Diaper Blowout Basics: Everything a Parent Needs to Know | WonderBaby.org (2023)

Diaper Blowout Basics: Everything a Parent Needs to Know | WonderBaby.org (1)

Updated on February 2, 2023

Diaper Blowout Basics: Everything a Parent Needs to Know | WonderBaby.org (2)
  • Diaper blowouts are unpleasant and inconvenient, but they aren’t usually a cause for concern.
  • Diaper blowouts happen because of incorrect diaper fit or size or lack of absorbency.
  • You can’t prevent the occasional poop explosion, but if you’re prepared, you can deal with it like a pro.

Every parent or caregiver has to deal with a diaper blowout at one time or another. Sometimes it happens at home. Sometimes it happens in public. One minute, your baby is happy, clean, and dry—the next minute, they’re covered in poop from neck to ankle, their clothes are stained, and you don’t know where to begin dealing with the mess.

Baby diaper blowouts aren’t fun, but it happens to everyone. And while there’s no sure-fire way to prevent baby diaper blowouts from happening, you can at least be prepared to handle them.

What is a Diaper Blowout?

Baby diaper blowouts often happen with infants and young babies whose poop is still quite liquid and loose. A “baby blowout” or “poop explosion,” as it’s also known, refers to extensive diaper leakage.

When your baby has a diaper blowout, poop comes out of the diaper and covers their back, legs, and sometimes even their belly. It usually also covers any clothing they’re wearing. You’ll need to check any surface they’re sitting or lying on, like a car seat or stroller, as these can get covered too.

Parents and caregivers are horrified when this happens, especially in public. It feels like poop is just everywhere—on clothes, shoes, toys, the blanket, and even you. But, while it creates some unsightly laundry, a diaper blowout is not generally harmful to your baby.

Why Do Diaper Blowouts Happen?

The main reason diapers leak is that they’re the wrong size. Your baby may have moved up a size without you realizing it. When this happens, their current diapers may just be too small to contain their bowel movements. Or the opposite may be true—your baby’s diapers could be too big. This may cause gaps and allow leaks, especially around the diaper cuffs.

The type of diaper your child wears could also be causing their diaper blowouts. Maybe you have an active baby who needs more flexible diapers that fit them snugly while they move. Or it may be that certain brands of diapers fit your baby’s body better than others, or that you moved from diapers to pull-ups too soon.

Yet another reason diaper blowouts happen is the absorbency of the diaper. If your baby’s diaper is already full, it just may not be able to handle anything else without leaking. You may want to try changing your baby’s wet diapers more frequently to avoid diaper blowouts.

Diaper blowouts tend to happen less with cloth diapers than disposable diapers because they are made from a more absorbent material. You may want to try cloth diapers or a different brand or size of disposable diapers to lessen the impact of the dreaded baby blowout.

Do Blowouts Mean Diarrhea?

For parents experiencing blowouts for the first time, it’s important to remember that while they are unpleasant, they are not a cause for alarm. A diaper blowout does not necessarily mean that your child has diarrhea.

Newborns and young babies have frequent bowel movements and their stool is often more liquid and loose until they start eating solids. So baby diaper blowouts are more likely to indicate that a diaper is already too full of liquid or that it doesn’t fit well, rather than that a baby is sick.

Young babies up to six weeks old will have at least three to four bowel movements a day and breastfed babies may have up to twelve. After two months of age, most babies will have one to two bowel movements a day.

Signs of diarrhea in babies include:

  • A sudden change in the frequency or consistency of bowel movements for three movements or more.
  • Blood or mucus in the stool or a bad smell.
  • A child who has other signs of illness like fever.

If you see a sudden change in your baby’s stool and they have other signs of sickness, it may be diarrhea. If you suspect your baby has diarrhea, call their pediatrician for advice.

Diaper Blowout Basics: Everything a Parent Needs to Know | WonderBaby.org (3)

How To Prevent Diaper Blowouts

The most important key to preventing diaper blowouts is to accept the fact that, unfortunately, you can’t! Diaper blowouts are an inevitable part of taking care of a young baby.

Rest assured, you will not be alone in the experience of having to change a poopy diaper in a public restroom with a plastic bag of soiled clothes on the floor and a (loud) wriggling baby on the changing table.

But once you accept that diaper blowouts will happen, you can make sure that you’re prepared for them by doing the following:

  • Check that your baby’s diaper fits.

