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What is a baby blowout?

What's a baby diaper blowout? Sounds gross! Why does it happen? How can I prevent it?

Are you a first time mom or dad noticing that your beautiful new baby is producing contents that are not so beautiful in their overflowing diaper? No need to worry, it is common and normal. “Diaper blowouts” ail the majority of newborns and their parents.

As just about any mother can tell you, diaper blowouts can ruin a day, an outfit or an appetite, despite how common they may be. As a result poopsies thinks we need to band together and solve the mystery of diaper blowouts. After all, we created a product specifically dedicated to deal with these disasters.

What is a “baby diaper blowout”?

There is a stage that babies go through that is commonly known as the “blowout stage”. This stage is due to the undeveloped nature of the baby’s digestive and excretory system. What was previously wholly supported by the placenta is now developing on its own. Jaqueline L. Longe, author of Gale Encyclopedia of Children's Health, states, “The fully formed gastrointestinal tract is 12-15 ft. (4-5 m) long at birth, but all of its components do not function maturely for several months.” This causes the stool of the newborn to be similarly immature. The formation of the baby’s excretion will miss certain steps that sustain the poop to some degree causing it to be loose and unruly. As a result, a diaper will have a hard time containing the liquid-like substance that all moms hate.

Are diaper blowouts more common when you breastfeed or use formula?

Babies that are “EBF” (exclusively breast feed) will be more likely to have loose stool. A study was done in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology that stated formula would give moms a lower rate of blowouts but that it is not an absolute. This specific test was done to see if formula supplemented with certain prebiotics would accomplish the same effects as breast-feeding. One of the findings was that the closer the formula feedings got to EBF the more likely the infant would be to have a loose stool. In other words, when breastfed, the baby will have a higher chance of having a diaper blowout. Please note: this is not an anti-breastfeeding article! The decision is a personal one and you will make the right choice for you and your precious baby. No mom should be subject to judgment for her choice in this matter. Poopsies knows you’re a super-mom!

Does a blowout have anything to do with the shape of the body?

While there has not been a conclusive study to this question, there are a few things to keep in mind in reference to birth weight. Within the first two years of the baby’s life, loose stools were seen in those that were at a larger weight, “low birth weight babies had a lower incidence of non-infective loose stool” (Anathakrishnan, S., BV Bhat, RK Puri, and S. Srinivasan. "Loose Stools in the Early Neonatal Period”). Not to say that it is directly correlated, rather that it could be a factor contributing to baby blowouts.

Are blowouts a signal that there is something wrong with my baby?

If that were the case, then the vast majority of moms are in trouble. The good news is, no; diaper blowouts are SO normal. Interestingly, you can use your baby’s bowel movements to track their nutritional intake. Yellowish stool after seven days is a good sign of a healthy baby. Moreover, if your baby has four or more bowel movements a day by two weeks of age your baby is staying hydrated and getting nutrition at a normal rate. In other words, blowouts are more than normal; they can actually signal that the baby is healthy and growing at the correct pace.

Is there anything you can do to prevent diaper blowouts from happening all together?

We wish!

 Will cloth diapers prevent blowouts?

Many moms will make the choice to use cloth diapers as it reduces waste and is a natural approach to pre-potty training. This choice is a personal one. The nature of cloth is that it is absorbent. While disposable diapers can mimic this material it might not be able to match the same flex and absorbent feel of cloth. However, the diapers that can be thrown out save time for moms on the go. Keep in mind; one type of diaper is not better than the other.

References:

  • Anathakrishnan, S., BV Bhat, RK Puri, and S. Srinivasan. "Loose Stools in the Early Neonatal Period." N.p., n.d. Web.
  • "Diarrhea." BabyCenter. BabyCenter Medical Advisory Board, n.d. Web. 03 Oct. 2013.
  • Longe, Jacqueline L. Gale Encyclopedia of Children's Health: Infancy through Adolescence. 2nd ed. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale, 2011. Print.
  • Ziegler, E., JA Vanderhoof, B. Pestchow, SH Mitmesser, and SL Stolz. "Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition." (2007): 359-64. University of Washington. Web.