Category Archives: Dealing with Poop

The most oft asked questions are about dealing with the “dirty work”. It really is manageable, without getting your hands dirty!

bumGenius Diaper Sprayer

DetailBGSprayerPhotos530x310The bumGenius Diaper Sprayer truly makes dealing with poop easy. You don’t need liners or have the hassle of dunking and swishing. Not only does a sprayer make rinsing cloth diapers a breeze, you can also use it for personal hygiene, rinsing potties and possibly the bathtub with its adjustable control settings. Installation is quick and easy. Many families consider a sprayer a must-have for cloth diapering.

 

Bummis Fleece Liners

41ifOde6YXLBummis Fleece Liners are great for cloth diapering for many reasons:

  • They give a stay-dry effect with their moisture-wicking properties, which is especially good with natural fiber diapers and babes that are sensitive to wetness
  • They make cleaning of poop easier since they are easier to wash off instead of spraying the whole diaper
  • They help against staining the diaper
  • Act as a barrier if you need to use diaper cream
  • A nice reusable option instead of disposable liners
  • Easy to customize the size since fleece doesn’t need to have a sewn edge
  • Made from Repreve Fleece (recycled polyester)

The Bummis Fleece liners come in a 5 pack and can be used with any cloth diaper.

Just Spray Away!

8052093_origSo, your wee one isn’t so wee now and is diving face first into the exciting world of solid foods. As the taste adventure begins, so too must your exploits in dealing with the “new” mess in the cloth diapers. Have no fear – there are lots of options!

You can do the “dunk and swish” in the toilet or use a bio liner….not so keen on those approaches? How about a diaper sprayer? The AMP Diaper Sprayer easily attaches to your toilet and lets you spray away any solids in a flash!

We also have the bumGenius diaper sprayer. Both of these are amazing quality and you can’t go wrong with either.

Bottom line: cloth diaper sprayers will make your life easy peasy when it comes to diapering a munchkin in cloth who is munching on solids.

Bio Liners are the bees knees!

amp flushable linersBio liners can be a great addition to your cloth diapering routine. Used regularly or for outings, these handy liners can make dealing with poops a breeze.

Flushable and compostable, they are so easy to use. Just lay on top of the diaper and they’ll catch the mess.

Make sure if you flush them, that your sewer or septic system can handle them (regular plumbing is usually fine, septic tanks beware).

We stock our favs which are AMP Flush-able diaper liner, bummis Bio-Soft liner, Applecheeks Diaper Liners and GroVia Bioliners.

The trick to using bio liners in your cloth diapering routine is you must remember to put them on the diaper or good ol’ Murphy will get you as soon as you forget 😉

N&G Expert Panel – Introducing Solid Foods

We would like to introduce you to Crystal Di Domizio, this month’s contributor to our N&G Expert Panel. Crystal kindly took the time to answer a few questions regarding the introduction of solid foods into baby’s diet. We love her knowledgable and holistic approach to making the transition from liquids to solids.

If you have additional tips or information you would like to share, please share in the comments section.

N&G: In the early months, what is the best way that a family can prepare a baby to begin to take solid foods?

Crystal: There is no special attention or advanced preparation needed to prepare your baby for solid food. Babies are unique so you’ll need to look to them for signs of readiness, rather than a date on the calendar!
The World Health Organization states that exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months is the optimal way of feeding infants (without any additional food or drink, not even water.) After 6 months they recommend breastfeeding for up to 2 years or beyond, along with the introduction of solid food.

N&G: What are the top three readiness signs that tell you your baby is ready to eat something other than breast milk or formula?

Crystal: Babies become developmentally ready to eat solid foods around 6-8 months. Look for the following signs:

  1. Baby can sit up well without support.
  2. Baby is ready and willing to chew and doesn’t automatically push solid food out of his mouth with his tongue.
  3. Baby picks up food or other objects between her thumb and forefinger and is eager to participate in mealtime and may even try to grab food and put it in her mouth.

N&G: Many families are seriously looking into the foods that they eat and provide for their children and I’m seeing a shift toward “whole food” nutrition. If parents would like to start their babies with whole foods, what are some good options to consider for first foods?

Crystal: I highly recommend beginning solid food introduction with real food, rather than processed cereals that are hard for baby to digest and devoid of natural nutrients. You’ll want to introduce new foods one at a time, continuing to feed that same food for at least 4 days before moving on to another so you are aware of any negative reactions.

