A baby in a parents' arms covered in water from splashes at a swimming pool.
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Headed to the pool or lake with your little one? Decided to give baby swim lessons a try? Whatever the reason, if you’re spending time in any body of water with your baby, you’ll want to be prepared!

First and foremost, make sure you’re familiar with the American Academy of Pediatrics’ swim safety tips. Then, make sure to pack the right gear for fun in the sun with baby.

In addition to some sunscreen and a towel, your baby is going to need — and we mean need — something to contain the inevitable poop.

If you have never heard of a swim diaper, you might want to read this.

If your child is not yet potty-trained, the answer is: Yes!

“Regular diapers are designed to absorb liquids, so they are not meant to be worn for swimming. A diaper will quickly become wet. It won’t be able to absorb more liquids. The extra weight will cause them to fall off your baby’s body.”

If your baby is going into the water, you should use a swim diaper to keep them safe.

There are two main types of swim diapers.

Reusable diapers

These can be used again and again with a trip through the laundry machine between swims.

They are a great option for people who have a pool or for people who want to learn to swim.

“They have a higher upfront cost than other people. If you don’t swim often, you may not get enough use to justify the moderate cost.”

Disposable diapers

These are more affordable and easier to put on than a diaper, as they are constantly replenishable and could exceed the cost of a diaper.

“They are less mess-resistant as the fit isn’t as personalized as the options that are reuseable.”

“If you don’t want to swim often or if you don’t want to have time to wash and dry swim diapers, disposable diapers are the best option.”

Swim diapers are made to be able to absorb water while still containing liquid. We know what you are thinking, and it means that their pee is likely going to pass through a swim diaper into the water.

However, the goal of swim diapers is to keep poop inside, since the germs from poop in a pool are what public pools and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) fear most! They’re designed to contain solids but let liquids pass.

That said, swim diapers aren’t necessarily designed to contain diarrhea or liquidy newborn poop. So, very young babies and children with diarrhea should not swim in public bodies of water — even with a swim diaper.

That said, teens, adults, or anyone else with diarrhea shouldn’t swim in public pools. Cryptosporidium or “crypto,” a germ that causes diarrhea, can spread through water and even survive chlorine, according to the CDC. If you have crypto, you shouldn’t go into pools for 2 weeks.

A kiddie pool is a great way to introduce your baby to water.

When weeding through both reusable and disposable swim diaper options to bring you the best, we considered things like price, availability, fit, and design. And, of course, one of the biggest things we considered is what fellow parents had to say!

Pricing guide

“Some of the options are disposable, so pricing isn’t exactly apples to apples.”

If you pay more for swim diapers when you swim with your child, you will save money in the long run.

  • $ = disposable (under $2 per diaper)
  • $$ = reusable ($15–$20 per diaper)

Best overall swim diapers

Beau & Belle Littles Nageuret Reusable Swim Diaper

  • Price: $$
  • Sizes available: One size fits newborn to size 5 (6 -35 pounds).

Looking to reduce your carbon footprint without having to worry about buying different sizes of swim diapers? The Nageuret is different from the rest. The diaper accommodates kids from 6 to 35 pounds.

There are three different height options and multiple sizes around the waist and legs.

Parents say the diapers live up to the hype.

It is a one-and-done purchase if you buy a diaper with this sizeVersatility.

Beau and Belle Littles donates 5 percent of their sales to charity. If you want to try the brand again, they offer a 1-year guarantee where you get the diaper back, but also a new one.

The disposable diapers are great for people who want to take their baby to the pool or beach frequently. They are a good choice for parents who value small businesses and value sustainable practices, as children can grow with this product.


  • The diaper has snaps on both sides that make it easier to put it on and take it off.
  • The diaper can be used for a long time.
  • The company has a 1-year guarantee.
  • This diaper is machine-washable.


  • After being washed, these diapers can take a while to dry out.
  • Reviewers said the pre-set snap sizing was small.

Best swim diapers with fun patterns

green sprouts Snap Reusable Absorbent Swim Diaper

  • Price: $$
  • Sizes available: options from 6 months to 4T

This is a good option if you are looking for a swim diaper that is fun and functional.

The brand green sprout has fun designs for their diapers and swimsuits, and even has a built-in swim diaper.

This diaper is great for kids. The designs range from plain colors to stripes. You will find some with the same color.

They are re-usable, so you can feel good about not creating as much waste when you and your kid go to the pool or beach.

Parents say these are good at trapping poop, but they run small. Getting a snug, poo-filled diaper off can be difficult because they only open on one side.


  • If you want to find something that is cute and matches their swimsuit, you can find a wide range of designs.
  • “The diapers are machine-washable, so you won’t have to throw away your waste.”
  • The three-layer design helps hold the poop.


  • They only snap on one side, which makes cleaning up poop difficult.
  • The parents noted that the size runs on the smaller side.

Best disposable swim diapers

Huggies Little Swimmers Disposable Swimpants

  • Price: $ (pack of 12)
  • Sizes available: options for newborns to size 5/6 (7-33+ pounds)

Many parents find these swim diapers from Huggies to be affordable and convenient. They have easy-open sides to make taking care of poop easier. The side tabs help with the fitting of the diaper.

