Enjoy a full day without changing the baby’s clothes! Here’s how to prevent diaper blowouts – including how important it is to wait before you change them.
How to Prevent Diaper Blowouts
If you are a parent, then you know about diapering. Whether you use cloth or disposable, you are no stranger to diaper mishaps and lots of time spent changing diapers!
I have been diapering at least one child for the past five years. For several years I had two in diapers at the same time (twins). I assure you I had a steep learning curve and dealt with some disgusting situations over the years.
Thankfully, I’m going to share with you some of my best diapering tips, so that you make avoid diaper blowouts and messes, by sharing some of my diapering mistakes I have made over the past five years.
1. Wait at least five minutes after you hear or recognize that your child has pooped before changing his diaper.
Newborns have this way of being very loud with their bowel movements. I don’t know why it is, but you can hear those loose stools shooting out. However, do NOT, I repeat, do NOT start changing the diaper until at least five minutes have passed since you heard that first blow.
Here is an example:
One night when my daughter was just a couple weeks old, she was sleeping in the pack n’ play at the foot of our bed. I heard her start to do her business, so I rolled out of bed and got some fresh diapers and wipes, and started to change her diaper on the diaper changing table insert that attached to the top of the Pack n’ Play.
However, this changing table insert definitely leaned to the center (this was before Graco wised up and started putting supports under those things!) which made changing my small newborn even more difficult as she sort of rolled on her side instead of laid flat.
So, I started to change her on this leaning changing table, but she was not done doing her thing, and soon she was shooting, and I mean shooting out (maybe that’s why newborn’s bowel movements are so loud: there’s so much force behind them!) all over my fingers, her legs, and this blasted changing table! As I began to wipe up this nasty mess, she did it again at least once more (how many more I am not quite sure… I might have blocked out the exact details).
So after a few wasted diapers, and many used up wipes, I got her changed into a clean diaper, and put her back to bed.
In the morning, my husband was checking her over, and noticed something on her legs… It was poop residue I had missed. In the dim light of the middle of the night (as to not wake up my sleeping husband) I guess I missed a few spots!
So, lesson learned. Just wait. Please, for your sanity, wait at least five minutes after those bowel movements begin! This is true for newborns, toddlers, and preschoolers.
2. Wash Your Hands After Diaper Changes
Kids get sick a lot, and sometimes they can transfer their illnesses to their other family members. Sometimes that transfer can happen via fecal matter.
If you are anything like me, there are times when you do not properly wash or sanitize your hands after changing a child’s diaper.
It could be because you are wrangling multiple children in a crowded bathroom, or because you’re changing your child on the floor in your living room and you forget to wash your hands after you throw away the diaper.
Or because that diaper change happens in the middle of the night and you are just too tired to care and go back to bed.
All I know is that it is best to wash your hands or use some sort of hand sanitizer or wipe to clean your hands after a changing session.
When our girls were not quite two years old they contracted Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease (from where we still have no idea). Shortly after they got it, both my husband and I did too, and it was quite awful, especially for my husband. It knocked him down for a week. This disease is spread by saliva, nasal secretions, and stool.
I don’t know if my husband and I got it because we didn’t wash our hands after diaper changes, or because we continued to give our children too many kisses or share too many drinks, but got it we did. So, just take some extra precautions and wash your hands. It could help you not get sick!
3. Double Check Your Diaper Bag
Nothing sucks more than to realize too late that your diaper bag does not, in fact, contain any diapers or wipes. This is especially difficult when your child has a very messy diaper incident, or you are going to be out for a while yet (and doesn’t it always seem to happen right as you reach your destination?).
So, always, always, check your diaper bag before heading out the door that it does, in fact, have diapering supplies. And part of those diapering supplies includes a change of clothes (especially for young babies and potty training kids) or two.
I will admit to wetting paper towels in a public bathroom to wipe up my child’s messy bum. I will also admit to bumming wipes and diapers from strangers, friends, and people from church. And I will admit to my child going around in a store pants-less or shirtless because I forgot to pack extra clothing. Double check your diaper bag friends!
4. Don’t forget the swim diapers!
It is awesome going to the beach or the pool with your kids. You get to enjoy some fresh air, sunshine, and water with your little kids. They love it and so do you. Well, that is if you remembered to bring swim diapers to the pool!
Have you ever seen what happens to a regular diaper after its been in the water for more than like 20 minutes? BULK-ZILLA! Your child can no longer walk because of the large mass of saturated diaper stuck between their legs.
The diaper’s Velcro straps are struggling to hang on and keep your child’s private areas covered. It looks terrible. Plus, all the little beads that make diapers work come out and get stuck to your baby’s bum when you finally change them out of said wet diaper.
Ultimately, when you forget to buy or bring swim diapers with you to the pool or beach it means you have to make a decision: have my child go commando or let them suffer the bulk. Eventually I seem to choose commando with my kids, but I’m always terrified that a potty accident will occur. Bless my lucky stars it has never happened, but it certainly can and does.
That’s why it’s important to just swing by your local CVS Health store and pick up some Huggies Little Swimmers as you head to the pool, splash pad, or beach. Their stores are everywhere, and they are stocked and ready for the summer swim season with Huggies Little Swimmers.
I recently picked some up there so that we could enjoy the beautiful hot Texas heat. Being pregnant for the first time in the summer, living in Texas, I plan to be going to the river or a swimming pool as often as I can! So, I am really glad to know where I can pick some up in case I ever do forget them (again).
The Huggies Little Swimmers don’t bulk up, keep in any poo, and have easy open sides so changing a wet kid is easier than before (and no sliding down wet dirty diapers!). And now Huggies have now clearly marked what the back of the swim diapers actually are.
5. Kids who take off their diapers are not necessarily ready to start potty training.
My twins were Houdinis – master diaper escape artists, starting shortly after they turned one. At first it was all cute, even the mess, as you were proud of your fine-fingered child figuring out a new trick. However, after about the tenth time, it stopped being so cute and amazing and just plain terrible! And eventually both of my sweet angel babies were stripping down every single nap time.
Some people suggested potty training, but my kids could barely talk properly, and I was just not quite ready to go for it with 12-18-month-old twins as a new, inexperienced mom. All I could see was an even bigger mess if I tried!
So, we experimented with so many different things based on tips and suggestions from friends and online. We ended up going through 10 different methods (all found in my post on how to prevent your baby from taking their diaper off) to finally settle on duct tape, split down the middle, wrapped all around the outside of the top of the diaper, over the Velcro straps. And even then it would sometimes fail. Houidinis, I’m telling you!
Luckily, most kids seem to have this be a very short lived phase. My son did this for only a few weeks, and we didn’t have to resort to such drastic measures. He just kind of stopped doing it. But, if you have kids who do it again and again for months, check out my posts for tips and advice. You don’t have to suffer! And be sure to pack some tape in your diaper bag if leaving your kid with a friend during nap time.
Bonus Tip: Choose the Right Size Diaper
I’m updating this post to add this bonus tip that definitely saved me from quite a few blowouts: put your child in the right sized diaper.
Too Small – If the diaper is too small, it will not be able to hold all that extra stuff they produce. And that is never pretty.
Too Big – On the flip side if you use a diaper that is too big, it will be way too loose and leaks will happen.
Check the size of the diaper. Make sure it fits around their legs and waist without leaving red marks and without too many loose gaps.
More Parenting Advice and Help
Parenting is tough. I’m here for ya! I’ve been through so much with my kids and shared it all on this blog. Here are some more parenting articles that I hope help you out.