Best reusable swim diapers for babies & toddlers. Mom’s guide to hitting the pool or beach with leak-proof confidence! Our easy swim diaper guide.
During the summer months, there’s nothing more fun than splashing in the pool with your little ones on a hot day!
Days at the lake, at the seaside, or at the community pool are great fun. But, you do need to consider wardrobe and have the right swimwear, sun protection, etc before getting in the water. For your non-potty trained kids, that means their diaper too.
Of course, a normal disposable diaper doesn’t work as swimwear.
Normal diapers are designed to be absorbent. That means as soon as your child enters the pool or jumps through a water hose their diaper will soak up the water and become a soggy, useless weight around your little one’s butt.
Disposable diapers in water fill up with so much water, so quickly, they can’t hold anything, and will probably just fall off.
Which is why parents who want to hit the pool with their baby or toddler need to get comfortable with swim diapers.
Everything You Need to Know About Swim Diapers
Swim diapers, and the reusable ones in particular, work a bit differently from regular diapers.
I definitely found the whole thing a bit intimidating at first, which is why I thought a simple to understand guide might help parents who are new to this world of swim protection!
How do Swim Diapers Work?
Swim diapers are designed to withstand being in the water, while also containing whatever – ummm- solids end up inside them.
They actually aren’t designed to be absorbent, at all. Rather, they are meant to contain.
If your baby pees in the pool in a swim diaper, the pee flows out into the pool.
(Note – the exception to this rule is the Green Sprouts swim diaper, which also absorbs pee!)
However if your baby poops in the pool, a swim diaper that is doing its job right will contain the mess, keeping fecal matter from entering the pool.
Because they aren’t absorbent, swim diapers actually shouldn’t be worn away from the pool (even for the car ride to the pool), as any pee will soak straight through your baby’s clothes.
Your baby or toddler can wear a swim diaper on its own, or under a swimsuit. Most of them come in cute styles and adorable prints, and the reusable ones mostly have UPF 50+ technology, keeping your baby sun safe too.
Reusable vs Disposable Swim Diapers
Disposable Swim diapers are “one and done” and can’t be reused at all. That means, if your baby leaves and re-enters the water, you need to change their diaper to a fresh one, first.
Because of this, they contribute to further landfill mass, which isn’t great news. They can also really add up in price over a holiday, since they require such frequent changes.
Disposable swim diapers also tend to fit a bit looser than their reusable counterparts. This runs the risk of poop slipping out, whereas the snug fit of a reusable diaper offers more protection.
Reusable swim diapers tend to be slimmer, have cuter designs, a wider range of material prints, and are really easy to keep clean.
Plus they’re reasonably priced, so the savings soon mount up compared to buying disposables.
As per the title of this post, the rest of this article will focus on reusable vs disposable diapers.
The Best Reusable Swim Diapers
Below, you’ll find more detailed information about each of the different swim diapers, with some FAQs about using them at the end of this post. However, if you’re in a rush and just want some quick recommendations, here are all the swim diapers covered in this post!
- Green Sprout Reusable Swim Diapers (top choice)
- Tankini with Reusable Swim Diaper (top choice)
- Boys Trunks with Reusable Swim Diaper (top choice)
- babygoal Reusable Swim Diapers
- Bambino Mio Reusable Swim Diaper
- Thirsties Swim Diaper
- Wegreeco Adjustable Reusable Baby Swim Diaper
- Splash About Happy Nappy™ Swim Diapers
- Reusable Swim Diaper and Wetbag Set by Will & Fox
Best Swim Diapers For Every Family
Green Sprouts makes our top choice for best swim diapers, mainly because they contain pee, too!
Yup, this style has a waterproof layer keeping pee inside, along with a soft wicking material that takes it away from your baby’s skin to prevent diaper rashes.
They also have UPF 50 coverage (as do most of the diapers we feature here). And they meet STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®, which means the fabric is safe for your baby.
The one-sided snap design make them easy to get on (and off, if filled with poop).
They are slim enough to wear alone or under a swimsuit, and come in a ton of cute colors and patterns for both boys and girls. Sizes range from 6 months to 5T.
For a full girls swimsuit style, Green Sprouts (our top brand) also make this tankini style. It has a tank style top with elasticated bottoms that are the same swim diaper features as we mentioned above.
Being a tankini, they’re easy to pull off and change, without worrying about the top part, but they do also make all in one swimsuits with a built-in diaper too.
The difference in this style is the diaper part is elasticated and don’t have the side snaps, so they aren’t as adjustable, but they are super cute.
They come in sizes from 6 months to 4T.
For a stretchy ‘big boy’ style check out these pull-on i play trunks with a built-in swim diaper included. They are cute and look on-trend for growing toddlers but still contain any accidents securely.
They’re great for even potty-trained boys, as when they are having fun swimming they might forget to go when nature calls, and the slim inside lining is practically non-detectable and won’t pull them down.
They come in sizes from 6 months to kids of 4T.
There isn’t a huge price range in swim diapers, but we couldn’t help but notice you can get a three pack of these babygoal reusable swim diapers for the price of one of most of the other options.
