Swim Diapers

Archived Q&A and Reviews

A day at the beach in diapers

April 2004

How do I manage a day at the beach with a 1-year old in diapers? I'm thinking of swim diaper and teeshirt (the latter to give me some assistance with sun coverage). Do I need a couple of extra swim diapers for the day? I'm picturing taking off a poop-filled diaper in a public beach restroom, flushing the poop, then rinsing off the diaper in a public restroom sink, no doubt without soap, all while my daughter decides to crawl around on the floor. . . . Then, since we're staying in a hotel for the week, washing out the diapers in the sink every night for use the next day. Any tips on managing this?

Someone recommended disposable swim diapers, which, given what I'm picturing, sounds awfully nice. I haven't seen them for sale anywhere locally, although I'll need them in Hawaii, not locally. I assume if they're available anywhere, it will be in Hawaii, but anyone with any experience? Thanks!


Don't torture yourself. Use the disposable swim diapers. They are available everywhere (we bought them at Albertsons). Sometimes they are harder to find when it's not ''swim season'', so you shouldn't have any trouble finding them in the next few months. Have fun! anon

Yes, what you need are disposable swim diapers! I'm surprised you've never seen them. They are made by Huggies and are called Little Swimmers. I've seen them locally at Costco and many other stores. We just returned from Hawaii and had no trouble finding them -- I think we got them at Longs in Kapa'a on Kauai, but I'm sure they're everywhere. I believe in cloth diapers as much as anyone, but for a day at the beach in another state, while staying in a hotel? That's what disposables are for! Catherine

Costco has disposable swim diapers. If you aren't a member you can contact me and I'll pick some up for you. Margaret

I purchased the swim diapers in Maui at Longs (just outside of Lahaina). I believe they are called ''Little Swimmers'' by Huggies. They are very convenient and easy to use. thanson

I went to Hawaii with my son when he was 14 months old, and remember it vividly. It was fun, but there are a couple of things to consider: I strongly suggest you use disposable swim diapers; I believe I found some at Target; if you can't, they definitely have them in Hawaii. The disposable ones are very nice for two reasons; one, of course, that you can just throw a poopy one away; the other is that they don't sag at all when wet.

Not all of the nice beaches have easily accessible restrooms, either (depending on where you are planning to go). So a disposable diaper, plastic bag, and wipes is a very good idea. Of course use a good sunscreen, but also consider this: crawling around in wet sand and sandy water removes sunscreen from your skin rather quickly. We figured this out when my son got a pretty bad sunburn on his legs, but not his arms, after less than an hour on the beach. A beach umbrella might be a nice idea, if your daughter is fair and likes to sit and play in the sand. Otherwise, reapply the sunscreen very often. Karen

You can buy disposable swim diapers at Target, Babies R US, etc. They are great and very easy. It is probably better to expose your child to a little gel than to expose your child to a dirty restroom floor if that is a concern. Also, you may wish to look for a swimsuit with a little more coverage. They make swimsuits that look like mini wetsuits (without the heft) that provide 50SPF to the elbows and knees. JAN

We went to Maui last year with our almost two-year old, a bit concerned about the beach/diaper scenario as well. Disposable diapers worked great for us. We bought a stash at CostCo before we went (everything is cheaper here). When they get wet in the water, pee or poop, just rip open the sides and toss them out. A few wipes for clean up and your set for another diaper. Our son is very fair, we just had him in a swim diaper slathered with 50 baby sunblock and a flap hat. He had a BLAST and didn't get burnt. We did morning beach outings, home for bath & nap, the out again in the late afternoon. Hawaii is like a giant sandbox with water in it. You'll all have a great time! Constance

Disposable beach diapers are the best - you can find them around at longs, etc even now but more so during the summer months. Cheaper to purchase close to home than at a resort. Lisa

Yes, I'd say go with the disposable swim diaper. You should be able to find them at Target, Long's Drugs, etc. I just bought some last week when we were in Monterey at a KMart. So I know they are around. have a great trip

