Whenever someone hears that I cloth diaper, the very first thing they ask is “but what about the Poop?” So let’s talk about that, because it’s a very good question and the answer isn’t as bad as you think. Cloth Diaper poop has to get to the toilet, and there are a few ways to accomplish this.
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Believe it or not, newborn poop is the glory days of cloth diapering. Health Canada recommends exclusively breastfeeding for the first 6 months, and that makes for the easiest cloth diaper care imaginable. Breastmilk poop is water soluble!
No need to scrape, spray or rinse your newborn’s diapers. Just throw them straight into your dirty diaper pail or wetbag and wait for laundry day. They don’t even smell! I promise, your washing machine doesn’t care at all.
The Transition to Solid Food
sad glorious day of solid food has arrived. As exciting as it is to watch your baby chow down on real foods, it does mean your poop routine is about to change. Gone are the days of straight-into-the-wash, for the age of scraping and flushing is upon you.
You can pick your poison when dealing with poop. The 4 top methods of cloth diaper poop removal are as follows:
- Flushable Liners**
- Reusable Fleece Liners
- Diaper Sprayer
- Dunk and Swish
Flushable Liners are a nice introductory method to poop duty. You simply lay one on top of the diaper, against baby’s bum, at each diaper change. They limit your contact with with poop, and you are supposed to just lift them out of the diaper and drop them in the bowl.
**Important update on the use of “flushable” liners!
Perhaps you’ve seen this article or similar, and, like me, have started to rethink flushable liners. They are not recommended by any water/sewer facilities in Canada or the USA, and can cause costly pipe clogging in your city sewers. When we used flushable liners in our cloth diapers, we were flushing them at first- but then we switched to “swish-tossing” them.
If you are using “flushable” biodegradable bamboo liners, just hold one corner tightly, flush while swirling around, and then lift out and throw in your compostable trash. It’s still less waste than disposable diapers. Or, consider reusable liners or a diaper sprayer instead!
Reusable Fleece Liners
These are a great way to deal with poopy bums AND provide a Stay-dry element to your diaper. Fleece liners wick away wetness from baby’s skin and also catch the poop for easy deposit into the toilet. I find most of my sons poops just roll right off! The “peanut butter” poop needs a bit of coaxing sometimes, but a quick Dunk and Swish of the fleece will usually do the trick. Worst case scenario, I just wipe the liner with toilet paper. My favourite Fleece Liners are made by Applecheeks. You can also make them yourself using any polar fleece material.
Many moms swear by this handy-dandy invention called a Diaper Sprayer. You just attach the sprayer to the back of your toilet by following the instructions. A simple tap-like switch turns the water flow on and you can then spray the poop off the diaper while holding it over the toilet bowl. Spray Pal makes a very cool accessory called the Spray Pal Shield that stops any back splash from the spray process.
I love my AMP Diaper sprayer, and I use it as a personal sprayer myself. It’s great for spraying out a potty, or spraying your toilet trained child’s bum if it’s a doozy and wipes or paper isn’t cutting it. Even though we are out of cloth diapers now, the sprayer still gets used regularly.
The Dunk & Swish Method
This is the cheap and easy way to deal with poop. If you have inserts inside a pocket, take those out first. then just hold the front and back of the diaper together in one hand, poopy side outwards and facing the bowl, and dunk’er down in. Then flush while you swirl it about in the water. It ain’t pretty but it gets the job done! This also encourages you to clean your toilet bowl often! 😉 Change-Diapers.com made a great YouTube Video of this.
Into the Laundry
After the poop is flushed (or ignored, when you have newborn poop) you just toss the diapers into the wash, and put your Wash Routine to work! It’s really that simple. A Good wash routine will keep your cloth diapers poop-free and fresh as a daisy. If stains become an issue, you can do as I do and just ignore them (so long as your diapers don’t stink when clean, poop stains really aren’t a big deal), OR you can sun them outside while wet, to naturally bleach the stains.
Poop in Disposable Diapers vs Cloth Diapers
Just because your baby is in a disposable diaper, doesn’t mean you aren’t dealing with poop. No matter what, that bum needs wiping. Ever have a poopsplosion? That’s when baby poop spills out of every edge of their disposable diaper, typically climbing up their backs and saturating their clothes, and even their hair, with poop. I’m pretty proud to say that’s never happened for me with cloth diapers. But, my oldest was in disposables. Holy crap, we had our share of poopsplosions!
Little known fact: the instructions for disposable diapers tell us to flush poop down the toilet before trashing the diaper. Why? Because human waste isn’t actually allowed in our landfills. Of course, few people know of or follow these instructions. I sure didn’t know when my oldest was in Huggies back in 2004. So if you have to scrape poop anyways, why not try cloth?
It’s my guess that governments are probably going to start cracking down on disposable diapers, containing human waste, entering the landfills at some point. Get a head start and give cloth a try now! If home washing isn’t for you, many cloth diaper delivery services cost near-as-much as disposable diapers each month.