I buy a lot of things that make travel with a baby more convenient. And one of those things is definitely the reusable swim diaper. Between beaches and hotel pools Poppy’s swim diapers travel almost as much as she does.
Swim diapers are designed for one thing, and one thing only: poo catchin’.
With regular diapers, you have absorbent layers designed to hold as much pee as they possibly can, but a swim diaper’s only job is to catch the solids from bumping into your friend while she’s doing laps.
Pee? Eh, that’s what chlorine is for.
No swim diaper is designed to contain pee, because if they did, they would also contain all of the water your baby is swimming in, or next time you pick up your baby, it would slosh out the sides down your arm. Hooooraaay.
Since we don’t go through eight swim diapers a day, it’s well worth just tossing in the wash with our wet clothes (unless of course we get a deposit—which of course requires a slightly different protocol) instead of hoping that package of disposables isn’t outgrown by the next pool trip.
Already convinced you need a swim diapers? Then check out our top picks now.
(And while we're on the subject of eco-friendly things that catch poo, check out our top picks for biodegradable diapers.)
But Do I Really Need a Swim Diaper?
Most pools require you to put a swim diaper on your little poo machine (and come on guys, it’s just good manners), so having some in your bag is a must if you plan to go for a swim.
Here’s what’s gonna happen if you put a regular diaper on your bub next time you go for a swim:
- It’ll swell up with pool water.
- Any poos produced will seep out of the bloated diaper and into the water.
- People will scream and run for their lives like it’s Caddyshack up in there.
ProtipBuy one or two to keep around, and never worry about bumping into your baby’s Baby Ruth in the pool. WORTH IT.
What to Look For in a Swim Diaper
There are a lot more reusable swim diapers on the market today than there were ten years ago, thanks in large part to the surge in the popularity of cloth diapers (you go crunchy moms and dads!).
Knowing which one to get is literally a matter of poo or swim, so I took the shopping process seriously. Here’s what I used to judge my lineup:
Because at the end of the day, it’s just a freakin’ poop catcher.
How a swim diaper goes on will be a BIG part of how much you love it.
Cause every baby wants to be the cutest one at the beach.
Balancing containment with baby’s comfort is a delicate dance.
The Top 6 Best Swim Diapers
A GREAT mid-range reusable swim diaper, ALVAs are notoriously good at containing poops, and super easy to adjust for a wide-range of sizes. Some users do find that for chunkier babies the one-size has an expiration date, but aside from that, these diapers are affordable and come in a TON of cute prints and colors.
Most swim diapers are 100% polyester, and that’s okay, but I LOVE Charlie Banana for going above and beyond with an organic cotton liner. The one major downside to these is that they’re the pull-down kind, so if your kid does poop while wearing it, well, it’s no picnic to get it cleaned up.
That being said, they come in some of the cutest stinkin’ patterns around, and are super affordable, starting at a little over $10 bucks each.
Applecheeks makes some of the BEST fitting cloth diapers around, and using those as a model for success, their swim diapers don’t disappoint. This is one of the only double gusseted swim diapers out there, which means two things:
1.Better leak protection, and a
2.More comfortable fit around the thighs.
Add that to the adorable prints and adjustable fit, and you have a diaper that suddenly doesn’t seem so steep at around $20.
If you’re familiar at all with cloth diapers, this swim diaper from Sweet Pea basically fits like a shell, with snaps down the front and at the waist for lots of customization in the fit. While they’re a tiny bit pricey (at about $15 each), they’re another double-gusset diaper that’s super comfy for baby, and super reassuring for you.
Like the Sweet Pea diaper, this one by Wegreeco is adjustable at the waist and thighs, but doesn’t have those sweet double gussets. I still love it though, and at slightly more than $10, it’s worth it just being limited to a few prints. This one’s great for babies with little legs, but careful, because a lot of people say chunkier babies outgrow these one-size swim diapers quickly.
Swim diapers are probably the last thing on your mind as you rush through your day, so do yourself a favor, and just get ones you can’t run out of—hint, hint, reusable ones.
Reusable swim diapers are super easy to clean, give you the peace of mind of not having a horrifying mess in the pool, and in most cases, actually grow with your baby. That means no more chucking out (or donating) a pack of disposable swim diapers just because they’ve been outgrown.