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Two questions for you, ladies!

A quick thanks to those who joined in the Organic Gardening Carnival yesterday, and I wanted to let you know that if you weren't able to get something up on your blog for yesterday, you can still feel free to add your post anytime this weekend or even later. The point is to have a reference place to go back to, especially as we plan our gardens this winter and next spring! I thought I should also mention, please don't be intimidated by my calling it "organic". I know that most of us don't do our gardening perfectly organically. I'm just interested in what y'all are doing to try to grow healthy, natural food for your families, without a bunch of store-bought pesticides and fertilizers, that's all.

Ok, moving on…

Question #1

Over the last few months, my son has been having an incredibly difficult time with diaper rash. It seems that his skin is particularly sensitive to wetness, and also to the acidity of his #2 diapers when he's teething (which is pretty much every day of his life since he was 5 mths old, poor kid!). He was developing awful, raw rashes all over his diaper area, no matter what we tried (while sticking with cloth diapers). When we went to Arizona and had him in disposable for 2 weeks, the rash completely went away. A week and a half after returning to cloth, it was back in full force. After a few more weeks of watching him suffer (I mean, truly, he could barely stand to sit in his high chair, and screamed each time we changed him), we gave up and bought a box of disposables, which makes me really sad.

All that said, I've decided to work to potty train him early. I realize that it will be I who is trained, not him, most likely. With his young age, it will probably be something in between true potty training and infant potty training (elimination communication, diaper free, etc.).

What I need to know is this… where can I buy the most reasonably priced, waterproof, cloth training pants for him?

Because he's so young and we live in a rental with carpet and it's winter time, I really don't want him just running around bare bum or with just cloth underwear on. I want waterproof training pants that he can wear under his pants, and so that I won't spend my entire days (and weeks) cleaning his pants and the carpet. Thoughts? Sites to send me to? What did you use for training your little boy, other than disposable pullups or underwear?

Question #2

I mentioned earlier this week that I want to make cheese with some extra milk that I have, but realized that pretty much all cheese recipes call for rennet. I have absolutely no idea where to find rennet on short notice! I went to the grocery store last night, but didn't really even know where to start looking, and I'm pretty sure they wouldn't carry it anyways (who makes their own cheese these days, besides weirdos like me?). I know I can order it on the internet, but right now I have milk that must be used within the next couple of days.

I did find this recipe for making a "queso fresco" styled hard cheese, without rennet. Do you have any other suggestions or recipes that I could try this time, until I get myself some rennet to do it authentically? And also, where would you suggest purchasing rennet from for next time?

Thanks a million! πŸ™‚

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31 Comments

  1. Oh! this might interest you too if you’re not already familiar:

    http://www.gdiapers.com/

    gDiapers consist of a washable, cotton outer β€œlittle g” pant and a plastic-free flushable diaper refill. They are made of breathable material just like sports clothing. So, babies stay dry and happy and are far less likely to get diaper rash.

    Flush, compost or toss.
    Can’t flush? It’s ok to toss our flushable diaper refills because they’re plastic-free. Or garden compost the wet ones. They’ll break down in 50-150 days.

  2. We freeze our milk when we buy too many for the fridge to hold or too many to get through. You could freeze it and then thaw when you are ready to make cheese.

  3. So, I don’t know about the training pants, but if you want to give cloth another go and haven’t already tried these things, here’s what I would suggest:

    1. Burt’s Bee’s Apricot oil as a diaper rash ointment. Worked like a charm for my daughter since I didn’t want to use traditional creams that would ruin her cloth diapers.

    2. Pampers Sensitive Wipes. I tried and tried and tried to use cloth wipes, homeade wipes, or any other brand and she ended up with horrible rash with anything other than these wipes. I really wanted to use cloth wipes with the cloth diapers, but you have to let go of some things.

    Disposable diapers have stuff in them to lubricate the skin that is released when they get wet, so that might be why he’s doing better in them. The Pampers Sensitive wipes have been a Godsend for us, as both our girls (and myself) have extremely sensitive skin and anything else gives them (and me) problems. (My hands dry out and will even crack if I use any other kind of wipe to wipe them with.)

