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Monday, January 26, 2015

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Cloth Diapers and Antibiotics

It happens to everyone. Your kid seems off.. take them in and they end up on antibiotics. For us, it has been multiple ear infections. When you hit multiples, the antibiotics get stronger. Antibiotics do crazy things to our bodies. Unfortunately for the kiddos, it ends in sensitive stomachs and lots of poop. Not a big deal to some, but when you are using cloth diapers - lots of poop is hard! The biggest fear everyone has with antibiotics is their child getting a yeast rash. Yeast means more medicines, disposable diapers, and stripping/bleaching your stash. No fun for anyone.

In the past year we have survived 4 rounds of antibiotics - the last two being stronger medicines with NO yeast rash and still cloth diapering full time. How do you do it? Here are my top tips:

1. Change Often - When my daughter is on antibiotics, the poor girl pretty much gets the runs. I watch her like a hawk and as soon as she has gone, I change her. If she hasn't, I still change every 1.5-2 hours MAX. I have also found that using prefolds without a cover is almost easier and allows for more airflow if possible. If not, they are still softer usually on the bottom.

2. Wipes & Cream - Extra poop means an extra sensitive bottom. If I even reach for the wipes, my poor girl starts to cry. Instead of using disposable wipes, I use cloth wipes that have been pre-moistened in either water or water with a tiny bit of baby soap. If they are warm, it definitely helps. Then to help soothe any irritation I use a bit stronger cream than our normal CJs BUTTer. My favorite is the Motherlove Diaper rash & Thrush cream.

3. Probiotics - It is not just the medicine and the diapers that are important. Antibiotics really kill the bacteria in your body- both good and bad. Probiotics help replenish the good bacteria. Yogurt is great, but if dairy is an issue or not as easy, then you can get powdered probiotics. We use Primadophilus Children by Nature's Way. I will typically mix a serving with water and a tiny bit of fruit juice to cut any flavor they have. My daughter will drink the whole thing. For Probiotics to be the most effective - they need to be given at a DIFFERENT time than the antibiotics. Typically we do antibiotics at breakfast & dinner, so she will get her probiotics at lunch or early afternoon snack.

4. Wash wash wash - With all the extra diaper changing, I also make sure that I wash my diapers extra well to make sure and get any residue or any germs off. Maybe not every wash, but every other wash, I will run them through the cycle twice. This ensures my diapers are getting clean and I'm not risking any residual poop on them.

5. Baths & Air time - I will tend to give a bath a bit more frequently and include something like oatmeal or another soother for the skin. Then after the bath, we try to let her play or read books for a good 10-20 mins before putting a diaper back on. The air time will allow everything to really get dry and not keep moisture in. I do recommend throwing a towel on the floor or doing it on a floor that can easily be cleaned up in case there are accidents!

6. Extra cuddles - On top of already not feeling great, antibiotics can make your child feel worse. Extra hugs and reassurances that everything will be back to normal soon will help!

Other things that can help this process are using liners (disposable or fleece) in your diapers to help with the wetness. I am assuming a diaper sprayer helps, but I do not have one! Yes you read that I have done all of this without a sprayer!! I also recommend having some clorox wipes or your cleaner of choice on hand. We have had several leaks onto the floor!

I know that not everyone will choose to continue to cloth diaper while your child is on antibiotics, but it can be done. I can't guarantee these are the 'solution' to not getting stuck with a yeast rash, but this is what has worked for us.

Bio: Karla is married to her best friend with whom she has two awesome children. They are both currently in cloth diapers. Karla is a stay at home mom and blogs at Running On Eagles Wings, where she blogs about fitness and life!

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