"What do you do with the poop?
Prepare to hear this question over and over as a cloth diapering parent. Whether spoken in a whisper or accompanied by a grossed out facial expression, everyone wants to know! I will never forget my cousin, upon learning that we used cloth diapers asking me in a hushed voice with a horrified look – “do you take the poo out with your bare hands?!?!?” I (of course) laughed hysterically and filled him in on the truth that I am not, in fact, disgusting.
I think the common belief is that we somehow enjoy poop more than the average bear, and relish carrying it around, dealing with it and having it stored in our home, diaper bag and washing machine.
Wrong-o! I can honestly tell you that I want to get rid of my kids’ poop as quickly and with as little fuss as possible! There are no piles of poop stored anywhere in my home or car, and my washing machine is as squeaky clean as the day I bought it.
You can also point out to non-cloth believers that technically parents should empty the poop out of their disposable diapers into their toilet as well. Landfills are not designed to deal with human waste. Plus they will be dealing with poop too, but theirs will be oozing out the top of a ‘sposie in a spectacular blowout, instead of neatly contained within a nifty cloth diaper!
So how do you deal with the poop? There are lots of different ways, and notice that NONE of them involve bare-handed poo handling.
#1 – Just chuck it in the diaper pail
If your baby is exclusively breastfed, their poo is completely water soluble, and your washing machine will whisk it away with no problem. These diapers can be thrown into the pail with pee diapers without a second glance.
#2 – Shake the poop off into the toilet
When baby is mostly on solid foods, a lot of their poops will be formed and can easily be plopped into the toilet.
There are lots of different brands of flushable liners, but they all have the same function. They let pee through into the diaper below, while holding onto any “solids”. When you change a poopy diaper, you just shake the liner, poo and all into the toilet and flush it away.
Liners are great for out and about, for really poo-phobic parents and making life easier for daycares etc. I love liners for when baby is starting solids or formula, or when they are teething, as they help greatly with the “peanut butter” textured poops. Sorry for the visual, hope you weren’t eating.
Disposable liners cost an average of about $9 for a roll of 100 sheets, so work out to about 9 cents per diaper. As with all flushable products, there is always the possibility of clogs happening in your plumbing. I recommend only flushing the poopy ones, and throwing pee liners in the garbage. If you have really sensitive plumbing or are on a septic system, throw them all in the garbage so as not to tempt fate.
#4 – Use a diaper sprayer
This method is for the slightly more strong stomached, but still does not involve touching poop, and with the invention of a handy gadget called a Spray Pal, is actually quite easy.
A diaper sprayer is a sprayer (shocker) that hooks to the water supply on the side of your toilet. It creates a high pressure spray that shoots the poop right off the diaper and into the toilet where it belongs. A Spray Pal spray shield holds the diaper in a strong clip and prevents poo water from decorating your bathroom walls.
I will admit that I was skeptical about sprayers for a long time, until we actually installed one in our house. It took less than 5 minutes to hook up, and now we can deal with even the nastiest diapers in under a minute. Plus it has a shutoff valve so my toddlers can’t water the bathroom!
A sprayer is fantastic for diapers at home, and any out-and-about poopy diapers can be sprayed as soon as you return. Although they look expensive at first, they will save you from buying disposable liners, and can be used for spraying out potty seats, impromptu water fights, whatever you can think of.
#5 – Go with one of the old school methods
There are always the old -fashioned methods you can try: scrape the poop with a spatula or dunk and swish in the toilet (rubber gloves are great for this). These do work, but the above ways are definitely easier!
So there you go – now when you are asked the poopy question, you have an arsenal of answers to respond with!