Diaper blowouts are one of the most dreadful things for parents. Wouldn’t it be nice if diapers never leaked or exploded whenever a baby poops?
Unfortunately, there can be times when these accidents do happen. But, there are tricks that can be used to prevent these blowouts from happening, as well as, ways to deal with the cleanup.
Here, we will discuss why such incidents happen, what to do if your baby does have a diaper blowout, and how parents can prevent them.
What Is a Diaper Blowout?
Before we get started with the hacks to prevent diaper blowouts, it is important to know what diaper blowout means.
A diaper blowout is when a baby’s poop leaks EXTENSIVELY out of the diaper from the front, back, or through the legs. In all honesty, it will seem like there was an explosion of poop literally everywhere.
Baby Diaper Blowout Causes
Since diaper blowouts are one of the last things parents want to deal with, it is essential to know the core reasons that they happen. Let’s review the most common causes behind diaper blowouts.
Baby or Breastfeeding Mom’s Diet Causing Diarrhea
Diaper blowouts are pretty common during the first year of a baby’s life. This is because babies rely primarily on either breast milk or formula during this time.
A baby’s poop does not get firmer until solids are introduced at 4 to 6 months old. With poop being more like liquid, there is a higher risk that it will leak through the diaper.
Additionally, diaper explosions can be caused by a mother’s diet in breastfed babies or the type of formula a baby is being fed. A liquid diet already makes baby’s poop runny, but sometimes babies are sensitive to certain foods or types of formula resulting in a diaper explosion.
Diaper Size or Type
One of the main reasons for diaper blowouts is having the wrong diaper size. It is crucial to understand that diapers are made according to the weight of a baby. Parents should be mindful of the weight of their baby before they buy diapers.
However, sometimes you do have a diaper that is sized according to the weight of your baby, but it is still too small or too big. This could just be because of the diaper brand you are using or your baby’s shape. In this scenario you will need to either change diaper brands or sizes.
When a diaper is too small for your baby you will notice chafing marks (i.e. red marks) around the diaper area. If this happens it is a sign you should go one diaper size up.
Similarly, when a diaper is too big for a baby it will not wrap tightly around the waist which will lead to leakage. You also might notice more diaper leaks when your baby is about to change to a larger diaper size.
Since he is growing, there is less space for absorption. On the other hand, you will likely also experience an increase in diaper leaks as you go up a diaper size.
I like to call this the in-between diaper phase. Your baby is too big for one size but also not quite big enough for the next size up. Just hang in there, within 1 to 2 weeks the larger diapers will start fitting better.
Constipation is a real issue in babies and there can be several reasons for it. When constipation ends, your baby is at risk for a huge diaper blowout. Be on high alert if your baby is constipated, and be prepared for some messy diapers.
Already Over-Soaked Diaper
If a diaper is over-soaked or overly absorbed don’t be surprised if your baby’s poop and causes a diaper blowout. A diaper typically should be changed every 5 to 6 hours or when you feel that it is getting heavy.
Cleaning Baby After a Diaper Blowout
Parents are scared of diaper blowouts because the cleaning process is usually extremely messy and gross. New parents can be especially clueless on how to handle such a situation. Here, we will share a few tips and tricks that will help you clean up a diaper blowout mess more easily.
Baby Diaper Blowout Up The Back
When poop comes out of the diaper up the back it can be very difficult to clean. If your baby is lying down, then the surface underneath him will also get dirty. Even worse, if you were holding your baby then both of you need to be cleaned up.
For a diaper blowout up the back, the first thing to do is to grab your baby and take him to the bathroom. Changing pads are good but they cannot handle these poop explosions, so it is better to go to the bathroom right away.
Carefully remove your baby’s clothes and rinse with the shower to make the process easier. Then, give a bath to your baby.
Now that your baby has been cleaned, it’s time to clean his clothes and anything else that was dirtied. Laundry spray stain remover will be your best friend here.
Lastly, if you choose you can use an air freshener or candle so that your house does not smell like poop.
Diaper Blowout Up Front
A blowout up the front can be caused by a particular position in which your baby might be sitting. For example, when a baby is sitting in his car seat and the poop is runny then you might end up with a blowout in front.
In such a situation your baby’s clothes and car seat get very dirty. The real task will be the clean up. Again, laundry spray stain remover is a must.
