Recently I was visiting a popular cloth diapering forum and came across a question about sensitivity to wetness. The original poster was simply looking for things to do for her child to help combat the wetness sensitivity in cloth. But that raised a different question in my mind. How do we know when it's simply sensitivity to wetness and not something else, like irritation from the detergent or some kind of rash?
One way you can figure out whether or not your child is sensitive to something other than just being wet is to look at a few things in your cloth diapering life:
1. Have you recently switched diapers? Some babies are sensitive to different materials used in the diapers. If you suspect this is the case with yours, switch to one you know is okay and see if it gets better.
2. Have you recently switched detergents? Not all detergents are created equally. Some will bother one child while working great for another. An example? My DH (yes, my DH!) can't use certain detergents; they make him itchy and irritated. But he CAN use Tide and Rockin' Green without issue.
3. Have you gotten a new washing machine? You may need to switch up your wash routine, if so. Sometimes, switching the machine is enough to need more rinses, less detergent, or any number of other things!
4. Are you changing your baby as often as before? If you take a step back and notice your LO is going longer and longer between changes, simply changing more often may make the difference. We all get busy, but sitting in a diaper too long is never good.
5. Is your little one getting enough to drink? I've noticed with my little man that the less he drinks in a day, the more likely he is to get red fast. I don't know if there's any scientific evidence to this one, but it seems to me that his pee is more acidic and burns him.
6. When was the last time you stripped your diapers? Stripping your diapers regularly helps them to stay cleaner, if you ask me. To strip, I like to soak the diapers in the detergent I use (RnG) in some warm water in my bathtub. After a couple of hours in there, I run them all through a hot wash cycle in my machine with no soap two times. After that, we hang them outside to dry. We never use Dawn as it screws up my machine.
7. Finally, when's the last time you bleached? Not every mama will agree with this one, but I really feel like sometimes my diapers just need a little bleach in the load. bumGenius actually recommends bleaching once a month. Sometimes this is all it takes.
If you're sure it's not the diapers or some other change in your routine, and your little one is truly just sensitive to the wet, then I would suggest a few things for this as well.
1. Change more often.
2. Many mamas swear by coverless fitteds, prefolds, or flats so you know the moment they wet and can change it. This also allows some air circulation.
3. Try using a fleece liner to add an extra barrier between baby and diaper.
4. Use some cloth diaper friendly diaper cream at each change.
If it's none of the above, you may have to visit your doctor to figure out a new plan. Your little one could have an infection of some sort. Ian had Tinea (ringworm!!!) when he was just 2 months old and then got eczema on top of all of that to boot! We had to treat it with meds. :( I have no idea how he got it either; all I know is that he doesn't have it now two years later.
As always, these are simply my suggestions and things I've found to work in our own house. If you don't agree with something or find it doesn't work for you, then just don't do it. :) If you have a suggestion to add, please comment below and share with us!