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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

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Swirl versus Spray; My dirty diaper travel pity party

I originally opposed the notion of cloth diapering because I didn't want to deal with getting poop off of cloth. I am, for all intensive purposes, a clean freak. I didn't believe cloth diapers could really get clean enough to re-use on my daughter's bum.

Touching poop is not on my list of things to do, nor is submerging my hands in a toilet. Evidently, I am not the only one who feels that way because the diaper sprayer was created sometime between my days in cloth diapers and my daughter's. Even my mom thinks it’s the most genius invention—and wishes she had thought of it! It’s essentially a kitchen sink sprayer attached to your toilet that sprays poop off dirty diapers.

Once I decided to cloth diaper, despite of my poop concerns, I learned about the diaper sprayer. I researched the different brands, and read a lot of reviews, finally deciding on the bumGenius sprayer (I can now personally recommend it).

My husband originally hated the idea of paying nearly $50 for something he felt he could build himself. He's really handy, plus he found a few how-to videos on the Internet. So, he went to the hardware store and returned home with materials needed to make a diaper sprayer. When I looked at the receipt, I was shocked! The parts totaled $40. For a few extra bucks, my husband could save himself the hassle and we’d have a more professional looking sprayer with a reliable on/off valve. He returned the parts and we bought the Bum Genius sprayer. He was so excited when we got it that he hooked it up despite being two months from our due date. My husband—manly man that he is—was excited for our baby to get here so he could spray some poop off a diaper. Hilarious! In all fairness, he was excited for other reasons, but he really did want to try it out. For the first few days of Gianna's life, he was the official diaper sprayer--fine by me!

When our first family trip came up only 3 weeks into motherhood, I bought some "eco-friendly" disposable diapers for our overnight. I didn't even consider bringing cloth, as I was too nervous about what to do with poopy diapers. I refused to attempt the swirl/dunk method of poop removal that my mom used in the ‘80s, and nowhere we went had a diaper sprayer.

For our Labor Day trip to my parents, I, more than ever, wanted to bring cloth. I was tired of using so many disposables—even though they were “eco-friendly”—plus cloth is much better at nighttime for our heavy wetter. I ended up bringing a mix, but I have high hopes to bring only cloth on our holiday travels. There were several poop cloth diapers to deal with at my parents’ house. My husband offered to “go outside and hose them off,” but I didn’t think that was really appropriate. I headed to the basement bathroom to do what I had previously considered ‘below me.’ I grabbed the swirl/dunk method by the horns and acted as if I knew what to do. I don’t often just dive right in, but for some reason, I felt my 6 months of cloth diapering experience would trump having never swirled a diaper in the toilet.

First, I folded the pocket diaper in half, with the liner exposed and the cover against itself. I dunked it down into the toilet water, and to my chagrin only a tiny bit came off. So, I tried swirling it around in the stagnant water. Nothing really happened. I, then, had the crazy idea to use some toilet paper to scrape off the diaper. That was really unsuccessful. In the madness of attempting to save my one and only Tots Bots from horrible stains and stench, I then tried to use my HANDS. Yes, I went there…I don’t know what I was thinking. I dunked the diaper under the water and used my other hand to try to get poop off. It was only in that embarrassing moment that genius struck. I flushed the toilet while holding the diaper with a firm grip and let the water swirl around it, agitating more of the poop off. I understand, now, that the swirl of this method comes from the toilet flushing, not from me manually swirling the diaper. I still wasn’t satisfied with how much residue was left on the diaper, but I called it good and squeezed the excess water out before putting it into my Kissaluvs pail liner. I really missed my diaper sprayer, but I did what needed to be done. The diapers survived, as did I.

Somehow, the magical pressure of a diaper sprayer rids Gianna’s diapers of poop residue in a way the swirl/dunk method cannot. I suppose there are some that may disagree with me…but in our home, sticking with cloth diapering is dependent on our diaper sprayer.

Kaylene Brown loves fruit, baking, fitness, and cool fall days. She is a kinda-crunchy, old-fashioned SAHM who blogs about all kinds of things at her blog, Letters from Momma


Jessica S. said...

hahah too funny about your hubby getting excited about the diaper sprayer! My daughter hasn't started solids yet so we haven't had to try one out, but I plan on getting one in the next month or two. I know I will have to try out the dunk and swirl method when we go to visit, I wouldn't have realized right away if I hadn't researched it that you are supposed to flush the toilet either lol!!

Jeannette said...

Oh my goodness. Bless your heart! Thank you for sharing- I had no idea what "swirl" meant either and I probably wouldn't have thought of that. You got this message to me just in time- we started solid foods last week :P

ReInventing Lolli said...

We will be using the Bumgenius diaper sprayer when our baby girl arrives. I can't do the dunk and swish method...yuck.

Anonymous said...

Just making a suggestion. I have been past the diaper age for quite a long time but when my children were born, the logical choice was to use cloth. I do not know what most young women use today to keep the used cloth diapers in, but I was able to have the most beautiful white cloth diapers by putting about 1/4 cup of borax or borateem in the pail in water. This would help keep the diapers white yet washes out and does not harm the baby's bottom because it is well before you wash and then rinse the diapers. Just a suggestion from an avid cloth diaper mama from years ago.