November 14, 2011

The Real Poop: Diaper Liners

roll of liners

So let's face it: the most daunting thing about cloth diapers is the thought of having to deal with poop any more than you have to with disposables. There are lots of reasons that this isn't really an issue, but the biggest is the use of diaper liners.

Diaper liners are biodegradable sheets, much like a dryer sheet, that you lay between diaper and baby (our favorite is the AppleCheeks brand). If she poops, it mostly sticks to the liner and the combo can easily be plopped in the potty, and flushed. If the diaper is just wet it has been suggested that you can reuse a liner. I don't, unless I am in a pinch and don't have a new one to replace. It gets wet. Some people wash and reuse. I have washed them by accident, and they don't seem like they would lend themselves well to reuse, but leave a comment here and let me know if you do this successfully!

Just lay the liner on top of your diaper
photo via

Liners are made by various companies, and come in different sizes and prices. I think price is key, since you go through a good number of them. Also you want a size and shape that will collect the majority of the diaper's contents without sticking out the sides. And you definitely don't want to add anything scratchy or rough to negate the softness of the cloth against baby's sensitive skin.
Another option for dealing with poop is a diaper sprayer. In the long run, I suppose, this is the cheaper option since a roll of 100 liners can cost $5-10. I think I prefer the liner option, though since the idea of poopy water ricochet doesn't sound fun, and you really can throw more in your washer than you might think. In fact, for exclusively breastfed babies, everything is water soluble so you can just throw it all in the wash, no liner needed. I don't actually know what the rules are for formula fed babies... I searched online some, and my conclusion is that you should use your judgement based on, well, consistency and volume. I welcome feedback on this subject as well!!

A friend recently raised concern about putting poop in the washer. I replied that I didn't think it was really a big deal, but I could understand the concern. I justified it in my mind, because we frequently put clothes with poop on them in the wash. In full disclosure, though, we do find blueberry skins and corn in the washer after a diaper load but there is usually a rogue diaper liner in the wash that I use to scoop them all up and toss in the trash can.

One final thought: don't forget the power of the sun! I mentioned in an earlier post how surprised I was at how well the sun bleached out any stains that lingered on diapers. I've stuck other organic stains on regular clothes out in the sun, too!

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