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Recently a friend of mine told me that whether you’re using cloth or disposable diapers for your baby, you’re supposed to flush the fecal matter down the toilet so that it can go through the sewer system and be treated. Apparently babies and small children excrete many viruses in their feces including Hepatitis A, rotavirus, shigella, salmonellosis, amebiasis, live polio virus (from vaccines), and typhoid among others. In order to keep these viruses from contaminating underground water supplies, poop should not be dumped into a diaper pail and thrown out with the trash.
This sounded crazy to me. How could I not know? I started asking people if they knew about throwing poop from diapers into the potty. I was either greeted with a “Yeah, of course” type answer or total incredulity. I decided I needed to look it up for myself, which I did with some modicum of success. Then my web-savvy, forum-using friend helped me out. Between us, here’s the info we found that explains this most clearly.
In 1975, the World Health Organization called for an end of urine and fecal matter in solid waste. I looked for this on the WHO website, but found it in an article in Mothering.
The American Public Health Association made a policy statement in 1989.
From Pampers’ Website (though I can’t actually find the instructions on the Pampers bag itself): “As the Pampers bag recommends, you’ll want to dump bowel movements in the toilet. Then just roll the diaper into its backsheet, using the tape or fasteners to keep it closed, and dispose of it in the trash.” Here’s the tricky part though, they’ve completely hidden this information. You have to go to their product description, click on a type of diaper, then click the helpful hints tab and scroll down to “Waste Removal.”
So, we’re throwing poop in the potty (if you can call the dumping of that sticky mess throwing). Our next need is to buy disposable wipes so we can throw them in there too.