A Better Option: Regular Diapers or Swim Diapers For My Baby In The Pool?

Swim diapers are the best option for your baby if you decide to take them to the pool. Regular diapers and swim diapers both have different abilities. Regular diapers absorb water way too quickly and can become too heavy, full, and almost bursting after some time in the water. On the other hand, Swim diapers are only meant to contain feces, while the liquid will easily pass through the diaper.

While regular diapers are an excellent water-absorbent, swim diapers aren’t meant to be water-absorbent because they fail to perform their only job in the pool. There are two types of swim diapers- regular and disposable.

It’s finally the weekend when you go to the beach or decide to take your kids to the pool. Most babies love playing in the water, be it their bath time, an evening on the beach, or just plain ol’ playing in the pool.

But when you reach the pool, and you dress your little one in their swimming costumes, the thought strikes- can your little one be in the pool with their regular diapers?

I mean, you must’ve read and heard all things you need to carry while going to the beach or the pool. So, you carry swimwear, SPF, hats, snacks, juices, and whatnot, but it’s not very often people remind you to bring swim diapers too for your little one, especially if they’re not potty trained.

It can also be that you’re already aware of swim diapers. Still, you think it might be another marketing scheme for you to spend more money and buy more unnecessary things for your baby (like that wipe warmer you see at other parents’ houses).

But, trust me, swim diapers aren’t something you want to skip on and make your little one wear their regular diapers. Also, swim diapers aren’t that expensive, and your baby won’t regularly wear them because it’ll only be when you take them to the pool or beach.

What are swim diapers?

Swim diapers or swim pants are specifically designed to be worn in the water. They’re not meant to absorb water, but their only job is to contain in the solid poops.

Now, you might be wondering, what if your baby pees? Won’t she pee in the pool then? Well, yes. Your baby’s pee will pass through the swim diaper and into the pool, but so does other peoples’. I know that’s gross, but the bright side is your baby won’t have any poopy episodes in the pool. I mean, having poop leaked out of your baby’s diaper and into the swimming pool is way more gross and unhygienic on so many fronts than your baby’s pee.

How are swim diapers different from regular diapers?

A regular diaper next to a swim diaper for comparison

Come back to the regular diapers your baby wear outside the pool. These diapers are meant to absorb water. I mean, all you see in the advertisements for baby diapers is how much liquid they can absorb.

But these regular diapers are not meant to be submerged in the water. Don’t believe me? Try dipping your baby’s regular diaper in a sink full of water. You’ll soon see the diaper absorbing most of the water, exceeding its capacity, and ending up becoming soggy, dragged down, and almost torn.

This happens because your baby’s regular diapers have sodium polyacrylate, which can soak up water 800 times their weight.

So, when your little one wears their regular diapers in the pool, it’ll soon become soggy, dragged down from their butt, and will leak the inner particles of the diaper in the pool. In worst cases, if your little one has already pooped, that might also contaminate the water.

Swim diapers, on the other hand, are only meant to keep in the feces and let your child play longer in the pool before you need to change her, in case she has pooped.

Swim diapers can easily contain any kind of number twos in the diaper unless your baby has diarrhea. If your little one’s suffering from diarrhea, then not only your baby but anyone with diarrhea shouldn’t go in the water, mainly if others use the pool.

And in case you didn’t already know your child was sick, then the best thing to do is, check your baby’s diaper at regular intervals, and if she’s a toddler, ask her if she wants to take a bathroom break to avoid any episode in the pool.

Type of swim diapers

Swim diapers come in two variants – disposable and reusable. Although both serve the same purpose of containing poop, both have advantages.

Disposable swim diapers

As the name suggests, you can toss it out after its use. Disposable swim diapers are designed with tabs on the sides, which will secure around your baby’s waist and legs, and the chances of falling off are less due to absorption of water.

But it would help if you disposed of them off once they are soiled. Some parents would double diaper their babies, making them wear disposable swim diapers first, then regular diapers on top. Still, again this doesn’t just not only look uncomfortable for the baby when she tries to move in the water, dragging her heavy diaper around, but it’s not just cute!

