Hopefully the title tells you enough to know that if you are faint of heart, STOP READING NOW lol!! Today I want to broach the subject of how to deal with your baby's poop & cloth diapers.
First, if I understand this correctly, disposable diaper companies now ask you to dump your baby's poop from the disposable diaper before throwing it away. That in and of itself makes cloth diapering and disposable diapering much more equal in the "yuck" factor. I have to say this is the only part about cloth diapering I do not like, dealing with the poop when my babies start solid foods of formula. If you don't already have children, here is a bit of the breakdown of "types" of baby poop.
First you have the newborn stage - baby is just born and passes the "meconium" which is thick and sticky and black : P (I highly recommend using disposables for the first few days so you don't even have to think about this one)
After the first few days, your baby will start passing normal poops which will increase in number until your baby levels out at about 6-10 times a day (this is usual breastfed infants, formula fed infants may poop less). This is NOT a recommendation for formula feeding, breast is best! But let's admit it out loud... life is not perfect and sometimes breastfeeding is just not going to "work out" for some people or they just choose not to breastfeed. On the occasion some babies (breastfed and formula fed) will poop a lot less frequently than this and I encourage you to read up on this yourself. Breastfed baby poop is "runny" and usually yellow, with little tiny solid pieces often described as "seedy". Formula fed baby poop will be more the consistency of peanut butter (lovely, I know :P).
When your baby starts solid foods this is when things get REALLY interesting. Usually your little ones poop will take on the color of whatever he or she has eaten (ie. after eating carrots, your LO's poop will be orange!) The consistency will vary from peanutbutter-ish to more solid-ish. If your little one is having HARD poops, that is a sign of a problem and please talk to your pediatrician about this. I have found for my kiddos, that this usually meant I needed to adjust something about their diet.
Now that we covered the basic types of poop (btw - I am AMAZED that you have made it thus far!) let's talk about how to "deal" with them when it comes to cloth diapering!
Newborn breastfeed baby poop is pretty straightforward. If you plan on doing your diaper washing at least every other day (which is what I personally recommend) can just be thrown all together in the washer and put through one COLD rinse before washing in hot water. If you're a little more concerned about stains on your diapers, you can rinse your newborns poopy diaper in cold water, right after you change it.
People who rinse their diapers right away usually recommend a "diaper sprayer" which just makes it more convenient to clean off the poop. I've also seen people install an extra long hose to their shower head so it will easily reach their toilet and just used that (with an on / off switch in stalled on the shower head so you don't spray water all over the place) This is a cheap option and I believe you can get what you need to do this at home depot or lowes for $15. I'm a rebel.... I when I do need to rinse my poopy diapers, I rinse them in the bath tub using the shower head. It sounds gross, but honestly I clean up after doing this so it's a pretty good option. After spraying off the poopy diaper I just place it in a bucket and rinse down the bath tub with hot water. Then I spray the tub down with white vinegar (which disinfects) which I keep handy in a spray bottle in my bathroom. Easy Peeasy!
Formula fed and solid food fed peanutbutter-ish poop is a little more complicated and there are a few different tactics to this one. What I recommend doing for this stage of the game is a useful little tool I like to call the "poopsula" (which is a spatula you keep in the bathroom LABELED so no one picks it up to use it for anything else). After changing your little one's diaper (I like to use disposable wipes for poopy diaper changes so I can just toss them) take your LO's peanutbutter-ish poopy diaper into the bathroom and use your useful "poopsula" to scrape off the majority of the poopies and deposit them in the toilet. I then wipe off the "poopsula" with a piece of toilet paper and hide it behind the toilet so certain little three year olds I know don't play with it (can we say YUCK??!??) Then proceed to rinse your diaper with cold water as described above and deposit in dirty diaper bucket or pail (whichever you choose to use).
When poopies become a little more solid they will usually just plop off the diaper and into the toilet (wonderful!) and you can rinse off any remaining poopies as described above in the newborn poopy section.
That is all for today - next I plan on discussing "washing your diapers" :) toodles!