We would be lost without diapers, but they can be as frustrating as they are useful. Many of us have experienced diaper blowouts — they’re messy, smelly, and uncomfortable, to say the least!
If you don't know what to do when your baby has an explosive accident, you're not alone. Most parents struggle with preventing those chaotic diaper leaks.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to prevent diaper blowouts and make cleaning up after your baby a little easier. Here are some of our favorite tips on how to prevent diaper blowouts.
What Causes Diaper Blowouts?
Let's start with the facts: What causes diaper blowouts?
Generally speaking, newborns’ poop tends to be more watery and prone to leaking out of their diapers. Parents can blame their frequent feeds and watery stools for being more likely to experience diaper blowouts.
Any number of factors can cause blowouts. Sometimes the diaper doesn’t quite fit correctly, or the child is outgrowing their current diaper size but isn’t quite ready forpotty training yet. Sometimes, though, there’s just a lot of extra material in a particular bowel movement, and it’s just more than that diaper can contain.
Sometimes blowouts occur when you don’t use enough absorbent material in your diapers. Other times they just happen because your baby is more fussy than usual, and doesn’t want to sit still long enough for you to change their diaper properly!
How Do Cloth Diapers Help Prevent Diaper Blowouts?
Reusable cloth diapers offer a host of benefits over disposable diapers. Since the cloth diaper has a higher quality elastic around the legs and waist, there's not as much chance for messes to leak out, as compared with the weaker elastic on disposable diapers.
The elastic in the back of disposable diapers doesn’t fit as nicely as in cloth diapers. In most disposables, the primary consideration for the elastic around the diaper is cost, since they’re not reused. Essentially, the back elastic on most disposables just isn’t very tight.
Reusable cloth diapers also have a better fit than disposables. Most come with a number of snaps or hook-and-loop fasteners to adjust snugly to any size baby.
However, even if you're going to use a disposable diaper, you can also add a cloth diaper cover over it. This will prevent leaks and blowouts from getting on your baby's clothing, since newborn diaper covers are waterproof, adjustable, and made with much higher quality elastic.
Another benefit of using reusable cloth diapers is that they're more eco-friendly than disposables. With so many plastic materials being used in disposable diapers, you'll reduce your carbon footprint by switching to cloth diapers and covers instead! And you can save money while you’re at it.
Tips for Preventing Diaper Blowouts:
Diaper blowouts are a major problem for parents who are trying to avoid leaks. They can be frustrating to deal with and impact your time, money, and sanity. To prevent diaper blowouts, try some of the following tips:
1. 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.
Newborns not only come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but also with varying rates of growth.
Your baby might be tall or short, big or small. To find the best fit for your baby (and keep them comfortable), always check to ensure they aren't left with too much room, or barely fit in the diaper.
Disposable diaper sizes are numberedaccording to weight and not age. The best way to make sure you're choosing the right diapers for your baby is to match the weight on the package with your baby's current weight.
As a rule of thumb, size 1 diapers are for newborn babies (8-14 lbs). Size 2 disposable diapers are for babies that have gained weight, and size, usually around 12-18 lbs. Size 3 diapers are for bigger babies, from 16-28 lbs.
Cloth diapers, on the other hand, tend to come in 2 sizes, newborn cloth diapers and regular (often called one size). Because they’re so adjustable, these one-size diapers will fit most little ones from birth to potty with a cloth training pants.
2. Find The Right Brand Of Diaper
Discovering the right diaper brand for your baby can be a daunting task. The options are endless, and they come in every size, shape, and style you can imagine. From snuggly organic cotton diapers to polyester pampers and everything in between, there’s a diaper out there for every budget and lifestyle.
There is no shortcut to finding out which brand will suit your baby better. You'll need to try out a few different brands and styles to find the best fit for your baby.
3. Change The Diaper More Frequently
One reason that a blowout may happen is that the diaper is overfilled. Blowouts can occur when babies go longer than usual between changes, so more frequent diaper changes may help.
