The 7 Best Swim Diapers — Plus, Expert Tips For Choosing Them
If your little one isn’t fully potty trained, and you have days spent at the pool, beach, or lake in your calendar, you’ll want to get them some swim diapers. Unlike traditional diapers — which will become saggy, waterlogged, and prone to leaks as soon as your little one starts swimming — the best swim diapers on Amazon will be designed to only keep solids contained. A snug fit is key, so as you shop, pay close attention to manufacturer size charts to choose the correct size based on your child’s age and measurements. (This is one baby product that you don’t want to size up in!) Also, consider the type that you prefer, whether that be single-use disposables or reusable.
Brendan O’Melveny is the chief aquatics officer at Imagine Swimming, a New York City learn-to-swim school, and he has been teaching swimming to infants, children, and adults for nearly two decades. As a father of two children, he has seen many different swim diapers in action.
Sarah Waataja is the director of retail at Foss Swim School — which has more than 20 locations in the United States — where her goal is to provide customers with quality equipment for swim lessons, including swim diapers.
How To Choose Between Disposable & Reusable Swim Diapers
One of the main buying decisions that you’ll have to make when picking out swim diapers is whether to go with ones that are disposable or reusable.
When You Should Buy Disposable Diapers
If you’re looking to buy a swim diaper designed to be thrown away after each use, a disposable swim diaper is the way to go. This style of swim diaper usually features a stretchy waistband that’s sometimes adjustable for a snug fit.
However, there are downsides. In an interview with Romper, Brendan O’Melveny, chief acquatics officer at Imagine Swimming, explains, “Disposable swim diapers tend to become loose around the hips and thighs as baby kicks [and] wiggles in the water.” This can make your infant more prone toward leaks.
When You Should Buy Reusable Diapers
Reusable swim diapers, which are made from fabrics that won’t get bogged down by water, have many perks. Sarah Waataja, the director of retail at Foss Swim School, writes in an email to Romper, “The benefit of a reusable diaper is that they will provide an effective seal around the child’s waist and legs, necessary to prevent leaks.” Look for options with features like adjustable snaps or drawstrings to further minimize the risk of leaks.
That said, reusable swim diapers tend to be a more costly investment upfront, though they can be more budget-friendly over time for frequent swimmers since they can be used time and again. Another downside with reusable swim diapers is cleanup — if your child has an accident, you won’t be able to just throw out the diaper like you would a disposable pick. For ease, some reusable swim diapers are actually built into regular swimsuits.
Both of the experts who shared their expertise for this article prefer reusable swim diapers over disposables, though Waataja recommends pairing them together to take advantage of both their benefits.
Other Swim Diaper Features To Consider
There are a variety of helpful features to look for when purchasing swim diapers. If you’re worried about protecting your child’s skin from the sun, look for products that feature UPF protective fabric to block out the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. Also, choose from a wide variety of color and patterns options based on your and your little one’s style preferences — the options are virtually endless!
Shop The Best Swim Diapers
In a hurry? Here are the top picks for the best swim diapers:
- A Fan-Favorite Reusable Swim Diaper: i play. by green sprouts Snap Reusable Swim Diaper
- An Eco-Friendly Reusable Swim Diaper: Econaps Swim Diaper
- Writer’s Pick: These Disposable Swim Diapers: Pampers Splashers Disposable Swim Diapers
- These Reusable Swim Diapers With Extra Snaps: wegreeco Adjustable Baby Swim Diapers
- A Drawstring Reusable Swim Diaper: Cressi Babies Reusable Swim Diaper
- A Pair Of Trunks With A Built-In Swim Diaper: i play. by green sprouts Trunks
- A Swimsuit With A Built-In Swim Diaper: i play. by green sprouts One-Piece Swimsuit with Built in Reusable Swim Diaper
Before your little one gets in the water, put them in one of these six swim diapers to keep messes contained.
