Monday, August 16, 2010

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My Scoop on Poop

I’m going to let you in on a dirty little secret. I have a diaper sprayer, but I don’t use it! I know, I know. I do agree that the diaper sprayer is one of the best inventions in cloth diaper care. It truly does rinse all the nasties off without you having to resort to unpleasant maneuvers such as the “dunk and swish”. But alas, my sprayer hangs forlornly on the side of the toilet, unused for weeks. Let me tell you my story…

Back when my gorgeous 6 month old was only a wish in my heart, I decided that I would cloth diaper my children. It just seemed like the most health conscious, environmentally friendly, economical thing to do. My husband, being the laid back man than he is, agreed wholeheartedly. So, when after years of infertility, our son was born prematurely, it was a shock to me that he wouldn’t fit into any of the millions (it felt like) of Bumgenius, Fuzzibunz, and Smartipants diapers that I had stocked up on. Plus, he was in the NICU, and it was all too overwhelming…the nurses changed him more than we did. So, we fell into using disposables.

When we brought our son home we continued using the disposables until one day, at nearly 2 months old, I realized that the Bumgenius organic AIO fit! I was so excited; I could finally switch to the cloth diapers and wipes I had so lovingly bought for my son. But, I was worried about one thing. The poop.

You see, back when I had decided to cloth diaper I had never had a baby before, much less changed a poopy diaper. I didn’t know what baby poop was like. That is oozed into places it had no business being. That it could be runny, or chunky, or stick to the butt cheeks like tar on a runway. That it could be so explosive and a little 10 lb. baby could produce so much! But I was determined; so on we went with the switch to cloth!

Now, for the first few weeks I was an excellent cloth diaperer. I would change my son’s diaper and then place him in the crib to stare at his mobile while I would diligently employ my diaper sprayer to clean every spot of poo off of his diaper. I would, fearful of stains, run that sprayer until I was sure I had used up an entire body of water somewhere nearby. And my diaper would still have poo streaks (of course the washing machine would remedy this) and would be sopping wet.As my son got older, more mobile and less content to sit in his crib after a diaper change (or even get his diaper changed, for that matter!) I noticed a terrible trend. Instead of spraying my diapers after each use, I would set the dirty diaper on the counter in the bathroom, vowing to spray it off later and put it in the diaper pail. A day would go by, and there would be 8 diapers, 10 diapers, 12 diapers. The piles were getting out of hand, but I was consumed with motherhood, and any free moment I used to take a shower, not spray diapers.

One fateful day, I opened my diaper drawer and realized I was down to my last two cloth diapers. My son was fussy, I had a scratch in my throat that I was praying would not turn into a cold, and I desperately wanted to put a lasagna in the over before my husband got home. I bemoaned that fact that I was a cloth diaperer. Oh how easy it would be to just grab a disposable! I knew I had to wash my diapers- and quick- but upon opening the bathroom door to retrieve the diaper pail I was greeted by mountains of unsprayed, dirty diapers. How in the world had I let so many build up without spraying them off!? In a moment of desperation I just threw all the diapers into the wash, unsprayed, full of days old poop, praying everything would turn out OK. I was on the verge of giving up the whole cloth diapering idea. But, to my surprise, the diapers were spotless! In fact, this desperation wash attempt went so well that I began to wonder why in the world I was spending all this time spraying diapers. My Rockin’ Green and wash routine was ensuring that the dirty, poopy diapers came out just as clean.

So, that is how I became a lazy cloth diaperer. How my diaper sprayer has gone unused for weeks and weeks. When I change a diaper, whether wet or poopy, into the pail it goes, no spraying at all. For my top loader I use a 15 minute cold rinse cycle with 1 scoop of Rockin’ green, then a full hot wash cycle with 2 scoops of Rockin’ Green, then an extra rinse. The diapers are perfect every time. Occasionally I do get stains, just like I did when I was religiously spraying my diapers, but I just set them out in the sun and they whiten right up.

