Initiation Rites (updated)

July 28, 2007 at 10:01 pm | Posted in M'ijo | 35 Comments

I don’t think P’ito wants us to use cloth diapers.  Note: if you are not interested in reading more about my son’s digestive system, please don’t read beyond the break!

Onto more pleasant topics.  Today Pepito: climbed all the way up the stairs (15 steps), pulled up in his crib for the first time, and took a couple of little steps holding onto a chair.  Any bets on how long it takes him to go hands-free?

Otherwise, why – when he is normally the most regular of babies in his elimination habits – would he have skipped three pooportunities (thanks Carla!) – and saved it all up for the first cloth diaper we put on him?

Seriously folks, what do you do about the poop? These are not neat firm little buns of steel turds I’m talking about here. This is some serious po-po.

He’s on formula and “solids” (stage 2 baby food, and a few odd cheerios).  The poos are generally the consistency of – well, the only thing I can think of is pudding.  Really gelatinous, gooey pudding.  I’m sorry for imposing that image on your mental space.  You can be grateful I did not impose it on your  visual space as Pili suggested posting a picture (!)

The “assplosion” in question did not take place in a fuzzibunz, it took place in a cover with a chinese prefold.  The boy was on his changing table, across the hall from the bathroom.  So:

a) what do you do with the poop filled diaper while changing said boy so as not to cover vast surfaces with poop?

b) once the boy has been changed, what do you do with him whilst “shaking off” the poop into the toilet?

c) so, the poop does not shake off.  You find a relatively clean corner of diaper and do the dip and swish.  You are now left in the bathroom with a dripping wet, still somewhat poopy diaper.  How do you keep from trailing poopy water back to the diaper pail? Given that bleach is a no-no, how do you prevent the soaking wet diaper from making everything in the bag and pail smell mildewy?  

This was seriously a cloth diaper hazing. 


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  1. i’ll give it another cheer
    G diaper
    the poop goes right in the toilet!

  2. We didn’t cloth diaper, but I know I heard someone talking about a type of insert you can use in cloth diapers. It only catches the solids, then you flush it.

    P’ito is going to be off in no time!

  3. I’ve seriously considered cloth diapers – disposables make me feel so guilty – but this is my big concern. I think I’m going to stick with the guilt a while longer.

    I bet P’ito is off and running in no time.

    Kerri and Ruby

  4. Use the biodegradable disposable diapers if you want to be “green”.

    Yeah, babies never have the nice firm turds that you can just roll into the toilet. (how do babies make it acceptable to have discussions like this…LOL).

    How old is he…and he’s climbing stairs and pulling himself up already? My, my.

  5. That boy is going to give you a run for your money! LOL The smart ones just never let you sit down.

  6. Hmmm…..information about stool firmness can be found here

  7. Was the cloth diaper in question a fuzzi bun? Granted, Finn still has only breastmilk poos, but I’ve never had any trouble washing them– the poop really does seem to dissolve fine in the washer. My SIL’s toddler– who is eating solids and, hence, has ickier poo– also has very white fuzzi bunz. Shake out solids you can into the toilet. Then separate the liner and diaper. Wash them on cold with about half of the detergent you’d normally use. Then wash them another cycle on hot with about 1/4 the detergent you’d normally use. Run an extra rinse and check that the water doesn’t look too sudsy– it’s important to get all the detergent out so it’s not irritating and so the diaper doesn’t repel pee because of the residue. Hang to dry. If there is any remaining poop discoloration, you can put the fleece side of the fuzzy bun in the sun and it will whiten back up.

    Okay, that’s the short version. I have a longer version of my cloth diaper care routine (I’ve tried different detergents and used both a top loader and a front-loading HE washer) but it may seem overwhelming to the uninitiated. Long story short, once we had our routine set up, I find cloth diapering to be very easy.

  8. Oh my. How did I stumble upon this conversation?

  9. No practical advice, but it sounds to me his behavior could also be interpreted in the opposite way: he WANTS the cloth diapers (he was waiting for one, in fact…. 🙂 )

  10. You guys are in trouble.
    Mostly I mean due to the near-walking.

  11. um, two 7th gens are en-route to you.

