In my first post, I mentioned that the cloth diapering rules are a little different for formula fed and food eating babies than for breast fed babies. In a couple of months, I will be feeding The Fish solids and I will be able to weigh in from experience, but for now, this is all based off of research. I like to research. :)
Here's a little science lesson aside:
Breast milk poop is water soluble because breast milk is digested so completely that baby just doesn't leave much behind. It's mostly water by the time it makes its grand exit. Babies' systems aren't as efficient at digesting formula, so more of it turns into waste and it tends to be much more stinky and less watery.
*disclosure* I've also heard people say you don't have to rinse off formula poo. There seem to be varying ideas about that and I have no experience with formula poo, so I can't verify that. *
Aren't you glad you stopped by for that highly technical little nugget of information?
Anyway, the good news is that even if your baby isn't breastfed, you can still cloth diaper and it's probably easier than you think.
The difference is that you can't just toss a poopy diaper into a pail. You need to plop the poop off into the toilet first. If the poop isn't a ploppable (I can make up words if I want to) consistency, there are a few different ways to get the poop into the toilet.
You could go old school and dunk the diaper in the toilet (gross!)
You can keep a spatula or some other tool of your choosing in the bathroom for this special purpose (slightly less gross!)
You can invest in a handy dandy diaper sprayer and spray your troubles away (ding ding ding! We have a winner!)
Diaper sprayers run around $40-$50 and there are several brands available.
We have the Flo Diaper Sprayer, but we haven't installed it yet. It looks fairly simple to install, but we haven't needed it yet and we are procrastinators.
If you need a cheaper option and you're handy, I've heard that you can take a regular kitchen sink sprayer and use it as a diaper sprayer. Look, I even found a tutorial for you! You're welcome.
If that all just seems like a little too much, there is another option. There are several different brands of diaper liners on the market. These are little disposable pieces that you place on the diaper so that when poop happens, you just pull off the liner and flush the liner + poop away. If you go this route, you will follow the same diaper routine as breastfed babies once you remove the liner. Easy peasy.
I have not found any liners that I felt comfortable about flushing since we have a septic system, otherwise, I would consider using them.
Technically you're not supposed to dispose of human waste in the trash (some disposable diaper packages even say you're supposed to plop the poop in the toilet before disposing of the diaper) due to the risk of contaminants getting into the ground water. I don't know anyone who does that, but luckily, I think developed countries have well designed landfills that mitigate this risk.