Diapers 101

Swim Diapers and More

What's the deal when it comes to swim diapers?
"Swim diapers are designed to hold one insult: BM," says Scott Lange, a research and engineering manager for Kimberly-Clark, which makes Huggies. During a splash session, the diapers will provide "some leakage protection for urine as well," Lange says. Repeat: some protection. Wait to put the swim diaper on at the pool or else you risk soaking the car seat. Post-swim, no need to wriggle your little one out of his diaper -- just tug at the tear-away sides.

Are certain diapers associated with more diaper rash, or less?
It would be fantastic if switching diapers solved this dilemma, wouldn't it? Unfortunately, there's no proof that any one particular diaper or brand works better at preventing an irritated bottom, says Charlene Brock, M.D., a pediatrician at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in Philadelphia. Diaper rash is caused by chemical irritation from urine and poop, moisture, and friction. The best way to protect your cutie's tush is to change her diaper frequently: Check to see if she's wet at least every two to three hours. Charles Shubin, M.D., medical director of the Children's Health Center, Mercy FamilyCare, in Baltimore, also suggests letting baby's bottom air out for a minute or two before you put on a new diaper. (If you have a boy, you might want to place a small washcloth over him to avoid getting peed on, or consider a product called a Peepee Teepee.) You can also lay Baby on a cloth diaper, then use it to blot the moisture after you wipe. Diaper creams, which form a protective barrier against wetness, can also help prevent rashes. Still, your child might react to something in a certain brand of diaper, Dr. Shubin says. If your baby is consistently irritated when wearing a particular disposable, give others a shot. Using cloth? Try switching detergents.

What are those tiny white beads I find on my baby's bottom after changing his diaper? Are they dangerous?
You can rest easy, Mom. These are simply harmless remnants of the superabsorbent polymers that lock away the urine in most disposables. Sometimes, particularly when a diaper is very full, they escape. "If you're seeing them frequently, you're not changing your baby's diaper often enough," Dr. Brock says.

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