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I want to use cloth nappies but I’m scared of poo! Help!

Added on 27 October 2010 in General Info & Advice

First up, no matter what nappying system you use, you willbe dealing with poo.

For some reason, poo is seen as a problem confined to clothnappies, but even babies in disposables poo and wee and vomit and drool andsmoosh mashed banana in your hair. They are inherently messy beings.

"But, if you use cloth you’ve got to get the poo off thenappy before you wash it!” Yes, but you should be doing that, even if you areusing disposable nappies. I know - everyone wraps the deposits up in a neatlittle disposable parcel and throws them in the bin, but take a look at thedisposable nappy packaging next time you’re in the supermarket. You will findthat they all tell you that solids need to be removed from the nappy prior todisposal. Here’s the one from the BabyLove packaging: "If nappy is soiled,empty contents into toilet.” I can hear you saying, "But no one does that!”It’s a sad fact that not many people do.

But there’s a very good reason that they should. You’ll findmany local council bylaws have it stated quite clearly that human waste is notto be disposed of in your waste collection. Now, I’ve never heard of anyoneactually having council officers come round to issue a fine for non complianceover the disposal of their pooey nappies, but the reason these bylaws exist isbecause of the potential hazards of untreated human waste sitting in landfills.

But aside from all that, ingenious cloth nappy manufacturersand cloth nappy users (or the parents of users!) have come up with ways ofdealing with the poo removal issue. If your baby’s poo doesn’t just shake offinto the toilet, and you can’t bring yourself to scrape the poo off using animplement, you have several great options:

  1. A nappy sprayer like the Little Squirt. These clever devices attach to your toilet and work like a water pistol. You hold the nappy over the toilet and spray the poo off. Or you can use an actual water pistol/higher pressure squirt bottle. Just beware of the splash back factor.
  2. Reusable liners. It is much easier to hold a liner over the toilet and do the shake rather than the whole nappy. Solid poo tends to roll right off fleece liners, making removal easy and then you just throw the liner in the bucket with your nappies.
  3. Biodegradable/flushable liners. This is the best option for real poo phobics. The whole liner, complete with poo, is tipped into the toilet and flushed away.
  4. If your baby poos at a predictable time each day, you could try some Elimination Communication and see if you can get that poo straight into the toilet!

Remember too, that runny newborn poo doesn't need to be removed as it will wash out fine in the machine.

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