Wednesday, February 23, 2011

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The Scoop on Poop! What Happens When Your Baby Starts Solids.

(Fair warning: If youʼre not a mom, talking about poop probably grosses you out. So stop reading now. To all the moms out there: you know you like talking about poop. Just admit it.)

We started using cloth diapers on our son when he was two months old. We were first time parents and it took about that long for the dust to settle a bit and for us to feel like we might make it through the next eighteen years alive! So we did our research, talked to friends, ordered our stash and excitedly started out on this fun new adventure.

I had been rather overwhelmed at first about the amount of information out there about diaper types, brands, washing routines, dos and donʼts, etc. So I was pleasantly surprised that when I actually started doing it myself, it was so easy! Just take off the diaper, put it in the pail, put it in the wash, hang it out to dry, fold and put away - voila!

But I knew that we were in somewhat of a honeymoon stage...easy newborn poop. I was exclusively breastfeeding my little guy and I was so glad to find out that what all the veteran moms had told me was really true: newborn poop isnʼt that gross! It doesnʼt even really smell bad for the first few months. Of course, Iʼm not going to go sniffing it for pleasure, but it was not gag-inducing. Sure, it could be explosive from time to time, but it wasnʼt a big deal. No matter how much the baby had pooped, I just put the whole shootinʼ match in the diaper pail and then right into the washer. And miracle of all washing machine miracles: the diapers came out clean! Any remaining stains were easily gotten out by line drying in the sunshine.

So when the six month mark rolled around and we started getting the pressure from the pediatrician and friends and family to begin giving the baby some solid food, I dreaded it and dragged my feet. Iʼm not going to lie. I didnʼt want his poop to change!! I know thatʼs selfish and it wonʼt earn me the mother of the year award. But itʼs the truth and Iʼm sure Iʼm not the only one who has felt that way.
All the instructions I read online about how to deal with the new regime “down under” said to “knock solids out into the toilet.” Ok, Iʼm sure that works with a solid (pardon the term - is this too colloquial?) “turd.” But I couldnʼt imagine that there would be a magical transformation over night from breast milk poo to the big boy stuff. So I dug a little deeper into google and found descriptive terms like “peanut butter.” Great.

So we started carefully introducing baby foods one at a time and it wasnʼt bad at first. Iʼll never look at banana bread the same way again. (Any mamas out there know what Iʼm talking about? Those little black squigglies?) Anyways, not to get too detailed, but it wasnʼt bad at first. But the more baby food we gave him, the less his poo was that easy newborn scenario.


So I broke down and bought a diaper sprayer. “What?? You didnʼt have one before??” I know, I know. Iʼve heard you all sing the praises of your sprayers all day long. But I donʼt love mine. Itʼs purely a business relationship. (As an aside - how in the name of all that is good and right do you keep the spray from going all over your legs and the floor around the toilet?? Turning down the pressure doesnʼt get the poop off.)

So we used the sprayer for a bit. I use the term “we” loosely here because this new phase completely grossed out my husband, who up until this point was very supportive of cloth diapers. (But I still make him do it sometimes...muahahaha!) Now, for those of you who are in this transitional stage: Hang in there - it gets better! Ah, the glorious day when he had a solid poop that just plopped right out, no spraying required! Around 9 months, he started really wanting to chow down on food three times a day. He also stopped wanting to nurse extracurricularly and got himself down to just: wake up, afternoon nap and bed time feedings only. This was when we hit the good days, girls: the consistently solid poops that always plopped out with mostly no spraying required.

Of course there are varying factors from time to time that change things up “down there” just to keep me on my toes. But in general, weʼve gotten back to easy days in the cloth diaper department. But true confession time again: I havenʼt given him meat yet because Iʼm scared it will get gross again!

Whatʼs been your experience?

By Stephanie G.

27 comments:

Cheryl said...

I'm in this phase right now... And I gave up cloth for awhile when it first hit lol. I'm just trying again, and we're trying flushable liners. I forgot to put one in once today and... Well... I discovered what was meant by peanut butter. Because apparently my trying to use disposables when we first tried solids was dumb - now she is eating 3 small meals a day when I switch back to cloth lol

Stephanie said...

Love this post! I'm totally dreading starting solids with my lil' man! I love (as much as you can love dirty diapers in the first place) his breastfed-only poo diapers! I don't want the peanut butter phase to be here yet!! haha

jessw said...

It's so funny, I only first started cloth diapers once the poop was ploppable. Washing newborn poop is what worried me! It's good to know it really will wash right out - I'll be using cloth from the beginning now that I have this stash (if I have another baby that is).

Mama Violet said...

She's approaching 6 months and we're in the peanut butter stage. She's getting very little food. She doesn't like it very much. However, she's pooping less. It's huge, sticky, and gross but it happens about once a week.

demandablog said...

We had a "poop knife" that we used to scrape those not newborn, not solid poops. Thank goodness that phase is over for both of my girls!

