Swimming diapers from different manufacturers

Large swim diaper test from www.mamaclever.de

Summertime equals bathing time. But what should the baby wear in the pool? There are disposable swim diapers and those that look like swim trunks and are reusable. Mamaclever has tested which swim diapers are better - and experienced some surprises in the process.

If the baby is to go into the water, then normal diapers are ruled out as leak protection: They immediately soak up water, swell up and hinder the child's freedom of movement. Babies are usually not allowed to go into the water simply naked, at least in public swimming pools. And even in private pools it is certainly not so funny when the water around the child suddenly turns cloudy brown. So swim diapers are needed.

In drugstores and supermarkets there are special swim diapers in different sizes, depending on the weight of the child, for example from Babylove (DM), Babydream (Rossmann) or Swimmies (real, Globus, Rewe). These cheaper disposable swim diapers have a tear seam so that they can be taken off more easily - especially when big business has landed in them. However, you have to be careful not to tear them open when you put them on. More expensive ones like those from Huggies have a Velcro fastener, making them easier to put on and take off. They cost from 50 cents per item and are therefore considerably more expensive than the discount brands mentioned above, which are available from 33 cents per item. Swim diapers from Pampers have recently been available again in Germany and Switzerland. Pampers Splashers.

These swim diapers are intended for single use, if they have remained clean and you have not torn them on the side, you can also let them dry and use them several times.

Not waterproof

The packaging of our swimmies says: "Protects while playing in the water thanks to a special absorbent core that does not swell." The Babylove swim diapers are advertised as "Safe leakage protection thanks to very elastic materials on the legs, stomach and back" and Huggies says it is “Little Swimmers swim shorts do not swell up in the water and protect against large and small mishaps in the water.” However, anyone who thinks that swim diapers are waterproof from the inside out is wrong. The first time I became aware of this was when I had my swim-diaper-wearing son on my lap on the beach and it suddenly ran warm down my leg.

Swim diapers are primarily intended to prevent stool from getting into the water. It seldom happens that baby's big business ends up in the diaper while it is in the water, because the water pressure is ten times stronger than the air pressure and thus helps to prevent babies from going into the water and prevents the stool reflex in a healthy baby passing stool at temperatures below 35 degrees Celsius. Only at higher temperatures does the sphincter relax so much that stool can be released into the water. (Source: Wasserbabies.de) But sometimes it does happen and then a swim diaper can prevent feces from getting into the water for a short period of time. But this only applies if it is not too tight on the bottom and very tight on the legs. This is of course much less true for diarrhea! In any case, you should look into the diaper more often and, if necessary, change it immediately outside the pool.

Washable swim diapers as an alternative

So if disposable swim diapers are not waterproof, then you might as well use fabric ones that you can wash and use several times, thought Mamaclever. They are more expensive to buy (approx. 8-15 euros), but they pay off if you go swimming 25 times. Especially on vacation, when the child is in the water several times a day, they quickly pay off. And they save space in the suitcase and are of course much more environmentally friendly than the disposable diapers.

The online shop Tausendkind has provided us with swimming trunks from Sterntaler with sewn-in diaper pants free of charge. I also bought an iPlay * swim diaper for 15 euros and bought a no-name swimwear model at the flea market.

All models have elastic bands on the legs and stomach. The iPlay diaper is thicker than any other and has a non-woven layer. The Sterntaler trousers consist of an outer layer and inner trousers that are firmly sewn together, as do the no-name trousers.

The waterproof test

And because Mamaclever wanted to know exactly how dense the individual models are, she made a little experiment. A syringe was used to drip water into the disposable swim diaper and the three reusable diaper swimming trunks. The absorbent fleece of the disposable swim diaper could absorb 40 milliliters, after which the swim diaper ran out of the legs. The outer layer of the swim diaper, on the other hand, stayed dry for quite a long time. The same result with the iPlay: It absorbs smaller amounts of urine just as well as a disposable diaper and stays dry on the outside for a very, very long time.

The Sterntaler swimming trunks are different: after less than 10 milliliters it dripped on your legs, you just notice that the swim diaper has no absorbent layer, and where should the water go? The fabric does seem to be a bit water-repellent. Not so with the no-name swimming trunks: Here it dripped out immediately, not only at the leg holes, but also through the fabric.

Conclusion: None of the swim diapers tested completely prevents urine from leaking out and, to the best of my knowledge, there is no other swim diaper that can do that. Disposable swim diapers and the iPlay swim diaper, as well as other models that have an absorbent layer, catch smaller amounts of urine, so the child does not drip immediately when they pee.

Defecation is likely to be held back by all models that close tightly on the legs and leave enough space on the bottom for big business. If the fabric is at least water-repellent, there is probably better protection than normal swimming trunks, where it runs through quickly.

My son often wore the iPlay swim diaper on his last vacation, which also has a UV protection rating of 50. However, it has a small disadvantage: Due to the fleece, it dries relatively slowly. It is advisable to have a second swimming trunks or swim diaper with you.


In addition to swim diapers that can be put on and taken off like panties, there are also models that can be opened to the side with snaps, straps or Velcro fasteners, which makes it easier to put them on and take off, especially when something is inside.