After getting four kids through years of diapers, I know a bit about diaper blowouts. We’ve dealt with them in car seats, at appointments, and even at a funeral.
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent them from happening constantly, and there are ways to deal with them that will keep your house free of the poop germs that can linger after a bad blowout.
How To Deal With Diaper Blowouts
Sometimes your baby’s poop stays inside the diaper, and sometimes it does not.
While it’s devastating to see, smell, and feel the results of a number two that has ventured outside of the diaper, it is possible to clean your baby, your home, and everything the poop touched so you can move on with your day in peace.
When You’re at Home
- Take your baby to the bathroom, and remove all clothes and the offending diaper.
- Use the shower to gently clean your baby’s body from head to toe, using soap and rinsing until he is clean.
- Remove the excess poop from your child’s onesie. This is not fun and can be done in a variety of ways. There’s always the garden hose, a tool we have used many times. You can place the clothes in a bucket, and spray them down with warm water. You can also remove the excess with plastic utensils. Just don’t rub it into the material more than it already is.
- Let the clothes soak for about 15 minutes in warm water.
- Put the clothes and towels used for the bath in the washing machine with whatever detergent you normally use on baby clothes. Feel free to throw in a stain remover if it’s safe for your baby.
- Check all the clothes before putting them in the dryer. If they are still stained, you need to use a stain remover and wash them again.
- Clean every surface the diaper blowout may have affected with a disinfectant that is safe for babies but effective at killing germs.
When You’re on the Go
- Locate a bathroom as soon as possible.
- Take off the dirty clothes, discard the full diaper, and wash your child as thoroughly as you can in a public place. This may mean wiping them down with baby wipes or using sink water to splash them clean before using the wipes. Don’t do this unless you have a way to wipe down the sink after.
- Put the dirty clothes in a plastic bag. Always carry large Ziploc or plastic bags so you have a place to put clothes when your child has an accident on the go.
- Put a pair of clean clothes on your baby, and pack up the soiled clothes to clean at home.
How To Prevent Diaper Blowouts
You won’t be able to avoid every diaper blowout, but there are some things you can do to reduce the massive explosive effects when they occur.
1. Use the Right Diaper Size for Baby
Letting your baby wear a diaper that is too big or too small is a recipe for disaster. Use the two finger test to ensure your baby’s diaper fit is just right.
If you can’t fit two fingers in the waistband of your baby’s diaper, it’s too small. If your baby has red marks or bumps where the diaper is rubbing around the legs, it’s too small.
However, if you can fit more than two fingers in the waistband or you can see open space at the leg holes, the diaper is too big.
2. Ensure the Diaper Is Positioned Properly
You want to make sure you put your baby’s diaper on correctly, starting with ensuring you don’t put it on backward. Most diapers have a belly button dip on the front that will let you know which way is correct.
Make sure the diaper is centered over your baby’s bum and not riding up one side. This will help ensure all number twos are caught in the diaper and not running down one side of your baby’s leg.
Pull the tabs tight enough to secure the diaper and keep it from shifting when your baby moves.
3. Change Diaper Often
You need to change your baby’s diaper often so it’s not too full.
If a diaper is already full of pee and then your child has a bowel movement, it’s going to be hard for the diaper to absorb the mess. This can lead to it flowing outside of the diaper.
4. Consider Reusable Cloth Diapers
Cloth reusable diapers like these tend to be more fitted than disposable diapers. That means you aren’t as likely to deal with diaper blowouts.
When you do, you will have a lot of washing to take care of, but many moms swear that cloth diapers make diaper disasters way less frequent.
5. Avoid Tight Clothing
While you want your child’s diaper to be tight enough, you don’t want your child’s clothing to be so tight that it creates opportunities for poop to seep out.
Tight leggings and shorts can squeeze loose stool out of the diaper when it would have otherwise stayed in place.
6. Avoid Sudden Dietary Changes
If you’re breastfeeding, what you eat can impact your baby. Don’t throw spicy foods or other things that can cause your baby’s stomach to hurt into your diet.
Formula-fed babies can also be affected by sudden changes in their formula. Make sure you don’t suddenly change formulas, and if you do and notice your baby has loose stool, change back.
When your child starts eating solids, you need to introduce one food at a time slowly. Too much change at once will overwhelm your baby’s system and result in diaper disasters.
7. Use Diaper Covers
Diaper covers are waterproof and meant to be worn on the outside of absorbent diapers.
If your child does have a diaper blowout, a diaper cover can help keep it contained so your child’s clothes and legs don’t end up covered in a mess.
Shop cute styles and fits to figure out what works best for your little one. These are especially helpful if you are using cloth diapers, but you can use them with disposables too.
8. Use Diaper Extenders
I wish I had known about diaper extenders when my kids were small. We could have saved a lot of onesies from an unfortunate end!
Diaper extenders go in your child’s diaper and extend up the back to protect your child’s clothes from any poop that might make its way out the top.
You can also use them on the front to prevent pee from spilling out the front. This comes in very handy with little boys.
9. Explore Different Diaper Brands
All diapers are not created equally, and some brands may work for one baby and not at all for another.
One of my kids broke out in a rash anytime we tried a certain brand while it worked just fine for the others.
Some diaper brands are also really great at absorbing whatever your child releases while others can’t handle much more than a vigorous number one. Explore until you find the right diaper that meets your child’s needs.
Diaper blowouts are an inevitable part of parenting, but you can reduce the chances of them occurring by following a few diaper guidelines. Best of luck to you!
Mom of three (including identical twin boys), wife, and owner of Parents Wonder. This is my place to share my journey as a mother and the helpful insights I learn along the way.