  4. Quetion #1: My recommendation is to get the basic cheapo cotton underpants for him (the training style, with some padding), and then to use wool longies or shorties. They’re easy to make out of felted wool sweaters, then you lanolize them (the cloth_diaper_supplies yahoo group has lanolin for cheap), and they’re both waterproof and breathable (and warm if you use a felted sweater). Wool longies are a great winter substitute for pants….

    Question #2 I can buy Rennet at Walmart, it’s in with the ice cream toppings (weird), and you use it to make custard. Sometimes it’s called junket, I think..

    But I usually just make cottage cheese — scald a gallon of milk, add 1/4 cup white vinegar and stir, then strain off the curds – presto, cottage cheese. Save the whey for soaking grains. I’m sure you already know how to make yogurt too. Or, make home-made ice cream with honey to sweeten it, or home-made pudding…

  5. Oh, and if you decide to keep cloth diapering, you may want to boil the diapers to kill the yeast in them. My son has the same problem, and I haven’t gotten around to boiling the diapers yet, so he’s been in paper diapers for a month now….

  6. Oh I hate that for you little boy! Benjamin has been having some mild diaper rashes lately and I always feel so bad for him. I don’t have any suggestions but let us know how the potty training goes, I have also been thinking about potty training Benjamin because we do use disposable diapers and I would like to use as less as possible.

  7. Rhonda Jean at http://down—to—earth.blogspot.com has a really great how to for yogurt and quark. I REALLY liked the quark, and used it just like cream cheese on bread, bagels, or even as a dip for veggies!

    You can find the recipes here
    http://down—to—earth.blogspot.com/2007/11/yoghurt-and-quark.html

    All you need is 4 cups of milk, a little bit of yogurt and some skim milk powder. . .voila!

    Let us know what you decided to do with the milk πŸ™‚

    – Vanessa
    — I feel for your little guy πŸ™ Diaper rash is no joke. I recently read another post about potty training early at http://blog.ylcf.org/2008/10/of-red-eyebrows-and-potty-chairs.html Hope it goes well for you!!

  8. Hi Stephanie,

    I use an antifungal spray when changing my son that helps tremendously.

    In a 4 oz spray bottle, I put 3 TBS jojoba oil, 1 tsp each lavendar essential oil and tea tree oil, then fill the rest with witch hazel.

    I also use A&D ointment to clear up rashes. You can also have him go diaper free. One of my friends ties a small hand towel to her dd when her rash is really bad. It’s much looser than a diaper, and so if it gets wet it isn’t touching her bum, yet keeps things from going all over.

    Good luck with the training, if you decide to go with it. http://www.cottonbabies.com might have some training pants. We’re not at that stage again yet, so I’m not sure.

  9. One of my twins had diaper rash like that with anything cloth or any diaper that had blue tinted lining. We’ve been doing Babies-R-Us disposable ever since. When it was really bad we could put coconut oil on her to help (didn’t cure it, but it did help) and we also found a chickweed salve that worked well.

    I can buy “junket” brand rennet tabs in my grocery by the gelatin and Jell-O

    I am interested in how yours turns out as every once in a while we have extra milk and no room in the freezer.

  10. We just had an episode w/ our cloth diapers too! Sounds like some bacteria might be in them that the hot water in the washer can’t kill. (or it could be that they have detergent buildup) There are plenty of ways to “strip” diapers, google can help w/ that. Someone recommended to me to use bleach for one wash, and although I hate bleach, it seemed to work. I just ran them through a couple extra washes after the bleach. πŸ™‚ But boiling them would work just as well!

    Another thing I recently heard was to use baking soda (diluted w/ warm water in a spray bottle) for a wipe solution. The soda is supposed to counteract the acidity on the skin from any wetness or mess.

    How old is your son? I trained mine at 2. He was pee trained within a couple days and we’re still working on the #2 thing. (luckily he just goes after his nap and still has a diaper on for those, silly kid just won’t sit down to do his business!)

    I just used regular underwear (the training/padded ones still felt to much like a diaper for him)and put him in clingy cotton pants (pajamas!) Worked like a charm. Since he got wet on his legs, he didn’t like it. With everything else (especially pullups – a total joke!), he got wet like with a cloth diaper and it didn’t phase him a bit. We actually had no issues with it getting on the floor. (o.k. we did once, but that was because I had him in shorts! As long as the pants are tight fitting you shouldn’t have an issue)

    Also – I’d recommend the book “Pottywise”. It’s a great resource.

