Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Prevent Diaper Blowout with Vaseline

Every parent of a newborn knows about it: the dreaded "poop up the back" trick that most babies seem to master by their second week.  Not only is it indescribably gross to clean off the baby, that yellow mustard color is really tricky to get out of those adorable light-colored onesies. *

The Trick:

As my new baby entered this stage recently, I was reminded of the trick someone taught me with my first child.  Apply a generous finger-full of Vaseline across the back couple of inches of the new diaper, right along the elastic at the waist.  All but magically, the gooey stuff creates a moisture-proof barrier, preventing poo from getting through! 

A few disclaimers: 
1) I cannot claim credit for the original idea, although I have forgotten who told me about it! 

2) I use disposables.  (Go ahead and take a moment to mentally condemn me for my environmentally unfriendly laziness!)  I'm not sure it will work with cloth diapers; I do know getting Vaseline out is going to be a pain! 

3) The trick is somewhere around 70% effective: all that poo has to go somewhere! An especially large amount is going to find a place to get out - and if you've blocked the most obvious route, it may chose the leg or another part of the waist.  Obviously, it's going to work better when you change the diaper promptly, too!  

4) And oh yeah, this really just works for that highly liquid poo of a young infant who has not started solid foods. Of course, solid-food poo doesn't blow out as easily anyway!  

* Free Tip for Beating Yellow Poo Stains
There are quite a few ways for getting the yellow stain out of clothing.  You can scrub with a bar of ordinary bath or laundry soap prior to machine washing, or spray with stain remover.  My current favorite, though, is to soak overnight in a bucket of water and Oxi Clean.  (If there's any significant volume of poo stuck to the garment, I rinse it with my shower hose attachment first.)  As always, it's far better to get it out on the first washing, before you dry the item!  

Mea Culpa: 
So, when I first published this tip I stated that I thought it would work with coconut oil. I mean, it has a similar consistency to petroleum jelly, so it seemed like it would function similarly. I went so far as to photograph a jar of the stuff along with the Vaseline and include it in the post. But what I did not do is *try it!* (Bad Tarkheena! No pins for you!) 
Anyway, it doesn't work. While solid at room temp, coconut oil melts well below body temperature and becomes essentially a liquid. It is the seal created between the petroleum jelly and the diaper that does the magic, so while coconut oil is undoubtedly wonderful for your little one's skin, it's not going to prevent blow-out. 
Many apologies to anyone who tried it. Honestly, I feel a bit bad: I try to be more responsible than that - at Least I try to not perpetuate the whole problem of internet misinformation.  :} 

1 comment:

Sam Esh said...

This is a really good to tip on how to be avoiding diaper blowouts. I can not stand those. I'm about to have my second child soon as well.