I’ve cleaned up my fair share of poop in my lifetime (even though I’m still a teenager!). I have two dogs at home. I’ve mastered picking up poop in a bag in one handful without breaking the bag. I’ve also had several babysitting jobs with toddlers that are still in diapers.
I thought I had poop experience until I was babysitting and was faced with something that is too graphic for movies. I’ll just call it the poop explosion.
Let me see if I can explain it to you (without grossing you out). Have you ever taken a 2-liter bottle of soda, shook it up, and then opened it? That’s kinda what a poop explosion is like. When you first open the bottle, the liquid flies out, so you try to put the lid back on and wait. You try to open it again, and it’s still pouring out of the bottle, so you quickly close it and hope it is done. By the third time you realize there is no stopping the exploding bottle and now soda is all over the counter and dripping onto the floor.
Now, imagine that counter and floor is the baby’s diaper and back, and the soda is the poop. Get the visual? As the babysitter, you have to deal with it and deal with it fast. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Check out this video to learn the 2-round clean-up process you’ll NEED to know.
When things go Wrong: The poop explosion.
Remember this book? It’s true. Everyone poops. Dealing with poop is a pretty normal part of the babysitter’s job. However, dealing with the poop explosion is a whole other matter.
Now let me be clear if you notice that the toddler you’re watching has a small brown stain on the backside of their outfit because the diaper leaks, that’s not a poop explosion. But if you noticed that the poop migrated up the toddler’s back and out the neck of their outfit, you might be dealing with a poop explosion.
Here’s what you do. Pick the child up. Yes, you might get poop on you. I’m sorry about your designer t-shirt. I’ve told you this before, don’t wear nice things to your babysitting job. Carry the child into the bathroom. Grab a package of wipes on the way. Yes, a whole package.
If you’re cleaning up the baby, gently lay them on a soft towel or changing pad. If you’re with a toddler, they can stand while you’re cleaning them up. Undress the child. Wipe them down with baby wipes. Keep wiping. Yep. Yep. Keep wiping. And, and more wiping.
Make sure you are putting the used wipes out of reach of the baby or toddler. Please. If you leave them within reach, they will take them and put them in their mouth. Let’s not go there. Put on a fresh diaper and outfit.
Now for round two. Put the baby or toddler somewhere safe while you clean up the mess. For example, if they are a baby, put them in their crib. If they are a toddler, put them in a pack-in-play that’s within your view. Then gather all the used wipes into a plastic grocery bag or diaper disposal bag, whatever your employer uses, and dispose of them. Put the dirty clothes in a plastic grocery bag or gallon plastic bag for the employer to wash later. And don’t forget to put the dirty towel in a plastic bag as well.
Wash your hands. And wash them good, girl, because that was gross. You’re done! Go get that baby. Congratulations! You’re a Babysitter Boss … Poop Explosion Survivor!
Learn more about babysitting infants. Check out Caring for Infants.
Take a Safe Sitter® class and learn more child care skills. Find a class near you!