Nothing spoils an afternoon in the pool more than a little floating accident. To avoid any embarrassment when you take your little one for a swim, we’ve hunted around for the best swim nappies that can be used for babies and toddlers.
Disposable or reusable?
Swim nappies are a great parenting tool, but none of them are designed to soak up wee – otherwise, they’d be sucking up the entire pool. The true purpose of a swim nappy is to act as a poo catcher, with the very best ones preventing even little leaks until you’ve had a chance to get your child out of the water.
Whether you buy disposable or reusable swim nappies is down to your personal preference. Many families use a mixture of both; a reusable swim nappy for short visits to the swimming pool, and a few disposable nappies for longer days out at the beach or days spent by the pool on holiday.
Reusable nappies are better for the environment and are more cost-effective if you’re going to take your child swimming regularly.
Disposables are useful if you won’t have access to any suitable washing facilities and want to avoid carrying around a soiled nappy in a hot climate. Additionally, if they haven’t been pooed in or ripped off, disposable nappies can often be hung up to dry and re-used two or three times before throwing away.
Many swim schools expect all their little swimmers to wear a “double nappy system” at their swim classes. This is made up of a disposable or reusable nappy underneath, and a waterproof neoprene nappy cover over the top to help hold in any nasties.
Disposable Swim Nappies
Please keep in mind that swim nappies aren’t designed to hold in wee, just poo. Many parents have ended up drenched in urine on the way to the pool because they assumed a swim nappy would hold any liquid in. Spoiler: they don’t.
Huggies Little Swimmers
Huggies Little Swimmers are the most popular disposable swim nappy brand and the only one with easy open and close sides for quick removal. They have an absorbent material that’s different from normal disposable nappies so that doesn’t swell up when wet.
Getting a snug fit is important with these nappies to avoid any poo leaks. The leak guards around the leg shouldn’t have any gaps or sagging so no little accidents can slip through.
Reusable Swim Nappies
Keep in mind that swim nappies are designed to protect from poo leaks only; they are not urine-proof.
Splash About Happy Nappy
The Happy Nappy by Splash About is the most popular swim nappies and wearing one is a requirement of many swim schools before your baby can join classes.
This neoprene pull-up style nappy has fitted nylon lycra ribs at the waist and thigh prevent leaks, even if you have a wriggly toddler. They’re available in a variety of colours and sizes that are suitable from birth up until around three years.
It can be used alone, with a disposable nappy, or with the Happy Nappy System (see below) for easier clean-ups.
For toddlers who are transitioning out of nappies, Splash About also offer swimsuits and board shorts that have a hidden full neoprene nappy inside to catch any accidents.
Happy Nappy System
To be used only with a neoprene outer nappy, this thin cotton with Velcro closures and flushable paper liner system help to catch poo and make changing time easier.
Some parents report that it leaves red marks around the leg holes, but this will largely depend on your baby’s shape and skin sensitivity. The alternative is to purchase a different inner nappy like the Pop In Swim Nappy Liner (see below) or to use a disposable swim nappy underneath a neoprene outer nappy.
Liner £2.50, wrap from £4.99
Close Pop In Swim Nappy
This Swim Nappy from Close is made using a softer and more flexible material than the traditional neoprene. Each nappy is made up of three layers; a liquid wicking fleece on the inside, a waterproof membrane in the middle, and a stain resistant water-repellent layer on the outside. The binding at the waist and legs helps to prevent leaks.
The old version offer UPF20+ sun protection, while the new version has UPF50+ protection. The Pop In nappy can be used with or without an inner swim nappy (see below).
Pop In Swim Nappy Liner
The Pop-in swim nappy liners are designed to be used inside an outer cover to reduce mess at changing time. The lightweight, washable Velcro liners have a waterproof coating for extra protection.
They come in sizes Small/Medium (0-10 months) and Large/X-Large (10-30 months).
If you’re heading outdoors, don’t forget the sunscreen! We’ve picked out 7 great organic and natural sun creams suitable for children.