by maipham

November 1, 2022

Do I need a diaper pail

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Imagine it’s a hot sunny day.

And you know all too well how swimming benefits your baby, so you take him or her to the pool.

If you are like most of us who do not own a private pool in the backyard, you prepare everything you and your baby needs, armed to the teeth and get out of the house.

You drive all the way to the pool, hoping that you can enjoy some quality time with your baby.

Just to find out the pool is closed. Because someone (hopefully a little baby) poop in the pool.

You raise your eyebrows, roll your eyes, put your hands up in the air and say to yourself, “What the heck, I mean, those parents don't know how do swim diapers work?”

Or how about this.

Same scenario, but it is you carrying your baby in your arm, trying to get him or her out of the pool as fast as you can, with a yellow line of water running down from his or her swimming suit to your hand. 

Your face gets red as you hear people getting angry and rushing to take their babies out of the pool, while looking at you as you carry your baby and run out of the water. 

Because your baby, obviously, let one go in the pool.

You then tell yourself, “I should have used something to keep the “package” inside!”.

Well, you are not alone.

In fact, a lot of parents don’t even know the existence of swim diapers, until we see one, or until we accidentally destroy someone’s pool day.

How do swim diapers work?

I’m sure as a parent you are well aware of what diapers are. To keep your baby’s output in one place so that you don’t have to rush him to the bathroom and do all the washing, cleaning and changing every 15 minutes.

How do swim diapers work? Do they also keep everything in one place? Do swim diapers hold urine?

The short answer, no.

Swim diapers prevent baby’s solid poop from getting into the pool for a short period of time without absorbing baby’s urine. Because if swim diapers have absorbency in them, they will absorb the water and weigh babies down in the water.

To sum up, swim diapers hold poop for a while, not pee.

According to the CDC, swim diapers, no matter how well they are made, are not leak-proof

So if your baby has some diarrhea problems, you should not put him to the pool.

There are 2 types of swim diapers

Disposable swim diapers

Ethan in swim diaper

My son in his first swimming session

They look a lot like normal diapers. The only difference is that they don’t swell when exposed to water.

Their names have said it all, after you use this diaper once, you have to throw it away even if your baby does not poo in it.

How do these disposable swim diapers work?

Disposable swim diapers are made to trap solid poop, not absorb it. Therefore, even if you have a lot of swim diapers in the house and you run out of normal diaper, it can’t alternate the normal diaper even just for a while.

The only and biggest disadvantage of this type of swim diapers is that they are very costly. They are often much more expensive than normal diapers.

Reusable swim diapers

Reusable swim diapers are made from fabric so that you can wash it and use it again. Reusable swim diapers look just like cloth diapers. 

How do reusable swim diapers work?

They often are made with a waterproof layer to prevent solid waste from getting to the water. Therefore, they are often tight in the legs and sometimes in the waist.

Here comes the golden question:

Can you use cloth diapers as swim diapers?

Many parents use cloth diapers as swim diapers. But I do not recommend it.

The main difference between these two types is that reusable swim diapers are made to hold solid poop while cloth diapers are meant to absorb water. 

Even if your cloth diaper is very soft and thin, it still weighs your baby down in the water, which can be dangerous sometimes.

How to pick the right swim diapers?

Size of the diapers

Generally speaking, swim diapers should fit your baby tightly, as they need to stay in place in case some output is released. 

However, do not try to use too small diapers as it will leave marks on your baby’s skin, stop the blood circulation and make him uncomfortable.


If your baby’s skin is very sensitive, pay extra attention to the material of the swim diapers. 

Some disposable or even reusable swim diapers can cause diaper rash.

How are swim diapers designed?

Swim diapers can be designed as pull up, snap or velcro.

  • Pull up: easy to put on. Hard to take off, especially if it has poop and you try not to rub that poop all over your baby.
  • Snap: easy to put on, easier to take off. If your baby is very active, he might burst the snap open.
  • Velcro: easy to put on and take off. But your baby can open it easily. Also you need to be careful in case it scratches against his skin.

Below is the list of the most common swim diaper designs, and the comparison between them.

  • Snap Reusable Swim Diaper

  • One-size Fits All Swim Diapers

  • Single-layer Swim Diapers

  • Disposable Swim Diapers

  • Leg + Waist Band Swim Diapers

How do snap reusable swim diapers work?

Normally come in several snaps in one or both sides of the diapers to ensure a snug fit.

Usually consist of several layers.


They are trim and lightweight for freedom of movement.


Easy on-and-off

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you put a swim diaper under the bathing suit?


You can just let your baby wear a swim diaper and get into the pool if the pool rules allow it. Or if you want to make sure your baby is warm, put on his swimming suit outside the swim diaper.

Can you put a diaper under the swim diaper?

No. Diapers are made to absorb water, so a diaper will weigh your baby down. 

How to use swim diapers?

Put swim diapers on and frequently check for soiling, at least every 30 minutes. Once the swim diaper is dirty, change to a new one before putting your baby back to the pool.

Best reusable swim diapers for baby

i play by green sprouts Baby Snap Reusable Swim Diaper 

As one of the top-rated, most reputable and best sellers regarding reusable swim diapers, i play swim diapers are loved for some good reasons.

