If you’re looking to make the switch to cloth nappies then swim nappies are the absolute easiest place to start. In fact even if you’re not interested in using cloth nappies then you should give swim nappies a go.
They are washed and cared for just like your normal swimwear so you don’t even need to think about them. Pop them straight in a normal wash with everything else, you can even use fabric softener if you want to. If you’re travelling then a single swim nappy, which can be quickly handwashed if needed, will take up a lot less space than a pack of disposables.
All a swim nappy is designed to do is catch any solids, this is true of both reusable swim nappies and disposables. If they were absorbent then they would instantly soak up the pool water and be huge and heavy, and then they’d be too full to absorb urine anyway. Like it or not swimming pools have wee in them, that’s what chlorine is for.
Swim nappies are normally sized (based on weight) and come in either a pull-up style or one that fastens like a normal nappy. Both are just as effective, it’s a matter of personal preference.
Reuseable swim nappies cost in the region of £7-12 each. A disposable swim nappy is around 44p, so if your reusable nappy fit your baby for 6 months, and you went swimming weekly then the cost would be neutral. However you would be left with a nappy that could either be used on another baby, or sold on.
I’ve found the cost savings greater as I haven’t purchased any other swimwear for my baby, he just wears his swim nappy and still looks cute! This has saved me an additional £5-10 for each size he’s had.
You can also use an empty pocket nappy as a swim nappy. Although be aware that chlorine damages PUL. So if you’re going to a swimming pool take a pocket nappy that you either don’t mine sacrificing or one that has already got failed PUL. However if you’re just in the paddling pool at home you don’t need to worry and can use any pocket nappy without worrying about damage.
Most swim schools and even some pools insist in the double nappy system. Typically a disposable swim nappy with a neoprene cover. There is no reason why you cannot swap the disposable nappy for a reusable one. They both do the exact same job, one is just better for the planet.