Two Problems

12 Jul

I have two big problems that I am hoping someone (or someoneS) out there in Internet Land might be able to help me with.

I’ll start with the simplest one first: I have been cloth diapering for about two weeks now and for almost a week Evelynn has had a diaper rash. She has gotten them before, but hasn’t had one for a long time. It looks like yeast (pink bumps) so I am using antifungal cream on her but it’s not improving much. I already wash the diapers in hot water with vinegar and I double rinse them to get all of the soap out. No fabric softener. I have been using the Target brand version of Dreft, but am switching to ALL Free & Pure (or whatever it’s called) to see if that helps. Any ideas folks? I *really* don’t want to have to stop cloth diapering!

My second problem is going to be much harder to solve. A few months ago Lennon started biting Evelynn. It has progressed instead of getting better (despite our consistent interventions, which I will go into detail about in a minute) and today she actually drew blood. It’s bad folks Really bad. Evelynn’s arms are COVERED in big bite marks and bruises and she has even gotten her on the face a few times. I actually understand WHY she is doing it, Evelynn eggs her on! Evelynn is much bigger than Lennon (weight-wise at least) and can easily over power Len to get what she wants. She also enjoys the attention that she gets when she gets bitten and she has even bitten herself a few times and tried to blame it on Lennon.

These incidents usually begin with screaming and hair-pulling and so we are sometimes able to get to them in time to break it up before anyone gets hurt but it has been happening more and more frequently (probably because mommy and daddy are now running into other rooms to do laundry, etc).

We have tried time outs, which is the only form of punishment that I am really comfortable with at this point, and it’s not helping. I will not spank (a smack on a diapered butt or slapping a hand away from a hot stove is fine, but full on SPANKING will not happen in my home) and they are too young to understand “grounded”. They do not like time outs and cry the whole time they are in the corner, but it does NOTHING to curb this or any other undesirable behavior.

At first I had faith that this problem would get better over time if we were consistent with the time-outs but it is only getting worse and now I feel horrible…I feel like I have failed my children already and they are only 22 months old! They misbehave and don’t listen at ALL…and now this. I don’t want to be the parent with the out of control kids, but I don’t know what else to do. I am disciplining them as much as my morals will allow me to.

Everyone is saying that it is just the age they’re at…”terrible twos” and all of that…but my friends two year olds don’t act like this!

Please, please, please…if anyone has any advice I’d LOVE to hear it.


19 Responses to “Two Problems”

  1. Sheri Rouse July 12, 2010 at 1:02 pm #

    I have worked in a daycare for 20 years and when I give parents a tour the first thing I say is, “Your child WILL be bitten”. What do we do? We get in their face, in a harsh, firm tone and that “We DO NOT bite”. Then we say, “”Your friend is sad. I am sad. Biting hurts. NO! No!” Sometimes we resort to “We bite food. No bite our friends.” Older todds get, “Look at your friend, you hurt her! I am so sad.”

    We also tend to split up a biter when we are not going to be in direct contact, Like during diapering other kids. That child has to sit in the book area or something else.

    Who knows if it helps? But there you go!

    • mrslala July 12, 2010 at 1:25 pm #

      That does help, thank you. We have tried telling her that biting is wrong, that it hurts, that it is not allowed, etc. We have asked her to ask mommy or daddy for help rather than biting. We have made her give sissy hugs after she gets a time out, but we havin’t gotten right in her face about it. I will try that. And I just might have to seperate them when I have to leave the room. ::sigh::

  2. annacyclopedia July 12, 2010 at 2:47 pm #

    No advice on biting but I have lots on cloth diapering. First, you probably need to find a better detergent – Dreft is an actual soap, I understand, and thus leaves buildup, even with vinegar. And I don’t know about the All but a lot of those “free” detergents have enzymes which can bug baby skin, too. I use Country Save but don’t know if it’s available where you are – you basically need a very pure detergent with no additives, fragrance, enzymes, etc. You might try askng around at local baby stores or forums for suggestions.

    The other thing is using hot water – some friends of mine seems to have missed this step but it makes a big difference. Also, if you have buildup on the diapers, you might need to strip them – wash a few times in the hottest water possible, even crankng your hot water heater before doing the wash. Some places recommnd stripping with a bit of dawn dish soap, but I’ve never found that necessary. Maybe if you used a bum cream that is incompatible with cloth diapers – like zinc or Vaseline? I just was once with regular dtergent and then do another wash or two without soap but with very hot water. Charlie did get a bad rash once before I started doing this occasionally – like once a month – but it’s gone now and no sign of return. We don’t even put cream on his bum at night anymore and his skin is perfect – and he wears cloth 24-7.

