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How To Prevent Diaper Blowouts

A diaper blowout is a parent’s worst nightmare but they happen to the best of us.

Your baby has pooped and for whatever reason, it has now escaped their diaper and has leaked up their back, down their legs, and even up the front – who knew a baby could poo so much!

It is everywhere and I mean literally everywhere! So let’s take a look at why diaper blowouts occur. How to avoid them and how to deal with them when they do happen.

What Is A Diaper Blowout?

Every single parent will have the unfortunate experience of having to deal with at least one diaper blowout in their parenting journey.

And if you have dealt with one, you will have no doubt in your mind what it was. But for anyone who has yet to experience this kind of diaper disaster let me explain a bit about it.

A diaper blowout is essentially what happens when your baby has a poo and their diaper fails to do its job!

The usual results are that poo leaks out of the diaper from the legs, up the back, or up the front of your baby – you have just experienced a diaper blowout.

They are not fun and are extremely messy. But they are a normal part of life with a baby.

You will be glad to hear that there are some ways to avoid diaper blowouts and also some great hacks for dealing with one quickly and easily. So let’s show you how to survive that diaper blowout!

Causes Of Diaper Blowouts

One of the most common causes of diaper blowouts is simply a diaper that does not fit correctly. You may have noticed that the weights on diapers cross over by a few pounds.

Mother changing diaper of baby boy

For example, size one diapers are recommended for babies from 8-14 pounds, and size 2 diapers are recommended for babies from 12-18 pounds -see that cross over between 12-14 pounds.

This overlap is your wiggle room to finding the perfect fitting diaper for your baby. So if your baby weighs 12 pounds and is experiencing diaper blowouts then it would probably be a good idea to move them up to the next size.

Another common cause of diaper blowouts is when a diaper has been put on incorrectly. The tabs of the diaper need to be fastened so they fit snugly around your baby’s waist. 

If the diaper is not fastened securely then blowouts are going to occur. The recommended fitting is that you can fit one finger in between the diaper and your baby’s waist and also the same between the baby’s legs and the cuff of the diaper.

Leg cuffs on a diaper can also be a cause of blowouts. So if your baby is leaking from the leg cuffs, you need to check that these are correctly positioned after every diaper change.

The cuffs on a diaper need to be outside of the diaper and snuggly around your baby’s legs. These cuffs are specifically designed to prevent leaks but in order to do this, they need to be correctly positioned. 

If you find that they are all correctly fitted but that you are still experiencing leaking and blowouts, it may be worth thinking about trying a new brand of diapers altogether.

Diapers are certainly not all created equally and the diaper that is perfect for one baby may be a disaster for another. Be prepared that you may have to try several different brands before you find the right one for your baby.

When Should Diapers Be Upsized?

There are a few things to look out for when considering if you need to upsize your baby’s diaper.

A properly fitting diaper should sit just below your baby’s belly button. If it is fitting a little more like a low-rise pair of jeans, then it is time to move up a size.

Mother changing diaper of baby boy1

A diaper should close easily without needing to be tugged and pulled. If you are needing to fight with the diaper to do it up then again it may be time to go up a size.

You will find that many of the diaper brands now come with a guide on the waistband that shows you visually when a diaper is too big or too small.

If your baby has red marks on their legs from their diaper cuffs then this is also a classic sign that it is time to size up. The elastic in those cuffs should have some stretch in it but if the diaper is too small then this is when it will leave red marks.

Do Cloth Diapers Prevent Blowouts?

Even with cloth diapers, the prevention of blowouts is going to come down to a well-fitting diaper. 

If the elastic in your cloth diaper is not snug around those little legs and waist then it is inevitable that there is going to be some leakage.

Unfortunately, many cloth diaper manufacturers use elastic that will wear out long before your baby is out of diapers.

This means that the diaper will no longer have a snug fit and will need to be replaced. You can now get cloth diapers that come with elastic and have a lifetime guarantee. 

What Diapers Are Best For Blowouts?

As I’ve said there are no ‘one diaper fits all’ and what works for one baby will not necessarily work for another. You may need to try a few different brands before you find that perfect fit and be prepared that you may have to change brands as your baby grows.

There are a few brands that have taken into consideration blowouts and put in some great little features to help prevent them.


Huggies diapers come with a pocketed waistband that is designed to prevent any blowouts from escaping from the diaper. 

Huggies Little Snugglers Baby Diapers Size 1, 198 Ct



The core of these diapers are made from plant-based ingredients. They also come with premium fit and absorbency, along with soft stretch sides and leak control.

Babyganics Ultra Absorbent Baby Diapers (Size 2 (30 Count))

Abena Bambo Nature

This eco-friendly diaper comes with an ultra-absorbent core that is perfect for both day and night use.

Bambo Nature Eco Friendly Baby Diapers Classic for Sensitive Skin, Size 4 (15-40 Lbs), 180 Count (6 Packs of 30)


Baby Diaper Blowout Hacks

So you have figured out why diaper blowouts happen and how to avoid them. But, if they do happen here is how to deal with them quickly and as mess-free as possible.

Diaper blowouts need to be dealt with very very carefully and there are a few different aspects of the clean up. Here is some good advice for each area:

Cleaning Your Baby 

The very first thing that you are going to need is wipes and a LOT of them! There are some great wipes on the market that both do the job and are kind to your baby’s delicate skin.

Seventh Generation Baby Wipes, 768 count, Made for Sensitive Skin with Flip Top Dispenser

Disposing Of The Diaper

You are going to need a bag or two to contain all those used wipes and dirty diaper. 

Did you know that you can get a much better deal if you purchase your bags from the pet aisle instead of the baby one. And they do just as good a job!

Amazon Basics Scented Dog Poop Bags with Dispenser and Leash Clip, 9 x 13 Inches, Lavender Scented - 270 Count (18 Rolls)

Remember to always keep some in your diaper bag in case a blowout happens when you are away from home – it does happen!

Changing Your Baby’s Clothes

This is where it can all get very messy, very quickly. So here are a few tips:

If you are lucky enough to have dressed your baby in a onesie that crosses over at the shoulders (envelope onesie) you can simply pull the onesie down over the baby’s body rather than having to take it off over their head and risk getting poop in their hair.

Simple Joys by Carter's Baby Girls' 6-Pack Short-Sleeve Bodysuit, Black/White, Preemie

Make sure that you have spare clothes in your diaper bag and possibly a spare shirt for yourself – diaper blowouts can get very very messy!

If you are at home when your baby has a blowout you may want to give them a quick rinse off with the shower attachment, this will ensure that you have got everything off your baby’s skin.

Blowout Stains On Clothes

Once you have sorted your baby out and they are all clean and comfortable again you are going to need to think about the soiled clothes.

If you are at home they are going to need to be rinsed with warm water and sprayed with a stain remover, then wash as normal.

Babyganics Stain & Odor Remover Spray, Fragrance Free, 32oz Spray Bottle (Pack of 3)

If you are away from home when the blowout occurs, the best thing to do is to place all the dirty clothing into a diaper bag and deal with it when you get home. 

Some stains will require repeat treatment to ensure that it has all been removed.

The Final Thought

Diaper blowouts are a completely normal part of parenting I’m afraid. The good news is that you are now armed with a bit more information for when the inevitable happens. Along with how to prevent them and clear up the mess from one. 

The best advice is to regularly check that your baby’s diaper fits correctly. That you are changing them regularly and that the leg cuffs in the correct position.