Nutrient dense first foods, introduced between 6-8 months include:

• Cooked Egg Yolk – preferably organic, from pasture-raised chickens
• Pureed Meats – preferably organic, grass-fed beef, lamb, turkey, chicken
• Raw Mashed Fruits – banana, avocado
• Cooked Pureed Fruits – pears, apples
• Cooked Vegetables – squash, sweet potato, carrots

Since we’ve only covered the basics of this important and lengthy topic here are some resources for further reading:

World Health Organization Exclusive Breastfeeding

Is My Baby Ready For Solid Food?

Nourishing a Growing Baby

*note from N&G: The introduction of solid foods will result more solid poops. One of the most effective tools we recommend for ‘poop management’ is Bummi’s Bio-Soft Flushable liners.

About Crystal Di Domizio: Crystal is a Vancouver based Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Prenatal Coach and Hypnobabies Childbirth Educator. She offers a comprehensive 6-week prenatal course that teaches women how to use self-hypnosis for an easier, more comfortable childbirth experience. When she’s not teaching you can find her blogging about her first pregnancy at www.prenatalcoach.com

Find out more: http://cultivateyourhealth.com

Setting Up Your Diaper Pail System

A diaper pail is an essential part of cloth diapering, although unlike its counterpart for disposable diapers, a diaper pail in a cloth system doesn’t need to be anything more than a pail with a lid. (Simple is good!)

Today we’ll walk through a few considerations to keep in mind as you set up your diaper pail system.

why dry pail

In bygone days, it was standard procedure to toss dirty diapers in a pail of water to allow the diapers to presoak. However, with modern washing machines that do a bang-up job of pre-rinsing diapers, it is no longer necessary to lug that heavy pail to the wash or have “poop soup” sitting around. Also, many modern cloth diapers have synthetic parts (elastics, velcro, PUL, etc), which break down by sitting in water.

Thus, we merely recommend “dry pailing” your diapers. Just place a waterproof bag in your pail, toss in the dirties as you go (dumping solids in the toilet first, of course), and then let the washing machine do the work of rinsing and prepping your diapers at the beginning of the wash cycle.

choosing a pail

You don’t need anything fancy for a pail – any container with a lid large enough to hold 2-3 days of diapers will do. Tall garbage can-size totes and round plastic storage bins with a lid and locking handles are especially popular among parents. These can be found inexpensively at any local general store or mass merchandiser.

where to put your pail

Put your pail where it’s convenient and a bit out of the way. Some people put it next to the change area, some put in the washroom next to the toilet or under the sink, and some have a small pail in each location. You just want to choose a place where it’s convenient for you and where pets and toddlers can’t get into it.

use a bag

If you’re in a small space or don’t have room for a pail, consider using a hanging bag instead. A “hanging pail” can be hung on a doorknob or wall hook and frees up floor space. A zipper replaces the need for a lid and keeps everything tidy. Large hanging wet bags can be part of your decor, too, as they come in various fun colors!

Setting up an organized system to deal with the dirties is easy and inexpensive. What tips do you have for keeping it simple?

Photo Credit – Vancouver photographer Amber Strocel who crafts a beautiful parenting blog, too.

Organizing Your Emergency Car Diaper Change Kit

We’ve talked lots here on the New & Green blog about organizing your diaper bag and how to cloth diaper when you’re away from home, but what about those times (that we all dread) when you’re caught unexpectedly and you aren’t prepared to change a dirty diaper when your baby really needs it?

An emergency diaper change kit to keep in your car is an excellent solution. Here’s a list of items to keep in your emergency diaper kit and a few tips for keeping it ready.

What to Stock in Your Emergency Change Kit

First, get a waterproof storage container. You’ll need somewhere to store all the items that will stay clean and dry no matter what the conditions in your vehicle. Containers such as a gallon-size Ziploc or a plastic storage container with a tight-fitting lid are excellent choices.

Inside your storage container make sure you pack:

 

Tips

Choose an older diaper to keep in your kit. Remember this is just for the times when you are left unprepared, so this doesn’t need to be fancy (just practical) and can be an excellent use for a diaper that’s seen better days but isn’t ready to face retirement yet.

Keep the kit “up to date” with the right size diaper. If you put a small diaper in the kit when your child is 3-months-old, but don’t end up using the kit for nearly a year, the diaper in the kit will be too small for your baby. Make sure you check it every month or so to keep the right size in stock. This can also be a great place to use a one-size diaper – that way you can be assured you’ll always have a diaper that will fit adequately without having to double check regularly.

