Development Physical & Emotional

Diaper Blowouts: Common Causes & Prevention Methods

Sometimes you know one is on the horizon and you’ve got your fingers crossed hoping for the best but expecting the worst.

Other times you’re caught completely by surprise and wonder just how your sweet little angel can produce so much poop in one go.

Either way, it goes without saying that diaper blowouts are never fun, especially if you are not able to adequately clean any clothes caught in the crossfire.

So in this article, we take a look at everything parents need to know about diaper blowouts, including what causes diaper blowouts, whether they are normal, and how to prevent diaper blowouts from occurring in the first place.

What Is A Diaper Blowout?

A diaper blowout is a term used to describe when a baby’s diaper fails to contain their poop, resulting in leakages of feces from the diaper.

As you can imagine, this results in things getting messy, with poo spreading beyond the confines of the diaper and onto a baby’s clothing, bedding, or other surroundings like blankets.

Diaper blowouts are typically much more common during the early stages of a baby’s life, particularly during the challenging newborn phase.

How Many Diaper Blowouts Are Normal?

It depends.

The frequency of diaper blowouts can vary significantly from one baby to another and may also depend on factors such as the baby’s age, diet, and the type of diapers being used.

As with many baby-related questions, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer (excuse the pun).

What Causes Diaper Blowouts?

Here are 4 things that can contribute to how often your baby might experience blowouts.


Newborns and very young infants may have more frequent blowouts, as their digestive systems are still developing, and they tend to have more liquid and unpredictable bowel movements.

As they get older and start consuming more solid foods, blowouts may become less common.


The type of food a baby is consuming can influence the likelihood of blowouts.

For instance, a baby on a primarily liquid diet, such as breast milk or formula, might have more frequent blowouts compared to a baby eating solid foods.

Diaper Fit

Ensuring that the diaper is the correct size and is fastened properly is crucial in preventing blowouts, and that applies to both pee and poop.

Quite simply, an ill-fitting diaper is more likely to leak or result in a blowout.

Diaper Brand & Quality

The quality and design of diapers can also affect the occurrence of blowouts.

Some diapers are designed to be more effective at containing messes than others.

Organized Diapers on Woven Basket

So What Is “Normal”?

Firstly, it’s worth stating that diaper blowouts are a normal part of being a baby, especially in the early few weeks and months.

Blowouts however should not be a regular occurrence.

If you find that your baby is experiencing frequent blowouts, you may want to consider factors like the fit of the diaper, the baby’s diet, or the quality of the diapers being used.

If you have concerns about the frequency of blowouts, discussing the issue with your pediatrician or a healthcare professional can be helpful to rule out any underlying problems or make adjustments as needed.

How To Prevent Diaper Blowouts

While it’s not always possible to completely eliminate the risk of diaper blowouts, thankfully there are some simple steps that parents can take to reduce their frequency.

Here are 12 ways to reduce the chances of those dreaded diaper blowouts up the back from happening:

  1. Choose the Right Diaper Size: Ensure that you are using the correct diaper size for your baby’s age and weight. Diapers that are too small may not provide enough coverage, while those that are too big can lead to gaps that allow leaks.
  2. Fasten Diapers Properly: Make sure the diaper is snug but not too tight. Fasten the tabs securely around your baby’s waist, and ensure that there are no gaps around the legs.
  3. Consider Diaper Type: Some diaper brands and types are designed to be more effective at preventing leaks and blowouts. Experiment with different diaper brands to find one that works well for your baby.
  4. Use Diaper Cream: Applying a diaper cream or ointment can create a barrier between your baby’s skin and feces, helping to prevent leaks and protect against diaper rash.
  5. Monitor Feeding: Be mindful of your baby’s feeding schedule. In some cases, blowouts can occur if your baby is fed too close to bedtime or naptime. Adjust the timing of feedings to allow for digestion before sleep.
  6. Change Diapers Frequently: Regular diaper changes can help prevent blowouts. Check the diaper for wetness and signs of a dirty diaper, and change it promptly.
  7. Position the Diaper Correctly: Ensure that the diaper is centered on your baby’s bottom and that the back of the diaper is high enough to cover the lower back.
  8. Use Additional Absorbent Layers: If you’re concerned about leaks, consider using diaper inserts or booster pads. These can add extra absorbency to the diaper.
  9. Watch for Cues: Pay attention to your baby’s cues and body language, such as squirming or fussing. This can be a sign that they need a diaper change.
  10. Practice Good Hygiene: When changing a diaper, make sure to clean your baby thoroughly and ensure that the diaper is snugly fastened.
  11. Check for Skin Irritation: Keep an eye on your baby’s skin for signs of irritation or diaper rash, as these can sometimes lead to blowouts. Address any skin issues promptly.
  12. Be Prepared: Always have a change of clothes, diapers, wipes, and plastic bags on hand when you’re out and about, because you don’t want a lack of options to stop you from changing your baby when necessary.

mother changing diaper for baby

What Are The Best Diapers To Prevent Blowouts?

The effectiveness of diapers in preventing blowouts can vary from one baby to another, as it often depends on the baby’s size, shape, and individual needs.

What works best for one baby may not work for another.

However, there are some diaper brands that are known for their quality and are often recommended for their ability to prevent leaks and blowouts.

Keep in mind that the specific performance of a diaper can change over time as the baby grows and their needs change.

Some diaper brands that other parents often praise for their ability to prevent blowouts and leaks include:

  1. Pampers: Pampers is a well-known brand with a reputation for good leakage protection. They offer a variety of diaper lines, including Pampers Swaddlers and Pampers Cruisers, which are often recommended by parents.
  2. Huggies: Huggies is another popular brand that offers a range of diaper options, including Huggies Little Snugglers and Huggies OverNites, which are designed for overnight use and can be effective at preventing leaks.
  3. Luvs: Luvs diapers are known for their affordability and have features designed to prevent leaks.
  4. Seventh Generation: If you prefer eco-friendly options, Seventh Generation diapers are a choice to consider. They are designed with leak protection in mind and are free of many common chemicals found in traditional diapers.
  5. Honest Company Clean Conscious Diapers: Another eco-friendly option made with plant-based materials and containing a wetness indicator to let you know when it’s time for a change.
  6. Bambo Nature: Another eco-friendly option, Bambo Nature diapers are often praised for their excellent absorption and leak prevention.
  7. Up & Up (Target Brand): Target’s Up & Up diapers are budget-friendly and have received positive reviews for their ability to prevent blowouts.
  8. Kirkland Signature (Costco Brand): If you’re a Costco member, Kirkland Signature diapers are well-regarded for their quality and are often praised for their ability to prevent leaks.

As we mentioned, individual experiences can vary, so it may take some trial and error (and store returns) to find the diaper brand and type that works best for your baby.

What’s most important is selecting a diaper that fits well, is appropriate for your baby’s age and size, and suits their specific needs and sensitivities.

Also, be sure to follow the tips for preventing blowouts mentioned earlier, as diaper choice is just one factor in reducing the likelihood of blowouts.

Tori is mama to 3 year old Isabella and co-founder of Rockinbaby. She has a BSc in Psychology, is a certified yoga teacher and is a working mom. In her free time Tori loves cooking delicious foods and baked treats, entertaining and working out. Learn more about Tori here.

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