Is it possible to be allergic to cloth diapers?

Shannon - posted on 05/12/2011 ( 17 moms have responded )




First, let me start by saying that my son is 20 months and he has had the same yeast rash off and on for about 3-4 months. We have tried a lot of stuff and I finally decided to switch to cloth diapers to see if it helped. When his rash gets really bad we put him in disposables so we can really goop him up but other then that we have been using bumgenius 4.0's. So it seems like we will have him in disposables and get rid of the rash completely and then as soon as we switch back to cloth diapers he gets the rash back. Is it possible that he is allergic to the material? Anyone have any suggestions or tricks to help. I am getting desperate. Thanks.


Louise - posted on 05/13/2011




What are the cloth nappies washed in? You need an unperfumed soap if he is getting recurring yeast infections. As Katrina says let him have nappy free time in the warmer weather this will help alot to dry up the skin and let it breath.


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[deleted account]

ok this sounds seriously weird and i posted to see if anyone would say not to use it....but try Johnsons baby head to toe wash (original) and see if it helps it go away.If one of my 2 arent allergic to a soap, then the other is. I switch to johns and they stopped breaking out. They can had contact rash that looks something like a yeast rash. My son just got over his. Good luck!

M - posted on 06/17/2011




The first thing you need to know is that yeast rash is caused by something in your babies diet. However, the issue with cloth diapers is that the yeast can live in the diaper if its not disinfected properly and then cause the rash to reoccur because the bacteria is still there. This is why you'll see the rash go away in the disposables. With that said...

1 - country save is an awesome cloth diaper detergent so keep using it

2 - add 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar or oxygen bleach to the next 3 to 5 loads of cloth diapers to kill the yeast bacteria

3 - take a hard look at babies diet. too much sugar, citrus or dairy can throw babie's bm off balance causing a yeast rash

and with all of that said.... if it is truly a yeast rash, it is not a result of the material in the diaper or the detergent you're using or anything else, it is baby's diet.

Havefaith09michaia11 - posted on 06/14/2011




He could be alergic to a detergent and also you need to strip the diapers for a yeast rash. That stays in the diapers and can come back once switched back

Crystal - posted on 06/10/2011




this was so helpful. my daughter has a rash that is similar. I think i'm going to try sime of these for her.

Charity - posted on 06/09/2011




Try for good diaper washing tips, they are also super helpful over the phone. They have some tried and true detergents that are good also. I use biokleen premium powder for my diapers, they go on the prewash cycle first, then I add the rest of my son's laundry and do a second wash with a double rinse to make sure all of the detergent is out. Babyworks has some additional tips for getting residue out of diapers, etc. Your rash issue sounds like it probably isn't the diapers. Babyworks also has some really nice fleece liners that keep baby's bum feeling dry, might be more like the disposable that way, I have good luck with them. I'm sure you already have, but I'd double check with the Doc too, my girlfriend's daughter has a persistant rash that is much like yours sounds, and hers was a yeast prob.

Erin - posted on 06/08/2011




Hi, you may have all the advice you need but I thought I'd give my 2 cents worth anyway! My daughter got a staph infection while in cloth (years ago now!!!..) and it would go away when I put her in disposables only to recur when she was back in cloth. Sounds like a similar issue. I was told that this was because it hadn't actually gone away with usoig the disposables, just that cloth provides a more bacteria friendly environment. I used microfleece liners in the end, slathered her with zinc and castor oil cream and covered this with powder at the advice of my doctor. He said the nappies had nothing to do with it, just that disposables by their very nature provide a drier environment. And just because it appears to have gone away doesn't mean it has, the bacteria hangs out on the skin just waiting for the right conditions to win the battle again. Dont give up on your cloth, it's probably not them, just use good liners and a good barrier. Hope that helps!

Meagan - posted on 05/23/2011




It could be the fabric, but it could also be the detergent you are using, or the washing method.

