A guide to buying the appropriate swim diaper for your baby and toddler
To avoid any embarrassing accidents happening in the pool, it is important that your little one is wearing a good swim diaper. But which kind should you get and where can you buy it from?
If your baby or tot loves to splash around in the tub during bath time, and you’re thinking of letting her have more fun in a swimming pool, besides getting a cute swimming costume or colourful floats, you should also pick up some good swim diapers to avoid any messy mishaps in the water.
No parent wants to do the walk of shame as everyone runs out screaming from the swimming pool and the management has to drain the water to get it cleaned due to a suspicious little floating log — or even worse, a brown patch of watery mess!
So before you have another embarrassing poop story to add to your baby book, check out our guide on buying swim diapers for your little one.
Normal diapers vs swim diapers
You might be tempted to just use a regular diaper for your baby when you head down to the pool, but there is a big difference between normal diapers and swim diapers.
The disposable non-swim diaper that your little one uses on a daily basis is designed to hold a large amount of liquid so will expand when wet.
Due to the special water crystals (sodium polyacrylate), once filled with liquid it will be very heavy and the lining can actually tear.
These can also become heavy when the cloth retains the excess water and will be prone to fall off when wet.
If the diaper is saggy due to being wet, there is a risk of fecal matter leaking into the pool water.
Both disposable and reusable swim diapers are designed to be less absorbent while still retaining waste.
So swim diapers can be submerged in water but not retain liquid and will not expand or become heavy.
Different types of swim diapers
If you’re not regular swimmers, then disposable swim diapers will be a good choice.
They are easy to slip on and once used, you can just tear along the sides to remove them.
Plus, after swimming you can just toss them in the bin and not have so many things to lug back home in your bag.
Pros: Easily available at major supermarkets in Singapore; convenient.
Cons: Not good for the environment; can cause chafing or diaper rash; might be tricky to pull on and off your wriggling little one.
Frequent swimmers and those with avid water babies can opt for reusable swim diapers which are a good investment.
These are definitely economical because your tot can also use it as training pants on a regular basis.
Remember to choose one that fits snugly – but not too tight – so as to prevent any sagging which can cause leakage, or the risk of falling off in the water (like that episode of Mr Bean!).
Pros: Better for the environment; economical; softer material.
Cons: A hassle to bring around in your bag after swimming; and more laundry to do!
These are definitely economical because your tot can also use it as training pants on a regular basis and are not reserved for just a fun day at the pool or beach.
Made from lightweight fabric, it also has a drawstring waistband so it can comfortably fit your child.
Pros: Better for the environment; can also be used as training pants; easy to wear.
Cons: If your tot does poop in this swim diaper, it might be a little tricky to pull it down without getting everything smeared everywhere!
Popular choices: Bambino Mio Swim Nappies ($24.90, now $9.90) from BabyOnline
Importance of wearing swim diapers
Many pools and waterplay areas will impose diapering regulations for babies and toddlers to help keep the recreational waters clean and germ-free.
Infants and young children are still unable to control their bladder or bowel function, so they might accidentally release fecal matter into a swimming pool.
Disposable or reusable swim diapers prevents the spread of disease and recreational water illness in public pools due to fecal matter entering the pool water.
The bacterium E. Coli (Escherichia Coli) which lives in humans’ intestinal tracts can be transmitted to other humans, so if a swimming pool becomes contaminated with faeces, other swimmers could be exposed to E. Coli and be at risk of an infection.
The harmful consequences of an E. Coli infection includes:
- Bloody diarrhea
- Stomach cramps
- Urinary tract infection
- Nausea and vomitting
- Severe anaemia
- Kidney failure
If your little one has diarrhea, it is important that you do not bring her swimming or enter a public pool, even if she has a swim diaper on, as there is still a risk of leaking and contaminating the pool water with E. Coli bacteria and other germs.
How to use swim diapers?
It took you a while to finally get the hang of putting on regular diapers for your little one and now you are tasked with figuring out how to deal with swim diapers.
It’s not complicated to actually put it on, but there are a few other things to note when using one:
- A swim diaper is highly recommended for babies and toddlers who are not completely potty trained
- Put swimming costume over the swim diaper (as some pools don’t allow kids to swim wearing just a swim diaper)
- Check the swim diaper every 30 – 60 minutes for soiling
- If the swim diaper is soiled, change it in a bathroom, away from pool
- For toddlers, give them potty breaks every 30 – 60 minutes
- Throw away used disposable swim diapers
- Reusable swim diapers should be rinsed out after use (to get rid of the chlorine or sea salt) then washed thoroughly later at home in your washing machine
- Bring a few swim diapers in case you need to change your bub
Whether you end up choosing a disposable or reusable swim diapers for your little one, as long as his bum is safely covered up it will be more hygienic for him and the other swimmers — because you do not want to be the reason that there is literally poo in the word “pool”!
Which swim diapers do you use for your child? Do you have any funny or embarrassing swimming pool mishaps to share with our other readers? Leave your comments below!