Baby blowout advice
January 12, 2015 12:08 PM   Subscribe

Our 7.5 month old daughter has pretty regular diaper blow outs. She's healthy and neither we nor her pediatrician are concerned about her health--but I'm wondering whether she's got the best fit in her diapers. Any recommendations? She's in daycare do no cloth diapers. Details inside.

Daughter is and always has been long and lean. She is consistently in the 99th percentile in length but about 50th percentile for weight. She is on her curves and again no one is worried.

She was exclusively on breast milk for a while, but mom got sick for a bit and went exclusively formulas and now is about 50-50. She is working through the end of acid reflux and started solids early; she eats a lot of solids now, generally with gusto.

Poops are all over the map, and Dr has advised giving her more consistent solids to help make her poops more predictable.

Back to the gist of the question: she wears pampers swaddlers size 3, but I don't know whether that's the best choice for her.

Did you have a slender baby with adventurous and unruly poop? Can you recommend another diaper line that might be more likely to stop blowouts for skinny poop monsters? No cloth diapers--not allowed at daycare.
posted by Admiral Haddock to Health & Fitness (26 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
How much does she weigh? How long has she been in the size 3s? First thing I'd trying is sizing up to the size 4s. Buy a small pack at the store, see how it goes. Blowouts always increased around when it was time to size up.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:12 PM on January 12, 2015 [6 favorites]

Both of my daughters are tall/long and skinny! We used Pampers Swaddlers for my first and when she'd had more than three blowouts in a week, it was usually an indication that she needed to go up a size. With my second, we started in Pampers and then switched both kids to Luvs, which smell kind of gross out of the package (prepare for the closet you store them in to stink like fake baby powder) but have worked really well. There was a period where both my kids (who are 18 months apart) were in the same size diaper because of the variations of their bodies - so don't take the size guide on the package as the whole story.
posted by SeedStitch at 12:15 PM on January 12, 2015 [2 favorites]

Definitely try the next size up. As for brands, we always had good luck with Pampers Swaddlers , but maybe they just fit the shape of our kids. If the next size up doesn't seem to work, start trying out different brands. Huggies should be the next brand you try (I wouldn't go straight to Luvs since they are made by the same company as Pampers.) The store-brand Target diapers are also pretty good and may be worth a try.
posted by Area Man at 12:22 PM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

She's about 18 pounds, which puts her on the lower end of the 3s (which start at 16). I've heard about sizing up, but 4s seem to start at 22, which made me nervous about even more blow outs! But we may have to give it a try, considering how prolific she is...
posted by Admiral Haddock at 12:24 PM on January 12, 2015

My son is not long OR thin, but I had the same issue with the pampers swaddlers as he got older. I switches to LUVS brand and one size up, and the problem essentially stopped. I know every kid is different, but this brand definitely worked for me and the majority of my friends with children use that brand as well.
posted by Sara_NOT_Sarah at 12:28 PM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

Every time we started to get blowouts, going up a size almost always fixed it. Diaper sizing is not quite as bad as clothes sizing, but it's almost as bad. I think of it as "reverse vanity sizing," since it always seems like our kid weighs significantly less than what the diaper says he should weigh for that size. Particularly if your daughter is lean (as my son is), I wouldn't give much weight (heh heh) to the what it says on the package for number of pounds.
posted by Betelgeuse at 12:41 PM on January 12, 2015 [2 favorites]

My son is also in the 99th percentile in height, and 50th in weight, so - very similar proportions. We use "Seventh Generation", and he was in size 3 until 11.5 or 12 months when we switched to size 4, despite the fact that they look huge and baggy on him - he was peeing so much the size 3s were leaking. Believe it or not, even though they look huge, they do not leak. (He was 17.5 pounds at 6 months, 19.5 pounds at 9 months, and is now 20.75 pounds at 12 months.)

