Pull-Ups® and Swim Diapers are Not the Same Thing

I’m not sure if it was my deliriously tired state (yep, Sutton is still getting up 2-4 times per night) or just a lapse in judgement, but this weekend I embarrassingly found out that Huggies Pull-Ups® and swim diapers are NOT the same thing.

Since the weather was beautiful on Saturday, we decided to hang out by the pool with the kids and some friends.  As we were getting ready, I realized we were out of swim diapers for our 2 ½ year old.  Many times when I think we are out of diapers, I can usually find at least one stashed around the house.  So, I went searching.  Swim bag?  No.  Suitcases used for last vacation?  Nope.  Hidden under his crib?  Not this time.  Hidden under Sissy’s bed?  Everything else is under there but swim diapers.  In the car?   Nada.  I looked everywhere and I was not going to the store.  We had no time.  In my search of the house, I did find one lone Pull-Ups® diaper that was leftover from potty training Savannah.  And yes, it was a Princess Pull-Up®.  The Princess part didn’t bother me because it was going under a swimsuit anyway.  I looked at the Pull-Up®.  It looked like a swim diaper.  Sure, it said “Pull-Ups®” on it – but it still looked exactly like a swim diaper.  The same thickness…the same thin pieces on the sides…it had to work the same way as a swim diaper, right? Plus, we all know that swim diapers are only meant for the poo anyway and don’t hold in the pee.  In the back of my mind, I must have known that it wasn’t the same because I dug out a pair of rubber pants to use with the Pull-Up® just in case.  Remember how tired I am, right?  I run downstairs and present my findings and my idea to my husband.  A Pull-Up® and rubber pants.  I could have added some duct tape and he still would have jumped on board.  He didn’t even care about the Princess part because desperate times call for desperate measures. We put the Pull-Up®, rubber pants and his swimsuit on Sawyer and ran out the door.  I would like to say we were hoping for the best – but we didn’t even give it a second thought.

We arrived at the pool and things were going fine.  For about 20 minutes.  Then I started to notice his swimsuit was really started to puff up.  I joked that he was started to look like J Lo and Kim Kardasian since his butt was slowly getting bigger and bigger.  Hmm…  normal swim diaper don’t puff up and expand like that, I thought.  Oh well…back in the pool!  Then about 30 minutes later, it happened.  His diaper literally exploded!  Who knew a life span of a Pull-Up® in a swimming pool was about 50 minutes?  Sawyer had just gone down the baby slide (yes, thankfully we were in the baby pool) and my husband lifted him out of the pool.  Right there in front of the teenage lifeguard, a big pile of crystallized diaper filling fell out of his swimsuit onto the ground.  Opps.  Okay, maybe the diapers are not made the same.  If you don’t know what “crystallized diaper filling” that I am talking about – it is what happens to many diapers when the inside gets wet.  You don’t normally see this stuff because it remains inside the diaper lining when your child pees.  It’s really pretty gross.  It looks like a shaved ice but it’s definitely not cold.  We have encountered it a few times when my son has woken up in the morning and his diaper is so full that it has busted a seam.  The diaper company assures me that it is not toxic!  It doesn’t look good though.

So, there we are with a pile of the crystallized goo on the concrete in front of the lifeguard.  My first thought was – how the heck did it get out of the tight rubber pants? My second thought was – how do I nonchalantly take Sawyer to the bathroom like this without looking like a terrible mother. I calmly take him and help him waddle to the bathroom with a small trail of crystallized goo behind us.

When we get to the bathroom, I tried to remove his swimsuit.  Remember all that expanding that his swimsuit was doing at the pool?  Well, that was all crystallized goo!  I have never seen so much of this stuff in my life!  The diaper was so thin when we started!  It must have been filled with a rice-like substance that expanded beyond belief. As I started taking off his swimsuit and rubber pants in the shower area, there were literally piles of this goo falling on the floor.  Luckily, the bathroom was empty.  That is until one of the pool staff (a young teenage girl) came walking in as I’m trying to scoop up the goo with paper towels off the floor with my 2 ½ year old standing there naked. One of my proudest moments at the pool!  I politely smiled and continued about my business.  What else could I do? I rinsed off all the goo from Sawyer in the shower.  Now, he is standing in the shower sobbing and terrified because he is going through a “scared of the shower stage” and just kept repeating “no shower…no shower…no shower”.  I finished cleaning everything up and put the rinsed rubber pants and swimsuit back on Sawyer and we headed back to the pool.  Needless to say, this was the end of our pool outing for the day.  Sawyer probably could have played in the pool with just the rubber pants and swimsuit but after that incident I thought we should be done for the day.  And this is how I learned that Pull-Ups® and swim diapers are NOT the same!

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Baby Gizmo founder Hollie Schultz is the proud mom of three adorable kids. This certified CPS (Child Passenger Safety) Tech and baby gear expert is the host of the Baby Gizmo video reviews giving moms the inside look at baby products before they purchase them. Hollie is also the co-author of The Baby Gizmo Buying Guide. A former resident of Los Angeles, she and her family now live in North Carolina where she is having a blast designing and decorating her new home.

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