The best baby swim nappies and baby swim pants

baby swim nappies

by Emily Gilbert |
Updated on

You may be feeling a little nervous when it comes to taking your baby to experience swimming for the first time, but you'll soon learn that most babies love water play, they just need the best swimming aids and swimwear (including the best baby swim nappies and baby swim pants) to keep them comfortable. It's a wonderful sensory experience for them as they get to splash about in the wetness, all under your watchful eye.

Along with getting the travel bag packed for your trip to the local pool, one thing that is an absolute must when taking your baby swimming is a nappy. It has to be a suitable baby swim nappy that won't get waterlogged and make the whole water experience a total misery for both you and baby.

There are plenty of options to choose from, including disposable swim nappies, as well as multipacks and reusable swim nappies which are washable and come in all sorts of colours and designs which will get your little one excited about wearing them.

The best baby swim nappies and pants at a glance:

•Best reusable swim nappy: Splash About Happy Nappy Duo - view offer on Amazon UK
Best adjustable swim nappies: TotsBots Reusable swim nappy - view offer on Amazon UK
Best for a multipack: Huggies Little Swimmers Nappies - view offer on Tesco
Best quality swim nappies: Pampers Splashers Swim Nappy - view offer on Amazon UK

To make sure we are providing you with expert advice about what products to buy, many of our recommendations have been tested by an army of mums whose verdicts help decide just who deserves to get the coveted gold, silver and bronze rosettes in our Mother&Baby Awards.

The best baby swim nappies and pants:

Best quality swim nappies

The Pampers Splashers Swim Nappy was awarded Gold for Best Swimming Product at the Mother&Baby Awards 2024.

Shortlisted for Best Swimming Products in Mother&Baby's Awards 2020 and 2021.

Pampers Splashers are perfect for little ones to splash around in. Unlike regular nappies, they have a no-swell core which makes them a comfortable fit when wet or dry. Splashers 360° stretchy waistband and dual leak-guard barrier give the feel of swimwear but still prevents any messes and they have easy tear sides to help with a quick and easy removal.

M&B mum tester Rachel: These nappies were great, I loved how they were so easy to use and much more durable than other brands I have used. The stretchy sides were very useful when putting on a baby, I found them to be easy to pull up even on a wriggly baby. The nappy doesn't swell like other brands which meant the baby was secure for our swim. The easy rip sides were great for pulling when trying to get the baby dry after the swim.

Read our full Pampers Splashers Swim Nappy Review


  • Doesn't swell in water
  • 360° stretchy waistband
  • Easy to put on and simple to tear off too


  • Not reusable
  • No sticky tab on the back for disposal

The Mamia Swim Pants was awarded Silver for Best Swimming Product at the Mother&Baby Awards 2024.

Designed with a special absorbent material that won't swell up like a nappy, your baby will be comfortable and protected during water play.

Our mum tester said: "I would for sure recommend these swim nappies. For sure yes! I loved these nappies for so many reasons. They are comfortable, easy to use, very hygienic. I never used this type before but now that I have, I will for sure change the swimming nappies I will use from now on. You get enough Mamia Swim Pants nappies in one pack to allow most parents to use for a while, the price is also amazing and well worth it... Quality is amazing."

Read our full Mamia Swim Pants review.

Best for comfort

The Bambino Mio Reusable Swim Nappy was awarded Bronze for Best Swimming Product at the Mother&Baby Awards 2024.

If you've got yourself a disposable swim nappy, why not pop these pretty swim pants from Bambino Mio over the top? Available in several designs, they are made from stretchy material and won't pinch or rub around the edges plus the drawstring waist makes them easy to adjust.

Review: "Perfect as an alternative to disposal swim nappies. They haven’t yet proved whether they keep ‘everything’ in though, so haven’t properly tested them. Although our son loves them compared to disposal swim nappies!"
Another reviewer said: "Great alternative to expensive disposables and better for the environment too. Perfect for paddling at the beach. Love the cute Pineapple Party design!"

Read our full Bambino Mio Reusable Swim Nappy review.


  • Soft towelling
  • Drawstring waistband


  • Can be tumble dried but not ironed

Best reusable swim nappy

Happy Nappy Duo
Price: $25.00

Winner of Gold for Best Swimming Product in the Mother&Baby Awards 2021

Splash About has designed the most reliable, reusable baby swim nappy, the Happy Nappy Duo. Fully tested and approved by UK swim schools, it offers maximum protection against faecal leaks due to its distinctive ergonomic design and double layer nappy system. It's technically constructed from malleable neoprene, with contoured panels to cup baby's bottom, innovative fitted gusset and specialist-pressured fabric at the waist and legs to provide a secure, comfortable seal. This form-fitting swim nappy moves as baby moves, but uniquely there's no gaping, regardless of how baby kicks/twists in water

M&B mum tester Naomi said: "The happy nappy is a great product. It makes swimming so much easier. The fit on them is amazing and there is no risk of leaks with these. I love the reusable wrap liner as this avoids all the waste of disposable swim nappies. They fit really well, even on my chubby legged baby. There is no gaping around the tummy or legs but they seem comfortable and not too tight."

