After spending nine months of floating and kicking and twisting and turning in amniotic fluid, it’s no big surprise that babies love playing in water. And when they graduate from the bath to the beach, swim diapers are an absolute must.
Lest you think you can send your baby into the pool with a regular ‘ol daytime diaper, think again. Daytime diapers are made to absorb as much liquid as possible, so you can imagine what happens when they get submerged in water – yep, your baby’s diaper turns into a heavy, soggy bottom that’s not only uncomfortable for your little one, but will also probably fall right off their cute booty.
Swim diapers are specifically designed to absorb less liquid and better contain solids. And while you can easily just slip one on your wee water baby, there are a few things to know to pump up your pool-time prowess.
Here are 7 super-smart swim diaper hacks:
#1 – Go snug in size.
Swim diapers need to hold up to the forces of nature (poop) under extremely wet and wriggly conditions. For optimal leakage prevention, they should be a little tighter than your everyday diapers.
#2 – Use pre-pool pee protection.
As we mentioned above, while a regular booty wrapper absorbs liquid and contains solids, swim diapers are only designed to catch #2. Don’t make the mistake of putting your wee one in a swim diaper before getting to the pool unless you want wee-wee all over the place. If you really don’t want to wait, you can try putting on a swim diaper, then a swim suit, then a regular diaper, and then clothes. Take the regular diaper off at the pool and if it’s dry, use it for the journey back home. If it’s not dry, yes, that means your kiddo’s swim suit and swim diaper will be pre-moistened (i.e. pee-moistened) before getting in the water, but that’s totally fine. As much as we don’t like to think about it, pee is a part of public swimming – and we’re all in it (literally) together.
#3 – Double-up for extra doody defense.
If you’re really worried about setting any floaters free, you can do a double-layer of disposable swim diapers, or put a reusable swim diaper over a disposable one. Some public pools require double-duty protection, so check the rules before heading out.
#4 – Set a timer for sneak peeks.
The best way to prevent a crap-tastrophe is to check swim diapers for doody deliveries every 30-60 minutes. For potty-training toddlers, take them on bathroom breaks every 30-60 minutes.
#5 – Be sand savvy.
Putting a fresh swim diaper on a wet, sandy (and probably wriggly) kid is no easy feat. Not only is it a challenge for you, but as you’re pulling the diaper up, it can grab onto that wet sand and scratch against your kiddo’s sensitive skin. Here’s a simple sand-removal hack: sprinkle baby powder on it and gently brush it off with your hand. Trust us. You’ll never go to the beach without baby powder again. (NOTE: Remember to re-apply sunscreen every time your kiddo comes out of the water and gets dried off!)
#6 – Consider rashes before splashes.
Babies can generally still go swimming if they have a minor rash, but there are a few things to consider:
- You may not want to take them into a chlorinated pool until the rash clears up. Chances are the chlorine will irritate the rash and make their sad bum even sadder.
- If you’re swimming in a non-chlorinated pool, for instance, playing in a backyard pool, then it’s generally okay to let your little one splash even if they have a bit of a rash. Putting them in some cool water may even provide some relief.
- If baby has a rash and you decide to go swimming, make sure that you apply a thick, protective layer of zinc-oxide diaper rash cream (40% zinc-oxide – like ours! – will provide the strongest protection) before putting their swim diaper on.
- Get your kiddo in a dry diaper and clothes (or a second, dry swimsuit) immediately after they get out of the water. Letting your little one sit in a wet diaper and swimsuit can make the diaper rash even worse. Dab (don’t wipe) the area dry and re-apply rash cream before putting on a fresh diaper.
#7 – Fess-up if anything goes afoul.
If your swim diaper leaks and poop gets in the water, notify the lifeguard immediately. There’s no shame (💩 happens!), and you need to protect the other people there. (You’d want to know if it was someone else’s baby, right?) Even with the best swim diaper, sometimes a floater goes free. Babies got to do what babies got to do!
Have any swim diaper hacks of your own? Please share them in the comments! And if you want to learn more about the ins and outs and ups and downs of swim diapers, check out our other blog post: 9 Things to Know about Disposable Swim Diapers.