13 tips for cleaning baby poop

Changing diapers is one thing, but cleaning baby poop that escapes the diaper is another kind of mess altogether. Read on for the dos and don'ts of doo-doo cleanup.

1. DO Peek down the back of the diaper to assess the situation before going in.

2. DO Have a change pad laid out, with a clean diaper and wipes at the ready.

3. DON’T Frantically wipe in all directions—go front to back, especially for girls, and be sure to get into all cracks and crevices.

4. DON’T Freak out if you get a bit of poo on the change mat—just fold over the corner and carry on.

5. DO Wash your change pad cover or mat often.

6. DO Always travel with spare baby outfits (and an extra shirt for you!) and zip-top bags for sealing up wet, stinky messes.

7. DON’T Let stained clothes dry. Wash out fresh poo stains by hand with cold water (hot water sets the stain), then spot-treat and throw them in the washing machine on warm.

8. DON’T Throw stained clothes into the dryer without first making sure the stain is gone (a tumble in the dryer will set the stain). If you can’t spot the stain when it’s wet, hang to dry. If the stain remains, wash again and hang to dry.

9. DO Launder poopy clothes separately.

10. DO Use the power of sunshine—a little time spent on a clothesline has been known to get out the most stubborn mustard-poo stains.

11. DON’T Rip up your rug if your baby poops on it. Instead, try this: First, remove any large chunks of poo from the carpet with a spoon, being careful not to push poop deeper into rug fibres. To clean, make a solution of liquid dish soap, a splash of white vinegar (for odour) and warm water, and sponge it onto carpet. Using an old rag, blot (don’t rub) at the wet carpet until the liquid is absorbed. Repeat the sponge-blot process until the stain is out.

12. DO Wash your hands well after every diaper change. Once your baby is aware of his diaper changes, wash his hands too—it’s a good habit to get into.

13. DO Throw your baby in the tub if you’re lucky enough to be home during a serious explosion.

Is green poop normal? Here’s a guide to your baby’s poop colour.

A version of this article appeared in our January 2016 issue, titled “You vs. Poo”, pp. 51-56.

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