Ready to take your little one to the pool or beach? Here is a breakdown of what you need to know about picking out the perfect reusable or disposable swim diaper.
Getting toddlers and newborns into the water at an early age is a great way to get them comfortable and confident with the water.
The benefits of getting kids swimming at an early age have also been shown to produce significant improvements in motor skills.
One wide-ranging study of 7,000 kids under the age of five found that kids who started swim lessons early had as much as a two year advantage when it came to motor skills compared to non-swimmers.
Getting toddlers in the pool (or to the beach) means also being mindful of the messes that they can leave behind. No parent wants to be the one that gets the pool closed for “maintenance” when their kiddo takes a doo-doo in the water.
This means outfitting your little guy or gal with a waterproof diaper for swimming.
Choosing the best swim diaper for your little swimmer
Swim diapers can be worn as the bathing suit or can be worn under the bathing suit. Swimming diapers for newborns come in reusable and disposable suits and all have generally the same construction.
Elastic linings around the waist and top of the thighs to prevent leakage and keep the swim diaper in place. While the outside of the swim diaper is made of a durable polyester or cloth, the inside is softer mesh or cloth that is comfortable against the skin of your toddler while also soaking up any messes he or she makes while in the water.
Although swim diapers do a generally good job of, well, containing things, for maximum confidence in the water I’d recommend using one of the recommended swim diapers below with a regularly-lined swimsuit.
Pull down swim diapers vs. Snaps on the side.
In the same way that your dry-land diapers have snaps on the side to make changing baby mess easier, check to see if the swim diaper can be detached from the side.
While fit and protection from messes in the pool won’t change, being able to open up a sopping diaper full of #2 from the sides, instead of pulling it down and leaving a horrific mess, is a clear advantage.
Disposable vs. Reusable
Reusable swim diapers are cheaper over the long term, are usually made of polyester, and come in both pull-down and with snaps or Velcro. Using a reusable diaper means packing along a wet sack for post-swim transportation back home for cleaning. Most pools are (understandably) strict about reusable swim diapers not being cleaned in the sinks at the facility.
This is the obvious advantage that disposable swim diapers, such as Pampers Splashers, which can be worn under a regular swim suit and be thrown out after each use. For the very casual little swimmer this makes for a quick and easy solution.
Will they hold in pee?
Generally, no. Swim diapers are made of material that allows some passage of water, which means that pee will seep out of the diaper while in the water.
Okay, with the basics behind us, let’s get into a breakdown of the best swim diapers for your newborn or toddler.
iPlay Baby Snap Reusable Swim Diaper
Comfortable, easy to pull in and off, and well-priced, the iPlay Baby Snap checks all the boxes when it comes to fit and ease of use. The iPlay swim diapers have three snaps on the left side of the diaper which make them easy to remove.
The one catch? (There’s always a catch…) They tend to run a little small, so it is worth nothing that you will very likely have to size up when picking up these particular swim diapers.
- Snaps on left side
Alva Baby Reusable Swim Diapers
These swim diapers are fantastic, but sadly, are only designed for swimmers under the age of two. The thing I liked most about the Alva Baby reusable diapers (besides the price—two of them for around $15) is that they are totally adjustable.
Alva Baby diapers have the usual bells and whistles that you would expect: a waterproof polyester outer shell, elastic Lycra leg cuffs for adjustable fit, and snaps that can accommodate babies of any size and shape. (Under two, of course.)
- Fully adjustable with snaps on both sides of the diaper
FINIS Swim Diaper
They also make a line of reusable diapers for the youngest swimmers in the pool. The FINIS Swim Diaper comes in nine different color combos, and a wide variety of sizes, fitting 3-6 month old newborns up to 4 years old toddlers.
The FINIS swim diapers are made of 100% polyester, ribbed elastic waist and leg holes for a secure fit. The FINIS diaper is a pull-down swim diaper.
- 100% polyester
Pampers Splashers (Best Disposable Swim Diaper)
Pampers is one of the big players in the diaper market, so it’s no surprise that they have a version for the pool and beach.
Unlike the diapers designed for everyday use, the Pampers Splashers are disposable swim diapers for toddlers that won’t swell up like a balloon when soaked in water. The Splashers feature an extra thick, double-layered cuff to help keep things in place and come in a variety of fun designs and colors.
- Tear-away sides
9 Best Swimming Aids for Toddlers and Children. Looking to hit the water? Here is our curated list of the best swimming aids to take down with you to the local aquatic center for fun and safety.