(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.