  11. For the diaper rash, we would soak my kids bums in the tub with generous amounts of baking soda. (This was a Grandma suggestion, and seemed to neutralize the burning/acidity.) During the height of the rash, I would do this 3-5 times a day to get them clean after diaper changes. Also, a little corn starch in the diaper to absorb wetness seemed to help.

  12. Hi Stephanie. Sorry you are dealing with all this. My first suggestion is to strip your diapers. Second is to ask you what type of detergent did you wash your CD’s in? The optical brightners in them can cause a red rash (like Tide free)so I switched to Allen’s Natural or Purex Free if you have them in Cananda. You can use a wipe solution that has tea tree oil in it for fungus like the ones from Northern Essence (available online).

    If you want a thicker training pant than just the cheap Gerber type then I suggest these kind. They are thick w/o having PUL in them:
    http://greenmountaindiapers.com/other.htm#trainingpant

    You can find rennet at your local health food store near the yogurt starter etc. Good luck! Kelly

  13. My daughter had a yeast diaper rash for a long time, caused by me having thrush while breastfeeding. When the thrush went away, so did the rash. What does his rash look like? Does it have any of those dots (satellite spots?) that is an indication of yeast. You probably know that though. We actually had such a bad yeast rash that nothing else would cure (tried grapefruit seed extract, boiling diapers, all sorts of creams etc) and nothing worked until we had to break down and use some hydrocortizone with clotrimozole. I know its not a good thing- but my poor child was up at night crying and crying and pulling at that spot, and it was starting to ooze and have large patches of skin flake off. I do what I can but at that point I had to get a doctor’s perscription. I know how you feel about rashes. They are not fun. πŸ™ I hope you can figure it out.

    I tried using some regular old fashioned waffle weave training pants but they have some sort of foam on the inside that my daughter reacted to. (The brands I had were simply basic and baby’s own). I also used some Bummis training pants but the smalls fit my daughter at 30 lbs and almost 3 years old. She is tall and skinny though. I am not sure that they would make some small enough for your son but I don’t know how big he is. I think he is about 1 1/2, right? You might be able to find something online in an EC (elimination communication) store for him that is small enough. I will look around and see what I can find as I know other moms have told me about it. I found the Bummis ones really hard to dry anyways as they are so thick. But they work well.

    Have you ever tried cloth diapers with a stay-dry lining, or using strips of microfleece or other stay-dry liners (Bummis makes one too) that are meant to keep wetness away from skin? If its a #2 problem then I guess that wouldn’t help…we used prefolds and I always had issues at night with her bum being red in the morning until I started using microfleece liners at night or on long car trips. Its sometimes hard to find microfleece though. It has to be microfleece not other fleeces.

    I’ll be back to post again if I come across anything while I am looking.

  14. I checked the main places I buy cloth diapers and the most economical I’ve found is this:
    http://littleants.com/potty/potty.html

    We had a similar yeast situation (we dealt with it for months it seemed!) and I credit 3 things with taking care of it once and for all:
    1. GOOT (http://www.welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,3310.0.html for recipe) It will sting him; we only used it a couple times. It is really powerful stuff.
    2. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (organic) We used this when it was getting better for maintenance.
    3. Switching to Charlie’s Soap for washing.

    Hope he feels better!

    Lisa

  15. Stephanie, I had the same thing happen to my daughter who was wearing Fuzzy Bunz cloth diapers. She had HORRIBLE diaper rash! I started bleaching the diapers by pouring about 1/4 c bleach into the first wash. I’d do a second wash to get the bleach out as much as possible. That’s the only thing that stopped the rash from coming back. I don’t like bleaching and know that it will ruin my diapers, but it’s not worth my sweet girl hurting! Donille seems to have had the same results.
    Hope he gets better soon. The diapers will end, hang in there!

  16. What we’ve used is just the basic, cheap Gerber training pants (they have padding like a cloth diaper but go on like underwear) and a cover. When we’re at home he wears Baby Legs (basically a baby leg warmer) for ease of removal of the training pants without having to worry about another layer of pants. They help keep his legs warm! We’re still in the early, early stages of potty training so I don’t have any other suggestions, but I hope this helps!

    You can find Baby Legs at Target or online at babylegs.net or via amazon.com. I’m sure there are also other brands out there or, if you can knit or crochet, you could make some yourself! πŸ™‚ They are really, really useful!