We went to Maui when my first daughter was 11 months. You're right on with the T-shirt(s). As for the swim diapers, we took at least 2 reusable fabric ones to alternate daily (available at Target, the Berkeley YMCA, Rockridge Kids, etc.), and I think we bought a pack of disposable ones too, put a few in the beach bag, and used those if her fabric one got poopy. There's a WalMart on Maui and the Big Island...check the WalMart/KMart/Target websites for locations on the other islands. Or take a pack with you--we stuck one in our fabric car-seat bag, which holds diapers, wipes, swim fins---lots of extra storage space for non-breakables. We just kept our daughter in the fabric swim diapers the whole day at the beach, changing her into a regular diaper if we were taking a break from the water. Remember, the swim diapers are designed to keep poop in, but not pee. If you go to a local lunch spot, for instance, I would change her into a regular diaper. If you're just on the beach, though, don't worry about it. Don't forget to put plastic bags for dirty diapers in your beach bag. Also, buy a tiny travel bottle of laundry detergent (or buy an empty travel bottle--available at Long's) and fill it with your own detergent; put that in your beach bag or diaper bag. Then a public-restroom-diaper-wash will be no sweat! Aloha! Have a great time. Heidi

Go for disposables. We did in Mexico and it was a breeze. Just change it when you need to and toss. Have you checked Target? Or, how 'bout online stores? (You'll need 3 or 4/day if you stay out the whole day or are in/out of the water a lot.) -Beach goin' mama

Please don't rinse your poopy diaper in a public sink. Not too nice for the next person who comes along to wash their toddler's hands before he has an ice cream. I think you should either use disposable swim diapers (which are available at any large drugstore, but probably only seasonally) or, after the dirty cloth diaper has been emptied in the toilet, put the dirty cloth diaper in a plastic bag to deal with back at your hotel. Will think twice about the public sink forever more

I've seen some disposable swim diapers (very small amount) for sale at the Long's in Rockridge Plaza at Broadway and Pleasant Valley. It's next to the formula/foodjars at around eye level. I also bought swim diapers on EBAY once before taking a winter vactaion - it worked out perfectly. Jill

Disposable swim diapers are the way to go!! I got a pack at Target. Huggies makes them (I think). Far better, and actually cheaper than the cotton kind. When they are dirty, you can just tear them off on the sides. It's great! Lauren

Disposable swim diapers are great. You can find them at Longs or Target. The run tight, so you might want to buy the size that seems on the bigger side, if your baby could go with either size. I would not recommend changing a poop filled diaper in the beach restroom, unless there's a changing table. I'd go prepared to do all your changing and cleaning up on the beach towel and then tossing the disposable in the restroom. If it's poopy, you can shake the poop into a toilet if you feel the need. Trying to manage washing diapers out in the sink or hotel would be awful. We've had similar trips and cloth diapers would never have worked. The public restrooms are too disgusting to let you baby lay or crawl on the floor. been there, done that

have a great trip to hawaii. disposable diapers definitely make trips to the beach easier. we haven't had a hard time finding them at bigger longs' stores, but often not until warmer weather. toys r us sometimes has them too. we've done day trips with reuseable swim diapers, and have done fine with a couple of pairs. you might also have some success changing your child into a regular dispoable diaper before typical pooping time. i'd also recommend getting a spf shirt. it is my understanding that wet tshirt actually provide less sun protection than nothing. we found some spf shirts at http://www.onestepahead.com/ but i'm sure there are other sources too. jm

Get the swim diapers. I know they sell them at Longs in rockridge (they are in smaller packages and usually blue or pink), so I'm sure other drugstores have them. If you want less impact on the environment you can rinse and reuse unsoiled swim diapers. My son has used swim diapers extensivly both disposible and regular (bring a regular one with you if you have one)and I can only remember him having a BM once. (Maybe just coincidence, but just wanted to let you know). Have fun at the beach.

