Top Tips for Baby Swimming
If you’re about to embark on your first swimming session with your baby, here are a few top tips to help make the experience as enjoyable as possible for you both!
1. Make sure you find a warm enough pool
One of the most off putting things for babies is a cold pool. They can get cold very quickly, so try to find one which has a dedicated baby/ toddler pool or the main pool is at a higher temperature i.e. between 30-32 degrees. The Aubigny Swimming Pool in Haddington has a lovely warm children’s pool and plenty of changing rooms with baby changing facilities as well.
2. Swim nappies and swim suits
Don’t be tempted to try to use a normal nappy, they’ll swell up and almost drop off your baby. They are meant to absorb water and so this is what they’ll do in the swimming pool. You can buy disposable swim nappies from supermarkets and chemists (and usually the swimming pool if you’ve forgotten one). These are worn underneath a swimming costume. One of the biggest mistakes first time baby swimmers do is put the swim nappy on before heading to the swimming pool, as a way to save time. This is a BIG no no! They’re not designed to hold liquid, just solids, so anything will just leak through on to clothes, car seats, prams.
You can also now buy fantastic reusable swim nappies, such as these from Bambino Mio, which you use in the same way under the baby’s swimmers. Just pop them in the washing machine when you get home. I recommend buying at least two pairs in case your baby does a poo whilst your at the pool and you can quickly get them changed, pop them in the clean one and carry on with your session.
3. Double Up
Some swimming pools insist on babies ‘doubling up’. This means wearing a specially designed neoprene nappy on top of a swim nappy.
Made from a super waterproof neoprene material, it makes sure that the contents of your baby’s swimming nappy can’t get into the pool. Although doubling up method isn’t necessary, it is a great way to keep the nappy on in the water and will also keep your baby warmer than a standard swimming costume.
4. Be minimal
Take as little as possible into the changing room with you. Leave all coats, blankets etc in the car – swimming pool change rooms can be hot – especially when you’re in a fluster to get your baby dressed again. Also, don’t be fooled, you won’t be having that leisurely shower after swimming that you once had, so all shampoo/ conditioner etc can stay at home. You’ll wonder what took you so long to get changed before you had a baby!
5. Easy Clothes
Wear easy clothes for you to get changed back into. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to wriggle into jeans when you’re still wet and have a crying baby in front of you. Also dress your baby in a sleep suit, this means you can get them warm and cozy as quickly as possible without having to wrestle tired arms and legs.
6. Car Seat
One thing to take into the changing rooms is your car seat. They’re a safe, comfortable place to leave your baby whilst you get changed. With any luck, if you get them dressed after swimming first and put them in their car seat, they might fall asleep whilst you’re getting dressed and you might get to head to the cafe for a post-swim coffee and cake.
7. Take Your Time
A swimming pool can be an overwhelming place for a baby so don’t be put off if at first they seem nervous. Spend some time at the side of the pool getting them used to the noises, sights and smells. Keep your sessions short at first so as not to exhaust your baby – it’ll make getting change a much more enjoyable experience!
8. Enjoy It!
Try to relax and enjoy the time in the water, it can be a fantastic opportunity for one on one time and bonding.