You may or may not know that most public pools, and some private pools, require babies that are not potty-trained to wear some kind of protective swim diaper, whether it is reusable or disposable.
According to a CBS News.com article, some swim diapers are the culprits of spreading some mess. In a 2009 study conducted by Scientist from UNC-Charlotte, some swim diapers for babies may not prevent the spread of the most common cause of water-born illnesses: Cryptosporidium (crypto). The authors of the study pointed out that since you cannot count on swim diapers to keep everything contained, the best thing to do if your child may be sick is keep them out of the water, for the safety of others.
The CDC estimates that crypto is responsible for over 750 gastrointestinal water-born illnesses. So, if your child has diarrhea, it is best to keep them out of the pool. I would also suggest making any diaper changes away from poolside to play it safe.
So while baby swim diapers are certainly not fool-proof protection from the spread of water-born disease, some are certainly better than others for containing poop. From my experience, and a good amount of research, it is clear that quality reusable swim diapers are far better at sealing in the mess than disposables.
The Problem With Disposable Swim Diapers
The problem with disposables is simple: they simply do not contain bacteria like crypto as well as reusables. Disposable swim diapers are made to be torn off easily for a quick at less-mess diaper change. The problem with this is that renders the swim diaper less sealable. In my experience, a lot of those disposables don’t even hold pee well. Other than being required by public pools to wear them, I don’t see what the point is. You might as well have your baby in plain mesh.
Cloth diaper users know that reusable swim diapers work better to seal in the mess. And like cloth diapers, reusable swim diapers are best for the environment and their baby’s health. And you better believe you’ll save money. You won’t need to buy more than a few reusables over the course of your baby’s non-potty-trained life. With disposables, you’ll be emptying your wallet a bit more, especially if you frequent the pool with your little one.