The Swim Nappy Debate -Disposable vs Reusable

Swimming with your baby can be a fun and bonding experience. However much of the enjoyment will be lost if your time together is spent fretting about the possibility of "accidents".

Most public pools now require your child to wear a swim nappy until fully potty trained. Accidents can be very expensive as health regulations stipulate that the pool must be cleared and treated.

A normal nappy rather than a swim nappy is not suitable for swimming as the highly absorbent core would quickly absorb large quantities of water rendering it useless and extremely heavy. Swim nappies are designed to avoid these problems by allowing liquids through and simply containing solids.

A swim nappy is not only useful in the pool, they are also great for the beach where a normal nappy would quickly become waterlogged and cumbersome.

Disposable Or Reusable Swim Nappy?

As with normal nappies there is considerable debate over the disposable or reusable issue.

Here are some of the things that you should take into account when making your choice:

The Disposable Swim nappy


  • A disposable swim nappy is quick and convenient. They are very easily pulled on, and the sides usually rip apart so that they come off easily
  • Disposable swim nappies are brightly coloured and often decorated in characters that children love, meaning that they are happy to wear them
  • There is no laundering involved
  • ¬†Throwaway swim nappys are available in lots of places including pharmacies and even swimming pools.
  • A disposable swim nappy is generally better at containing waste from babies who still have liquid nappies.


  • Disposable swim nappies are expensive particularly in families where regular swimming is done.
  • As with any disposable nappy there is an environmental impact associated with using them.
  • They are sold in large packets with could be heavy and bulky to take away on vacation.
  • Some children are able to easily remove a disposable swim nappy by ripping the sides
  • When full of water they are bulkier than a reusable nappy.

The Reusable Swim Nappy


  • For regular swimmers they can actually work out cheaper in the long run despite the higher initial cost.
  • They have less impact on the environment as unless soiled they will only need a quick rinse through.
  • They are great for taking on holiday as they take up little room in the suitcase.
  • They actually look more like swimsuits than disposable swim nappies and come in a variety of designs and sizes.
  • Older toddlers who are starting to dislike wearing nappies may prefer them as they no longer wish to be seen to be wearing nappies.
  • Cloth nappies do not have chemicals in them that might harm a babies skin.


  • They are much more expensive initially (although they may be cheaper in the long term for regular swimmers)
  • They need to be a good tight fit to work so need to be replaced regularly as the baby grows, although they can of course be used for any subsequent children.
  • They require washing after every use which is time consuming and has an environmental impact.
  • Be careful to buy one that opens up rather than has to be pulled up and down. Pulling down a full swim nappy can be something of a messy procedure!


Do you use disposable or reusable swim nappies?

  • Disposable
  • Reusable
  • Not sure yet
See results without voting


Do you use disposable or reusable regular nappies for day to day use?

  • Disposable
  • Reusable
See results without voting

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