It’s one of the things most new parents fear…. and it’s also inevitable. The Blowout: poop forcefully exploding it’s way out of your precious baby’s bottom, past the point any diaper can contain, and onto baby’s back, clothes, and everything else it comes in contact with. So…what do you do? How do you begin to manage such a mess? Read on!
Step 1: The Discovery
Usually blowouts are discovered in one of three ways.
- By listening – there is no mistaking the sound.
- By seeing – telltale yellow on baby’s clothes.
- And/or by feeling – suddenly you notice warmth (or cold if you move baby away).
Telltale yellow on back of baby
Step 2: Assessment
How bad is the situation? Take a deep breath and calmly observe where the boundaries of poop are. Then come up with a game plan and call in back up if available. Have the diaper pail close by as well as wipes (many wipes!), a fresh diaper, a towel or other clean place to put baby post clean up, and a new change of clothes. Once materials are at hand, proceed.
Step 3: Waste Removal
This is the toughest part – trying to peel away the poopy clothes without spreading the mess. Remove socks and pants if on. Then, carefully guide baby’s hands out of the shirt (attempting to keep them towards the center of baby’s body will help). Once hands/arms are free, gather the shirt material and, with two hands, flip the front of the shirt over baby’s head. You may end up getting poop into baby’s hair…it’s okay. You’ll deal with it in Step 4. Lift baby’s body into a sitting position and remove the shirt from the area.
Guide hands/arms out of shirt
Flip shirt over baby’s head
Lift baby into sitting position
While keeping the baby in a sitting position, wipe off as much poop as possible from baby’s back and gather the wipes into a pile to throw into the diaper pail.
If needed, put a clean wipe or cloth over the pile of wipes/clothes to keep mess contained once finished cleaning off baby.
After the baby’s back/body has been wiped down, then you can move onto actually taking the diaper off and cleaning as usual (well…you’ll probably need more wipes than usual, but the procedure is the same).
Note: Sometimes drastic measures need to be taken. I have seen/experienced cutting clothing/diapers off of children to keep poop out of baby’s hair and/or to reduce spreading poop. Sometimes it’s just not worth trying to save something like a white onesie…Do what you have to do!
Step 4: Additional Action
Usually after a blowout, two things need to happen. Laundry and a bath. Gather poopy clothing/items, wash off as much poop as possible in the sink and pretreat with a stain remover; put into the laundry (on as warm a setting as fabric allows) as soon as possible to minimize staining. Collect your bathing items and put baby into bath for a thorough cleaning…you may feel like you need a bath too.
Step 5: Completion
Congratulations! You’ve successfully dealt with a blowout diaper. You’re probably realizing that this will happen again (it will…), but now you’re experienced and know how to handle the situation. So, go wash your hands and celebrate!
Clean and happy baby!
Tips on minimizing your risk of a blowout diaper:
- Change diaper frequently
- Pull diaper tabs tightly to reduce gaps where poop can escape
- Try various diaper brands (especially if using cloth) to get the best fit for your baby