This summer was The Burrito’s first trip to the Outer Banks, NC, where my family has vacationed for 19 years, almost two-thirds of my life. He was not impressed with sun, sand, ocean waves, or the pool behind the house. However, my sister-in-law, genius that she is, suggested an inflatable baby pool to take to the beach with us. Burrito gets to splash in water warmed in the sun, and I get to sit and read a book on the beach for thirty five minutes. It was great – he would be happy at the beach or pool, we didn’t have to hold him the whole time, and he stayed cool in the hot sun.
I was really excited to try out the cloth swim diapers I had bought. There was no way I was spending upwards of $1.00 per disposable swim diaper when wonderful cloth swim diapers were around! I bought several cute ones from Diaper Junction, including imse vimse, Bummis, and, from Amazon, a Speedo all-in-one bathing suit and swim diaper. I also had some iPlay hand-me-down swim diapers to try out.
So adorable! Burrito doesn’t even need a swimsuit, these diapers are so cute!
After a week at the beach, I almost threw them all out in frustration. I was ready to throw in the towel (bad pun intended) on cloth swim diapers and go exclusively to disposables. Here’s what went wrong:
- I bought these cloth diapers back in chilly March, dreaming of a warm beach vacation. Big mistake. Half of them were too small. Back in March, snuggling with a four month-old I couldn’t conceive of an eight-month, 20-pound baby; he was still small enough then that I could imagine him curled up in my belly. Now the kid eats everything in sight and is on the largest snap rise of every diaper I have. Small cloth diapers, even mediums, weren’t going to cut it. But I was smart! I bought several mediums and even a large! Those will work, right?
- Wrong. You know why? Because fruit in the Outer Banks is delicious. Peaches, plums, cherries, strawberries, yum! All sweet and ripe and ready for eating. The Burrito couldn’t get enough. You know what happens where your kid averages a peach-sized amount of fruit four times a day? That’s right, they poop. A lot. Every single diaper will have poop and of course you will have forgotten your flushable liners. They poop so much your normal routine of pooping-twice-a-day-so-regularly-you-don’t-even-need-liners-half-the-day goes completely out the window. And this isn’t the nice, easy to shake out poop that your kid gets after he’s been eating solid foods for several months. So no matter what kind of swim diaper I put him in, he pooped in the pool Every. Single. Time. Thank goodness it was a small inflatable pool rather than the pool we were all swimming in. And did the cloth swim diapers work? No! They didn’t do a darned thing to hold in that poop. Useless. I might as well have just kept him naked.
After the third day of trying to dispose of disgusting water and having it get all over me instead, I gave up and bought disposable swim diapers. Actually, I was really stubborn about it, so my mom bought disposables.
And guess what happened the next day? That’s right, he pooped in pool, in his swim diaper, and the disposable diaper didn’t do a darned thing to hold it in. Useless. I might as well have just kept him naked. Plus, they’re really hard to get on.
Now, I know there are plenty of moms who have rave reviews of their various brands of swim diapers. Good for them. I doubt their kids have ever consumed as much fruit in one day as mine has.
In the past few weeks of scorching hear, I’ve learned a little bit about cloth diapering with a baby and a pool. That is to say, I’ve learned a little bit about taking the baby to the pool:
- Under no circumstances should you trust a swim diaper in a public pool to hold liquid poo. Cloth, disposable, saran wrap, whatever. If your kid has pooped, you have less than one minute to get that kid out of the pool and cleaned up before disaster ensures. So now, in addition to watching for potential drowning, I watch his face like a hawk – any telltale grunting, squirming, or face-screwing-up, and he’s out of there faster than you can say, “It wasn’t my kid that shut down the pool!” Let him do his thing, give him a new diaper, and back in the pool he goes.
- Don’t get discouraged by cloth. This is a theme of mine. Every time something goes wrong with my cloth diapers, I realize either that disposables won’t solve it, or there’s a solution I haven’t found yet. Keep trying.
- Swim diapers which close with Velcro or snaps are easier to take off when wet and poopy. Much easier than the underwear-type kind. (This is one reason why I do like disposables, too. You can rip off the side to change it).
- Buy larger than you will think you need. Swim diapers run small. And since we’ve already established they don’t hold in liquified poop anyway, there’s no reason to make them super tight.
- In a pinch, you can use your pockets, taking out the liners and just using the covers.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to Mommy and Me swim lessons. To prepare for this evening’s lesson, I haven’t given my son fruit or fiber in three days. Just kidding. Maybe.