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Everything You Need to Know About Reusable Swim Diapers | How Do Swim Diapers Work

Posted by Lauren Petrullo on
Mother lifting her baby in the pool

Summer season is just around the corner and swimming lessons for kids are in full swing!

If you are eager to enroll your little one in swim lessons, then you need to start thinking about the best swim diaper for them. Why? Well, many swim lessons require that children wear swim diapers if they are not potty trained. 

So, when it comes to swimming diapers, we know there is a long list of things you need to cover: can they really hold pee? Should you go for a disposable swim diaper or a reusable swim diaper? What is exactly the difference between these little guys and a regular diaper? How do swim diapers work?

Don’t worry, we got you covered! If you have little swimmers at home, here is everything you need to know about them!

What is a swim diaper?

If you are ready to let your toddler dive under a kiddie pool, then you need to get them a swim diaper. But what is that? 

Unlike a regular diaper, a swim diaper is a special kind of nappy that is designed to be worn in the pool. They are made out of water-proof material. There are two classes of swim nappies: disposable and reusable.

  • Disposable diaper

A disposable swim diaper is meant to be used once and then thrown away, even if your kid doesn't poop in them.

This swim diaper can be helpful for parents who are not sure if their child is ready for potty training or for those who do not want to deal with the hassle of cleaning a reusable swim diaper. They are also great for on-the-go trips because they work as a play swim diaper that you can just throw away when you're done using them.

  • Reusable diaper

Disposable diapers can be expensive in the long run, and they can also create more waste. So, if you're looking for an eco-friendly option, a reusable swim diaper can be a better choice. 

This reusable option is made from cloth, like polyester, and can be worn multiple times. Reusable diapers come in a variety of different styles, so you can find one that will best meet the needs of your child.

Most sized reusable diapers are designed to fit a child for only 2 months before they grow out of it, however, our diapers have adjustable buttons so they can grow with your kid and be worn for up to 3 years. They literally snap up with age! 

Why are swim diapers important?

Swim diapers are important for a few reasons. The obvious reason is that they contain solids,  so they keep your child from having an accident in the pool because no one wants to swim in a pool of poop *iugh*. Additionally, some swim diapers, like ours, adjust perfectly around the waist and legs to avoid any leaks. 

On the other hand, their outer layer also helps protect your little bum against bacteria and other organisms that can be found in public pools *let’s be honest, they are dirty AF*. Basically, they work as a shield to keep infections out and other things in. 

Finally, the best swim diapers are really convenient for parents. This is because they can be used multiple times so parents won’t have to go and buy a new diaper pack everytime they go to the pool. Just buy 1 or 2 and you are ready to go! 

Disposable diaper vs. reusable diaper

As we mentioned before, reusable and disposable nappies are the two types of swim diapers available on the market.

They both do the same job: keeping poop in and all the bacteria out. However, they have some main differences: for starters, disposable ones have to be thrown away once they are full of waste, while reusable diapers only have to only be washed to remove solids. 

Additionally, reusable diapers are specifically designed to have a snug fit that hug your baby’s body without causing rashes and are environmentally friendly

No matter what you choose, these diapers come with many amazing features that parents find really attractive, like water-proof material, and adjustable snaps. But, all in all, they are a must-have if you wish to take children to swim classes, this is because any community pool may require the little ones to wear swim diapers for sanitary concerns for up to 4 years old. 

How are they different from a regular diaper?

Swim diapers are not the same as regular diapers. The swimming ones are thinner and less likely to cause irritation compared to regular nappies. As all of the absorbent materials for urine and liquid content have been removed. 

Moreover, traditional diapers are not waterproof so they can get soaked even if you put a diaper cover on top. This can add extra weight and stick to your baby's skin, causing rashes.

Additionally, while regular diapers can absorb liquids like pee, swim diapers can only hold poop. 

Finally, swim diapers, unlike regular diapers, do not contain enough layers to shield your little one's skin against the pool water's harmful chemicals, which can cause urine infections. 

Disposable swim diapers

Disposable swim diapers are usually made from thicker swimming diaper material to hold poop. They are easy to put on and take off but can be more expensive than reusable swimming diapers.

If you're a busy mama looking, disposable nappies can be a great choice since you won't have to keep washing every after use.

This option is fairly cheap and offers a lot of conveniences. However, they're not always as preferred as reusable alternatives and are certainly not as eco-friendly.

In the end, disposable swim diapers are a great swimming diaper option if you are looking for something that is more convenient and purchased for immediate use, or an option if you really don’t go to the pool, beach or water play area more than 2x a year. 

Reusable swim diaper

A reusable swim diaper comes in different styles or types that you can match with sun hats and rash guards. Some of them have snap closures and velcro, while others come with double leg openings so you can add extra hold where needed.

These nappies can be used in public pools or at the sea. They are machine-washable and quick-drying to avoid any bacterial build-up. 

