We have definitely crossed into the land of toddler poo. A much different place than exclusively breastfed island and starting solids peninsula! If you have other children you know what to expect. But if this is your first, you might be in for a rude awakening.
In the early days, when your little one is exclusively breastfed or on formula only; you really are able to just throw everything into the washer and let it take care of the dirty work. Especially EBF poo! It is totally water-soluble. Just splash some water on it and you will see it practically breaks up into nothing. Formula poo is a little thicker, but will also easily wash away. I do encourage you to use common sense though. If you little is on special formula or you just find that the washer isn’t handling the poo well, rinse it first.
I know…I know…some of you are thinking that it may be a little gross to not clean it off at all stages. Today’s washing machines are designed to handle just about anything we throw at them. And before 6 months, poo isn’t really an issue for most washing machines. Pay attention to how clean the diapers are before decided. Most don’t have to rinse before solids. But some may need to. Do what works for you.
After you start any kind of solids, this all changes. Now what???
TRY THIS FIRST: Some poos can just sort of plop off the diaper. Only certain textures of poo will work with this method (think moldable). I fold the soiled diaper in half and kind of mush it together with a squeeze. Don’t go overboard with this as you don’t want anything squirting out! Open it up and gently shake until the poo falls off into toilet. If done correctly with right type of poo, most of the solid material should come right off, no additional cleaning necessary. If this method won’t work for you then there are a few different options to consider.
This is probably the easiest solution, although not the most cost effective. Basically, when doing a diaper change, you lay a disposable liner on top of the diaper and then finish putting it on. Little one poos and you just take the liner and the poo and flush down the toilet (or throw into trash if you have to).
Pros of this method include ease of use. Convenient for trips out of the house because you can get rid of mess immediately and not drag it around in your wetbag.
Cons of this method include not being cost effective. There also might be some overflow onto the diapers that goes beyond the liner (so you’d still have to clean that off). Finally, some septic systems might not be able to handle these liners getting flushed down (a backed up toilet is NEVER a good thing!)
I recommend Eco Sprouts Eco-Bottom Liners. They are by far the softest liners we have ever tried.
Dunk and Swish
This is just what it sounds like. Maria over at Change-Diapers.com has a great video that shows exactly how this can be done without getting your hands dirty. I admittedly find this method a little disgusting. I am sure my problems with this are all in my head, but there is just something about the toilet bowl water that skeeves me out! This works for many people with absolutely no problems!
A sprayer is attached to the side of the toilet and is used to spray solids off while you hold diaper vertically over bowl. There is no getting your hands dirty or bowl water touching the diaper if you don’t want it too (although it is fine if it does!) If you are using a sprayer and looking for more protection from splashing anything anywhere but the bowl check out the Spray Pal! Even if you think you don’t NEED one, it is a super nice thing just to HAVE one!
This is my recommended method. We have a Heepwah Baby Diaper Sprayer. It was simple enough that I installed it myself. For the poo that won’t plop off I just spray it off just like you would use a garden hose if you were outside. Fold in half and then throw in wetbag until washday…done!
FYI, with ANY sprayer ALWAYS turn the valve to off when you are not using it. That will stop any possibility of leaks. Believe me, you don’t want a sprayer starting to leak when you aren’t looking.
What is your preferred poo removal method?
Jenn is a long-time cloth diaper educator and a passionate small business advocate. She has worked in the reusable diaper industry for over a decade, helping millions of families via her websites All About Cloth Diapers, Thinking About Cloth Diapers and Cloth Diaper Geek as well as hundreds of small businesses during that time. Her goal always to provide simple, reliable information.