Layering Reusable Swim Nappies: Step-by-step guide

Whether you're gearing up for your Water Babies lesson or a trip to the beach, ensuring your little one stays comfy and secure in the water is essential. At Water Babies, we're here to make every splash count – and our guide to layering reusable swim nappies is your ticket to hassle-free water fun, wherever your adventures take you!  

Step 1 – Choose your inner layer 

If your little one is wearing the Original Happy Nappy or Original Jammers, the first step would be using a reusable swim nappy underneath. Most of the reusable swim under-nappies or nappy wraps are made from soft and breathable materials such as cotton. They might include Velcro, Poppers -like Splash About Size Adjustable Nappy Wraps - or come in a pull-on style, which is the case of the Silver Lining Nappy Wrap, also by Splash About. This nappy wrap features a silver coated lining, which acts as a natural antibacterial agent, and can also help to soothe sore bottoms and nappy rash. 

You can learn more about reusable inner layers here - Reducing the Environmental Impact of the Double Layer Nappy System 

If you choose the Happy Nappy DUO or the Jammers DUO, the inner layer has been already added, featuring a built-in Silver Lining Nappy Wrap, so there’s no need for any other under nappy. We do recommend including some biodegradable or cloth liners though, so if there’s a ‘code brown’ during your swimming session, you’d only need to replace these. 

Step 2 – Choose your outer layer 

During your Water Babies journey, your little one will be wearing either the Original Happy Nappy or the Happy Nappy DUO as an outer waterproof layer for newborns and younger children, and the Splash Jammers or Jammers DUO for toddlers as they grow out of the Happy Nappy sizes. With over two decades of experience in the water, and while there are various reusable swim nappy brands available in the market, we confidently stand behind them as the most reliable ally against solid leaks. 

Your Original Happy Nappy and Splash Jammers will be worn over a reusable nappy wrap or under nappy. If this is your first time getting your little one into one of these, and would appreciate some in-depth guidance - worry not! Head to our Happy Nappy & Jammers Dressing Guide to find a step-by-step guide and handy tips to make sure your little one is always wearing the right fit.  

Step 3 – Optional: Baby Wetsuits 

We keep our pool temperatures toasty warm during your Water Babies lessons, but if your little one is especially sensitive to the cold, you are swimming in a cooler pool (such as like leisure centres or splashing in the sea) they can also wear a wetsuit on top of their reusable swim nappy, like the Warm in One or the Baby Wrap. If you’d rather use the one product, the Happy Nappy Wetsuit comes with an integrated Original Happy Nappy. For beach adventures, the Happy Nappy Wetsuit should be sufficient to enjoy worry-free fun in the water. During your Water Babies lessons though, remember to include a reusable nappy wrap underneath. 

Step 4 – Optional: Regular Swimwear

This is a completely optional step, but some carers also opt for putting their little one’s regular swimwear over the reusable swim nappy, such as a swimming costume. There might be a few reasons for this. Maybe your little one is wearing barrier creams, and a swimming costume helps you to hold them more firmly. Maybe it’s just a personal preference, and you want to keep their chest covered without the need of a rash top, or it could be the case you both enjoy wearing matching swimwear for a stylish swim! 

If you’d rather use just one product, there are also swimming costumes available with an integrated Happy Nappy, which is the Happy Nappy Costume. This option will feel much more comfortable for your child than wearing a regular swimsuit on top, plus, you wouldn’t risk overstretching their regular swimming costume. The Happy Nappy Costume is available in a wide range of colours and prints, just remember you’d still need to use a reusable nappy wrap as the inner layer for your Water Babies swimming lessons.  

Step 5 – Regular Swim Nappy Changes 

It's important to regularly check your little one’s swim nappy, and if you find any messy business down there, then change them as soon as possible in the baby change facilities. Swim nappies aren’t designed to hold poo for long periods, plus this would feel uncomfortable for your child and it’s not very hygienic, which could cause skin irritations.  

If your little one is wearing the Original Happy Nappy or Jammers, and then the inner layer, as per the double layer nappy system, you’ll only need to change the swim nappy underneath. That’s why we recommend having a couple of nappy wraps in rotation for your swimming lessons. If you are using liners, remove them from the Nappy Wrap, and replace with clean ones. There are biodegradable liners available, but if you are using cloth ones, just remember to bring a wet bag with you into the changing room to store them.  

In the case of the DUOs, the inner layer is attached to the neoprene outer, so the best way to go is always wearing in conjunction with biodegradable liners or cloth liners, so you’d only need to dispose of and replace these. If you aren’t using liners, simply tip the poo off the swim nappy or nappy wrap into the toilet and flush it away. Rinse the swim nappy or nappy wrap in cold water and store in a wet bag. If you want to keep swimming, then simply rinse the nappy wrap (or the silver lining if it’s a DUO), and your little one can put it back on. 

Remember swim nappies don’t hold any wee, so it’s important to take your little one for regular potty breaks or switch to a regular nappy if you aren’t in the pool or splashing in the beach. If you are going to have a break, just swap for a regular nappy and leave your reusable swim nappy to dry whilst out of the pool. They are quick drying, so can be reused when your child returns to the water. 

In the case of toddlers, ensure they have a potty break every 30 - 60 minutes, even if they are potty trained. Believe it or not, most leaks into pools come from potty-trained toddlers who can’t hold it, or are so excited they forget about it, so let’s stick to the safe side! 

To clean a soiled Happy Nappy or Jammers, you can hand wash in cool water or, if needed, you can also chuck it in the washing machine with the rest of your laundry, using a 30º cycle and non-bio detergent. Then leave it to dry away from direct sunlight. Another drying method is to roll them in a towel and lay them flat to dry, away from direct sunlight. Just keep in mind to avoid tumble drying or ironing your Happy Nappy or Jammers. 

And there you have it, a step-by-step guide to master the art of layering reusable swim nappies!