Once my son starts solids I know everything will change. We’ll be dealing with another type of dirty diaper all together. But, if you’re thinking about cloth diapering your newborn, and you are worried about poop, like I was, take it from me: you really can just put it in the washing machine and get clean diapers. It sure has saved me a lot of time, and restarted my love affair with cloth diapers. Plus, I have more time to spend with my adorable son, and who wouldn’t want that?

-Nene

26 comments:

Ashley said...

Your silly :] I always heard you never have to spray a newborn diaper! I wish you heard this too lol!

Definitely when they start solids, your sprayer will be your best friend!

THE ONLY Mrs. Daniel Strain said...

i feel your pain.. we couldn't spring for a real diaper sprayer but we had a old shower thing with a hose hubby attached to the toilet and i had been using it . But i to have more to do than time allows with a 4 yr old , 2 yr old and new baby so I also figured out if you just toss them in the wash and line dry every think is JUST fine..

Chipper Jules said...

so true! We are now introducing more solids since my little guy is almost a year, but if it doesn't come off with a "twist and flip" into the toilet - only the very worst get any additional time (we don't even own a diaper sprayer) I've been using (and reusing) a pretty sturdy plastic spoon for the most offending diapers.) I just do a cold rinse before adding soap and doing my regular routine. The plastic spoon can get tossed right in as well (after a very quick swish rinse in the toilet)a lot less messy and time consuming than a wet diaper.

Pixie said...

We don't spray yet either! I throw them right into the wash for now, we will see what happens when the solids come!

I planned to start @ 3 months CDing our first 3 months in disposables was MISERABLE - we exploded out the diaper 3+ times a day. That has NOT happened even ONE time since we began cloth!

Tricia said...

I never worried about cleaning off poop while my baby was exclusively breastfed. Any yellow stains came out in the sun and we only have a wooden drying rack to drape the diapers over. Now that we are doing solids most poops can be dumped in the toilet. Some foods make a stickier mess (sweet potato, blueberries), but I've just dunked and swirled to get the bulk off or used a disposable liner when out or for the sitter and not had any laundry issues. I want a sprayer, but we live fine without one for now.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, breastmilk poo is completely water soluble, and doesn't need to be sprayed off. You don't have to spray poop off until babies start solids. I'm sorry you didn't have anybody to tell you that, but glad you got it figured out!

JMC said...

Interesting. I am not sure that I would have done this with a frontloader or even with the fact that I had to supplement formula with my BF. I'd be interested in a follow up article after you start solids on a regular basis.

Hannah said...

Amen! I don't like it when I see a diaper sprayer listed as a necessity for cloth diapering moms of newborns. It's an extra up front expense that they don't really need. I found out that 2 or 3 bites of squash or sweet potato per day didn't change the washability of the poop, either so I was free to use this easy method until about 8 months.

Kassi said...

The poop comes off after you start solids too :-) Heck, with my 2 year old, I dump the solid poop (I have this GREAT shake and dump dance, really, you should see it. LOL) and into the pail it goes. I begged my sister to get me a diaper sprayer for Christmas. I've used it maybe 5 times..... But it looks really neat hangin' by the toilet :-)

Melody said...

I was the same way with my first CD baby. Now I wait until they eat solids to bother spraying.

Sarahjenne said...

Yes, solid food is a whole different ball game. But it's great that newborn poo rinses out so easily. Especially when they poop several times a day. It would be a lot harder to deal with solid food poop without the sprayer! I'm so glad I have mine.

Dreaming Mama said...

LOL! I didn't start cloth diapering until my son was 2 months old and my daughter was just over 2. I had heard it helped with potty training, and the cost of diapers were getting out of hand. The previous owners of our house had a sprayer in each bathroom already. Boy howdy, am I glad it was there.
The diapers didn't really matter with my son, but my daughter I am afraid to just stick them in the washer.

Elizabeth K said...

Ugh! It is a new world once you start solids. I'm saving up for a diaper sprayer. I've resorted to dunking the diapers in the toilet and I'm not liking it!

Sabrina said...

Good to know. I wish I had know idea about newborn poop. This would of saved me lots of time clean diapers. I hate stained diapers.

Stephanie said...

When I cloth diapered my girls (they're now 7 & 11, my oldest is 16 but didn't wear cloth), I didn't have a diaper sprayer. I just dunked & used a wet pail.

