Diapergeddon 2015
February 18, 2015 10:58 AM   Subscribe

Why do my baby's diapers breakdown at daycare but not everywhere else?

My first baby question! Hooray! Obviously it's about poop. My little one is 10 months. Every day when we pick her up from daycare (standard daycare in new york, between 3-1 and 4-1 ratio of babies to caregivers), they hand us a bag of her poopy clothes. "She pooped through her diaper" they tell us. She has been eating solid food for about 2 months and this started happening around then, but this never happens at home, or when we're on vacation, or when she's babysat. What's up with that? It's a problem because she gets diaper rash often and a large % of the poop clothes are total write-offs. My theory is that they're not changing her often enough, but I don't want to be a jerk about it without any evidence. Is this normal for this age? Is this normal for kids at daycare? Is there any solution? Trying different diapers? Eating specific foods? Thanks thanks thanks! (lol poop).
posted by Potomac Avenue to Health & Fitness (28 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm thinking you're right that they aren't changing your child enough. Does the daycare log when they're changing diapers?
posted by smirkyfodder at 11:03 AM on February 18, 2015 [14 favorites]

It sounds like a changing-frequency problem to me, too: pee-soaked diapers swell up and leave less room inside, which makes poo blowouts more likely.

If she's near the upper end of the weight range for her diaper size, you could try sizing up. Another option might be to make a point of changing your own baby at the daycare when you drop her off every morning, so she can start the day with a "clean slate," so to speak.
posted by Bardolph at 11:04 AM on February 18, 2015 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Blow outs. Yeah, that's a thing.

So there are a couple of questions. My first thought was the one you had, "Are they not changing frequently enough?" I'm thinking that they may let the wet ones soak to the point where they can't absorb anymore, and then the poop tips into critical mass.

The other thought is, is your daughter eating anything specific to daycare that might be upsetting her digestion? Formula instead of breast milk, different foods, different schedule?

Your daycare should be telling you how many wet and poop diapers they're changing. They should also note times when she's having a blow out. If they're not, tell them you have a concern and ask them to do so.

You can keep a log at home, to see if they're log is matching your log. Do they have fewer changes? Is that something you can address with them?
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:05 AM on February 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

Absolutely and without a doubt they are not changing her often enough. We interviewed a day care that said they changed the kids three times a day (and charged five bucks a day for the service, as though it were optional!) and promptly wrote that daycare off the list. (At home we typically go through at least 6-7 (cloth) diapers per day.)

First, maybe your kiddo needs a larger diaper size, even if she technically isn't in the weight range for the next size. Then, it's time for a sit-down with the daycare. This is not some mysterious one-off thing, it is a situation that needs to be addressed by changing their behavior. The frequency that they were used to from before she started solid foods is no longer applicable, and she needs to be changed more often now, period.
posted by Liesl at 11:09 AM on February 18, 2015 [5 favorites]

My money is on not changing her wet diapers frequently enough, or they change diapers on a set schedule that doesn't correspond to when the baby urinates or poops. I'd ask them for more information about their diaper changing procedures and timing.
posted by stowaway at 11:10 AM on February 18, 2015

Response by poster: She eats formula and baby food at daycare, nothing unusual from what we give her. I feed her breakfast which varies a lot. They give us a record of # of changes but not times. We could ask when the blowouts occur but I'm not sure what info that gives us by itself?

She's already wearing a size up kinda, she's average and they're pretty big on her. (Size 5 I think?)

thanks for the responses so far!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:13 AM on February 18, 2015

Best answer: Is she more likely to play in exersaucers or jumperoos at daycare? We were lucky to not have too many blowouts at home, but every one happened when she'd been sitting/playing in one of these. The poop got squished right out.

The diaper rash does sound like more frequent changes are needed.
posted by bizzyb at 11:22 AM on February 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: See telepanda's sage advice in this thread, and hey, check out the entire thread while you're at it to see if there are any other ideas.

I would compare the number of times they change diapers per day with the number of times you do at home on a weekend in the same timeframe, to give you an idea if it seems "often enough". It would be nice if they recorded the times they actually changed the diapers, too. At 10 months, most daycares I have seen do hourly diaper checks, so you might ask if they have a specific policy.

My kid was a poop savant who got sent home from daycare for too much pooping (they claimed it was diarrhea, but her doctor said she wasn't sick, and it was just her digestive system) -- so if you need any moral support on talking to your daycare about poop issues, memail me.

On preview: bizzyb has a great point, too.
posted by freezer cake at 11:26 AM on February 18, 2015 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: She does jump in the exersaucer a lot. Should we tell them to quit putting her in it? (Before she poops)?