It has a patented 30-layer design to prevent diaper rash, absorb the urine and protect from unsanitary moments. With these layers, the company claims that no need to put on another diaper underneath it to prevent the mess.

This swim diaper has durable side snaps, easy to put on and take off. The design is simple, trim and effective.

They also come with a wide selection of trendy swimwear styles and makes it easy to mix and match. They also come in a plain color to pair with your baby’s own swimsuits.

What we like

  • Very comfortable
  • Easy to put on and take off
  • Come in a wide range of design to choose from

What we don't like

  • Sizing is very tricky. Many people have issues with the small leg holes. Size up is advised.

Splash About Happy Nappy Swim Diapers

If you want to find a swim diaper without worrying about leakage nor your baby’s blood circulation, this is the one.

It is considered the most reliable swim diaper, because of the neoprene material and the design that can provide a secure fit while still being comfortable for babies.

What we like

  • Provide a poop proof system
  • Snug without making baby uncomfortable
  • High-quality material

What we don't like

  • Sizing can be tricky

Nageuret Reusable Swim Diaper

This swim diaper is one of the most economic options.

How does this swim diaper work for your baby?

It is a one-size-fit-all swim diaper type. It comes with several snaps, allowing the maximum adjustment to fit from 8 lbs to 36 lbs baby. Depending on your baby’s size, you decide to snap all the snaps or just a few to secure a snug fit.

The outer shell is made from a premium soft breathable waterproof 100% PUL polyester cloth fabric featuring cute original prints. The inside is an extremely soft premium Polyester mesh designed for easy washing and baby comfort.

This swim diaper, however, doesn’t have an inner absorbing layer. Therefore, if your baby is not on solid food yet, this swim diaper is unlikely to prevent any leakage.

What we like

  • Eco-friendly. Buy one, use for years later
  • They offer a good one-year no-risk guarantee

What we don't like

  • No absorbing inner layer
  • Excess fabric might be bulky for small babies

ALVABABY Baby Swim Diapers

Another one-size-fit-all swim diaper. Similar to the Nageuret Swim diaper, it also comes with several snaps to secure a snug fit. 

All features of this swim diaper are very similar to the Nageuret, but they come in a pair or a pack of 3.

They appear to be a more economic choice than the Nageuret Swim diaper.

What we like

  • Eco-friendly. Buy one, use for years later
  • They offer a good one-year no-risk guarantee

What we don't like

  • No absorbing inner layer
  • Excess fabric might be bulky for small babies

FINIS Mermaid Diaper Fintastic

This is a single-layer swim diaper. No snap, no velcro or anything to create confusion. This is a straightforward and simple swim diaper.

With a simple design, it is very easy to put on. But with poopy inside, it is very tricky to take off without making your baby dirty even more.

However, if your baby’s waste is solid, and you just want some extra protection, this swim diaper is a perfect choice.

What we like

  • Very comfortable and gentle on baby’s skin
  • Easy to put on

What we don't like

  • Sizing can be tricky
  • Hard to take off without dirtying your baby

Best disposable swim diapers for baby

Pampers Splashers Disposable Swim Pants

As a well-known and trusted brand, Pampers’ swim diapers also express their exceptional quality.

This one comes in three sizes that will suit babies from 13 to 40 pounds. They’re great for all kinds of water activity, whether it’s running through the sprinkler in the yard or playing on the beach.

The dual leak-guard barriers prevent any leaks, and provide a great, snug fit.

It fastens along the hip and is designed for quick and easy removal. The waistband provides stretch through the front, back, and sides, and is intended to provide exceptional comfort.

What we like

  • Comfortable and adjustable
  • Easy and convenient

What we don't like

  • Pricy
  • Not environmental friendly

Huggies Little Swimmers

Huggies is also one of the most reputable brands. Their swim diapers have easy-open, reclosable side tabs for quick adjustments or diaper changes, even when the baby is as slippery as a little fish. If a major accident does happen, quickly clean it up thanks to the easy-open sides.

Soft, stretchy sides help keep your little one comfortable both in and out of water. Three size options let you choose the best fit, based on your baby’s weight.

Other leak guards have also been built for superior protection.

What we like

  • Comfortable and adjustable
  • Easy and convenient

What we don't like

  • Pricy
  • Not environmental friendly

It’s possible for mommies and babies to enjoy pool time

Many babies don’t have a fixed “going low low” schedule.

But you don’t have to track it or wait for it. Sometimes, we tend to complicate things and fall for the perfectionism trap. 

You can take your baby to the pool without worrying him or her to let one go in the pool.

Because even if your baby does, you have something to contain the output and buy you some time to take your baby out of the pool before you shower in it. 

Your baby safety system is on, and the pool safety system is also on. 

What are you waiting for?

Let your baby splash the water around and kick his feet like he is getting ready for a race.

Let the fun begin. 

About the author 

Mai Pham

Mai Pham discovered her passion for writing a few years ago and she never stop thinking about it ever since. She finally took the leap and created Live a Worthy Life to brag about her smart ass (mainly just for fun). Enjoyed the fun writing brings, now with her new interest in everything-baby-related, she created Mommy Instinct, to tell mamas that it's ok that they mess up, that they don't know what the hell they are doing, and that it's okay to sit back and relax for a while.

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