    I use Bummis and their website is super helpful with care info – haven’t looks at other diaper brands but BG may have good tips on their site as well.

    Good luck and email me if you want!

    • Mrslala July 17, 2010 at 11:42 am #

      I do think the Dreft was the issue. Dang it. I feel dumb. Oh well, it’s a learning experience. I am using ALL Free & Clear right now which seems to be working fine but also is not the best for cloth diapers. I am trying to find something better, going to try BBRU today.

  3. Laura July 12, 2010 at 6:12 pm #

    Try using the Seventh Generation laundry detergent (you can also get coupons online for it). We were using the target brand but switched to this due to my youngest sons skin allergies. He is also starting to really bite now (19 months old) and when he does bite us, we look him straight in the eye after he does it, tell him NO, and then very gently pat his mouth, tell him again that that is a no no and try to explain why. He will do a fake cry/temper tantrum but it usually works for a few days. We haven’t gotten it figured out yet but it does seem to be helping some. Are the girls teething? MC’s biting gets worse when he is cutting a tooth. Hope the situation gets better soon!

    • Mrslala July 17, 2010 at 11:43 am #

      I have noticed that the biting gets worse when she is cutting a new tooth. I will try patting on the mouth. Thank you!

  4. Jen July 12, 2010 at 6:37 pm #

    Thanks for your comment! Our three years in Iceland helped us realize that sometimes small, unassuming museums could be chock full of information.

    Just saw this post on the cloth diapers. It is likely the detergent. I don’t know which diaper you are using, but some manufacturers are very specific about which detergents work with which diapers. We started off using Planet with our BumGenius diapers, but ended up switching to Charlie’s (can order in bulk from Amazon). Not only was Charlie’s great for the diapers, but we used for other clothing, too, and had no problems. I know some folks have had issues, but we did not.

    The other issue could be the vinegar. I know using vinegar on BumGenius (even though it might seem logical) voids the warranty. I used to love Dreft, but started doing a lot of research on laundry detergents and stopped using it when Nicholas was a baby. Right now (since we just moved and can’t get Charlie’s) we are using 7th generation for our stuff, but it’s on the list to order more Charlie’s. If you do need to use diaper cream, you are advised to use a liner or other separator between the cream and the diaper, as the creams can damage the diaper.

    I know not having to worry about diaper rash was a huge bonus with the CD and Nicholas, so hopefully just a matter of a switch in cleaning products. Good luck!!!

    OH! Last, but not least, one annacyclopedia mentioned stripping and that could help. Make sure the diapers have been washed thoroughly, then put them in for a good, long hot cycle. Add 1 teaspoon of the original Dawn (this is actually rec. by BumGenius) for an HE washer and one TBSP for a regular washer. Follow up with two more hot washes to ensure that the detergent has been removed (no visible sudsing). This will also help if there are odor issues….as does drying them in direct sunlight…nothing bleaches like the sun!

    Hope that helps!

    • Mrslala July 17, 2010 at 11:44 am #

      I did try stripping them and so we’ll see if that helps. I’ve actually heard that 7th Generation is not good for cloth diapers (via cloth diapering websites). However, I have gotten a LOT of reccomendations from other CDing moms for it. So I might give it a shot, it’s the only thing I can find at Super Target besides ALL Free & Clear (which I’m using now).

      • Jen July 19, 2010 at 5:35 pm #

        Actually, we used 7th Generation for clothes, but not for diapers…sorry, I probably muddled that! For diapers we used Planet, and then switched to Charlie’s…and then started using Charlie’s for everything.

        Hope it’s going well!

  5. Jill July 13, 2010 at 8:53 am #

    When i was a baby I had a severe biting problem. My mom took me to the doctors and his response was “Bite her back” My mom refused to do such a thing until one day I drew blood on a neighbor. She bit me back and from that day on I never bit again. I think I was also around 2 years old.

  6. Jess July 13, 2010 at 5:43 pm #

    No help with the biting, but we use only Purex free and clear to wash our diapers. As Anna said dreft is not the thing to use. Too many people fall into the tramp that it’s so great, but it’s really quite terrible for babies clothes and especially for cloth diapers. We’ve never had an issue with diaper rash and I can only attribute it to my laundering methods: Rinse in cold, run through a whole cycle (hot wash, cold rinse, and an additional cold rinse), I use only about a 1/4 cup of detergent in the hot wash, then they get line dried. I do use bleach on them once every few weeks.

