Babies love being in the water, and swimming lessons are one of the best ways for them to have fun and to learn. In order to make the most of the experience, there are just a few key items you need to take with you to the pool.
If you’ve ever seen the way a normal nappy expands after your baby has done a large wee, you’ll know why they’re not suitable for wearing in the pool. Swim nappies are specially designed to catch accidents and not expand too much from liquid, so it’s always worthwhile carrying a packet of disposable or reusable swim nappies for each swimming lesson.
It’s a good idea to dress your baby in bathers or a wetsuit that can help to keep the swim nappy in place. When they’re really young they won’t be moving around too much in the water (and pretty much always in your grasp), so you won’t need to worry too much about them being able to easily swim laps!
Cap and goggles
If you’re going in a chlorinated pool, it can be a good idea to have goggles and a swimming cap for your baby, so that the water doesn’t irritate their eyes or their hair gets too wet or smelly from the chlorine. Adjustable goggles that have padding around the eye areas are the best type.
For peace of mind, floatation devices can be used for baby swimming lessons which either attach to each upper arm, or to their torso like a life jacket. For really little babies, floatation devices may not be necessary, but they can help older children feel more comfortable and confident in the water.
Bubba will get cold pretty quickly after leaving the water, so always have a hooded towel close by, which can also make it easier for drying afterwards. As babies have trouble regulating their temperature, go for a thick, warm towel and get them changed as soon as possible after you leave the water.
Swim tote bag
Heaps of swim tote bags are available which are great not only for keeping all of your swimming gear together, but also for afterwards when you have several pieces of wet clothing to deal with.
Change of clothes for you and baby
When bubba is very young, you’ll need to hop into the pool as well, so make sure you bring a change of clothes not only for your baby but also for yourself. Many parents try to minimise their changing time by wearing bathers/bathing suit under their clothes, so they can just whip off their clothes and easily get in the pool.
Another tip: most pools can feel quite cool when you get in them, and as babies will easily get cold after too long in the water, it’s best to keep them in indoor, heated pools, rather than outdoor ones.