What To Know About Cloth Swim Diapers

Are you headed to the pool with a baby? Then you need a cloth swim diaper. Designed to keep your baby’s bum comfortably covered and messes contained, a cloth swim diaper is just as essential to keep in your pool bag as sunscreen.

How do cloth swim diapers work?

Reusable swim diapers have a waterproof outer and a soft terry inner. They won’t absorb water, but they will hold in solids. The stretchy side panels and side snaps help you get a custom, adjustable fit. Those features also make it easy to put on and take off a cloth swim diaper—whether it’s wet, dry, or dirty—and protect your baby’s swimsuit and the pool (or wherever you’re enjoying water) from poop.

How To Use Cloth Swim Diapers

Using a cloth swim diaper is similar to using the GroVia Organic One Size All In One Diaper. The stretch sides and side snaps let you quickly put on or take off a cloth swim diaper. You can do it in a snap (well, four snaps to be exact) with your child lying down or standing up. If you’re taking off a dirty swim diaper, we recommend having your baby lie down.

Our cloth swim diapers are trim enough to wear underneath swimsuits, but because of the waterproof outer, your child can wear one alone when playing in the water.

Cloth swim diapers are made to be worn, washed, and worn again. After wearing, we suggest washing, especially if your baby pooped in the diaper. To clean a soiled cloth swim diaper, remove as much solid matter from the diaper as you can, place it in a dry pail, wash on a warm cycle with detergent, and tumble dry low. You don’t need to soak cloth swim diapers.

Can you use cloth diapers for swimming?

While some people use a pocket diaper or a cloth diaper cover without the inserts for swimming, we don’t recommend it. Even though many diaper covers are waterproof, in a pool they will slowly start to fill up with water, which will weigh your baby down, and then when you take them out, all that water (and poop if there is any) will likely leak out the leg openings. Repeated exposure to chlorine will also ruin the waterproofing on a cloth diaper cover.

Cloth swim diapers are made to hold in solid waste, let water out, and stand strong against chlorine. They’re the safer and best choice for swimming.

Cloth Swim Diapers vs Disposables

Wondering if cloth swim diapers or disposables are better? We’ve listed the pros and cons of each, so you don’t have to waste time and money trying out both.

Cloth Swim Diaper


  • Cheaper in the long run

  • Less wasteful (wash and reuse as often as you like)

  • Side snaps to easily remove diaper (no more pulling or tugging on a wet one)

  • Adjustable

  • Snug fit to keep solids contained (no leaks!)

  • Minimal to no water absorption so no added water weight

  • Soft inner lining

  • Gentle on baby’s sensitive skin

  • Functional to wear under a swimsuit or alone

  • Numerous fun, cute prints


  • Cost more upfront

  • Have to be washed after worn

  • Can’t just throw in the trash at the pool

Disposable Swim Diaper


  • Designed with absorbent materials and special leak guards to help hold in solid waste

  • Stretchy sides

  • May have tear-away tabs

  • Throw away after using


  • Ongoing expense

  • Can’t wash and reuse

  • Go through multiple during a long pool or beach day

  • Not always effective at containing messes

  • May have to pull on and off like underwear (near impossible when wet or if your child is lathered in sunblock)

  • Can get saggy and heavy from some water absorption

  • Can cause rashes

Do I need to prep wash the swim diaper multiple times before using it?

No, you do not need to prep wash your swim diaper since it isn’t an absorbency diaper. It’s just used to keep the “stuff” contained until you can get your baby out of the water to change them.