Reusable swimming diapers can be more expensive initially than disposable swimming diapers, but they are considered to be eco-friendly because they don't contribute to waste and are economical as they can be worn on multiple swim occasions.

Reusable diapers: Why are they your top choice?

Let’s admit it: kiddos love water and folks hate diaper changes, that’s why reusable swim diapers are your top choice! 

Don’t believe us yet? Well, let us win you over with some advantages!

Waterproof Material

One of the many reasons why you should invest in this kind of nappy is because they are made from a waterproof material, which helps prevent leakage, especially when there's poop inside the diaper. This is amazing not only for the pool’s sake but also for your baby’s health, since water and “number two” matter mix, can create an ideal environment for bacteria to grow, leading to skin irritation and other health problems.

For this, the diapers are made with materials like Polyurethane Laminate (PUL) material, which can withstand water and add an extra layer inside that allows it to catch anything that comes out from your little swimmer. 

Snug Fit

If your child has an accident while wearing a swim diaper, don't worry - they will be just fine! 

This is because the perfect swim diaper is designed to be snug-fitting around the waist and legs, similar to regular underwear, ensuring that the diaper stays in place while achieving its main goal: catching poop.


Every year, millions of disposable swim nappies are thrown away in the United States alone. This creates a lot of unnecessary waste and can damage the environment. 

Reusable swim diapers are a great way to help reduce your environmental impact. They can last for many years when properly cared for, and unlike their disposable counterparts, they don’t end up in a landfill after just one use.


Changing to reusable diapers can be more economical in the long run than disposable nappies if you use them regularly. This is because you only have to purchase them once, and they can be used multiple times instead of having to buy a new swim diaper every time your little one has to go to the pool.


Yes, you can buy diapers depending on your child’s regular diaper size and get rid of them as soon as they grow up, however, there are brands *aka us* that offer adjustable swim diapers! 

This feature is life and money-saving, especially when you have a breastfed baby that won’t stop growing up. That way you can adjust the nappy around your baby’s bum and waist, and also change the width and length. 

Prevents diaper rash

Most reusable swim diapers offer a wicking layer that is more breathable than disposable nappies, which helps to keep bacteria out. .

How do reusable swim diapers work?

A reusable swimming diaper is easy to use. First, you have to choose the right swimming diaper for your baby.

Next, place the swimming diaper under your baby's bottom and fasten it tightly around their waist using hook and loop closures or snaps. Swimming diapers are recommended to be worn tight to prevent any accidents during swimming lessons or swimming activities.

Additionally, one question many parents have is: do swim diapers hold urine? Swimming diapers are not meant to hold a baby's pee. The diaper is specially designed to catch solid waste only.

Washing swim diapers 

Swimming diaper brands recommend different ways of washing these nappies. For example, a swim diaper with PUL can be machine washed with warm water and soap, while cloth ones need to be cleaned by hand. Changing your child out of a reusable involves flushing the diaper contents down the toilet,  rinsing or cleaning out soiled reusable to take home and toss in the washing machine before hang drying it.

Avoid washing your swim diapers in the washing machine with your other clothing because it can damage them. In the same way, using high heat can also harm the diapers as well as harsh detergents like bleach.

Read more about washing reusable swim diapers

Drying swim diapers 

On average, swim diapers need to be washed after each use and then dried. The water used in washing the nappies is very important because it must be cold to avoid causing a breakdown of the waterproof layer.

Drying your child's swim diaper is easy. Just make sure to follow the manufacturer's cleaning directions when it comes to swimming diapers.

You can then hang the diapers to dry naturally. In fact, many parents are opting to dry swim diapers on the clothesline outside as the sun can add additional bacteria zapping elements when being dried outside

However, if you do not have much time, these clothes can be easily put into the dryer with very low or NO heat settings.

Extra recommendations before diving in

Reusable swim diapers exist to protect your children from bacteria while swimming and prevent any embarrassing accidents that are totally normal when your little one is not potty trained yet. 

Reusable diapers are always better for our environment because they are not contributing to the growing amount of waste in landfills. Additionally, they help parents save money in the long run because they only have to buy one diaper instead of buying a lot from time to time.

For swimming pools that require swim diapers, reusable nappies are a must-have accessory every parent should keep on hand- especially if their baby goes swimming often. 

So, if you're considering swimming lessons for your little one, pick swimming diapers with tear-off sides or adjustable snaps to secure it around your child's waist, thighs, and rise.

Reusable swim diapers: Where to find them?

With the summer season in full swing, it’s time to stock up on all of your swimming needs. Reusable swimming diapers are a great way to keep your little one safe and clean while they splash around in the pool or beach. 

Are you ready to find the best swim diapers? It’s time to visit our shop! 

In Beau & Belle Littles you’ll find everything you need for this season: from reusable swim diapers with beautiful patterns and amazing advantages, to swim shirts, masks, and hats to complete their outfit. 

Happy swimming!

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