Creams of the crop
There are a myriad diaper creams out there and I’d be lying if I told you I’d tried them all. Honestly, we’ve tried very few. Note that I’m not familiar with traditional diaper creams and ointments – the aquaphors, the Desitin, Boudreaux’s, the triple pastes. I recommend them to patients routinely based on whether they have the active ingredient zinc oxide, but because we are cloth diaper users we simply don’t have these at home, so I don’t have much personal experience with them. But when it comes to diaper creams that are cloth-diaper safe, we have used several and have a bunch that we like.
Earth Mama Angel Baby Bottom Balm was the first diaper cream we purchased for our newborn. It has a nice scent and goes on very smoothly. I also like that it comes in a small container that transports well. Despite this it is very moist so it didn’t seem to make our baby any less susceptible to newborn rashes and it didn’t really heal rashes, but we loved the nice baby-ish scent at first.
Northern Essence makes lovely cloth-diaper-safe baby products including Better Butter Cream, Diaper Dust, and the All Natural Diaper Rash Salve Stick. The two-ounce stick is excellent for travel and I like the twist cap with the hands-free application. It prevents your hands from getting cream/grease on them and seems more hygienic for use with your baby. The Better Butter cream is formulated especially to help with yeast infections; we have not yet had a bad yeast infection to test this out, but when baby’s bottom gets a little red we put this on with a dab of diaper dust (if you want to use a dust or cornstarch always dab on baby’s bottom, do not shake out of a container because you don’t want baby to get powder in his or her lungs). And with this regimen the rash always improves quickly. Note: her diaper dust is a non-talc powder. If you ever get a baby powder, remember that not all powders are free of talc, which is a lung irritant (Johnson and Johnson’s Baby Powder in the white container is an example of a baby powder which DOES contain talc).
California Baby Diaper Rash Cream is another cream that has a permanent place at our changing station. This is a zinc-oxide-containing diaper rash cream that does not have any fish-based oil or petroleum, thus making it safe for cloth diapers. It does not have as high a concentration of zinc oxide as desitin (desitin has 40% zinc oxide generally, whereas other preparations like this have between 10 and 20% zinc oxide) so it may not work as well if you have a baby with a very severe rash, but it works great for us. We use this cream *very* sparingly because it really spreads well. Just a tiny dab is plenty for the diaper are and after having the cream for several months our container is still almost full. When baby’s bum is red and moist this helps draw out some of the moisture.
For Cloth Diaper users, CJ’s BUTTer is available pretty universally and because of the diversity of the product in terms of scents available, it is very popular among cloth diaperers. We bought one stick of her BUTTer in the scent of “Monkey Farts” – a banana-bubble-gummy scent. It goes on similarly to the Northern Essence Diaper Rash Salve. Some people mention repelling issues with this diaper cream on cloth diapers, but we haven’t used it enough to really see a difference. The scent is nice and fun, but when it comes to choosing I do prefer the Northern Essence product. But if you are looking for more variety of scents, this is an excellent option. People give great reviews of the sample packs which allow you to try out several scents. We may be getting more of this in the future depending on how baby does with it.
Arbonne Baby Care Herbal Diaper Rash Cream was given to us as a gift and it is *not* cloth diaper safe. This is an important distinction! Thus we hardly use this cream. That being said, I *love* this cream! We do use it when the baby is in disposables and it is another zinc oxide preparation where a little goes a long way. Make sure to use only the tiniest, teeniest dab because boy will it spread! It applies very smoothly and nicely, a great product if you use disposables.
So that’s that. These are the major diaper rash creams that we use, though this list by no means summarizes all our little baby toiletries. At another point I hope to go over our washes, diaper area cleansers, body creams, and such, but I hope this proves helpful to people considering any of these as options for their baby!