Let’s talk about the elephant in the room….
Yes we use cloth diapers. Gasp.
We have used them for almost 3 years now with both of our kids (3 years and 9 month). The only time we don’t use them is when we are on vacation or if there is a nasty rash we are dealing with.
Now that that is out of the way, one of the number one questions I get asked when people discover we are old school super modern and use reusable diaper is “what about the poo?!”
So let’s talk about it, the nitty gritty of poop and cloth diapers.
This post contains affiliate links, but you know I got your back and only share products I love and stand behind. I paid my own hard earned money on the products I mention, and want to share what I love!
Honestly this was one of my biggest worries about cloth and I did TONS of research figuring out a way to get around the poo mess. There are a few different options, like a diaper sprayer, swooshing the diaper, or even scraping (barf face) the poop. I think we have found the perfect solution for us and I also think we have it mastered, cloth can be just as easy as disposables!
First things first, before your baby starts solids and is exclusively breast feeding or formula fed, you can wash the poop out right in the washer. Just do your normal cloth diaper washing routine. I get that it sounds disgusting and that it won’t come clean, but I cross my heart that it does. Everything washes out perfectly fine. Sometimes you can get staining, but that is easily fixed with good old bleach or sun bleaching. Your machine is not going to be left a poopy mess either, I prommmissssseeee. When I was looking into cloth, I definitely did not believe this, but it is true. Two cloth diapered kids later I am a believer now.
Now on to when your little one starts eating solids and there is no way in heck you want to put solid poop in your washer.
When doing my own research for cloth diapering, the poopy situation seemed like it was going to be a deal breaker. Some families use diaper sprayers and they say it alleviates the poo mess. You have probably seen around 2,320 pins on Pinterest about diaper sprayers and how they are amazing…. but I am definitely not sold. Using a high power water sprayer to spray the poop off a diaper sounded even messier than rinsing it. What about the splatter? I pictured a wet, splatter, mess of poo, urine and water all over the walls around my toilet. No thanks, definitely not going there. Full disclosure – I have never tried a diaper sprayer, and honestly it might be the perfect fit for you and your diaper journey, but it is not for me.
So anyway… what is our our modern solution to poo and cloth diapers?
We use flushable liners in all of our diapers and love love LOVE THEM!
To have that huge love fest might actually be an understatement… or is it?! But let me walk you through the poopy diaper process.
When you come upon a poopy diaper, you just go about changing it like normal. We use cloth wipes and few squirts of bum spray… wipe wipe wipe and then put on a fresh diaper. After all that changing business, we take the whole diaper and the wipes to the toilet. We take the liner out (the corners are usually poo free so I grab there) and flush it down the toilet. Then the rest of the diaper and the wipes go into the diaper pail. Easy peazy. No need to soak, rinse, spray or scrap any diapers people!
Ahhhmazing. And a game changer. This is seriously the only way I think I have stayed on the cloth diaper band wagon this long.
We use Bumkin liners and we have tried a lot of other brands but keep coming back to these. I like that they are super duper soft, and they streeeetch so they cover the entire inside of the diaper.
I tuck the little extra on the sides under the flaps of the BumGenius Freetime diaper to make sure the liner stays in place.
One thing to point out is that we do not use these to stop poo from staining our diapers, the material of these is very thin and it is just meant to catch the poop so you can dispose of it easily.
Along the same lines, we don’t use this as a liner to protect our cloth diapers from diaper rash creams that aren’t cloth diaper safe. If we are using triple paste (best bum cream…get it now!) we will use a disposable diapers so we don’t ruin our BumGenius.
We go through less than 2 boxes of the liners a month. I gladly pay for the convenience and ease of using these liners and think that is it definitely worth the few extra dollars a montH.
Another plus is that when you are out of the house and have to change a poopy diaper you can flush the liner and poop away and not have to cart around a nasty poopy diaper. Just throw the wet diaper in the wet bag and you are good to go.
Seriously you guys, this is one of the best decision we have made with cloth (probably tied with our diaper choice)! If you are thinking of using cloth diapers, definitely don’t dabble in poop and give flushable liners a try. It will make cloth diapering much more user friendly and modern!
Read more posts about cloth diapers:
My favorite cloth diaper
All about cloth wipes
Our changing table with cloth diapers
20 replies to “Cloth diapers and poop”
Absolutely love this article! Thanks so much for sharing!! xxx
Thank you so much Hayley! I hope you got something useful out of it. Are you currently using cloth?
