Because Sh*t Happens

For a new mother, the first diaper blowout undoubtedly is a game changer. I remember the first time, I came face-to-face with an exploding diaper, and let me just say it was unlike any diaper experience I’d encountered before. My first instinct was to immediately put Atticus in his baby bathtub fully clothed while I gathered my army of supplies to ward off the mess that lay before me. This seemed like the most logical place to contain the mess. As he screamed at the top of his lungs, I tried to assess the situation and determine the best approach for getting this sh*t storm under control.

Before I could tackle the actual diaper, I needed him unclothed, which was going to be a feat in and of itself. Successfully removing a poop soiled onsie without dragging it up a child’s back and smearing it over their head is like a Hail Mary pass in football. You pray to God it works or else you’re now in over your head, literally and figuratively. Because I am no stranger to diaper blowouts now, I’ve settled on an approach that involves rolling the onsie over and over again so that the poop becomes trapped inside the fabric of the onsie. Then I slowly remove one arm, take it over the head, and close out the endeavor with the other arm.

A Hazmat suit would come in useful right about now but what mom has time for a wardrobe change. There is after all a far greater task at hand. I think I go through at least a fourth of a container of wipes as I go to town wiping, cleaning, and scrubbing the mess that lays before me. Conservation is the last thing on my mind at this point, so I just keep pulling wipes out until the job is done. In some cases, wipes absolutely will not suffice. Desperate times call for desperate measures. At this point, abort all expectations that damage control is possible with wipes. Carefully place your child in the bathtub and let water work its magic. Your baby may be screaming bloody murder, but they’ll feel and smell much better when they’re fresh and clean.

But what about unexpected blowouts in public places, you say? Sean and I tackled a blowout of epic proportions on our first expedition through the TSA security checkpoint at the airport. Atticus was happy as a clam being pushed along in his stroller. Just before it was time to go through security, Sean took him out of the car seat only to discover the after effects of an exploding diaper. I remember the image vividly. Sean calling me back towards the line to remove a squirming infant with poop running down his leg and out of the sides of his diaper from his arms. Liam was very loudly and unapologetically expressing his disgust. I paid no mind to his, “Eww’s” or to the gawking of the other travelers around me. I whipped out the changing pad, wipes, a fresh diaper, and a clean onsie from the diaper bag and proceeded to remedy the problem on one of the benches most people use to put their shoes back on after going through security. I didn’t have time to wait for the nearest bathroom because to be quite frank, “sh*t happens!”

According to several websites including and New, a baby will soil somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 diapers in their first year of life alone. This must be why terms like, “Holy Sh*t” and “Holy Crap” are a common part of a parent’s vernacular.

“Diaper spelled backwards is repaid. Think about  it.” Marshall McLuhan, Canadian professor and philosopher

Diapering is a cyclical chore that has a clear beginning and a definitive end. For those of us knee deep in it, we are being repaid in spades for the number of diapers our own mothers changed when we were infants. Exploding diapers are undoubtedly one of the lower points of infant care. Thankfully the cuddles, giggles, and adorable smiles make up for the smellier moments we encounter on our journey as mothers. May you find laughter in these less than ideal moments knowing that “this poop shall pass.”

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