If you are a mom or have ever taken care of a baby in its first year, I am sure you know exactly what a diaper blowout is.
It can be very daunting to deal with. Even more so when the problem occurs in the middle of the night!
In this article, you will read about why diaper blowouts happen, get practical tips to take care of them, and hopefully learn how to prevent them from occurring again.
What is a diaper blowout?
A diaper blowout means that a baby wearing a diaper has pooped, and the poop is leaking out for one reason or another. The most common cause of a diaper blowout is an overfull diaper. However, there are other reasons like an improper fit or a shifted-around diaper.
No matter the cause, it is definitely always a mess. If you have experienced it, you know it.
It sucks big time.
And if your child has not yet experienced it, you probably don’t want to hear about it either. But here we go anyway… Maybe it will help you to avoid the problem altogether?
Most times, when it’s happened to my babies, poop literally got everywhere. Typically up the back, down the legs, or even up by the belly button. Besides the dirty diaper, the clothes get dirty, and it is hard to somehow clean up without making an even bigger mess.
Over time, I have come up with some hacks and practical tips to deal with baby diaper blowouts and to prevent (at least most) them. First, it is important to understand why blowouts happen.
How do diaper blowouts happen?
The leading causes of diaper blowouts with newborns and babies are too full diapers and shifting-around diapers. These two things make it possible for the poop to leak out and get in all the places where it shouldn’t.
When a diaper gets too full, it starts to sag under pressure. That can happen if there is not enough absorbent material left overall or if all absorbency is used up in one area, such as around the waistband.
When you notice diaper blowouts happening frequently, it might be time to go up a diaper size.
If you are concerned if your baby’s poop is normal or not you can check for a reference on webmd.com here.
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How to prevent a diaper blowout?
You can do a few things to (try to) prevent baby diaper blowouts from happening.
Unfortunately, you might not be able to avoid diaper leaks altogether, but the following tips will help you experience less of a poop explosion.
1) Put your baby’s diaper on correctly
The tabs need to be fastened snugly around the baby’s waist. However, be careful not to put it on too tight. You should still be able to slip one finger in between the diaper and the baby’s waist and in between the baby’s legs and the cuff.
The diaper cuffs need to be out of the diaper and around the baby’s leg. After all, those leg cuffs are designed to help to keep the diaper from leaking.
2) Make sure your baby only wears well-fitted diapers
One of the causes for blowouts can be an inappropriate diaper size.
A fitted diaper for the baby stays close to the body and keeps everything contained inside the diaper. The right size of diaper does not allow much space between the skin and the diaper. That makes it less likely for anything to escape through the sides.
If you have the right diaper size, put it on correctly, and still experience blowouts, you might want to see if trying a new diaper brand could help.
Usually, diapers are labeled with age and pounds. I have found it helpful as a guide, but not consistently accurate since the body shapes of babies can vary so much.
Different diaper brands work well for other babies. Before you find the brand that works for you, you may have to try several different ones.
I have found it very interesting to see that brands which worked for my firstborn, didn’t work well with my second baby. I am now using a brand for my daughter, which didn’t work well with my son.
3) Change wet diapers often enough.
Naturally, an over-soaked diaper will leak much easier. Therefore, changing the diaper on time can make all the difference.
I have also heard that cloth diapers are generally better at preventing blowouts compared to disposable ones. Usually, cloth diapers fit more tightly and provide an airtight seal around the baby’s waist and legs.
Personally, I use disposable diapers on my babies. But if you keep experiencing poop explosions regularly, why not give it a try? You might see for yourself that cloth diapers could work better with your baby.
4) Prevent blowouts at night with a cloth diaper cover
Besides using overnight diapers with a slightly more absorbent material than what you use during the day, cloth diaper covers are a great hack to prevent diaper blowouts at night. They protect against nighttime accidents (or can also provide extra protection during daytime naps).
Simply place the cover as an extra protective layer over the disposable diaper before you put your child to bed.
On Amazon, such cloth diaper covers are pretty affordable. Check it out here:
How do you clean a baby diaper blowout?
First of all, as soon as you notice a baby diaper blowout, take your little one to the place where you usually change diapers. The chances are that you have everything readily available there.
If you are out and about, you might be able to do a quick set-up of a portable changing mat and get your wipes and a plastic bag out.
The wet wipes will always be the first thing you need. The messy diaper and wipes can be contained in a diaper sack or a plastic bag.
Usually, if the leak is very messy, I start with a baby wipe wherever it is leaking out first. Then I pull the onesie down (over the baby’s legs) instead of over the head. It works especially well with the “envelope” onesies. That way, my daughter doesn’t get poop in her face and hair.
Then I wipe off all the diaper blowout mess from my baby’s skin with wet wipes and clean her thoroughly. If at home, I take her straight for a bath or use the spray attachment from the shower to make cleanup easier. My daughter likes water a lot so that for sure makes it easier for me.
If your baby doesn’t like bathing or being hosed down with the showerhead, a wet washcloth works excellent too.
After cleaning my baby, I put on a fresh diaper and dress her in a clean outfit.
If I am out, I put the dirty clothes (and possibly changing mat cover) away in a plastic bag. (You could use a small diaper pail deodorizer and add it if you are concerned about the smell.) Usually, I simply seal it airtight and pack it away until I get home.
At home, I rinse out the excess poop and quickly wash the dirty clothing with warm water and gall soap. Afterward, I throw it in the washing machine, and that’s that.
Dried poop can stain clothes pretty badly, but I’ve never had a poop stain not come out when I treated it with gall soap before washing in the machine. If you want to try it out yourself, check it out on Amazon:
Blow-ups can get very messy, so if I am out and about, I always make sure I have enough wipes, plastic bags, and an extra outfit (even spare clothes for myself) in the diaper bag or at least in the car.
Dealing with huge diaper blowout leaks takes a bit of practice. It is a learning curve, but over time you will know how to handle them better and better.
Baby Diaper Blowout Solutions
I hope this article helped you understand diaper blowouts, and you won’t feel as overwhelmed anymore whenever you encounter one next! Hopefully, you will even be able to apply some of the solutions and prevent a blowout most of the time.
But don’t worry, when it still happens, just remember: It probably happens to every mom from time to time, and you are not alone.
Click here to read more about newborn and baby care, for example about how to calm your crying baby with these simple mom hacks.
4 thoughts on “Baby Diaper Blowout tips and how to prevent it”
This was very helpful. Baby blowouts are pretty nasty. The cloth diapers sound like a great hack.
These are great tips for avoiding diaper blowouts. I had a memorable one with my son a few years back while out shopping. The joys of mom life! 😀
Great tips! I agree that a diaper that fits well is crucial. I always knew my son was growing out of his current diaper size when he started to have more blowouts.
Oh yes, the diaper blowouts…not fun at all, especially when out and about. Great tips here. I love the idea of cloth diaper covers for nighttime.
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