Managing Bacterial and Fungal Infections in Cloth Nappies

manage yeast infection cloth nappiesYour baby has a fungal or bacterial infection along with nappy rash? Oh we feel for you and baby. Its hard, its takes commitment to treat and manage. It hurts your precious baby. We have been there. Let us provide you with a course of action for fungal infections in cloth nappies.

We are compiling information from the most trusted brands of cloth nappies…Bummis and Grovia, and our own experiences.
First Steps: Identification
Identify the issue. Is it bacterial, is it fungal, is it just a nasty rash? If the rash looks this bad and your gut is suggesting you visit your local GP, please do. If your GP identifies it as a bacterial/fungal issues, they may prescribe an antibiotic or steroid cream. Ensure you follow the course of medication to the end to ensure all the nasties are killed.
Next Steps: Killing the yeast
Killing the yeast involves a few parts to ensure all is clean and hygienic. You need to treat the skin and the cloth nappies.
Treat the skin
  • Use a barrier cream that is designed for yeast infections, if you can.
  • Consult your doctor for a stronger medication to treat the infection.
  • Use a liner to decrease contact between the cloth nappy and the skin. Even consider making your own fleece liners for this purpose and discarding after each use. Fleece liners are thicker and provide a better barrier than disposable. Or use 2 disposable liners. Please experiment to find what works for your baby, ensuring your not increasing the occurrence of leakage with the double disposable liners.
  • Change your baby’s cloth nappy as often as possible.
  • Don’t use a powder during this time as the bacteria and fungus can feed on it and spawn more.
Treat the cloth nappies
To ensure there is no reoccurring infections in your cloth nappies you will need to continue this treatment until 5 days past the rash clearing up on your baby.*
*always refer to your manufacturers washing instructions and guidance if they differ from these instructions.
  • Firstly wash your washing machine with the hottest cycle it can to disinfect it of any nasties.
  • Wash your cloth nappies and any other items that may have come in contact with the infection using the following steps
    • Fill your machine with warm to hot water, no more than 60 degrees.
    • Add the maximum amount of an anti-fungal agent to your washing machine, such as anti-fungal rinse,  oxygenated bleach or chlorine bleach (we have mentioned all three of these products, as different brands recommend different strategies).
    • Add your infected cloth nappies and allow to soak for 15 minutes.
    • Wash your cloth nappies with the regular amount of detergent.
    • Rinse well, very well.
  • Dry in the sun as it helps to disinfect or your dryer. We do not want the cloth nappies to stay wet for an extended period.
  • Repeat this process for each wash until 5 days post the rash clearing up.
  • Dont mix your detergent with your chosen anti bacterial option.
  • Wash your cloth nappies at least every second day. Dont leave that yeast sitting around breeding.
We must advise that washing at very hot temperatures or the use of these products may void warranties, so please contact us for further information or contact your cloth nappy brand.
You may also consider switching to or using a mix of disposables for this period, until 5 days post the infection clearing up. Follow the course of action that works for you.
Our experience
We have experienced several yeast infections with Abbey and our boys. In all cases we have continued to use cloth nappies, but have followed this strict wash routine. We have used an anti bacterial rinse to disinfect and the beautiful sunshine. The most important step is continuing the treatment after the rash has cleared up AND washing all articles that have come into contact with the infection.
Lastly make sure you wash your hands very well, not to spread the infection.
Tell us about your experience with fungal infections in cloth nappies. What worked best for you and you baby?
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2 thoughts on “Managing Bacterial and Fungal Infections in Cloth Nappies

  1. Hi my son has had a fungal/bacterial rash for over 2 months now. I have switched to disposables but I know he has sensitive skin and has previously reacted to disposables. I feel they might be inflaming this rash. I want to continue cloth. I have a front loader so I can’t soak the nappies in the machine. It is also a 10kg machine so I normally wash every 4th day to ensure I have a big enough load to ensure the right amount of agitation. The doctor advised to continue cloth as it would be more comfortable for him but just change as soon as he wees. I was using canestan anti fungal wash in my washes before I stopped and went to disposables. Do you have any advice on how I can continue cloth?

    • Hey Tess,
      That is a challenge for you. Here are some thoughts to consider to keep using cloth:
      – continue using a warm to hot wash
      – continue using the anti fungal wash
      – wash every 1 to 2 day.
      – consider washing your nappies with towels or sheets to bulk out your load. Treat your self to fresh towels twice a week!
      – if you have been advised to soak, you can always soak in the laundry sink or a bucket with a lid to prevent a drowning hazhard.

      I would not leave nappies sitting around longer than 2 days. Until the infection has passed, you will need to alter your routine to accomodate.
      Good luck and let me know how you go.

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