The last thing you want as a new parent is a diaper blowout. They’re messy and uncomfortable for you and your child. Diaper blowouts can ruin a perfectly good afternoon with friends or a long road trip. They’re frustrating for you and upsetting for your baby.
While it may just seem like diaper blowouts are occasional events that you can’t avoid, routine blowouts with poop up your baby’s back can be prevented more often than not.
With the proper diaper know-how, you can make diaper blowouts a rare occurrence.
What Causes a Baby Diaper Blowout?
A baby diaper blowout happens when a diaper overflows. In general, poop explosions happen when the diaper is too full and can’t absorb anything else. For example, a wet diaper’s absorbency might be at capacity so that when a baby poops, the only place for the poop to go is up the baby’s back.
What makes poop explosions more likely is not only a full wet diaper but also a diaper that is the wrong size. However, even the right diaper is at risk of a blowout if it isn’t properly fitted.
If the diaper is too loose or too tight, and if the leg cuffs on the diaper are folded in rather than out, cleaning a diaper blowout might be in your future.
Finding the right diaper for your baby and properly fastening it onto your baby will reduce leakage and poop explosions.
Use the Proper Diaper Size
One common reason for baby diaper blowouts is using the wrong diaper size.
It might seem obvious, but the diaper should not be too tight or too loose around the baby’s legs. It also should fit snugly around the baby’s waist, but you should still be able to slide one finger into the waist of the diaper.
Diaper sizing doesn’t go by age like children’s clothing tends to. Most disposable diaper brands will follow a basic size guide based on a baby’s weight:
- Newborn size: between 1 and 10 lbs.
- Size 1: between 8 and 14 lbs.
- Size 2: between 12 and 18 lbs.
- Size 3: between 16 and 28lbs.
- Size 4: between 22 and 37 lbs.
- Size 5: 27 lbs. and above.
- Size 6: 35 lbs. and above.
While these sizes are fairly standard between different diaper brands, double-check the size guide before purchasing a new pack in a new size. As you can see, the diaper sizes overlap in weight. There might be times when your baby fits in more than one diaper size because of the weight range.
So what other things to look for when ensuring your baby’s diaper fits properly?
Checking Your Baby’s Diaper Fit
Generally, diapers should fit snugly … but what does a snug fit look like?
The diaper should sit securely beneath your baby’s belly button and give full coverage to your baby’s bottom. It should be snug but not tight around the legs. A good rule of thumb to check to see if you can slide a finger under the waistline and the inside of the leg cuffs.
Remember — the ruffles on the leg cuffs should stick outward rather than be tucked in. When the ruffles get tucked in, they allow for leakage.
The waist fastening tabs should not overlap — if they do, you might be using a size too big for your baby.
How Do You Know if the Diaper Doesn’t Fit?
One sign that the diaper is too small is if it leaves red marks around a baby’s legs. If you notice red marks or idents on your baby’s legs, your little one might have outgrown their current diaper size without you realizing it! You may need to go the next size up.
If you notice red marks around the baby’s waist as well, then the diaper is too small.
Diaper rash can also be a sign that the diaper is too tight. Excessively tight diapers trap moisture, creating a perfect environment for diaper rash. It can also mean you need to change your baby’s diaper more frequently.
When you notice red marks or more frequent diaper blowouts, double-check your baby’s weight to see if you need to adjust the size of the diaper. You might also try different brands to find the one that works best for your baby.
What About Cloth Diapers?
Some parents might opt for cloth diapers. What are the reasons for this? Are there advantages to using cloth diapers when it comes to preventing blowouts?
Some parents choose cloth diapers because it seems more environmentally friendly and sustainable than disposable diapers. However, cloth diapering is part art and part science: Cloth diapers are actually more prone to leaks than disposable diapers.
So while you might choose cloth diapers for other reasons, they are not necessarily the solution to blowouts.
Additional Hacks for Blowout Prevention
So what else can you do to prevent baby diaper blowouts? Are there any other hacks for preventing poop explosions, soiled clothes, and massive cleanup?
The answer is — yes! There are a few more steps you can take to prevent that poop from traveling up your baby’s back and save you from the big cleanup that follows an explosion.
All parents know the struggle of pulling a traditional onesie over their baby’s head after a diaper blowout — the onesie is a mess, and pulling it up only spreads the mess further.
To make this memory a thing of the past, dress smart. We recommend the Bottom-Up Baby Bodysuit! The Tabeeze Bottom-Up Baby Bodysuit makes cleanup after a blowout so much easier. Our onesie has fumble-free shoulder flaps — which means that if poop does get on your baby’s back, you won’t have to pull it over your baby’s head to take it off.
Simply unsnap it and pull it down feet first. With the bottom-up design, you can change a napping baby with a diaper blowout without even waking them up!
Cloth Diaper Cover
A cloth diaper cover is a type of pre-folded and fitted waterproof diaper meant to be placed on top of disposable diapers.
It’s basically a second line of defense against a blowout. You can clean the cloth diaper cover if a blowout does occur. It will potentially save you from more soiled clothes and a big cleanup.
This is an excellent option for overnights and car trips. It will save your bed sheets and car seats from getting poop on them and make cleaning up so much faster and easier.
Speaking of nighttime and cribs, overnight diapers can also be a good option if your baby tends to wake up from wet diapers.
Overnight diapers are designed to be more absorbent and can be worn for longer periods. You might want to try overnight diapers if you frequently have to change your baby’s pajamas and bed sheets because the regular diapers are leaking.
A diaper extender can be a great way to prevent the mess from blowouts. This is a disposable pad that should fit in the back of any diaper.
You slide it into the back of the diaper, and you will notice that it sticks up and covers some of your baby’s back. If a blowout happens, the extender prevents the poop from going up your baby’s back.
Again, this won’t keep blowouts from happening totally, but it can prevent an out-of-control mess.
Another option besides diaper extenders is the blowout blocker. This is a reusable piece of material that can be attached to either disposable diapers or cloth diapers. It goes around your baby’s waist like a belt and has a piece that extends up your baby’s back.
The blowout blocker prevents moisture and poop from leaving the diaper.
Diapers for Active Babies
Some diapers will not cover as much of your baby’s body or come up as high on your baby’s waist and back. You might want to try out different brands of diapers to see what coverage they give your baby. If your baby is old enough to move around and start to crawl, diapers for active babies might be the answer.
Diapers for active babies aren’t ordinarily available for newborns or smaller sizes, but they’re great for when your baby starts to crawl. They’re designed to stretch as your baby moves but also stay in place to prevent leakage and blowouts.
Always Be Prepared
It’s important to remember that you can’t completely prevent diaper blowouts, but you can take steps to reduce their frequency and minimize the cleanup. And no matter what, always be prepared for them in case they happen.
Here are a few ways to help with cleanup:
- If you’re going out, bring plenty of extra diapers in your diaper bag.
- Have plenty of baby wipes on hand, and stock the diaper bag with them, too. If a blowout happens while you’re out, you’ll need enough baby wipes to clean up your baby’s back until you get home for a bath.
- Bring a change, or two, of your baby’s clothes, especially stress-free onesies made for the quick change.
Changing your baby’s diaper after a blowout can feel overwhelming. We’ve got you covered with tips for how to change diapers, too.
Diaper size, diaper hacks, and the right supplies can help new parents be prepared for when, not if, baby diaper blowouts happen.