When your child starts eating solid food, his/her poop will be firmer than when your newborn was only drinking breast milk or formula. When the poop is firm, to clean, you just have to shake and flush the poo in the toilet.
Of course, in the perfect world, it would be as simple as that, and you can go about you day without having to give another second of your life to cleaning/touching poop. However, as a parent, I know that there are moments (many as a matter of fact), when your child's poo--for whatever reason--will cause a huge mess. Then what?
To my dear first-time parents
Sorry to break it to you, first time parents: explosive, soft, runny poop will be a part of your life no matter if you use reusable or disposable diapers. At some point, you will have to touch your child's poop no matter if it's accidental or intentional (oh, yes, you heard me right!). Don't worry though, you'll get over that icky factor in a short matter of time.
Runny and soft poo
So now that's been established, what do you do when your child's poop is soft and mushed all over the cloth diaper? If you're using a disposable or fleece liner, try and shake as much poop solid into the toilet as you can. Many disposable liners (such as the ones we sell) do claim that you can flush it in the toilet as it is supposed to be biodegradable. If you are certain that your toilet and sewage system would be able to handle it, then lift the liner and flush it. Personally, I like to suggest to my customers to dispose of the liners in the trash bin after they shake out as much of the solid as possible into the toilet.
Use your shower head to spray your diaper
If you're using only a fleece liner, you can spray the poo that's stuck to the fleece fabric into the toilet. If your shower head can reach the toilet, then perfect. Use a low-medium pressure setting first, and work your way up. Be careful not to use a very high-pressure setting as it can spray the poo onto you and all over the bathroom.
Use a squirt bottle as an alternative
If your shower head can't reach the toilet, or, as in our case, your toilet is located in a WC rather than your bathroom, then you can use a squirt bottle to spray water and rinse the poop solid in the toilet. You can reuse and repurpose dishwashing liquid bottles for this, or in our case, we reused the plastic bottle I received at the hospital for perennial cleaning.
If you don't use a liner, then follow the same exact step as if you would need to clean the poo from a fleece liner. You can also scrape the poo off using a toilet paper and dispose them in the toilet.
Newborn EBF baby
Perhaps you have a newborn who is EBF (exclusively breast fed). Then, theoretically, you can wash the diaper with the poo in the washing machine since breast milk is water soluble and should break down in the wash. Nevertheless, if you're sharing a washing machine, or simply can't get over the idea of putting any type of poop in the washing machine, then I suggest you also use fleece or disposable liners and follow the same steps above.
Poop is still stuck on the fabric
When there's still poo stuck on the diaper and/or fleece liner even after you sprayed, you can choose to put it in the washing machine as is; your washing machine should be able to handle what's left on your liners or diapers. If you're sharing a washing machine and would like to be considerate to your neighbors, I like to recommend that you rinse and scrub the rest by hand in the sink or bathtub (keep in mind that the sink is a smaller area to clean and sanitize after). Normally, this is the last step I would do and I would suggest you to do when there is a small, stubborn spot of poo you want to get rid of. From personal experience, this should not happen so often, particularly if you can use your shower head to rinse as it has better pressure than manually using a squirt bottle. As briefly mentioned, don't forget to clean and sanitize your sink or bathtub if you had to use the area to rinse out poo.
I know, I know, the last step is probably an overkill, but for someone who is adamant about cleanliness, I didn't mine spending an extra couple of minutes doing it. Hopefully, you have a perfect angel who poops firm solids only once a day so you don't even have to go through much of these various steps. For the rest of us who have little poop machines, well...hopefully this article will make nappy cleaning a little less daunting.
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Originally from suburbia California, I'm now an urbanista and Zürcher mom to one very rambunctious toddler.