Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Tao of Poo

The Truth About Poo and Cloth Diapers by Ashley Sidell

What is your first thought when someone says “cloth diapers?” Many think that there is no way they want to rinse poo off a cloth diaper. Or what about stains and the smell? There is a lot to know when it comes to poo and cloth diapering. The truth is, it isn’t as bad as you think!

First, let’s discuss the various types of poo there are. And, all poo is related to what they eat.

Meconium is the thick, black, tar-like substance babies pass as their first stool. It will stain anything it touches. Most likely, your baby will pass this substance before their little bottom even touches a diaper, but if not, you can use a biodegradable liner to protect your diapers which you simply flush away when finished. Also, prefolds are an inexpensive option.

Breast Milk
Next, we have breast milk poo. We know this as a very “liquidy” substance that many parents mistakenly think is the hardest to clean. In fact, it is the easiest! Breast milk  poo is water-soluble and will easily rinse off of diapers. Many moms don’t even rinse this type of poo off the diaper before tossing it into the pail. They simply do a pre-rinse cycle on their washing machine prior to running the diapers through a normal washing cycle. 

Formula, Cereal, and Solid Foods
For formula-fed babies, the poo will be a little more green and thicker in texture. Also, when you introduce cereal and other solids to their diet, you will find that baby’s poo will be thicker and clumpier. This type of poo doesn’t have to be so terrible to clean. There are a few ways to tackle this: flushable liners, toilet-paper-scraper method, a thrifty spatula, and for the ultimate cleaning tool: a diaper sprayer! Flushable liners are easy to use and can be quite handy when out and about. Some mommies just take a little toilet paper, shake off what they can and scrape off the rest and toss whatever is left into the diaper pail, letting the washing machine do the rest. I have found that even using a cheap kitchen spatula (specifically designated for this duty) can do a great job at scraping poo without the worries of actually touching it! 

Now comes the fun part! My favorite tool is the diaper sprayer! It is an awesome piece of equipment that even dads can appreciate! It hooks to your toilet tank and has an adjustable pressure valve (so you don’t spray poo bits all over yourself and the walls!) All you have to do is spray the poo off and flush it away. It is also great for cleaning various household items and potty training seats.

There you have it, you now know how to tackle the poos.

There is no more dunking and soaking to remove poo bits from cloth diapers. It’s quite easy and before you know it, you will be cleaning diapers without even thinking about it.

Now, how do we get dad to embrace cloth diapers too? More on that next time! (AS)

Ashley is part of our Baby aWEARness Ohana, who works on community outreach and education about cloth diapering and natural parenting to our local military families. Her passion for natural parenting is an inspiration to all of us. Thanks for enlightening us with your knowledge and experiences!


  1. has the best selection of Diaper/Bidet Sprayers which are actually hand bidet sprayers meant to be used to clean yourself, not a diaper originally. Great way to save allot of money on toilet paper and help the environment. They even have some stainless steel models that come with a 5 year warranty = the best in the industry!

  2. I seem to get yellow stains on my diapers from the breastfed poo... how do I get the stains out? I wash every other day!

  3. try hanging to dry in the direct sunlight. it will bleach out the stains naturally!