Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Best-Laid Plans...

Back at the beginning of the year, we had come to a crunch-time financially. We looked for ways to cut costs and make more progress paying off our debt. One of the things that came to mind was switching to cloth diapers. After all, disposable diapers are expensive, and taking that big bag 'o diapers out to the curb on trash day was like throwing away money.

I did a lot of research, and asked an experienced friend for advice, and we made the switch around the end of February.

The first couple of weeks were hard, as we ironed out the wrinkles in our system. Cloth diapers aren't one-size-fits-all; we had to figure out a system that worked for us. And we did - I had things down pat, and had our washing schedule figured out. I really enjoyed seeing those diapers drying on the clothesline in the sunshine, thinking of all the money I was saving and how we were reducing our impact on the environment, too.

Several happy months passed.

And then the yeast bug struck.

It was about three weeks ago that Wendy developed the worst diaper rash she's ever had, and it came on in the space of about eight hours. Her entire diaper area - and I do mean entire diaper area - was raised, red, and very angry-loking. A trip to the pediatrician confirmed that it was a yeast diaper rash, and we headed home with our tube of Nystatin in hand.

While we treated the rash, I switched her to disposables, since many ointments can cause wicking problems with cloth. The rash was significantly better by the second day, and completely gone by the end of the week. A few days later, I switched her back to her cloth diapers.

And within 48 hours, the rash was back, almost as bad as it had been initially.

All I can assume is that the extra moisture and bulkiness of the cloth diapers is leading to these yeast infections. She can't keep getting them - they make her miserable.

So we've made the decision to switch back to disposables. We're close to potty-training; we'll be resuming our potty-training at the end of August, after our vacations. I'm not looking forward to the expense of the disposables, but it's certainly better than having a nasty chronic diaper rash.

This hasn't turned me off cloth - in fact, I prefer the cloth in many ways, and will try it again with any future children we'll be blessed with. In the meantime, our cloth diaper stash may be travelling to China to help out our friends with their new daughter, who is due in 8 weeks.


carrie said...

I have heard of others having this same problem. I applaud you for doing it. I do not know if I could do cloth diapers. I am pretty sure Brad would not be good with it.

'Becca said...

Hello, I read your WFMW post and then clicked on your "cloth diapers" topic. I see that this was over a year ago, but maybe Wendy is still in diapers now. I'm wondering what if anything you used to kill the yeast on the diapers, because probably the reason the rash recurred was not the moisture but reinfection from yeast remaining on the diapers. Soaking in white vinegar overnight (then laundering as usual) kills just about anything!

We LOVED cloth diapers (kid is toilet trained now)--click my name for all the details! I hope you have better luck with them in the future!