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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

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Reusable Swim Diapers, Refreshingly Simple

New parents are inundated with gear and gadgets. Besides the standard layette, diapers and wipes, they may see a reusable swim diaper, special bottles and toys of all shapes and sizes. Of course, no baby needs everything on this list; the basics are often more than sufficient. For summer fun, however, one things is certain, you will have to have a swim diaper whenever you bring your baby to the pool. What do these baby items accomplish and what do you need to look at? In addition, do reusable swim diapers really save you money? What about dealing with pool management? Fortunately, we have the answers to all your questions about the reusable swim diaper.

Features of a Reusable Swim Diaper
Unlike some other products that are geared toward environmentally-conscious parents, the reusable swim diaper is refreshingly simple. In fact, if you have used a disposable swim diaper in the past, you should have no trouble at all figuring out exactly how these products work. They look much like a disposable swim diaper but with the added advantage of being more affordable; instead of throwing away the diaper after each pool session, you can wash and reuse it numerous times.

A swim diaper is not designed to accommodate any sort of absorbency. Instead, wetness is allowed to pass through the diaper, while solid waste is held safely inside. A reusable swim diaper may look very similar to a cloth diaper cover, making it common for parents to use them as covers in a pinch. However, certain features make them a bit more than a standard cover. Most of the reusable swim diaper styles have an outer waterproof layer, comprised of nylon, polyester or PUL. Leg gussets are a common feature, allowing solid waste to stay safely contained within the swim diaper. A mesh lining is also a popular addition to the quality reusable swim diaper,for the same reason. Some styles, especially those in toddler sizes, have reinforcing closures to make it harder for your baby to get out of the diaper in the middle of the pool.

Economic Assessment
It seems that there is always a good deal of back-and-forth debate as to whether reusable products are actually more affordable than disposables. The evidence confirms that reusable products are better for the environment and for your pocketbook. A reusable swim diaper can be purchased for between $10 and $15, or roughly the price of one package of disposable products. Even the most active families should only need 3-6 reusable swim diapers available at any given time; most families can get by quite comfortably with 2. These can last for several seasons of regular use or as long as your child fits into the reusable swim diaper. Active families can go through several packages of reusable swim products in a month, making the reusable swim diaper the winner in economics.

Dealing With Public Pools
Many parents find resistance to the reusable swim diaper when they bring it to a public pool. This is not because the products are less sanitary than disposable options. The issue usually stems from the fact that many pool managers have never been approached about having reusable swim diapers added to their approved list of swim diapers. Make time to meet with the manager and show him the reusable swim diaper. Once the pool is convinced that this is a comparable product, you should have no problem having it approved for standard use at the public pool.

Summer fun is something that the whole family can enjoy. When you have a baby in tow, a reusable swim diaper is an essential part of your baby’s repertoire.


Jodie said...

What about young babies? How does the swim diaper work for breast milk poop? We are headed on vacation in a few weeks to a lake and should I be putting a fitted under the swim diaper?

Cari said...

We have never been questioned when we used a reusable swim diaper with either of our's interesting to hear that others have had trouble with them. I love them! A reusable swim diaper in the only kind of cloth my son used while in diapers and it's part of what got me looking into cloth :).

Sabrina said...

Thanks for explaining it more thorough for me. They sound pretty easy to use and are very cute.

Michelle said...

Living in Alaska, we only have community pools. They actually prefer reusuable swim diapers over disposables! It's refreshing :)

Shelly said...

going to the beach for the 1st time with my little girl this weekend, and we'll be sporting our cloth:-)

Anonymous said...

So far I haven't had anyone question my cloth swim diapers. We are starting swimming lessons on Monday at our local YMCA and I was a little nervous that they would not approve, but when I asked they seemed okay with it. I had even wrote down your blog address, just in case I needed some help convincing them.

Lynn said...


my daughter was a month when she first went into a public pool with me at my friends house...her son was in the lil swimmers dispoables. it held the poop in fantastically. in fact, my friends baby who was wearing "manager-approved" lil swimmers exploded his diaper with just a lil poop. my daughter pooped a LOT. and it all stayed in! reusable swim diapers run small, i think. and my lil girl is so very chunky, so the 6m size fit her well at 14lbs and one-month-old.

that being said, i LOVE my daughtersre-usable swim diaper! i JUST switched to cloth diapers, but ive been using re-usable swim diapers since she was a month old. :)

Shandell said...

our pool REQUIRES reusable swim diapers! But they don't seem to enforce it very strictly as I saw many little ones in disposables.

Emily said...

Our pool requires disposable swim diapers. I use a reusable anyway, and no one has said anything. My little guy is too small for the Little Swimmers. I usually keep one in the swim bag, so that if anyone does say anything, I can pull it out and show them how it's not going to hold anything in, where as the reusable has a nice, snug fit.

Alycia said...

Have you heard of CDC-approved swim diapers? We just moved to a new state and joined a new Y. They require a CDC-approved swim diaper, not disposables. I am going to take my Bummis swim diaper and see if that is ok.

Sarahjenne said...

Alycia, I've never heard of CDC-approved swim diapers. All I could find on a brief search was this:

It doesn't really sound like the CDC has much confidence in swim diapers, anyway, let alone put their stamp of approval on a certain type. I wonder if the pool administration is making that up or if there really is a list out there somewhere. If there is, I couldn't find it.

I have always used reusable swim diapers at our community pool and nobody has ever said anything to me about it.

Alycia said...

I didn't see much on the internet either. It sounds like anything will pass, as long as it is not disposable. I had her swim suit from Carters, that has a vinyl lining in the bottom and that was ok per the front desk. So I guess reusable diapers should be good. Thanks for answering!