The other day a friend of mine invited us over to swim in her pool. However, I had no idea what Baby should wear. She can't wear regular diapers because those will just soak up all the water and probably fall off. If she goes naked, she might poop in the pool. That's just gross. I have a swimsuit for Baby, but she needs something underneath. Luckily, my friend said she had an extra swim diaper (so that's what they wear!) that Baby could borrow, or she could go naked and I could just make sure she didn't poop.
I took Baby over later in the afternoon, after she had already pooped twice (that's usually her daily limit). I did not want her messing up someone's pool. I put the swim diaper on her, her little swimsuit, and lathered her up with sunscreen. I plopped a bonnet on her head and I was ready to go. Baby, however, was not.
All of a sudden she had a major breakdown and started screaming. I had no idea why. She wasn't hungry, didn't have a dirty diaper, wasn't tired (she had just woken up from a nap), and so I figured it had to be something I was missing. She usually doesn't just scream like that for no reason (our colicky days are behind us). I thought maybe she was hurt, or a bug had bitten her somewhere. I looked her over and couldn't find anything, so I stripped off her suit (she'd never put it on before, so I thought maybe that might be it). That didn't help, so I stripped her down naked, but that didn't seem to help either. I walked her around the house where it was cooler, thinking maybe she didn't like the heat. She kept wailing her little head off and I was starting to worry. How long is a baby supposed to cry before you call a doctor?
I tried to nurse her and she wasn't having any of it. I kept trying to look her over and see if I could find a bug bite somewhere, as well as move her limbs to make sure nothing was out of place. She just kept crying. After a little while of walking her around, I tried to nurse her again and she settled down, although she kept doing those little crying hiccups (you know, trying to catch her breath and settle). It was heartbreaking that I couldn't figure out the cause of her distress.
After she was completely calmed down, I figured we could finally try out the pool (hey, we were already there). I wouldn't put her suit or diaper back on, since I didn't know if those had hurt her, but she did wear her bonnet to help shield her from the sun.
Come to find out, she loved the pool. I thought she might, since she loves bath time, but I wasn't sure how she would react to cold water. Because I don't like to jump into the pool all at once (even though some people tell you to just jump in and get it over with. I like to inch my way in, taking it little by little), I thought Baby might be the same way. I sat at the edge of the pool with her and trickled water over her little feet and legs. She enjoyed that, so I dipped her feet in the water. She held them up at first, then hesitantly lowered them into the water herself.
Then she stood on a step in the water, staring in open-mouthed wonder at the reflections that were shimmering in the sunlight. She tried to reach for the water, but was too far away. She sat down on her own, startling herself at first, but then became used to it. She was able to touch the water with her hands and kept trying to lean into it to eat it (she's at the stage where she likes to put everything in her mouth). I had to hold her back so she wouldn't dive in (although I did read somewhere that babies under six months have a natural reflex to hold their breath under water. Didn't really feel like testing that idea out at the time). After I felt like we had been in the sun enough, I took her out and dried her off. On our way home she conked out. I need to take her swimming more often!
A few days later I was talking with some other moms and they mentioned that you are not supposed to put sunscreen on babies younger than six months old. It has to do with the absorption into their skin, and something about their pores being different. Something technical. I think that may be why Baby freaked out. It was after I put the sunscreen on her, and I did pile it on. Perhaps it irritated or even burned her skin. I feel terrible about it. I even did some googling (surprise!), about the brand of sunscreen I was using (it was baby sunscreen), and read a few negative reviews about how it gave some babies rashes and irritated their skin. I felt really bad after the fact, although she seems fine now and doesn't have any type of rash of anything. I'm going to ask the pediatrician about it tomorrow at her appointment.