How to Prevent Diaper Blowouts – Effective Tips From a Dad (Who Knows)

Sleeping newborn baby

How often have you walked into your baby’s nursery and you know there’s been a blowout before you even look into the crib? Your baby’s either screaming or the smell knocks you sideways! So how do you prevent diaper blowouts effectively?

My own daughter has had her fair shares of diaper blowouts so I sympathize with every parent who is on diaper duty. A diaper blowout is messy and takes more time to clean up, both the baby and the bedding.

Read on to find out what are diaper blowouts and what causes them to happen in the first place. I also share some useful tips on how to prevent blowouts. PLUS, I’ve put together a list of baby products that’ll help you stop diaper blowouts in their track!

What is a Diaper Blowout?

They happen when your baby’s diaper can no longer hold all the pee and poop she’s deposited into it. The result, as you can imagine, is messy gunk going up your baby’s back, leaking down their legs or even overflowing over the waistband. 

While a blowout caused by pee alone is not a serious problem, it’s the blowout caused by too much poop that gets most parents despairing. It’s not fun having a diaper blowout to deal with when it’s your turn to do diaper changing. I guess it’s not fun for your baby either. But, there are ways of dealing with it once you know what causes diaper blowouts to happen in the first place.

What Causes My Baby to Have a Diaper Blowout?

We know diaper blowouts happen because the diaper can’t contain the poop (and pee) anymore. But what else causes the diaper to literally “explode”, sending its contents all over your baby and its surroundings?

Here are some of the reasons causing a diaper blowout:

  • You’re buying the wrong size diaper for your baby’s weight and age. This is often the number one reason for diaper blowouts.
  • The diaper is not being put onto the baby correctly.
  • The tabs aren’t fastened tightly enough. A snug fit is one of the best ways to ensure your baby doesn’t end up with poop or pee flowing over their waistband.
  • Your diaper brand choice is not the right fit or design for your baby.
  • Your baby is a heavy wetter at night time. Read my article about the right diapers for babies who need extra absorbency at night time.
  • Your baby is active and on the move all the time. I’ve also written about the type of diapers best suited for your baby who is crawling, walking or running.
  • If your baby has been battling with constipation and you’re treating it, then expect a blowout to happen sometime soon after treatment if the diaper can’t contain all the poop.

These causes can be dealt with, so read on and discover some useful tips to help you prevent further blowouts from happening.

How to Prevent Diaper Blowouts: Tips for Preventing and Handling a Messy Situation

Now that my daughter is two years old, I can look back at all the times I’ve dealt with diaper blowouts and realize some of the lessons I’ve learned. I’m sharing them with you here as tips for preventing blowouts and when they do happen, how to handle the messy situation.

Tips for Preventing Diaper Blowouts

I’ve found the following tips useful for avoiding diaper blowouts from happening (too often):

  • Get the right size diaper: Always make sure you have the right size diaper for your baby’s weight and age. Refer to the weight range and size chart when deciding which diapers are the ones best suited for your baby. Watch this video which shows how to get the right size diaper for your baby.
  • Make sure the diaper fits well: The right size diaper should fit snugly. This includes fitting tightly but comfortably around the waist, the legs and around the bottom. You should be able to slide your finger through at each point to gauge the fit isn’t too tight but not too loose.
  • The diaper mustn’t be too large or small: Again, this is why it’s so important you get the right size diaper for your baby. While a diaper too large means you’ll get leakage up the back, over the waistband and down the legs, a smaller diaper means you’ll have less absorbency. This will result in your baby’s diaper having a blowout because it can’t absorb the waste adequately.
  • Fit the diaper on correctly: This includes fastening the tabs to give the waistband a snug fit. Make sure the diaper is pulled up to just below the belly button. The leg cuffs (or ruffles as some parents call them) must be on the outside of the leg, not tucked away under the diaper. When the diaper is correctly positioned, it’ll look straight and in proportion to your baby’s body.
  • Use diapers designed for active babies: If your baby is on the move, they’ll need to be fitted out with diapers designed specifically for active babies. These diapers remain snug and comfortable while your baby is crawling, walking or playing. They’ll also help prevent any blowout while your baby is being active.
  • Use diapers designed for heavy wetters: If your baby is prone to peeing a lot at night time, you run the risk of a normal diaper becoming overfull. This will decrease its potential to prevent a blowout from happening. Picking diapers designed specifically for heavy wetters will help eliminate the chances of this from happening.
  • Find the right diaper brand: Babies come in all shapes and sizes. Diaper manufacturers are aware of this and try to accommodate these differences. However, you may find one brand’s design fits your baby’s shape more comfortably than another brand. Don’t hesitate to try out different brands until you find one that works best for your baby.
  • Use a cloth diaper cover: No matter how good the diaper is, your baby’s poop may simply get too much for it to contain! In this case, using a cloth diaper cover over the diaper will help to keep the messy gunk from getting all over their clothes before you get a chance to change them.
  • Take advantage of diaper liners or inserts: Both of these are very useful if you know your baby is prone to blowouts. By inserting a diaper liner or insert, you’re giving the diaper extra-absorbency and protection against leakage from a blowout.
  • Hold your baby correctly: Sometimes, the way we hold our babies actually causes the poop to slide out of the diaper even though it’s been contained neatly. By holding your baby without squeezing the bottom of the diaper too tightly, you’ve less chance of being surprised by a messy poop.
  • Change your baby’s diapers regularly: Avoid leaving your baby too long in a soaked diaper. The longer you do, the more chances you have for a blowout to happen. By changing your baby’s diapers regularly, you can ensure the diapers’ absorbency levels will handle most poop without causing a major blowout.

