Monday, August 5, 2013

What to do with a poopy cloth diaper

I didn’t know how I would handle the “poo issue” and cloth diapers until our daughter came along.  A question I get all the time is “How do you deal with poop and cloth diapers?  Isn’t that gross?”  If you have ever heard of "diaper blow-outs," this is a common occurrence with disposable diapers.  Imagine poop rocketing out of the diaper and onto everything in its path.  Blow-outs aren't even a thought with cloth diapers because the elastic on the diapers holds everything in. Avoiding blow-outs is a big incentive for cloth diapering, but cleaning poopy diapers can still deter newcomers to cloth diapering. Actually, cleaning a poopy diaper is incredibly simple, sanitary, and how you do it will depend on what type of food your baby is eating.

Exclusively Breastfed baby:

If your baby is exclusively breastfeeding, then the poop is liquid and it will dissolve away in the washing machine.  Just toss the soiled diapers right in the washer, and they will come out completely clean (what great incentive for breastfeeding).

Baby eating solid foods/formula fed baby:

A baby on solid foods, or who is consuming formula, will have more compact poop because these foods aren't easily digested by the body.  In this case, you will need to dispose of the poop in the toilet by either letting it fall off the diaper into the toilet, or by using a diaper sprayer.  A diaper sprayer is a sprayer that attaches to your toilet. This allows you to give your diaper a quick rinsing without coming in contact with any poop or toilet water.  In the past, people would get the same effect as a diaper sprayer by rinsing diapers in toilet water by hand... still an option but a less desirable one. The last method of dealing with solid poop is to use a disposable or reusable diaper liner, which create a barrier between your cloth diaper and poop for easy disposal in the toilet (just pick up the liner and dump poop into the toilet).

Special circumstances after birth:

Shortly after birth, babies will have some sticky poops called “meconium”.  Meconium is caused by material ingested during baby's time in utero.  I wasn’t sure how our cloth diapers would handle the meconium, so we used the disposable diapers provided by the hospital for the first few days after our daughters birth.  By about day two, the meconium was finished, and we were fully into cloth diapering. However, cloth diapers can handle meconium with no issues.  If you are really concerned about meconium, try using a diaper liner or sprayer, as it is best to rinse meconium off before laundering to reduce the likelihood of any staining.

Did you know that disposable diaper instructions say that poop needs to be flushed down the toilet?  Poop belongs in a toilet where it can go through a treatment center.  

Kelly's closet links are affiliate links


  1. Baby poop is no big deal. The EBF poop gets wiped off a bit and then washed. The more solid poop gets put in the toilet and flushed. There are so many more worse things in life to deal with than poopy diapers.

  2. I am going through the transition right now with 4.0 and this time can be daunting! Thanks for the info!