How can I deal with my partner's baby-unfriendly quirk?

August 27 2013 | offbeatbride
Offbeat Home & Life runs these advice questions as an opportunity for our readers to share personal experiences and anecdotes. Readers are responsible for doing their own research before following any advice given here... or anywhere else on the web, for that matter.
By: Kate HaskellCC BY 2.0
My husband hates lotion. He thinks it's completely disgusting. I can't even get him to wear sunscreen, despite his history of precancerous moles. Although this is worrisome to me, I've always chosen to avoid this battle. Which was fine until we had our baby four months ago.

Our little girl has super-sensitive skin, just like her mama. She is very susceptible to diaper rash and has some eczema, particularly on her scalp. We use cloth diapers — a decision my husband was totally on board with. When we put disposables on her, she breaks out in a rash no matter how much diaper cream we put on. If she is adequately lubed up, I can keep her little bum clear in the cloth diapers. BUT…

My husband finds the diaper cream so yucky on his own fingers that he'll hardly touch the stuff, let alone cover her bum with it properly. Every single time he puts her heavier night diaper on, she wakes up with a rash. In fact, if he changes her more than twice in a row, she'll get a rash. We've "discussed" (read: argued about) this, and he says it makes no sense to him to put something moisturizing on her if wetness is the problem. I've explained the science of barrier creams to him and he says it baffles him. I find myself thinking he's just trying to justify his own bad parenting. I know that's a mean thing to think.

I'm at a loss. In most other ways, he's a wonderful father and husband. I hate to see her in pain from diaper rash but I don't want to have to do every diaper change myself. Please, please tell me: how do you deal with a partner's quirks and preconceptions when you believe they are negatively impacting your baby? — Jenny

  1. Can you bring this up at her next well-baby visit? Maybe he needs to hear this from your daughter's pediatrician/NP/dermatologist etc.

  2. We have our changing table stocked with latex gloves to change our sons feeding tube. Would you partner be adverse to doing it gloved up?

    • This was actually my first thought! It sounds like a texture issue to me, which could probably be worked around with gloves so that he doesn't have to feel it on his fingers.

      • My boy works in a restaurant (handling food) and keeps a box of 'finger condoms' (for lack of a better term!) around to wear when he has a fingertip wound. That might be even easier then a whole glove.

        • The technical term is finger cots, usually used for splinting/covering finger wounds (as you said). Finger condoms is the term used more commonly. Totally a thing, but there's the "better" word in case you care to use it. I think finger condoms is more fun though 😛

      • Mine too.

        If feeling the cream through the gloves still grosses him out, maybe some sort of soft, wide object (smooth clothe? Spatula?) he can use to spread the cream evenly without touching it.

        This may not entirely solve the problem is part of his problem is the combination of hating lotion and empathy for the baby. If he hates the feel of it, he may have a hard time putting it on his daughter's skin because he knows it would make HIM miserable if it was him.

        If this is part of the problem, maybe science is in order: Get him to observe and note down the difference in rashiness when the cream is used and when it is not used. Maybe empirical evidence that it helps with the rash will convince him it is worth the discomfort he feels it must be causing the baby.

        (Or possibly the empirical will show that it doesn't actually make that much difference, and then you can stop fighting with your husband about lotion and work on tracking down what DOES make a difference. It's always important to be open to the possibility of having your hypothesis disproved when doing an experiment.)

    • This, or putting some diaper cream on a piece of tissue, toilet paper, or even squirting it on the diaper then smearing it on her bum. No touching it, but baby's bottom is still protected.

      • That's how we put it on, squirt it on the dry, clean diaper and smear it around. It's also the most hygenic way for any of us to do it, as suggested by our Ped.

    • Yes to gloves! My husband had the same issue with both diaper creams and the idea of touching poo, so he still uses gloves every time. It's actually really convenient, especially on the go when a handwashing sink is not always readily available. It also helped him to see me go through the diapering process with our son a number of times, and to jump in and assist with the "gross part" a few times.

