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Tips for Dealing with Poopy Cloth Diapers

  Now that my daughter’s about 8 months, it’s time to address, ugh, poop. For some, this is a cloth diapering issue to solve from day one (if a baby is formula fed). But, in our case, Harper is breastfeed and hasn’t taken to solids as voraciously as her brother did (boy, DID he!), so her poop has just recently taken a turn into the needs-to-be-rinsed-first territory. This is one of those topics that turns people away from cloth diapering altogether. I kind of find it funny because, well, have you TRIED disposables? Talk about blow-outs. Seriously. As parents, we’re going to be touching poop. And catching vomit in our hands. And wiping snot off of faces without a tissue. Gross happens, so what’s a little extra here and there? (Plus, thank goodness for cloth diapers that CONTAIN THE BLOW-OUTS! And, did you guys know that disposable users are actually SUPPOSED to get rid of the poop inside before disposing, too?! Crazy town. Nobody does that.) So, knowing that this time would come, I’ve done a lot of reading up on some awesome resources and thought I’d share the top tips that keep popping up. Yes, tips on how to handle poop disposal. Good times! Hey, it’s a dirty job, but somebody’s gotta do it.  
  When to start sprayin’ and scrapin’. If your child is EBF and starting on solids, you’ll know when things start to get...different. Many liken it to peanut butter (I agree) but I’ve found it to be stickier/more mucousy. Is that even a word? Anyhoo, at this point, the diapers will need the solids removed before washing since it is no longer water soluble. Don’t worry about every single bit because, well, that’s impossible. But, anything that’s literally “solid” (anything past a surface stain) should be sprayed or scraped. That’s when we move to my next tip... Use tools! Why did early man invent tools? To make life easier. There’s no medal for going it alone and taking the hard road. In this case, (arguably) the two most popular tools? A sprayer (generally that hooks up to your toilet, but there are other types, too) and a rubber spatula. Yup, a good, old-fashioned life hack like a poop scraper can save you the headache and mess of the ol’ dunk-and-swish. Flushable liners - the best thing since sliced bread? I haven’t used them, myself, but many parents swear by flushable liners (especially when traveling). Apparently, when baby poops, most of it goes into the toilet along with the liner. Pretty easy peasy, right? I’ll have to give it a go and report back (or let us know in the comments if you’re a liner lover). One way or another, soak. Ugh, you mean I have to figure out my wash routine...again? Maybe. I’ve read a few theories, and some suggest using a wet pail system (rather than the aforementioned scrape/spray method, which would mean tossing the diaper into a dry bag or pail with liner). There’s also the idea that, regardless of the system you use, a good soak in cold water (then draining the water before doing your regular wash routine) helps with staining and any other issues. Again, I’m just starting in this area, so we’ll see what I find helpful!     Not to be graphic, but it’s hard not to wish for the days when Harper’s poop will roll right off into the potty (even if I’m otherwise crying that she’s growing up too darn fast)...or long for the days when we could toss her diapers in the wash without a second thought. But, as with all things parenting, this, too, shall pass and I’m sure one day I’ll look back fondly. Even if those memories involve backspray (I need to get a Spray Pal shield...just sayin’) and wielding a never-use-this-to-cook-EVER spatula. *WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE METHOD FOR BANISHING THE POO? ARE YOU A SCRAPER, A SPRAYER, OR A DUNKER? SHARE YOUR EXPERTISE IN THE COMMENTS!* Megan is a wife, mother to two young children, freelance writer, and educator. She shares her attempts at simplifying, among other things, at her blog, Meg Acts Out. When not busy meeting deadlines and chasing cats and kids, she enjoys acting in community theatre (where she met her husband), watching old movies, and sharpening her history buff skills.
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