Dispatches From the Living Room of Sodor, Part Two
The Adventures of Superblogger & the Underpants of Mystery

Cloth Diaper Dropout

This post is sponsored by The Honest Company

Deep, dark confession time, you guys. I mean, be prepared to have dozens of illusions and dreamy dreams shattered.

Right now my baby is wearing a disposable diaper. And in an hour or so, I'll probably take that one off and put another disposable diaper on him. Just cuz. And I won't feel bad about it either, so there.


Okay, so let's back up: Last summer, Ike developed a rash. And I mean a rash as in a R-A-S-H-H-H-H. I will spare you (and my poor kid) a description of said rash, though I am pretty sure you can Google around and find pictures of something similar and then NEVER SLEEP AGAIN. 

It was horrible. I took him to the doctor, who mostly just shrugged because she was jaded and hard and going to medical school is probably a lot like Google Images only all the time. She recommended some over-the-counter creams and a slathering of Aquafor or Triple Paste, which I obediently purchased along with a package of disposables. 

I used the creams. I used disposables that leaked poop and exploded overnight, covering poor Ike in that disturbing goopy-jelly-gel...stuff from the guts of the diaper. I disinfected my cloth diapers with bleach and tea tree oil and grapefruit seed extract, per the Internet's helpful instructions. 

The rash came back. We rinsed and repeated and tried again. I took Ike back to the doctor and got the same advice, only this time to maybe try a different...brand? Ehhhh?

The rash came back. THE RASH KEPT COMING BACK.

No matter what I did, dear Internet, I could not beat that rash. It flared up in cloth (especially in PUL) and in disposables. It flared up whether I used the creams once a day, twice a day or at every diaper change. I'd use the creams for a solid week after his skin looked better and think we were FINALLY okay and then BAM. A few days later we'd be back at square bloody one. I changed detergents, I bought NEW cloth diapers, I soaked his butt in baking soda, I let him run around naked, I used weird smelly ointments my MIL sent me, and I got the strangest, most creeped-out looks from the cashiers at the drugstore when I showed up buying every possible yeast/fungal cream and ointment they had to offer. Dang, girl. Change out of your swimsuit, or something.

Finally, I changed pediatricians. I showed up with medical records in one hand and a seriously flared-up rashy baby in the other.

The doctor listened to my tale of woe and nodded nicely but probably a little patronizingly. I could see the advice forming in her brain — obviously we didn't use the cream long enough, or change him often enough, or have you tried letting him run around naked or OH MY SWEET MERCIFUL CRAP YOUR POOR BABY.

Yeah. The instant she saw the rash she wrote us out a compound prescription for The Big Guns. (Basically the same stuff I used on mah boobs while breastfeeding. Human bodies are weird.) With double refills.

It was about a month-long regimen of cream, which meant ONCE AGAIN, we were going to have to use disposables. 

Two more things happened right around this time, though:

1) I completed Ike's application for preschool and was told in no uncertain terms that yeah, he needed to wear disposables there, too. You go be a hippie on your own time, lady. 

2) I was asked if I was interested in doing a sponsored post for The Honest Company. They sell disposable diapers but we know you cloth diaper so maybe you'd be interested in the non-toxic cleaning products or bath and body care products or OH MY SWEET MERCIFUL CRAP PLEASE SEND ME SOME DIAPERS.

Here's the thing: Despite writing approximately five hojillion blog posts about cloth diapers, I've bought and used disposables plenty of times. I mean, please. When we travel, sometimes. When our washing machine broke, ye gods. I don't think anybody deserves to get their cloth diapering gold star taken away just because they don't feel like dealing with a wet bag in an airplane lavatory, you know? Also, there's no such thing as a cloth diapering gold star, so everybody just calm down.

I've tried several times to find a good "natural" and/or biodegradable option, but have never been all that impressed. I have enough complaints about regular disposables — some of the eco-friendly diapers felt about as effective as wrapping my baby in a couple paper towels. So I admit I was...not really expecting a whole lot from the Honest Diapers, which are plant-based. But they were free and they were cute. 

So...I think you guys get the way I "usually" do sponsored posts around here, right? Blabber on for awhile about a tangentially related topic and then work the brand/product in without it being necessarily a ringing endorsement. (Though I would never, EVER do a post about a company or product I didn't at least like or respect.) But it's true that not every sponsored post is necessarily going to be about a product I can't live without and/or would rush out to buy with my own money again and again and again.

I used the package of Honest Diapers I was sent. I promptly went to the website and plunked down my credit card for two more packages. TRUTH.