  3. Would he be okay putting it on with a disposable glove? Or maybe if he used a washcloth or something similar, so he doesn't actually have to touch it?

    • You said washcloth, and it made me think: If makeup sponges can be used for putting on cream foundation and greasepaint which are similar consistencies of diaper rash cream and lotions, I bet they would work great on this. Perceived issue: More waste. I don't see these creams coming off the sponges properly when washed so they could need to be disposable.

      TMI ALERT: But maybe you are onto something with the washcloth thing. I use flannel wipes on my own self and intend to use them on any future!kids, and I know that when I have been forced to use diaper rash cream, it has washed off the wipe just fine. But that wasn't applying it. I imagine they would actually work to apply it pretty well. And being flat rather than (as) textured as a washcloth, perhaps less wasted rash cream?

      • Since they are using cloth diapers, I am thinking that one diaper could be designated as the "butt paste applicator" cloth. Assuming the cloth diapers are already clean enough for baby's bum, and they wouldn't touch anything but products meant for baby.

  4. Keep latex gloves around while changing? I worked in daycare for years and you can get pretty fast taking these on and off.

  5. GroVia MAGIC Stick. It's like in a tube–think deoderant. He doesn't have to touch the cream, it's cloth diaper safe and works amazing. Plus it smells good. There are a couple other generic varieties out there that work just as well.

  6. Is it possible for diaper changing to be done exclusively by you? It sounds like your husband has sensory issues more than he's being a bad parent so compromising might be the best way to deal. For instance in our home I am the one in charging of washing the diapers and then my husband pitches in extra elsewhere.

  7. Do you think it's more of a him disliking touching the butt paste, or him not agreeing with its necessity?

    If its the touch issue, you can use the tubes rather than the tubs and he can just squeeze it between her cheeks without touching.

    If its a "it's not necessary" disagreement, then would him going to a dr appointment where her diaper rash and the solution is discussed be helpful?

  8. How about vinyl gloves? You can get a pack of 50 or 100 at any drug store. Latex are cheaper if she isn't sensitive to that, too. I use gloves for almost everything because I don't like to touch a lot of stuff. If the problem is truly that he doesn't want to touch the lotion, this should help.

    • This. So much this. I wear gloves for EVERYTHING because I hate the way things (all things ever, it feels like) feel. The world is a sensory place and I had to find my barrier method to function in this world when I realized I was going to have to touch things that I found unpleasant or even physically repulsive. The gloves will protect him from the squishy gross lotion the way the squishy gross lotion will protect your little girl's bottom!

  9. My husband has OCD tendencies so I can relate. I've learned to try and problem solve in as many cases as possible. Has he tried to wear gloves before putting on the butt balm?

    Like a relationship, parenting is a dance. Sometimes you have to take the lead. My husband has an extremely limited food vocabulary. I feed our daughter. I'm pregnant and find myself getting a little testy with her at times. He steps up.

  10. That sounds a little like my husband. He can't stand gunky things on his hands or fingers (lotions, creams, oils, etc). Perhaps get a box of latex/nitrile gloves or something he can wear so he does not have the heavy feeling of the diaper cream on his hands.

    Good luck!

  11. My husband has issues with lotions as well. It is a sensory issue and NOT a bad parenting issue. If you can convince him to do a little DIY therapy, he will come around. Put lotion on him and rub it in. Do it a little every day until it stops freaking him out. Berating him will not help. Trust me. I have been there. I have to apply sunscreen for my husband. I've gotten him to the point where he can tolerate it on his skin, as long as it isn't on his hands. It's one of those things that can make you want to rage, because it is so irrational, but it makes perfect sense to him. Good luck!

    • Speaking as someone who has tried homefried aversion therapy and the actual real thing with a certified therapist, I cannot tell you how unsafe your suggestion is. Some people have actual, real, full on meltdowns or panic attacks and your advice would not be helpful and can do long term damage. My personal suggestion is to work around it (most people with tactile/auditory/oral defensiveness, sensory aversion or sensory processing issues have grown up learning work arounds or coping since it's a fairly new Thing to be labeled as), or find an actual sensory integration therapist. Please do not give such irresponsible advice! I see that you're coming from a good place overall, but I hope you can see what I'm trying to say.

