Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Swim Diapers

By Christina VanGinkel

My grandson has a love of all water activities. Swimming and fishing both are high on his list of things he loves. Since he was an infant, my daughter has used diapers that are made specifically for use in the water whenever he will be participating in one of these activities. Little Swimmers from Huggies has always been her brand of choice, but numerous brands exist, with some made of fabric. The fabric ones are washable and can be reused, while others are disposable, one-time use diapers, the same as the Little Swimmers.

I remember just letting my kids go bare bottomed at the beach or pool, because if I left a diaper on them, it would quickly swell to the size of a balloon and literally sag down to the ground. It was much easier to let them run around sans diaper and hope and pray they did not decide to go bathroom in the middle of their water play. Thankfully, some mother or father recognized that allowing infants and young toddlers who were not yet potty trained to swim could be a health risk to others in the water. The resulting lines of diapers that both contain any accidents, and do not swell when immersed in water are a wonderful addition to the world of baby basics.

My grandson has been able to enjoy swimming from his earliest days with my daughter having no fears of his having an accident in the pool, since the legs and waste band of the Little Swimmers are a bit snugger than your average diaper, and will contain most accidents. Their cost is significantly higher than your average diaper, but well worth it for the benefits that they provide poolside. Available in cute designs for girls and boys, no other swimwear is even required, so they actually do double duty in that regard.

The best part of them though is that they do not swell up when the exterior gets wet, but that is also their downfall. Why? Because they are not as absorbent as a typical diaper and care needs to be used when changing a soiled one, as it is often just sitting inside the diaper. Because they do not have tabs, but pull on like a regular pair of underwear, or a Pull-Up, you have to rip the sides to remove the diaper. This can be a trial and error task, as the tear away sides are sometimes hard to rip. If not done efficiently, you end up with a huge mess.

Overall, though, I think they are a wonderful way for infants and toddlers to join in the fun at the lake or pool, without the parents having to worry about when their little bundles might go potty. Water play can again be the fun, stress free activity it was meant to be. Just do not forget to bring along a few sand toys for the little ones, as they will be so comfortable, they will be in no hurry to leave!

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