About Diaper Rash and Cloth Diaper in Singapore
“Do you have diaper cream to lend us?” A church helper from the infant class asked me.
“Yeap! Here you go.”
“Thank you! There’s a baby with very bad diaper rash and the mother doesn’t have diaper cream.” She paused and pursed her lips. “It’s so bad that the baby cries when she lies down or when we wiped her butt. The rash has peeled till it’s raw skin.”
“Oh no!” I cringed my face as if in pain, and quietly judged the mother in my heart, “Why didn’t she put diaper cream? Poor baby.”
As the saying goes, don’t be so quick to judge. To think I would be facing a similar problem one day. I’ve been faithfully putting diaper cream on her butt and vaginal lips daily, but still cracked skin appeared at Evangeline’s butt cheeks.
Well, it’s not as bad as the baby I encountered – at least Evangeline didn’t scream at each touch. And to cut myself some slack, this happened because she had constipated poo at night, and when I discovered the rock of poo in the morning, the damage was done.
In case you are wondering, I use Earth Mama, Organic Diaper Balm (I haven’t tried this new packaging) everyday. I like it because it seems to be gentle and nice smelling on the skin, and you can use it with cloth diaper. Occasionally I will interchange it with Mustela Vitamin Barrier Diaper Rash Cream 123. But ever since the bad diaper rash, I added Desitin (blue and purple tube) into the mix.
Desitin purple tube is supposedly highly recommended for bad rashes, but it didn’t seem to help in Evangeline’s case. Bad rashes still come on and off, but not as bad as raw skin. I do think that sometimes her rashes became worse from diaper creams with strong formula such as Desitin (purple) and Ceraden (as prescribed by the paediatrician).
At the end of the day, I think Earth Mama’s suit Evangeline’s skin the best. Or is it my bias? Nevertheless, the persistent rashes started around the time she went on solids. So I concluded, the rashes is due to her poo that is now more contaminated with food other than breast milk. It also became much stinkier too – like the adults!
p.s. If you are buying from Pupsik, do use my Pupsik referral link, referral code: 4748898
Modern Cloth Diapers
I was already using cloth diapers before the diaper rash outbreak, albeit infrequent. With the onslaught of diaper rashes, I decided to up my cloth diaper usage.
I am speaking of modern cloth diapers and not the pre-fold with pins type that the older generation used. The latter sounds like a lot more work and thus higher inertia for me to adopt. At least modern cloth diapers, with their buttons and velcro, have resemblance to disposable diapers.
Apprehensive? Go on a Trial Basis
Along with many mothers in Singapore, I was not sure initially if I was game for cloth diapers. I usually get strong reactions when I say I’m using cloth diapers. “That’s so difficult to wear.” “That’s so troublesome – the extra laundry.” Good thing for me, I have a batch of secondhand cloth diapers to try out. Before you go ewww, the cloth diapers are relatively new. My friend’s baby only used them three to four times during a bout of bad diaper rash.
If you are unsure whether cloth diaper is for you, you can simply buy a few pieces to try out. Many cloth diaper companies, for example Moo Moo Kow, sell starter packages with 3 to 4 cloth diapers. A good way to kickstart the cloth diapering journey!
Or you can refer to my review of cloth diaper brands to make an informed decision.
Cons of Cloth Diapers
1) The Laundry
The first thought that comes to mind for most people is the laundry. More housework! Yes, there’s more work to be done as compared to disposable diaper. But as it turned out, it is not as hard as imagined, and I don’t have a helper. Caveat: I’m a stay at home mum. 🙂
Here are the extra steps as compared to disposable diapers:
- Remove the poo from the cloth diaper and flush it down the toilet bowl (According to disposable diaper packaging, you should do the same for disposables.). Sometimes, it’s hard to remove the poo. So to circumvent it, you can put a bamboo diaper liner on the surface to “catch” the poo. Just throw the liner with the poo in it. It’s much easier.
- For the cloth diaper and insert, rinse off the pee and poo stain with water, unless your washer has pre-wash function.
- Put all the dirty diapers in a wet bag.
- Throw them all in the washing machine.
- Dry them in the sun!
In the photo above, the Moo Moo Kow bamboo diaper on the left is right after I rinsed her poo in the wash basin. And the one on the right is the same cloth diaper that’s after a wash in the washing machine. However, the poo stain might not come off for cheap cloth diapers (such as those from Qoo10).
My Personal Experience
The above steps might sound like a lot of work, but personally I find cloth diapering manageable. And after I got used to it, it’s just part and parcel of life. Although I must say, different people have different thresholds, so cloth diapering is not for everyone. And to be honest, there are also days when cloth diapers seem to be a chore, like when she poo-ed multiple times in a day. However I still think the extra work is worth it because of the benefits.
To make life easier, I used diaper liners to “catch” the poo, and it’s a great tip! However, the liner doesn’t have the stay-dry characteristic and it sheds off lint. Thus, the wet liner was probably what gave rise to a suspected fungus infection around Evangeline’s butt area. So I don’t use the liner as often now and let the stay dry surface of cloth diapers do its magic.
