What Are the Options for Swim Diapers?

Baby Swim Outings and Diapers

Swim diaper
Donnie Ray Jones/Flickr Creative Commons/Attribution License

If you are headed for a fun baby swim trip to the local beach or pool, then you have to decide what sort of diaper you will use when your baby is in the water. You essentially have three options: go diaperless, use disposable swim diapers, or opt for reusable cloth swim diapers. Certainly, swim diapers do a better job of keeping the pool safer and cleaner than ordinary disposable diapers or going diaper free. However, before you decide what you will use, be sure you understand how swim diapers work.

The Difference Between Disposable Diapers and Swim Diapers

Disposable swim diapers will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but it's pretty safe to say that there are some key differences in how they function when compared to your run-of-the-mill disposable diapers.

Disposable swim diapers have fewer chemicals in them so they will not swell up like saturated disposable diapers do. The outer cover is typically more durable so that they will not get torn on rough concrete surfaces. Most disposable swim diapers will not fall apart when saturated. This means that there is no diaper debris that can clog swimming pool filters like regular disposables do.

It is important to understand that disposable swim diapers do not completely absorb urine and keep it from getting into the water. Nor do they claim to prevent feces from getting into the water.

Cloth Swim Diapers

Cloth swim diapers are essentially a cover that either pulls on or velcros or snaps securely around your baby's diaper area. While urine will pass straight through most cloth swim diapers, the secure fit helps to contain poop messes better. Cloth swim diapers can be used over and over again and can be laundered in your home.

Swim Diapers Are Not as Hygenic as You Might Think

Unisex Baby/Toddler Ultimate Swim Diaper
Image by Amazon

Disposable swim diapers can certainly be a convenient choice. Rather than having several sizes, disposable swim diapers are designed similar to Pull-ups with stretchy sides. That means that the swim diaper will fit your baby through a broader weight range. The sides can be easily torn open for changing messy pants or pull off for "cleaner" changes. And when you're done swimming, you can toss it in the nearest trash can.

While you might feel confident that your disposable swimwear is the healthiest choice for both your baby and other pool-goers, studies have called into question the hygienic value of disposable swim diapers. It is apparent that disposable diapers do not contain messes and bacteria very well.

The Advantages to Reusable Swim Diapers

Alva Baby 2pcs Pack One Size Reuseable Washable Swim Diapers
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Even for the most loyal disposable diaper users, reusable swim diapers made out of cloth are a logical, practical, and easy-to-use choice.

There are many reasons why some parents find cloth swim diapers to be superior to disposables. They are thin enough to be easily worn under a baby girl's swimsuit or boy's swim trunks.

Additionally, though urine passes freely through the suit as it does with disposables, you can customize the fit to securely contained the messiest of messes. Elastic leg gussets also do a good job of keeping what needs to stay inside the diaper in place. However, keep in mind that no swim diaper can prevent bacteria from leaching into the water. And a reminder that applies to more than just swim diaper use: Always keep sick babies and toddlers out of the pool.

And then, of course, there are both the environmental and economic benefits. Disposable diapers not only are a waste in itself, the manufacturing of them produces waste. On the side of cost, if you re-use your cloth swim diaper 3 times a week, in a month's time you'll find that you are saving money rather than keeping a stash of disposable diapers.

Baby Summer Fun

Nageuret Premium Reusable Baby Swim Diapers
Image by Amazon

So whether you choose disposable or cloth swim diapers or go diaper-free, always be sure to check with the requirements of the pool or beach where you swim. Some public swimming spots have strict standards on swim diapers, and you should respect those policies.

Additionally, before you pack up your swim diapers and head poolside, be sure to arm yourself with some knowledge regarding summer safety tips for babies. With the right swim gear and common sense, you and your baby will likely have an enjoyable adventure in the water.

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