Lauren said...

not getting sprayed all over you: We have tried folding the diaper in half (inside out) and kinda setting it down in the toilet a little and spraying at a downward angle. This seems to help.

Lacy said...

LOL, No, you are definitely not the only one who doesn't want the consistency to change! I was quite pleased that my daughter was not interested in eating until almost 8 months...and I thought I was alone there!

Erin said...

We started solids and entered the realm of "peanut-butter-poo" about a month ago. The first two diapers nearly ended my love affair with cloth, I have to admit. But once I got over the initial shock of the poo change, it's all good. Yes, it's gross and the smell can be rancid. (Sweet potato poo, anyone?) But it's not a deal breaker with my cloth - we just had to figure out a new approach to the dirty diaper changes as well as master the diaper sprayer. There is definitely a learning curve involved with the diaper sprayer. Attempt #1 involved soaking the entire bathroom including the ceiling. Luckily I tried it out before I had the diaper in my hand. The next two tries involved some post-sprayer clean up. But now we've got it under control. It's all about the angle. I'm back to being just as in love with my son's fluff as ever.

Emmy said...

this is the stage im most worried about, my son is only 8 weeks old, and i rember this stage from my first. i really dont want ot buy a sprayer so im prepared with liners! hope it works, my hubs will be the one who needs convincing!

Chantal said...

We just started solids too, but 80% of his food is still BM. It's a bit thicker but I still throw it in the wash.
I'll be waiting to see about the sprayer tips though because I know thats where we're headed!

summerific said...

We were in the plop-it-in-the-toilet phase for awhile but it didn't lat for us. Our sprayer is still a messy necessity. I'm actually trying to UP the dairy and meat in hopes of getting BMs to be more solid!

PLyndzE said...

I am kind of the opposite - I felt like I "needed" to spray off the EBF poop. Diapers that weren't fleece on top drove me crazy. After starting solids I find it easier because it sprays off well, even the in between stage. I am a big fan of my sprayer even if a little water gets splashed everywhere. I do get excited when it does come off REAL easy though! :)

Nicole said...

I'm with you on the diaper sprayer, haven't quite figured out how to get it in the bowl and only in the bowl. No matter what angle I hold it or how low, I got sprays of what I hope is just water (eek) going everywhere. We are in the mostly breastfed, trying out solids phase. So depending on what she's had, it's been chunky Peanut Butter poop with an occasional nicely formed "turd" that plops right in the toilet. Will be looking forward to more of those. Ahhh...such is a Mom's life.

Dan said...

Great post babe... thanks for the part about making me take care of the poopie diapers every now and then. (noted)

But, I do have to say, for all the other dads out there, the cloth deal isn't as bad as I thought it would be. My brother gave me a hazmat kit for diaper changing when our son was born. Haven't needed to use it yet.

Anna said...

I finally transitioned my toddler(30 months) to cloth too. His turds are almost never solid. Lucky me. I prevent the spray getting everywhere by kneeling/bending down and putting the diaper into the toilet. I usually hold the diaper facing away from me and spray straight down next to it. That seems to have helped minimize overspray. I really do appreciate the days that I can plop the poop.

Cameron said...

LOL! That could have been me writing your post word for word. So don't worry - you are NOT the only one who avoided solids because of the dreaded change in poo texture (and we haven't done meats either for the same reason). I also have no clue how to not get the diaper sprayer water all over the floor. Sometimes I spray into the shower and then rinse the shower out (it's the guest bathroom so I don't have to worry about somebody using the shower that often anyway). We use flushable liners but those aren't always 100%. Good to know that there is a solid turd light at the end of the poo tunnel. Thanks for your post! You made me laugh. :)

Dreaming Mama said...

I know what you are talking about with the banana squiggles. I got a huge laugh about this because today I was just thinking I haven't seen those in a while. My son is eating a ton, but I still have to use my diaper sprayer. I also put off solids till six months, more just because breastfeeding is so easy.

alaskan_turtle said...

Ugh, we are in the peanut butter stage, and it sucks! Unfortunately, he is taking to solids very slowly (what can I say, he's a boob man), so we have been stuck in this phase for a while. I guess the (sort of) positive side is that he only poos every few days, so we don't have to deal with it that often.

Diana said...

I understand totally! I was just thinking yesterday that my baby is only days away from being officially 6 months old (baby #5, CD baby #3 ), and that I'm not ready to start solids yet for the very same reason. Before I got my diaper sprayer last month, we just had one designated spatula for the bathroom which we used to scrape the solids and not-so-solids into the toilet. Flushable liners didn't work that well for me - they kind of became like floss,and the poop still stuck to the diaper.
I've discovered online something called a "potty pail" which is supposed to help with containing the spray water....I'm saving my dollars now, but went to Home Depot and got a bucket until then. Haven't tried that yet.
Good Luck! :)

Andy Wright said...

