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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Are you seeing RED about red marks?

One of the biggest worries of our cloth diapering customers is red marks left behind from cloth diapers. I want to ease your minds and let you know that most of the time, red marks are normal and not dangerous or painful to your baby.

Let's first take a moment to look at the different types of marks you may see on your baby from their cloth diaper.

Marks that simply look like imprints from the elastic are considered safe. They will be the same shape as the elastic gathering and be a light pink color. They will go away after several minutes. Below is an example of "safe" red marks left on Casey's shoulder from her bra and a mark on Emmett's leg from a diaper.

 Marks that are deep, red or purple and take more than a few minutes to fade are the types of red marks that you should be worried about. Have you ever left a too-tight hair tie on your wrist over night? If the red mark looks like that, you should be concerned. I've been lucky enough not to experience these types of marks of my son, so I found this picture below of a "bad" red mark.  

Another type of mark that can be left from a cloth diaper with a bad fit is a chaffing mark. If you baby has recently become mobile or is in a growth spurt, it's possible that they may slim down and your once well-fitting cloth diaper may become too large. Chaffing can look like red spots from being rubbed, or it can look like a mild rash. If you think that chaffing may be the cause of your little one's red marks, try tightening up the rise of your diaper

If you are experiencing red marks like the picture above, there are several thing that I suggest:
  1. Adjusting your diaper: If it's a one-size diaper, you can do that by adjusting the rise snaps or adjustable elastic (depending on the brand). You can also adjust the waist closure to find the correct fit for your little one. If you have a sized diaper, you can adjust the waist closure or you may find it's time to size up in diapers.
  2. Trying another brand: Sometimes you will find that depending on your little one's body shape and size, some brands of diapers just don't work for them. Nicki's Diapers has a 15 Day Wash Program that allows you to find the perfect diaper for your baby! Find out more about it here!
  3. Try a different style of diaper: You may find that your baby does better with different types of diapers or different styles of elastics. Some babies have fewer red marks with rolled elastic over cased elastic. Others do better with a single gusset over a double. It all depends on their build! 
  4. On a very, very rare occasion, red marks from diaper elastic can be caused by a sensitivity to the actual material on your diaper cover. This would likely look like an allergic reaction and would go away when using another diaper cover material or a paper diaper. In this case, if you're using a PUL diaper cover, it's worth trying wool or fleece. 
Now that we've talked about marks on your baby, take a moment to look at your ankles around your socks, peek under your watch, or check around your waist under your jeans. You will likely see what resembles those "red marks" that so many parents worry about. I venture to guess that you're not in any pain from those marks and the same likely hold's true for your baby! I'm sure you'd agree with me when I say that my baby sure isn't afraid to let me know when they're uncomfortable! :)

So if you're fretted for hours over those imprints on your little one's sensitive skin, take a deep breath! Follow your instinct! If your little one is exhibiting signs of being uncomfortable, try one of the tips above! As always, ask your questions on our facebook page, or feel free to drop us an email at!



melly said...

Every once in a while, a sposie gets used (traveling, haven't washed yet, etc.). The sposies actually leave worse red marks on my lo.

theresa said...

wow- I totally went another direction with your comment of removing a bra early from your prom or wedding night! :) hehe- just gave me a chuckle, thanks.

Angela said...

I had a problem with bad red marks the skin was actually rubbing away. It turned out to be my laundry soap I switched and no more "Bad" red marks.

Leiiki said...

I had trouble with red marks/blisters that turned out to be from an overcomplicated wash routine! Don't assume that, just because Mom A uses six different products and 4 cycles on her diapers, you will need the same. I am down to one wash with detergent and one rinse and no problems with rash or marks (or stains!).

Annie said...

Leiiki- great point! We've actually found that the more "things" and "steps" people have in their wash routine, the more problems they have! Water and detergent should be all you need to get your diapers clean :)

Meg said...

We definitely get the "safe" red marks all the time. We've got some sensitive skin going on here. I get the red marks all the time too. But they take foreverrrr to go away. Good to see what a bad red mark looks like!

Cassandra said...

My son when he was younger got red marks like the bad one and know has scars from them and it was not from the diaper being too tight. We never found out what caused it but he had it happen once and never again but he has half circles scars on both legs now:( It almost turned me off of cloth diapering but I am glad we stuck it out!

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