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Reusable Swim Diapers
April 20, 2012 12:22 pm | by

Back when Vicki was 6 months old, I started taking her to swimming lessons. I prepared weeks in advance by registering her for swimming, buying her a bathing suit, and purchasing a reusable swim diaper. I was good to go.

Everything went swimmingly (pun intended) for a few months, and we greatly enjoyed our weekly swim. Then it got cold and I dropped the ball and forgot to register for the winter session. By the time we went back to swimming, Vicki needed a new bathing suitand she had grown out of her swim diaper. As I was pressed for time and shopping the day before lessons started up again, I just grabbed a package of disposable swim diapers at the store to use.

I’ve been using them ever since. ::blushes::

When I saw this re-use challenge, I ticked off the items I regularly re-use: cloth diapers (check), cloth wipes (check), water bottles (check), grocery bags (check), night time diapering (check), coffee cups (check). Then I noticed swim diapers in the list and knew where I had to make the change. It was time to go back to the good old reusable swim diaper.

With summer coming, I’ll have plenty of opportunities to get my money’s worth. We have already set up the kiddie pool in the backyard on the two fluke hot days we’ve had. Once June rolls around, I expect to be swimming at least 3 times a week. A reusable swim diaper costs roughly the same amount as a package of 18 disposable medium swim diapers ($17.95 vs. $16.99). So in 6 weeks I will have made my money back, and any extra swimming we do will only save me money. I’ll also feel better about not throwing my disposable swim diapers into the landfill to decompose over the next 500 years.

The reusable swim diapers are designed to keep in solids but not to absorb the pool water. When I was using the reusable swim diaper, I had no issues with leaking. However, I did always put the swim diaper on immediately before going into the pool. They’re very easy to wash – as long as there were no solids in the diaper (hasn’t happened to me yet, knock on wood), I would just throw them in the washing machine with the bathing suits and towels and air dry.

So now I’m jumping back in the water (another pun, sorry) and just clicked “purchase” on the right size reusable swim diaper. Re-use challenge, CHECK!

What can you change for Re-Use Challenge Day? Ideas from Real Diaper Week include night time diapering, traveling with diapers, potty training, swim diapers, coffee cups, water bottles, grocery bags, snack bags, feminine products, etc. Pick one and make your pledge to change in the comments!

About the Author

Jessica von Wallenstein is a stay at home mom who chronicles her parenting adventures at She has three children and is buried in cloth diapers.



  • Bonnie said...
    April 23, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    I bought a reusable swim diaper for my son last year, but then I learned that I can use my BG 4.0 one-size diapers without the inserts instead. I’ve been using them ever since.

  • BeaverFam said...
    April 20, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    I never thought of using cloth swim diapers until we signed up for swim lessons and our swim school required them. We use the iPlay swim diapers because that is what the swim school sells plus they fit well and allow for free range of motion in the water. I like to call them little baby speedos.

  • anastasiadenton said...
    April 20, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    uh, pocket diaper, no insert works for us!

  • Anonymous said...
    April 20, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    i’m going to get a diva cup. i don’t want to deal with the hassle of washing menstrual out of cloth pads.

    • Dawn said...
      April 20, 2012 at 8:19 pm

      I have a friend who LOVES hers; I’m thinking of trying it.

  • Anonymous said...
    April 20, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    congratulations on making the switch back to reusable swim diapers. I do caution everyone to ensure that their swim diaper is approved for use in public pools. Not all of them are! There’s a blog post on Monkey Doodlez that helps explain what’s required.

  • Jackie said...
    April 20, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    You know, a diaper cover makes a great swim diaper. It does exactly what you need it to do: hold in the poo. I have never bought a swim diaper, I just use a cover without anything in it, and using a one-size cover makes it even more convenient and cheap. In fact, someone gave me a swim diaper and now, on my 3rd baby, the elastic is shot, but the diaper covers I’ve used on all 3 are still in great shape! If you’re afraid of ruining one of your covers, just designate one the swim diaper. But I’ve been through 3 kids and never had a cover wear out because I used it as a swim diaper!

  • Anonymous said...
    April 20, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    I happily bought 2 reusable swim nappies, 1 for when he was 5-7kg and one for when he was 7-9kg. These particular ones are again designed to hold in the solids by fitting snugly around their legs. However, having a tall thin husband, I have a tall thin baby with thin legs and now at almost 8 kilos the legs on the 5-7kg nappy still don’t fit snugly around his legs so I’ve had to resort to disposables to keep everything in. I haven’t yet found one that will fit him properly 🙁

    • Amber said...
      April 20, 2012 at 1:32 pm

      Do you cloth diaper? Whatever brand you use that fit him, use that cover or pocket diaper that is not stuffed with an insert. However, designate one diaper to be your swim diaper. The pool chemicals are hard on the pul.

  • kakes005 said...
    April 20, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    When out daughter was little we just used covers we didn’t purchase swim diapers. We would just use one of our covers and make sure it was on tight and it worked great.

  • Anonymous said...
    April 20, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    If you already have pocket dipes there’s no need to buy the swim dipes. Just don’t stuff your pocket diaper and make sure they are fairly tight. They hold in what needs held in and don’t absorb the pool.

    • Anonymous said...
      April 20, 2012 at 6:55 pm

      We did this but were told that the chlorine will ruin the PUL, so we just took a couple older pockets out of the rotation and they are now only for swimming. If I was misinformed I’d love to know.

  • Tanya said...
    April 20, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    I started using reusable items religiously about 4 years ago. I am currently using resuable diapers, wipes, swim diapers, coffee cups, water bottles, grocery bags, and my newest addition is feminines products (the diva cup). I am always looking for more ways to go green. I buy local grown produce and make my own baby food too….if there are other suggestions I would love to hear what other moms are doing. Thanks.

  • Anonymous said...
    April 20, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    You can actually get them for $10, so it’s even less than you think. They work well and are pretty cute. They do only hold in the solids, but really the throw away ones only barely do that (while soaking up half the pool).

  • Holley Dismukes said...
    April 20, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    I have the swim diapers on my list! I am due in July and have all of her cloth diapers, but I know I need to add swim diapers. I have never heard of reusable feminine products though…