  17. Thanks for keeping the organic gardening carnival open. I finally got around to writing my post for it πŸ™‚

  18. For a rash, we used Bag Balm which you can pretty much buy anywhere (look for the green can). Our pediatrician recommended it, very cheap. Believe it or not, it’s for cows but works great on rashes. Sounds silly but it worked for us and several of our friends kids too.

    As for training, we let them select some “big boy underpants” to wear, and then I put rubber pants over their those. Also gave them lots of juice or water to drink so that they needed to go potty more. We rewarded them with stickers on a chart and m&ms. Also checked out picture booka from the library just for kids which they loved to read. We also made a “field” trip to a friend’s house so that he could see an older “big boy” in action. Made him want to be a “big” boy!

  19. Thanks for all the great suggestions, everyone!

    As for the cheese, I could just freeze the milk or make yogurt as I usually do, I just really had my heart set on trying cheese. Good to know where to find rennet, so thanks!

    As for the diaper rash… I don’t really want to potty train yet, or I was at least hoping to wait until spring when it’s a bit warmer out and he’s a little bit older (he’s not quite 18 mths old). Though maybe being cooped up in the house for our rainy winter is a good thing for training. That’s when I trained my daughter and it didn’t take very long, though I know boys can be quite different.

    I do think that there is a yeast connection with this rash, because he had Candida before, then I went on the cleanse and got us both down to a zero level. Now, I feel that mine is getting higher again, and I noticed some eczema on his legs again, just in the last couple of weeks. A few days ago, I started giving him some supplements again, to deal with the yeast, so hopefully that helps. I’ve started the process of weaning him, so perhaps that will help as he won’t be getting it through my milk anymore.

    I hadn’t thought about boiling or bleaching my diapers. I do strip them often, with hot water, baking soda and vinegar, but perhaps they need something even tougher than that. I will give that a try.

    I had also forgotten about coconut oil on his bum. I did it quite a while back, and then forgot how much it had helped, so thanks for the reminder! I also might give the tea tree, lavender and jojoba a try, as that’s a combo I’ve never heard of before.

    As for what to use, I do like the idea of a one piece training pant (rather than underwear plus a cover), though if it’s much cheaper, I could be convinced to go the other way. I actually love the sound of the wool bottoms. With my daughter, she was slightly older and already had an interest in the potty, so I went straight to big girl underwear, and she did great with that, but he has absolutely no awareness so I’d rather not go that route.

    Hmmm… much to think about. Thanks for all the links and ideas! I really appreciate it!

    And somebody asked if I knew I could make yogurt in a crockpot, and yes, I just saw that blog post last week- such a cool idea!

  20. Your poor son! I don’t have any advice about that, but I do have some info on cheese. I have not yet made any myself, but I’ve been collecting recipes and tidbits. Here is a ricotta cheese recipe made from only milk and buttermilk (no rennet required): http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/000282.html

    Btw, I found rennet at a health food store (Whole Foods).

  21. I haven’t taken the time to read thru all the other comments, so I apologize if I’m repeating something.

    For my 2.5 year old boy who also has yeasty-rash issues we use Hyland’s Calendula spray for minor rashes and a prescription antifungal if it’s broken or bleeding and cloth wipes homemade with flannel on one side and microfiber terry on the other. For potty training we used Gerber cloth training pants and just used our diaper covers over them. He also takes a mega probiotic when I notice him starting to have issues and it helps quite a bit.

  22. Ok I have been going dealing w/ sipaer rash w/ my daughter since Sept. It SUCKS!! I used to CD her but had to stop as I had to use creams and so on to get rid of it. But low an behold I beleive she got to be allergic to the generic sposies I was buying. So I switched to seventh generation and the rash is gone. I had to use 2 prescption creams too. Also there was something up w/ her poop she was going like 4-5 times a day which normally is like 1-2 times a day. So I had the dr. do some stool samples which was so fun to collect. But I also know that junk/yeast/fungi can get into the cloth dipes. So strip them, boil them, bleach if you have too and dry them on HOT.