Babies grow and change so quickly. Experiment with different diaper brands and try different diaper sizes. Make sure your baby is in the right diaper for their weight range.

Check that the diaper is fastened snugly around your baby’s waist and legs. Make sure that leg ruffles are pulled out on the leg cuffs to help with the fit and prevent leaks. You’ll know it’s a snug fit if you can’t fit more than one finger around your baby’s waist.

  • Change your baby’s diaper frequently.

If your baby’s wet diapers are changed more frequently, they’ll be able to contain your baby’s poop and hopefully prevent a diaper blowout.

  • Use an envelope onesie.

An envelope onesie has shoulders that allow you to pull it down off your baby instead of over their face. In the case of diaper blowout, this means you can pull the onesie away from your baby’s head when you change them, rather than trying to pull a poopy onesie above their head.

  • Pack a diaper blowout survival kit.

To help you handle a diaper blowout in public, make sure your diaper bag always has the following:

  • Extra diapers
  • Extra outfits, including onesies and socks
  • A plastic bag for dirty clothes
  • Baby wipes for cleaning up

You’ll need all of these handy to prevent blowouts from forcing you to end your day out and about with your baby. Also keep in mind that it might not just be your baby that needs a change of clothes. Many moms have learned the hard way that it’s a good idea to keep a spare outfit for themselves tucked away in the bottom of the stroller basket or the trunk of the car.

Cleaning Baby After a Diaper Blowout

As soon as a diaper fails and you know you’re dealing with a blowout, it’s time to clean up your baby. Make sure you have everything you need before you start to take off your baby’s clothes.

  1. Start by carefully removing your baby’s clothes and the dirty diaper. Make sure these are out of your baby’s reach. You can deal with them later.
  2. If you’re at home, gently wash and rinse your baby either in the sink or in the shower. If you’re out, you’ll need to do the best you can with baby wipes that you’ve hopefully stocked in your diaper bag.
  1. Once your baby is washed and dressed again, you can tackle their dirty clothes. You might find that you need to soak your baby’s clothes and use a stain remover to deal with the remains of your baby’s diaper blowouts.
Diaper Blowout Basics: Everything a Parent Needs to Know | WonderBaby.org (4)

Dealing With Baby Diaper Blowouts At Night

Baby diaper blowouts can happen at night, too. To avoid this, there are a few things you can try.

You might consider using overnight diapers that offer extra absorbency and better protection at nighttime. Or, consider using a cloth diaper cover over your baby’s usual disposable diaper at night. A cloth diaper cover can offer enough absorbent material on top of the diaper to prevent a diaper leak from becoming a full baby blowout.

What Are the Best Diapers to Prevent Blowouts?

Cloth diapers tend to leak less than disposable diapers. Using a cloth diaper cover seems to lead to fewer diaper blowouts because of their extra absorbency versus disposable diapers.

But if you prefer to use a disposable diaper, you may need to experiment with a few brands to find the best diaper for your baby’s shape, size, and activity level.

Many parents are fans of Pampers Swaddlers. They come in a range of sizes and have extra protection at the diaper cuffs to help prevent leaks. For newborns, they have a protective notch for your baby’s belly button while it heals. They also come in an overnight version with more absorbent material to prevent nighttime leaks.


Do breastfed babies have blowouts more often?

In general, breastfed babies tend to have more bowel movements than formula-fed babies, especially in the first few months before they start solids. This may lead to a few more baby diaper blowouts.

Changes to a breastfeeding mother’s diet may also result in noticeable changes to her baby’s bowel movements. It’s important to check your baby’s poop for any changes to make sure they are safe, comfortable, and healthy.

Do blowouts mean the diaper is too small?

Different babies may have baby diaper blowouts for different reasons. But the first likely culprit to check is the diaper size you’ve chosen for your baby. If a diaper is too small, it won’t be able to contain your baby’s poop as well as the right size diaper.

Diaper Blowout Basics: Everything a Parent Needs to Know | WonderBaby.org (5)


How do you deal with a diaper blowout? ›

Soak the clothes in warm water for at least 15 minutes. Throw the clothes in the wash with mild detergent and oxygen-based bleach. If the stain doesn't come out, don't dry the clothes, or the stain will set. Instead, treat them with a 30-minute soak in OxiClean Baby Stain Remover before rewashing them.

