The Ugly Truth About Swim Diapers

This is the truth. A lot of parents do not realize this. Go on to Walmart, Target or Amazon and read the 1-2 star reviews of disposable swim diapers. Nearly all of the poor reviews state similar complaints. Basically pee everywhere. Complaints such as, “I put this diaper on my child and as we were walking to the pool he peed all over me.”


Here is the truth about this complaint. Any and all swim diapers are not designed to hold in pee. Swim diapers are not absorbent. If they were absorbent they would also hold in the water your child is playing in. If they were absorbent they would also balloon up like a regular disposable diaper when wet, since that is the part of the diaper that does the absorbing. There is no absorbent material in swim diapers. The purpose of a swim diaper is just to contain solids. That is the dirty truth. People, children, babies, even adults urinate in pools ALL OF THE TIME!

Another major complaint I came across while reading reviews was that the disposable swim diapers are not available in small enough sizes. If their purpose is to contain solid messes, and if you have a baby you know that those messes aren’t always exactly solid, the diaper being too big, well you see the problem. The smallest weight listed on either package is for babies who are 16 pounds. Keep reading, I may have an easy solution for you.

So now I ask you, why as a consumer, do you continue to spend about $10 on a pack of 24 or less disposable swim diapers to throw away that are only meant to contain #2, but are also not completely effective at that either?

Here is where the cloth swim diaper comes in. They will fit better. They will contain #2 messes more effectively. They are cute. They are not expensive. You can reuse them.

Swim Diaper

You have many brands to choose from when it comes to cloth swim diapers. Many are carried at great small businesses like Kelly’s Closet and Squigglybugs. Target has started to carry some cloth options as well. I am going to highlight a few of the cloth swim diapers that we have tried and loved.

Bummis Swim Diapers

The Bummis swim diaper is called “Swimmi”. They are one of the only swim diapers on the market that is a true one size swim diaper. The diaper features rise snaps that you snap together to fit babies from around 10-35 pounds. They are made out of a laminated lycra material, so they will not fade in the water. The snaps allow for an easy change if there is a mess in the diaper. Added bonus, they have some really cute prints for both boys and girls. Oh, and they are made in Canada. The price point for this one at Kelly’s Closet is $23.95. Not a bad price when you think that could fit for multiple summers.

Smart Bottoms Swimmers

The Smart Bottoms side snapping swim diapers are my personal favorite. They are available in a variety of prints and sizes. Here is their sizing chart: Small (8-16lbs), Medium (16-30lbs), Large (30-50lbs). Sizing is generous. The elastics are gentle enough that they do not leave red marks, but snug enough to contain any messes. I prefer to snap mine up and slide it on my little guy like a pair of undies. When taking it off I use the snaps and unsnap it like a diaper. This swim diaper is lined with a moisture wicking fabric to help prevent rashes and keep solids contained. A little birdie told me they may be getting some new prints in soon! These are available at Kelly’s Closet and Squigglybugs for $15.

My swim baby

My Swim Baby swim diapers are great if you have a smaller baby. These run very small. You will need to size up at least one size. Last summer, my little guy was around 10 pounds and wore a medium. They have snaps on one side. The best part is that each swim diaper has a matching rash guard and sun hat. These are on sale for really cheap at Squigglybugs right now but patterns and sizing is limited. They are also available at Kelly’s Closet. This is the diaper that will solve your problem of the disposable ones being too large.

None of the diapers listed above are absorbent, just as the disposable ones are not absorbent. A little mommy hack, get a few cloth diaper boosters. Lay one in the swim diaper when you are on the way to and from the pool or beach. This should help absorb most or all of the pee if your little one happens to go.


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