I don't know that the Seventh Generation ones are going to be a magic bullet for you, but I *CAN* tell you that some diapers that we've tried (when a different one gets put on at daycare for some reason, or we take one from a friend, or buy a different back for whatever reason) result in a drastic increase in blowouts. The ones we have work well and we almost never get leaks of any kind, but it does seem strongly brand dependent. I guess if I were you, I'd just buy the smallest amount possible of a variety of brands and see which ones work best.

Good luck! I know it can be a challenge dressing a child of these proportions - pants that stay up on my son are much too short, and ones that fit his legs fall down comically all day long!
posted by Cygnet at 12:46 PM on January 12, 2015

I nth sizing up. 18 lbs may be her tipping point, especially if she is long legged. We had our best luck (with our long-legged, breastfed, long and lean daughter) in Target/Costco generics. Huggies were awful and Pampers gave her a rash.
posted by michellew at 12:57 PM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

Yeah, ignore what the manufacturer's size guide says. If your kid is having blowouts then absolutely go up one size, no matter what. Buy a small package only while you're figuring this out. If that doesn't work, switch to Huggies. I found that by switching between Pampers and Huggies as Kid BlahLaLa grew we could always ensure a proper fit.
posted by BlahLaLa at 12:59 PM on January 12, 2015 [3 favorites]

We sized up before we would have expected to based on weight. That made blowouts much less frequent. Our little girl is also lean.
posted by Anne Neville at 1:07 PM on January 12, 2015

I had the long-and-lean issue of infant too, and second the "Seventh Generation" recommendation, along with sizing up, even if it looks big/the package size suggestions disagree.
posted by kmennie at 1:12 PM on January 12, 2015

I agree with the sizing advice, but just wanted to put in a plug for my favorite diapers - the price is comparable to Seventh Generation but I think the diapers are superior: Earth's Best. Our experience is that they are fantastic for absorbency. Can't remember the last blowout, although my daughter is almost 2 so the poop isn't the same....
posted by treehorn+bunny at 1:21 PM on January 12, 2015

Oddly, we just tried Costco generics while waiting for my subscription of the EB to arrive, and they leaked out the legs like crazy (and daughter is not that lean). If you want to try some without buying a giant case, I can mail you some samples!
posted by treehorn+bunny at 1:23 PM on January 12, 2015

Oddly, we just tried Costco generics while waiting for my subscription of the EB to arrive, and they leaked out the legs like crazy (and daughter is not that lean). If you want to try some without buying a giant case, I can mail you some samples!

This would be why we never tried Costco generic diapers. Never, ever purchase anything for a baby or toddler in large quantities until you've tried it out and found it works for you and the baby or toddler. Buy a SMALL package of a new kind or size of diapers to try out first.

When you move on to the toddler phase, this will apply in spades to food for your toddler. It's not always even safe to buy a food you know she likes in large quantities (unless someone else in the house likes it)- toddlers can change their minds about foods with seemingly no provocation. And they won't eat the food they once liked because you want to use it up.
posted by Anne Neville at 1:53 PM on January 12, 2015

Similar size baby here... 9 months old, 19 lbs, 95% height and 50th weight so long and slender
We use pampers swaddlers size 3 also, and she has major poops about twice a day. Mostly breasfed with some solids. You could try going up a size, but I thought the size 3 in Pampers went to 28 lbs? I had terrible blow outs with Huggies and Costco generic. We did move up a size around that time when we went back to Pampers so maybe that did the trick. I do try to put the diapers on snug and lined up well, not always easy with a rolly squirmer, but it does seem to help.
posted by Rapunzel1111 at 2:00 PM on January 12, 2015

Nthing size up. Also, some kids have Pampers bottoms and some have Huggies bottoms, it's more a shape thing, so if that doesn't work, try that. If you have friends with kids around the same size/a bit bigger ask for a couple to try so you're not out a pack!
posted by warriorqueen at 2:16 PM on January 12, 2015

Our long-and-lean baby wore Target's "Up & Up" brand most of the time.

