What is the Double Nappy System?
Across the world, swimming classes for babies are more popular than ever. One thing you will find in common across most baby swim schools is they require their babies and toddlers that are not yet potty trained to comply with the “double nappy system”. This blog explains what the double nappy system is and why at Baby Squids we recommend the use of Konfidence nappies to avoid any accidents!
We are all aware that babies poo whenever they wish, not when it is convenient to you! Even toddlers that have been successfully potty trained for months or even years will have the odd accident particularly when distracted by having lots of fun!
Hence the double nappy system is designed to help avoid any accidents in the swimming pool, saving your blushes, preventing class closures and preventing a compulsory pool closure for 24 hours whilst the pool is cleaned and flushed through. These pool closures are required to ensure that the spread of bugs does not happen for everybody's health and safety.
The double nappy system means a swim nappy (disposable or reusable) must be worn with a neoprene nappy over the top. This creates a double layer of protection, significantly reducing the risk of any leaks.
We have separated the below into two sections that make up the double nappy system; the “Under Nappy” and the “Over Nappy” to explain further some key points about the differences:
Choosing your under nappy
There are two types of under nappy:
- The disposable swim nappy, these are similar to normal disposable nappies. They come in packs and each nappy is thrown away after one use. These nappies have an absorbent centre, but will not swell up in the water, like a normal nappy would.
- The reusable swim under nappy. Not to be confused with the reusable “over nappy” these are similar to reusable everyday nappies though designed to be used in a pool, and washed and dried on the line.
Don’t put your child in a normal everyday nappy! They are designed for soaking up small amounts of liquids, not designed for use in pools. It will get full of water, weigh your child down, and is highly likely to split open releasing all the contents with it! Below we have highlighted some of the main considerations when choosing your under nappy.
With reusable swim nappies, soft nappy liners are available and specially designed to complete the double nappy system. After swimming, in the event of any little accidents, the nappy liner makes changing and cleaning much simpler. Simply remove the neoprene over nappy, undo the nappy wrap and flush away the soiled liner or if unsoiled just place in the bin. The fully biodegradable liner saves you money and saves the environment at the same time. Reusable nappies can appeal to parents who prefer eco-friendly products.
Before you purchase an under nappy, check that the size is correct. Think about how easy it will be to put the nappy on and take it off your baby, particularly when soiled. Nappies that can be unfastened or opened right out can be easier to clean than those with an up-and-down pant design.
The Konfidence Aqua Nappy would be the perfect choice as it is fully adjustable for ages 3 -30 months
Choosing an over nappy
The main purpose of the neoprene nappy that goes over the top of the swim nappy is to form a tight seal around your child’s midriff and thighs to ensure any leaks are contained! So when you are choosing sizes, make sure you buy the right size and not a larger one so they grow into it!
A correctly fitting neoprene nappy may feel like a bit of a struggle to get on the very first time but it is essential that it is a snug fit – the Lycra band must sit tight against the skin on both the legs and the waist, with no gaping. You should be able to fit a finger comfortably against your baby’s thigh in the leg opening, but no more. The neoprene nappy should be pulled right up to the top of your baby’s legs before you attempt to pull it up over the under-nappy and up to the waist.
There are a number of leading manufacturers of swim nappies in the UK. We recommend using Konfidence, we have partnered with them to be able to offer a Konfidence voucher code on all their products exclusive to our customers.
The waistband should sit quite high, over the belly button and completely cover the under-nappy. If you find that the nappy keeps slipping down then it either it is too big or the
Lycra fibres in the waistband have deteriorated. Test it by softly pulling the waistband and letting go, it should immediately ping back and stay quite tight against the skin, if there is some looseness in the waist band or thigh bands then it is time to buy a new nappy.
See some tips below for keeping care of your neoprene swim nappy:
- If you do need to wash the nappy (if it has been soiled) then wash at 30 Celsius with a weakened detergent
- After every day use hand rinse the nappy in cold water straight after swimming to remove chlorine
- Do not use fabric softener
- Do not tumble dry your nappy! They dry pretty quickly anyway
- Don’t iron your nappy, the material doesn’t take well to heat from irons
- If correctly cared for your neoprene nappy should last until your little one outgrows it, they are pretty good quality bits of kit
- Always keep an eye out for signs that your child’s swim nappy is the right size (i.e. snug!), or if it is starting to show signs of wear and tear and therefore might replacing. If the neoprene nappy does not fit correctly or if the waistband/thigh bands have begun to degrade, then it will not work effectively. And of course even the best nappy cannot replace your parenting skills, most important by far, if you suspect your baby or toddler might be soiling their nappy then get out of the water as soon as possible, check and perform a nappy change before getting back in the pool.
Common Myth about Swim Nappies
Swim nappies are not designed to hold in urine. They are designed to hold solids only; hence if your child is suffering from diarrhoea (or has been suffering from diarrhoea in the last 48 hours) you must not let your child enter the swimming pool for the health and safety of all swimmers.