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10 of the best swim nappies for babies and toddlers

Whether you prefer a disposable style or a reusable swim nappy, we have the best options for newborns, babies and toddlers.

best swim nappies for babies and toddlers

Swimming with your baby can be great fun. It also helps promote muscle development at a young age, helping them to hold their heads up and move their arms and legs.

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But if you are planning to take your little one for a dip, finding the right swim nappy is crucial. Accidents in the pool will not make for a happy outing.

Your baby’s usual nappies are not suitable in the pool or sea as they soak up water and weigh your child down. Swimming nappies are designed to combat this problem with a snug waistband and close-fitting legs to contain any accidents.

You can buy reusable swim nappies which are a great eco-friendly option or disposal ones, which come in big packs and each one is thrown in the bin after use. There’s no right and wrong, the nappy you choose for your swimming adventures is down to you and your lifestyle.

What to look for when choosing a swim nappy

Reusable or disposable – Reusable nappies look like small pants or shorts and can be washed and worn time and time again. They are designed to dry quickly so if your child comes out of the water there isn’t a risk of nappy rash. Sometimes they are worn over disposable nappies for added protection but if you use them alone they are a more eco-friendly choice.

Disposable nappies are thrown away after each use like regular nappies. If you choose these, always take a few extra as back up as babies have been known to poo before you even set foot in the water.

Leakage protection – Swim nappies are only designed to contain stools until you can remove your child from the water and get them to a toilet. Loose stools and urine will not be stopped by a swim nappy and could leak into the water, so make sure you take your child to the toilet at regular intervals during the swim session.

Adjustable tabs – Whether you opt for disposable or reusable nappies, you can buy pull up nappies or ones with adjustable tabs in the same way as you could with babies regular nappies. If using pull up reusable nappies bare in mind that if baby poops, you will have to pull it down rather than just unfastening the nappy. If using tabs, are they secure enough to contain any accidents?

Comfort – Some nappies are great for guarding against leaks but you may feel they are too tight or uncomfortable on your child. If that is going to ruin your or your baby’s enjoyment of swimming, perhaps choose a different brand. Some are lined with organic cotton or soft fleece and some are hypoallergenic, which may be important if your little one has sensitive skin or allergies.

Cost – If you plan to take your baby swimming regularly, think about the cost of a disposable nappy compared to a reusable one. Although you would usually pay more up front for the reusable one, it could amount to less over time if you are signing up to weekly classes or going on a a holiday where you might swim several times a day.

Can you really use a reusable swim nappy on its own?

Most reusable swim nappies are designed to be worn on their own and, provided they are fitted correctly, they should be sufficient to keep any accidents contained while you get your child out of the water and to the toilet / baby changing facility. All of our home testers and editors tried the nappies without anything underneath. However it is worth noting that some swimming pools will have their own rules, and may request that your baby wears a disposable nappy too, for extra protection.

Heres are the best swim nappies for 2021

1. Splash About New Happy Nappy, £10.99

Best for a leak-free fit

Reusable: Yes | Material: Neoprene | Sizes: Newborn to five years | Adjustable tabs: No

Splash About’s designs are super cute and sure to delight any child or parent, but they’re more than just nice to look at. With tight fitting leg bands and a high waistband to prevent gaping and stop back leaks, they’re designed to keep any accidents away from the water. The nappies sometimes look tight but rest assured that’s for a good reason: no mess is escaping this nappy!

MadeForMums tester Charlotte, who has a three-year-old son, thinks they are good value. She said, “Considering the price you pay for disposable swim nappies I’d be happy enough to pay this price for something I can use time and time again. I do feel a resuable nappy is a must for any baby’s wardrobe.”

Charlotte does have some concerns about how you’d remove a dirty nappy, though. “When I took it off it turned inside out. I’d assume if there was a poop encased within it you’d have to pull the elastic around babies legs and try and pull it down without spilling any of the contents which could be tricky!”

