Finding the best baby swimwear on the market is the key to making sure that your baby is comfortable and safe in the water. Whether it's for a weekend splash in the paddling pool or that first family trip to the beach, as well as baby sunscreen, your baby will need suitable swim nappies and swimwear.
Before you begin shopping for baby or toddler swimwear, it's important to know what you're buying it for, as different swimwear items can serve different purposes. For example, if you're planning on taking your baby or toddler to their first swimming lesson, then you'll want a decent swim nappy and swimsuit or baby swim vest that aids in floating.
However, if it's for your child to wear at the beach or to mess around in outside, then you'll definitely want to consider swimwear that has sun protection and maybe invest in the baby swim shoes to protect their feet.
Best baby swimwear for infants and toddlers 2023 shortlist:
• Best overall baby swimwear: Splash About Baby Warm-in-One
• Best reusable baby swimwear: Splash About Happy Nappy
• Best baby swimwear for ease of dressing: Splash About Baby Wrap Wetsuit
The best baby and toddler swimwear 2023
Best overall baby swimwear
This super-soft, fleece-lined Splash About Baby Warm-in-One is ideal for babies splashing in the
- Long sleeves, legs and fleece lining for extra warmth
- Available in a range of cute and colourful designs
- UPF50+ sun protection
- It does require a bit of gentle tugging to remove
Best UV protection swimwear
Slipfree are best known for their non-slip shoes, however, they also have a beautiful variety of
- Available in a wide age range - 2-11 year olds
- Beautiful designs and patterns
- Good quality
- Easy to wash
- UPF 50+ protection
- Quick drying
- No sizing for babies
Best reusable baby swimwear
- Available in a range of brightly coloured designs
- Suitable for babies and toddler
- Hand wash only
- Only holds in solids, not urine
Best baby swimwear for easy dressing
This cute little Splash About Baby Wrap Wetsuit is available in a number of different prints and
- UPF50+ protection, great for beach days
- Legs and arms can move freely
- Warm material, perfect for in the pool
- Need to remember to layer up sunscreen on legs and arms if outside
Best disposable baby swimwear nappy
These disposable Huggies Little Swimmers in Size 2-3 give your baby the freedom to enjoy the water
- Comes in cute Disney Dory print to make swim nappies look like swimwear
- Easy to get on and off
- Not great for the environment
- No sun protection
Best designed baby swimwear
Another reusable swim nappy our Mother&Baby parent reviewers were big fans of was the Bambino Mio
- Available in 14 prints
- Safe for washing machines and tumble dryers
- Adjustable drawstring waistband for easy changing
- A little on the small size
Best baby swimwear with built-in nappy
Our Mother&Baby parent reviewers found another great buy called Splash About Children's Happy
- No need to worry about additional swim nappy
- Available in a range of fun, child-friendly prints
- UPF 50+ sun protection
- Easy to get on and off with long zip down the back
- Exposed arms and legs are not protected from the sun
Best baby swimwear with floats
A great product that does pretty much everything in one, this Splash About Kids Sun Protection
- Available in four brightly coloured designs
- UPF 50+ sun protection
- Great for helping children learn how to swim
- Chlorine resistant material
- Hand wash only
Best baby swimwear for feet
- Rubber sole for extra grip
- Soft material for extra comfort and ease putting on
- Tab at the back makes these easy to take off
- Only available in two colours
Best baby swimwear with long sleeve
A Bambino Mio Swim Rash Top is always handy for pairing with a swim nappy to ensure your child is
- Easy to wash and dry
- Available in a range of colours/designs
- Made from a blend of cotton and polyester for a soft, stretchy fit
- Not as high sun protection as some baby/toddler swimsuits
Best baby swimwear vest
- Available in eight fun prints
- UPF50 + Sun Protection
- Made from sand-resistant Neoprene
- The sizes are quite wide-ranging
Best baby swimwear shorts
These MaaMgic Little Boys Beach Trunk are an incredibly funky design, and the bright colour also
- Fun print
- Convenient pockets
- Quick drying
- UPF 50+
- No built-in nappy for younger ones
Choosing the right Baby and Toddler Swimwear
While you might be tempted to choose the swimwear you think your baby will look cute in, there are several different factors that should be considered when shopping for baby and toddler swimwear.
Sun protection: If you're getting swimwear for your child to wear outdoors, you'll want the material to have Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) to protect their soft, delicate skin. We've tried to include as many children's swimwear items with UPF as possible, but if an item doesn't have it, then make sure you follow the NHS guidelines as to how long your child should spend in direct sunlight. Also, make sure you apply an SPF of at least factor 30, whether your child's swimwear does or doesn't have UPF protection.
Vibrant colours: Opt for bright, bold colours to make sure your child is easy to identify when out and about. Neon colours are particularly good. Avoid muted colours that blend in too easily with your surroundings such as blues.
Ease of use: Just like getting clothes on your child can prove difficult at times, so can dressing them in swimwear. To make both of your lives easier (and happier), opt for swimwear items that require little hassle, with poppers, zips, and Velcro fastenings.
Different types of Swimwear
Depending on where you plan to go swimming would depend on what kind of swimwear your baby might need to wear.
Reusable or disposable nappies: essential for babies or toddlers who aren't potty trained, swim nappies are a must. You can get reusable swim nappies that double up as swimwear, with cute patterns and designs. These are ideal for warmer swimming days.
Swimsuit or wetsuit: Baby swimsuits come in an array of different styles and can be two-pieces or all-in-ones.
Wetsuits are designed to cover your little one's arms and legs and often help to keep your baby warmer and more protected from sunlight when in the water, and chemicals from the water itself.
Always check the label on your child's swimwear before washing, as this will have specific instructions on how to care for the item. If your child has been in the sea or swimming pool, then it's best to give their swimwear a rinse in water before washing to remove chlorine/salt water.
A good way to do this is by popping your child into the shower in their swim stuff so it gets a good rinse.
Avoid leaving your child's swimwear wrapped up in a towel, as this can lead to the seawater/chlorine doing more damage. Never pop their items in the washing machine or tumble dryer either, as they can actually damage your swimwear unless the label states that you can.
When can my baby go swimming?
The NHS advice on swimming is that you can take your baby swimming at any age, both before and after they have been vaccinated.
Where can I take my baby swimming?
You may be keen to take your baby or toddler to swimming lessons. If so, then there are lots of swimming lessons for young children based all over the country. A few include Turtle Tots, Water Babies, Aquatots, Puddle Ducks and Little Dippers.
Does my baby need a nappy when swimming?
Your baby should wear a swim nappy when they go swimming as they are designed to not become waterlogged and uncomfortable for your baby. Normal nappies should not be worn as they are quick to absorb liquid and will irritate your baby. If spending time outside in the sun, you'll also want to pick up some baby sunglasses too.
Do you need to wash baby after swimming?
Washing your baby after going swimming is not something you need to do straight away, as after leaving the pool it's important to get them dry and warm.
Once home, however, you should bathe your baby to rinse off the water from the swimming pool as the chlorine can irritate your little one's skin, as their skin is very delicate and sensitive.
Samantha Ball is a Product & Lifestyle Writer for Mother&Baby and freelanced for the website for two years before joining the team full time. She's a mum of two and loves browsing for the best products and cute outfits.