Sunday, July 24, 2011

Disposable Swim Diapers: Can someone come up with something better? Please?

Before I get into this, let me first start with a warning. This blog is about diapers... and with discussion of diapers comes discussion of gross things like urine and bowel movements. If this is a topic that will offend you or disgust you or make your mouth drop open in horror, now is your time to exit. If you are a mom of young kids, most likely you will not fall into this category. Let's be real, our lives revolve around pee and poop. And with that, let's get to it.

I have to say, disposable swim diapers are topping my list of "most hated baby products". Honestly, I despise them. First, there is the price. Target sells a pack of just 11 swim diapers for $9.99. I usually buy 100-something diapers for $18.99. That is an incredible price difference. The funny part about that is swim diapers are much, much less absorbent than a regular diaper. So really, you are paying more for less protection. I don't get it. I am sure they have to use some special chemical or lining to prevent the swim diaper from soaking up all the water (as a regular diaper would if put into a pool), but how expensive can that be? Surely it should not cause the price of a diaper to be almost $1.00 per diaper! I think it is all a conspiracy. They know that in the summer months, parents have no choice but to buy swim diapers if we want to take our kids to the pool. We cannot wait around for some good sale to come along. So, the companies don't really have a need to price these items low. It frustrates me that we have to pay so much, especially since we are at the pool almost daily, many times twice a day! I can hear the change going down the pool drain each time we put our son in another swim diaper. Thank God our middle child is now potty-trained!

Then there is the previously mentioned issue of absorption. These diapers absorb pretty much nothing. If they did absorb anything, then the pool water would get sucked into the diaper the minute the kids go into the pool! Thus, all the diaper really does is contain the mess in the diaper. That is fine, except for when you want to remove the diaper. These go on like pull-ups. There are no snaps in the front that you can undo to carefully remove it. Instead, your options are: 1) Try to pull the diaper down without spilling the contents all over your child or yourself while your child's skin is wet and sticky, thus causing the diaper to not want to slide down without a fight)... or 2) Tear the sides of the diaper, again without spilling the contents all over you and your probably wiggling toddler as you try to carefully hold both sides up to prevent the spill. Neither situation ends up working out well. When there is nothing really in the swim diaper, that is fine. But... sometimes this can be a major issue. Read on.

Poop + Swim Diapers = Ginormous, Horrifically Disgusting Mess. If you have ever been unlucky enough to realize your child had a bowel movement while in the pool in a swim diaper, I am sure you know how awful this can be. Poop and pool water make a gross mixture within the diaper. The poop gets all watery from the pool water that can sneak in there. Thus, when you realize your child has a poopy swim diaper, you will also notice there is a brown, murky river going on in the diaper as well. It is probably one of the most disgusting poop situations you will ever have to deal with. It is sort of gross to deal with the removal of a wet swim diaper... but the removal of a poopy swim diaper is in a league all of its own.

The other day I was at our local pool when this horrible, tragic fate happened to me. My youngest had a bowel movement while in the pool and the result was horrifying. I quickly removed him from the pool to prevent any of it from leaking out of his diaper and into the swimming pool. With one hand, I held onto my son to prevent him from running off, while using the other hand to rummage through my bag for wipes and a diaper -- which of course were impossible to find amid all the towels, clothes, pool toys, etc. And why I even thought wipes would help in this situation, I am not sure.

There was no way I could lay the kid down to change him. All that brown liquid would have leaked all over him, up his back, all over the towel, and quite possibly onto the pool deck. Not an option. Not only would that be gross, it would be terribly embarrassing to do that with a bunch of spectators. I knew this situation had to be moved to the locker room. I grabbed what I needed and picked up my son.

That is when things topped the charts in terms of nastiness. My squirming son would not let me hold him in front of me, and when I placed him on my hip, I heard the squish. Suddenly, there was brown liquid seeping out the side of the diaper, down my side, and eventually down my leg. Um, gag. I almost threw up right then and there. I picked up the pace and about ran to the locker room while making sure to not squeeze any more liquid poop out of his diaper.

I stood him up in a shower stall and used the ripping of the diaper trick to carefully remove the diaper while holding the contents inside the diaper. I took the risk and left my son unattended for a moment so I could toss the diaper. I came back to the shower and realized that wipes would not do much in this case. The boy needed a shower, and so did I. I think I traumatized the poor kid. The showers are freezing cold and the pressure is really strong and sort of stings when the water hits you. Imagine that on a bare baby boy. Ouch! I jumped in with him, knowing that we both needed to wash up before we could head back out. I cleaned us both up and then for good measure, I ran the water for a few minutes to really rinse out the shower floor. There was nothing really on the floor as far as I could see, but I really wanted to rinse it, just in case!

There was no putting that suit back on him after that. The leak had gotten onto his suit, too, so that quickly ended our pool visit. I ended up packing up the kids in record time and got the heck out of there. All I wanted to do was give both of us a proper bath/shower and get the towels and suits into the laundry immediately.

This, though, is exactly why I think swim diapers are a total crock. I paid almost $1.00 for that diaper (compared to maybe 15 cents for a regular diaper), only to deal with all that drama when the diaper is actually needed. Someone really needs to come up with a better invention for this. I know they make a cloth-version of a swim diaper, but to me, that is just as bad. I don't want to be dealing with scraping watery poop out of a cloth swim diaper. No, thank you!

So, I am begging you, Huggies and Pampers... please, for the love of God (and everyone else who has to swim in the pool), if you could come up with a more economical and absorbent solution to the swim diaper conundrum, I would be so appreciative.

And those of you who may have just entered motherhood and have not yet had the joy of dealing with a poopy swim diaper, consider yourselves warned. I hope this horrible fate never happens to you!