But now with my little guy (he's 7 months) we have one & I don't know what I ever did with out it. He has medical problems so his dirty diapers are especially bad & our BG diaper sprayer is a life saver.

P.S. I also use it to power wash the tub. Gets it extra clean in half the time. ;)

Stephanie said...

I just dump what I can in the toilet. If it is really bad (we are on solids here), I take some tp and wipe the majority off. Works just fine and I don't have to worry about my toddler finding water...

wendy @ ABCs and Garden Peas said...

I don't have one...and I always thought I wanted one, but you are making me reconsider. I like to use the peri bottle I got from the hospital. It has a little force, so it gets a good bit of poo off. We just make "poop soup" by soaking in a bucket for a little bit before we toss in the washer. No stains yet!

Alycia said...

I wish I had gotten a diaper sprayer way sooner than I did. I couldn't live without it now. But I also cheat and use a GroVia BioSoaker when I know a nasty poop is coming lol

MieVee @ MummysReviews.com said...

Diaper-sprayer is definitely optional yet I love it. My breastfed boy poo-ed up to 11 times a day initially. We share a front-loader with extended family and no one else would want poopy diapers in the washing machine.

Spraying takes at most 10 minutes in the morning, since I do daily laundry. (CDs and home clothes washed together.)

kaheels said...

Yeah, I didn't spray with my newborn either. Although I did find it reduced the chances of staining on particularly messy diapers.

Jenney said...

Oh I so wish you had known about newborn diapers! What a lot of time it could have saved you! As mom who has cloth diapered 2 toddlers, you also don't have to be religious about the diaper sprayer when it comes to their poop either. I only use it if the poop is especially bad and doesn't shake off easily into the toilet. I also use flushable (and washable if you get ImseVimse) liners that help. I like Imse Vimse because if they are only urinated on I can wash them three or four times and they are still useful. Good luck to you, but keep that diaper sprayer...the first time your little guy has dirrhea you will L O V E it!

Laura said...

That was my fear too...but we switched after our DD was already eating cereal and starting veggies. It is a whole other kind of poop experience at that point... and you will likely fall back in love with your diaper sprayer. I wished we had our diaper sprayer early on for the major blowouts (the down the pant legs, up the back & all around) -- amazing the force and volume of a BF baby poop!

Nicole Pond said...

The reason you don't need to rinse the poop off when they're not on solids is because there's nothing that won't break down in baby's system. think about the last time you ate corn and then you'll get why after they're eating more solids, you'll WANT to wash it off :) (however you choose that is, we love our sprayer) anything that can't fit in the holes in the washer must be washed out before being put in for the wash. Oh and our diaper sprayer revitilized a diaper the daycare gal said would absolutely need to be thrown away. REALLY? I know which one it is, but does she? She uses it every few days! LOL

Elena said...

I'm sorry but that's just yucky! Maybe my baby just poops more than most, I don't know... but the amount that comes out of her and the consistency (even pre-solids) was not anything that I would want to put in the same washing machine as all my regular laundry! And I can just imagine how bad the pail would smell. Sorry, we're just used to taking the 10-20 seconds it takes to spray it off right away and toss it in the pail... like anything else, it's always easier if you keep up on things.

Leah | heartbeat photography said...

Okay, I have a quick question and I wasn't sure where to post this, so I'm asking it here. I live in the city and our water has chlorine in it....is this going to affect my diapers? They are stinking pretty bad and I tried stripping them but they still seem to repel and they smell GROSS!. I've hung them outside and done everything. So I'm just wondering if it would be the water? They kinda smell like chlorine too once she pees in them. And if this is the problem is there anything I can do? I mean, even if it isn't the problem chlorine probably shouldn't be in our wash. :} help!! lcsandretzky@live.com

HIS Brave Storm said...

I'm so tempted to do this! My daughteris almost 2 months old and I need to find a not too complicated wash routine. she is EBF so I've heard about doing this but as of next week I will have her in pockets or AIO's so no more just having to wash inserts and throwing her gdiapers in with her clothes. I need to figure out how to care for these diapers and this sounds like one less step I'll have to do.