Baby Pooping Out Side of Diaper & Down Leg
Poop going down the legs can create the biggest mess during a diaper blowout. If a baby is wearing a onesie then rest assured that everything near the baby is going to be the color of the poop. It will be a huge mess to clean.
Rush to a bathroom and after removing the clothes give a bath to your baby. Now it’s time to clean the surroundings, you can use the same technique to clean things like the changing mat, car seat cover, or crib as you use to clean the baby clothes. If the carpet or sofa gets dirty, you can clean them using the carpet cleaners formulated for pet accident clean-ups.
Diaper Blowout Hacks & Tips
When you are a new parent, coping up with diaper blowouts can be very challenging. Cleaning your baby is not as difficult as cleaning the soiled clothes. So, let’s discuss a few hacks and tips to clean the mess.
Clean The Clothes
Rule #1 is to never rub the clothes while the poop is still there. Instead, rinse without rubbing, then spray with laundry stain remover. To be really certain the stain comes out soak the clothes in warm water for at least 15 minutes and then wash them with mild detergent.
You could skip the soaking step at first too and do the following if the stain does not come out:
- Do not put the stained clothes in the dryer
- Soak the clothes with laundry stain remover for another 30 minutes
- Wash the clothes again, this time with soaking
Laundry Stain Remover Spray
Poop will pretty much always leave a stain on a baby’s clothes if it is left on the clothes for too long. To combat this you should always have an efficient laundry stain remover spray on hand.
The spray is easier to use than the stick type and it will make your job quick and easy.
Baby Blowout Blockers & Diaper Extenders
Blowout blockers and diaper booster pads are a lifesaver for parents because they create a barrier between the baby’s skin and clothes. If there is a poop explosion, these items help keep your baby’s clothes clean.
If your baby is struggling with a lot of diaper blowouts, blowout blockers and diaper boosters can be a great addition to your baby’s wardrobe. Parents do not need to worry about pulling poopy clothes over their baby’s head because their clothes will not get dirty.
Baby Envelope Onesies
Envelope onesies are another product to minimize the mess of a diaper blowout. The envelopes on the shoulders of the baby fold downwards.
This allows parents to remove a onesie down the legs, rather than risk exposing their baby’s head, eyes, and mouth to poop. You can consider envelope onesies a staple in any baby’s closet.
How To Prevent Diaper Blowouts
Diaper blowouts can be prevented with the help of a few tried and true hacks. Let’s discuss these tips to help you prevent diaper blowouts (most of the time).
Change Baby or Breastfeeding Mom’s Diet
The diet of a baby or a breastfeeding mother plays the main role in the consistency of a baby’s poop. If you are noticing digestion problems with your baby whether it be constipation or very runny poop, then you might want to consider changing formula brands or type.
Similarly, if you are breastfeeding, monitor your diet closely to see how it is affecting your baby’s poop. Keep experimenting and notice which type of foods make your baby constipated or gives them diarrhea. You could even keep a diary to help you out.
Once it’s time to start solids, whenever you introduce a new food into your baby’s diet, make sure to try it for a few days and see if there are any digestion issues. If you think the food is causing diarrhea or other digestion problems, stop feeding it right away.
Change Diaper Brands
Diaper brands play an important role in preventing blowouts. If you choose a good brand with great reviews and a great reputation, it might be slightly pricier, but they are also more absorbent to help with preventing diaper blowouts.
Also keep in mind that it is not guaranteed that a brand that worked for one baby will work for your baby as well. So, you might need to experiment to find the diaper brand that best suits your baby.
Change Diaper Sizes
Select the diaper size according to the weight of your baby and not according to age. When you buy the right size diaper it will help prevent the risk of a diaper blowout.
If the diaper size selected is in range for your baby’s weight, but it still feels too tight or big, go one size up or down and see if that fits properly.
Cloth Diapers Vs Disposable Diapers
How are diaper blowouts affected by wearing either cloth diapers or disposable diapers? There are a few things to consider.
There isn’t much difference in cloth or disposable diapers as far as your baby’s health is concerned. One thing to keep in mind is that disposable diapers are more absorbent.
This helps keeps your baby dry and gives better diaper blowout prevention. But, if there are chemicals in the disposable diaper it might irritate your baby’s skin.
Cloth diapers are cheaper when compared to disposable ones. The up front costs during the first year are about the same. But, in year two using disposable diapers will save you $1,000 to $1,200.