1. A Fan-Favorite Reusable Swim Diaper
- UPF 50+ protection
- Secure side snap closures
- More than 9,000 reviews on Amazon
- Not as adjustable as some other reusable swim diapers
This reusable swim diaper from i play. by green sprouts snugly fits around the waist and legs to prevent leaks. Also, the snap closures on the side are secure so your little one shouldn’t lose their diaper mid-swim. The three-layer design (all of which are made from polyester) is another feature that parents love. The breathable wicking liner helps to prevent diaper rash, the inner layer is absorbent and plush, and the outer layer is waterproof.
One reviewer wrote: “Bought this for my toddler who swims every day to save vs buying the disposable swim diapers. She is comfortable in it while swimming or running around the yard in between swims. Easy to put on her/take off either laying down or standing up due to the side snaps.”
Type: Reusable (and machine washable) | Available colors: 1 | Available sizes: 6 month (10 to 18 pounds) — 4T (38 to 46 pounds) | Sun protection: UPF 50+
2. An Eco-Friendly Reusable Swim Diaper
- Lightweight fit with secure side snap closures
- Made from recycled fabrics
- Available in ocean-themed prints
- Run small
Available in seven coastal designs including humpback whales (pictured above), mermaids, and turtles, these swim diapers will look adorable on your little one. Luckily, these Econaps diapers are just as functional as they are cute. They feature an adjustable waistband, convenient waist snaps, and an inner mesh layer. Plus, they’re designed from lightweight recycled fabrics and are a sustainable, eco-friendly option. Econaps reports that every swim diaper purchased keeps five plastic bottles out of the ocean.
Be sure to check the size guide and size up if you’re in between sizes; reviewers note that these diapers run a bit small. To complete your baby’s look, check out this one-piece Econaps swimsuit and swim hat.
One reviewer wrote: “I use this for my 18-month-old boy, super comfortable, easy to pop on and off, and looks cute on him. We have used the smaller size ones when he was younger and loved them, so it was only natural I would upgrade to the same brand”
Type: Reusable (and machine washable) | Available colors: 7 | Available sizes: 6-15 pounds, 15-24 pounds, 24+ pounds | Sun protection: None
3. Writer’s Pick: These Disposable Swim Diapers
— Also available on Walmart, $10
- Reliable option, in my experience
- Tearable sides make them easy to use
- Cost might add up if you have a frequent swimmer
- Limited print options
Before my daughter was potty trained, she wore these Pampers disposable swim diapers every time she went swimming in a pool, ocean, or lake — and I can attest that we never experienced a single leak! The swim diapers fit nice and snug around the waist and legs, and they don’t stretch out when worn for long periods of time. When it’s time to get out of the water, the tearable sides allow for quick and simple removal of the swim diaper.
One reviewer wrote: “These diapers worked great in the pool. They don't swell up a ton and hold a bunch of water. My 6-month-old daughter seemed very comfortable in them.”
Type: Disposable | Available colors: 1 | Available sizes: Small (13 to 24 pounds), Medium (20 to 33 pounds), Large (31+ pounds) | Sun protection: None
4. These Reusable Swim Diapers With Extra Snaps
— Also available on Walmart, $22
- Numerous snaps for adjustability
- Relatively budget-friendly
- Available in many cute patterns and solid colors
- Only available in two sizes
- Not made with UPF protection
These wegreeco reusable swim diapers are covered in snaps on the sides and back, allowing you to make adjustments to achieve a secure, snug fit as your little one grows. Made from a wicking jersey material, this pick won’t get bogged down as your child enjoys the water. The polyester elastic on the waistband and leg holes ensures solids won’t escape — and the interior mesh helps with this, too. While these swim diapers are only available in small or large, the upside is that since they’re so adjustable, the two size options should work for many kids.
One reviewer wrote: “These are super great! The snaps are very strong and adjustable to any size. I am a cloth diapering mama, so I'm a little picky about strong snaps and a good fit. These were well-made for swimming!”
