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The Swim Diaper Debate: Disposable or Reusable

IMG_2712-4When you get down to it, both diapers do exactly the same thing – contain the pool and pee in the water during water play or swimming. My daughter’s daycare requires swim diapers for water play days. I nonchalantly walked through the store to the diaper aisle in search for the swim diapers.

There they were on the top shelf, $8.99 for 20. Ahem, excuse me? I buy 130+ diapers at Costco for $40.00! As the daycare needed them to be disposable, I bought them (with extreme annoyance that they were expensive and would be just thrown away) and wandered through the aisles once again to find something cheaper and Eco-friendly. Because let’s face it just because I have to buy swim diapers for school doesn’t mean I have to use them when we’re out doing water activities.

I found the cutest and affordable reusable swim diaper right in front of me on the racks. 1 reusable diaper for $10.99; Hello! How could you not buy them? You can find them here . I was sold on the colors, styles of the diapers and the fact that I could use it as often as possible until she grew out of them. We were both so thrilled on our find that we screamed in the store.

Now that summer is well on its way, I’ve come to appreciate both of the diapers for what they have to offer. With swim diapers, it comes down to what you prefer and what you’re looking for. Are you looking for convenient and easy? Budget friendly or comfortably for your baby? I already have my favorite already picked out, but I do have reasons other than price to why I prefer the reusable.

  1. Reusable diapers a lot easier to clean and maintain.

When we were at the lake I didn’t want to have to lug around 5 swim diapers instead of my 1 reusable diapers. Who wants to carry around that many diapers for a day of relaxation anyway? Once we’re done with reusable diaper, I place it in a wet bag to be washed when we get home. After washing the diaper, I can reuse it for as long as she can fit in it.

  1. You don’t have to change them as often.

Reusable diapers are Eco-friendly in the sense that you don’t have to change them every 30 minutes during the kid’s swim time. My girl is the girl that loves her play time and when you interrupt her and she’s not quite done, well just be ready for a meltdown. I know better than to interrupt her, so the reusable diapers helps me be the super mom allowing her to play for as long as she’d like as well as having not to worry about having to change her bottom every time her diaper gets saggy and wet.

  1. Disposable diapers are heavy when you don’t change them.

Speaking of saggy wet bottoms, yes that’s exactly what swim diapers look like when you have to change them! The weight of the very full swim diaper weighs my girl down to the point where it becomes difficult to walk and play. I don’t want that for my girl. I want her to be able to play for as long as she’d like while we’re at the lake! She is also very petite so with that extra weight she might just topple over. Reusable diapers are waterproof and prevent leaks! And if there is a time where a #2 will appear (because let’s be real it probably will happen) wash, ring out the diaper before reusing and you’re ready to go to play in the diaper once again.

  1. Reusable diapers are safer on babies’ skin. No more chafing and diaper rash.

I am the mother that freaks when I see red anything on her bottom; I don’t need another reason to worry. Swim diapers trap the water in babies’ skin can’t breathe causing diaper rash and chaffing. Diaper rash from a day of fun in the sun will not only ruin your baby’s time, it’ll ruin yours because you have to remember to treat your baby’s bum while they’re out playing.

  1. Multiple uses and versatility.

As we’re trying to introduce potty training to our very young girl, we use the reusable swim diaper as training underwear. It’s something she already feels comfortable to wear and use. We don’t have to worry about leaks when we’re training, as it prevents it just like it does during our swimming time. She is comfortable taking it off by herself like a big girl and trying to use the toilet. You can also have your little one wear the swim diaper as a bottom with a swim top or because it’s just like underwear wear it underneath their swimsuit.

  1. Assortment of styles

If you’re a mother of a girl, the endless cuteness of clothes will never stop. Finding a style that would suit her best was great for me. Don’t get me wrong — disposable diapers have cute characters on them too, but reusable ones have more colors and patterns for every baby. Let’s not also forget the endless types of reusable ones: Velcro, snap on, and pull up (just like regular underwear!).


At the end of the swimming day, it comes down to a personal preference whether you want to use the reusable or the disposable. I still have to use the disposable during our swim classes every week because they don’t allow reusable in their pools (just like some water parks). But when I can choose my own diaper to use, I always go with the reusable – hands down.

What is your take on the debate? Which one do you prefer?



About Jannine Wells

Jannine Wells
Jannine Wells is a Navy brat traveling the world and moving every 4 years until finally settling in Nevada. She was raised in Fernley Nevada and moved to Reno in 2010 to finish her degree at TMCC. She has a background in childhood education and is an advocate for children’s education and development. Jannine is married to her high school sweetheart and is raising a beautiful one year old daughter, Haidyn, and kitty daughter, Sassafras. She is a paper pusher by day, blogger and amateur chef by night passionate about learning how to become a better mother.  Jannine started her blog Sunny In Reno to write about her pregnancy and journey through motherhood.   View all posts by Jannine.

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