Everything You Need to Know About Reusable Swim Diapers and Packing Your Summer Diaper Bag

Everything You Need to Know About Reusable Swim Diapers and Packing Your Summer Diaper Bag

There is nothing more fun than a baby's 1st (or 2nd!) summer! Watching their eyes light up as they splash around at a water table or take their first dip in the pool is pure magic for us parents. Not to mention, for cloth diapering parents summer is THE BEST time to show off your baby's cloth diaper covers. Who needs shorts or pants when their diapers are this cute! Simply match their top to your favorite Outer and they're ready to hit the town.

In this post we will share helpful tips for experiencing summer with your new baby, whether it be a day at the beach or a trip to the park sprinklers. We’ll share all about how to use a reusable swim diaper and what to pack in your summer diaper bag for endless summer fun!

What to Know About Reusable Swim Diapers 


What do swim diapers do?

Swim diapers are a must if you're planning to take your baby in the water. While disposable swim diapers do exist, we find reusable swim diapers to be more cost effective, better at containing messes and waaaaay cuter.

It's important to note that swim diapers are NOT absorbent (this applies to both disposable and reusable swim diapers). Swim diapers by design allow water (and pee! to flow in and out.) In fact, it's very important to make sure your swim diaper DOES NOT have any absorbency because if it does, it will just suck up the pool or ocean water and weigh the baby down (which is, of course, a safety hazard). 

So if they don't absorb, what do swim diapers do? Well, to put it bluntly, swim diapers are there to catch poo! If your baby poops while enjoying a dip in the pool, the swim diaper keeps the solid/pasty poop from escaping into the water.

How to use a reusable swim diaper?

Knowing that swim diapers don't absorb is key in understanding how and when to use a swim diaper. The general rule of thumb is to keep babies in their regular diaper until the very moment you take them in the water. And then when you get them out of the water, put a fresh regular diaper on right away. This will ensure you don't get peed on!



How do Esembly reusable swim diapers work?

We have a little secret for you. Esembly swim diapers are just Esembly Outer diaper covers used with no Inner cloth diaper underneath. Yep, you read that right. We designed our Outer diaper covers to double as swim diapers! To use them for swimming, simply remove the cotton Inner part of the diaper and use the Outer on its own. When fastening on your baby, make sure you have a nice snug fit at the legs and waste.

Insider Tips

Here are some expert tips from veteran swim diapering parents...

  1. When your baby outgrows their Size 1 Esembly cloth diapers, hang onto a few Size 1 Outer diaper covers and use those as reusable swim diapers. The Size 1 Outers will give your toddler a nice snug swimmi fit.
  2. If you're planning to spend a full day at the beach, pool or lake, bring multiple reusable swim diapers with you this way if one gets soiled you have back up.
  3. Esembly Overnighters make great swim diaper companions. While you're hanging with your baby poolside, instead of using an Inner under your Outer slip an Overnighter inside your Outer/Swim Diaper instead. Then right before you get in the water with your baby, slip your hand in the back and slide the Overnighter out. Some families find this easier than having to unsnap the Outer/Swim Diaper to remove an Inner. Just keep in mind that an Overnighter is not as absorbent as an Inner and if your baby does wet or soil the diaper you may end up with a leak, so proceed with caution if you're not in a location/situation where dealing with that kind of mess is acceptable.

Words of caution:

  1. This likely goes without saying but NEVER EVER leave your baby unattended in or near the water. Even if they are in a safety-approved floatation device. An adult should always have eyes and a hand on a child in the water.
  2. Swim diapers (this applies to all styles of disposable and reusable swim diapers) are designed to catch thicker poop. For newborns with liquidy poo and older babies that may be experiencing diarrhea the swim diapers will be less effective. Proceed with caution (especially in a public setting).
  3. Swim diapers should fit nice and snug around the waist and legs to maximize poop containment.
  4. Check your baby's swim diaper often (at least every 15-30 min) to ensure it's not soiled. 

Ok so now that we've covered swim diapers, let's talk about what else you need for summer baby fun! Specifically what to pack in your diaper bag or wet bag.


Summer Diaper Bag Necessities

When taking your baby out to the beach, pool, lake or sprinkler park expect that you will be traveling home with some very wet/messy items. From sopping swim diapers and bathing suits to sandy beach toys and messy sunblock. Fear not though, we have an assortment of waterproof diaper bags and wet bags to keep everything contained! And guess what, they are super-stylish too so no need to hide them away. 

Day Bags and Carryall Bags

Our Day Bags and Carryall Bags are large enough to be used on their own as your primary beach/pool bag. The Day Bag has two separate drawstring compartments so you can keep wet and dry items separate. The Carryall, on the other hand, has one big bucket compartment that you can easily just throw everything into. Our recommendation is to bring one of each! Use a Day Bag to keep your personal belongings, sunblock and swim diapers/bathing suits organized and have a Carryall for sandy beach toys and towels. (Carryall folds up into its own front pocket making it super easy to keep one with you in case you need it in a pinch).

Already have a beach/pool bag you love? Great! Our Ditty Bag Duo is the perfect compliment. These waterproof wet bag pouches are perfect for tossing wet reusable swim diapers and bathing suits in to keep them contained in your large bag. Use one Ditty bag for swim stuff and the other for sunblock, sunglasses and goggles!

Oh and let's not forget the snacks! We don't know a single toddler that can make it through a day at the beach or pool without a bag of cheddar bunnies! Our Snack + Sammy Pouches pair perfectly with our Wet Bags to complete your Summer Diaper Bag look!

Summer Diaper Bag Checklist

  • 2-3 Reusable Swim Diapers (aka Outer diaper covers)
  • Inners and/or Overnighters for when baby is not in the water
  • Wipe Ups and Wipe Up Wash Foamer for cleaning bums and sandy hands
  • Snack + Sammy Pouches filled with you and your baby's fav treats
  • Sunblock (we are big fans of SunBum and Tubby Todd baby sunblock)
  • Sunglasses and/or swim goggles
  • Towels for diaper changes and drying wet bodies
  • Sun hat (we love Briar Baby's assortment!)
  • Phone/camera for capturing cute swim shots!
  • Small beach/pool toys to keep baby entertained
  • Day Bag, Carryall Bag and/or Ditty Bags to keep everything contained

Time to Have Fun :)

As you’re gearing up for a summer filled with splashy adventures and sandy toes, we hope these tips and essentials make your outings with your little one even more enjoyable! From mastering the art of reusable swim diapers to packing your diaper bag like a pro, we've got you covered. Don't forget to share your sun-soaked memories with us by tagging @esembly. Here's to a season of endless fun in the sun!





Our co-founders host a free, virtual, Cloth Diapering 101 class every month to help cloth-curious parents get all the tools and information they need! You’ll learn:

  • How to use the Esembly diapers and accessories 
  • How to easily and effectively launder your Esembly diapers
  • The impact that your choice has on the planet, your wallet, and your day-to-day. 

You'll leave with the confidence to Live Less Disposably and a 20% discount code to use on your first order. 🥳 We hope to see you there!

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