  12. Your husband has an aversion to lotions- it's hard to tell how bad it is from your post. For his own health, maybe try the spray kind of sunscreen. It's way less gross.

    Depending how severe his aversion is, telling him to just "get over it" and "not be a bad parent" won't work. For your (mental) health, don't think of it this way. Compare it to something that really icks you out. He's probably not trying to sabotage your parenting efforts or not adequately care for the child.

    For your child's health, find a different method of application (stick, gloves, little disposable spatulas). Diaper duty is not the most desirable job, so I don't think you should have to do it exclusively, or maybe you can "trade" another undesirable chore for exclusive diaper duty.

    As kids, we always knew to go to Mom for vomit and Dad for blood.

    • I love the spray sun screen and prefer to use it whenever possible. I don't have an aversion to lotions, but the sprays are just so convenient and easy to apply, even in areas that are hard to reach. Some brands feel cleaner than others though, so finding the right kind that doesn't trigger OCD may take some effort.

      • As someone who hates sunscreen (And anything else I can feel and/or smell on my skin), this is the brand I hate the least: http://www.kinesysstore.com/DisplayProducts.asp?criteria=16136

        It goes on pretty oily feeling, but it absorbs quickly and feels less sticky than most sunscreens. It also stinks less than some sunscreens.

        I can still feel it (a slightly greasy feeling) and smell it (All sunscreens have a distinct, unpleasant smell to me) and I still pretty much hate it and will only wear it if I am going to be out on the sun for an extended period of time and just wearing a hat and trying to stay in the shade seems insufficient, but I hate it less than any other sunscreen I've tried. Which is pretty much the most enthusiastic endorsement you're going to get out of me for a sunscreen (Horrible stuff. If it weren't for the risk of skin cancer, I'd probably just risk the sunburn.)

  13. How about spreading the cream with a spoon or wearing gloves on his hand? As a side note, aren't creams not so great with cloth though?good luck!

  14. Disposable gloves may be a good idea. Maybe you can at least get him to agree to put it on her if he doesn't have to actually touch it.

    A doctor's opinion may also help. You may need an "authority" to firmly explain to him that, whether he gets it or not, this is what she needs. He can like it or not as long as he takes adequate care of her.

  15. I don't like touching desitin either (not to this extent) but what I do, is put a dollop on the diaper, and then rub the diaper all over baby's bottom. I don't know if this would help.

  16. I totally understand this, I think its a sensory issue for me. Slimy stuff on my hands, ugh! for the sunblock (though I realize its not your primary issue) I use the spray on ones that go on clear. no touching required. not the greenest stuff but I spray it outside and its the only way I can manage so I deal. The butt cream thing, I keep wipes right by me and clean it off really quick but (and possibly wasteful i know but if required) some medical gloves might help him be able to apply the cream and not get it on his hands, if it is a sensory issue for him too? Its something I have considered but I've managed to keep wipes nearby and its fine. With 2 in diapers I had to adapt! 🙂 also, some bother me more than others. with cloth diapers I used one (not necessarily a diaper cream but it worked great) made by lush, superbalm which didn't bother me too much, its the stickier ones that drive me nuts. or there's a couple for cloth diapers that come in a tube that you put on like a deodorant. Grovia makes one, magic stick that I know people who love.

  17. No reason he shouldn't get the logic behind it. Once he's on board, buy a box of disposable gloves for him (or washable cotton) for applying. There are also aerosol spray rash preventers/cures (Boudreaux's makes one) that would leave lotion out of the equation.

    • I'd be careful with an aerosol diaper spray….it's not so good to breathe these in & I don't know how you'd prevent the overspray from getting near the baby's face. The sticks sound better.