Available from: Amazon, Kidly and Boots

2. TotsBots Resuable Swim Nappy, £10.99 or 2 for £18

Best for easy changing

Reusable: Yes | Material: 100 percent recycled PUL with a soft fleece interior | Sizes: Size 1 (10-20lbs) size 2  20-35lbs) | Adjustable tabs: Yes

TotsBots reusable swim nappies provide a comfortable and stretchy fit with no chafing. The hook and loop fastening means they are easy to get on and off and there is no mess at changing time.  The elasticated legs and waistband are tight enough to protect any leakage while you’re in the pool, provided you pull those tabs up nice and tight.

“I would like to give these nappies a 10/10 due to the gorgeous material which saved two plastic bottles from going to landfill,” says MadeForMums tester Annabelle, who has a 20-month-old. “Fantastic quality and super soft material,” she said. “The fact that it washes so well is also a testament to the high standard of materials used. I feel like you would get great value for money if you swim regularly. This nappy would definitely pay itself off in no time. Not to mention guilt free as you are not contributing to the landfills.”

Available from: Amazon and Totsbots

3. Huggies Little Swimmers, £5.50

Best for busy parents

Huggies Little Swimmers

Reusable: No | Material: Made from plastics and adhesives | Sizes: Available in sizes 2-3, 3-4 and 5-6 | Adjustable tabs: No

The biggest plus here is no washing. Unlike regular nappies, Huggies Little Swimmers are made with a special material that doesn’t swell up when the nappy comes into contact with the water. They are easy to pull on or off and can be torn off easily so there is no fumbling around trying to pull down wet nappies when your little one is shivering for the towel. Super cute designs now feature Disney characters such as Winnie The Pooh or Nemo.

Personally, I’ve never experienced a leak with any of my three children but I did have one friend who had an embarrassing situation and the swimming pool had to be evacuated while she was holidaying abroad. Reviews online suggest there is the odd leak, especially in breastfed babies where solids are not quite as solid. Many pools insist you wear these under a reusable nappy or costume for added protection.

“We always use Huggies Little Swimmers,” explains Made For Mums tester Christy. “These are readily available so easy to find if you’re on holiday and have forgotten your baby’s regular swimsuit. The best thing about them is no washing.”

Available from: Boots and Amazon

4. Bambino Mio Reusable Swim Nappy, £8.75

Best for sensitive skin

Reusable: Yes | Material: Cotton, polyester and PU| Sizes: Available in four sizes: S (under 6 months) M (6-12 months) L (1-2 years) and XL (2 years plus) | Adjustable tabs: No

This reusable swim nappy resembles swimming trunks, with an elasticated waist and a string tie for a secure fit. The legs are also elasticated to prevent leaks but they are not so tight they leave marks. The material feels lovely with the inner nappy (which touches baby’s skin) made entirely of cotton making these a great choice if your little one has sensitive skin or is prone to nappy rash, especially if they spend a lot of time in the water.

MFM Consumer & Commerce Editor Gemma has used these with her 19 month old son, and can attest that they are up to the job. “My son’s had a couple of accidents while wearing these nappies, but thankfully they kept everything contained while I whisked him out the pool and changed him. They were easy to wash and always come out looking spotless.”

Available from: AsdaAmazon and Bambino Mio

5. Pampers Splashers, £6.25

Best for beach play

Reusable: No | Material: Polypropylene, polyethylene and spandex, plus wood pulp | Sizes: from nappy size 3-4 to 6| Adjustable tabs: No

Pampers Splashers are more expensive than other disposable swim nappies, but I found they were better at holding in leaks than other brands. I liked that they were pull-ups, especially if you’re on the beach, as you don’t have to lie your baby down in the sand to get them on and off. They didn’t swell and my baby looks comfy in them for a good few hours’ of beach play. They have easy-tear sides making them easy to rip off after use, and a stretchy waistband makes them a comfy fit. Sometimes if my daughter had only worn them for a short time in the pool I was able to pull them down, dry them off and use again to save wasting another one for ten minutes in the pool.

Made For Mums tester Claire said, “The only thing I would change would be the price point – you don’t get very many for the money and it’s a little higher than many others on the market. Other than that the product works well and contains what it needs to.”