Do blowouts mean the diaper is too small? ›

In many cases blowouts happen because of the wrong size diaper or diapers that aren't fully snug on the baby. It can be hard to ensure a good diaper fit when changing a wriggly baby! Diaper blowouts will happen, so always carry a spare change of clothes for your baby.

How common are diaper blowouts? ›

For the most part, diaper blowouts are a normal part of being a baby, especially in the early months. That said, there are a couple of signs that may warrant a call to your pediatrician. According to Dr. Jassey, if your baby is having 10 or more bowel movements a day, it's best to contact their primary provider.

Why does my baby keep blowing out the side of the diaper? ›

Baby blowouts can happen for several reasons, one of the most common being constipation. If your baby doesn't have a bowel movement for a day or two, they'll likely let everything out at once on day three. Diaper blowouts can also happen if your baby is wearing the wrong size diaper.

What is the diaper rule? ›

Every baby is unique, and how often your little one “goes” can vary from day to day. The general rule of thumb when it comes to how often you should be changing diapers is about every two to three hours if he's a newborn, and less frequently as he gets older.

What is the wet diaper rule? ›

On the first day after birth, expect only 1–2 wet diapers. On days 2–3 of your baby's life, expect 2–4 wet diapers. By day 4, your baby should have 4–6 wet diapers per day. On day 5 and onward, your baby should have 6 or more wet diapers per day.

Should diaper tabs touch? ›

They should fasten easily without having to tug them too much. If the tabs meet or overlap in the middle with no problem, the diaper might be too big. On the other hand, if you have to pull to fasten them and they're tight, the diaper is probably too small.

What age do blowouts stop? ›

Diaper blowouts are a part of life for many parents. They usually stop happening as the baby gets older, but there is no set age when they will stop.

Will a diaper leak if its too big? ›

The most common cause of leakage is fitting your baby with the wrong diaper size. So start by checking if the diaper size is right for your baby. Note also that the amount of pee increases as your baby grows.

What is the most common cause of blowouts? ›

Most blowouts are caused by too little air pressure allowing the tire to flex beyond its elastic limits until it overheats to the point where the rubber loses its bond to the internal fabric and steel cord reinforcement.

How damaging are blowouts? ›

Unfortunately, ANY amount of heat is damaging to hair, so using a blow dryer (or flat iron, or curling wand) every day is a bad idea. Daily heat exposure can ruin hair by stripping the hair's natural oils, drying out the cuticle and causing breakage and frizz.

Are diaper blowouts diarrhea? ›

A diaper blowout does not necessarily mean that your child has diarrhea. Newborns and young babies have frequent bowel movements and their stool is often more liquid and loose until they start eating solids.

What is a diaper bomb? ›

One person should gather all the diapers and sneak over to the recipient's home to deliver the “Diaper Bomb”. Once the diapers are nice and stacked outside the door, ring the doorbell and bail! (Kind of like Ding Dong Ditch, remember that craziness?) Voila! You have a HAPPY mama, trust me.

What is diaper pullup? ›

What are pull ups? First things first, when we talk about pull ups in this article, we mean any nappy pants or diaper pants that come with an elasticated waistband that are 'pulled up' rather than secured at the side with taped strips.

Should flaps be in or out on diapers? ›

Ruffles out.

It's easy to overlook, but the leg cuffs, or ruffles on the edge of the diaper should be pulled out. Make sure to run your finger around these edges to make sure they are pulled out. This helps lock everything in, so there isn't leakage.

Do I need to wipe baby girl after pee? ›

Do you need to wipe a baby girl after peeing? No. Even with a baby girl, you don't need to worry about wiping after they pee. This is because urine doesn't normally irritate the skin and most nappies easily absorb it anyway .

What is the minimum diaper free time? ›

Remove their nappy for 5-10 minutes, and, aim for some nappy free time at least once a day during playtime. You could also combine it with tummy time for an added benefit, and to allow for even more little bottom airing time. Make it a part of your daily routine.

What is the no diaper method? ›

The elimination communication potty training method is based on the idea that babies naturally signal when they need to go. Once you've figured out your child's cues, you can position them over a potty and make a sound (like a whistle or a hiss). They'll eventually respond by peeing or pooping on demand.

Do bigger diapers hold more pee? ›

Tip 4: Size up.

Diaper companies know this, so larger sizes are designed to hold more urine. By sizing up your diaper, you're basically increasing your absorbency. For example, a Huggies Size 6 diaper holds 7 to 13 more ounces than their Size 5 diaper.