One package went to preschool. The other stayed home. Those are the ones he's wearing now. They are white with little black skulls on them and they kill me. KILL ME. They also don't leak and Ike can wear them overnight. (OVERNIGHT. Overniiiiight!) Jason positively loved them, and his expectations were probably even lower than mine, since he forbade me from ever trying another "natural" brand after a very unfortunate restaurant incident with one of the older boys that he's still not over. If you're looking for a better disposable, either for full-time use (go for the subscription bundle to save money) or just as your sometimes-cuz-you-feel-like-it-backup, I really recommend them. Thumbs to the up. 

The rash? Is gone. For real and good this time, so far, fingers crossed. We've been clear for almost a month now, and Ike is back in cloth most of the time but not all the time. Because...


(These are his Tough Guy diapers, apparently.)

(By the way, our pediatrician recommended giving potty training a try, sooner rather than later, to give his poor sensitive skin a permanent break. I admit I'm not really looking forward to that, but hey, at least I'm already kind of prepared.)



This post was sponsored by The Honest Company. Sign up for a free trial (plus shipping) on a subscription bundleGet free shipping on your first order only with code FreeShipAmalah (expires March 13, 2013). 




Overnight overnight? Because the only thing we've found that can remotely hold all the pee for 12 hours is Bambo, and those suckers are AMAZING but $0.50 a pop for size 3...


While reading this..I kept waiting for you to say you met Jessica Alba. Alas, you did not, I'm not even that huge of a fan but it's really nice to read that her venture and products are great. She should use Ike in her marketing - that shot on the changing table is awesome, such a tough cutie :)


Pretty sure I'D wear diapers if they had robots on them.

Though my wife might have her own opinion, I suppose.

We're potty training right now, which means the end of cloth diapers. The end of an era.


I LOVE Honest diapers, but we can't use them overnight. Even a size up they leak pretty early on. But to be fair, even the "overnight" diapers leak most nights, so I suspect my kid has some super pee power.

But otherwise, we love Honest and have used their diaper bundle for 6 months with no rashes (okay fine, one teething related rash) and no daytime or poop leaks. Love love love them.


I've been happy with our Loves brand but I figured for you, I would try these (can't hurt to have readers clicking over, right?) even if I don't end up becoming a member. But also, your line about changing out of your swimsuit has made me crack up about five times. Thank you for that.

Shelby Roberts

Just ordered some diapers and wipes. The promo code for free shipping gave me some issues. It took it off on the order summary page, then still charged the shipping. I called was on hold all of one minute (so awesome) and the customer service rep took off the shipping no questions (again awesome). I just wanted to give you a heads up. They told me they are putting a request it to make sure it is working properly.


And so I shall sit here and lament the finality of mah final baby not being able to wear skulls 'pon his butt for him been trained since 2ish.


Hey, question about the training pants: Do they have the tabs on the side so you can change them without totally taking off the kids pants?...because that is totally required over here... he only wants to be changed standing up! So far the only ones I've found with that feature are the Target brand and the Pull-ups brand but I would love love love if there is something more natural.


Ohmygosh, Amalah, this is like reading my own story. I cloth diapered my oldest, and he always ALWAYS had a rash. Like you, we tried everything under the sun, and nothing worked. Eventually switched him to disposables and used a ton of coconut oil on his bottom (that works pretty well, for the record) but he still gets rashy sometimes. (His rash, though, is the kind that also shows up on his thighs, so it's not purely diaper-related.) For my youngest, we started with disposables because Eff that. From the start, I used Honest Co and I LOVE THEM. Great diapers + Super Cute = WIN! And my youngest has never once has rash issues like my oldest. I'm gonna say it's due to the Honest Co. diapers, even though there may be some different DNA going on as well. :-)


I would like to belatedly add a topic suggestion for you... As the mom of three boys, I would LOVE to hear about your potty training methods. As the mom of an almost THREE year old boy still in diapers, I think I need some help.

He sits on the potty regularly, but seems to have no idea about how to um, release? We talk about big boy underwears (he adds the "s"!) ALL the time, have worn them around the house, always with a lot of talk about no pee pee or poo poo in our underwears, pee pee and poo poo go in the potty, etc. He agrees, quite solomnly, very serious. ,excited about big boy pants. Then... is completely surprised when I tell him his pants are wet. "What happened Mama??" Ummmm....

I get that you can't push it too much, and maybe he's just not ready, blah blah blah. But... Help?


