Everything blows out! Gaaaah! It truly was getting out of hand with my little girl. She was having blowouts every day getting all her clothes dirty in the process, and mine too. I just never knew when it would happen, and when I least expected it, that is when I was hit with a blowout explosion of epic proportions.
Blowouts happen because the poop is often liquid and the diaper can’t just contain all the poop or pee any longer. Most cases of blowouts commonly occur in the first year of life because the baby is predominantly breastfeeding or on formula milk in smaller quantities and their poop isn’t firmed up quite yet leading to leakages. While diarrhea due to illness can be a source of loose stool, so could be eating new food or breastfeeding. They can also occur from birth up until the age of 2 or 3 years.
Blowouts are dreaded by all parents and probably the grossest thing you’ll come across in your diaper changing career, and they can happen for several reasons. Before you panic, here is a guide to everything you need to know about why it happens, how to reduce your chances of getting a blowout, and what to do if it happens.
Table of Contents
What is a baby blowout?
A blowout happens when a diaper isn’t on correctly or when it doesn’t fit correctly and your baby poops, but her diaper fails, and poop leaks out up her back, around the legs, or up the front of your baby.
They aren’t amusing, but it is a normal part of life with your little person.
What causes baby blowouts?
A baby blowout can truly be messy and most of all embarrassing as they happen when it’s the most inconvenient and a quick change or hurried bath takes up a lot of time. So what exactly causes blowouts?
The first element that is responsible for baby blowouts is their loose stool. Their stool may range from solid to very loose depending on your baby’s diet, and unless it is accompanied by fever or other symptoms, it should not be a cause for concern.
If you recently changed your child’s diet and their stool suddenly changes from hard to lose, it could be a reaction to the new diet hence the blowout.
Inappropriate diaper size
This is one of the main reasons why blowouts happen. If you put on the wrong fit of the diaper on your baby, it will result in a huge mess. You probably have noticed how diapers come in different sizes, from small to medium and large.
For example, size one diapers are meant for babies from 8-14 pounds while size two diapers are for babies from 12-18 pounds.
If your baby weighs 14 pounds and is experiencing blowouts, it would be a good idea to move a size higher. Bigger diapers can handle more waste as they have more space and more absorbent material for your growing baby’s comfort.
Putting the diaper on incorrectly
The tubs on your baby’s diapers need to be fastened snugly around the waist. If you don’t fasten the diaper tabs snugly enough, then a blowout is inevitable.
To ascertain if the diaper is correctly on the baby to prevent a blowout and flexible enough to prevent red marks on your baby’s skin, ensure one finger can slip in between the diaper and the baby’s waist and one finger in between the cuffs of the diapers and the baby’s legs.
Setting the diaper cuffs wrongly
If your baby’s blowouts leak around the legs, then you need to check and reposition the diaper’s leg cuffs when you put them on. The cuffs of the diaper should always be on the outside of the diaper and around the baby’s leg and again, a finger.
You should be able to slip between the leg and the cuff to make sure they aren’t too tight on the baby’s skin.
Tips and tricks on how to prevent baby blowouts
Blowout explosions are extremely common but that doesn’t mean you can’t prevent them. Try these simple tips and tricks to prevent those frequent poop accidents.
- Change your baby’s diaper frequently. When it is too full, a blowout will likely occur.
- Put the diaper on your baby securely. Not too tight and not loose, either. Just snuggly enough to reduce gaps where poop can escape.
- Evaluate the fit of the diaper. Is it too big or too small, or the load was just more than usual? Look for a different size and brand if the blowout is frequent.
- You can experiment with cloth diapers as they are thick and absorbent and have elastic on the back, which is paramount in containing large loads.
- Check with your baby’s doctor. If you are breastfeeding, you may want to adjust your diet and alter your baby’s diet as well.
- To catch the poop eruption and save your baby’s clothes and make clean up quick and easy, use a blowout blocker extension (Amazon link).
How to clean blowouts on clothes and surrounding surfaces
If your pumpkin just had the dreaded blowout explosion, one so bad you are unsure where to start, keep calm and follow these helpful tips to contain the havoc while cleaning it up.
- Remove as much excess poop as you can with clean soapy water.
- Wet wipes can’t work in this case as the goal is to avoid rubbing it in.
- Spray the stained area with a pre-wash stain remover.
- Soak the soiled clothes in warm water for at least 20 minutes.
- Throw the clothes in the wash with your cleaning detergent, and you can add hydrogen peroxide.
- If the stain doesn’t come out yet, don’t dry the clothes as the stain will set; rather, soak them for 30 minutes in Oxiclean Baby Stain Remover before washing again.
- Use disinfectant wipes on all surfaces, including the bathtub and changing table.
- Use carpet cleaners and deodorizers meant for cleaning pet accidents.
- Use the same technique you used while washing baby clothes to clean car seat covers, changing mats, and beddings too.
Frequently Asked Questions
What diapers are better for blowouts, pampers, or Huggies?
With blowouts, there is no clear winner on which brand is best, but Pampers (Amazon link) tend to have better diapers for the daytime while Huggies (Amazon link)takes the lead for best night-time diapers.
Both brands have very extensive ranges and depending on your needs, you will be able to find the right diaper for each stage.
Should you change your baby’s diaper before or after feeding?
The best time to change a baby’s diaper is before feeding. If you are bottle-feeding, take the time and change your baby before, and if you are breastfeeding, you can change the baby’s diaper in between while changing breasts.
This way, you get rid of the soaked diaper beforehand, and when your baby poops in between feeding, you avoid or minimize a blowout.
How many hours can a single diaper be used?
Ideally, any diaper should be changed at 3-4 hours intervals, but some babies have more sensitive skin than others. Disposable diapers that soak up more liquid should be used at night when it is inconvenient to change them frequently and stick with others during the day.
Can you change a baby diaper too much?
Experts recommend that you change your baby’s diaper as often as possible because overly soaked diapers left on too long can contribute to the risk of diaper rash and poop can irritate your baby’s skin.
Baby girls also risk bladder infection from leftover bacteria, plus a soiled and soaked diaper will lead to blowouts on your baby’s clothes, car seats, crib, and other surfaces. The easiest way to avoid the mess is with frequent diaper changes.
Should I wipe my baby after every diaper change?
No. Not every single diaper change requires a wipe. If your munchkin has only had a pee, then you can probably skip wiping to avoid unnecessary skin dryness and irritation. However, you must wipe after every poop and always wipe from front to back to avoid the spread of any bacteria present.
As much as it is every mom’s worst night and daymare, blowouts will always happen, so always carry a spare change of clothes for your baby and enough wet wipes for any emergencies, and make sure that your baby’s diaper is the correct size and that you are changing them often. Ensure the cuffs are out around the legs, and maybe you can avoid blowouts in the future with your tiny person.
Follow these diaper bag checklists, so you have everything you need on hand, and once you get the hang of it, you’ll be changing diapers and avoiding blowouts with ease. Most importantly, remember blowouts, too, shall pass. Do you have any other tips for moms dealing with baby blowouts? Please share with us in the comments section down below.