one income household and blogs about her adventures in attachment parenting at apronstringsattached.com. She is very excited to be blogging for TGN!