Let’s talk about poop…and cloth diapers

This topic comes up all the time – what do you do about poop and cloth diapers. So, let’s talk about it! Hopefully at the end of this post you’ll feel a lot better about poop and cloth diapers and know that it’s really very simple.

New Baby Poop

A breastfed new baby has water soluble poop. Water soluble poop means you don’t have to do a single thing to the cloth diaper before putting it in the diaper pail. Really. Nothing at all! It’s so easy. And another plus is that breastfed poop smells even a little bit sweet – bitter sweet, but it’s not stinky. Have a formula fed baby – still don’t have to do anything! Unless it’s pasty, you can just throw it in your diaper pail too. I tell all our mamas and papas that cloth diapering a newborn is the easiest time to cloth diaper and that’s because you don’t have to do anything at all with the poop. Now, if you’re grossed out by that, you can choose to remove the poop with a diaper sprayer, using a liner or by dunking in the toilet, but we’ll talk more about those in a bit.

Solid Poop

Now your baby has started solids and the new baby poop is going away and instead you’re getting more solid poop whether it’s pasty or more solid, but it’s no longer new baby running, mustardy poop.

There are various options for you that will keep cloth diapering easy for you.

  1. Diaper sprayer like the BumGenius Diaper Sprayer – these are basically a mini shower that hook to the back of your toilet (assembly required).  Take the soiled diaper and hold it over the toilet as you spray the poop off. Then place the diaper in your diaper pail. Done!
  2. Flushable liners – we don’t use dryer sheets but most people know what a dryer sheet feels like  and these are close to that feeling. They are generally soft and can be flushed in the toilet. We use the Bummis Flushable Liners, which come in a roll of 100 and are perforated. Take a sheet, put it on the diaper and then when it’s soiled remove it and flush it down the toilet along with the poop that is on it. For the most part, even with my 2 year old, the poop is mostly on the liner and the diaper will have a trace of poop having been there but no smooshed poop on the diaper.
  3. Dunk! Fold the diaper so the poop is exposed and then hold it over the toilet and squish it in the toilet while holding the top of it (so your hands don’t get in the toilet) to remove the poop from the diaper. And then simply put it in your diaper pail.
  4. Shake it off -hold the diaper over the toilet and shake off the poop. Some parents will use a spatula and scrape off the poop as well and then clean the spatula for the next time. For us, using liners is quick and easy so we go that route, but you’ll find what works best for you.

In the diaper pail – what’s next?

Now you have your dirty diapers in the diaper pail and it’s time to wash your diapers. First, let’s answer what you’re probably wondering – doesn’t the whole house smell of dirty diapers? Short answer is no. Long answer actually is…no. The diapers are contained in the diaper pail or hanging wet bag and the smell is contained as well. Sometimes when it’s time to wash your diapers you’ll get a smell when you walk by the diaper pail but your house and not even your room should smell like dirty diapers. So, back to washing…

Here’s our routine and keep in mind that there are various “routines” but this is what has worked best for us after 6 years of cloth diapering.

  1. Empty the diapers into the washing machine – unfolding any that are folded and making sure that they aren’t balled up.
  2. Do a rinse cyle.
  3. Wash on the hottest setting you have and use a diapering friendly detergent like Rockin Green.
  4. Add an additional rinse cycle.
  5. Dry your diapers in the dryer or hang dry (check the manufacturer drying instructions).

Still worried about the idea of poop in your washing machine? Washing machines are built for dirt. They can handle cloth diapers, your dirty clothes, and much more. We wash rugs in ours, as well as comforters, and even throw in sports shoes!  And our clothes come out clean each and every time. Also remember that cloth diapering is what always has been. Disposables are new. They’ve only been around since the 70’s and it took a while before they became the norm. If our mother’s washing machines handled cloth diapers, surely our 21st century machines can as well and even more so. Cloth diaper with ease – even through poop.

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About the Author

Giselle Baturay is a mother, herbalist, aromatherapist, prenatal and postpartum educator, boutique owner, community builder, gatherer of dreams, task juggler and a lover of life.



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The content of Granola Babies blog and website is for educational purposes and not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.