As moms, we have a love/hate relationship with poop.
We hate it for the obvious stinky, gag-inducing reasons. But the love part is a little harder to describe and certainly something I never, ever thought I’d ever say. Ever. In a million years.
Anyway, since the day my son was born, I have been borderline obsessed with what ends up in the diaper. I think the nurses at the hospital probably inspired this obsession. Or perhaps the countless baby books I read while pregnant with my first. But either way, poop is kinda my thing.
When my son was a baby, he was in disposables (before I had my cloth diaper enlightenment, obviously) and I was so into checking out the poop that whenever my mom changed a poopy diaper, she would leave it for me to examine. Actually, it was less like examining, more like quickly checking it over for anything unusual, but it was important to me.
Looking at their poop (heck, looking at our own poop) is a good way to tell what’s going on on the inside. It’s one of the first measures of a healthy newborn, one of the first questions at each pediatrician visit and one of the first lessons you learn as a mom: What does the poop say? Poop can indicate anything from food sensitivities to full-blown allergies, constipation, illness, dehydration or an over- or under-supply of nutrients. And man, do those blueberries do a number.
Checking out the poop is so important. And as I thought about it, I realized that cloth diapering parents are in a much better position to notice and diagnose issues with the poop than those with kids in disposables. Think about it. Most moms changing a baby’s poopy disposable diaper are going to glance at it once, say “ewww,” then quickly clean it up with disposable wipes, which are probably piled on top of the offending excrement, wrap up the diaper into a small ball, throw it in the trash and forget about it.
Cloth diaperers, on the other hand, are rinsing, spraying or otherwise cleaning the poop from the diaper. For good or bad, we spend a lot more time with it. That’s a lot more time to consider the consistency and frequency of moving bowels, investigate anything out of the ordinary, or even notice when something is out of the ordinary.
As someone who has poked around in more dirty diapers than I care to admit, the realization that cloth diaperers probably have a better handle on what’s going on in their baby’s insides, was a pretty significant one. It’s nice to know that if something serious was going on in my little one, I would likely see something unusual as I was rinsing out the diaper and perhaps we could catch it sooner. Just one more advantage of cloth diapering.*
Have you ever noticed something unusual while rinsing out a cloth diaper that turned out to be a serious issue? Is there a food your baby likes that always surprises you on the other end? Join us on Facebook and let us know!
*Writer’s Note: This is not to say that disposable diapering parents don’t notice what’s going on with the poop, I know most of them do, but I think cloth diapering parents are forced to confront it when they are faced with getting the diapers clean.
Sarah is a mom of two and blogs about her adventures in motherhood, cloth diapering and everything in between. Catch her “Cloth Diapering Unwrapped” series on the FuzziBunz blog every Tuesday.