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FAQ: What About the Poop?

Posted by Becca on 11/23/2011 to Baby Wearing

I make my decision to use cloth diapers well-known whenever possible and when people see my daughter's adorable fluffy butt, there is one inevitable question that is always asked: “What do you do with the poop?”

Breast milk Poop

When your baby is a newborn and is producing that liquid, breast milk or formula poop, you really don’t need to do anything about it. You can put it right in the washer as is. However, if you are like I was and are grossed out at the idea of putting so much poop in your washer, you can dunk or spray if you’d like.

Solid Poop

Once your baby starts eating solids--cereals, purees, etc.--it's time to put their poop in the toilet. You can do this through a number of methods

1) A diaper sprayer.  This is a simple device that attaches to your toilet and is used to hose off your diapers.  You can usually set the strength of the spray to where you want it.  It's a great device for removing solids from your diapers hands-free. You simply hold the diaper open with one hand, and spray off the solids with the other. It isn’t necessary for you to get every, single speck of poop off of your diapers either. As long as you get the bulk of it, your washing machine will take care of the rest just fine.

2) Diaper liners.  Mostly, these are found in the flushable variety.  You lay them in your baby's diaper, and if they poop, the liner catches it and you just dump it into the toilet and flush.  If you manage to find cloth liners (which can easily be made with a bit of microfleece or microsuede), it will be much easier to dump the solids using them than not using anything.  I like to use flushable liners when we’re out of the house. They don’t always catch all of the poop, but they catch enough that I don’t have to dunk my daughter’s diapers in public bathrooms if I don’t want to do so.

3) Shake it off.  Many people say that you can just shake the solids into your toilet, but this doesn't always work.  However, in certain cases, the poop does just "shake" off into the toilet.  If you can’t get it off this way and you have no sprayer or liners, you can always use toilet paper to pry the poop off or even dunk the diaper into the toilet—just remember not to flush.

What about the poop residue that stays on the diaper?  I hate to break it to you guys, but your washers are MADE for cleaning really nasty stuff off your clothes! It's not going to hurt it to get a little poop in there.  It will not contaminate your clothing! Trust me, I've been doing dirty diapers in my washing machine every 1-2 days for a year now and my other clothes still come out fresh and clean! :-D

So, are you grossed out?  Are you wavering in your decision to cloth diaper just because of a little poop?  Well, there's one more thing I have to tell you:

Disposable Diaper Poop

If you read the instructions on the package of disposable diapers, you’ll see that you need to shake the poop off of them into the toilet when soiled. Shocked are you?  I hate to break it to you but human feces are not meant to dwell in landfills because they can pollute and contaminate the water, the soil, and even the air .  Human poop is meant to be disposed of in the sewer system.  So, no matter how you slice it, you will need to dispose of your baby's poop in the toilet.  You might as well do it with adorable cloth diapers that save your baby's skin, the environment, and tons of dollars!!!

So how do you deal with poop?  Do you do it differently than any of the ways I mentioned here?  Do you have a tried and true method?  Did I leave anything out?  I'd love to hear your expert advice!

If you have a question about cloth diapers that you would like answered on this blog in the future, please comment below and I’ll be sure to do my best to answer you. We want The Cloth Diaper Blog to be a resource to help make cloth diapering easier for you.