  12. yeah… i never understood how cloth worked either. ROLL THE POO OFF? ours is not of the rolling variety… and we don’t even use seventh gen. do i get any points back for not driving an SUV?

  13. Oh, prefolds are easier to wash than fuzzi bunz. But my suggestion about two wash cycles (first cold, second hot) stands. Prefolds tend to get stained, but as long as they’re clean that doesn’t bother me. (I do bleach them once in a while, but it wears them out. Many HE washers also have a superhot sanitary cycle, but it would be too much for the covers.)

    Like I said, I don’t have a solid-food pooper yet, so my system may not work for you. Here’s what we do:

    We use a large plastic trash can as a dry pail (wet pails are said to be a drowning hazard and all the diapering sites say they’re not necessary anyway). We also own two large washable drawstring bags that we line the pail with (you can get these at sites like The pail (trash can) has a lid that lifts with a pedal and sits right next to the changing table. I never rinse my diapers (this may have to change in the future). Even the very poopiest just get tossed in the pail along with any dirty wipes. On wash day (at least every two days or the diapers get gross) I just lift the whole bag out of the pail, carry the bag to the washer, and dump it into the washer without touching the diapers. I turn the bag inside out as I dump, cinch it so no diapers get inside during the wash, and throw the bag in too. I then line the pail with the second bag. After the cycle I hang the bag to dry.

    I’m not sure what I’ll do if/when we have to start flushing poop off.

  14. Keep with the cloth diapers, it’ll be ok! First, yes, make sure you have somewhere to set gross diapers after they come off the boy and before they go to be cleaned off. Second, you may want to get something like the little sprayer that attaches to the toilet or a “diaper duck” (J. loves our diaper duck, I think it’s annoying, personal preference). Those will help you clean the diaper and wring it out. (Oh yeah – where to put the kid – I usually just put G. on the bathroom floor, or in the empty bathtub if I really need to contain him while I deal with something.) Also since you usually wash diapers about every other day, there isn’t time for them to get too weird sitting wet in the pail (some people actually soak them in the pail, that seemed to me like it would get messy).

    You could also try varying P’ito’s diet, I wouldn’t be surprised if baby food was contributing to the poop consistency since so much baby food is kind of that consistency when it starts off (or so I think, we’ve never actually used it). If you feed him mushed-up adult food you can adjust the consistency by adding water or formula. Bananas and rice also help firm things up. (If you can get to the shake-offable poop, it’s much easier.)

    If you need the extra prompt about using cloth vs. disposable: the Kushies propaganda that came with our last diapers lists the cost of using disposables for 2.5 years at $2,000 – $2,700, the cost of cloth for the same period is $500 – $700. And one baby creates TWO TONS of disposable diapers. (eek)

    Anyway, call me if you want more ideas/support/whatever. (I’m procrastinating my reading for next week.)

  15. It’s true. SOMETIMES dealing with poop in cloth diapers is really gross. But sometimes dealing with poop in disposables is really gross too.

    I think you have an unfortunate challenge brought about by timing. Not the timing of his poops, but his age for starting with cloth. Natalie’s poop was similar to the type you described at that age but we’d been CDing for a long time by then and weren’t too phased. It really didn’t last a long time. After a couple of weeks she truly did have crap (got tired of typing “poop”) that rolled off the diapers. It comes off of fleece dipes best (pockets, generally, but you can get fleece liners for prefolds) but it will often come off of PFs too. If you hang in there I think it will get better.

    But you asked about what to do NOW. Here’s what I do when we have PODs (poop of doom). 1. At the moment of discovery, haul baby’s butt higher in the air, remove gross diaper to a safe distance, place something (dry wipe, extra prefold) on changing table to catch any fragments leff on the tush, wipe and put on new diaper. 2. Corral mobile baby someplace safe – crib with toys, other mom’s supervision, exersaucer – or wait ’til later to deal with gross diaper. 3. Scrape off nastiness with a plastic knife (keep one in the bathroom for this purpose). 4. Swish, flush. 5. Repeat 4 if needed.

