Even the tiniest members of the family love to play in the pool! But if they’re not potty-trained yet, it can be a messy and unsanitary experience. And regular diapers are absorbent – that’s normally one of their advantages, but in the pool, they become like an anchor!
Fortunately, swim diapers will help your youngster enjoy splashing and cooling off with the rest of the family. Swim diapers keep poop and pee from leaking into the pool water. Often, they can be used over regular diapers, keeping the latter dry (at least from pool water!).
We’re going to talk a little about who needs swim diapers and how both reusable to disposable swim diapers work. Then we’ll look at some of the best options on the market. They’ll keep your baby comfortable and cut down on your worries!
Who Needs Swim Diapers?
Any child who isn’t yet potty-trained can benefit from swim diapers, except maybe the youngest infants.
Why not the youngest? As any parent or former babysitter knows, newborn poop is very liquidy. That makes it likely to leak even from the best diapers. Only when they’re a bit older and their waste a bit more solid will swim diapers begin to make a difference.
Of course, once children are potty-trained, they’ll be able to get out of the pool when they have to “go”. They won’t need diapers any longer.
How Do Swim Diapers Work?
Swim diapers are designed to keep solid waste inside. Feces can contain a lot of dangerous bacteria that would pollute your pool water.
Swim diapers fit more tightly than regular diapers. They’re also designed without the absorbent part of regular diapers. That keeps them from absorbing pool water and weighing down the child.
Often, swim diapers can be used in conjunction with regular diapers. Put the regular diaper on first, then the swim diaper over it. This helps the regular diaper absorb urine but protects it from the pool water. It also provides extra protection against leaking poop. In many public or community pools, this “double diaper” is a requirement.
Reusable vs. Disposable Swim Diapers
Swim diapers come in two forms – disposable and reusable.
As you would expect, disposable swim diapers are less expensive. But they don’t hold up for long, either. You’ll only get one use out of them.
Reusable diapers, though, can be washed and reused for however long they fit your child. But they’ll cost you a bit more.
We recommend reusable diapers if you plan to take your child swimming often. However, if you only go to the pool a couple of times a season, you’ll save money by choosing the disposable type.
Our Picks for the Best Swim Diapers
We’ve talked to a lot of parents about their experiences with both disposable and reusable swim diapers. Using their experience and our own, we’ve evaluated what the best choices are in both categories. We hope you’ll find our reviews useful!
Top Disposable Swim Diapers
Pampers has long been a name to beat in the diaper game. And their disposable swim diapers live up to their reputation.
Available in small, medium, and large, your child will feel comfortable in these. At the same time, you’ll feel secure knowing that they’re unlikely to leak.
Both the legs and the waistband stretch to fit tightly and keep pool water out and baby waste within. There’s no tape; the edges are elastic. That means your pool will be protected from contamination.
The diapers are easy to remove, as well.
Be sure to check for the right size for your child. The number of diapers in a pack varies by size but ranges from 34 to 40 diapers.
Some users have even used one diaper multiple times as long as it wasn’t soiled. They report that they can be left in the sun to dry out.
The elastic forms a good seal against leakage, but leaves little to no red mark on the skin. And they don’t seem to cause any discomfort at all.
Huggies is another familiar name in the diaper realm, and they also do a great job with their disposable swim diapers.
At the link above, you find extra small and small sizes, but they also offer medium and large diapers. You’ll find links to those below!
The extra-small diapers come in packs of 3 or 10, while the small ones come packed individually. The extra-small fits babies from 7 pounds, so even a newborn could fit. Remember, though, they only hold solids; the more liquid waste from a newborn will likely leak.
The sides stretch comfortably to keep water out, and the material isn’t absorbent.
There’s also a tag to mark the back, which makes it easier to figure out how to put these on!
They can be worn under a swimsuit or alone.d
Kids love the “Finding Nemo” theme, too! And it can make life easier for you, as it will make it easier to tell which are swim diapers and which are your regular ones.
This isn’t one of the big names in the diaper game, but Babyganics does a fantastic job with this baby swimwear! Infants seem comfortable in these and they practically eliminate the risk of leakage of solid materials.
The link above is for the large diapers, which are for babies 32 pounds and above. If you need small (16-26 pounds), you can check these out.
The large pack includes 20 water-resistant diapers. They even include a color-changing component which is intended to help remind you when it’s time to apply more sunscreen.
It’s also clear which side is the back, so it’s simple to get these on the right way.
We’ve commonly seen concerns about sizing with these. Most of the complaints in this regard say they run a bit big. They can also be harder to get a good fit with since they don’t have the elastic sides common in other brands. Still, if you get the right size, they do their job wonderfully!
Top Reusable Swim Diapers
These reusable trunks fit a wide range of sizes, from 8 pounds up to 36! And they’re durable enough to hold up over that whole time for your baby.
To make the proper size adjustments, you simply use the snaps on the outside of the swim diaper to get the right fit around the legs and waist. There are three basic sizes for weight and three for height.
The snaps are on the outside so they won’t irritate your child. The inside is soft and comfortable yet easy to clean.
Most of the realistic criticisms we’ve seen revolve around the sizing; some people complain that it’s smaller than advertised. However, we also see many who say it’s a great fit, so it’s difficult to know if this is a fair complaint.
With those adjustments, it’s easy to make this work well with a regular diaper underneath, too.
There’s a one-year money-back guarantee on these.
These swim trunks include a built-in swim diaper! They give a more “grown-up” appearance while still offering protection for toddlers that aren’t potty-trained quite yet. They’re advertised as a boys’ design, although they’d work well for girls, too.
Over 20 different colors and designs are available, too!
Sizes range from 6 months up to 4T (be sure to check the size drop-down menu and your preferred style – all available at the above link).
These trunks are 100% polyester and can be machine washed.
i play boasts a three-layer system to provide protection. A wicking layer helps prevent diaper rash. An absorbent layer hinders the liquid dropped outside the pool. And the outer waterproof layer fits tight to keep solids inside.
These do tend to run a bit small, so you probably want to get a size or two larger than your child normally wears. The inner elastic will help hold the trunks in place if they’re a bit too large still.
Another design from i play, these trunks have a design more traditionally associated with a little girl. The 11 patterns are wonderfully cute!
They’re available in sizes 6 months to 24 months, and 3T to 5T. They’re polyester and machine washable.
They snap closed to hold them on. The snap faces out so it won’t bother the baby.
These are easy to clean, wash, and reuse and hold up until your child grows out of them.
These earn high marks for ease of use and durability. Most people say they run true to size, although we have seen some people complain they run small.
These swim diapers from FINIS seem a lot simpler than their competitors but do their job just as well.
Shaped like men’s briefs, they’re appropriate for boys and girls. They’re available in 10 different colors and sizes from XS up to 4T.
The polyester fabric and elastic bands around the legs and waist keep solid waste from leaking out. And they’re machine washable for your convenience!
The inner surface is especially soft so your child can stay comfortable. Or you can choose to use these over a regular diaper.
These look and feel a lot more basic than other designs. But they get the job done, and that’s what matters!
Swim diapers let the little ones cool off in the pool along with the rest of the family. Whether you choose disposable or reusable ones should depend on how frequently you plan to take your baby swimming. These are a great article to have on hand to help the whole family enjoy the summer fun!