Elfrieda - posted on 05/22/2011




It might be that the yeast stays in the cloth, and then reinfects him. I know they say not to do this, but I'd first bleach the diapers and wash them on the hottest of hot cycles in your washing machine, then I'd get a really big pot and boil them on the stovetop for a few minutes. Gross, right? :) But that's what I'd do. I think that ought to kill anything that might be lurking in the diapers.

Wendy - posted on 05/15/2011




its not an allergy to the cloth diaper it could be a number of things such as the cream / powder u use or it could be the liner and yes it could be the material have u tried using a different type of fabric possibly try pure cotton or just leave him in disposables if anything at least you know he wont get a rash good luck

Alicia - posted on 05/15/2011




I'm a little confused by your description, because it sounds like the problem is a yeast infection that appeared with and doesn't go away with disposables. My son had a recurrent yeast infection and eventually we were seeing a dermatologist for a different issue and she gave us a stronger yeast medication. Some people are able to treat yeast without medical/prescription help, but sometimes persistent yeast needs a prescription. Make sure you are treating that.

Then, while some children are apparently allergic to cotton or the microfleece of cloth diapers, odds are it's much more likely that the problem is the detergent. We have found that our son gets rashes with some detergents, but not others. For example, the Bum Genius did not work for us, but Costco laundry detergent & Rockin Green did. If you haven't tried stripping your diapers and switching detergents, that certainly a CHEAPER thing to try.

I'm a big fan of consulting a doctor because things like yeast infections and strep can masquerade as diaper rashes and usually they won't go away on their own.

Faye - posted on 05/13/2011




I always used Dreft baby detergent without problems with both of my kids and their cloth diapers. I washed their clothes separately from the adults until they were about 3. About the time they were 2 1/2 yo, I switched their laundry to whatever soap I was using and did not have any troubles.

At times I added a splash of bleach to the entire load of diapers, to brighten them back up. I always added at least a 1/4 cup of vinager in each load of diapers to freshen the overall smell.

I only have one who has an allergy but it is to citric juice (orange and tomatoes) and that is to the face and arms. He was able to eat the fruit but we had to limit his intake during the summer if we grew a garden.

Marylea - posted on 05/13/2011




Yes it is definitely possible to be allergic to the material used in cloth diapers. Especially if they are mircofleece or microsuede lined. If I was you I would try changing detergents first and if that doesn't clear up the rash then I would think that he probably is allergic to the cloth diapers. My daughter was 22months when we switched from disposables to cloth and we discovered that she's allergic to mircofleece. I mostly use all in twos and the ones I have (GroVia and Flip) don't have fleece linings but I had bought mircofleece liners to keep her skin dry, turns out she was allergic to them and she got a horrible rash. After we stopped using them her rash cleared up and to make sure that was the problem I used a mircofleece lined pocket on her when her skin was clear and sure enough she was red and irritated immediately after wearing it. Perhaps your son is allergic to the lining in the BG 4.0s you could try buying some bamboo or organic cotton liners to put in the diapers just to create a barrier and see if that helps. Hope his rash gets better, best of luck.

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Tyrae - posted on 05/13/2011




A friend if mine has a daughter who is allergic to cotton. She had to get bamboo/hemp diapers in order to continue using cloth, so it is a definite possibility that your bub could be allergic to the material.

Wolfmama - posted on 05/13/2011




I would suggest finding a cloth-diaper safe natural detergent as this could be the cause. Other causes: not changing the diaper frequently enough, or even having an allergic reaction to a food they are eating (or you are if you are bf). Usually though it is the detergent that causes rashes.

Shannon - posted on 05/13/2011




I usually let him run around without a diaper for about an hour or so in the evening. I think we are going to use disposables for a couple of weeks and then switch back to cloth and see how it goes. We spent a lot of money switching to cloth so I really hope that he is able to use cloth.

Katrina - posted on 05/12/2011




does he have any time without a nappy at all? Sometimes, it needs an air-out...give him a bath, dry him off then let him run around the house with no pants on for half a hour at least. Then, when you go to put his nappy back on, put the barrier cream on as per normal.

Good luck :)

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