  23. You can buy rennet at Azure Standard for quite reasonable price but I happen to have some in my fridge that you can have. I bought it about 4 -5 months ago with good intentions but they never materialized. Next time you are down Stephanie, it is on the door of my fridge. Help yourself- at least for the next time you get some extra milk anyway! Janet

  24. I know nothing about cheese, but here are a few thoughts on diaper rash/potty training solutions.
    If you want to stick with cloth:
    check what you are washing/rinsing them in. If there is tea tree oil in it, you might want to stop using that. It is too harsh for some babies’ skin. My son got the worst rash (blisters and all) because I was putting a couple of drops in the wash.
    You also might want to try probiotics if you haven’t already. A little kefir or store bought probiotics might help restore the balance in his bowl flora. However, I guess if he is not having the rash with the sposies maybe it is not about that.
    If you are going with the training, you might consider using the diaper covers you already have over his underpants. Just go back a size and that might work just fine. It’s not as easy to put on and off as pull up kind, I guess, but they will usually work. You are probably going to have to help him for a while anyway.
    There is a book, Diaper Free Before Three, http://www.diaperfreebefore3.com/ that I would recommend when you are training a little one before a conventional age. They had several copies at our library when I was needing it.
    Lastly, good luck and God bless! I started training my little boy when he was right around one year. It can be done. It is not without its challenges, but you can do it. If he is a compliant little dude you probably won’t have a lot of trouble. However, I do think you have a small window of time before the “realizing I am my own person” stage sets in and then it becomes exponentially more challenging.

    P.S. My little boy learned his ABC’s very early by taking his “laptop” to the potty with him.:) And he learned to poop in the potty very early, too!

  25. Hey dear…just a thought among many. We were using disposables at night to keep rashes at bay. Just this past week I was looking for a cloth substitute that would keep the rash away but also keep all the pee in, as she goes for 11-12 hours each night in one diaper. I found that buying a few hemp doublers has been the solution at our house. These cost about $4.50 from Nickis Diapers (Hemp Babies is the brand) and are working great to keep it away. I just put the hemp directly against her bottom.

  26. I didn’t get to read all the comments, but my son had terrible diaper rashes. Two things seemed to help:
    1) antifungal foot cream, like lotrimin.
    2) it seemed to be related to my homemade bread. We’re still not sure if he has a gluten sensitivity (going to get that checked out soon), but store bought bread, sadly, didn’t cause diarrhea or rashes. πŸ™

    Also, I found a great really easy recipe for making yogurt in your crockpot. It’s been wonderful, and has already saved us so much money, and the best part is, no special tools required. Just milk, and 1/2 c. of store bought yogurt with the active cultures.

    http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/10/you-can-make-yogurt-in-your-crockpot.html

    The comments have some suggestions for making it thicker. If we had non-instant dry milk, I would just add a couple tablespoons, but we don’t. So I’ve been putting in one envelope of non-flavored gelatin while the milk is still cold, and it’s been thickening up really nicely. My kids love it with honey and fresh fruit.
    Good luck!

  27. I was totally having the same problem with my cloth diapers and my son! At the time I was living with my mother-in-law while our house was being built. She is a cloth diaper pro as she did with her 3 kids. She said she thought it was my detergent and that she swore by Amway SA8 while doing her cloth diapers. I found them on the web and decided it was worth the switch. I had to break in my diapers again (washed them 4 times), but it was soooo worth it! I haven’t had a problem since and I’ve been using it for 6 months now. At first I really thought it wasn’t the detergent causing because I had been using that detergent for 2 or 3 months, but my mil thought it just took that long for the detergent to build up enough in the diapers for it to cause a chemical reaction with the urine. Anyways, this solved our problem and now we are happy cloth diaper people again!

  28. Ok, I know that this may sound weird but I’m telling you that it works wonders….My son gets diaper rashes bad….and since I don’t like you use all the over the counter stuff, especially on the little ones, my father told me to try an egg. Just separate the white from the yolk, and use the whites on the rash. The best time to use it is the diapering before bed. Cover the entire area, and let dry for a bit, or as long as you can keep him lying there. It won’t stain the cloth diapers either, or the potty training pants of your choice. The next morning it will either be totally gone, depending on how severe, or it will be greatly improved. I use this all the time, and when your child is in pain, you will try about anything to calm them. And it seems gross, but truley works. I tell all my friends and they can’t believe how it work. And you can let the egg come down to room temperature, and it won’t freeze them. LOL!

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