What are Swim Diapers?

Phil Shepley
Phil Shepley
Woman with hand on her hip
Woman with hand on her hip

Some parents love to take their children swimming as soon as their pediatrician tells them it’s okay. Regular cloth or disposable diapers, however, are not usually designed to be used underwater. This is where swim diapers come in handy. Swim diapers are diapers that are specifically designed for and used by babies and toddlers while swimming. Some varieties are also made for adults.

There are mainly two types of regular diapers - cloth and disposable. Regular non-swim diapers do not work very well in the water. Regular disposable diapers are generally designed to hold a great deal of liquid, and when they do they expand and become very heavy. A similar thing happens with non-swim cloth diapers and they become heavy and more likely to fall off.

Swim diapers are made so they can be submerged in water without absorbing a great deal of liquid, while at the same time not allowing any of the child’s waste to escape. Like regular non-swim diapers, there are two types. The first are cloth swim diapers that are made to be reused. After the child goes swimming, these diapers are simply washed with the laundry to be used again the next time in the water. Disposable swim diapers, as the name implies, are thrown away after only one use.

The advantages of one type of swim diaper over the other are debatable. The obvious advantage of disposable swim diapers is that there is no need to clean them in order to be used again. Cloth swim diapers, on the other hand, can be reused again and again instead of being thrown right into the garbage. This coupled with the effect on the environment that disposable diapers have makes reusable cloth swim diapers the better choice for some.

Many different companies manufacture both cloth and disposable swim diapers. Both varieties also come in a wide range of designs and patterns, some even specifically made for boys or girls. Some are children’s swimsuits that are designed with reusable swim diapers built right in.

Discussion Comments


I agree that swim diapers are a great advance in baby wear and they should be mandatory, not optional. If you have ever had babies and toddlers in your pool and they were wearing regular disposable diapers then you know how the diapers can come apart in the water.

In addition to being unsanitary, the regular disposable diapers can get caught in the pool filter system and the drainage system and create problems.


Do you know that some states in the United States require that children who are still in diapers wear swim diapers when they are in a public pool? This is true. There are actually laws regarding the wearing of swim diapers.

Without a swim diaper, there is a good chance that E.coli and other bacteria will get in the pool and make it an unhealthy situation for everyone who gets into the pool. When you use a swim diaper be sure it fits snuggly for obvious reasons. It can be wore alone or on top of regular diapers.


I was at work and over heard someone use the term swim diapers. I had never heard of them, and wasn't sure what they were. After reading this article, I think they are a great idea and I wish I had known about them years ago.

As a child, I didn't learn to swim, and was afraid of water for a long time before I learned to swim. Before I gave birth to my first child I was told that the best time for a person to learn to swim is as a baby, so swim diapers are the perfect remedy for those little pool mishaps.

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • Woman with hand on her hip
      Woman with hand on her hip