Why do babies have ‘Blowouts’?
Babies can have ‘blowouts’, or diaper blowouts, when their diapers are filled with more waste than the diaper can hold. This can occur when there is a sudden increase in the amount of bowel contents produced, either from a bout of diarrhea, following a sudden expansion of gas or simply from an increase in the baby’s diet.
Common Causes of Blowouts
- Diarrhea or Soft Stools: Diarrhea is the most common cause of a diaper blowout. When a baby has diarrhea, their stool is usually quite loose, resulting in a greater volume entering the diaper as well as faster seepage out of the diaper.
- Gas Expansion: Just as in adults, babies may swallow air or create gas which can cause the abdomen to distend and fill the diaper with more material than usual, leading to a blowout.
- Increase in Dietary Intake: Babies who are growing may start to slurp more food, particularly if they are being weaned onto solid foods, meaning their digestive system will produce more waste to expel.
What To Do During a Blowout
If your baby has a diaper blowout, it is important to act fast and contain the mess:
- Gently remove any waste from the affected area.
- Take off the soiled clothing and diaper, and clean the area with a warm, wet cloth.
- Put on a fresh diaper and clothing if necessary, then check the temperature of the area before covering with the diaper.
- If there is redness, or other signs of irritation, contact your baby’s doctor.
With the right precautions, diaper blowouts can be avoided, but they will still happen occasionally. Remember to take action quickly and your baby will be comfortable soon!
5. Are there any signs parents can look out for to determine if a baby is going to have a blowout?
Unfortunately, there are no sure-fire signs that a baby is going to have a blowout. However, there are some signs parents may look out for that may be an indication of a forthcoming blowout. These signs can include an excessive amount of fussiness, pulling at the diaper, squirming, and redness around the diaper area. If a baby is exhibiting these signs, it may be a good idea to check their diaper and give it a quick change if it is soiled.
2. How can parents prevent baby blowouts?
Parents can prevent baby blowouts by using high-quality, snug-fitting diapers that are properly sized for their baby. They can also check their baby’s diaper every two to three hours for signs of fullness and change it as soon as possible. They should make sure that the diaper is properly secured and not too tight or too loose. Additionally, keeping their baby’s skin clean and dry is important for reducing the risk of diaper rashes.
4. Are there any health risks associated with baby blowouts?
Yes, there are potential health risks associated with baby blowouts. Blowouts can cause a range of skin irritation, including diaper rash, skin tears, and infections. In rare cases, diapers soaked in urine and feces can pose risks of cross-contamination if the person changing the diaper does not wash their hands properly. Additionally, the plastic materials used for disposables can contain harmful chemicals, such as dioxin, that can be absorbed into a baby’s skin.