Why We Gave Up on Cloth Diapers


Our cloth diapering adventure didn’t last long.

Okay so maybe I shouldn’t call it an adventure.

These days, my life consists of cleaning up spit-up, changing diapers, breastfeeding, baby wearing, working from home and rocking my little Indie to sleep. To me, it does feel like an adventure, but to the average reader, it probably sounds a bit boring…

I guess I’ll call it a journey. (At least that’s how I’ll refer to the diaper bit of it.)

And just last week, that journey officially came to an end.

Those of you who know me, know that I try to be a natural mama. It started with a home birth. We didn’t vaccinate. We used essential oils when she got sick the first time (and still do). Our family doctor is our chiropractor. And we decided to cloth diaper before she was born.

Not so much because it’s better for the environment, but mostly because we knew it would save money and we had been told that kids who wear cloth potty train faster and deal with fewer cases of diaper rash (if any). It sounded like a no-brainer.

But, unfortunately, that second part was just not true for us.

Indie developed a pretty ugly yeast rash that only seemed to get better when we put her in a disposable diaper and flared up again whenever we tried switching back to cloth.

We tried all the natural diaper ointments out there from Sugar Bear’s Tiny Heinys to Motherlove for rash and thrush. We also tried Boudreaux’s Butt Paste, to no avail. We washed the diapers in Charlie’s soap: a cold rinse, followed by a hot wash and an extra hot rinse, just like the directions say, so I was pretty sure it wasn’t a reaction to detergent. I was told to cut out dairy, gluten, tomatoes and spicy foods. Dairy wasn’t really a problem, as we don’t drink milk or eat much cheese. I even stopped eating bread for a while so I could lose some weight. But when tomatoes and jalapeños are your favorite summer foods, and your husband home brews his own craft beer (which is delicious, by the way), the other 2 food groups are much harder to give up…

Even after we’d switched to disposable diapers, it wasn’t until we tried Melaleuca essential oil, combined with prescription-strength anti-fungal cream that we finally saw her rash disappear completely. And disposable diapers had become so convenient and easy for us at that point that we decided to stick with them. They are much easier than cloth, especially when you’re on the go.

Now I don’t have to do laundry every other day. I don’t have to worry about whether she’s going to pee or poop on the changing table while I prepare the mix of essential oils and diaper ointment in my hands. And, perhaps, most importantly, I don’t have to give up tomatoes. Or Jereme’s delicious tomato ale. Or jalapeños. Or Birdsong’s delicious jalapeño ale…

Why do I say all this?

As I’ve mentioned frequently in other posts: moms should do whatever works best for them. No matter how many different opinions or statistics the world tries to throw at us with regard to vaccines, hospital vs. home birth, prescription meds vs. homeopathy, chiropractic care vs. pediatrics, cloth diapers vs. disposables — at the end of the day, all that matters is whatever works best for you and your family. I try to be as natural as possible, but in this case, it just didn’t quite work for us.

And that, my friends, is how our cloth diapering journey came to an end.

At least we can say we tried, right?


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