    Transporting to pail: Cait drags the pail to the bathroom with her when she’s ready to cope with the poop. I try to remember to grab an extra, dry prefold and then use it to wrap the wet one on the way back to the pail. Others keep the diaper pail in the bathroom in general.

    Preventing pail funk: We use a waterproof pail liner (I think I sent you a link about those) and wash the diapers and liner every 2-3 days. We don’t have a problem with mold or excessive funk (but diaper pails don’t exactly smell pretty anyway).

    I know the ick can be overwhelming in the moment but at this point it’s pretty rare to have a diaper like that. Hang in there!!!

  16. OK-no comments about green diapers-(no such thing when mine were in Diapers-BUT-If you are dealing with the poo that I think you might be-Do stool samples (if you have not yet) My dd adopted 6 years ago was the champion of such things! After a stool sample or two to the ped Doc-turns out she had giardia. A little flagyl later-things were most improved!


  17. We got gifted a roll of rice paper liners. These are flushable and supposedly help with poop. I’ll let you know how these work, but they are relatively inexpensive. You might want to give them a try. Also, I’m hoping to get a bathroom sprayer–easy attachment that makes rinsing much easier. has one for a good price.

  18. LOL. I don’t use cloth. Twins in NYC, laundromat is the only option… yikes. Anyway, my boys have always and continue to have messy poop more than once a day. Every kid is different. I think there are probably a lot of advantages to cloth, both practically and of course environmentally. But while you are getting used to everything with Pepito, don’t be too hard on yourself if you can’t do it consistently *yet*. Good luck!

  19. Definitely sounds like trial by…poop.
    You definitely started at a gross time, it seems. I second the liner suggestion. There are fleece or silk liners that are easier to rinse in the toilet (leave a rubber glove in the bathroom, if you’d like) and then throw in the diaper pail. Or you can buy a yard or 2 of thin fleece and cut it up into the size/shape you want. Or the disposable/flushable ones.

    Definitely plop the kid in the crib/tub/saucer while you do it. When Niblet was using cloth, it was all bumGenius OS pockets, and her poop was solid. So I’d just hold her with one arm and plop the poop in the toilet with the other hand. No swishing necessary.

    You also could keep a diaper pail in the bathroom, too. But I suspect you can find a way to transport the diaper back into the bedroom. I like the second-prefold idea.

    Squeak’s still exclusively breastfed, so we just throw the diapers and wipes straight into the pail, poop and all. It all comes clean in the wash.

  20. Oh, and while I don’t hold anything against people who want to use disposables, don’t kid yourself that 7th Gen or other “green/biodegradable” diapers are any better. They still have the nasty absorbent gel. they’re slightly better for the bum because they’re unbleached, but the gel is just gross, imo.
    and in a landfill, nothing degrades in any acceptable amount of time.

    “Tushies” are the only gel-free diaper, and they’re BULKY. Like wearing a phonebook between the legs.

  21. I second the call for gDiapers ( which were not around when we were using diapers, but I’ve heard really great reviews on.

  22. We like the gDiapers, too.

  23. I thought of everyone who is advocating gDiapers today as I had my grossest diapering moment ever. We are traveling right now and are using gs for the days on the road. Natalie had a poopy diaper just as we were leaving Shelli’s building so I came back and used the first floor bathroom to flush it. I have flushed at least 25 gDiapers in the past year without incident. But this diaper, this poopy diaper, in a semi-public bathroom, was the first one I ever encountered flushing difficulties with. It clogged the toilet and I had to plunge it (I would have felt guilty abandoning it). And PUBLIC TOILET WATER (presumably with poop remnants) splashed out onto me. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEW.

    So I scalded my leg with Shelli’s building’s insanely hot water rinsing it off.

    Let’s just say I’d have been much happier if we’d stuck with cloth today. I would have put it in a wet bag and that would have been the end of it.