I cloth diapered both my kids, with disposable supplementing. But my daughter kept getting a rash. A horrible, painful-even-to-look-at rash. I tried stripping the cloth diapers but nothing ever worked and the minute I put her back in them she rashed up again. So when she turned 2 I gave up and happily bought the giant box of Target brand diapers that have always worked well for us. And I don't even feel guilty. I mean, I do feel a bit guilty but we can't afford the fancy pants (literally!) hippie disposable diapers. Thankfully Adele is almost potty trained so it won't be a worry for too much longer.

And now I've said entirely too much about this subject.


I'll second Erin--PLEASE write about potty training! I also have an almost 3yo boy who is resisting and would LOVE advice.


Total assvice here, and I'm sure you tried it already but the ONLY thing that stopped our crazy rash prone kids (and I know the rash you speak of all too well) was wiping the kids with Cetaphil every single diaper change. It cleaned as actual soap does plus the thin layer that's left as you wipe it off is a helpful protection.


This is exactly why we quit cloth diapers. The rash, oh my GOODNESS, the rash. I got so tired of stripping/disinfecting the diapers YET AGAIN while using the prescription stuff in disposables that one time I just didn't go back.


We had that rash too. "We" as in my little boy. The awful, horrible rash that NEVER went away. Our ped told us that it was related to the awful, horrible cold that also never, ever went away. My poor lil guy's immune system couldn't fight both the rash and the cold at once. Sure enough, if lil' guys rash flares up the next day he starts the sniffles.

Anyway, ped also recommended making a cream that is 1/3 monistat, 1/3 vaseline and 1/3 neosporin. Apply liberally. Works like a charm! Well, at least for the rash. It doesn't help with those blasted colds...


My daughter has the same problem, and since she is very fair/sensitive skinned, my ped said she probably won't be fully in the clear till she's potty trained as well. I have the same experience at the drug store buying every kind of anti-fungal/female cream in the store. I love it when it's an old lady cashier...I just smack those suckers on the counter and give her a big smile. :) I've been on the fence about Honest since it's relatively expensive, but I might give it a go now.


Those are adorable!

Hey, can I ask, is Ike a drooly guy while teething? Or not so much? How about your other boys?
I have a personal theory on terrible horrible no good very bad diaper rashes...that they are lack-of-drool related!

My 2 girls (ages 8, and almost-3) were never very drooly, but got HORRIBLE diaper rashes beginning right around the time they got their first tooth, and ending...like, once they were done getting teeth. It was like clockwork...every time they were getting another one coming through, a bad yeasty rash would break out.
Number 3 is a sweet lil boy who is now 4.5 months old, and is crazy drooly like a champ...I can't wait to find out if he's going to get rashes. Wait! That didn't sound right...I don't want him to get rashes...hopefully you get what I'm suggesting. :-)

Mrs. CPA

I just ordered some of these from Zulily! There's no discount, but you can order any pattern you want - so two of skulls and one of anchors or whatever. And all the other stuff is on there too.


I saw these on Zulily and thought - "huh, cute" but we use Nature Babycare eco diapers and training pants - which are 1/10th as cute as these but I'm already set up to order them from Amazon...

BUT, I love me some free so have signed up for the trial. Anchors, ahoy!

@Christina, the Nature Babycare training pants don't have tabs, they have tear away sides - so you can take them off without taking off their pants but you can't put a new one on. My 2.5 yo old is obsessed with wearing "unders" like his older brother (not so much obsessed with the going potty part, unfortunately) so we use those training pants (even overnight) and Antsy Pants cloth training pants during the day - and, FTW, at daycare!

I was so nervous to ask them about cloth but they said, sure, no problem - EXCEPT that they are not "allowed" to dump out poop, so I often get a wetbag with at least one poopy diaper in it at the end of the day. What we do for our children and the environment...


Thanks for this post. I had been cloth diapering since my two year old was six weeks. Then I started cloth diapering my second at two weeks. I felt like the gold star was mine, all mine for about a month... Then the norovirus hit. The baby was the only one spared, and we decided to switch to disposables full time for both until all sickness cleared (I was doing too much other laundry); however, even once things settled down I haven't been able to go back. Still adjusting to life with two, it just feels like too much. I have felt really bad and guilty about it, like my gold star has been stripped from me and mommy worth has gone down because I can't or don't want to do it right now. Thank you for reminding me there was no gold star to begin with. I really want to give these diapers a try!