Make sure to replace anything that gets used. If you use the wipes to clean sticky, melted ice cream off your child’s hands, make sure the kit is re-stocked with new dry wipes. If the diaper is used, put a new diaper in its place. This may seem obvious, but sometimes in the shuffle of a busy life, it’s easy to forget these little details, but that’s not so helpful the next time you’re in need of a clean diaper and there is none to be found.

If you’ve got more than one child in diapers, make sure your emergency kit has one diaper per child. Whether you use sized diapers (small, medium, large) or one-size diapers, make sure there’s one diaper per child. You may be caught in a situation where both children need to be changed, and you’ll want to be prepared.

Consider keeping a large prefold as a change pad in the kit, as it can double as a diaper if you’re really stuck for a long period of time!

Have you ever been caught unawares while away from home and had to do some “creative diapering”? We’d love to hear your story!

Cloth Diapering Milestones: Moving from Liquids to Solids

It may seem from our title that we’re talking about food today, but as is inevitable in any conversation about diapers, today we’re actually discussing poo. (Sorry if we got your hopes up….) As any pediatrician or naturopath will tell you, watching your infant’s stools change from liquid to solid is an important, significant transition, and sometimes that can mean changing your diaper selection as well.

The Newborn Days

In the early days of life, your baby’s gut is immature. For the first few days, it’s excreting all the lovely, tarry meconium that is a by-product of life in the womb, and for the first few weeks is incapable of holding food for long. And obviously, the only food intake is in liquid form, so with all these factors together, you can count on a liquid-y, poopy diaper after every meal. (Diaper liners are a welcome accessory during this period!)

As for color and texture, due to the colonization of the gut with all the good bacteria it needs for nutrient absorption, you can watch the stool go from black to various shades of yellow and green. Your doctor or midwife will likely ask you at some point about the stool’s color and consistency as an indication of the baby’s health, especially if the baby has been jaundiced.

In terms of diapering, all of this liquid stool in the early days means that the most important factor to consider in choosing diapers is containment. You need a diaper or a cover that has good, snug elastic around the legs and waist to keep all the poo exactly where it belongs. Popular choices from New & Green parents tend to be a prefold, Snappi, and cover combo, a Kissaluvs size 0 + cover combo, and the (super cute) TiniFit All-in-One.

Regularity

At about 6-8 weeks of age, your baby’s stools will begin to change. While at the beginning poo tends to be runny, at this point it will begin to hold together and take on a firmer, more tacky texture. The upside to this is that the stool can be easier to shake off into the toilet, as well as that food is now moving more slowly through the gut, so it’s entirely possible that your baby will only move his or her bowels once or twice a day, sometimes at the same time each day. (Wahoo!) And as the months go by and as your baby begins to eat solid food, the poo will continue to solidify.

So as poo becomes more – shall we say, regular – containment is no longer the highest priority for a diaper, but absorbancy. Poo may not be as frequent, but the baby’s bladder is getting bigger and he or she is eating more.

Thus, parents’ favorite diapers tend to change: many still love the prefold + cover combo and the EasyFit All-in-One, but other favorites for this period include the Bamboozle bamboo fitted, the AMP hemp fitted, and BumGenius pocket diapers.

Watching your baby grow and change can be an incredible, joyful experience. We certainly hope that cloth diapering on that journey helps you celebrate the joy of watching your child grow and seeing the miracle of all the changes that your baby’s body goes through, including the myriad type of messy diapers.

And care to share your experiences? We welcome hearing your stories about how you have dealt with your “poo problems,” as questions about how to deal with poop are among our most frequent at our Cloth Diapering 101 workshops and here on the blog. Real-life stories are fantastic!

A Rash of Issues: Not So With These 6 Tips

Waaah!Occasional diaper rash is a normal occurrence for babies. When those sweet baby cheeks are inside of a diaper 24/7 for upwards of two-and-a-half years, you are bound to have a rash every now and again.

Some common reasons for rashes:

  • Staying in a wet or dirty diaper too long
  • Change in Mama’s diet (for nursing babies)
  • Change in baby’s diet (watch food introductions)
  • Teething
  • Sensitivity to detergent and/or buildup of detergent in diaper fabric

So with that in mind, here are six tips for preventing a rash or decreasing the incidence of rashes:

Give your baby diaper-free time every day.

Allow your baby’s skin to air out at least once a day for more than 10 minutes and preferably, expose the skin to sunshine. Rashes only flare up and proliferate in dark, humid, acidic environments – air and sunshine are the perfect antidote.

