Dealing with Diaper Blowouts

It’s like a scene out of a baby horror movie. You’re at the mall, innocently strolling along with your baby when suddenly…uh-oh…what’s that smell? You haul butt to the bathroom and see a suspicious brown patch on your baby’s bottom. You open up the diaper and yikes! It is the mother of all doodies! And it is EVERYWHERE!!!

Yes, every mom and dad has at least one story—if not twenty—about the day their baby’s diaper exploded. Inconvenient? Yes. Gross? Totally. But it’s also a new-parent badge of honor (although, unlike Boy Scouts, you don’t get a patch for it). Here’s how seasoned parent pros have handled it when the poop hit the fan.

Buy Flattering Clothing
“I steered clear of white and light-colored [bodysuit]. Baby poo shows through so easily, and never really comes out. I also always kept a cloth diaper handy at home and when I went out—in case of emergency, I could go to the faucet, wet the cloth diaper and give the explosion source a good wipedown!”— Jo White, a mother of four in Boulder, Colorado, who blogs at Mediamum

Remember, Fit is Everything
“Make sure the diaper fits—especially around the legs—to handle those pooptastic blowouts. If your darling has frequent leaks or blowout, go up a size or try another brand. With cloth diapers, one-size-fits-all are popular, but they can be bulky on tiny babies and on the smaller settings, so look for the pre-fitted kind diapers that come in small, medium, and large.”—Julia Clark, a mother of three in Melbourne, Florida, who blogs for The Cloth Diaper Geek.

Also: Bathtubs Are Your Friend
“If you’re at home, get a bath ready before you change the diaper and then whisk the baby right into it. Oh, and don’t be bummed if the clothes are ruined—the baby would have grown out of them by next month anyway!”—Melissa Schweiger, a mom of two in Brooklyn, New York, who blogs at Baby, Beauty & Baubles.

Don’t Leave Home Without an Extra Outfit
“I think I still have post-traumatic stress disorder from the public blowouts my daughters experienced. One of my youngest daughter’s biggest explosions occurred in the middle of holiday shopping at Old Navy. My diaper bag was empty so I carried my naked baby out to the store floor, picked out a [bodysuit], and didn’t give her anything to eat or drink until we got home. So I guess my advice would be to restrict your outings to malls if you’re as slack at packing diaper bags as I am.”—Mary Burt-Godwin, a mother of two in San Diego who blogs (and vlogs) at The Mama Mary Show.

Clean Up Your Act
“Diaper blowouts will happen, and they will happen often! Acceptance is the first step. I make sure to carry extra changing pads and baby wipes. And as frazzled as you may be, remember to clean thoroughly—any piece of ‘blowout’ left behind could cause irritation.”—Camille Anderson, a mother of one in Manhattan Beach, California, who blogs at The Official Camille Anderson Blog and has a web series on

Know What to Expect: The Poop Years
“Once, I accidentally dropped some of my son’s epic load on the bathroom floor when I went to rinse off his cloth diaper. Not knowing it, I stepped in pooped…and proceeded to leave poop footprints all over the house. My husband laughed, threw a roll of paper towels at me, and escaped to the garage. Nice! I learned that eventually, you’ll get a feel for when to expect the biggest poop of the day or week. So pay attention to your child’s poop schedule and you’ll likely be better prepared for The Big One.”—Emily Guy Birken, a mom of one in, Lafayette, Indiana, who blogs at The SAHMnambulist.

“My worst diaper blowout happened in a restaurant—my diaper wipes were all dried up and there wasn’t a changing table in the restroom. I had to resort to baby’s butt in the sink… yuck! Make sure you check your diaper bag before you leave the house for supplies …and try to stay calm. Poop happens.”—Blythe Lipman, a mother of two in Scottsdale, Arizona, and author of Help! My Baby Came Without Instructions.

Article Posted 6 years Ago

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