Thanks for this post. I had been cloth diapering since my two year old was six weeks. Then I started cloth diapering my second at two weeks. I felt like the gold star was mine, all mine for about a month... Then the norovirus hit. The baby was the only one spared, and we decided to switch to disposables full time for both until all sickness cleared (I was doing too much other laundry); however, even once things settled down I haven't been able to go back. Still adjusting to life with two, it just feels like too much. I have felt really bad and guilty about it, like my gold star has been stripped from me and mommy worth has gone down because I can't or don't want to do it right now. Thank you for reminding me there was no gold star to begin with. I really want to give these diapers a try!


OH MAH GAH do I love Honest.com! I don't have a diaper-wearer in the house, but I have been subscribed to their household products since Rebecca at Girls Gone Child posted about them a few months ago. LOVE their stuff. It smells nice, it's environmentally and sustainably friendly, the stuff is effective, and they seem like really nice people. I love finding a company that I can feel good about giving my money to, that has products I really really like.


My son wore Honest diapers for about 6 months and I LOVED them. Never any rashes or blowouts and they are soooo cute. I wish they had more designs though. I love the skulls.


I LOVE Honest diapers. And I really love the company too. Will be using them for my newborn. So cute and I live that they don't have all the nasty stuff in them that regular disposables have.


Our guy has had bad rashes when he was recovering from diarrhea from antibiotics. All the time,we wash his bottom in the sink with aveeno soap after every single poop diaper, and when the redness starts, we add desitin on top of Bag Balm,which we use after every diaper change. Those are incompatible with cloth, but just in case,the rash flares up again,I thought I would mention this suggested "cure".


Me, too. *blushes*

Second child developed diarrhea nonstop last summer. Now, she's lactose intolerant. Solids are rare.

I just couldn't do it.

I've forgiven myself. You should, too. :)


It's so interesting how different our experiences are. My girls (noah's and ezra's same ages) were each in pampers until their third birthdays (we do cold turkey potty training on the third birthday, literally, and it worked like a charm both times). . .and in that cumulative 6 years of diapers, i never, ever experienced the exploding-diaper-with-pellet-goo or whatever it is. leaks were also extremely rare after the newborn liquid poop stage. I used pampers exclusively, and don't have a single complaint about those six years--except maybe, you know, all of that money and the landfill thing. But cloth just wasn't practical for us, and in hindsight i'm actually glad i didn't soend the money to get started on that, specifically because of rashes. Both of my girls have very sensitive skin, and after one diaper rash where my oldest was actually bleeding, at 6 months old, i just learned to put balmex on at every single diaper change, forever. Seriously, 6 years of balmex, just a tiny swipe of it at every diaper change, and we never had the horrible diaper rashes again.

VT Meg

THanks for backing me up on the Honest Dipes, which I also use for day care and overnight on my oldest who still needs training pants at night at 3 and 1/2 (tell me that ends soon. Anyone???? Are we just being lazy here? We've gone naked at night from time to time but it almost always results in wet bed, and considering that she ends up in our bed at some point -- which, I know, LAZY and we'll stop that soon, really, when we get around to it.....) anyhow, love the Honest stuff. Too bad the shampoo etc. gives my uber-sensitve little ones a rash. But I do a household bundle -- Love the laundry stuff and dishwasher pods and most all of the other cleaning stuff -- which gives me free shipping on the backup, daycare, every-so-often dipes. Just a question, Amy -- why not g-diaper with the disposables? We love it because we can compost them (life in the country), or flush when we're out at a hotel or whatnot. Sometimes I slip one of those in when I'm just feeling lazy and my crunchier-than-thou husband isn't likely to change the wee one.


They also have amazing customer service. Amazing! Super friendly and super good at what they do.


I cloth diapered my older kiddo (part time) and had no problems. With kiddo number 2 I had nothing but nightmarish experiences with cloth diapers and rashes...even after stripping, bleaching etc. We moved to "natural" diapers and never looked back or at another rash. I only wish that the Honest company had existed back then, because damn, those are so cute diapers!


I'm gonna give this assvise because I wish someone had said it to me.

We had that rash. FOR. EV. ER. And the cold that wouldn't quit, either, that someone else mentioned. (and we quit cloth diapers because disposables helped the rash) And then one day... we went on vacation and didn't want to buy milk. We had a dairy free vacation... which was also cold- free and rash- free. She had an allergy! And the dairy in her poop caused a contact sensitivity and made life hell. And she turned out to be allergic to most of those creams, too.

Something worth thinking about... doesn't have to be dairy, I have another one now that has the same problem every time she eats store- bought condiments or jellies.


