Blowouts are just part of life with a baby… or are they?? What if you could get through the baby years, all the way to potty independence, without ever encountering this explosive event? In today's episode, I explain how that’s totally possible, even with part-time EC!
You Will Hear:
- What a diaper blowout is and when to expect them
- What causes a diaper blowout
- Common diaper back-ups and their leak-prevention features
- How EC helps to prevent diaper blowouts
- Tips for catching poops and why you should start today
Links and other resources mentioned today:
- Blog post - Baby poops in car seat or high chair
- Go Diaper Free Book
- Green Mountain Diapers Cloth-eez® Wrap
- Thirties® Duo Wrap - Hook and Loop
- TinyUps cloth pull-up covers
- Tiny Undies Store
- YouTube Easy Catches series
- Poop - Podcast #30
- Blog post - Why are we trained to watch our babies poop?
- Mini Potty
- Tiny Potty Training Book
- Top Hat Potty
- Go Diaper Free Store
Download the Transcript
If you can't listen to this episode right now (um, sleeping baby!?)...download and read the transcript here:
EPISODE 227: More About Poop: Blowouts
Hello and welcome to the Go Diaper Free podcast. I'm your host for today's episode, Nicole Cheever, Go Diaper Free Certified Coach and mama of three kiddos who all did EC and potty training at different ages and stages.
Welcome back to the podcast. Thanks so much for joining me today. This is episode 227, More About Poop: Blowouts. You can find the show notes over at godiaperfree.com/227. Leave a comment, ask us any questions you might have and just let us know how we're doing. We love interacting with you over there on the blog, so head on over when you're finished listening to the episode, and let us know what you think and if you have any other suggestions for topics we can cover.
We got a suggestion from social media to talk about blowouts. This particular listener didn't really like the idea that this was supposed to be just a normal part of baby life that they were going to have to accept, and wanted to know how EC can maybe prevent blowouts. I will talk about that in just a minute, but I first want to explain what we're talking about here. Obviously this episode is about poop. If you're a little sensitive to that, take it into consideration. I'll do my best not to be too graphic. But also if you're visual, I'm going to be holding up a few examples of diaper back-ups, so you can head on over to our YouTube channel, or at the bottom of the blog post you'll find the YouTube version of the recording for today's episode.
What is a blowout? It's exactly what it sounds like. It is when the poop escapes the diaper. I call it a diaper breach. And when is this going to happen? Really, it can happen anytime you have your baby in a diaper back-up. It is most common when they're newborns or infants because not only are they typically exclusively breast-, formula-fed, or both, they are in a lot of positions where their diaper could be compressed. And no matter how good your back-up is, compressed material does not absorb well, and if it's not absorbing, it doesn't have anywhere else to go but out.
Newborns are usually lying down, being held, in a car seat, in a carrier, in a sling, and so these are all occasions where their diaper back-up could be compressed either completely or in part. With breast milk poops, those are kind of the consistency of mustard typically, and formula poops are like runny peanut butter. They are going to escape the diaper if it's compressed. Although sometimes it's just a matter of positioning. My oldest was only a couple weeks old the first time he had a blowout and it was right on my lap because I just put him in a new diaper, sat him on my lap facing away from me, and I was new to the whole diaper fastening procedure. Apparently I didn't do a great job or it just shifted enough that the poop went straight out the leg hole. I don't even think it hit the diaper. So if you've got a fast pooper, or they're pooping a large quantity, that can also cause a blowout.
If your baby is a little bit older and is on solids, you can still have blowouts when you're dealing with illness. If there's diarrhea, some gastrointestinal upset, if they've been storing it up for a while and they've got a really large poop, you can still run into a blowout.
We do have a blog post that I will link here on when babies poop in the car seat or the highchair and how to try to avoid that with an EC baby. This is really common if you've been doing EC with your baby and they're used to sitting on a potty, sitting in a really contoured and secure car seat or highchair can feel similar to the potty. They're relaxed. That's a great opportunity for them to poop. So if you're having issues with your baby pooping every time they're in the car seat or every time they're in the highchair, you can head on over to that post.
In general, how can you try to avoid a blowout with conventional diaper? Can you? In my personal opinion, no. There's no surefire way to totally avoid a blowout. There are a few things to consider when you're looking at diaper back-ups. Obviously, if you're practicing EC, you want to choose the back-up that keeps your baby dry the most and helps them to signal the most strongly. For those of you who own Go Diaper Free, you can go to “How to Diaper with EC.” That's a section in the book that covers all the different types of EC back-ups and what they're good for, and how to use them, and the pros and cons of all of that.
I am going to hold up here a disposable diaper, and they have typically a gathered material at the back and around the leg holes, and these are called gussets. These help with fit, but they also help to contain the mess. They usually have a double gusset. There's an inner one to try to hold the contents and an outer one that's for fit mostly, but also to help contain the contents as a secondary barrier if it gets past the first one.
If you are cloth diapering, you might choose a cover that has double gussets around the leg holes. What I have holding up right now is a Green Mountain Diapers Cloth-eez wrap. I've been using these for ages. This one actually might be from 2018. This is the Cloth-eez wrap, and it has those two gussets at the leg hole for the same reason, to help with fit and to help contain that mess. I like this one too because you can easily turn it into the quick EC diaper that's described in the Go Diaper Free book with a pre-fold just down the middle there using the flap at the back and the front to hold it in, stick it on baby, you're good to go. I believe Thirsties Brand also has a double gusset around the leg hole, and even if you're using a pocket diaper or an all-in-one diaper, they all usually have an elastic seam up at the back to try to avoid the poop going up the back.