Reusable swim diapers

Reusable swim diapers are a tad bit expensive than disposable ones, but again, you don’t have to buy them in bulk and instead use them multiple times. Also, it’s great for the environment too.

The reusable swim diapers can also be worn outside the water, with a padded cloth inserted inside the diaper first. For this, the reusable diaper needs to be dry rather. Once your baby’s outside the pool, you need to change her back into her regular diapers.

How to use swim diapers?

Using the swim diapers is quite simple. You can use it the same way you deal with a regular diaper.

Step 1: Put the swim diaper on your baby.

Step 2: Put on her swimwear on top of it. You could also let your baby be only in her swim diaper if she’s in your private pool.

Step 3: You will have to check your infant’s swim diaper every 30-60 minutes to see if it’s soiled. If you have a toddler, take them for bathroom breaks every 30-60 minutes.

Step 4: If your child has pooped, discard the swim diapers if they’re disposable and change them into new diapers. If you’re using reusable ones, use a tissue (not wet wipes), remove the poop, and throw it in the toilet. Change your little one into new swim diapers. You can either wash the reusable diaper or, if you’re outside, wrap it in a separate bag and wash it at home with a gentle detergent.

Best swim diapers available on Amazon

1. Babyganics Color Changing Disposable Swim Diapers

Babyganics Color Changing Disposable Swim Diapers, Small

  • Offer UPF 50+ protection
  • Has water-resistant softcover
  • Slip-on diaper
  • Changes color after prolonged UV exposure
  • Won’t swell in water

2. Nageuret Reusable Swim Diaper

Nageuret Reusable Swim Diaper, Adjustable & Stylish Fits Diapers Sizes N-5 (8-36lbs) Ultra Premium Quality for Baby Shower Gifts & Swimming Lessons (Fish- Red, Green, Blue)

  • Washable, reusable diaper
  • The outer shell is waterproof and stylish
  • Eco-friendly as you can reuse them multiple times
  • Entirely adjustable- so your baby can wear them again when they grow a little more.

3. Pampers Splashers Swim Diapers Disposable Swim Pants

Swim Diapers Size 5 (> 31 lb) - Pampers Splashers Disposable Swim Pants, Large, Pack of 2 (Twinpack), 17 Count

  • Has a comfortable fit when wet or dry
  • It doesn’t swell in water
  • It has a stretchy waistband that fits like a swimwear
  • It comes with easy-tear sides to dispose of quickly

4. I play. by green sprouts

i play. by green sprouts Boys' Reusable Swim Diaper, Gray Undersea, 3T

  • Made with 100% polyester material
  • It comes with a snap closure
  • Approved for public pools
  • It comes with a 3-layer design which helps prevent diaper rash, waterproofing the diaper, and helps contain any mess

5. Huggies Little Swimmers Disposable Swimpants 

  • Easy-open sides
  • Disposed of after 1 use
  • It doesn’t swell in water
  • It comes in varied sizes

Huggies Little Swimmers Disposable Swim Diapers, Swimpants, Size 5-6 Large (over 32 lb.), XX Ct. (Packaging May Vary)


What can I use in the place of a swim diaper?

You can also use cloth diapers. They both do the job almost the same. But, once the baby is out of the water, you’ll have to change her in another set of diapers.

Do swim diapers hold runny poo?

Swim diapers are designed to hold in any poop. So, even breastfed baby poo or a runny poo will be held in a swim diaper, but if your baby has diarrhea, chances are she might poop multiple times, which the swim diaper may not be able to hold in.


To conclude, regular diapers aren’t even an option compared to a swim diaper. Regular diapers aren’t meant to be in the water for a long time. But, there are so many swim diapers available today in the market. Pick any reusable or disposable, but make your baby wear them when going in the water.

So, the next time you take your kids to the pool, you don’t have to overthink. Grab your baby’s swim diapers and head-on in the water to have a good, jolly time.


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Located in India and a mother to a joyfully mischievous son, Kelin is the wife of the world’s most patient man and a busy homemaker. When she’s not busy cooking and running after her kid,  you can find her in a corner reading, or penning down words on her laptop. She believes the world will always try to instil ‘mom guilt’ in new mothers, but she goes by the maxim ‘a mother knows best'.

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