What does 6 to 8 wet diapers mean? ›

6 to 8. The diaper should get heavier with urine every day, especially after the third day as your supply of breast milk increases. Once your baby is a week old, your baby should have 6 to 8 soaked diapers in 24 hours.

Can I leave a wet diaper overnight? ›

While you might not be too keen on it, you can leave a wet diaper alone through the night, and simply change it in the morning. The only need to do otherwise is if your baby's diaper is soaked right through their PJs. If they have had the 'full' toilet experience in the night, you must change it.

Which is better Pampers or Huggies? ›

Pampers' fastening tabs feature a Velcro−like feel, making them more secure and requiring more effort to remove. Huggies diapers have a higher leak rate than competing brands, despite being built with more absorbent material. Pampers diapers are more absorbent and successfully stop leaks.

Do bigger diapers prevent blowouts? ›

Use The Right Size Diaper

The best way to prevent diaper blowouts is by choosing the right size for your baby from the start. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies wear diapers that fit snugly and have a snug fit at the waist.

Are there different types of blowouts? ›

A blowout can be either straight, wavy or curly, and the common factor among the three is shine and hold. Guests are not only looking for beautiful styles, but also styles that will last for days.

Can boys get blowouts? ›

A Brazilian Blowout for men's hair will make your hair smoother and easier to style. After the procedure, you may not need to use gels or other products to keep your hair styled how you like; this is especially true for men with curvy or wavy hair.

How tight should my diaper be? ›

A diaper should close easily without having to tug and pull at them. Also, consider the rise of the diaper. A properly fitting diaper should come just slightly below your little one's belly button. If it's fitting a little more like a low rise, it's time to move on up!

How much pee can a diaper hold? ›

Theoretically a diaper can hold between 4 and 9 pees (regardless of the size). But in real life, a diaper can only hold between 3 and 7 pees. With an average of 4 and a half pees per diaper.

What are the worst blowouts? ›

American football (college).

In the 1916 Cumberland vs. Georgia Tech football game, called "the biggest blowout in football history" by Los Angeles Times columnist Paul Aurandt in 1983, Georgia Tech defeated Cumberland College by a score of 222–0.

What should you not do if a blowout occurs? ›

Surviving a Blowout

Don't turn the steering wheel. Don't step on the brakes. Don't take your foot off the gas pedal. Any of these actions could cause you to suddenly lose control of the vehicle and spin out.

Do blowouts mean diarrhea? ›

Many babies will poop with vigour, leading to diaper blowouts. What distinguishes normal bowel movements from diarrhea is the frequency. Many newborns will poop 10 to 15 times a day. If your baby is suddenly going many more times than usual, it is considered diarrhea.

Are blowouts preventable? ›

Tire blowouts are preventable and knowing the common causes can help you avoid them. Some of the ways of preventing a blowout from happening include not surpassing the weight limit of your tires, driving safely, regular maintenance of your vehicle, and checking treads and the pressure of your tires.

Can blowouts go away? ›

Unfortunately, once blowout occurs, there's nothing you can do to reverse it. In order to “fix” the blurry ink, you can try to correct it with additional tattooing.

How often should you get blowouts? ›

We recommend a professional blowout styling once or twice a week to replace your in-home styling efforts with a polished, professionally styled look you'll love. There are several benefits to professional styling.

At what age do babies have blowouts? ›

Diaper blowouts are pretty common during the first year of a baby's life. This is because babies rely primarily on either breast milk or formula during this time. A baby's poop does not get firmer until solids are introduced at 4 to 6 months old.

How many dirty diapers is considered diarrhea? ›

Breastfed babies often pass more than 6 stools per day. Until 2 months of age, they may pass a stool after each feeding. But, if stools suddenly increase in number and looseness, suspect diarrhea. If it lasts for 3 or more stools, the baby has diarrhea.

Is Sharting an incontinence? ›

Funny as sharts may sound, they do happen and can happen to you, too. Farts gone wrong are medically referred to as fecal incontinence. Read on to find out why it happens and how to deal with it if it happens to you.

What is poppy diaper? ›

★ Poppy Diapers Pants Provide High Absorption Up To 12hrs Absorption And Leakage Prevention It's keeps a baby dry for Full night . The bottom layer in these diapers has an active gel which helps absorb liquid Fast And keep Dry.

