An Ode to Reusable Swim Diapers
Swim diapers are basically poop-catchers. Remember that. Their function is to keep baby poop out of the pool or swimming area. So how much are you going to pay for your poop-catcher swim diaper? How many are you willing to cart around in your suitcase on vacation? Using disposable swim diapers will cost quite a bit and take up lots of precious packing space. Cloth reusable swim diapers, on the other hand, are a one-time expense with essentially the same care-requirements as a swimming suit. Even if you don’t use cloth diapers full-time (or even part-time) a reusable swim diaper is an easy and wise choice!
Truths about Disposable Swim Diapers
Think about it, if swim diapers were absorbent, they would just fill up with pool water. That’s why you can’t use regular disposable diapers as swim diapers–they’ll balloon up and weigh a five pounds! The typical disposable swim diaper that you would purchase at the grocery store is just the outer layers of a regular disposable diaper, but without any (or without many) of the the wetness absorbing crystals inside. So it’s basically two layers of plastic with elastic around the legs, which will set you back around $7-$10 per pack. They’re single-use and take up a lot of space.
We actually used disposable swim diapers for a long time. We were given partially-used packs and started with those and then would get stuck on vacation without enough swim diapers and have to go buy more. Really, that’s what made me switch–having to go out and buy more disposable swim diapers in the middle of vacation. Ugh. You would think that I might have caught on faster, being such a cloth diaper fanatic and all, but it took me a while to see why reusable swim diapers were so awesome.
Reusable Swim Diapers Are Comfortable, Inexpensive, and Convenient
Comfortable Washable Swim Diapers
First, cloth swim diapers are comfortable because they are made out of fabric, not paper/plastic. Our first reusable swim diaper was from Apple Cheeks and had a super soft PUL outer and an athletic mesh inner with soft elastic at the legs. The snaps made it adjustable and our daughter immediately loved it. Plus, it didn’t get water-logged like a regular diaper in water, or even like a disposable swim diaper. Here’s a display of cloth swim diapers (and regular cloth diapers) that I spotted one day in Target. I was so excited to see all their cute colors and patterns!!
Cloth Swim Diapers are Inexpensive
If you think about how much you might pay for a disposable swim diaper–essentially a regular disposable diaper with the important diaper STUFF taken OUT of it–you might get pretty angry. Plus, the product you’re buying just gets thrown away after one use! In exchange for one or two packs of disposable swim diapers, you could purchase one reusable swim cover that will last you a few years (instead of a few weeks). We bought an official swim diaper because I hoped it would hold up well with chlorine and sun. Plus, I loved all our other diapers and didn’t want to sacrifice them to the pool. However, if you have a pocket diaper or cover that you don’t mind getting a little faded, you can just use that cloth pocket diaper or cover as a swim diaper! All it needs to do is catch poop, remember, so do NOT put in an insert or prefold. Just strap it on snugly once you are ready to get in the water! Here’s an example of a pocket diaper that could be used as a swim diaper.
Reusable Swim Diapers are Convenient
Finally, reuseable swim diapers are convenient and easy to use. Our swim diaper felt to me made out of a similar material to a swim suit. So we would just rinse it after swimming and hang it to dry. We’ve blessedly never had a poop-while-swimming experience with our kids, so the swim diaper just got laundered with our swimsuits in-between trips and was always just as ready to go as our other swim gear. It’s so free-ing to have the swim diaper always available. It also takes up such a tiny amount of space in our suitcases or diaper bag. (Waaay less than a pack of disposable swim diapers!)
I’d love to hear about your experiences with reusable swim diapers and reusable swim diaper covers! Or let us know if you have any questions! Please visit me over at Why We Love Green, where I write about Saving Money While Saving the Earth! I’ve got lots of great articles, reviews, and giveaways to share with you!
Christine blogs at Why We Love Green about saving money while saving the earth! She is a mom to two wonderful children and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in German linguistics. Her interests include cloth diapering, German, and eco-friendly living. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Check out her blog for articles, product reviews, and green giveaways!