Reusable swim diaper?

May 2004

My 14-month-old will be spending a lot of time in water this summer, and I don't feel comfortable using a disposable swimdiaper every time. I would love some reccomendations for the reusable type. There's so many brands out there, I'd like to hear about the ones that really work. Thanks Dawn

I've had great luck with a gerber reusable swim diaper that I bought at Target, and also with an ''I swim safely'' model that is sold at the Canyon Swim School in El Sobrante. I also have no compunction against putting on a dry already-been-used disposable diaper--what's the difference, really, I figure, if I hand wash a cloth diaper or a ''disposable'' one. I find the ''disposables'' are good for many many wearings each before they wear out. Of course, none of these absorb pee, they just contain any poop so that the pool doesn't need to be closed and cleaned. have fun

We have the reusable swim diaper from One Step Ahead (the adjustable one: http://www.onestepahead.com/product/27227/210763/117.html ) and have been very satisfied. We got it when our son was about 25 lbs, and he's now 38 lbs and it still fits him. We use it both by itself and under traditional swim trunks. It has been tested, and has held every time, no accidents! Heather

Non-disposable swim diaper?

July 2002

Any suggestions about where I can buy a swimming diaper for my baby (not disposable), in the Albany/Berkeley area? The YMCA only have it in small size, but he needs medium size. sonia

BabyCenter, your local online baby store (in San Francisco), carries really cute swim diapers by Flap Happy, the company that makes the hats. All the Flap Happy bathing suits in the BabyCenter Store have built-in swim diapers, too. The diaper is $10.95 and there's a flat shipping fee of $5.99 for your entire order, so it's only worthwhile if you're ordering other stuff at the same time. Here's the link in case you want to look: http://store.babycenter.com/category/clothing/swimwear --Dana Dubinsky (a BabyCenter employee)

Cotton and Company, Babyworld and Rockridge Kids all carry swimming diapers of various sizes and types.

Target carries them seasonally in the baby section, hanging with the blankets and hats and stuff (at least the larger Targets do), as does Cotton & Co. on College. Nancy

The Sweet Potatoes outlet on Solano has swim diaper type swim trunks up to size 24 months (at least for boys - I didn't look at the girls suits). Karen

Try the One Step Ahead catalog/website (www.onestepahead.com). I also saw a non-disposable swim diaper at Fashion After Passion in Alameda. Unfortunately it was a small. Linnea

Swim diapers: do they really work?

April 2000

I have a one-year old baby and am planning to take him to a swimming pool. He wears disposable diapers. Someone told me there are disposable swim diapers. Do you put a baby bathing suit on over these? What are the swim diapers I've seen in catalogs? Are they akin to cloth diapers? How do they keep the stuff out of the pool? This is all completely baffling to me - I need some really basic information!!! Please help!

Huggies makes disposable swim diapers that you can wear alone or under suit. I've seen them at Safeway. I'm not sure if they absorb urine. They don't puff up from the pool water. There are also swim diapers made of cloth (you can buy them at Rockridge Kids type of stores) that don't absorb urine but will keep the poop from getting into the pool long enough for you to get the baby out of the pool to change her. These can be worn alone or under suits. You don't put a regular diaper under these (which is what I thought at first) so they look really small and fit quite tightly.

The downtown Berkeley YMCA sells swim diapers. They're close enough that you could go there and ask to see them. They probably sell to anyone who comes in there--you don't have to go through the checkin-gate. I've seen kids wearing them. They look like bathing suit bottoms but I don't know what the absorbant part is like. Fran

The swim diapers you have seen in catalogs are not disposable -but they are washable. You can use them either alone or underneath a bathing suit. You can also find suits with built-in diapers - I bought one from Flap Happy, and it's much easier than dealing with the logistics of diaper-and-suit. (FYI: swim diapers are not meant to hold in urine - only, as they euphemistically say on the tag, accidents. So you are advised not to put them on until right before your chid is going in the water.) Lauren