We love our cloth diapers. We really do. This is just a snag in the road. After reading many cloth diapering stories, it seems many families hit a snag and either give up or make it past the hurdle. This is the difference between long term cloth diaperers and the fair weather group.
So first, weird thing happened, most of our BG 4.0s started having curling velcro. No huge deal until it ended in a poop spread disaster all over the crib and baby. No one was happy. Upon investigation, it looked like the curling isnt the real issue its that on some of the curled velcro isnt sticky. It doesnt stick to the laundry tabs or close the diaper well. The non-sticking part is mainly the half of the tab that is the tip. Because the tip doesnt stick shut, it can easily be pulled open by blankets, clothing, and baby hands. Cotton Babies (the manufacturer) indicated (via twitter) it may be a manufacturing defect since the velcro is clean with no snags or lint. They asked that I call into their customer service department so they can address the issue. It seems to affect certain color batches I bought at the same time.
About a month or two later (life is a blur lately), Elena got a yeast infection in her skin (diaper area) when she started an antibiotic (not uncommon). It was the worst most scary diaper rash I have ever seen. She was in so much pain. So medicated cream and disposables were the name of the game. That is all cleared up and we are headed back to cloth diaper land. We treated all the diapers (inserts and covers) with non-chlorine bleach to kill any yeast that may be in them from her infection. Since then we have been watching her with an eagle eye to make sure it worked. Well it isnt showing signs of a yeast rash, but she started getting a little pink. And then she would grab at her diaper like it itched. And now its gotten red and not pretty. She started showing signs of pain and it wasn't going away on its own like one of her poopsplosion minor rashes do, so we immediately put her back on disposies. (Which we still hate. What do they contain? Not urine or poop well.) The rash is going away quickly with very minimal treatment.
I am 800% positive the rash is ammonia burn from the build up of ammonia in the cloth diapers.
Signs of a chemical build up issue:
- Dry diapers are funky smelling (may be slight - our dont smell much now)
- When wet, get super funky smelling. (This is 100% us.)
- Rash is typically in the front area versus on the butt. (This thread has a good picture.)
- Rash is bright red and not like small dots. Typically in larger contact areas than micro dots.
- Rarely on legs or tummy.
- Does not spread.
Ammonia build up is more common in closed pails, places with hard water, heavy wetters, and longer wait times between washes. Which we are all four. The fact that Elena is a SUPER HEAVY wetter, all day long and we havent had an issue till now, almost to our 1 year cloth diaper anniversary, I credit our Rockin' Green Hard Rock detergent. We have super hard water in Houston. Something this San Antonio-based company knows well. Some people have complained about RG and build up, I think this is mainly because they dont know their water and buy the wrong formula, put in too much detergent, or dont use a hot water rinse after they wash with detergent. (Hint: Front loading washers use A LOT less detergent because they use less water. Also they need more rinses.)
When Elena hit the standing, walking phase she started needing MOAR CALORIES! which mainly meant lots and lots of milk in addition to tonnes of purees. My big eater then started having very very very wet daily diapers. Makes sense, more in equals more out. Her bowel movements are extensive and frequent as well. That is when we started smelling the ammonia. It was STRONG. Grandmas commented on how stinky her pee was. We started bleaching the inserts every couple of months per manufacturer's recommendation (Warning: This voids some warranties, not ours.) The bleach improves it (takes away the dry funk) but isnt eliminating the base build up.
At this point, I fear I must face the dreaded stripping. Stripping is the act of removing any kind of build up from your cloth diapers. Most common recommendations are Dawn dish detergent (the blue kind) and vinegar soaks. I have a hard time with that advice for main big reason: my manufacturer expressly states DONT USE VINEGAR or any soaps with additives. I cant imagine Dawn not having additives. It does use a dye, I dont think the blue is natural. So.... back to my beloved rocking green. I have ordered via Amazon Prime Rocking Green Funk Rock Ammonia Bouncer. This soaking treatment (not for every day use) is dye and additive free, safe for my diapers, and specifically designed to strip all the funk out of my diapers.
I am excited to see how it goes and get Elena out of disposables.