What is a diaper bash? ›

What Is a Diaper Party? A diaper party, aka a dadchelor party or a man shower, is a baby shower for the dad-to-be. Instead of baby registry gifts, guests are asked to give diapers and baby wipes. Most hosts skip the giggly baby shower games and opt for a casual setting of drinking beer and barbecuing.

Why put Vaseline in diaper? ›

The bottom line. Yes, you can use petroleum jelly to create a moisture barrier and help treat diaper rash in a pinch - but you have other (and we'd argue, healthier) options that do everything Vaseline® does without clogging pores or risking contamination with carcinogenic chemicals.

What are adult diapers called? ›

Alternative terms such as "briefs", "incontinence briefs", or "incontinence products" are also used.

How many adults in the US wear diapers? ›

All of this is a long way of saying that if you wear adult diapers, you're not alone. More than 19 million Americans deal with some form of incontinence, and nearly 85 percent of them are women.

What do moms look for in diapers? ›

Good Absorbency

The diaper should be able to absorb a lot of pee and poop without leaking or becoming saggy. A leaky diaper can cause the baby's skin to come in contact with the wetness, thus leading to irritation and diaper rashes.

What age do babies have the most blowouts? ›

Diaper blowouts are pretty common during the first year of a baby's life. This is because babies rely primarily on either breast milk or formula during this time. A baby's poop does not get firmer until solids are introduced at 4 to 6 months old.

Should you let diaper rash air out? ›

The best way to get rid of diaper rash is to air out that area as best as you can. Leave the diaper off and just give that area some time to breathe,” Belosa says. Try laying down a waterproof pad in baby's room and let them go diaper-free for several hours a day to give the irritated skin exposure to air.

What age do diaper blowouts stop? ›

One of the most common concerns parents have about their baby is when do diaper blowouts stop. Generally speaking, diaper blowouts will eventually stop as your baby's bladder and bowel muscles become stronger. This usually occurs around 12 to 18 months old.

What is the hardest month for an infant? ›

The first three months with your baby often seem the hardest. Sleep-deprived parents can feel overwhelmed, but that is normal and you will quickly learn how to read your baby's cues and personality. Don't worry about “spoiling” your baby at this stage.

At what age can babies kiss? ›

16 to 18 months

Your baby may have thrown their arms around you before or kissed you on command. But now, they may toddle over on their own to give you a hug and kiss for no reason—or so it seems.

Should you use wipes with every diaper change? ›

Believe it or not, not every diaper change requires the use of wipes. This is not only because pee is rarely irritating but also because today's superabsorbent disposable diapers effectively limit the amount of pee that comes into contact with your baby's skin.

Do you wipe a baby girl every time they pee? ›

Do you need to wipe a baby girl after peeing? No. Even with a baby girl, you don't need to worry about wiping after they pee. This is because urine doesn't normally irritate the skin and most nappies easily absorb it anyway .

How long should diaper free time? ›

The Most Ideal Time to go diaper free would be right after the baby has pooped or in between diaper changes. Typically diaper free time can last from 30 minutes to an hour. Anything more than that is up to your own preference.

When should I go up my diaper size? ›

If you can't comfortably fit two fingers under the waistband of the fastened diaper, it's time for a bigger size. You may need to go up a size if you notice red marks on your baby's tummy or thighs when you remove the diaper. If the diaper isn't fully covering your baby's bottom, choose a bigger size.

Is 7 years old too old for diapers? ›

Most children will complete toilet training and be ready to stop using diapers between 18 and 30 months of age,1 but this certainly isn't the case for all kids. Some children are not fully out of diapers until after the age of 4.

When did blowouts become a thing? ›

The women's blowout first gained its popularity in London during the 1960s thanks to Rose Cannan. Rose is quoted in W Magazine as saying that she sat down on a Friday and decided it was time to incorporate the barbershop technique of using a brush with a hairdryer to achieve volume.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Cheryll Lueilwitz

Last Updated: 12/12/2023

Views: 5976

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (54 voted)

Reviews: 93% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Cheryll Lueilwitz

Birthday: 1997-12-23

Address: 4653 O'Kon Hill, Lake Juanstad, AR 65469

Phone: +494124489301

Job: Marketing Representative

Hobby: Reading, Ice skating, Foraging, BASE jumping, Hiking, Skateboarding, Kayaking

Introduction: My name is Cheryll Lueilwitz, I am a sparkling, clean, super, lucky, joyous, outstanding, lucky person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.