The best guide to reusable swim diapers

As more parents become conscious of their environmental impact and aim to lead a more sustainable lifestyle, reusable swim diapers have been gaining popularity. These eco-friendly alternatives are better for the planet and offer a range of benefits for babies and parents.

Reusable swim diapers come in various styles, with adjustable snaps and elastic waist and leg openings to ensure a snug fit on your little one. They are typically made with machine-washable synthetic materials that are durable and long-lasting. This means you can reuse them throughout the summer and beyond, helping you save money in the long run.

Reusable swim diapers

What are reusable swim diapers?

Reusable swim diapers have become increasingly popular due to their eco-friendliness, cost-effectiveness, and overall convenience. As the name suggests, they are designed to be used multiple times and washed after each use, making them a sustainable alternative to disposable swim diapers.

If you’re looking for an affordable and environmentally friendly option for your infant or toddler swim needs, consider investing in one. Not only will you be doing your part for the environment, but you’ll also be saving money in the long run.

Difference between swim diapers and regular diapers?

The most obvious difference between swim and regular diapers is in the materials used. Regulars are made from absorbent materials that hold liquid wastes, such as pee and poop. They are not waterproof, which means they will quickly become saturated and heavy in the water. It can be uncomfortable for your child and create a risk of leakage, potentially contaminating the water.

On the other hand, swim diapers are designed specifically for use in the water. They are made from waterproof materials allowing your child to move freely and comfortably in the water. While they don’t absorb liquid wastes, they contain them, thanks to snug leg openings and waistbands that prevent solids and semi-solids from escaping. All you need is a swimsuit with a reusable swim diaper.

Regular ones can be too tight and uncomfortable for active play in the water. The latter is designed with adjustable snaps or elastic waistbands to give your child a comfortable fit that won’t restrict movement. 

Public pools and swim schools also require swim diapers for children not yet toilet-trained to prevent water contamination and maintain a safe and hygienic swimming environment for everyone.

Reusable swim diapers vs. Disposable swim diapers

Disposable swim diapers are convenient because they can be thrown away after use, making them ideal for trips to public pools or swim schools where washing and drying a reusable baby swim diaper may not be an option. However, disposable diapers come with a couple of downsides.

First, they are not environmentally friendly. According to the Real Diaper Association, decomposing them in landfills can take up to 500 years. Additionally, the costs can add up quickly if you use it frequently.

While they may require more effort because of washing and drying, they are a more environmentally friendly option. Another advantage is their size range and adjustable snaps or elastic waistbands, making it easy to put, enhancing comfort and performance in the water even though they can be expensive upfront but are economical in the long run.

Pros and Cons

Reusable diapers have become increasingly popular as parents and caregivers become more conscious of their environmental impact. While they have their advantages, they also come with some drawbacks. Here are the pros and cons:


1. They are more eco-friendly than disposable.

2. While it may come with a higher upfront cost, they are more 3x cost-effective in the long run. 

3. They have adjustable snaps or elastic waistbands, which can be adjusted to fit babies of different sizes, making them a more versatile option.

4. They are made with natural materials, which can be gentler on a baby’s delicate skin. They also do not contain the synthetic materials typically found in disposable ones.

5. . Traditional diapers are not designed for swimming and can contaminate pools and other water sources. Reusable ones are made with synthetic materials resistant to water and designed to provide a barrier between your child’s waste and the water, effectively preventing the spread of harmful bacteria and germs.


1. More time-consuming than using disposable.

2. A higher upfront cost requires a significant investment.

3. They have the potential to leak, especially when it comes to dealing with poop. Parents may need to invest in accessories like diaper liners and cover to reduce leaks.

4. They are not as convenient and require more planning and preparation. Some parents may find cleaning soiled swim diapers unpleasant or difficult to manage.

5. Finding reusables may be more difficult.

Do swim diapers work?

Yes, the swim diapers work, but there are limitations. They are designed to contain waste but cannot absorb liquid wastes like regular diapers, so the moment your child pees, the diaper will become wet, which may weigh your child down and cause discomfort.

It’s important to note that while it effectively contains solids, they are not 100% foolproof. There is always a chance that something may escape, especially if your child has a particularly explosive bowel movement. Moreover, no swim diaper can replace constant adult supervision when children are in the water.

How to get the poop out of a reusable swim diaper?

One of the downsides of using a reusable diaper is dealing with poop.

First, you’ll want to remove any excess fecal matter from the diaper using toilet paper or a diaper liner. Then, rinse the diaper in warm water to remove any remaining residue. Avoid using hot water as this can set any stains. Afterward, you’ll want to pre-treat the affected area with a stain remover or enzymatic cleaner before washing. This can help break down any remaining stains and odors.

When washing the swim diaper, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for care. Most can be washed in a washing machine on a gentle cycle using mild detergent. Avoid using bleach or fabric softeners, which can damage the diaper’s material and reduce its effectiveness.

After washing, air-dry the clean diaper in a well-ventilated area or outdoors. Avoid using a dryer to avoid damaging the elastic and waterproofing.

Always dispose of any waste in a toilet, and never let a soiled swim diaper sit for an extended period before washing.

What to look for in reusable swim diapers?

Choosing a reusable swim diaper made from synthetic materials that do not absorb water and are quick-drying is essential to prevent your child from feeling uncomfortable in wet swimwear. The best swim diapers are made of polyester and spandex as they are machine washable and can last throughout multiple swim seasons.

Secondly, it must fit snugly without being too tight to prevent leaks. It should have adjustable snaps or elastic waist and leg openings to ensure a comfortable and secure fit. Leg bands or a tapered design also prevent accidents from escaping.


Can a swim diaper be used as a regular diaper?

Swim diapers are designed to be used specifically for swimming. They are made with materials that can withstand exposure to water and chlorine, providing additional protection against leaks. However, they do not have the same absorbency as regular ones specifically designed to absorb liquids and solids.

Do you need to put a diaper under a swim diaper?

No, they are designed to be worn on their own. They are made from materials that can withstand being submerged in water and won’t absorb any water like regular do. 

Are reusable swim diapers worth it?

Compared to their disposable counterparts, reusable diapers are eco-friendly, cost-effective in the long run, and provide a higher level of comfort and protection for your child.

Do reusable swim diapers hold pee?

Yes, they can hold pee – but they are not designed to hold large amounts of liquid. They contain solid wastes and prevent them from leaking into the pool, but they may not be able to contain a full bladder’s worth of urine.

Do reusable swim diapers hold poop?

They are specifically designed to contain it. They prevent solid waste from leaking out of the diaper and into the pool.

Overall recommendation

After researching and testing various swim diapers, we found the Charlie Banana Reusable Easy Snaps Swim Diaper and Nageuret Reusable Swim Diaper to be the best options for reusable swim nappies. Both diapers feature adjustable snaps and a range of sizes that fit snugly while providing room for growth. They also offer additional diaper inserts for extra protection and easy maintenance.

Similar Posts