  18. My partner and I have had quite a few disagreements like this. Pretty small scale, yet important. I try to stop myself from getting defensive (the hardest part for me! ) and ask him to come up with a solution. The problem is obvious, diaper rash on your baby. My guess is that he wants your baby to be pain free just as much as you do. So, put it in his hands to find a solution. tell him that you will follow his research and advice. The big BUT for me is that I tell my partner, if you decide to ignore the problem amd it gets worse/doesnt get resolved, them we default to my way, and you have to follow it. See what he comes up with. Maybe he will start doing elimination communication, or find a cloth diaper cream he doesnt mind touching (we like Earth Mama Angel Baby or plain coconut oil) or maybe he can buy some gloves or finger cots. Finding ways to work together on the small stuff has helped me and my partner have a framework to deal with the big stuff. Good luck!

    • I actually really like this solution. It comes back to the mentality of Owning Your Own Shit. "This is a problem you have, so you need to be the one to find a solution that is acceptable to everyone." Which is SO NEVER to say that we don't help each other out and come up with ideas, we are totally supportive, but it really does feel awesome to be able to say "I had a problem, and I found a solution, thank you so much for your help brainstorming." Also it helps keep the resentment down of "you made me do this." Because all anyone "makes" anyone else do is respect boundaries.

    • Such great advice! It feels like this strategy would work in a variety of situations. I'm interested in trying it out. Like Heather said, it seems like it would cut down on resentment of one partner feeling like the other is making him or her do something. Thanks for sharing!

    • I love this, and I try to do this with my husband. Find your own way or you have to do it my way. Choose. I find it a really useful way of working!

  19. Baby's needs trump daddy's "ickyness".

    Ask him to wear a pair of thin gloves when he changes her, see if your pediatrician will explain it to him at your next appointment, or don't let him change her anymore and explain why.

  20. Stick diaper ointment! I can't stand to have the stuff on my hands either, but we have some that is basically a giant lip-balm tube of ointment.

    I've only ever seen it at specialty/hippie baby stores, and it's not cheap, but it lasts a while. It's called GroVia Magic Stick. There's also one called Bumazing. We picked up a Balmex stick at the grocery store in a pinch, but I found that one way messier and harder to use.

  21. Why have I never thought of gloves or little spatulas? That might work! Although I do feel bad about the waste of throwing them away. Maybe reusable vinyl gloves, though?

    I do make my own diaper cream (I make our lotion, cleaning products, ect). I'm a hippie that way. But I might be able to load it into a push tube, like a deodorant tube or even one of those refillable push-pop things.

    It really helps to hear that other people understand and relate to this issue. Sometimes I feel really alone with his "issues." I don't want to nag, and he's such a great guy that I hate to fight with him about this.

    You guys are so great!

    • If you make your own, why not pick up a travel sized roll on deodorant applicator bottle? You can (with a little force and maybe a little mess) force the ball out by squeezing the bottle, clean it out, and fill it with lotion? The ball will pop back in, too.

      I do this with coconut oil for lube 😉 you will want to store it upside down, so make sure to get one with a flat cap top.

    • I found a bunch of sources for push tubes by searching "lotion stick tube" on google. You might have to tweak your recipe so it is a little more of a solid, but it looks pretty easy and the tubes themselves are only a couple bucks and could almost certainly be reused.

    • Parenting is a balancing act. You are two imperfect people raising someone who will become imperfect one day. Give and take, seek advice and be willing to be wrong

  22. When is you next doctor appointment with baby? Maybe he could come and hear FROM THE DOCTOR how important the barrier cream is to avoid diaper rash for your daughter? Maybe hearing what you told him, but from someone with some kind of medical authority would help him accept it? There was also a facebook comment about giving him a makeup sponge to apply the cream so he doesn't have to touch it, I think it's worth a try.
    good luck for the many many diapers still ahead of you!
    (edit: for some reason I couldn't see the previous comments, so I guess I'm not bringing anything new…)