And definitely size up! We had to do that LONG before the packages suggested we would.
posted by belladonna at 3:18 PM on January 12, 2015

Definitely size up. Also, don't know if you've tried this trick yet - but fold *in* the back flap on the top on of her diaper. It kind of creates an envelope to catch potential poo-splosions heading north. It saved many onesies and the sudden need to disrobe a squirming baby via a neck opening on entire outfits more than once.

Good luck!
posted by dancinglamb at 3:19 PM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

You could try Pampers Cruisers. We did Huggies but they also have a "this baby doesn't just lie there anymore" option and the extra gussets and stretchiness were nice. Definitely try a size up, too. We always moved up before the box said to.
posted by that's how you get ants at 4:11 PM on January 12, 2015

I totally came in here to suggest Pampers Swaddlers. :(

Our super tall super skinny kiddo had blowouts like crazy in Huggies until we switched to Pampers.

SO, I'm sad to say this specific advice is not useful to you, but absolutely experiment with different brands and sizes until you find what works. And yeah, well into the bigger sizes on kid 2 now, I can say I pay absolutely no attention to the weight indications on the diaper boxes. I size up whenever the fit starts to feel awkward and that's that.
posted by 256 at 5:00 PM on January 12, 2015

My daughter is long and thin too and she's been in the pampers swaddlers 3 since she was about 6 months too. The key, though, is to get the pampers swaddlers sensitive kind, which are a lot more flexible and work great. We get ours by the box on Amazon.
posted by lydhre at 5:08 PM on January 12, 2015

Thanks, all--the consensus seems pretty universal that we should supersize them drawers. We happened to have some size fours around the house that we are trying out overnight. She doesn't generally poop overnight (though she does on occasion), so the real test will be tomorrow at daycare. Of course, we just bought a big, big box of size 3s on Sunday, so that's nice.

Updates to come!

I honestly never imagined how much time and effort I would spend thinking about someone else's poop before I became a parent. And yet here I am, frustrated that day care didn't send me any pictures of today's blowout so I could keep track of what's going on in South Buttsburg. Being a parent is 50% wack and 50% dope, man. What a wild ride. Wish us luck!
posted by Admiral Haddock at 5:24 PM on January 12, 2015 [6 favorites]

I honestly never imagined how much time and effort I would spend thinking about someone else's poop

One brand will fit just right. Until it doesn't. Then cackling ball of joy does number two and it leaks on you and the bed that you now want to evacuate. Surly, sleepy parents doing midnight laundry. "You do the fucking fitted sheet. I can't cope. Just make the bed and move me when you are done." Seemed reasonable at the time. Make some tea, run the bath. Do your time hard or take it in stride.

I traded diapers with other parents until I found something that worked. I had to do that multiple times. It was like he could flex his leg after a growth spurt and, well... I still call him my little shit factory.

Short of shrinkwrap, this is just a thing you have to put up with.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 7:36 PM on January 12, 2015

1) Size up, no question, and
2) Fluff the gussets!

The diapers have two rows of elastic in the legs, an inner one and an outer one. In both, there's the elastic, and then a ruffle that sticks out from it. Both of those ruffles are essential for poop containment, but sometimes they don't quite unfold right either from baby wiggles or weird folding in the box. Double check that both ruffles are fully unfurled and not tucked back in towards the leg. This will not prevent a category 5 blowout, but will sometimes be enough to prevent a wardrobe change.
posted by telepanda at 11:22 AM on January 13, 2015 [2 favorites]

telepanda is spot on about fluffing the gussets. I also found folding the top of the back down a bit for containment to be helpful, if things ever come out that way.
posted by freezer cake at 12:13 PM on January 14, 2015

Overdue update: we upped the size to #4s and that seemed to solve the problem. I don't think we've had a single blowout since we worked through all the remaining #3s.

We are gusset fluffers, but the issue has been daycare; we can't control what they do.

And for the record, we're back on the Pampers Swaddlers (we love the wetness indicator), but I think we've used Huggies and Pampers Cruisers (or whatever the non-indicator version of Pampers is). The only one that failed miserably was Luvs. Her butt seems agnostic between Pampers and Huggies otherwise.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 7:50 PM on March 4, 2015

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