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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

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Cloth Diapers and the Transition to Solid Foods

Like most cloth newbies, I was pleasantly surprised how easy cloth diapering was when we started with our six week old. Put the diapers on, take them off, throw them in the diaper pail, put them in the wash, repeat. Easy, right? For months I raved about cloth diapering to anyone who would listen. Then, my daughter turned six months old. All of a sudden we were giving her bites of mashed banana, sweet potato, and avocado. Then the dread took over. What do I do with the poopy diapers?! I did research online and read through forums. Do I need to start rinsing them? Do I buy I diaper sprayer?

Can I pretend solid food never happened and keep washing them exactly the same?

Here is the overview of what I discovered:

As soon as there are any chunks or traces of solid food in the poop, the days of throwing the diaper right into the diaper pail are over. The good news is you have several options.

The first and most popular option is a diaper sprayer. You can purchase one from Kelly’s Closet and install it yourself on your toilet. You spray off the diaper right into your toilet and presto, problem solved. I have also heard that if you have a detachable shower head that reaches over to your toilet, you can use that like a diaper sprayer. The drawbacks to a diaper sprayer are the cost and also the learning curve. I think many cloth diaper parents have ended up spraying poop all over themselves and their bathroom while attempting to use a diaper sprayer. (And thus, the Spray Pal was born).

If you aren’t willing the shell out the money for a diaper sprayer another option is the good old dunk and swish. You dunk the poop diaper in the toilet water, swish vigorously until the poop comes free, and then flush. The drawback to this method is that sometime that poop is very sticky and doesn’t desire to break free. Some people use a spatula or other similar tool to scrap those really tricky ones off.

A side note about option one and two, make sure to ask yourself what you are going to do with the diaper once it’s cleaned off. You will end up with a dripping wet diaper. The first few times I didn’t think ahead and ended up running back to my daughter’s room where the diaper pail was and then had to sterilize the floors all while trying to entertain my six month old and not let her touch anything. Be prepared! Decide if you are going to keep a pail or wet bag in the bathroom or wherever you are rinsing the diapers.

A third option and one that has recently become my favorite is cloth diaper liners. If your child poops on any sort of regular schedule, liners are amazing! You lay one in the diaper before you put it on your child and then when you are changing the poopy diaper, you just lift the poop and liner off and carry it to the toilet and avoid having to spray or rinse the diaper at all.

Hopefully this information is helpful to some of you still in the blissful EBF or formula stage of cloth diapering. It’s a bit of a transition to going to solid food but in all honestly, it’s not so bad. It’s just poop after all.

Bio: Laura is a CPA by profession but currently a stay at home mom. She lives with her husband and one year old daughter in CT.

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