For the past few years I’ve been amazed by the number of non-cloth parents who ask me about cloth swim diapers. It makes sense, the disposable ones are pretty expensive for a diaper that doesn’t even hold pee. If you have a backyard pool or just like to go to the pool/beach often, they can add up quickly. Here’s a little info on using cloth swim diapers.
First of all, did you know that NO swim diaper is really made to hold in pee? That’s right, all swim diapers are designed to let the pee through. If they were absorbent, your baby would just soak up the pool water. Have you ever put a regular disposable diaper on baby while in the pool? If you have, you’ve seen the diaper FILL with pool water and likely also witnessed the gel inside the diaper explode from being too full. Swim diapers are only designed to hold poop so there are no fun ‘floaters’ in the pool. Therefore, almost ANY cloth diaper without an insert can be used inside the pool.
Designated Swim Diapers
Many cloth diaper companies offer diapers specifically designed for swimming. These diapers vary in style and price, but all offer cute colors/prints and can stand up to chlorinated pools and repeated use. They’re designed to be washed and worn many, many times so you’ll be getting your money’s worth out of them.
- My Swim Baby Swim Diapers are some of the most affordable at just $9.95 each. They offer discreet side snaps if you need to do a quick change, but also can be pulled up like most disposable swim diapers. They’re offered in several fun prints and even have sunhats and rash guards to make up a whole suit.
- If you’re looking for a swim diaper that is easy on, easy off check out Bummis Swimmi Diapers. They velcro on and off like most regular disposable diapers so they are SUPER easy to use and pretty affordable at $14.95. They come in several fun prints that are all fairly gender neutral and have an interior mesh lining to make cleanups easy. Bummis also offers coordinating sun hats, rash guards, and takinis so you don’t even have to get a bathing suit to go over those cute diapers.
- If solid colors are more your thing, checkout the Blueberry Freestyle Swim Diapers. These swim diapers are $16.95 and offer those easy side snaps for when you need to do a quick change. They can also be pulled up and down. An advantage of this swim diaper is that it does offer a bit of absorbance to catch any pee accidents that happen on the way to the pool. The absorbance is small, so it won’t make your baby’s bottom balloon when they get into the pool.
- Applecheeks Swim Diapers also come in solid colors. These diapers are $19 and offer two layers of lined mesh that let water comfortable flow through the diaper.
Using Regular Cloth as a Swim Diaper
If you don’t go swimming often enough to warrant a designated swim diaper, you can always use almost any cloth diaper without an insert for swimming. Just note that chlorine may cause more wear on your diaper elastic and colors than normal.
Pocket diapers are especially nice to use as a swim diaper because you can easily remove the insert(s).
Most diaper covers can also be used as a swim diaper. Just keep in mind that PUL might not be the most comfortable fabric directly against baby so you may want to choose a cover with a lining or add one yourself.
Covers with a liner:
- Grovia Shells in Snaps or Hook and Loop both $16.95. There are mesh lined so they would make particularly good swim diapers.
- SoftBums Omni Shell (also offered in Calendar Bums prints) $21.95
- SoftBums Echo Shell (also offered in Calendar Bums prints) $21.94
If you’re already a cloth diapering parent who has a diaper that leaks due to damaged PUL/TPU, you CAN use this diaper as a swim diaper. Just don’t use a diaper with faulty leg elastic if the elastic is so shot that it doesn’t sit on the child’s legs/waist properly. As long as the diaper can still hold in poop and isn’t going to take on lots of water, it CAN be used as a swim diaper.
Cloth swim diapers really aren’t scary! They can be a nice, easy transition into cloth for many families. As with any diaper, just empty the solids into the toilet and flush them away. Diapers can be laundered with your other swim clothes. Most just aren’t able to be bleached and fabric softener should generally be avoided.
Are you ready to take the plunge with some of these cute prints?
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