    Hope things mellow out soon.

    • Mrslala July 17, 2010 at 11:45 am #

      When you say you bleach them, do you mean just the soakers or the whole diaper (cover too)?

  7. Chelle July 14, 2010 at 5:51 am #

    Man, I am no help on either of these. 😦 I use disposable diapers, and my baby isn’t in the biting phase yet. She has been bitten at daycare, but as far as I know she hasn’t bitten. I wish I could be of more help. Maybe get that book, Happiest To.ddler on the

    • Mrslala July 17, 2010 at 11:45 am #

      I haven’t read the block but I’ve seen Harvey in person and I have the video (guess it would help if I watched it!?). =)

  8. sara July 15, 2010 at 12:28 pm #

    Brynn doesn’t seemed phased at all by time outs either so I”m eager to hear what people say. I really like the first response someone gave about the bitting at the daycare. It sounds very similar to what I read in “Happiest Toddler on the Block.” I forget who writes that but it’s a pretty good book. ((hugs))

    • Mrslala July 17, 2010 at 11:47 am #

      It is written by Harvey Karp & if you ever get the chance to see him in person DO IT. He’s great.

  9. Carrie July 18, 2010 at 9:50 am #

    I use BGs and have washed them in Shaklee’s liquid laundry detergent ( – I’m a distributor) and haven’t had any problems. I am trying Charlie’s soap now though because I ran out of the Shaklee stuff and never got around to ordering more and happened across some Charlie’s at the same time. Decided to try it for a bit. I do bleach them about once a month and have stripped them with the blue Dawn dish liquid a few times when I’ve noticed them smelling a bit.

    As for the biting, I had someone tell me that making the biter drink a little bit of apple cider vinegar worked like a charm for them after all else failed. She said to use a medicine dropper and do it over the sink because the taste may make them gag and throw up.

  10. Dana @SearsFam July 19, 2010 at 9:26 am #

    Oh dear! I have been dealing with this for months. Believe it or not it has gotten better b/c of a Swing!
    The OT said the swing can be like a long acting drug for SPD kids. I have a travel baby swing for time outs. I have swings outside and we are in the process of getting a therapy swing in our den. I also have just be asked to buy some chewy toys that can be attached to them so he can chew them instead of fingers, everything & everybody else.
    The biting still happens now and again…M is still voilent in other ways, but the swing has down absolute wonders for his overall happiness and behaviours in a day. Some days nothing helps..but lots of days movement it the key~

    Good luck Girlie. I feel your pain.

  11. Jessie H July 22, 2010 at 9:47 am #

    No clue about the biting, but I have a good bit of experience with cloth diapers 😉

    Like others have said Dreft is definitely not the way to go, but Free & Clear detergents are VERY bad for cloth diapers unless you want them to leak and stink (which just doesn’t make sense ;)). They cause build up which traps stinkies and repels liquids. If you want a detergent that’s easy to get in “regular” stores like Target or grocery stores try regular Tide (not F&C) or Arm & Hammer Essentials (in the green jug). BUT I would definitely recommend a cloth diaper detergent. We have been using Rockin’ Green for about 9 months and it’s great! If you use that and line dry the diapers in the sun it makes a world of difference! I’ve tried quite a few other cloth diaper detergents and many don’t rinse as clean, leave lots of stinkies, or seem too harsh for such sensitive little skin. Tiny Bubbles seems to work really well (for us) too if you can’t find Rockin’ Green anywhere.

    I’m sure you know this already, but be sure to start with a cold rinse WITHOUT detergent, a hot wash WITH detergent, then another cold rinse WITHOUT detergent.

    If your diapers are super stinky or are repelling liquids you might need to strip them. You can do a soak in Rockin’ Green or a few tablespoons of Dawn. If you’re using Dawn soak diapers in hot water for 20 minutes. Swish it around a couple times during soak. Drain soapy water, refill sink with cool water and soak diapers for another 20 minutes. Then do a regular wash (Cool Rinse-Hot Wash-Cool Rinse) WITHOUT adding detergent during hot wash. During final rinse, check to make sure that your diapers are not ‘sudsing’ in the washer. Once diapers have completed final rinse, smell them and make sure they don’t smell like Dawn. If they do, keep rinsing!!!

    If you want anymore information about laundering cloth diapers check out this page:

    Best of luck!!

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