When you use disposable diapers, you only have to clean the baby and throw the diaper away. But, when you use cloth diapers you will have to clean your baby, as well as, the diaper. This will ultimately increase your workload.
Stop Baby Constipation
The poop that follows constipation is a huge explosion that is mostly out of control. It is important to treat baby’s constipation so that they can be happy and comfortable.
You can use various remedies to treat this condition, fruit juice provides a good source of fiber that helps in curing constipation. If a baby is breastfed, mom can try changing her diet.
For treating constipation in your baby, always seek the advice of your pediatrician before moving forward.
How To Put a Diaper On Correctly To Avoid Diaper Blowouts
Before you start changing a diaper, make sure you have everything you need for it. Follow the steps given below to put a diaper on correctly.
- Lay your baby on his back and gently clean your baby’s bottom with a wet wipe or wet washcloth.
- If you see any rash, make sure the rash area is dry, then put diaper rash cream on the affected area.
- Hold your baby’s ankles and gently lift them slightly upwards. Slide a clean diaper underneath.
- Remember the Velcro part of the diaper should go under your baby’s hips.
- Lift the two wings of the diaper towards the front, and firmly stick the tape of the wings on the front. Make sure you do not fasten the diaper too tightly or too loose. You should be able to run two fingers inside the diaper comfortably.
- Turn the leg cuffs outwards to prevent leakage.
How To Tell If a Diaper is Too Big
To prevent a diaper blowout, you will want to make sure the diaper is not too big. To do this, insert two fingers into the diaper.
If the fingers go inside the diaper comfortably, then it is likely the right size. If you can insert more than two fingers then the diaper is too big for your baby.
Best Diapers For Preventing a Diaper Blowout
Let’s discuss a few things that make a diaper best at preventing blowouts. You should look for the following:
- Good fit
- Leg cuffs
- Built-in leak system
The most important factor to preventing a diaper blowout is making sure the diaper fits your baby. Leg cuffs also play a crucial role in preventing blowouts.
They create a seal around a baby’s legs and make the diaper stay firm. Whenever you buy diapers, make sure they have leg cuffs.
Lastly, diapers with built-in leak control are a big help for preventing diaper explosions. They are more absorbent and will protect a baby for a longer time.
With these three factors in mind these are my personal picks for the best diapers for preventing diaper blowouts.
My personal favorite diaper during the first three months with your baby are Pampers Swaddlers. They are very absorbent, and they are soft and gentle on a baby’s skin.
I found Pampers Swaddlers to work really well for babies before they are able to move very much. But, after your baby is rolling over and eventually crawling or walking, I would recommend Huggies Little Movers.
More specifically, if you have Costco near you the best option is to byy Huggies diapers there. Costco carries Huggies Plus, which are made exclusively for Costco.
The Huggies Plus diapers are even more absorbent than the regular Huggies Little Movers you will find elsewhere.
Bamboo Disposable Diapers (More Eco-Friendly)
What if you would prefer a greener more natural disposable diaper option? In this case, I highly recommend checking out these bamboo diapers.
They are made of all natural bamboo, making them much more sustainable and environmentally friendly than typical disposable diapers.
Lastly, what cloth diapers are your best bet for preventing a diaper blowout? The GroVia Hybrid cloth diapers get very high marks for handling poop explosions.
GroVia is solid choice if you are going to be using cloth diapers.
Need more diaper and wipes help? Check out our post on how many baby wipes and diapers you will need, where you will find even more details on the best diapers and wipes.
How To Deal with Diaper Explosions at Night
If your baby poops at night and you find yourself dealing with a diaper blowout, try to handle the situation as patiently as possible. Follow the steps above to change your baby’s diaper.
If you can avoid it, try to hold off on giving your baby a bath until the morning. Use a lot of wipes to handle the clean up.
You should keep the lights dim in the nursery. Be as quiet and as quick as possible, while dealing with the mess. This is to hopefully allow your baby to get back to sleep easily. If your baby is irritated while changing, you can try offering a pacifier to get through it.
Baby diaper blowouts are inevitable, but there are things you can do to help with clean-up and diaper blowout prevention.
Diaper blowouts are one of the last things parents wish to see, but they are a reality when you have a baby at home (especially a newborn). Luckily, there are preventive measures that can be implemented to minimize the chances of diaper explosions.
Even after taking all the preventative measures possible, diaper blowouts can still happen. Be prepared with the cleaning hacks and tips we shared to make dealing with the mess a little bit easier.