  23. How frustrating. I have a few things to suggest.
    1. Have you determined the cause of the diaper rash? Have you considered lots of naked time to avoid having to put cream on her as often? Look into Elimination Communication. (It's not all or nothing btw)

    2. Have you considered alternatives to diaper creams? If you are breastfeeding, that is a WONDERFUL diaper rash 'cream'. Here's a website about different diaper rash treatments. http://www.pinstripesandpolkadots.com/diaperrashcreams.htm

    3. Talk to your hubs. Tell him that this is not about his discomfort or his quirks. This is about the comfort and health of your baby. We all have to make sacrifices and do things we would rather not. We can't necessarily pick and choose what we get to do when it comes to that sort of thing. Can he try using gloves or some sort of application device (small spatula ONLY for the cream)?
    My husband swore he would never change a poop diaper once our lo started eating solids. I told him that his discomfort was not going to be my burden. It wasn't mean about it, just very matter of fact. Give your husband printed research on barrier creams if you have to.

    I hope this was helpful. I just know there have been several things I have had to skip pleasantries and be blunt with my hubby.

    Edit: another website
    http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/skin-care/diaper-rash

  24. I think diaper cream feels gross too and it's actually not great for your cloth diapers depending on what kind you use. My 5 mo is also cloth diapered with an extra sensitive tushy but we don't use diaper cream. I found that the wipes we were using were actually causing her rashes and no matter how much cream we used the rash just seemed to spread. Then we switched to Earth's Best Sensitive wipes and we've been 100% rash free since with not a drop of cream! We went through several brands of wipes and creams before using Earth's Best, even "natural" or "sensitive" stuff from Huggies & Aveeno. It contains shea butter and aloe in the wipe solution and is alcohol, chlorine and soap free, all of which I think helps. I've also found a soap free DIY wipe recipe that's aloe, water & tea tree oil I might out. Maybe you'd be interested in that since you're a DIYer too?

  25. It sound like he is having trouble with the idea of the cream, but this might help a little bit:
    I can`t stand how diaper cream gets under my nails and STAYS there. Instead of using my finger, I use a tissue. I fold it up a couple of times and slip my finger into it. We also like this method because we`re not putting just-cleaned-up-poop fingers into the tub of cream. I don`t know if this will help your hubby at all, but it`s worth a try! (As for him not "getting" the cream, try putting a layer on the back of your hand and have him watch as you put it under running water. He`ll see the water sheet off.)

  26. I use to work at a day care and we used popsicle sticks to really slather on the creams, it was genuis, maybe this would help you!

  27. Are you guys using wipes at all? When my son was in diapers, we discovered that whenever we used conventional wipes he was more prone to breakouts. We switched to squares of gauze (which is what his NICU used and recommended) to clean him (just used warm water!) and the breakouts stopped. We made sure he was totally dry before putting the diaper back on, and veeeeery rarely used any cream at all, because it seemed to make the problem worse. He has sensitive skin as well (as do I), and it seemed the more stuff we put on it, the worse any breakouts would be. His pediatricians (we moved a few times, so he had a couple) were all big fans of this method as well, and it worked well for us.

  28. If it's his own squick factor about touching the stuff, supply him with a box of latex-free nitrile gloves to use when he's got diaper duty. Point out that by not using the protective lotion, he's causing his his daughter to be in needless pain and discomfort.

  29. If he doesn't want to use a glove, have him use a cotton pad to spread the lotion. If he thinks lotion bottles are gross (they CAN be bacteria magnets), use disposable sample size packets instead of tubes or tubs of lotion.

    If he still refuses, I'd do a google image search and show him how bad diaper rash can get. And have your pedi talk to him. This is pretty inexcusable.

  30. We have a very sensitive baby and we 1) started to wash butt instead of use wipes and 2) actually we had to look into her allergies (!!) because we started to get worse when starting solid foods ( every night all the time) and now that we cut out bad foods it is so much better. I was told that this irritation was not just on her butt, it was also on the inside and the butt was a symptom of a bigger problem. It took a dermatologist and an allergist to figure it out so just wanted to give you a heads up to check on allergies as well. ( We have eczema and it is a symptom of an allergy trigger). We cut out wheat or egg related products and we are almost diaper rash free now!