Cleanse your baby’s diaper area with just warm water and a cloth.

Make sure you wipe your baby’s bum at every diaper change, even if the diaper was only wet. While the urine itself on the skin will evaporate, irritating uric acid crystals will be left behind. By just wiping the skin clean with a cloth wipe and warm water, you’ll get rid of any residues, leaving your baby’s skin soft and irritant-free.

Make sure your baby’s diaper area is dry before you put on a fresh diaper.

Closing up wet skin in a watertight environment can be a recipe for a rash, so let the skin dry before you put on the new diaper.

These couple of extra minutes can be a really enjoyable bonding time between parent and child – often times newborns and young babies are alert at diaper change time and that’s when they’re cooing and looking around. Older babies sometimes love the routines that are associated with diaper change time – it’s the time when they get to play with a special toy or have a “conversation” with Mommy or Daddy. The minute or two that it takes for the skin to dry can become a lovely interactive time.

Change your baby often.

Leaving a wet or poopy diaper next to the skin for a prolonged period of time is a sure way to set off a rash. Although “prolonged” is relative – some sensitive-skin babies react to the presence of uric acid within minutes while others could go significantly longer before complaining. Regardless of length of time, however, the skin will flare up under these conditions, so it’s definitely in the best interest of both you and your baby to change the diaper as soon as possible once it’s soiled.

Create a stay dry layer.

If your baby seems especially sensitive to wetness, using a non-absorbent layer between your baby’s skin and the wet diaper can be a great way to minimize the skin’s exposure to all that dampness. Either choose a diaper that has fleece right next to the skin, such a pocket diaper, or add a stay dry layer by laying a liner in any diaper you use – fleece and raw silk are the most popular in this case.

Use wool.

If your baby is suffering from a rash and needs healing or in order to prevent a rash when your baby has to stay in his or her diaper for an extended period of time (ie nighttime), consider using a wool cover like the sloomb Knit Wool Covers. Wool offers the best breathability and allows moisture on the skin to evaporate, even when up against a wet diaper. We’ve heard it from parents again and again (and experienced it ourselves) – switching to a wool cover is the fastest, surest way to zap a rash when it starts.

Here’s to healthy, happy babies (and to all you mamas and papas who love them so well!).

~Photo Credit to Kyle Flood

Ask New & Green:: What Do I Do With the Dirties?

At our popular Cloth Diapering 101 workshops, many parents are eager, or at least interested, to use cloth on their babies. However, the “deal breaker” question many ask first is, “But what do I do with the dirties?”

No fear – the days of lugging heavy pails full of sloshing, acrid water to the washing machine are far behind us. These days, diapers are designed with ease of cleaning in mind and you don’t have to even touch the dirties once they’ve been placed in the diaper pail.

A diaper pail is a good place to start. You can read more about choosing a diaper pail that will work for you in other posts around our blog, but basically any container with a lid that is big enough to hold 2-3 dozen diapers will work just fine. Place a pail liner in the pail and you’re ready to go.

When it comes time to change your baby, there are only a few steps. If the dirty diaper is merely wet, you can toss it straight in the pail. Make sure you keep the cover and hang it to dry, as you can reuse it several more times before wash day.

If the diaper has poo in it, you can deal with it in various ways. If you are exclusively breastfeeding, the diaper can be tossed straight in the pail, poo and all. If the baby is receiving any formula or is old enough to be eating solids, as much of the poo as possible should end up in the toilet. You can shake the poo off if it’s solid, do the Four Corner Dunk and Swish (popularized by our own instructor, Bonnie) if it’s a bit more sticky, or you can pre-line your diapers with a bio-liner that gets flushed, a fleece liner that gets washed, or a raw silk liner, which can also be tossed in the wash. Once the poo is in the toilet, toss the cover and the diaper together into your diaper pail.

If you’re using pockets, make sure to put out the innards as you put the diaper in the pail, as this will ensure that you don’t have to touch the diaper again. (Always a good thing….)

On wash day (we recommend every 2-3 days), take the pail to the washing machine, pull out the liner, dump all the contents plus the liner into the machine, do a rinse on cold, a wash on hot with detergent, a second rinse on cold if you so desire, then toss everything into the dryer or hang them on a line – and you’re done!

And as always, if you’re worried about smell in your diaper pail, there are lots of great ways to keep odors at bay.

And that’s it – just as easy as taking out the trash (but lots more fun…)