Type: Reusable (and machine washable) | Available colors: 21 | Available sizes: Small (10 to 19 pounds) — Large (20 to 40 pounds) | Sun protection: None
5. A Drawstring Reusable Swim Diaper
- Adjustable drawstring waistband
- UPF 50+ protection
- Excellent size range
- Some Amazon reviewers have reported that it runs small
If you find that your child’s diaper just isn’t fitting well in the waist, this reusable swim diaper actually boasts an elastic waistband with a convenient built-in drawstring, allowing you to adjust it as needed. It also features stretchy leg bands to help stop leaks. And the entire product is made from polyester to not become waterlogged when your kiddo is enjoying being a little fishy in the pool.
One reviewer wrote: “I purchased for my granddaughter for a river trip. Boy did it do the job. It was able to keep everything that needed to be kept in the diaper safe and secure and washed very easy. I would definitely recommend this product.”
Type: Reusable (and machine washable) | Available colors: 3 | Available sizes: X-Small (6 to 12 pounds) — 4T/5T (38 to 46 pounds) | Sun protection: UPF 50+
6. A Pair Of Trunks With A Built-In Swim Diaper
- Convenient swim trunks/diaper design
- Come in lots of fun prints
- UPF 50+ protection
- Waistband isn’t adjustable, just stretchy
Boasting a knockout 4.8-star average rating after 1,600-plus reviews, these swim trunks from i play. by green sprouts actually feature a built-in reusable swim diaper, which means you won’t have to mess with these swim necessities separately. Made from 100% polyester, the trunks have a three-layer design that prevents them from getting waterlogged. An elastic waistband and snug-fitting legs combine to prevent accidents from entering the water. These swim trunks come in a wide range of nautical-inspired prints — you might even want to scoop up a couple of options to always have a clean pair on hand!
One reviewer wrote: “We love how convenient these swim shorts are with little ones. They are perfect for my 2 year old & he loves the turtle print”
Type: Reusable (and machine washable) | Available colors: 23 | Available sizes: 6 Month (10 to 18 pounds) — 4T (38 to 46 pounds) | Sun protection: UPF 50+
7. A One-Piece Swimsuit With A Built-In Swim Diaper
- Convenient swimsuit/swim diaper combination
- Cross-back straps stay in place
- UPF 50+ protection
- Waistband isn’t adjustable, just stretchy
- Some reviewers on Amazon have noted it runs small
This pick from i play. by green sprouts combines a one-piece swimsuit with a reusable swim diaper — and it’s just so convenient! The built-in diaper features three different layers (an absorbent inner layer, a wicking liner, and a waterproof outer layer), all of which are made from 100% polyester. This product boasts a snug fit overall and elastic at the legs for even more security to prevent leaks. Choose from a variety of pattern options, some of which have ruffle detailing.
One reviewer wrote: “Bought this for swim lessons for my daughter. Built-in diaper is great and doesn’t leak! Washes great as well! Highly recommend and will be buying another one!”
Type: Reusable (and machine washable) | Available colors: 20 | Available sizes: 6 Month (10 to 18 pounds) — 4T (38 to 46 pounds) | Sun protection: UPF 50+
What’s the difference between disposable and reusable swim diapers? How do they work?
Disposable swim diapers are meant to be worn one time and thrown away after each use whereas reusable diapers are more durable and can be washed and worn again. Both types of swim diapers work by holding in solids while withstanding water. Unlike regular diapers, they won’t absorb and swell.
How do you clean reusable swim diapers?
The highlight of reusable swim diapers is that they can easily be washed and used over and over again. Be sure to first dispose of any accidents your child may have left behind in their swim diaper. Then you can either throw the diaper in the wash (most reusable swim diapers are machine-washable) or you can wash it by hand in the sink using warm water and plenty of soap.
Do you need a regular diaper with swim diapers?
Since regular diapers absorb liquid, wearing a regular diaper with a swim diaper would defeat the purpose. The regular diaper will instantly swell once your baby is in the water. A swim diaper is a sufficient enough solution for the water.
Brendan O'Melveny, Chief Aquatics Officer at Imagine Swimming
Sarah Waataja, Director of Retail at Foss Swim School
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