  31. My husband is freaked out by poo and hates changing brown diapers. I usually let it go; after all, he gets the spiders, lizards, cat turds and cat sick that creep me out and make me want to puke. I'm saying that because I believe in helping each other out in a partnership. However, this issue of yours I think goes way beyond what is "yucky" or makes a person uncomfortable. This is an issue involving your child's health and well-being, and I think he needs to come to terms with his aversion somehow (like the latex glove idea) and put her welfare first. This is what we are supposed to do as parents. And my dear sweet husband does change diapers if he must, knowing that baby's poo might actually touch his skin. He's a grown up and sometimes even acts like one. Good luck with everything.

  32. A tip for your husband's sun protection- checkout Outdoor Outfitters like REI, Cabela's, Eastern Mtn Sports (am I allowed to list these without it being considered promoting them?) They have long sleeve/long pant sunguard clothing made out of lightweight, cool, breathable fabric. Like, I'm maybe 2 degrees warmer on a hot, humid, Mid-atlantic Day than I would be in something sleeveless. Totally takes away the necessity of gooey sunscreen while protecting my fair, redheaded skin!

  33. Have you thought about changing up the diaper routine at all? I don't mean actually changing the baby, but how you handle and clean the diapers?

    I'm pregnant with our first, so I'm by no means an expert, but we're planning on cloth diapering and I've been doing Research (yes, with a capital 'R'). And one of the things I've noticed is that if you're using a non-cloth friendly diaper cream, or detergents that leave residue, or or or than those sorts of things can contribute to the diaper rash. You didn't say anything about the type of cream or detergent you use, so for all I know you're already aware of this, but if not, this is pretty much where I started on my researches: http://alphamom.com/tag/cloth-diapers/ – the author talks about different rash-prevention schemes a lot (her sons also have very sensitive skin) although it's not always obvious from the title of the post.

    Anyway, just a thought – maybe changing up your detergent or washing process will fix the rash and make the cream less of a necessity.

  34. As a side note, a good sun-block for the lotion averse is spray on alcohol based in a aerosol can. ther are lots of brands, but basically it's this.

    You might be able to convince him to wear that, if you're worried about it.

  35. Am I the only one who uses wipes to spread diaper cream? I don't have an issue with lotions but I don't have my own baby–and I'm not sticking my fingers into the butt crack of the children I babysit and then taking several minutes (while active baby runs around creating mayhem) cleaning the grease off my fingers. I just grab an extra wipe, put the dollop of cream on there and I'm very thorough about spreading it. I know it's a little wasteful but it's what is working best for me right now. If you use gauze or washcloths, you can still use those to put the cream on.

  36. I am really grossed out by certain lotions and sunscreens, like it is specific to smell and brand. I get very dry hands, so I found one I like and it's great. Anyway, if I have to touch something that I think is gross to touch (raw meat, doing dishes by hand, touching weird creams) then I use a glove or gauze or whatever alternative to those.

    Unfortunately the baby can't do this themselves, so the parents have to, which means he will have to talk and think about what won't make him freak out, but that will let him help the baby in this way. I also second the advice to get a medical professional to reiterate the importance.

  37. If the issue is the consistency of diaper cream (which is kind of gross I think) maybe changing the kind you use would be good. I didn't see anyone else suggest coconut oil….we use coconut oil with some added in essential oils that smells great and seems to clear up diaper problems really rapidly. I usually just pour a little (or scoop depending on how solid it is) oil into my hands and smooth it on any redness…you can use whatever is left to give baby a mini massage or moisturize your own hands.

