Cloth baby smelling like pee all the time.. — The Bump
July 2013 Moms

Cloth baby smelling like pee all the time..

I've been babysitting my friend's newborn 5 hours a day for the last week while she deals with health issues.

The baby is cloth diapered and this is actually my first time cloth diapering a baby however I plan on doing this with my baby as well. I was happy to learn how easy the process was since I've been a little nervous about how I'd adjust.

Hooooowever, the thing is that this baby always smells like pee. Being that I'm a cloth rookie, is this normal?? She pees A LOT and I've been changing her after every pee which sometimes is 2-3 times an hour. Her diapers are nowhere near full, sometimes they barely feel wet but the smell is just so strong.

My MIL came over and I was telling her about it and she just laughed and said "get used to it, this is what cloth babies smell like. You new mama's are just use to the whole powdered pamper smell"

The baby is formula feed and I'm wanting to believe the formula could be causing her pee to smell so strong. I breastfed my son and I don't remember his pee smelling this strong...but then again we did use disposables.

Please shed some light on this if you've cloth diapered before. 

 

 

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Re: Cloth baby smelling like pee all the time..

  • Probably the diapers need stripping. This happened with us about a year in and a good stripping took care of it. And despite the fact that  you shouldn't, I always add baking soda to the wash ever since and my diapers no longer smell.
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  • I haven't had a problem with a pee smell in CDs. Like PPs said, are they old diapers that might need some extra cleaning?
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  • The diapers need stripping. They get this way with the wrong wash routine. build up of soap or not enough water in the wash cycle. Might be a problem if this is their first child. I had to tweak my washing because I have an HE washer and it fills up based on how heavy the load is and a full load of diapers doesn't weigh much... etc.  Basically, the diapers smell fine when they come out of the dryer, but immediately smell when peed on.  this is not a normal smell. 

    My daughter never smelled like pee.  She also never had a blow out which is something my friend who used disposables couldn't boast about.  :) 

     There are a lot of misconceptions from the older generation on what cloth diapers are like, so i would just educate yourself as much as possible and then be prepared to deal with small issues until you get a good routine down.  

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  • Wow thanks ladies! The diapers are new but had been prepped several times in Dreft detergent I believe.

    I have several diapers that I've purchased already and prepped without detergent and I didn't even think to try one on her to see if it was her or the diaper. She has one on now and hasn't pee'd yet so we shall see. 

    I'm so glad to here this isn't the norm because I was seriously doubting I wanted to cloth diaper. 

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  • Yeah, Dreft is not really the best CD detergent.  It has a lot of stuff in it and I think it smells kinda awful on its own. We just use Tide. There are even better ones, but I didn't want to have to remember to order laundry detergent on the Internet.
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  • imagepepomntpat:
    Yeah, Dreft is not really the best CD detergent.  It has a lot of stuff in it and I think it smells kinda awful on its own. We just use Tide. There are even better ones, but I didn't want to have to remember to order laundry detergent on the Internet.

     

    Yep- this. Dreft is not the best. They shouldn't smell. I have never stripped mine, but sometimes they get a strong ammonia smell and I just do a second hot wash with no detergent which seems to clear it up. We use plain Tide Original powder, and am always sure to set the wash size on LARGE even if the diapers only take up a small amount of the washer. It seems like when there isn't enough water to wash out the soap they tend to get that way also.

    Some mommas complain that microfiber gets "the stink" and use other liners (hemp, fleece ,etc) but ours are MF and we've never had the problem. I also think disposables smell worse and can't wait to get back into our cloth when we have to use them. 

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  • https://www.pinstripesandpolkadots.com/detergentchoices.htm

     You might find this helpful.  I use Dropps (baby) and have no problems.  I order it on amazon super saver so it comes each month with no problem.  Ended up just washing all my laundry with it to make it easier. 

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  • I've used a diaper service for the last 5 yrs and I've never smelled pee on my babies, unless there was a nighttime leak that got onto his jams.

    I hate using disposables when we travel because the chemicals in the diaper stink so bad when the pee hits them. I end up changing disposables a lot more often than my friends who regularly use disposables because I can't handle the smell.

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  • Not normal at all. My son was ff and cloth diapered. Never has smelled like pee. I agree those diapers need stripping and your friend needs to switch detergents rockin green or Charlie's.
  • I used cloth diapers on my 2 oldest daughters many years ago.  I do remember smelling pee a whole lot more than with disposal diapers.  Why is it the everyone is wanting to go back to cloth diapers?  Just wondering why if everyone choosing to use cloth diapers would choose to use cloth pads or tampons on themselves during their menses.  The concept of how that would make me feel kind of makes me think how a baby must feel with wet cloth against their little bums.  Not criticizing anyone that is or wants to use cloth diapers, but I just can't grasp the concept after using them for so many years myself...would'nt go back for anything.
  • Actually there are many reasons to go to cloth. Are you aware chemicals that were banned from being used in tampons in the 90s are still being used in disposable diapers to amp up absorbancy? Also, babies especially newborns have sensitive skin. Why wouldn't it be better to have natural fibers against the skin? Also, my child did not sit in dirty diapers all day. You change them after they go. It's not the same as a pad/tampon that you change every few hours and are continuously bleeding in. That being said, yes, there are new options for menses. Cloth pads and diva cups.
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  • Another vote for those diapers probably having detergent buildup in them already. I never smell pee on my daughter, and she has big girl toddler pee! But if she's wearing a disposable I can smell it the second her pee hits the diaper, yuck!

    As for reasons to go to cloth - chemicals, it's cheaper, you're not filling the landfill with thousands of disposables, they're stinkin' cute - or in our case, my daughter had an awful reaction to the elastic in disposables. Her skin was broken out on her hips and butt and she scratched it until it bled. Cloth cleared the problem up immediately.

    And I, for one, would much rather wear my cloth underwear than paper ones. Do you wear disposable panties too?

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