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Reviewed 23/01/2023

5 Tips for Protecting Your Child from Nappy Rash When Swimming

Although swimming doesn’t cause nappy rash, being in a wet nappy for long periods could make an existing nappy rash worse.

What is nappy rash?

Nappy rash happens when the skin on a baby’s bottom becomes inflamed and sore. Sometimes the rash may have tiny spots or blisters.

Nappy rash is usually caused by a baby’s bottom being in prolonged contact with a dirty or wet nappy.

The NHS website offers some great advice on how to deal with Nappy rash at home, but here we can offer some advice specifically aimed at swimming nappies.

  1.  Remove your child’s swim nappy as soon as they leave the water

    Disposable and reusable swim nappies are not designed to be absorbable, so they don’t draw liquid away from your baby’s bottom as regular disposable nappies do. Removing the swim nappy as soon as your child leaves the pool will ensure their bottom isn’t in contact with a damp nappy for a prolonged period.

    Swim nappies do not absorb urine and faeces so swapping to a regular nappy will ensure there are no poolside accidents.

  2. Apply a barrier cream before entering the water 

    If your child is prone to nappy rash, help protect their skin by applying a layer of barrier cream before entering the pool. Speak to your GP or pharmacist about your best option for nappy rash creams and apply a layer before putting on your baby’s swim nappy.

    If your child suffers from sensitive skin and is prone to eczema or other rashes then the Warm In One range from Splash About is an excellent choice for swimwear. These specialist swimsuits can be worn over barrier creams to help protect babies with sensitive skin.

  3. Invest in a neoprene reusable swim nappy

    Neoprene is a super soft fabric that is much gentler on the skin than disposable swim nappies, which can contain chemicals that can irritate babies’ skin. The Happy Nappy reusable swim nappy from Splash About is made from neoprene and can be combined with the cotton Nappy Wrap.

    The super soft cotton Nappy Wrap forms part of the Happy Nappy system and is the ideal choice if your little one is used to wearing cotton nappies. The Nappy Wrap also makes cleaning up after accidents much easier.

    Alternatively, our Happy Nappy Duo contains an inbuilt inner nappy wrap that is made with silver ions. Not only is silver naturally antibacterial, it can also help to soothe skin conditions such as nappy rash or eczema, so if your baby is prone to nappy rash, this is an excellent investment.
  4. Avoid swimming if their nappy rash is really bad

    If your baby already has a sore bottom from nappy rash then it’s best to avoid swimming in chlorinated pools as the chlorine could irritate the nappy rash, making the area more sore.
    If your little one has a fungal nappy rash (also known as candida or thrush) this can also become irritated by chlorine so it’s best to give swimming a miss until your baby’s bottom has healed. If you’re in doubt, then speak to your GP.

  5. Ensure their swim nappy fits correctly

    A swim nappy that is too tight is likely to rub your baby’s delicate skin which, as well as being uncomfortable, could cause chafing and exacerbate nappy rash. Reusable swim nappies tend to be a gentler option for babies’ skin than disposable swim nappies as they are made from soft, stretchy fabric.

    Reusable swim nappies, such as the Happy Nappy, come in a wide range of sizes which means you can find the correct size for your little one to ensure a comfortable fit. Simply click on the ‘Check Size Before You Buy’ button on any of the Happy Nappy product pages to find the best fit for your child.
Age Range Waist Circumference Thigh Circumference
X Small Newborn 31-36 cm 15-20 cm
Small 0-3 Months 34-41 cm 17-22 cm
Medium 3-6 Months 37-44 cm 19-24 cm
Large 6-12 Months 40-47 cm 20-26 cm
X Large 1-2 Years 42-50 cm 22-31 cm
XX Large 2-3 Years 44-52 cm 26-33 cm

Waist: Measure the circumference of the fullest part of the waist 

Thigh: Measure the circumference of the fullest part of the thigh

You can find out everything you need to know about choosing the best swim nappies for your child here.

Want to learn more about baby swimwear? Go back to basics with our guide Where to Start: Baby Swimwear Essentials.