My wife informs me she wears size 4 diapers and that I am a goofus for letting everyone think we have a huge monsterbaby.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:29 AM on February 18, 2015 [8 favorites]

Best answer: Size 5 on a 10 month old is about right.

My vote is that they're not changing frequently enough or the kid has loose stools (which you've probably ruled out already). I my experience my wife and I rarely have had kids' diapers blow out that aren't attributable to diarrhea or oops-we-let-the-TruckNutz-diaper-go-too-long.

Another possibility is maybe they're not putting them on properly? My wife will frequently put on our littlest kid's diaper on kind of sideways if she changes her in a hurry, and so that's sometimes an issue. I would suspect this if all the poo was on the inside legs of the pants, for example, rather than at the top of the butt crack where an already-full diaper is the likely culprit.

Are you using crap (no pun intended) diapers? We are a Pampers-only family for disposables; the others will do in a pinch, but we have come to believe that there's a reason they cost more. Maybe upgrade your "daycare" diapers to something fancier if you're going off-brand or cloth at home.

Finally, on the diaper rash problem, we've had luck (obviously at home) not using baby wipes, but only using running water and our hands to clean the kids up when they're having skin problems down there. You minimize the abrasive wiping this way. Your mileage (and courage!) may vary.
posted by resurrexit at 11:30 AM on February 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

The benefit of knowing the times is that you can see if the changes are done on a regular schedule or if large chunks of time are passing by at some point in the day between changes.

Also seconding the above comment re: jumperoos. There might be a certain activity that she's doing that might be stimulating her somehow. Also, if the diapers are a tad big, it might be that that activity + larger diaper = blowout.
posted by DrGirlfriend at 11:30 AM on February 18, 2015

Just wait until she's three or so and you get handed bags of fully pooped in clothes as she lapses in her potty training! (joking aside, I don't remember the details around blow outs, but I do remember how much cleaning them sucked)

As for the diaper rash - they can prevent this by putting vasoline on her butt after every single diaper change. Our daycare had no problem doing this - every child had different creams and whatnot.
posted by kitcat at 11:42 AM on February 18, 2015

This definitely seems like a problem with how frequently they are changing her. In my experience the blowouts actually got less frequent after solid food started because the poos got more solid and therefore more easily containable.

Also if you are losing a lot of clothes because of staining, try pretreating as soon as you get home with a generous amount of dish liquid. Dawn dish liquid does a much better job on poo stains than any laundry product I have tried.
posted by insoluble uncertainty at 11:45 AM on February 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: My 12-month-old is in size 6 diapers. She was in size 5s by ten months. She's a short chunker, but way below the weight guidelines on the diapers (23 lb. right now). We had daily blow-outs before we sized up; I'd recommend sending her for a week in 5s and seeing if it improves anything.

The rule I've been told is that blow-outs up the back mean you need to size up, blow-outs out the leg mean you size down. Generally, blow-outs are always a sizing problem, though.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 12:19 PM on February 18, 2015

Response by poster: UPDATE: Daycare says they change her every 2 hours. Thinking about telling them tomorrow "Please change her every hour or as needed instead." And offering some size 5s to see if that helps too. Plus no more bouncing unless has already pooped.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:21 PM on February 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: My daycare is a change-every-2-hours place, too. But I asked them for hourly changes for my kid when he was an infant and they were fine with it.
posted by jillithd at 12:33 PM on February 18, 2015

Best answer: I love hearing all the different sizes for the wee-ones; I have a 2 1/2 year old who wears a size 3 still with no problems. But he's always been a pretty skinny kid.

At any rate, considering she has been getting rashes, they should definitely agree to change her hourly. An you also may want to send some Butt Paste or some other barrier cream along and ask that they apply it.
posted by JenMarie at 12:39 PM on February 18, 2015

Best answer: Thanks for the shout-out, freezercake. Fluff those gussets, indeed!

Regarding the change every 2 hours - does that mean it's every 2 hours, or every 2 hours PLUS RIGHT AFTER SHE POOPED?

Because diapers don't sog up or (usually) cause rashes in 2 hours. But if she's sitting around in poo for, say, an hour and fifty-seven minutes, you are going to have fierce rashes and ruined clothes.

