Why use a swim nappy?
A normal nappy by design, should absorb wee but of course your little one does not want to be absorbing all the pool water, so swim nappies are designed for the purpose of containing poo only. Many parents expect they will absorb wee too but if they did then they’d absorb all the pool water and the nappy would be incredibly heavy.
Many parents prepare by putting baby into their swim nappy at home and making things quicker and easier at the pool. Our ambassador Krisztina, tried this before she realised swim nappies don’t absorb wee, only to have her wee through into the car seat on the journey! But fear not, you can still be swim ready when you leave home. All you need to do is add a booster inside the swim nappy, this will absorb any little accidents and then simply remove it when you get there.
What to look for in a swim nappy
Some pools insist on a two part system, for a 'belt and braces' approach. This means that they require a neoprene swim nappy over the top of another swim nappy. The Splash About Happy Nappy is the most commonly used neoprene cover and one most swim schools will insist on. Splash about make the neoprene cover on it's own or with a built in inner layer.
This two part system for swimming is excellent at ensuring there are no leakages. A thin inner pant to catch the poo and the neoprene Nappy providing soft flexibility.
For the layer under the neoprene cover we sell a selection of options. You can choose between Velcro fastening or snap fastening. It’s worth considering both what you will find easiest to fit on your child but also what you will find easiest to remove when wet. We don’t sell pull up swim pants as in our experience these are very messy to remove if a baby does poo, they have always been the least popular choice with our customer. What is important is that you get a good fitting swim nappy that doesn’t have any gaps around the legs. Any gaps and the poo will seize the opportunity to escape and embarrass you when code brown is called at the pool.
If your swimming pool doesn’t specify a neoprene cover, you are at the beach or just in the pool at home then you can choose to just use a swim nappy without the neoprene cover.
Some of our most popular swim nappies are:
If you don’t have a swim nappy available, or you need an unexpected option then you can always use an empty pocket nappy. Don’t forget that it needs to be empty so that it doesn’t absorb all the pool water. We don’t recommend this as a long-term solution as the chlorine in swimming pools will damage the pul and reduce its effectiveness over time.
Which brings me onto the inclusion of a paper liner. Just so that you are under no illusion, when little one poos whilst submerged in water, it is not going to be solid on removal! A paper liner will help you deal with the soggy, watery mess and help protect the nappy. So, you may choose to include a paper liner inside the nappy or inner closets to baby's bottom. This is not essential if you choose not to add one. Bambinex liners are the only paper liners TNL stock that are suitable with a swim nappy.
What about if you have an older child?
Don’t worry there are still options for you. Splash jammers by Splash look just like swimming shorts but are made from the same material and with the same reliability as a Happy Nappy.
A few extra tips for taking baby swimming
Bring lots of towels. Babies don't tend to like the change in temperature from water. Have a towel to lay under your baby, one to dry them with and one for you too. If you can take one poolside to carry them to the changing room afterwards. The Cuddledry towel is perfect for swimming. It goes over your head and then around baby, this makes it very helpful if you have someone poolside who wants to stay dry but is there to help with baby. If you have a toddler then you’ll probably already know how much they love dropping their towel and running off.
If your pool is a bit chilly bring a baby wetsuit to keep him warm and don’t expect your baby to stay in the water for longer than 20/30 minutes.
Lastly don't forget to bring a couple of wet bags! Not only will you need one for the dirty nappy (if you didn’t put the swim nappy on at home) but they are also fantastic for putting wet swimwear and towels in. Saving the need to use plastic carrier bags. You could even give older children a pod each and make them carry their own.
Want to know even more!
Visit our advice article baby swimming nappies.
With thanks to our ambassador Krisztina who shared her experience and inspired this article.