If it’s your first summer or beach vacation with baby you may be wondering how swim diapers work when you go to the beach or pool. The main goal of a swim diaper is to keep poop out of the water. Poop in a pool is bad news because it can spread harmful bacteria to other swimmers. That’s why it is required of most places for babies to wear swim diapers at the pool or beach. So what are your options?

2 Options for Swim Diapers:

#1 Disposable Swim Diapers


    • Not as much mess to clean up, easy to toss in the trash


    • Not as sturdy, prone to sagging/falling apart
    • Single use product
    • More expensive than normal disposables

#2 Reusable Swim Diapers

Of course picking a reusable swim diaper is our top recommendation!


    • Reusable – better for baby and planet!
    • Save money
    • Multiple uses
    • Tighter fit, much better containment
    • Easier to wash than normal cloth diapers
    • Cute styles
    • Adjustable sizing


    • Need to wash at home
    • Have to deal with the poo if baby goes in the diaper

How to Wash Reusable Swim Diapers:

    1. Put the swim diaper on baby just like you would with a normal diaper. Then go enjoy the water together!
    2. If baby poops in the swim diaper, at home or in pool bathroom, plop solid poops into toilet. Try and get as much fecal matter into toilet before washing.
    3. You can wash by:
      1. Hand wash with warm water in the sink. People swear by using Dawn Dish Soap to get the best clean. Hang up to air dry. Putting them in the sun will help bleach out stains naturally.
      2. Wash in washing machine with high water, and detergent free of optical brighteners and fabric softeners. Hang up to air dry.

Swim Diaper Brand Recommendations:

    • Green Diaper Babies gives away free swim diapers to clients made from old all in one diapers with the absorbent layers removed. They’re worn out enough to let liquids pass, but to keep solids in. Send us a message if you’d like some added to your next delivery!
    • Beau and Belle‘s Swim Diapers
    • Bambino Mio Swim Diapers

Other Swim Diaper Tips:

Whether you go with reusable or disposable swim diapers, here are some other tips:

  • Bring a spare swim diaper. Chances are you’ll need another one.
  • Don’t travel in them! Swim diapers allow liquids to leak right through, so in the stroller or car you’ll want to use your normal diapers.
  • No liquid poopers. Since liquids leak through, don’t take baby to the pool when they’re having diarrhea. The swim diaper will not help contain this! It is also recommended to not take breastfeed-only babies to the pool because their poop is still liquid-y and will also go through the swim diaper.
  • Pee is okay in the pool. You only need to change the swim diaper if baby poops. (We can only guess how much pee goes into a swimming pool!)
  • Some pools require disposable swim diapers. Check before going.
  • Layer diapers. If you’re really worried, you can layer disposable swim diapers under a reusable swim diaper.
  • Wait till after they poop. If you’re baby is on a pretty regular bowel movement schedule, you can wait till after they’re usual poop to go to the pool. This can help prevent those unexpected surprises!
  • Bring an extra wet bag! These work great to contain wet diapers, bathing suits, and water shoes after a long day at the pool or beach.

If you’re swim diaper leaks and poop gets in the pool, notify the lifeguard immediately. There’s no shame, and you want to protect the other people there. Even with the best swim diaper, sometimes it happens! Babies got to do what babies go to do.