What You Need To Know About Diaper Rash & Cloth Diapers, According To An Expert

One of the most common, yet most frustrating things that can happen to a baby is diaper rash. Their chafed skin can make them fussy, and make it difficult for you to clean and diaper them. Many experts claim air and non-restrictive clothing can help treat a rash and make your baby comfortable, but can your baby wear cloth diapers if they have a diaper rash?

Jessica Zablan, owner of The Birth and Baby Company, tells Romper that it’s important to figure out why your baby has a rash in the first place. If the rash was caused by your cloth diapers, says Zablan, you may need to consider a new wash routine and you may even need to strip them. “Stripping your diapers is when you rinse them over and over in the washer without soap to get any build up out of them," she explains. So if cloth diapers are the culprit, this method should help keep it from getting worse.

If your baby’s rash was caused by something else, and you need to use a cream, Zablan suggests avoiding creams with zinc as it can cause the diapers to repel urine, in which case you'll have to strip the diapers anyway. “If you must use a zinc-based cream, I would suggest using a piece of flannel between the child's butt and the diaper to act as a barrier.”

When dealing with a diaper rash, disposable diapers might come in handy. Zablan notes that some families choose to use disposable diapers when their baby has a rash because it allows them to use any kind of cream, and gives them time to strip the cloth diapers. She adds that for the most part, babies who wear cloth diapers don’t often get diaper rashes, due to the fact that cloth diapers are changed more frequently than disposable ones.

So if your baby is dealing with a diaper rash, Zablan explains, they can absolutely wear a cloth diaper, as long as you can figure out the source of the rash and use a barrier between their bum and the cloth. Luckily, diaper rash won’t last forever, and your baby will be back to their normal routine in no time.