Clothes Tips & Hacks

Can Babies Wear Diapers In The Pool?

Taking your baby swimming, whether to your local pool or on a family beach vacation, is one of the most fun activities you can do with your little one.

But if your child is not potty-trained then it’s important to understand what type of diaper they should wear, both in and out of the water.

Babies can and should wear diapers in the pool, but these should be swim variety, which are designed to contain solids but to not absorb liquids.

Let’s explore further.

Can Babies Wear Diapers In The Pool?

Yes, babies and toddlers should wear diapers when swimming in a pool.

However, it’s very important that you use one specially designed to be worn when swimming in a pool or in the sea.

The key thing to note is that swim diapers (or nappies) work in a different way to regular ones, because they are designed to not absorb liquid (more on this later).

So anytime you take your baby swimming, make sure you take some swim diapers with you to change them into before they get into the water.

Can I Use Regular Diapers For Swimming?

No, the regular variety are not suitable for swimming for several reasons:

  • A regular one will absorb a lot of water once it gets submerged in the pool or sea, and will therefore become full or waterlogged. This means it won’t be able to contain any additional substances (read: poop).
  • A regular one will become very heavy within seconds of entering the pool, so it will not only be uncomfortable and heavy for your baby, but it is also likely to fall off quickly.

Can Babies Swim In Diapers?

As we’ve seen, your baby should wear swim diapers when they go swimming.

In most public pools this is an absolute necessity in order to take your baby into the water.

Swim diapers mimic the shape and sensation of wearing a regular one, so your baby will not notice any difference wearing one in the pool.

The beauty of a swim one is that it won’t absorb liquid, so it will not weigh your baby down or interfere with their movement or ability to swim.

Do You Need A Diaper Under A Swim Diaper?

No, you should never put a regular diaper under a swim one.

This is because the regular type absorb water, so as soon as your baby enters the pool wearing a regular one it will become saturated with water, ineffective and weigh your baby down.

Do Babies Wear Swim Diapers Under Their Swimsuit?

Yes, a swim diaper should be worm underneath a swimsuit.

This is because they serve different purposes.

A swim diaper should prevent poop getting into the pool, should your baby do one while they’re in the water.

A swimsuit on the other hand serves multiple purposes, including keeping your baby warm (particularly important for younger babies who lose heat quickly) and offering protection against the sun or other elements.

Do They Hold Pee or Urine?

Many parents many be surprised to lean that swim diapers do not hold pee or urine.

I know I certainly was surprized the first time I heard this!

However, it makes sense because by design swim diapers don’t absorb liquid (the whole point of a swim diaper is that liquid can pass through the material).

It’s important therefore to not put your baby in a swim diaper before they’re ready to go into the pool, because if you do and your baby needs to pee, it will pass right through and create a big mess.

So why do they exist?

It comes down to poop!

Do They Hold Poop?

Although swim diapers are not designed to absorb liquids, they should contain solids for some period of time.

Keep in mind however that diarrhoea, liquid or runny poops may not be contained by a swim diaper.

If you notice your little one has done a poop then you should change them immediately, to reduce the chances of germs spreading in the pool.


  • When your baby or toddler goes swimming they should always wear a swim diaper underneath their swimsuit.
  • These are designed to not absorb liquid, so they won’t become saturated when under water and will not interfere with your baby’s ability to move or swim in water.
  • Swim diapers are designed to contain solids (read: poop), but keep in mind they may not contain liquid / runny poops.
  • Because they do not absorb liquids, you should change your baby into a swim diaper just before entering the water, and change them into a regular one once out of the water. This will avoid pee leaking onto anything including your baby’s clothes or other surroundings.

Related: The Complete Guide To Buying & Caring For Baby Clothes

Tori is mama to 3 year old Isabella and co-founder of Rockinbaby. She has a BSc in Psychology, is a certified yoga teacher and is a working mom. In her free time Tori loves cooking delicious foods and baked treats, entertaining and working out. Learn more about Tori here.

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