How I Easily Solved My Toddler’s Cloth Diaper Rashes

Cloth diaper rash and change supplies

If you and your toddler are battling with a cloth diapers diaper rash, you need to read this post. I too had this discouraging problem, but I fixed it! Here’s how…

There may be affiliate links in this post. 😊 The conent on this blog is for informational purposes only and does not constitute any kind of professional advice. I am just sharing my experiences and opinions, one mom to another. Read my full disclaimer and Terms for more details.

I love cloth diapering, but like most moms (cloth moms or not) I have dealt with my fair share of diaper rashes.

Diaper rashes happen no matter what kind of diaper your baby wears. They can also happen because of certain external factors.

My babies both got diaper rashes immediately after they were born, and I blame it on their sensitive skin. (even though we didn’t wash off that vernix, and no matter what type of diaper they wore!) They also sometimes got rashes while teething or after a day of eating a lot of fruit…

For the first several months of my baby’s life I had her diaper routine under control. But once she neared and passed the one year mark, the diaper rashes started coming back with full force… and I struggled to keep them away.

For a few months by toddler’s rashes would come for about a week, and then I would treat it, and then it would go away for a while. But it would come back, and then leave, and come back, and repeat over and over again.

cloth diapers diaper rashes Pinterest Pin image

It seemed like her rashes were constant.

I took her to the doctor and although he wasn’t sure it was a yeast infection, he gave me some medicated cream to try. It worked! So it was yeast!

Nope. After it healed for a few weeks, it came back.

I kept asking myself Why isn’t my baby’s diaper rash going away!”

I googled and read every website I could find on cloth diaper diaper rashes. I read about all the ‘common’ causes of rashes in cloth diapered toddlers and some of them included things like:

  • having a poor wash routine
  • ammonia build up (due to wash routine)
  • Detergent build up (due to wash routine)
  • barnyard stink (due to wash routine)
  • untreated hard water problem
  • baby being sensitive to the microfiber diapers
  • etc.

These answers made me upset. They almost all had to do with one thing…. the wash routine. But my wash routine was gold!

I’ve been diapering for 4 years! I have the wash routine down, people. And I test for hard water levels and add a softener (I use borax) to address it.

And it also wasn’t the fiber issue, because we use cotton, hemp, and bamboo…

woman holding cloth diapers

At this point I was getting very frustrated because I felt like I had no answers. I reached out to my two favorite cloth diaper companies for advice and they both told me about the same thing:

“Cloth diapered babies don’t usually get rashes, it might be the wash routine”.

You might guess what my reaction was! 😂

It was obviously getting to the point were I was ready to switch to disposables if that is what my baby needed. (even though I love cloth diapering so much…. It made me so sad!)

I was ready to chalk it up to “strong toddler pee” and give up.Two of my cloth diapering friends told me they also both gave up, for similar issues.

I started researching disposable diapers… but something in my cloth diaper heart kept saying “don’t give up!”

How I Finally Solved My Toddler’s Cloth Diaper Rash

I wanted to keep using cloth diapers, but I also wanted my child to have healthy skin. I had several stipulations that had to be met if I was to continue on in the cloth world for my toddler.

  • I had to cure her cloth diaper rashes naturally.
  • The solution needed to be practical and inexpensive
  • It needed to work fast.

I am extremely pleased to tell you that the diaper rash on my toddler…has been cured! I am no longer battling constant rashes!

She still occasionally gets a little red if she has a particularly acidic poop and I don’t catch it quick enough… but that isn’t a cloth diaper issue, its just a diapering issue.

Related: My first Elimination Communication Success

There are two main things I did to solve the cloth diaper rash issue.

1. I started rinsing off all her wet diapers before placing them in the pail, not just the soiled ones.

toilet with sprayer for cloth diapers diaper rashes

This might seem like a no brainer to some of you… but hear me out.

I wasn’t totally wrong about “Toddler Pee” being a totally different ballpark than little baby pee!

Often you will hear moms say that you do not need to pre-rinse wet or exclusively-breastfed-poopy diapers, before tossing them into the pail. This is true! I never had an issue with my little babies pee dipes.

But the older my toddlers got, something about their chemical makeup must have changed 😂 because their urine was stinkier, and there was a lot more of it. I never put two and two together on this until now… But looking back I realize that this also happened with my first born!

Something to look for as a clue it’s time to start spraying your diapers is to smell your diaper pail when you open it. If it smells awful, maybe this is the culprit. As soon as I started pre-rinsing off every diaper, the pail smell has dramatically decreased, and so have rashes.

So, although you could say it was an “ammonia” issue, my wash routine was not the problem. In fact, I haven’t changed my wash routine!

The problem was pre rinsing.

2. Making stay dry liners.

womans hand holding stay dry liners for cloth diapers

The second thing I did to cure my toddler’s cloth diaper rashes was to make some stay dry liners.

I had tried these with my first born and didn’t love them, but I decided to try them again to see if they would help keep her skin dry, especially at night.

I ordered a yard of fleece from Green Mountain Diapers and cut them into about 4×11 inch rectangles.

I put one on top of each diaper and they help wick the wetness away from her skin. They have totally worked!

Flat Cloth Diapering Supplies Snappi stay dry liner

I am also ecstatic because it only costed me $10 for like 60 of them.

I also let my toddler sit on the potty every time I change her to make sure she stays dry longer. (Even though I still change her frequently, the amount of pee in the diapers has decreased at each change because of this.)

I also still apply homemade diaper cream as needed, and often more of it at night time.

cloth diapers diaper rash cream in mason jar on counter

You guys. My life is so much better now. And so is my toddlers. 🙂 And it was such a simple, easy answer. Why did it take so long to find it?

I am so relieved I got this figured out! I KNEW I wasn’t crazy, and I knew that I could find a solution!

Cloth diapering is something I have grown to love. A huge reason I started cloth diapering was because of the cost, but I have evolved into someone who really likes the cloth lifestyle. It’s slower, its thoughtful, its just fun.

Every cloth diaper family will face an issue and then figure it out their own way. That’s another thing I love about it, its not a science, its an art. It is customizable, adaptable, and different for every baby.

If you really want to cloth diaper, there is almost always a way to do it. If you have a challenge, there is always a solution!

My favorite cloth diapers are flats! I currently use these flats from Nicki’s Diapers, paired with a homemade liner as mentioned above, and maybe a doubler.

Last is a cute little cover on top and that’s it! These covers are my absolute favorite (I’ve tried so many brands.)

You can read more about my complete cloth diaper routine here.

Are you struggling with mysterious cloth diaper rashes? What have you tried for it?

1 thought on “How I Easily Solved My Toddler’s Cloth Diaper Rashes”

  1. Great article Rachel! It’s always great to read about a cloth-diapering parent who perseveres, comes at the problem from different angles, and finds a solution they hadn’t expected. Especially during a trying time like when your baby gets a rash and is uncomfortable (which I think is just as hard for the parent as it is for the baby).

    One small note I didn’t read in the post (unless I completely missed it) that your readers may find helpful is that another big cause of recurring diaper rash that has nothing to do with wash and care is food sensitivities. Here’s a resource from the Cleveland Clinic (to which I have no affiliation) about food sensitivities and diaper rash that could be helpful if someone has tried everything else:

    Keep the great cloth diaper content coming!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *