A Tough Parenting Decision

I’m just going to come out and say it. I put Levi on formula on Sunday.

Here’s the background:

We’ve been battling The World’s Most Stubborn Diaper Rash for a couple weeks now. We use cloth diapers, but have been changing from cloth to disposables depending on what type of diaper rash cream we’re using on any given day.

This diaper rash is relentless. Levi has sensitive skin to start with, so he’s already prone to getting rashes. It would flare up, we’d change something, it would subside, but it never really went away. It was like the Princess Bride – only mostly dead.

Levi has been teething, so I know that has contributed to the problem. He was also on antibiotics for a while, so that, of course, didn’t help matters either. He’s also been starting solids, so I know his stomach might be handling new foods differently from breast milk.

What Drove Me To The Edge

We tried everything we could think of. More air drying. Switching from cloth to disposables. Switching brands, switching types, switching creams, prescription creams, switching wipes, and more. We even tried extra drying after wiping with a clean dry washcloth, just to make sure there was no moisture left behind.

Things would get a little bit better after a change, then it would get worse again. At first, I figured it was just the teething and the antibiotics. But he’s been done with the pink stuff for over a week, and still battling the rash. 

This past weekend was the final straw – Sunday his butt just got redder and redder and more irritated. By the afternoon, his poor bottom was completely raw. He screamed during his diaper change. I cried.

A Last Ditch Effort

In my non-professional, non-medical, stressed mommy brain, I started worrying – what if he has a food allergy? We already know he’s sensitive to milk and soy protein, so I’ve eliminated them from my diet. I tried thinking through everything I had eaten for the past week. Nothing unusual stood out, but then again, I can barely remember what clothes I wore yesterday, let alone remember meals and snacks for a full week.

So I decided there was only one way to make sure I know exactly what Levi is getting in each meal to rule out a food allergy. Formula. It’s the same stuff, over and over, and doesn’t vary with my diet. I’ve posted before that formula isn’t evil. But I also work REALLY hard to pump and make sure I feed my baby the very best I can. He’s been exclusively breastfed most of his life. Why change now? I even had a bit of a scare last week with my supply, and realized I’m completely NOT ready for him to wean.

I decided to go ahead and put Levi on formula to see if it could help pinpoint the cause of his rash. And we made an appointment to see the pediatrician right away.

I Was Wrong

Thank goodness for doctors. Our pediatrician said it does not look like a food allergy at all. She said there’s no reason to keep him on formula instead of breast milk unless we want to (and we obviously don’t). She prescribed a new cream, more naked butt time, and baths instead of wipes at every diaper change. We also went back to breast milk right away, since there was no reason to stay with formula.

It’s been two days, and Levi’s butt already looks remarkably better. It’s still not back to normal, but at least he’s not screaming in pain during diaper changes. Hopefully it continues to improve and heals 100%.


  1. Lizzy B. says:

    So glad that Levi is doing better!

  2. try adding a little baking soda to the bath water. it really helps with C's bum when it's rashy. doeswnt cure it but calms it. and its soothing.

  3. Awww…poor Levi. There is no shame, you are doing the best you can just like the rest of us. Hope it gets all the way better soon. Elsa used to get really red rashes occasionally and our ped said it looked more yeasty than a rash and told us to put Lotrimin (sp?) on it. Worked like a charm every time for us. Hopefully his little red bum stops hurting :(. I've been there, and I know how you feel.

  4. lifewithlevi says:

    I've heard lots of horror stories about Dry Max. Did you report your experience for the recall investigation (I think it was late summer/early fall that happened).

    We use RnG, have also tried stripping the diapers, and we even use Grandma El's. This doesn't seem to be diaper-related, because it happens whether he's in cloth or disposables (we've tried switching brands, no change). Hopefully this new regimen works. He likes the naked time anyway 🙂

  5. lifewithlevi says:

    Yes! We did that on Sunday and it seemed to help soothe the irritation. I forgot to add some yesterday, but I'll make sure I add it to his bathwater again tonight.

  6. Gazerella says:

    So glad it’s not a food allergy and you can continue breastfeeding! I know how much you enjoy it!!

  7. Glad it's not a food allergy. You did your best to troubleshoot…as hard as it was to do and even though it wasn't the cause, I understand your reasoning – eiminate as many variables as possible!

  8. we had pampers dry max also caused a rash which Earth Mama Angel Baby Body Butter got rid of QUICK! we LOVE that stuff.
    For cloth, we do a soak of Rockin Green Funk Rock every month or so too to strip the ammonia too which is built up because of our STUPID HE WASHER! erk.

Speak Your Mind