Can cloth diapers be used as swim diapers? The answer to this one isn’t a cut and dry yes or no. There is some grey area of yes, sometimes, maybe, but not always.
We know we’re writing this one in the middle of Autumn when you won’t regularly use swim diapers. But one of our favorite weekend activities during winter is indoor swimming at local community centers. It’s a great way to get some pent up energy out.
Yes, swim diapers look similar to cloth diapers, each are designed to work differently. Lets dive into the how and the why on needing to own at least one swim diaper for each your littles who are still not toilet trained is important.
How Do Swim Diapers Work?
Whether you’re using a disposable or reusable swim diaper, both are specifically designed to release water, but hold in solids. Yep, you read that correctly, both times you read it. On the flip side, traditional diapers, (both cloth and disposable) are designed to absorb and retain liquid. So does this mean that urine from swim diapers goes into the pool? Yes. When a pool is treated properly with chemicals, you have nothing to worry about. The purpose of these diapers is to hold in the solid waste, not liquid waste.
Safety Concern of Not Using Swim Diapers
Traditional cloth diapers are designed to absorb and hold in urine. They will do the same with water from a pool, lake, ocean or splashpad . While this may not seem like a big deal, the extra water that is retained poses a safety concern for your child.
Non swim cloth diapers can weigh up to 2 lbs. when they’re completely filled. For an adult an extra 2 pounds weighing us down isn’t going to pose any dangers, but for a child who weighs 12-30 lbs. those 2 extra pounds could have have negative effects.
Added weight isn’t the only safety concern when it comes to using the wrong diapers in the pool. You may read on some forums that using a cloth diaper cover may be an acceptable work around. We disagree and do not recommend it. Diaper covers aren’t designed to keep solid waist in and could result in a mess in the pool that will result in the pool being cleared and cleaned thoroughly.
How Does a Pool Affect Cloth Diapers
One of the biggest reasons (besides safety) to avoid using your daily cloth diapers as swim diapers are all of the chemicals used to keep pools clean- remember all that pee that can leak out. These chemicals can cause the waterproof liners of your diapers to breakdown ultimately preventing the diapers from working properly.
Water at Splash Pads and from Sprinklers isn’t treated as heavily with chlorine. So in a pinch, using your cloth diapers without any absorbency will work,
Cloth Diapers We Recommend For Swimming
We’ve looked around and here are some of the swim diapers we hope you will like.
This is one of our favorites because of the ease and simplicity. And it comes in a variety of colors, so there’s one for everyone!
We love this bundle because of the great value, and sometimes you could need more than one swim diaper in a day, and no one wants to wear a wet diaper.
This two pack of swim diapers is perfect because it will size from infant all the way to 5 year old. It’s the perfect one time purchase.
In a pinch, using your everyday cloth diapers in place of a swim diaper will get the job done. It’s not recommended for repeated use in pools. At a splash pad or in the sprinkler, a diaper cover only will work to keep solid messes in, but they’re not recommended for a pool.
Swim specific diapers aren’t very expensive, compared to other types of cloth diapers. It’s worth the small purchase price to get a couple swim diapers to have around. Bottom line- buy the swim diapers.