Available from: Amazon

6. JoJo Maman Bebe Girls Pretty Swim Nappy, £9.60

Best for the cute factor

Resuable: Yes | Material: Cotton lining, nylon and elastane outer | Sizes: 0-3 months up to 2-3 years | Adjustable tabs: No

If you want cute photos of your baby on the beach, then look no further than JoJo Maman Bebe’s Swim Nappies which come with matching sun hats for extra ahhhh factor. Not only do they look adorable, but there is no need to use a disposable nappy underneath and there are lots of fun prints available. The nappies are machine washable and have SPF 50 sun protection built in.

JoJo Maman Bebe fans are pleased with them. One mum said she bought one for her toddler and her newborn. “The quality is great and the colours are bright and patterns are clear. Lovely!,” she praised. Another said, “Really pleased with these, didn’t leak and looked really pretty!”

Available from: Jojo Maman Bebe

7. ASDA Little Angels Swim Pants, £3

Best for tight budgets

Reusable: No | Material: Not known | Sizes: S (6-11kg) and M (9-16kg) | Adjustable tabs: No

Asda’s own brand swim nappies have been so popular in recent years that the price of a pack of 12 has risen from £2.40 to £3 – but they are still only a fraction of the price of most other disposable swim nappies on the market. Even better news is that they work.

Nearly every mum MadeForMums asked would recommend them to a friend. The biggest complaint seems to be that the “easy tear” side seams aren’t so easy after all, which can be frustrating when you’re trying to rip them off whilst wet and cold in a changing room. However, they appear soft and comfortable nappies and have a sweet design with ducks and whales. Most importantly, parents who use them report that they don’t balloon in the water, and they keep accidents contained.

Available from: Asda 

8. Charlie Banana 2 in 1 Swim Diaper and Training Pants, £8.19

Best for potty training

Reusable: Yes | Material: Unknown | Sizes: S (4.5-6.5kg) M (6.5-9kg) L (9-12kg) and XL (12-25kg). | Adjustable tabs: No

Not only are these great swim nappies, but they also act as training pants if you are thinking about potty training. They have a soft waterproof outer later and a soft organic cotton interior lining, which is gentle against your baby’s skin. Even better they’re machine washable and you can tumble dry on a low heat.

The designs are super stylish, they do fit tightly around the legs but this gives parents some reassurance that there won’t be any surprise leaks. In terms of size, if in doubt, go a size bigger. The price is quite competitive for a reusable and it’s great that they can double up as a training pant – will save lots of mess when you are ready to begin potty training. Training pants can be expensive too.

Available from: Earthlets

9. Zoggs Baby Reusable Neoprene Swim Nappy, £9

Best for Longevity

Reusable: Yes | Material: Neoprene | Sizes: 0-24 months | Adjustable tabs: No

If you want a reusable nappy that lasts, this could be the one for you. The size can be adjusted so it fits your baby from the age of three months to two years, and rest assured they wash and wear really well. Mum Rebekah said, “I’ve been using this from four months and now my daughter is two year and it still fits. It’s excellent. She’s used it every week for nearly two years and it’s still working.”

Choose your size with the adjustable velcro and plastic press studs for a customised fit and hopefully by the time your little one outgrows these nappies, toilet training will be complete.

Available from: Amazon and Zoggs

10. Splash About Happy Nappy Duo, From £17

Best for swimming lessons

Splash About’s classic Happy Nappy (see above) has been a favourite with our testers and editors for a long time, but the newest iteration promises to be “the most advanced reusable swim nappy in the world.”

There’s a silver liner inside the nappy that, according to Splash About, “is scientifically proven to kill pathogens that cause tummy bugs – like Cryptosporidium, E.coli and COVID 19” before they enter the water: that means the nappy doesn’t just protect your child, it protects others in the water too.

The nappy has been approved by swim schools as a double nappy system, so (in most cases) you won’t run into the issue of your pool/instructor asking you to put a disposable on underneath the nappy: great for you and the environment.

MFM editor Gemma has tested the nappy with her toddler son, and although the extra lining (which is stitched in to the waistband) makes getting the nappy on and off a little trickier, it also has a much softer and more comfortable feel against the skin than the neoprene outer. “It feels good for him, and I like the comfort of knowing that if there is an accident, we’re not putting anything nasty into the water.”

Available from: Splash About

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