All About Dirty Nappies

19 CommentsSunday, 3 August 2014

With a weaned baby, most poo should be picked up by the liner, and the nappy itself should not normally get dirty. If it does, it will normally only be at the edges, and this can easily be rinsed off before the nappy goes into the nappy bucket. If you put it into the nappy bin without rinsing off any soiling, you will find your nappy bin will smell pretty rough under its lid by the end of the day.

I always rinsed/sluiced soiled nappies down the toilet but if you choose to use a sink don't forget to clean your sink even minute amounts build up after a while.

If you do have an occasion where it is the nappy that takes the brunt of the soiling (perhaps the liner moved out of place, or you forgot to put it in), the easiest way to clean it off is to hold a clean corner, dangle the nappy into the toilet bowl and flush. Only clean water will go over your hand, but hopefully this will wash most of the poo off into the toilet. Don't forget to hold on tightly, because you may underestimate how strong your flush is!

If your baby is formula fed their poo tends to be thicker from an earlier age and will need to be sluiced in the toilet to remove this from reusable liners or if any is on the nappy.

If your baby is still being breastfed, the poo will be a lot more runny, and it is quite possible that the liner will not contain it all. The only plus is that it should not normally smell too strong (unless the mother's diet is full of rich and spicy foods - these will tend to affect the smell of baby's poo!). At this time, it is more likely that the nappy will get soiled, and so rinsing before being put into the nappy bin becomes more important.

Note that babies do not tend to poo in their sleep, only when they wake. So if they go to bed with full bowels, remember they will fill their nappy shortly after waking. Tip: this is the time to make sure your partner is on early morning nappy duty!

As a general rule, nappies which are fitted around the baby (ie shaped nappies or pinned terries) are far more efficient than pad folded ones at keeping explosive poo off the wrap, so if you want to use pad folded ones, you may need to increase the number of wraps you have, to allow for dirty ones. The ones with wipe clean interiors are also a good idea, to minimise staining.

Finally, for those who have seen the Australian Little Squirt idea, you can now get these in the UK, to be plumbed either into your toilet or an adjacent sink. This is a small hose which you can operate with one hand, while you direct it at the nappy (it's actually a "handheld bidet", intended to be directed at your nether regions!). No need to think about getting poo off the nappy at all, as your handheld bidet can do it for you instead!

Patricia Maurer
Thursday, 23 February 2017  |  21:10

Hi, I am a bit confused about how to handle dirty nappies... When I read about dry sailing I thought that you didn't need to rinse the nappy before putting it in the bucket, but reading this article I understand you must to?

Thanks for the advice!

Helen Michael
Monday, 17 July 2017  |  21:43

Just seen the idea about the Australian little squirt.
I think this might answer my previous questions about how to rinse very dirty nappies.
Does anyone know where to get these from?


Tuesday, 18 July 2017  |  12:13

Google hand held bidet. They aren't popular in the UK but you should be able to find some online to order. Please check your plumbing not all pipes are standard sizes in old houses.

Tuesday, 3 April 2018  |  20:07

Hi, I have been using cloth nappies for my breastfed baby for 3 months now (since approx 1 month old) and I have not been rinsing the poo off, just dry pailing, is the only reason to rinse to stop them smelling in the bucket? I wash them every other day and have had no problems with them smelling or being dirty when coming out of the machine. I do a rinse cycle and then a 3 hour 60 degree wash.

Saturday, 7 April 2018  |  21:40

Rinsing helps the bucket smell better but also helps to minimise staining but also it's better for the fabrics as over time poo left directly on cotton or bamboo can eat away at the fibres.

Romy Medina
Sunday, 21 April 2019  |  22:13

Hello, how do I clean washable wipes for a weaned baby?

Monday, 8 July 2019  |  20:20

I put mine in with a normal clothes wash

Julie Hope
Wednesday, 4 November 2020  |  19:22

Hi, I have a variety of nappies and fleece liners. While I will be breastfeeding and it should be relatively wet and easy to deal with (and may leak on to the nappies) I am wondering if I should have a separate Pail for ďsoiledĒ nappies and one for those that are just wet. I think Iíd wash together but at least if I rinse the soiled ones and they are wet. Iím not also soaking the others. Just looking for thoughts on this?

Thursday, 26 November 2020  |  17:02

Hi Julie, no it's not necessary to store them separately. The majority of users store them together.

Monday, 4 January 2021  |  12:38

Sorry if itís already been asked: So for dry pailing you can just put the nappies in the washbag/bucket straightaway if not soiled with poo but if soiled just rinse away solids and then put in the pail damp until washday yes? New to all of this so just figuring out how to deal with the removal and washing. Thanks!

Tuesday, 5 January 2021  |  15:02

Yes that's correct

Monday, 11 January 2021  |  20:40

Hi, my little boy is 18 months and we've been using terry towels and motherease wraps since he was born and have found it really manageable. The only thing is that in the last few months he is soiling the towling and wrap every time he poos (clothes are ok). His poos are very soft, but Iím wondering if we need to change our fold to contain them? Itís a pain having to rinse nappies and wraps everyday, plus we only have 3 wraps! We currently use the butterfly fold with felt liners with bamboo liners at night. Would appreciate your advice

Wednesday, 13 January 2021  |  16:53

Hi Harriet, the poo catcher would be an ideal fold for your little boy.

Wednesday, 13 January 2021  |  19:21

Ah great, Iíll give it a go! Thanks for your help.

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