Cloth nappies & dealing with POO

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

Poo isn't a problem confined to cloth nappies - babies in disposables poo and wee and vomit and drool and smoosh mashed banana in your hair. They are inherently messy beings.

The big concern seems to be that if you use cloth nappies you have to get the poo off the nappy and into the toilet before you wash it. Guess what? You should be doing that, even if you are using disposable nappies. I know - everyone wraps the deposits up in a neat little disposable parcel and throws them in the bin, but take a look at the disposable nappy packaging next time you’re in the supermarket. You will find that most of them tell you that solids need to be removed from the nappy prior to disposal. See the photo below of the Comfy Bots, Baby Love and Huggies packaging - all stating that the solids should be emptied into the toilet. I can hear you saying, "But no one does that!” True.


But there’s a very good reason that they should. You’ll find many local council bylaws have it stated quite clearly that human waste is not to be disposed of in your waste collection. I’ve never heard of anyone actually having council officers come round to issue a fine for non compliance over the disposal of their pooey nappies, but the reason these bylaws exist is because of the potential hazards of untreated human waste sitting in landfills.

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

  • 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.
  • If you're worried about your fingers coming into contact with poo/wee while you're shaking poo into the toilet, using a nappy sprayer, or separating nappies (like pulling inserts out of Pocket nappies or unsnapping boosters from All-in-2 nappies), then a dedicated rubber glove, a silicon mitten, or even a pair of tongs will help protect your fingers.
  • 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.

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 as it's water soluble.