However in recent months, Evangeline’s bottom has yeast/fungus infection on and off. If I trace back, we suspect it might have started since I used cloth diaper on her. I still believe cloth diapers are good, but perhaps cloth diaper is not suitable for all skin, like my baby’s sensitive skin. I shall continue to use and monitor.
2) Hard to Button Cloth Diapers
As you can see in the photo below, a cloth diaper has many buttons! Don’t be intimidated by them. The buttons around the crotch are for adjusting the diaper size to fit the baby. It’s adjustable because you can wear the cloth diaper from newborn to 3 years old – economical. 😉
The tricky part is the flaps that secure the diaper around the waist. For the first few times, you have to guesstimate which level of buttons to snap the diaper secure. Once you find the right configuration, you can always use the same buttons – for a while.
Your baby will grow, and you have to adjust the button settings accordingly. Then, there will be times when he/she will be in between sizes. There are gaps in between the buttons and so the adjustable range is limited as compared to velcro cloth diapers, which works almost like disposables. However, velcro is not as lasting as snap buttons.
Another headache you might face when buttoning up is if you have a super fidgety baby like mine. You have to nail down the baby while struggling to find the buttons to snap, only to find you button up wrongly!
3) Waste of Water and Special Detergent
With the pre-wash/rinse and then laundry of cloth diapers, you are going to use more water. But you can save water with a front load washer and go green with cloth diapers in other areas, as you will read in the pros section. So it depends on your green priorities. 🙂
Also, a special note on the detergent. Avoid detergent with fabric softener, enzymes, chlorine bleach, essential oils and artificial fragrance. You should be able to use your current baby detergent if there’s none of these ingredients. The detergent recommended by cloth diaper companies are usually expensive.
I use Country Save Powder Laundry Detergent (Update: unavailable in Singapore), which specifically mention that it’s perfect for cloth diapers. I actually bought this detergent to wash my tula, but since I seldom wash my tula, I use it for the cloth diapers. The recommended “dosage” is lower for my front load washer as compared to a top load, which means a box can last me through more laundry cycles.
Pros of Cloth Diapers
Initial cost of cloth diaper is high, and that might deter families from trying. BUT! In the long run, the cost per use will average out to be lower than disposable. But still, is cloth diaper worth the investment?
Since it’s cloth, the surface is more breathable and comfortable than disposable diapers. For ladies, think of how you feel when you wear only panties and when with sanitary pads. Anyway, this also means cloth diaper prevents and reduces nappy rash. However, this is a point of contention in Evangeline’s case. She still get rashes now and then – perhaps also because she has sensitive skin.
Furthermore, cloth diaper encourages early potty training. Children will gradually learn from the dampness of the cloth diaper that they have peed. This is not possible with a disposable diaper as it absorb all the wetness and thus delaying the learning process.
Going green with cloth diaper is one of my major reasons for cloth diaper. You save a lot of landfill space by cutting the use of disposable diapers. Moreover, harmful chemicals are reportedly released from disposable diapers.
And for all fashion mummies, you can now diaper up your baby with attractive designs. 😉
Pros of cloth diapers are referenced from moomookow.com/pages/why-mmk-diapers, and www.rafrafbaby.com/why-cloth-diapers/modern-cloth-diapers.php
My Personal Experience
I’m not a 100% cloth diaper mother. I use cloth diapers for Evangeline only when we are at home, and during the day. I’ll use premium disposable diapers when we go out and when she sleeps at night. Sometimes, I’ll use cheap disposable diapers during her baby led weaning meals, when the food has the potential of staining and making everything too messy.
So far, I’ve only witnessed a french couple who used cloth diapers outside – in the diaper changing room. But the child is a big enough toddler. So it might be easier then. Shall see when Evangeline grows up!
Refer to my detailed review of certain cloth diaper brands before making your purchase.
If you are buying from Pupsik, do use my Pupsik referral link, referral code: 4748898. Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. Affiliate link means I’ll get a small commission if you make a purchase. There’s NO extra cost to you. I appreciate your support to maintain this website, so that I can share more of such tips. Thank you!
JoogoBaby is giving away cloth diapers to TWO WINNERS! Each set is worth about S$60.
- One set of Moo Moo Kow cloth diapers (2 pieces of snap/aplix cloth diaper)
- One set of Raf Raf’s Baby Dash Cloth Diapers (Pack of 3)
You can read the review of these cloth diapers at baby.joogostyle.com/cloth-diaper-review.
All the best! Giveaway deadline extended to 1 July 2018, Sunday midnight. Winners will be chosen on either Facebook or Instagram. Open to residents of Singapore only.
Terms and Conditions:
- Joogostyle reserves the right to select the winners at our sole discretion or to amend the deadline at any time without prior notice. No explanation is required. Winner will be notified via Facebook/email.
- Winner will need to email his/her personal particulars to Joogostyle upon confirmation announcement on Facebook. If a winner does not respond within three (3) working days, the prize will be invalid and the winner forfeits all rights to any prize.
- Joogostyle may at its discretion replace or substitute any of the prizes with another prize of equal or similar value at any time without prior notice being given.
- Joogostyle reserves the right for final decision in the case of disputes.