My son's poop never was hard enough to just plop in the toilet. If it is, your child is probably constipated. They're poop should stay fairly soft....not runny, but gross none the less. Now my son is potty-trained, and I have a four month old. I am dreading the new poop when we start feeding her.

Trista said...

Ok - We tried to start Andrew on Cloth diapers at 1 month, but he HATED being wet, infact I took him to the doctor to see if he had a UTI but when he peed without his diaper on he just smiled at me and the Doctor and she said - Guess he is just fine with peeing, it must be the being WET that bothers him. So, away with the cloth and out with disposables since they kept him dryer.

5 months later (6 month old baby)... he got over being wet and I broke out the cloth diapers again. Andrew is on 3 meals of solids a day (very small servings) and his poop goes from solid to mushy depending on the day. I did not buy a sprayer (I was afraid of the back-spray myself), but I shake into the toilet and honestly, sometimes I have to get my hands in there to rub it off the diaper. I try to take the liner out first otherwise it gets all heavy and absorbs the poopy water. It doesn't bother me too much to do this, and I only have to do it about once a day. ALSO - for poopy diapers I keep a roll of Toilet paper by the wipes and I use this FIRST so I can flush it down with the deed. If it is the solid poop, Ryan is happy to change it, but the mushy ones get left for me (even if I'm not home). For the most part I LOVE cloth diapering, however, we use disposable at night with diaper cream to give him a break (plus I find they are more absorbent).

I REALLY WANT to try All In Ones, but I am just too cheap to go there. I have been pleased with Smartipants brand (don't have to remove the liner before washing) and think I am going to order more of them.

All in all - I am glad I use them, but am not so obsessed that I can't go back and forth between cloth and disposable depending on the day (and if they laundry is done or not!). :-)

Caryn said...

I am surprised that so many people can get away with not using a diaper sprayer. I rarely can just plop the poop in the toilet, it always is soft and needs the sprayer. My daughter is 2.5 years and we have always used CD with her. We only can get away with not using the sprayer when she is dehydrated. My trick to not getting sprayed is to lay the diaper on the inside of the toilet. The poop comes off a lot easier when the diaper is against something solid.

Lynn said...

omg, i am SO in this, right now. lol. spraying didnt work because, like you said, it ended up in me cleaning the entire bathroom and hopping in the shower...after every poop.

SO, i went to lowes, bought a 5gal bucket for bucks, a lid for another 2 bucks, and a 4 dollar plunger. when the first poop rolls around i plop it in the bucket, spray it enough to cover, plunge a few times, and put the lid tightly on. next poop, plop it in, spray some more, plundge more, and so on. when it comes to washday, i dump the water down the drain in the tub and take the diapers out, set them on the [underside-the part that goes inside the bucket] of the lid and then indiviually spray them, again to get all the floaters that didnt sink to the bottom of the bucket off. then, i rinse out the bucket, rinse off the lid, and wash my diapers.

between washes [every 2-3 days] she only poops once or twice...MAYBE three times. this keep the mess a minimal, water usage to a minimal, and gets my diapers clean. and, of course, i wash the tub out after doing this. i use a rag and some soap during my shower [before i do anything else] which i take before her bath. and, once a week, i really clean my entire bathroom because dirty bathrooms freak me out, so that hasnt changed since pre-baby. :)

Lara + Chris said...

Sooooo helpful! It's a ways off for us, but this is so reassuring for what is often considered a scary time for CDing!

Sarah said...

I started cloth diapering when my daughter was about 18 months, so many of her poops were fairly solid. The soft ones were pretty nauseating to me at first. I used an old spatula, which I kept in the bathroom trash. It was pretty easy to scrape the poop off, but hard to get used to. I was so thrilled when my husband installed a sprayer, but then I discovered how horribly messy it was. I never could get the hang of it, so I brought the Poop Spatula back out and only used the sprayer for REALLY messy poops.

The spatula method wasn't so gross when I got used to it. It's not any grosser than scrubbing poop off a messy bottom, and you're less likely to get poop on your hands than when changing diapers.

Kristin said...

Thank you for writing this! After much debate among cloth diapering friends, we opted for a spoon (knife, spatula, whatever is handy and you will never use again). Now we just need to get our 6 month old eating a little more and "solidify" things ;-) I'm happy to hear that there is an end in sight ;-)

Piccola Banana Mama said...

This is hysterical and timely - we just started our EBF 6 month old DD on solids, and I have to admit I was also waiting to start a few weeks after I suspected she might be "ready" because I was dreading the poop change! Eventually, I knew she really wanted to eat big girl food (if you can called pureed anything big girl food) so I bought some Bummis liners and got over it. But, she's still pooping several times a day, and don't you know it - she almost always saves it for me! LOL. I'm hoping to avoid a diaper sprayer just because I know I'll probably spray myself in the eye, but the idea of a poop spatula doesn't much appeal to me, either :D At least now I know we're all in the same boat - great post!