  38. I have a few ideas:

    1) Perhaps there might be a few hours during the day that you can leave your daughter diaperless? That can go a long way combat diaper rash in a cream-fee way.
    2) Perhaps your husband can think of barrier cream as a "temporary raincoat for the baby's ass". Oil repels water, which is why you are slicking it up. It's not moisturizer, right? It's VARNISH.
    3) Do your cloth diapers have build-up in them? That can cause rash.

  39. To the people in general who are saying he needs to just get over it – it's true that the baby's needs come first and that there needs to be a solution, but the solution really isn't for him to just get over it, especially if he's seriously sensorily averse and not just kinda grossed out. There needs to be action, and a lot of the suggestions above make sense, but just on a relationship level between the OP and her husband, not taking him seriously about his psychological needs or kind of implying that they're a selfish indulgence (even if you think you're hiding it if you feel like that it's probably coming out in your behavior) would make anyone defensive and argumentative. Make sure that if you make these suggestions about gloves or having the doctor explain things you're not accidentally communicating to him "well, since you can't even be trusted to handle changing diapers, I've figured out some solutions that even you can't screw up." I'm seriously overstating it here, but I'm sure you get the point – things will probably go much more smoothly if you make sure that the undertone of the communication is about you guys working together to come up with a solution that works for everyone, and his input and issues are just as important and legit as any other factors.

    • Thank you for articulating what I've been trying to think of a way to say. Seriously, thank you. Great comment!

    • As someone with honest-to-goodness OCD and an extreme sensitivity to textures, THANK YOU for this comment. I was really disappointed to see all the comments condemning or chastising the husband. Yes, the diaper rash absolutely needs to be addressed, but I'm sure there's a way to go about it that doesn't dismiss or belittle the father.Emphasizing partnership and eliminating finger-pointing will go a long way here.

      • I think a lot of the irritation here stems from the fact that it is his problem to address. Yes, it's a genuine aversion, yes, it needs to be dealt with rather than belittled, but he needs to be the one saying "this is a problem, it's affecting my daughter's health, I need to do something about it" rather than just refusing to put the cream on. Having the problem in the first place isn't irresponsible, refusing to tackle it is.

  40. I cloth diaper (style: prefolds in waterproof covers, pocket-style for overnight), and I've been told that traditional barrier creams build up on the diapers and actually make them water proof – so the diaper won't soak up the urine but hold it against little bottoms. I'm not sure if you use another style of diaper (I.E. pocket-style), but I was under the impression that the same was true for them. How often and well you wash the diapers will make a huge difference too, and because those barrier creams are waterproof they don't wash off as well as you probably hope they would – even making the diaper water-proof. I actually do 2 complete wash/rinse cycles with an extra rinse at the end to make sure I get the best rinse – and with as much water as my washer will handle. I use Rockin' Green soap because 1) it comes with some amazing smells and 2) it's one of two cloth diaper safe detergents I can get locally.
    I use LuSa Booty Balm when I see redness (especially after a BM) or any little rashes/bumps – and it's not really the same texture as lotions or creams. As far as wipes, I use cloth wipes with a sprayer of "wipe juice" so I can adjust how much wetness I need for any given dirty diaper. I actually put some *talc-free* baby powder down on the diaper (instead of poofing it on my baby's bottom) – especially when I'm going to be driving for a while and need to do so for comfort or its hot outside and I notice heat rash (though, there is some question if this is advisable with fleece-lined diapers, I don't do this with my overnights).
    I'm also lucky enough to have a local diaper store that walked me through the whole cloth diapering process – and they have a lot of their information on their website: http://www.littleneetchersdiapers.com .
    Those diaper balm sticks that other commenters have mentioned are actually OK for cloth diapers, so that would probably be a good bet for your specific situation.

  41. I've seen lots of good suggestions regarding alternate diaper creams & ways to apply them (& alternate solutions like testing for allergies & going diaper-less for a little bit), all of which could help. But I haven't seen any mention of powder–have you tried that instead? My daughter had a few really bad bouts of diaper rash that didn't get better even when we religiously gooped on as much diaper cream as possible (of all different varieties) at every changing. It was so sad to see how raw her skin was & we felt like nothing helped. Then our doctor suggested powder instead of creams–even the water-repelling creams have some sort of moisterizing element to them and in her case the problem was too much moisture. So sealing a rash on skin that is too moist to begin with doesn't solve the problem, just seals it in.

