Recently I was taking a cruise down the disposable diaper aisle - an activity I enjoy sometimes to remind myself how much money we have saved by choosing cloth - and I happened to look at the price of disposable swim diapers. A small bag could feed a family of four for 16 years! (Okay they weren't that expensive, but for something that just catches poo, they were shockingly costly!) Our family swims a LOT, so if we had to buy sposies on a regular basis, they would definitely put a dent in our budget.
On that note, let's take a look at how easy and affordable cloth swim diapers are!
How do swim diapers work?
All swim diapers - disposable and cloth - work in the same way. They form a "seal" around baby's backside to catch any solids, while letting water and pee through. Basically, they keep you from getting escorted out of the pool in case of an untimely twosie. None of them hold in urine, because if they had any absorbent material, they would soak up the water as well.
If baby does poop while in the pool, cloth swim diapers actually do a better job of holding it in than disposables (however, you should vacate the pool as soon as you realize baby has pooped). For this reason, many pools and water parks are now requiring parents to use cloth swim diapers instead of disposable!
How do I wash them?
Swim diapers are pretty easy to care for. Always follow the manufacturer's directions, but generally they are to be washed in warm water and either hung to dry or dried on low. You can either wash them with your diapers, or with your bathing suits.
What size do I need?
Each style has a weight range listed on the website - just pick the size that your kiddo fits in.
The exception to this is the Bummis One Size Swim Diaper, which has rise snaps allowing it to adjust from 10-35 lbs. For most babies, this diaper will fit them from the time they are old enough to start swimming up until potty training. (And bonus! Bummis makes UV Tees and hats that match their diaper prints for a complete swim outfit!)
Why else are swim diapers awesome?
With the variety of prints and colours, swim diapers are cute enough that they don't need to be covered by a swim suit. Pair them with a tankini or UV shirt, and you are all set. If you need to change the diaper, you don't have to undress baby completely. And anything that makes life easier is a parent win!
Small word of warning....
Continued exposure to chlorine and sunlight can be tough on any fabric. They may cause the colours to fade in your diapers. It won't impair their function, but they might not be as colourful as they day you received them in the mail. If this does concern you, try washing your diapers as soon as possible after them being in a pool, and storing them out of the sunlight (e.g. not on the pool deck where ours seem to live).
How many swim diapers do you need?
For the occasional swimming lesson, one swim diaper will be sufficient. However, if you are hanging out at the beach or heading to a resort, I recommend having at least two. That way you'll always have a dry one to put on baby.
How do I choose?
That's the only difficult part about using cloth swim diapers - choosing which one to buy!