Read our full Splash About New Happy Nappy Duo Review


  • Reusable so no need to use disposable nappies underneath
  • Double Layer Nappy System
  • Easy to wash


  • Fit isn't adjustable

Best for brightness

baby swim nappies and baby swim pants
Price: £7.35

Winner of Silver for Best Swimming Product in Mother&Baby Awards 2021

Charlie Banana swim nappies are great swimming nappies and potty training pants in one. There is no need to use disposable swim nappies as reusable ones do the job perfectly for the pool or beach. Charlie Banana Swim Diaper & Training pants have a waterproof, outer layer and a soft organic cotton interior lining, which is gentle against your baby's skin. These make ideal training pants when potty training a child because of the trim fit, easy removal and a fine absorbent layer to minimize little accidents!

One reviewer said: "This swim nappy is very easy to use. I really like the pull up style as opposed to Velcro or popper like other reusable swim nappies I have. It makes putting it on a wriggly baby very easy. Because of the drawstring it is also very easy to undo and take off while wet too. The nappy can also be used as training pants so it does have an absorbant part but I didn't find this to be too bulky while in the water which is good."


  • Waist ties are adjustable
  • Bright colours are easy to spot (safety reasons)


  • Lack of size options

Best adjustable swim nappies

baby swim nappies and baby swim pants
Price: £10.99

Shortlisted for Best Swimming Product in Mother&Baby Awards 2021.

The TotsBots reusable swim nappy is the perfect addition to any swim kit. Ideal for lounging at the seaside, paddling in the garden or splashing at the local pool. This swim nappy has elasticated legs and an adjustable waist for a super-soft flexible fit and neoprene free, so no chaffing for baby. Quick and easy waist fastenings means no pulling down poopy nappies over baby's legs and with soft fleece interior next to skin too for maximum comfort in and out of the water. Made from recycled plastic bottles and manufactured with love in the UK.

M&B mum tester Poppy: "My son hates wearing single use swimming nappies as they tend to leave imprints at the top of his legs, however the TotsBots nappy is so soft and comfortable on him that we had no issues at all and he seemed to love wearing it. He also wears swimming shorts which fit perfectly over the swimming nappy as they're not big and bulky like some. The waterproof bag that comes with the nappy is also great as it fit everything in until we could clean them properly once home."

**Read our full TotsBots Reusable Swim Nappy Review


  • Made from recycled materials
  • Holds in poo


  • Not the easiest to get onto a wriggly baby

Best for travelling

baby swim nappies and baby swim pants
Price: $36.47

Winner of Silver for Best Swimming Product in Mother&Baby Awards 2020.

The swim nappy and swim rash top is the perfect duo for when your baby takes a dip in the summer. They both include UPF 50+ protection, so your baby's delicate, sensitive skin is protected in high temperatures. It also contains spandex for ultimate stretchy comfort.

M&B mum tester Natasha: "It's been lovely to find a swimming product for a child that doesn't stick to them when you try and change them after a swimming session. As a mother of triplets, and now also 7-month-old, we have tried a lot of swimming products and this one is lovely. The material is great and very pretty and the drawstring to the front of the bottoms makes it very easy to get it on over swim nappies and so on."


  • Multipack so you'll have a spare
  • Long sleeves and UPF 40+ sun protection


  • Limited colour options

Bets for a multipack

Winner of Bronze for Best Swimming Product in Mother&Baby's Awards in 2019

Huggies Little Swimmers swim nappies make swimming with your baby fun by giving you and your baby freedom to enjoy the water without the worry of little accidents. The unique absorbent material ensures these nappies don't swell in the water, and they are designed with unique easy-open sides for quick removal when your baby is wet, as well as leak guards to help stop leaks around the legs. They come in fun, colourful Disney designs, too (to help you identify the back or front!).

M&B mum tester Stacey: "The design is bright, colourful and appealing to children. The pant style makes it very easy to put them on and the top sides make it very easy to remove. The swim pant is very thin and not bulky at all making it easy to store them and put them in a swimming bag. They are comfortable for a child to wear and the size covers a broad range."

Read our full Huggies Little Swimmers review


  • 12 per pack
  • Absorbent material


  • Disposable

Best for a budget

Winner of Bronze for Best Swimming Products in Mother&Baby Awards 2019.

Nutmeg Swim Pants are perfect for helping your little one make a splash in the pool! They're wonderfully soft to keep your baby comfy, and the secure fastening provides snug protection.

