How to use a Reusable Swim Nappy

Baby toddler swim nappies

How to use a reusable swim nappy?

Reusable swim nappies are super easy to use, fit and wash.  They are great for swim lessons, playing at the beach or your home swimming pool.  These are one of easiest reusable switches families can make. So we thought a run through on how a reusable swim nappy works would help many first time swim parents feel more at ease.

What is a reusable swim nappy?

A reusable swim nappy is very similar to a normal cloth nappy.  However it doesn’t have any absorbency and is lined with a quick drying mesh.  There is no absorbency as this will weigh baby down. They only catch the poo.  Disposable swim nappies work the same way.

How to fit a washable swim nappy

These nappies need to be fitted quite snug around the legs and the waist to make sure they keep everything in.  When you put the nappy on, the leg elastics should be in the groin area where underwear would sit.  The waist should be sitting close to the belly button.  Or for smaller babies sitting on the belly button.

The waist and legs elastics should be in contact with skin, you should have some resistance when you run your finger under the waist and leg seams. But it shouldn’t be so tight it will cut off the circulation, you should be able to just run a finger underneath.

If there is a gap at the legs or waist, then it’s too loose and will leak if bub does a poo.


After swimming it’s very important to rinse a reusable swim nappy thoroughly and as soon as possible.  The chlorine can eat away at the elastics quite quickly.  If there is no poo, just a thorough rinse is ok, or a machine wash is even better.  Then line dry and reuse.

If bub has done a poo, flush what you can, then machine wash the nappy.  If you use disposables for the rest of the time, wash the soiled swim nappy on it’s own for 30 mins, then put it with the rest of family washing for another wash.

If you’re using cloth nappies, run the soiled swim nappy and any dirty cloth nappies through a quick wash together.  Then run them through the long wash when you would normally.  But don’t let the swim nappy sit unrinsed for longer than a few hours.  See more on washing cloth nappies here.

Reusable swim nappy tips:

  • Put the swim nappy on just before getting into the water. If you put bub into a swim nappy for the drive, they might do a wee which will go through the car seat and or you.
  • However if you would like to put the swim nappy on before getting to your swim location, just add an insert inside the nappy. Then pull out when you arrive. Do NOT swim with the insert inside the swim nappy, it will fill with water and become very heavy and may cause irritation on baby.
  • Before taking off the swim nappy, check for poo from the top back first. You don’t want any surprises when taking off the nappy.  If you check from the sides and there is a poo it will escape and make a big mess!
  • When you’re out of the pool, wrap and dry baby first. They will get cold very quickly, even in heated areas.  Once bub is dry, has a clean nappy on and dressed.  Put baby into a pram or capsule if you don’t have someone to help hold baby.  Then you get dressed, if you get cold easily, wrap yourself in a towel or bathrobe.
  • And the most important, have fun! Swim lessons for babies is mostly about the fun and enjoying the water.  A relaxed parent will help with a relaxed and happy baby.

Remember safety around any water for both drowning risks and sun safety.

  • Even in the shade you and baby can get sunburnt, so slip slop, slap including a long sleeve swim shirt, sunnies and hat
  • Never take your eyes off babies or children when they’re in or near any water. Drownings can happen with large groups swimming together so always keep watch.

Please visit the Royal Life Saving site for more information to keep your family safe around water all year round.

Now that you know what a reusable swim nappy is

Shop our wide range and make the switch that will save your family money and help the environment. Plus your baby will look super cute in their swim nappy

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Reusable swim nappy on baby

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