Send her with some A&D ointment and ask them to peek in her diaper every hour.
posted by telepanda at 1:09 PM on February 18, 2015 [2 favorites]

Oh dude I surely hope they don't leave the poo in there till the next changing time. That would be ridiculous, though I wouldn't put it past some places. I'd be asking some pretty specific questions at this point.
posted by celtalitha at 1:26 PM on February 18, 2015

Best answer: It sounds like you've ferreted out the cause of the blowouts. (Frequency and regularity of changings: this is a daycare's responsibility and they are acting poorly if this is a common occurence.)

That said: it may also be that you need to switch to "cruisers" if your baby is crawling a lot and working on standing/walking, which also happens around 10 months. The sizes are all different, but it's the shape that matters most: I don't want to sound like an ad, but basically there's something about the design that accommodates the extra activity. Our blowout rate went way down after we switched.

Also let me tell you about diaper rash: the purple Desitin is #1. All others are #2 or lower.
posted by anotherpanacea at 1:48 PM on February 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

Diaper size can certainly be an issue, but they may just as well be a size too large. They were for one of our kids: her weight corresponded with the size of her diapers, but her legs were simply too skinny. And yes, brand and type/shape can make a difference as well.
posted by Ms. Next at 2:07 PM on February 18, 2015

Best answer: I had to change brands a couple times. The one that worked suddenly wouldn't during different activities and unfortunately one of those was him kicking during REM when we coslept. That was no fun at all. Every one had to bathe and the bed had to be changed at 2 am. I traded diapers with other parents who were having similar problems and we all found ones that would work for a while. I had to change brands more often than sizes. My best advice is to keep an eye on any change in the size of kiddo's thighs. If they get really muscular they can flex and open channels down their legs and that portends doom. Have fun with this.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 4:42 PM on February 18, 2015

Best answer: My guess is that it's a positional problem - could she be sitting in an exersaucer or jumper thing when she's pooping? For a while, my baby would poop EVERY TIME I put her in her Bumbo seat and EVERY TIME it would go up her back or out the leg holes or anywhere but the actual diaper because that was the path of least resistance.

Being changed every two hours sounds perfectly appropriate, but yeah, I'd consider suggesting that they wait to put her in a seated toy until after she's pooped.
posted by meggan at 7:01 PM on February 18, 2015

When I worked in daycare, we changed every 2 hours for that age group unless there was a poopy- those we changed right away. The daycare that I worked at provided the diapers but, one mom insisted that her baby needed a larger, more roomy size that what we put on every other child her size. The poor baby never kept a poop in. We would find turds on the playground leading directly to her. It was awful. Since your baby is getting a diaper rash from this, I don't think size is the issue. It does sound like the daycare is neglecting changing her when poops happen. This is a very serious issue. If a daycare teacher is neglecting something as basic as changing a dirty diaper, chances are, that is the least of your concerns. I would look for another daycare.
posted by myselfasme at 7:21 PM on February 18, 2015

That's either a diaper quality issue or a not-changed-frequently/quickly-enough issue.

The first is unlikely if you're using the same diapers at home. The second suggests that this isn't a good daycare.

The "change every X hours" thing is irresponsible for any caregiver - the correct answer is "change as soon as the diaper is wet or messy".

Soaking with a pre-wash should solve most of the laundering issues...
posted by stormyteal at 10:23 PM on February 18, 2015

No daycare for ours (15 months) so take this with a grain of salt, but I (as a parent) would not be too upset if a caregiver held off changing a merely wet diaper for a while if: the baby seemed otherwise happy, the diaper wasn't too full and she wasn't getting diaper rash. We use disposables at night and it's amazing how much pee they can soak up before baby really notices or it risks diaper failure. On the other hand, not changing a poop diaper as soon as noticed more than occasionally (with multiple babies I understand it's going to happen) seems inexcusable.
posted by R343L at 3:03 AM on February 19, 2015

(All of this is to say: it sounds like you need clarification from the daycare about timing of diaper changes! )
posted by R343L at 3:04 AM on February 19, 2015

Response by poster: Results: asked the daycare to check her every hour, which they are fine with. Took her to Dr. yesterday for rash cuz it was out of control, which meant we had a good in to grill the daycare about their procedures. They claim the blowouts happen every time she takes a nap, so it is possible she's lying in it for a bit being quiet and rolling around in poop which sucks but is pretty hard for them to monitor, as she does that to us at home. In fact she did that this morning and destroyed some footy PJs forever, putting the lie to my claim that she never has blowouts at home. Oh well! We're trying out size 5s at home first as well. Seems like the answer is, unfortunately, that she's just an poop savant as freezer cake puts it.

Also the Dr. recommended Butt Paste which we're using just because LOL.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:02 AM on February 19, 2015

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