I see the person above me suggested diet, I would take a look at what he's eating. My kids used to get horrific rashes when they would eat pineapple, for instance. The youngest is 16 now, and my husband and I still know exactly what "pineapple diapers" refers to.


We're a part-time cloth, part-time disposable household. Our 9 month old pretty much came out the womb sleeping through the night and 12 hours just seems like too long to be in a damp cloth diaper. She wears cloth at daycare (and during weekends if we're caught up enough on laundry) and disposables at night. As much as I like eco-friendly warm fuzzies, we haven't even tried Honest Company or other natural diapers once. Aldi has very inexpensive diapers and they almost never leak.


Our guy has had bad rashes when he was recovering from diarrhea from antibiotics. All the time,we wash his bottom in the sink with aveeno soap after every single poop diaper, and when the redness starts, we add desitin on top of Bag Balm,which we use after every diaper change. Those are incompatible with cloth, but just in case,the rash flares up again,I thought I would mention this suggested "cure".


Did you know that in medical school they have whole lectures where they just show slideshows of the most disgusting medical horrors they can find just to desensitize the doctors? They do in Australia anyway. Nobody wants a doctor that says "Oh I'll just take a look and- OH MY SWEET LORD."

Cathy stadler

I love my Honest diapers! We like to rotate with the skulls and anchors. And so far, no issues with leakage. Even with the big bad blowouts!!! I love that they are somewhat biodegradable and we also love the wipes. Our little one likes to clean his face with them. We did have to buy some pampers wipes last month and they made his little bottom red. I usually get my diapers every six weeks to save money. It's been working out great!!!


Dude. You must have had a SUCKY pediatrician. haha When my Elijah was like 4 weeks old he developed The Rash of Death and they set me up with that All Purpose Nipple Ointment, pronto. Took care of it in no time. I was grateful someone had my back, breastfeeding around the clock WITH a nipple shield had addled my brains, I could barely remember my own name let alone try to experiment with butt rashes....lol

Cheryl S.

This is why I love you. You are an actual REAL person! With real issues! And you don't feel it necessary to torture your poor kiddo to take a stand(Yes, I have another blogger in mind with that statement, but I'll be nice and not name her)

Anyway, I'm glad you found a solution that worked for Ike's poor, torn up little booty!


Amy, thank you for this tip. We're going to try out Honest and see how they go. We don't have issues with rashes or overnight pee explosions (thank god) but I love the idea of chemical free and good for the environment. I also LOVE Baby2Baby! I actually got teary-eyed thinking about it. My kid is 2 now so maybe his diapers days are numbered but I'm sure we'll get a lot of use out of this. Thanks again. And BTW, your children are beautiful.


Wow are those diapers expensive. Diapers and wipes combo for less than $20 per WEEK? I use cloth part time (less often then I did with my first baby) and we spend less than $20 per MONTH. Forget the cute designs, all I see are $$$$.


Oh my God, thank you thank you thank you so much for this.

Brendan has a rash we've been fighting off and on since Christmas, we're using a fairly heavy-duty antifungal on it right now and I think? it's finally working? and my father in law had the bizarreness to tell me last week that really, the solution to the rash was to go back to the old fashioned way and go cloth on the 20-month-old bugger (which we had wanted to do but hadn't for family insanity reasons around the time he was born). I keep trying different diapers to make sure they're not the culprit, somehow. And I had seen the ads and stuff for this company but was afraid to try them for all the blowout reasons you listed.

Thank you.


Ok. We cloth diaper at home, use disposables at daycare, and are dealing with a rash situation right now, although not as bad as poor Ike's. So perhaps I will try Honest diapers. I love your cloth diaper posts :)
HOWEVER. I am cry/laugh/snorting at the change out of your swimsuit line. Oh my god. And then I had to explain it to my husband, because he thought I was having a seizure or something.

Ashley // Our Little Apartment

My son had to get all kinds of prescription creams last year to fight his butt infection.

Turns out I wasn't changing his (cloth) diaper often enough. MOTHER OF THE YEAR WHAT'S UP.


LOVE to hear a good review about this company. I've done a lot of research, and they sound ALL GOOD, but you never know, you know? May just have to check out this free deal!


I just potty trained my toddler before his 2nd birthday in 2 days with just a couple of accidents. So you never know! He used cloth diapers too. They say cloth diapered children train earlier, in general.
(I read "Oh crap, potty training" for the funsies of it, she's funny.)

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