The swim diaper seems like an ingenious invention for the modern parent. But is it? Let’s think about this. A swim diaper doesn’t absorb liquids like a regular diaper, which in water would swell to the size of a watermelon. Its purpose is to contain poop. It’s a poop pouch. And it’s only when the poop net needs changing that you encounter evil incarnate.
Have you tried to change a swim diaper on a beach? It’s one of the worst parenting moments I’ve barely survived. Just behind using the restroom post C-section.
First, there’s no good way to hold the child. Any amount of pressure on the diaper causes … seepage. So, you have to hold the poor baby by his armpits and swing him ever so gently into a flat position on the changing pad – and dear GOD tell me you have a changing pad and you aren’t attempting this on a plain old beach towel! If so, burn the towel.
Then slip into your latex gloves. Now, most people don’t think to bring latex gloves to the beach, but once you’ve had to change a doo-doo basket, you’ll never forget them. Next, channel your inner Derek Shepherd and sloooowly tear apart the sides of the diaper, careful to not disturb its vile contents.
Now remove the diaper and begin wiping in one clever swoop of pancake-flipping dexterity. Even if you get through this step and chose the least sandy location to perform it, there is still sand in the child’s bottom. There will be sand for many bath times to come. There is sand under your nails. There is sand in your dreams.
But yes, the beach day memories are worth it. And one day the child will be potty-trained, and one day that child will go to the beach and scream about having to go potty, and pull his pants down and do his business right in front of God and everyone.
Carrie Taylor is a freelance writer, editor and mother of two boys.