Will these work on pocket style diapers? Would i still use my inserts with them?
I personally haven’t used them in pocket style diapers, but I am sure they work great. I have seen them used on all sorts of diaper styles! I would for sure still use the insert because you will need that for absorption, the liners don’t adsorb anything. Then just lay the liner right in your diaper on the top of everything. I do tuck the sides of the liner under the flaps of the Freetime diaper and I think it helps it stay put and not bunch. If you end up using liners with pocket diapers let me know how it goes! Good luck. Xoxo
What if there is no poop, do you reuse liners or do you just toss the liners at every diaper change and put in a new liner for the next diaper
We flush or throw them away every time. They don’t get really soaked because they are so thin so I bet it is a possibility to reuse. We have just gotten in the habit of getting rid of the liner each time before we throw the diaper in the pail. Hopefully that helps!
Hi there! I’ve heard these liners can clog your pipes, so I’m hesitant to flush them. I assume you haven’t had this issue, or you wouldn’t be writing this post 🙂 are you on public sewer or do you have a septic system? Just curious. Also, if I decide not to go the flushing route, do you think it’s feasible to drop the bulk of the poo into the toilet and toss the liner? That’s my plan B!
Hi Sarah! Thanks for the question about liners clogging the sewer. I personally have heard that too and was worried about the same thing. Fortunately we haven’t had any issues with that, we have lived in older construction and a new build and both pluming with public sewer has handled the liners fine. Sometimes we even flush a few at a time 😬
To be honest usually the poop is pretty matted on the liner and might be tricky to dumb just the poo. You can definitely throw the liner and the poop all away though! We have done that when we haven’t had access to a toilet and at first I was weirded out but then remembered people throw disposables with poop away all day everyday.
Hopefully that helps!
So helpful! Thank you very much for the info!
I worked at a wastewater treatment plant in the education department teaching people about what can and can’t be flushed and I’m really skeptical about these liners. A simple test is putting the liner in a container of water with a lid and shaking the container. If it doesn’t break down then 100% it’s not suppose to be flushed. Surprisingly tissues and “flushable” wipes dont pass this test. They have to be screened out of the water before treatment, washed, dried, and transported to a landfill. Meanwhile they cause clogs in pipes and pumps, causing damage and costing everyone money. We had a treatment plant go beserk last year because of broken pumps, where they had to divert millions of gallons of untreated water out to the beach while they figured it out. Only things that should go down the toilet is toilet paper, poop, pee, and puke. Maybe these liners pass the test but I wouldn’t trust packaging just because it says “flushable.” Companies just wanna make money. I’d love to know if they do pass the test though! Sorry about the soapbox PSA. Your system still seems great even if you have to throw the liners in the trash instead of flushing them.
Thanks for your knowledge and comment. I will do the “test” today and see how these liner fair.
One of the reasons we chose cloth diapers was to lesson the impact on the environment and if these liners are potentially causing so much work and headache down the line, then if makes more sense to just toss the liner in the trash. Some times the poo will fall right off the liner so I could still flush the poop.
It would still be just as easy and doesn’t require an additional step.
Definitely looking into this.
This is awesome, I cloth diaper my now 16 month old and have since she was 1 month. We will be using cloth for our little guy due in April, so that’s 2 in cloth at the same time and a lot of poo! I use a fleece layer between the diaper and her bottom to help keep her skin from all the moisture and sort of for catching poo but these sound amazing! Investing in some of these for sure :DDD
Thanks for sharing! I am currently 32 weeks pregnant and debating on cloth vs. disposable. I love the idea of cloth but get worried about spending all that money and it maybe not working out. Did you feel this way? I also get nervous about how much time they’ll take to clean. How they’ll fit and hoping I wound have leaks! –
I was nervous about them not working out for us also, so only started with a small stash just in case it didn’t work and I needed to re sale them. After I month I was committed and LOVE cloth diapering now.
Honestly I was presently surprised that laundry wasn’t really a big deal.
Just thought I would chime in here a say that diaper sprayers are fantastic! You can avoid poop splash back by reducing the level of pressure on the leaver. When using mine, I simply start off low and increase the intensity as needed. I love my sprayer and have even found it handy during toilet training for poopy pant accidents and potty rinses 😉