    Powder was the only thing that worked for us, and the great thing is that it's super easy to apply (no touching anything but the bottle) and it smells nice. You just have to be careful not to put too much on & get the cloud for the baby to breath in, but that hasn't been much of a problem either, just something to be aware of & keep an eye on when applying. Good luck, I hope you find a solution that works for you both!

  42. I just wanted to add that the diaper fabric content could be contributing. I am sensitive to polyester and apparently my daughter is also. Also using cloth wipes with a spray bottle so I can clean her and blot her dry seems to make a difference.
    Good luck!

  43. My friends had a good experience with the Elimination Communication method with their daughter, which could help bypass the whole diaper thing much earlier than usual if it works with your lifestyle.

    Not an immediate solution, but perhaps some relief down the road?

  44. My amazing-half has sensory issues, including a lotion/cream/anything-sticky/tacky aversion. We've discussed this, as our firstborn is due to arrive in October. We've used the poly gloves for sunscreen and other purposes, which are thicker than latex and help keep the texture-feeling to a minimum, so that was our initial plan. The sticks are a WONDERFUL idea we're looking into, and I've read about how you can even make your own and pour it into tins or into an empty stick (much like making your own lipgloss but using diaper cream instead of vaseline). Friends suggested using a small, plastic baby-feeding shallow spoon or knife and using that as a spreader for the cream to the diaper — and as long as you spread on the diaper, it's not "contaminated" and can be wiped off with a wipe or tissue and reused.

  45. Two thoughts:
    1- can you do an experiment with the baby? Put the cream on one cheek and not the other. Note how the rash develops or does not? (Yes, this is not approved by IRB for human subjects, and I don't think allowing your baby to get a horrible rash is a good idea, but if she's going to get one anyway, this may be a way to drive the "science" home)
    2- natural consequences. Your DH needs to be up all night with the baby or take the baby to the doctor if she gets a rash based on his neglect of using the creme. (see above disclaimer about human subjects)

  46. Has he tried using gloves to put the cream on? I think sometimes simple solutions like that can get overlooked when two people are very sure that "I'm right and you're wrong."

  47. As a complete aside to this. Please try chamomile tea for nappy rash. It is magic! And it's not slimy, like cream s or lotions (yes, I have sensory processing problems and totally get where your husband is coming from).
    You make up a strong two tea bag cuppa, allow it to cool, then use it as a bottom wash AND you can soak a thin cotton cloth in it and lay it in the overnight nappy as a barrier. It just works for some reason.
    You can also buy nappy liners with it already in.

  48. We worked around things with hubby and found alternatives that worked for both. I like the spray suncream idea.
    As for the rashes: my daughter was super easy to get them. Doctor had me stop all creams 9n account that they lock in moisture. We now dry her out thoroughly with a hairdryer (seriously, and carefully so as to not burn her of course) and just diaper her. Only cream is a dab of neosporin when she poos to kill bacteria.
    If she gets diaper rash which has happened when new people at the daycare have taken care of her, then plenty of diaperless time, and a bit of cream.

  49. I wasn't able to determine your baby's age, have you considered potty training? If she's sitting up by herself without too much support- it may be worthwhile to pop her on a baby- potty or even hold her over your adult toilet & making 'wuzz' sounds right after she's had her feed.

    The work that goes into potty-training might convince her Dad that creams are better. Just sayin'

  50. My husband also does not like the feel of lotion – we have found some compromises. There is a type of diaper cream sold in a stick- like a deoderent stick that applies without having to put your fingers in the goo.
    The important thing is to face it directly- he cant handle cream- its time to problem solve around his aversion instead of pretending that diaper cream is silly or that skin cancer cant kill his childs father.

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

No-drama comment policy

Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.