Taking your little one to the pool or beach can be a fun and exciting experience, but it's important to make sure you have all the right gear. One essential item you'll need is a swim diaper - and making the switch to a reusable swim diaper will save not only money, but sanity in knowing you've always got the poop caught.
In this article, we'll cover everything you need to know about reusable swim diapers - what they are, why they're important, and how to choose the right one for your child. We only have one type of swim diaper in store right now, but maybe we'll have options.
Cloth Swim Diapers are for everyone, but maybe you are in learning more about cloth diapering? Check out our comprehensive guide on Cloth Diapering 101,where we break down the different types of cloth diapers and provide tips and tricks for success.
What is a Swim Diaper?
A swim diaper is a specially designed diaper that is meant to be worn in the water to capture poop. Both disposable and cloth swim diapers don't absorb water. They are also designed to contain solid waste, which is important to prevent accidents in the water. Because accidents in the pool are no good.
Swim diapers have the same shape and form as a disposable or cloth diaper that forms around the baby's body creating a seal to keep the poop in. Pee is not captured - because if it can catch pee it can absorb pool water.
Types of Swim Diapers
The swim diaper niche is not the biggest, but it is one that is occupied by many different manufacturers resulting in a few different styles. We see some that mare more like pull on underwear and some that more like a cloth diaper.
Disposable Swim Diapers: These are single-use swim diapers that are similar to regular disposable diapers. They are designed to be worn once and then thrown away. They are available in various sizes, and they are easy to use. They are very expensive for one-time use.
One Size, Snap On Cloth Swim Diapers: These swim diapers are designed to fit most babies from about 8-35 lbs. They usually have adjustable snaps and elastic to ensure a secure fit. One size swim diapers are an economical option since they can be used for multiple seasons, and can really be customized to fit your child. This is popular style among cloth diaper brands.
Pull On Sized Swim Diapers - Sized swim diapers come in different sizes, and you must choose the right size for your baby. This can also be a custom fit, but also not depending if your child meets the same dimension of the swim diaper. This style of diaper is common amongst brands that manufacture children's swim accessories. You'll need to change sizes as your child ages.
Disposable Swim Diapers: These are single-use swim diapers that are similar to regular disposable diapers. They are designed to be worn once and then thrown away. They are available in various sizes, and they are easy to use.
Why Choose Cloth Swim Diapers
There are many reasons why parents choose cloth swim diapers over disposable options - and in fact, I'm surprised that the disposable industry has convinced us that disposable swim diapers should be the norm because they are an expensive product with a relatively high rate of failure (note the experience that is some pools requiring double swim diapers).
Eco-Friendly: Cloth swim diapers are a sustainable option that helps reduces waste. Disposable diapers consume about 2-3% of our municipal waste and once upon a time I was privy to waste audit of a BC municipality where we learnt that one of the biggest expenses to the city for waste management was disposable diaper removal at their pools. So switching to swim can help our municipalities save some money - theoretically.
Cloth Swim diapers are reusable and can be washed and used multiple times.
Cost-Effective: While cloth swim diapers may cost more upfront than disposable options, they can save you money in the long run, especially if you swim often. They can be washed and reused many times, and can also be passed down to younger siblings or other families.
Comfortable: Cloth swim diapers are designed to be comfortable for children to wear. They come in a range of sizes and styles to offer kids comfort, but also they need to feel wet!
Easy to Clean: Cloth swim diapers can be washed and dried in the same way as regular cloth diapers. Many brands are also machine washable and can be tumble dried on low heat.
Adorable Designs: Cloth swim diapers come in a variety of fun prints and colors, making them a stylish choice for your little swimmer. And swim diapers can totally function as your Childs swimwear - the only thing they need to wear to the beach besides a stylish hat and some sunscreen.
Should your child poop in the pool in a swim diaper, you still need to exit the pool promptly and change their diaper. And yes, you will have to now clean a poopy swim diaper, but it's a simple task that will save you big time and is about the same as cleaning a poopy sleeper or any other blow out incident.
How to Use a Reusable Swim Diaper
The process is near identical to using a disposable swim diaper and using a swim suit. If you know how to wash a swimsuit, you can tackle a cloth swim diaper. I promise.
First, make sure the swim diaper is the correct size for your child. It should fit snugly around the waist and legs without being too tight. You may need to adjust the rise settings on the exterior of the diaper if your diaper has one, or refer to the size chart if you've chosen a sized swim diaper.
Before putting on the swim diaper, make sure your child's bottom is clean and dry! Seriously, we don't want poop in the pool so all bums need to be clean.
Put the swim diaper on your child like you would a regular diaper, making sure it's snug around the waist and legs.You'll wan the elastics to fall into the leg crease just like underwear would fit. If there's gaps, tighten up different snaps to give a good fit.
Once your child is in the water, monitor them closely for any signs of discomfort or leakage.
When it's time to take off the swim diaper, carefully remove it and dispose of any solid waste in the toilet.
Rinse it out and wash it according to the manufacturer's instructions - generally like a swimsuit - or any other piece of poopy clothing. The goal is to really rinse out any solids and flush down the toilet, then wash until clean.
Make sure to always follow the proper hygiene and safety guidelines when using swim diapers to ensure a fun and safe swimming experience for everyone.
How Much Will It Cost to Use Swim Diapers?
There's never a black and white answer to calculating costs - but in this equation we never really know how many times you'll use a product. Are you registered for swim lessons? Or are you a once a month swimmer?
To do this, I've calculated the cost of swim diapers at per use, the cost of swim diapers will vary. If you're buying them last minute at the pool they can be upwards of $2 each. Some pools will require an additional cloth diaper swim diaper over top.
Sized swim diapers also flexible in their cost depending on how many sizes you'll need. In both scenarios with the reusable swim diaper, I recommended having two swim diapers because sometimes shit happens on the way to the pool and you want to go back in. A second one on hand can help ensure you're always having a positive pool experience.