A reviewer said: "If you're looking for a cheaper alternative to the usual brands then these are ideal for short term use. We use these for my sons swimming lessons and they do feel very paper-y but my son never complains about being uncomfortable. They do the job that they are needed for at a much cheaper price than others. If you stretch the nappy before putting on it tells you which side is the back."


  • Affordable price
  • Dermatologically protected


  • Could be stronger

Best for style

This cute swim nappy comes in a gorgeous daisy print and has been designed to keep accidents better contained. With coordinating costumes available, you're bound to fall in love with this cute look, plus it amazingly has SPF50+ protection built in.

Review: "My daughter is starting swimming lessons soon so I'm really excited about her wearing her new really pretty swim knickers. I've bought the matching swim hat for use in the summer too."


  • Machine washable
  • Material is recycled


  • Not suitable for dry cleaning

Best for durability

baby swim nappies and baby swim pants
Price: £16 (was 32)

Perfect for summer holidays aboard or at the beach with the family, this nappy has SPF50+ protection built in, helping to give you a little extra peace of mind. You'll like that they're lined at both the front and back which enhances the durability.


  • Bright colours shouldn't fade in chlorine
  • Fully lined


  • May shrink slightly (by 5 per cent)

What type of baby swim pants and nappies are there?

Swim nappies can either be disposable or reusable and are available at most supermarkets and pharmacies. Some swimwear also has nappies built into them.

Disposable swim nappies - They look like regular nappies and are thrown away after one use. If you opt for these, you may need to take a few more as back up, especially if you're heading to the seaside or going to the beach. Your baby can't wear them for extended periods of time when they are wet as it can cause nappy rash.

Reusable swim nappies - These tend to look like small pants, shorts or part of a swimsuit that can be washed and worn again. They are designed to dry quickly, so if your child has come out of the water, there isn't a risk of nappy rash.

Swim pants are usually worn on top of disposable swim nappies. They're a lovely way of adding extra protection and making potentially boring disposable nappies cuter.

What features to look for in a swim nappy?

  • Leakage - Swim nappies are designed to contain most stools until you can remove your child from the water and to the toilet. However, loose stools and urine will not be stopped by swim nappies from leaking into the water. Make sure you take your child to the toilet at regular intervals during the swimming session.

  • Size - Disposable swim nappies are sized in the same way as standard nappies. Make sure you choose a fit that will be secure and snug. You don't want them to be too big or too small as they may restrict your baby's movement or prevent them from fitting into a swim ring.

  • Adjustable tabs  -  Parents who tested swim nappies for our Mother&Baby Awards mentioned the swim nappies they preferred had adjustable tabs for babies in between sizes so they could make sure they were more secure.

  • Cost - If you plan to take your baby swimming regularly, think about the cost of a disposable baby swim nappy compared to a reusable baby swim nappy, as you could spend more over time rather than one investment.

Baby swimming - at what age can you start?

When can babies go swimming?

According to the NHS, 'You can take your baby swimming at any age, both before and after they have been vaccinated. It does not matter if they have not yet completed their course of vaccinations.' So really, the choice is completely yours.

What do I need to take my baby swimming?

  • Swim nappies

  • A swimming costume or baby wetsuit

  • Your baby's favourite bath toy

  • A soft towel or towelling dressing gown

  • A snack if your baby is weaning. Swimming is hungry work!

  • A baby swim vest

  • A bottle of milk if you're bottle-feeding

  • Baby swim shoes

  • A changing mat and your changing bag

  • Your own swimsuit and a change of underwear!

How do I wash reusable swim nappies?

So that your reusable swim nappy doesn't lose shape, they should be hand washed in cool water. If your baby has soiled their nappy, then wash it on a gentle cycle in the washing machine.

Baby swimming lessons

Indoor pools have opened again across the UK, and swimming lessons have resumed. If you would like some in-person support when taking your baby swimming, why not see if your pool offers swimming lessons or classes? It's a great way to meet other parents and for your youngster to see other babies in the same situation as them.

There are also plenty of swimming programmes in leisure centres or indoor pools available, especially for babies all around the country. Here are a few programmes to look into:

  • Turtle Tots

  • Water Babies

  • Aquatots

  • Puddle Ducks

  • Little Dippers

Emily Gilbert is a Digital Writer for Mother&Baby and had written for the website and previously the magazine for six years. Specialising in product reviews, Emily is the first to know about all the exciting new releases in the parenting industry.

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Mother & Baby is dedicated to ensuring our information is always valuable and trustworthy, which is why we only use reputable resources such as the NHS, reviewed medical papers, or the advice of a credible doctor, GP, midwife, psychotherapist, gynaecologist or other medical professionals. Where possible, our articles are medically reviewed or contain expert advice. Our writers are all kept up to date on the latest safety advice for all the products we recommend and follow strict reporting guidelines to ensure our content comes from credible sources. Remember to always consult a medical professional if you have any worries. Our articles are not intended to replace professional advice from your GP or midwife.