Babies go through about6-8 diapers daily, so changing them every 2-3 hours will help keep things under control.
4. Make Sure The Diaper Fits Snugly Around The Legs and Waist
There are three main leak sources: waistband being too low, leg cuffs being tucked inwards, and diaper not being properly wrapped. To avoid leaks, ensure your baby wears diapers with high, snug waistbands, and leg cuffs pulled out.
Furthermore, diapers should not be too tight on the legs and waist. A good fit means that all parts of the diaper should be able to move freely without being pinched or creating extra pressure on any part of the baby’s bottom.
5. Avoid Tight Clothing
To prevent diaper blowouts, avoid tight clothing when changing your baby. Clothes that are too tight can create pressure points that can cause leaks in your baby's diaper. Tight pants and leggings are especially prone to this problem, since they're so tight around the legs and waist area.
6. Use Reusable Cloth Diapers
There are three main reasons why we recommend using cloth diapers over disposables. First, they have an elastic waistband for greater blowout prevention. Most blowouts happen at the back or side of disposables because of loose elastic. Cloth diapers tend to be better for diaper blowouts because of their stronger elastic and better fit.
Second, they're better for the environment. Disposable diapers end up in landfills, where they take up space and resources for thousands of years.
Third, cloth diapers are much more economical than disposables. Cloth diapers cost less money in the long run. Cloth diapers also last longer than disposables because they're made from natural materials that don't break down as quickly under normal wear conditions.
Tip: If you’re new to reusable cloth diapers, I recommend starting withcloth diapers for beginners. This will help you familiarize yourself with these eco-friendly wonders.
7. Make Sure Your Baby is Wearing a Clean Diaper Before Bedtime, Naptime, and Car Rides
Make sure your baby is wearing a clean diaper before bedtime, naptime, and car rides. Diaper blowouts can happen any time there's not enough room in the diaper to absorb urine or poop.
Diapers should be changed before going to sleep and at least every 2-3 hours during the day. Babies can't control their poop and may not wake up soon enough between changes.
8. Use a Diaper Cover
If reusable cloth diapers still scare you, you can always try to put acloth diaper cover over a disposable diaper. This way, any messes will be confined to the cloth diaper cover, rather than leaking onto your baby's clothes!
Cloth diaper covers are also great for traveling because they're less bulky. These washable baby accessories come in cute colors and patterns that can be used again and again.
9. Try Out Wet Bags
Don’t want to deal with the risk of a diaper mess while you’re traveling or running errands? Use awet bag instead.
A wet bag is a reusable waterproof pouch that hangs on the stroller, in which you can store messy items during a long day out. If you bring your baby with you on lengthy errands or while traveling, it’s a good idea to have a wet bag along to store dirty clothes or dirty diapers until you get home.
10. Pay Attention For Cues That Your Baby Might Need a Change
To prevent a diaper blowout, pay attention to cues that your baby might need to be changed. One of the best ways to tell is by listening for the telltale noises that indicate your baby is about to go. Your baby may also be fussy, or make an unusual noise, like a groan or a squeak.
11. Watch What Your Baby Eats
To prevent diaper blowouts, avoid foods that could cause digestive issues with your babies, such as dairy products, spicy foods, and fried foods.
Some foods can upset your baby's tummy. With your child’s growth, they might have difficulty digesting several food items. Make sure your baby's diet is right for their digestion by avoiding common food triggers.
This tip might be hard to follow. But if you want to avoid blowouts during the day and night, this is something that you need to consider, even if it means sacrificing a little bit of convenience or comfort.
The Takeaway: Preventing Diaper Blowouts
Diaper blowouts can occur for a number of reasons, so you have to be prepared. We hope you found our tips helpful for preventing diaper blowouts, whether it’s what they wear, what they eat, or the noises they make. If you have any other questions, our team at Nicki’s Diapers is happy to help.