Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I've heard cloth diapering is easy, but, what's the scoop about the poop?

The poop factor is definitely in the top 5 reasons that people shy away from cloth diapering.  I must admit, that was my first question when I began researching using cloth.  And I definitely thought I'd be totally grossed out by having to deal with poop.  But, the more I learned about cloth diapering, the less squeamish I became about this concept.  Also, actually having the baby sure helped me get over myself.  I think every mom-to-be is totally grossed out by the thought of the birthing process and baby poopy and spit-up... and as soon as they become moms, they get over that apprehension very quickly.

So to answer the question, what's the scoop about the poop? First of all, breastfed babies' poops is water soluble, so the poop can go right in the washing machine with the diaper, and it will wash right out.  Breastfed poop can tend to stain the diapers, so, put your trust in the sun to eliminate the stains from the fabric - if you didn't know, the sun is a natural disinfectant and stain remover. 

What about when baby is drinking formula and eating pureed food and you get that peanut-buttery sticky stuff?  Or better yet, when your little one begins eating solid foods and the poop is solid?  Well, there are ways to mitigate this issue also:
#1: Solid poopy is way easier to deal with than the peanut-butter stuff because you can just dump it into the toilet, and wash the diapers as usual.
#2: If you're still in the peanut-butter stage, or just would rather not deal with the poop in general, there are these awesome things called flushable diaper liners .  They are about the thickness of a dryer sheet and come in several sizes depending on the manufacturer.  I especially love the Sage ones because they're pretty big, and can get through about 2-3 washes in the washing machine before they fall apart.  So, you lay the liner on the diaper when changing baby.  If they pee, you just throw the liner in the wet bag with the diaper and wash as usual.  If they go poopy, you just lift the liner with the poop and all, and flush it down the toilet.  The liners are 100% biodegradable.  Love them! 
#3: Another option is using a diaper sprayer.  They look just like the sprayer you'd use at your kitchen sink.  Just hook it up to the toilet - doesn't take long, let hubby take care of it.  And when you have a poopy diaper you can just hose it off.

The option one decides to you is totally subjective.  Some folks can't leave home without their sprayer, while others think it's just too messy.  As usual, it's all about personal preference.

The next poopy question people have is, "Ew, so poop is going to be in the washing machine I'm using to wash my clothes? What about my clothes?" My answer to that is, you're washing the diapers in HOT water.  I don't mean kinda hot, I mean between 140-150F.  This ensures the diaper gets clean, it's killing all kinds of bacteria.  So, your clothes will be fine. 

What I really don't understand though is, Americans pick up tons of doggie poo every day.  If you can pick up stinkie doggie poo, then what's the big deal about your baby's poo?  I tell you, I was way more grossed out about having to pick up my dog's poop (the dog my husband just HAD to have) than I was about dealing with my daughter's poopy diaper.  In Jamaica we don't pick up dog poop... but when in Rome.  Now, please don't send me angry e-mails about animal rights or whatever, it's just a cultural thing.  And no, I'm not in any way trying to compare your bundle of joy to your family pet... I'm just talking about poop.

So, I am proud to say I no longer fear poop!  I think that fear left me once I stuck my finger down the back of my baby's diaper, foolishly, to see if she was wet... and oops, she was more than wet.  (teehee).  So to you, dear friends, who are considering cloth... don't worry about the poop... it's temporary, and if you include some liners and/or a sprayer in your diapering program, you'll do great!

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