October 11, 2013 10:27:17 AM EDT
It’s happened to me a few times…. I’m spending time with friends, or family has come over to visit, and someone happens to notice my baby’s cute fluffy bum. The conversation then leads to cloth diapers, which I LOVE talking about! We talk about all the different colors and prints to choose from, how much money I’m saving, and how convenient it is that I don’t have to make special trips to the store just to buy diapers, because I will never run out. Then someone says…
“That really sounds great! But wait…..”
They squint their eyes, furrow their brow, and ask the question that’s on everyone’s minds:
“What do you do with…the poop??”
When it comes to cloth diapering, poop is a four letter word. The idea of dealing with poop in a reusable diaper intimidates some parents, and a lot of times, is the one thing holding them back from giving cloth diapering a try. Well, let me tell you, it’s not nearly as bad as you may think! I’m going to give it to you straight… Let’s talk about POOP!
First, some bad news… even if you aren’t using cloth diapers, you’re still going to have to deal with poop. Have you ever heard of a “blow out”? Now, I’m not talking about when you go to the salon and “get yer hair did”. I am talking about poop exploding out a diaper, going up your baby’s back, and on up to their neck. THAT’S a blow out!
Ready for some good news? Blowouts are a lot less common with cloth diapers than disposables! The reason for that is most cloth diapers have nice and snug elastic around the waist compared to sposies, which is not so much.
Even more good news! If your baby is exclusively breastfed, you don’t have to do ANYTHING with the poop! You can toss those diapers directly into the washer!
Then they ask…
“So you are going to put poop… in your WASHER?!?”
Turns out, breastfed poop is 100% water soluble, meaning that it breaks down or dissolves easily in water. You’re not going to have a washer caked in poo or clothes that smell like number two! Just like dirt when you wash muddy clothes, it goes down your washer’s drain. What would you do with that outfit your baby had a blowout in? That’s right. You’d put it in the washer!
Wash routines typically consist of a rinse cycle to get rid of any leftover poo, a hot wash with laundry soap to clean your diapers, then an extra rinse to help wash away any lingering detergent. Your washer is left just the way you found it: Sparkling clean and ready for the next load!
“Ok, that doesn’t sound so bad! But what if my baby has started solids or is formula fed, now what do I do with the POO???”
Well you have options:
In my opinion, the diaper sprayer is one of the best things to ever happen to cloth diapers! You know how your kitchen sink has a sprayer so you can spray food off of dishes? Same concept! Except this sprayer is attached to your toilet, and you use it to spray poo off of diapers!
1.) Fold the diaper in half, with the inside facing out
2.) Hold it low into the toilet
3.) Holding the diaper sprayer in the other hand, aim the stream downward to spray the poop into the toilet
4.) Put the diaper in your wetbag or diaper pail until laundry day!
Dunk and Swish
Next up is the tried and true dunk and swish method. Not as fun as using a diaper sprayer, but it still gets the job done.
1.) Fold the diaper in half, with the inside facing out
2.) Lower it into the toilet bowl
3.) Dunk it into the water and swish it around to dislodge any solids
Another nifty trick I’ve learned is, while holding on tightly to the diaper, flush the toilet and use the force of the water going down the drain to take the poo with it. Try this at your own risk! If you aren’t holding on tight enough, you run the chance of flushing your diaper down the drain and causing a major plumbing issue! So be careful! I have tried the Dunk, Swish, and Flush Method, and it’s worked really well for me. If you just be sure to keep a good grip on the dipe, a little flush can go a long way!
Get a designated spatula for diapers only and keep it in the bathroom. This method is pretty simple.
1. ) Hold the diaper and scrape the poo off with the spatula
2.) Rinse the spatula off in the toilet
3.) You can wipe the spatula off with toilet paper when done and flush it down the toilet.
You may want to mark it, so you remember to use this spatula on diapers only.
At some point, your baby may be taking in enough solids to have plopable poop. This is the easiest poop to deal with! You just take the diaper, shake it a little, and the poop plops into the toilet! That’s it! Doesn’t get any easier than that!
Flushable or reusable liners are another option for dealing with poop.
1.) Line each diaper with a flushable or reusable liner
2.) If baby has only peed, both kinds of liners can be thrown into the washer along with the diapers. Even most flushable liners can make it through one or two wash cycles and be reused.
3.) A) Flushable Liners: If baby has poop in a flushable liner, just peel the liner from the diaper and flush! WORD OF CAUTION: Although flushable liners are biodegradable, most are not recommended with a septic system. Some claim to be septic safe, but blockages can occur. If you have a city or town system instead of a personal septic, the makers usually say you should feel free to flush them away.
B) Reusable Liners: If baby has pooped on a reusable liner you can throw the diaper in the pail and will only have to address the thin liner instead. You can rinse it off with a sprayer, shake it off, or swish it in the toilet.
Not as bad as you thought, huh?? Once you decide which method works best for you, and it just becomes part of your routine. Also keep in mind, not every diaper is going to be a poopy diaper!
You have to ask yourself, is dealing with a poopy diaper every so often really worth it? When you considering all the money you’ll save, the convenience of never running out of diapers, the reduction in your household waste, and the thousands of disposables kept out the landfill, I think the answer is pretty simple. It’s definitely worth giving cloth a try!
*I have purchased all products mentioned in this post. Although I am compensated for my time writing, all opinions are 100% my own.
Stephanie Beck is the mother of a dinosaur expert, a set of twins somehow born 13 months apart, and a wild baby boy. After losing her job as a doctor’s nurse (while on maternity leave) for standing up for her rights to pump at work, she went back to her previous job as a Labor and Delivery nurse. While she was so happy to be back in a job she loved, the newest member of her family could not tolerate being separated from her. He refused to take a bottle no matter what she and her husband tried, and screamed the entire time she was away. She realized as much as her family needed that extra money, her baby needed her more. Now Stephanie is learning to adjust to being a one income household and blogs about her adventures in attachment parenting at apronstringsattached.com. She is very excited to be blogging for TGN!