We all know how important it is to learn to swim and research suggests the earlier you learn the better. Whilst there are a whole array of baby swim classes now available for you to attend with your baby, it’s also a great opportunity to turn it into a really enjoyable experience for you to spend valuable time together at the local pool.
However, that enjoyment can soon turn to horror if your little one is the cause of an emergency pool evacuation due to an unexpected poo escape!
That’s why wearing a nappy designed specifically for swimming is so important.
Why use a swim nappy?
A normal nappy by design, should be able to absorb wee, but of course your little one’s nappy doesn’t want to be absorbing vast volumes of pool water, therefore swim nappies are designed for the purpose of containing poo only. However, many parents assume they will also absorb wee too but if they did then they’d absorb all the pool water and the nappy would be incredibly heavy.
Many parents prepare for this by putting their baby into a swim nappy at home to make things quicker and easier before going to the pool.
Our brand ambassador Krisztina*, tried this before she soon realised that swim nappies don’t actually absorb wee, only to find that her baby’s wee had soaked right through the car seat during the journey!
But fear not, you can still be swim ready before you leave home – all you need to do is add a booster inside the swim nappy, this will absorb any little accidents and then you can just simply remove it when you get there.
What to look for in a swim nappy
Some pools insist on a two part system, for a ‘belt and braces’ approach.
This means that they require a neoprene swim nappy over the top of another swim nappy.
The Splash About Happy Nappy is the most commonly used neoprene cover and one most swim schools will insist on.
Splash About offer the option of the neoprene cover either on its own or with a built in inner layer.
This two-part system for swimming is excellent at ensuring there are no leakages as the thin inner pant catches the poo and the neoprene nappy provides soft flexibility.
For the layer under the neoprene cover there are a number of options; choose between Velcro fastening or snap fastening.
It’s worth considering what you will find easiest to fit on your child but also what you will find easiest to remove when wet.
In our experience swim pull up pants are very messy to remove if a baby does poo, and have always been the least popular choice with our customers.
What is important is that you get a good fitting swim nappy that doesn’t have any gaps around the legs.
Any gaps and the poo will seize the opportunity to escape and embarrass you when code brown is called at the pool!
If your swimming pool doesn’t specify a neoprene cover, or you are at the beach or just in the pool at home, then you can choose to just use a swim nappy without the neoprene cover.
Some of our most popular swim nappies are:
If you don’t have a swim nappy available, or you need to use one unexpectedly, then you can always use an empty pocket nappy.
Don’t forget that it needs to be empty so that it doesn’t absorb all the pool water.
We don’t recommend this as a long-term solution as the chlorine in swimming pools will damage the PUL and reduce its effectiveness over time.
Which brings me onto the inclusion of a paper liner.
Just so that you are under no illusion, when your little one poos whilst submerged in water, it is not going to be solid on removal!
A paper liner will help you deal with the soggy, watery mess and help protect the nappy, therefore, you may choose to include a paper liner inside the nappy or inner closets to baby’s bottom but it’s not essential if you choose not to add one.
Ultra Liners are the only paper liners that we stock that are suitable to use with a swim nappy.
What are the options for toddlers and older children?
If you have slightly older children, don’t worry there are still options available for you to use.
Splash jammers by Splash About look just like swimming shorts but are made from the same material and with the same reliability as a Happy Nappy.
A few extra tips when taking your baby swimming
- Snacks / Feeding
Where you can, feed your baby a small amount just before going swimming and immediately after.
Remember to wear something practical if you’re breastfeeding, and make sure your swimsuit has easy access.
For older children, take a snack as swimming tends to make them hungry!
Bring lots of towels with you.
Babies don’t tend to like the change in temperature from water, so have a towel to lay under your baby, one to dry them with and one for you too. If you can take one poolside, use it to carry them to the changing room afterwards. The Cuddledry towel is perfect for swimming. It goes over your head and then around baby, this makes it very helpful if you have someone poolside who wants to stay dry but is there to help with baby. If you have a toddler then you’ll probably already know how much they love dropping their towel and running off – the Cuddleroar is not only a fun towel for them but also fastens with a popper at the front, meaning they might just keep it on long enough to reach the changing rooms!
- Baby Wetsuit
If your pool temperature is a bit chilly, bring a baby wetsuit to keep them warm and don’t expect your baby to stay in the water for longer than 20/30 minutes.
- Wet Bags
Don’t forget to bring a couple of wet bags. Not only will you need one for the dirty nappy (if you didn’t put the swim nappy on at home) but they are also fantastic for putting wet swimwear and towels in without needing to use plastic carrier bags.
You could even give older children a pod each and make them carry their own.
At The Nappy Lady we are experts in helping you with all your nappy requirements, so please do get in touch with us if you have any questions at all or would like advice on any of our range of nappies and swim nappies available.
*With special thanks to our brand ambassador Krisztina who has agreed to share her experience first hand and helped provide some of the tips in this article.