So, we know you're wondering: what to do with the poop?
Poop is definitely one of the biggest downsides to diapering, whether you use disposables or cloth. There are a lot of anxieties around poop and cloth diapering, but it's really one of the easier challenges.
There are a variety of different poops and different ways to handle poop with cloth diapers. What works for you might not work for others.
Let's get down to the dirty science of little human output:
Types of Poops
- Meconium Poop - this is that first dark tar poop that babies have and meconium poop on cloth diapers does wash out.
- Breastfed Poop - this type of poop is water soluble and you don’t need to do anything with breastfed poop cloth diapers. Just toss it in your wet bag, and wash on laundry day. Breastfed poop does stain, but that is mostly cosmetic and will fade over time.
- Formula Poop - there are different opinions on formula poop cloth diapers, but most agree it should be sprayed or removed before washing.
- Solid Poop - this needs to be sprayed or removed before washing. You’ll know when it needs to happen, it’s a pretty obvious change in the poop texture including visible food particles.
6-8 Dirty diapers a day
It's no secret; baby's can poop a lot. Sometimes with every feed, while others may go 7-10 days between poops. Most babies will need 6-8 changes a day between poop and pee.
7-12% municipal waste
Amongst Canadian municipalities, disposable hygiene products including diapers represent a significant portion of waste.
A chat amongst friends and family indicate very few people know it's recommended by disposable diaper brands and landfills to dump poop in the toilet before disposing of the diaper.
How to Remove Poop from Cloth Diapers
There’s a few different options that families use. You might start with one and decide it’s not right for you before going onto the next.
Some of these options have costs associated with them and the option that works for you might reflect your budget.
Flushable Bio Liners
Available in a variety of sizes and styles, Bio Liners are a thin sheet of material you place directly on top of a cloth diaper. It goes on top of the pocket liner, or the insert in a cover and directly against baby's skin.
Flushable Liners for cloth diapering are replaced with every diaper change, and savvy parents with regular poopers might only use them when they anticipate a poop. However, this is not always reliable.
The liner prevents the poop from sticking to the diaper and provides an easy lift off solution for cloth diapering parents. Sometimes liners move around and this may cause issues. Sometimes poops are too liquid to be captured by a disposable liner.
Soiled flushable liners can be shaken into the toilet and then disposed of in a waste can. Flushing disposable liners is not recommended if you have older pipes or septic, or even in some municipal sewer systems. You can use them in outhouses if you are camping though!
Fleece Liners provide a more reusable option for poop removal since they can be laundered between uses.
Fleece liners are simply just a rectangle piece of fleece that you lay on top of the diaper and against baby's skin. This also gives an added stay-dry feel if you are using fitted diapers or prefolds. It can also reduce staining on cloth diapers.
A new fleece liner is used with every change. When baby poops, the fleecer liner simply shakes off poop easier into the toilet. The liner then can be laundered and used again.
Cloth Diaper Sprayers connect to your toilet, or sometimes your sink, and provide a hose feature to spray off cloth diapers, or any other messs. Sprayers are useful for cleaning up the more liquid poop smears.
They are easy to install, but also prone to leaks and creating watery bathroom messes.
Cloth Diaper Sprayers cost around $40-60, and there are a variety of models availabe at retailers. You can also fashion your own DIY sprayer or use a bidet attachment.
Dunk & Swish
This method is simply dunking the cloth diaper into the toilet bowl and swishing it around until poop is gone. It often involves using your hands to ensure the diaper is rung out and the poop is all gone from the diaper insides.
For pocket cloth diaper users this can be ver a simple and straightforward technique since the fleece of the pocket acts as a natural poop repellant, but for other systems it can get messy.
For more persistant poops, I might recommend letting the diaper sit in the toilet bowl water for about 5 minutes, and returning to shake off the loosen poop.
Simple as that.
Once the poop is removed it's ready to be stored for wash day. We love using a wet bag, but for more ideas check out this blog post.
It's best to handle poopy diapers as soon as possible to limit staining, but it'll be okay if situations don't allow for immediate removal.
Those are the main options for removing poop from cloth diapers. It can be a tricky job, but it is an easy job. Don't over think it.
Try one method, and if it doesn't jive with your lifestyle, then try another. It's really straightforward and easy to do. You'll get the gist of it.
And yes, it's totally gross, but you can wash your hands afterwards and continue on with your day.
Bailey is a mom of two young and wild children living in the cold tundra of Northern BC. She had no idea what to do with her life and fell in love with cloth diapering where she continues her passion here at Nuggles as the Director of Happiness.