Ever wonder what ingredients make a diaper rash cream cloth diaper friendly? I remember when I first started using cloth diapers I was so paranoid about using the wrong kind of cream that I sometimes switched to ‘sposies (*gasp!*) and that never really made the rash problem better. I didn’t know then what ingredients to look for or what ingredients to avoid so I thought I’d do a little research for all of us. Knowledge is power, right? Precisely.
What ingredients should you stay away from in a diaper rash treatment?
Think Natural: Look for ingredients that are already in their natural form such as lanolin, beeswax, calendula, Vitamin E, coconut oil and evening primrose (to name a few). It’s a safe bet to just stay away from any ingredient that looks like something you’d discover during high school chemistry lab. These natural ingredients provide a barrier that will not only protect your baby’s precious new skin but should also keep the functionality of your cloth diaper up to par.
Say “No” to Fish!: Unlike our Catholic friends observing this Lenten season, you want to steer clear of any rash cream that has cod liver oil in it. The reason? While this ingredient does create an excellent barrier between the baby’s skin and the diaper it also continues doing that job after the diaper change. That’s right, any rash cream that contains cod liver oil will create a water repelling barrier on your diaper. That my friend is not the way you want to spend a weekend, I have friends who have had to do this and they’ll tell you the same. Plus some cloth diapers users who have made this mistake have said that it caused their diapers to smell fishy. Yuck. Stay away from the cod liver oil!
Microcrystalline Wax & Paraffin Wax…They aren’t made by bees! The problem with these two ingredients is that while they are excellent at creating a barrier of protection against your baby’s skin they do the same to your diapers. You’ve got it. That barrier on your diapers mean that even though both of these waxes are doing their jobs they’re doing them on the wrong surface! Plus, remember point number one – Use ingredients that don’t look like something you learned about in chemistry lab!
Zinc Oxide? The consensus is a little mixed in the research that I did with this one. I think to be on the safe side I’d steer clear or use a liner. Zinc oxide is a great aid in protecting the skin so that a rash can heal, however, it can leave nasty stains on your diapers. Use at your own discretion but you must always use a liner to protect that precious fluff!
This should go without saying, however, I’m going to say it to be on the safe side. If your doctor has prescribed a diaper rash treatment that includes any of the above ingredients follow your doctor’s orders. I don’t know the ins and outs of your sweet baby’s diaper rash nor am I a medical professional. One thing is certain and that’s your baby’s health so if a special cream is needed to clear up a nasty, painful rash use it. And remember, if you’re worried about needing to use a diaper cream, even the ones that are cloth diaper friendly, use a liner.
A few excellent resources on diaper rash creams are right here for you:
Pinstripes and Polkadots – This is a great list of the most commonly used diaper rash creams with a rating system according to their cloth diaper friendliness.
All About Cloth Diapers – Autumn Beck has a great list of the diaper rash treatments she’s used over the years as well as stripping suggestions if your diapers fell prey to the bad ingredients.