“Fans of these diapers say they have a snug fit. Some reviewers recommend that you base your size selection on your child’s diaper size.”

These could be a great choice for parents who already use a diaper for their kids, or for those who need to pick up a swim diaper at the store.


  • The budget-friendly option is the Huggies diapers.
  • The sides of the diapers are adjusted to fit.
  • You can find them at many stores, making it easier to find them when you are on vacation.


  • The size can be small.
  • The diapers may be hard to take off.

Best adjustable swim diapers

Thirsties Reusable Swim Diaper

  • Price: $$
  • Sizes available: three sizes available (fits 6-55+ pounds)

“Thirsties’ swim diapers have plenty of adjustability, which makes them a good choice if you want the perfect fit.”

The hip snaps help prevent the diaper from sagging. The diaper has snaps across the front so you can expand or shrink it to fit your baby. The soft mesh interior of the diapers makes them comfortable.

The reviewers said these run on the smaller side.

snaps are great at sticking together, but not as versatile as Velcro.

The snaps that cover the front of the diaper make it easy for customers to find the right size.


  • The snaps on the front of the diaper give you the option of being smaller or larger.
  • The diaper has a chance of changing.
  • The biggest diaper size is up to 55 pounds.


  • The diapers run on the small side.
  • “The snaps don’t offer the same flexibility as the options of velcro.”

Best budget-friendly swim diapers

Pampers Splashers Disposable Swim Pants

  • Price: $ (pack of 20)
  • Sizes available: three sizes available (fits 13-40 pounds)

The price tag and ease of taking them off are two things we love about the Splashers.

These disposable diapers feature tear-off sides to make it easier to get your child out of them after a swim. These could be a great choice for parents who want to save money.

Downsides? Getting these pull-up style diapers on can be a lot more work than getting them off — and once they’re ripped off, there’s no putting them back on. They’re also not adjustable, which means you’ll have to be more reliant on the manufacturer’s sizing guide.


  • These diapers are budget friendly.
  • It is easier to find these in a lot of stores while on vacation.
  • The diapers have tear-off sides that make it easy to remove.


  • These diapers are not adjusted.
  • Getting these diapers on can feel like a workout.

Diaper Cost Disposable/reusable Sizes
Beau & Belle Littles Nageuret Reusable Swim Diaper $$ Reusable Newborn-size 5 (6-35 pounds)
green sprouts Snap Reusable Absorbent Swim Diaper $$ Reusable 6 months-4T
Huggies Little Swimmers Disposable Swimpants $ (pack of 12) Disposable Newborn-size 5/6 (7-33+ pounds)
Thirsties Reusable Swim Diaper $$ Reusable Three sizes available (ranging from 6-55+ pounds)
Babyganics Color Changing Disposable Swim Pants $ (pack of 10 or 12 depending on size) Disposable 16-32+ pounds
$ (pack of 20) Disposable Three sizes available (fits 13-40 pounds)

You should consider things like: when choosing the perfect swim diaper.

Disposable or reusable?

disposable diapers are cheap and convenient. They are not as eco-friendly as the other options.

If your child is growing quickly or you are only an occasional pool-going family, you should consider buying a disposable diaper.

Reusable diapers are more difficult to clean. If you want to spend a lot of time at the pool or beach, you will need several diapers throughout the day.


Since swim diapers are meant to be used to make sure that all the poop is contained, you want them to fit a little tighter than regular diapers. The manufacturer has sizing recommendations.

If you pop a swim diaper on your baby while they are in the house, you should not expect it to do the job of a regular diaper. Keep your child in their diaper until they are ready to swim.

If you use disposable swim diaper, you should change them into a regular diaper as soon as possible.

When your baby is on dry land, you might want to purchase inserts for the diaper, but you might want something dry on hand.

How often should you change the swim diaper?

The CDC recommends checking swim diapers frequently — about every 60 minutes. If you suspect a change is coming, you’ll want to head for a bathroom so you can wash your hands afterwards.

If you think your child may have pooped, the diaper should be removed.

Will swim diapers cause a rash?

Swim diapers should not cause a rash. A swim diaper that is too tight could cause irritation.

It can be hard to keep a child in a wet diaper. If swim diapers are checked and changed frequently, this should be avoided.

How should I properly use a swim diaper for my baby?

A swim diaper should fit without gaps. You will want to change your child into a diaper before you head into the water. You will want to check and change it frequently while swimming.

Do you put a regular diaper under a swim diaper?

No. Regular diapers are not meant to be worn while swimming. When submerged, typical diapers would quickly become waterlogged.

“The diaper can’t take on any additional liquids because of the absorption of pool or ocean water. The diaper may fall off your child’s body if the weight is too much. Don’t let your child swim in a diaper.”

Parents are scared of the stuff of nightmares: poop in the pool.

“Since regular diapers can’t prevent it, you’ll want to invest in swim diapers before you and your child take the plunge.”

The CDC and your fellow swimmers will be grateful.