Poop. Is. Everywhere. A diaper blowout is one of the more unfortunate parts of parenthood that can bring a good time to a screeching halt. Why does this unseemly situation happen, and how do you prevent a diaper blowout from happening? The simplicity of the answer may surprise and delight you!
What Is a Diaper Blowout?
As the name suggests, a diaper blowout is a situation where a baby's poop blows out of their diaper. This happens a lot with newborns whose poop has a very watery consistency, as well as with babies who are experiencing constipation and diarrhea. However, diaper blowouts can occur with any baby at any time when parents don't diaper them properly. What this means is that your child can be perfectly healthy and still have a blowout. Check out these easy ways to prevent this stinky scenario.
How to Prevent a Diaper Blowout
Diaper fit and design matters. If your baby is having blowouts, their nappy is the first thing to assess.
1. Size Up or Down
A baby's diaper size is the number one reason a blowout will occur. Most companies give weight guidelines for their various sizes, but this is a general rule of thumb. It's up to mom and dad to determine if the diaper properly fits their baby. Why does weight not always give you the proper size? Every person has a unique figure. Two babies can weigh the same amount and require very different sizes based on their length and weight distribution. This means actually looking at the diaper on your baby.
When you put it on, does the diaper fit snuggly against their body or do they have a good amount of wiggle room? If your baby's diaper is too big or too small, a blowout will occur. The goal is for the fabric to make a seal against their skin, keeping the poop inside.
To ensure that this occurs, a diaper should line up just below a baby's belly button and a parent should be able to slide two fingers along the waist. If you can only fit one finger, it is too tight. Conversely, if you can fit three fingers, it is too big. The leg cuffs should never have gaps. This is also a sign that you are using too big of a size.
Additionally, if you ever take a gander at the front of your baby's diaper, you will notice sizing indicator marks on the front. With a properly fitted diaper, the fastener tape should land right over these images. However, if the adhesive tabs meet in the middle, the diaper is too big. If the sizing indicator marks are showing, then it is time to graduate to the next size up.
Another sign that your baby's diaper is too small is red marks on their legs or stomach when you remove the diaper.
2. Use the Diaper Correctly
Diapers are thoughtfully designed. The ruffles, officially known as leg cuffs, that are on the edge of the diaper are not for show. They are in place to prevent leakage. That is, if you bother to pull them out. Don't take these beneficial features for granted! Also, make sure that the diaper in on straight. This seems self-explanatory, but wiggly babies can many times manage to move their diaper out of place. Cover their bottom evenly.
3. Change Your Baby Often
If your baby's diaper is full of pee, then there will not be enough room for a lot of poo. If you notice your baby is having more blowouts, but the diaper sizing is correct, then you may be a part of the problem. Take the time to check your baby's diaper regularly and change them as soon as you notice they are dirty.
Thankfully, present-day diapers come with a convenient wetness indicator to let you know when it's time for a change. Most importantly, always make sure that your baby is dry before putting them in a car seat, high chair, or swing. These baby products put pressure on their diaper region, making blowouts much more likely.
4. Switch Brands
Sadly, there will be moments when your baby is too big for one size, but just a little too small for the next size up. When this happens, consider switching diaper brands.
Each company has a slightly different design, which means that you can find a product that's better suited for your baby's unique figure. Just remember to always look for diapers that have a pocketed back waistband. This is another thoughtful feature that further helps to contain stinky messes. Without it, diaper blowouts can become a common occurrence.
5. Make Changes as Activity Increases
Diaper blowouts also occur when your little one starts to find their footing. This means investing in diapers that are designed for active babies. Look for phrases like 'Little Movers' and 'Cruisers 360'. These diapers have a sturdier construction, which better ensures poop stays in place.
6. Wear Better Protection at Night
If your baby's blowouts are occurring overnight, it's time to upgrade to a nighttime diaper. What you may not realize is that your baby's daytime diaper sacrifices its absorbancy to allow for a better range of motion for crawling and walking babies. In contrast, nighttime diapers are more absorbant and feature more fabric to keep messes contained.
7. Avoid 'P' Foods
Blowouts can also arise when introducing certain foods. Have you ever noticed that you need to go number two after a cup of coffee? A similar effect occurs when babies eat pears, plums, prunes, peaches, and peas. If your sweet little one has been experiencing regular diaper blowouts, think about their diet and consider lessening their consumption of these diuretic foods.
How to Prepare for the Worst
Blowouts are bound to happen at some point in your parenting journey, so make sure that you know how to handle this disgusting duty!
1. Pack With a Purpose
Your diaper bag should hold everything you need to take care of your baby. This should include potential explosions of poop. Thus, always carry a change of clothes, a pair of disposable gloves, disinfecting wipes, a disposable changing pad (puppy pads work wonders), gallon sized ziplock bags (for affected clothing), hand sanitizer, and, of course, plenty of diapers and wipes.
2. Invest in Envelope Onesies
The last thing you want to do after a diaper blowout is to pull the poop covered clothing over your baby's head. Envelope onesies feature shoulder flaps that allow parents to pull the onesies down a baby's body, keeping the mess contained. If your baby is having regular blowouts, clothe them in this convenient attire.
3. Use the Diaper During Clean Up
Most blowouts will go up your baby's back. What this means is that the front of their diaper is still relatively clean. Before reaching for the wipes, use this portion of the diaper to scoop up a chunk of the mess with one firm motion from front to back. Diapers absorb fecal matter, making this an effective way to quickly soak up some of the mess.
4. Clean the Dirty Clothes Strategically
If this is an outfit that you want to keep, then it's important to address the mess quickly and effectively. Do not use a wipe. You do not want to work the poop further into the fabric. Instead, take a plastic butter knife or spoon and scrape as much of the poop off of the clothes as you can. Then, turn the clothing inside out and rinse under cold water. The intent is to push any excess poop out of the fabric, so you want the water running over the backside of the stain. Next, apply some dish soap to the affected area, gently scrub, and rinse with cold water again. Finally, treat the stain with your preferred stain remover and wash with clorox or white vinegar to disinfect the clothing.
Diaper Blowouts Won't Last Forever
Once you exit the newborn stage, you will notice a decrease in the frequency of blowouts. However, the introduction to new foods can bring this unfortunate situation back into your life, so keep a log of what foods have a laxative effect on your little one. This can help you better prevent this scenario from happening. Last, remember that tummy bugs can arise when you least expect them, so don't let your guard down. A year may have passed since your last blowout, but if your toddler gets sick, they can occur without warning. Be like a boy scout and always be prepared.