If you still find yourself dealing with a major blowout despite following these tips (and it will happen, I assure you), then use my tips on how to handle the situation like a pro!

Tips for Handling a Messy Blowout

The first tip is to always take a deep breath and calm down your baby if they’re crying. Lay them down on the changing mat and do the following:

  • Remove all the dirty clothing and place it into a bag for washing. This is when an onesie that comes off without going over your baby’s head is a good idea. Otherwise, you’re going to end up with poop in your baby’s hair!
  • Remove the diapers. If you’re using disposable diapers, place them into a disposable bag for discarding after you’ve cleaned your baby.
  • If you’re using cloth diapers, place them into a plastic bag before washing. You’ll need to scrape off as much poop as possible and rinse through with warm water before adding to the diaper pail for soaking. A plastic knife is useful for scraping off poop!
  • Clean your baby’s bottom and body with baby wipes, making sure you remove all the poop. If the poop landed in the hair while removing your baby’s dirty clothes then you’ll need to bath your baby.
  • Put clean clothes onto your baby and place them either in their crib or play yard while you clean up the changing table. Make sure the changing pad, e.g. Hatch or Keekaroo and the table are thoroughly clean for hygienic purposes.
  • Rinse the soiled clothing with warm water and make sure most of the poop has been removed before adding to the laundry.

Blowouts are inevitable so always be prepared. Always have ample baby wipes and disposable bags on hand, spare clothes in the diaper bag for your twins, triplets and keep the changing table or changing pad clean at all times. How often you need to change baby clothes will depend on how many times there’s a blowout – therefore have e.g. 2x more clothes than when there are no blowouts.

I’ve found being organized goes a long way to handling a messy situation better. It also means I’m calmer and so is my daughter during diaper changing.

Baby Products for Managing Diaper Blowouts Better

Most parents will find the following baby products will help them in either preventing diaper blowouts or aiding in handling a messy situation better.

Baby ProductHow it helps with diaper blowouts
Cloth diaper covers such as Thirsties Duo Wrap Cloth Diaper Cover- Flexible and breathable covers that go over cloth and disposable diapers.
- Made with waterproof material to prevent any leakage from the diapers going onto the baby’s clothing or bedding.
- Include an insert for extra-absorbency.
- Can be adjusted to fit your baby’s shape and size snugly.
- Easy to wipe clean between diaper changes and when there’s been a blowout.
Extender pads such as BabyBackUps Diaper Extender Pads- Disposable extender pads are perfect for preventing messy poops from going up your baby’s back.
- They fit into most disposable and cloth diapers.
- They help to contain the mess in the diaper preventing a serious blowout.
Diapers with pocketed waistband such as Huggies Little Snugglers Baby Diapers, Size: Newborn
Read more about Huggies diapers here.
- A pocketed back waistband helps to contain more poop preventing blowouts from happening.
- These diapers also have absorbent liners and a leak lock system helping to keep your baby dry while minimizing an over soaked diaper.
Liners for extra absorbency such as the Kindersense Diaper Liners- Liners can be inserted to give both disposable and cloth diapers more absorbency.
- They help to prevent the diapers from getting too soaked which may result in a blowout if not changed in time.
Diapers designed to last overnight such as The Honest Company Club Box Overnight Diapers- Extra-absorbency without adding extra bulk helps to prevent blowouts.
- Secure, moisture-barrier cuffs on the legs prevent leakage while also preventing blowouts.
- Elastic waistband and refastenable tabs allow for a snug fit.
Diapers designed for active babies such as Pampers Cruisers- A “stay-put” design prevents the diapers from moving around while your baby is on the go.
- Dual-leak barriers go a long way to preventing leakage during a blowout.
- Extra-absorbency features also help to prevent blowouts.

Apart from the above products, one of the commenters recommended a reusable diaper extender from Danni’s. I like the idea that it’s reusable – helps us reduce waste. Anyone else who tried it yet? Leave a comment below as I’m curious, just like other readers.

Danni's Diaper Extenders - Includes 4 Reusable and Absorbent Diaper Extender Pads - Attaches to ANY diaper! - Prevents Diaper Blowouts - Comfortable and Effective. (Reusable!) Diapering Peace of Mind!

Final Thoughts

Diaper blowouts lead to messy situations most parents would prefer to avoid at all costs! It helps to find ways to prevent them from happening and when they do, how to handle the situation without losing your calm. The tips I’ve shared from my own experiences with diaper blowouts should help you prevent diaper blowouts in the future.

Knowing which baby products are designed to prevent diaper blowouts also go a long way to making diaper changes a whole lot easier. So, make sure you’re well-equipped to deal with the inevitable and handle the next blowout with ease.

Let me know how you handle diaper blowouts. Share your thoughts and suggestions in my comments section below. I would love to hear from you!

Last update on 2024-06-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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