First and foremost, make sure you’re familiar with the American Academy of Pediatrics’ swim safety tips. Then, make sure to pack the right gear for fun in the sun with baby.
In addition to some sunscreen and a towel, your baby is going to need — and we mean need — something to contain the inevitable poop. If you’ve never heard of a swim diaper and are considering putting them in the water in their regular diaper… well, you might want to keep reading.
Regular diapers are not meant to be worn swimming — they are designed to absorb liquids. A regular diaper will quickly become water logged when submerged, meaning it won’t be able to absorb additional liquids (read: pee) and the extra weight is likely to make them fall off your baby’s body!
For the health and safety of your fellow swimmers (and to avoid some serious potential embarrassment), you’ll want to make sure to use a swim diaper if your baby is going in water.
While regular diapers are designed to absorb liquids, swim diapers are made to withstand water while containing solids. We know what you’re thinking, and yep, this means that their pee is likely going to pass through a swim diaper into the water.
However, the goal of swim diapers is to hopefully keep poop inside, since the germs from poop in a pool are what public pools and the
That said, swim diapers aren’t necessarily designed to contain diarrhea or liquidy newborn poops, so very young babies and children with diarrhea should not swim in public bodies of water — even with a swim diaper.
Bathtubs and kiddie pools are a great way to introduce your newborn to water without potentially infecting the community pool!
When weeding through both reusable and disposable swim diaper options to bring you the best, we considered things like price, availability, fit, and design. And, of course, one of the biggest things we considered is what fellow parents had to say!
Note that some of the options below are reusable, while others are disposable, so pricing isn’t exactly apples to apples. If you plan on swimming with your little one often, paying a little more for reusable swim diapers might actually save you money in the long run!
- $ = disposable (under $2 per diaper)
- $$ = reusable ($15–$20 per diaper)
Best overall swim diapers
Beau & Belle Littles Nageuret Reusable Swim Diaper
Looking to reduce your carbon footprint, but also not have to worry about buying a million different sizes of reusable swim diapers? The Nageuret really stands out from the rest thanks to its ability to adjust between sizes newborn and 5!
Well-placed snaps allow for multiple different adjustments around the waist and legs as well as three different height options. Parents praise the adjustability of these diapers and say it lives up to the poop-trapping hype.
When you buy from Nageuret you’re supporting a small family business that donates 5 percent of their yearly sales. They also offer a 1-year guarantee where you get not only the cost of the diaper back, but a new one if you’d like to try the brand again.
Best swim diapers with fun patterns
green sprouts Snap Reusable Absorbent Swim Diaper
Looking for a swim diaper that’s not only functionable but fun? The eco-friendly brand green sprouts offers a ton of fun designs for their diapers, and even makes swimsuits with a built-in swim diaper. Plus, they’re another reusable option so you can feel good about not creating as much waste.
Parents say these are good at trapping poop, but that they run rather small. And since they only snap open on one side, getting a super snug, poo-filled diaper off can be tricky.
Best disposable swim diapers
Huggies Little Swimmers Disposable Swimpants
Price: $ (20-pack)
Affordable and convenient, these swim diapers from Huggies tick a lot of the boxes for parents. They have easy-open sides to make taking care of poop easier than pull-up style swim diapers, and the reclosable side tabs help with adjustments so you can make sure the diaper fits well on your little one.
Fans of these diapers say they offer a snug, secure fit, and love that they come with an on-the-go bag for wipes. A few parents recommend basing your size selection on your child’s regular diaper size as opposed to their weight.
Best adjustable swim diapers
Thirsties Swim Diaper
If you’re trying to get the perfect fit to keep everything contained, Thirsties offers a reusable swim diaper will lots of adjustable features to make sure it’s snug. These diapers come with three adjustable rise options and hip snaps to prevent drooping. They also have a soft mesh interior for comfort.
Worth noting: Reviewers say they tend to run on the smaller side, so you may find yourself going to the next snap before you expected to. Also, while snaps are great, they’re not as customizable as Velcro.
Best swim diapers with UPF protection
Babyganics Color Changing Disposable Swim Pants
Price: $ (12-pack)
With UPF 50 protection and color changing technology, these diapers will actually give you a reminder to reapply sunscreen and check for poop — the scenery on the diaper changes with both initial and prolonged UV exposure!
If you’re an eco-minded parent, you’ll appreciate Babyganics’ effort to create a disposable diaper that has a core made with sustainable materials. But before you start stocking up in bulk, note that these diapers can run on the pricier side.
Best budget-friendly swim diapers
Pampers Splashers Disposable Swim Pants
Price: $ (20-pack)
Two things we love about Pampers Splashers: the price tag and ease of removal. Not only are these budget-friendly diapers disposable, they feature tear-off sides to make it even easier to get your little one out of them after a dip in the pool.
Downsides? Getting these pull-up style diapers on can be a lot more work than getting them off — and once they’re ripped off, there’s no putting them back on. They’re also not adjustable, meaning you’ll have to be more reliant on the manufacturer’s size guide.
When deciding on the perfect swim diaper for your family, you’ll want to consider things like:
Disposable or reusable?
Disposable diapers are fairly cheap and offer a lot of convenience. However, they’re not always as adjustable as reusable options and are definitely not as eco-friendly.
Many parents find they are able to get a better fit with reusable diapers, but reusable diapers are more expensive — especially if your little one is growing quickly or you’re only an occasional pool-going family. They are also a lot more work to clean.
Since the goal of swim diapers is to make sure that all the poop is contained, you’ll usually want them to fit a little tighter than your regular diapers. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s sizing recommendations.
If you pop a swim diaper on your babe while they’re in the house, don’t expect it to do the job of a regular diaper! Keep your little one in their regular diaper until it’s time to swim.
If you’re using a disposable swim diaper, you’ll want to quickly change them into a regular diaper as soon as they’re out of the water. Reusable swim diapers sometimes offer the option to purchase inserts for the diaper when your baby is on dry land, but you might want something dry on hand.
Poop in the pool is the stuff of parental nightmares! Since regular diapers can’t help to prevent it from happening, you’ll want to invest in some swim diapers before you and your little one take the plunge.
The CDC and your fellow swimmers will thank you!