It’s great value, especially as it’s handy to have more than one swim diaper for a day at the beach or for a vacation.
They come in cute designs for boys and girls and a have a grid of snaps to adjust for a more comfortable fit, which is great for skinny babies with chunky legs, or vice versa!
What’s more, these bargain reusable swim diapers will last you longer, with one diaper fitting from 0-2 years.
These cute Bambino Nio reusable swim diapers have an elasticated fit, keeping them slimmer and less likely to leak out. They have a terry lining for softness against baby’s skin and a concealed water-resistant layer and leak-proof legs, which are stretchy for your little ones comfort.
As these aren’t adjustable, you will need to replace them as your baby grows. They come in 4 sizes; small to extra large, fitting kids up to 2 years.
These cloth swim diapers can be tumble dried for quick repeated use.
Thirsties reusable swim diapers are made in a similar design to their cloth diapers, with a waterproof outer shell with a soft mesh interior. They are lightweight, so as not to put any downward weight on your baby while swimming.
There is a range of snaps, with settings to adjust to your toddler, with an additional hip snapper on the inner to prevent drooping when tightened to a smaller size.
These reusable swim diapers come in 3 sizes – with the biggest fitting toddlers from 35-55 lbs.
These fully adjustable Wegreeco reusable swim diapers grow with your little one.
There are 2 sizes, size S comes for baby 0 – 8 months, but the next size, the L comes for baby 9 months – 3 years old, so you really do get a good amount of range and use from these swim diapers.
You can use the grid of poppers to fully customize the fit, meaning chunky legs and skinny waists can be managed together!
Plus they come in a great array of sizes and well priced multi-packs too.
For a slightly different style, check out these neoprene stretchy reusable swim diapers by Splash About. The full stretch design is made with contrast leg and waistbands that fit snuggly to your baby, without leaving red marks.
They offer superior comfort it doesn’t have scratchy poppers or fasteners. But this means you will need to buy them more frequently as your child will grow out of them more quickly than the adjustable styles.
These diapers can be worn with a Splash About absorbent liner system for even easier cleaning – or alone for just poop containment.
Available in ages 0 – 3 in differing size increments.
These Will & Fox reusable swim diapers are similar to others with full popper adjustments – but for additional convenience, this set also contains a matching waterproof carry bag for no mess or spills when bringing your swim diaper back and forth from the pool!
It comes in a range of colors and prints, and one diaper will fit babies from 0-3 years old.
FAQs About Swim Diapers
What Age Can I Take My Baby Swimming?
Babies can go into the water from birth.
However, it’s important to remember that they can’t regulate their temperature in the same way adults do, so if you do go swimming, you need to make sure they don’t get too cold.
If your baby is younger than 6 months, it’s recommended to make sure the pool is heated to about 32° C / 90° F. Regular public pools are too cold for a baby under 6 months.
Babies can also pick up an infection from water. So, it’s generally best to wait until your baby is at least 2 months old before you take them for a splash in the pool. If you want to introduce your little one to water before 2 months, exploring in the bathtub is probably the best way to get wet!
What age can I use Reusable Swim diapers from?
You probably won’t take your little one swimming before 2 months, as pools really aren’t warm enough for a newborn. Plus you want to be wary of germs whilst your baby is still very tiny.
This kind of fits with the way a swim diaper works anyway. Newborn poop tends to be on the runnier, liquid side of the poop spectrum, so won’t be effectively contained by a swim diaper anyway.
A swim diaper is most effective to contain more solid poops (normally when your child is eating more solids food).
What About Diarrhea?
If your child is suffering from diarrhea or has an upset stomach, that poop won’t be contained by a swim diaper, and the truth is, they shouldn’t be swimming anyway until they are better.
This is for both their health and to prevent the spread of infection to other swimmers too.
How Do You Clean Poop From A Reusable Swim Diaper?
Once you notice your baby has pooped in their swim diaper, you should remove it as quickly as possible.
Don’t continue splashing around for ten more minutes, thinking the diaper will save the day.
The longer you are in the pool with poop in there, the more chances of leaking and brownish-colored water coming your way.
Which isn’t nice for anyone!!
With a reusable swim diaper, it’s super easy to clean off solid poop after any toilet time. Simply brush any solid nuggets into the toilet. If not too soiled, you can probably reuse this to continue swimming. However, having a backup swim diaper on hand is preferable.
Howeverm, if it’s a bit more squishy, you might have more issues. Use toilet paper to lift any main clumps and put them into the toilet bowl, then rinse it as much as you can. A little squirt of dishwashing liquid can help to pre-treat before popping it into the washing machine on the hottest setting allowed by the manufacturer.
Check the tags on the swim diapers too. Some brands can be tossed in the dryer, but others, such as the iplay reusable swim diapers, are air dry only.
Final Thoughts on Reusable Swim Diapers
Thanks for reading this article mermaids!
Swimming is a great life skill for all children to learn, so I’m a huge advocate of getting them into the water early. And doing so without fear of floating accompaniments… well a reusable swim diaper just makes life easier for everyone, parents and non!
If you think this article on best swim diapers may be useful for other parents, friends, or grandparents that you know, feel free to share it with them too!