what to do when you have yeast in diapers

YEASTWhen yeast happens, it can be aggravating. A diaper rash that looks angry and irritating is one you will never wish to see again.
Where does one turn to sleuth how to battle and prevent yeast from recurring?

A few tips for our Maritime summers:

  • Consider Natural Fibres. Natural fibre diapers breathe better.
    A switch into natural fibre diapers from synthetic can always be an extra trick up your sleeve with any rash. Believe it or not, a hemp/cotton fitted paired with a wool cover allows more air to circulate around the body than a microfibre filled diaper with PUL or a disposable.
  • Reach for the tea tree oil and shorten up the frequency of your wash routine.
    Keep in mind our Maritime summers can create the extra damp and humid conditions which yeast thrives in. You have control of your wash routine.
  • A great diapering balm like Motherlove + our wipes solution can help skin fight off yeast at every change.
  • Learn about probiotics! Consider a visit to see a naturopath. It’s important to learn why some are prone to yeast and tips for how to boost your little one’s nutrition intake to combat it.
  • When yeast shows up in a baby’s diaper, turn to our 25 year veteran friends of Bummis and this blog post. Bummis’ advice is chock full of simple and effective steps for what to do to if you need to rid yeast in cloth diapers.


    Step One: Identify the Problem

    Many rashes look alike, so it’s not always obvious to figure out what you’re dealing with. Yeast often manifests as bright red spots with bumps around them, like moons around a planet. It can look like chicken pox, or pimples, and is often concentrated in the creases and folds of the skin. Yeast often appears after a treatment with antibiotics, since they will kill both the good and the bad bacteria in the body; so if your baby has recently been treated with antibiotics, and has a rash matching the description above, there’s a good chance that you’re dealing with yeast. That being said, it’s important to consult with your health care provider to determine whether that is actually the case.

    Step Two: Kill the Yeast!

    In order to get rid of yeast, you will have to treat your baby’s skin and you’ll have to wash any cloth products that have been in contact with the skin (diapers, liners, wipes, towels, changing pads, etc.). It’s very important to address both issues in order to fully resolve the problem. Read on:

    Part One: The Skin
    You will have to apply a diaper cream at every change. You can try a natural cream that is specially formulated to treat yeast. Or, if natural creams don’t seem to be working, you may need to use a medicated cream prescribed by a doctor. It’s important to use Bio-Soft liners during this time to protect your diapers from the creams you are using, to avoid residue problems. Contrary to what many people think, it is not a good idea to apply powder, as the yeast will feed on the talc in the powder, and it will make the problem worse! You should also try to change your baby’s diaper more often, about every couple of hours.

    Part Two: The Diapers

    To properly rid your diapers, liners, wipes, towels, changing pads, etc. of yeast, you will need to switch to a more rigorous washing routine using oxygenated bleach until your baby’s rash disappears, and for five days afterwards, as follows*:
    Fill machine with hot water
    Add the maximum recommended amount of oxygenated bleach, stir until dissolved
    Add diapers etc. and soak for 15 minutes
    Wash on hot, with oxy bleach (same quantity as above) + detergent
    Rinse well, with lots of water
    Dry in the sun if at all possible (it really helps to disinfect), or in the dryer.
    *Please defer to your diaper manufacturer’s recommendations if they differ from these.

    Some people choose to use disposable diapers while treating their baby for yeast. If this is what you choose to do, you will still need to complete the routine described above once, and then to put your cloth diapers aside until your baby’s rash disappears, and for five days afterwards, to ensure that the yeast is completely gone. If you continue to use cloth diapers, wipes, change pads, etc. while treating your baby, you will need to follow this routine at every wash.

    Part Three: Advanced Troubleshooting for Stubborn Problems

    If you follow the above routine and you are still unable to get rid of the yeast, you can try chlorine bleach instead of oxygenated bleach. It is much harsher, but much stronger. Follow the same steps, but you can use warm water instead of hot if you wish.

    If you have prefolds, you can try boiling them to kill the yeast. We do not recommend boiling any other type of diaper, or any type of wrap, as the elastics and PUL are not likely to stand up well to this intense process!

    Alternative or Additional Solutions

    Some people swear by grapeseed extract or tea tree oil as remedies for yeast, so you can try one of those instead of oxy bleach if you wish. You will need to use between 20-100 drops each time you wash. You can also make a bum wash solution with grapeseed extract or tea tree oil to help disinfect at each diaper change.

    Some people swear by acidophilus as a treatment for yeast infections. If you are breastfeeding, you can take it yourself and it will transfer to your baby through your breastmilk. If not, it can be given directly to your baby. This article is more specific to breastfeeding and thrush, but is also applicable to yeast infections and diapering, and offers acidophilus treatment ideas.

    The above blog post is the result of a collaborative effort between Malina, Shirley and Maeghan of Bummis.

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