  24. You have more patience than I had. I used exactly one cloth diaper before running for the Huggies. There were these crazy metal clips that were supposed to fasten the diapers. I tried putting one on and broke a nail. Right down to the quick. I made another attempt, while trying not to get blood from my wounded, throbbing, nail-less finger on the snowy white diaper
    The clip sprang up and sailed merrily across the room, landing in the toilet. I fished it out, muttering, and looked at the baby lying on the now poop-smeared diaper. I calculated number of diaper changer per day times 365 days per year, times three years. I thought about broken nails, demonically-possessed clips, stinking diaper pails and the horror of excess poop removal and rinsing of cloth diapers.
    I knew for a fact that I would be tossing down handfulls of oxycondin if this madness continued. I cleaned the baby up and popped a Huggy on him. And I never regretted it for a minute.

  25. wow! good luck with that!! 🙂

  26. I invested in a few boxes of scented diaper bags. I toss everything in one of those and forget about it…and those assplosions are something to forget about. man, cloth diapers…I am in awe of you.

  27. We don’t dip/rinse in the toilet (have a 5 mo who after switching to formula has got some pretty sticky poops) with our cloth diapers. We scrape off with toilet paper, which gets most of it off aside from what is stuck into the cloth. Then like others posted, it just goes into the bag in the dry pail. We change on the bed, on top of a changing pad, and switch covers with each change (we have about 6 covers, and two are usually in rotation each day so that they get good and dried out in between diapers). So during the change I just take off the whole the dirty diaper inside the cover, place it well out of reach on the pad, and stick the cloth wipes on top of the diaper as I use them.

  28. Good Godamighty, it’s 2007, ladies! Do you spin your own flax and save fat to make soap?
    Until they invent poopless babies, I say disposible diapers are the way to go!

  29. Thank you, Gef. Thank you.

  30. Saving $2000 and two tons of landfill space feels pretty compelling to me. Honestly, besides having to do laundry every other day, modern cloth diapers are not *that* different. (There’s still plenty of mess involved in changing a poopstravaganza in a disposable!)

  31. Wow! Yeah… That’s pretty disturbing.

    All I can say is that over in Australia there’s some wacked company that recycles disposable nappies. Perhaps that’s an option for you if cloth nappies don’t work out. It’s really good that you’re giving it a go though and maybe the 2nd poop won’t be so bad.

  32. This is the place that does it here –

  33. Ah… How those heady days come back to me. I was trying to remember what I did, and then someone mentioned the flushable liners… THAT’S what I did. And I have a full pack of Imse Vimse liners. Email me if you want ’em and I’ll send ’em along.

    Josh was fairly consistent with his timing on when he’d poo, so I’d just pop one into the Fuzzi Bunz at the appropriate time. One other benefit to these – if they’re just pee’d on – you can toss them in th wash and reuse them at least once. They’re softer second time around too.

    Good luck.

    Stick with the Bunz. Josh was potty trained as he turned two, and I think the dampness of cloth diapers helped a lot there.

  34. Oh – I did buy a FB wet diaper bag and then washed every second day… Then after a while, I just started tossing diapers into the machine, and doing a short cold prewash everytime I added another dirty one… Meant I had to plan other laundry around diaper washes, but the frontloader turned out to be a GREAT place to store rinsed but dirty diapers.

  35. Get yourself some heavy duty playtex rubber gloves and leave them near the toilet. I used them to hold the dipes while I rinsed them in the toilet and then stuck them in a tall bucket (the one I originally got from the diaper service) with some water and vinegar (and probably bleach, hey it was a long time ago) and dropped them in there to soak. I get the whole drowning thing though so I always put mine in the closet we had in the bathroom. When I got low on dipes I dumped them all into the tub (yes, I cleaned it out before I showered) and squeezed the water out and then hauled the bucket down to the washer, dumped them in washed and dried em and started all over.
    It’s no surprise we used disposables with Katie with the odd AIO when she got a rash. Cheryl was NOT into cloth dipes. So, count me in as someone who filled a landfill. Sorry.

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