If you are working towards diaper freedom or just in general you like to use the TinyUps, these are great. These are our waterproof covers from Tiny Undies and they have a gathered elastic waistband and leg hole, and that really does help to contain the mess.
Again, at the end of the day, if the diaper or the diaper back-up is compressed, it's going to have a harder time containing that mess. So yes, the answer to the question, can EC help prevent blowouts? It absolutely can because every time you catch a poop in the potty, in the top hat, in the sink, that is one less poop in the diaper. So not only is it one less diaper used or one less diaper to clean, it's one fewer chance to have a blowout.
We have readers and members who only practice EC for the poops, and that is a great way to start. If you are wanting to get started with EC, you don't know how to get started, obviously head on over to our website, grab Go Diaper Free. That's your manual for starting. And part-time EC is still EC. We say it all the time, and it counts for poops too. If you are only practicing EC because you want to catch those poops in the potty rather than in a diaper, go for it. That is a great way to practice. And we call poop an easy catch for a reason. It's one of the four easy catches because most of us either can tell when our baby is starting to poop or is pooping. In fact, many of you found us not because you'd ever heard of EC, but because you had this instinct to not sit there and watch your baby poop in the diaper and then change it. You had an instinct to take the diaper off and hold them over the sink, or a potty, or some kind of receptacle, and let them finish pooping there rather than in their diaper. It's less mess to clean, it's less chance of a blowout, and it's just more hygienic. So some of you're just very intuitive in that way and started doing that, and then later found out it's something we call elimination communication. And now you're here and we love that you're here.
Something fun about starting with a newborn, or a young infant is, if you start catching poops early on, they still really have that strong instinct to avoid soiling themselves, and they will often signal very loudly when they have to poop. And again, that's one of the reasons we call it one of the four easy catches. We started easy with my youngest at 10 days old, and before she was two months old she would tell us with no uncertain terms when she had to poop and that she did not want to do it in her diaper. And if you think about that, it makes a lot of sense that the instinct to not poop on yourself is stronger than pee. Poop has a higher chance of illness if you're around it. It's not going to just evaporate like pee would if we were living in the jungle and not wearing very much clothing. So that instinct is still going to be pretty strong and intact with a young baby. So if you're pregnant or you have a newborn infant and you want to start today, poops could be a really great way to start.
Even if your baby's older, of course, every poop you catch is one less poop in the diaper, and that's fantastic. As one of my friends used to say, "A diaper saved is a diaper earned." But you may have also heard horror stories of older toddlers who refuse to poop anywhere but the diaper. And when that's all they've known their whole life, is that warm poop right up against their skin, it can be scary to not have that feeling. It can be scary to poop into this big cavernous void of the big potty. So maybe you're thinking about potty training. You've got a baby who's 16 or 17 months or older and you're worried about starting because you've heard of these horror stories. Well, the sooner you start with catching poop in a potty or in anything, a Mini Potty, seat reducer, whatever you've got. The sooner you start catching that poop outside of the diaper, the less of a chance you have of running up against that issue.
Of course, if you're already having that issue, grab our Tiny Potty Training Book, check out our troubleshooting section. Long story short, don't give them the diaper to poop in. I'll link a couple episodes for help with that as well. But if you are hearing those horror stories and you're really nervous about starting potty training because of that, then poop is a great place to start because the sooner you start catching those poops, the less chance you have of having that resistance and having that issue where your baby, your toddler only wants to poop if you give them the diaper.
That's pretty much it, folks. At the end of the day, the more you catch in a potty, in a Mini Potty or Top Hat and not in the diaper, the more comfortable your baby's going to be. The less chance you have of a mess, the less you have to clean up from either your diapers or wiping your baby, and it's just all around really convenient and clean and sanitary. A lot of people are worried about starting EC because they think it just takes a lot more time. But if you're going to be changing that diaper anyway, you might as well just be wiping like you would yourself and flushing it down the potty instead of trying to clean all that poop off your baby's bottom, or maybe out of their clothes, or even their hair. We've heard stories of diaper blowouts going all the way up the back. If that's something you think you want to avoid, definitely try EC today.
For whatever reason, this is a great way to convince dads too. I don't know what it is, but almost anytime a dad hears that they can avoid blowouts, they are on board with EC. So if you've got a partner or a dad in your life who's on the fence about EC, you can send them this episode and say, "Hey, Nicole from Go Diaper Free says you might not ever have to change a poopy diaper and you might not ever have a blowout if you try EC." And you can probably get them on board. So send them on over to us. We'll help convince them for you. Either way, head on over to the blog, let us know: have you ever dealt with blowouts and did you find a way to prevent them? How did your EC practice help? If your EC practice helped, we want to know. Go on over to godiaperfree.com/227. Share with us in the comments. I'm Nicole Cheever with Go Diaper Free, and we'll see you next time.
Thanks so much for listening. This is the Go Diaper Free podcast at godiaperfree.com. We'll see you next time.
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