Dylan loves the water,be it in the bath or the pool, so swimming is something we love to do with him. Although there are plenty of classes you can take your baby to, I knew from early on that I didn’t want to go down the route of swimming classes and would just take him to the pool myself. There were a couple of factors in this decision – mainly the cost of swimming lessons for babies which I personally thought was crazy!
We’ve been going swimming since Dylan was 7 week old so we have it down to a fine art at this stage. Here’s some tips that work great for us, especially if you’re going on your own with your baby.
As with any day out I have planned, I like to pack his bag the night before. I make sure to always bring: a towel for Dylan, a towel for myself, a disposable swim nappy, a wetsuit nappy, his swimsuit, change for the locker, a change of nappy and a bottle for afterwards. It’s never easy getting ready in the changing rooms so to be as prepared as possible I always put my own swimming costume on underneath my clothes just before I leave the house. That way I can get Dylan changed then quickly strip down to my own swim costume. I also make sure to wear clothes that are easy to pull on and off (leggings or joggers and a T-Shirt) so I’m not faffing around too long getting dressed and undressed.
Time Around Feeds
I try to time it so that Dylan is neither starving nor full. Generally an hour or so after a feed is what works best for us. If he’s too hungry he’ll just scream the place down and it’ll be no fun for anyone. If he’s too full his wee tummy gets too sore to enjoy it. Swimming is hungry work and he always works up an appetite so I have a feed ready for once we’re out and changed.
Keep Them Warm
Heated pools are the best option but that’s not always possible. We bought Dylan a Splash About Swim Wrap which helps to maintain baby’s core temperature to the correct level.
At The Pool
We don’t spend too long in the water, at first it was just 10 minutes and have now built it up to 20-30 minutes. After this time he starts to get a bit bored, plus I don’t want him getting cold from being in the water too long. I always bring a towel to the pool area and leave it just at the side so that when it’s time to get out I can wrap Dylan in it right away to keep him warm. Once out I dip into the shower to rinse any chlorine off Dylan. I don’t even attempt to shower myself while at the pool – that has to wait til we’re back home! I dry and change Dylan first then pop him into his car seat/buggy so that he’s safe while I quickly get dressed myself.
Like I said before Dylan loves going swimming and I’m really glad we got him used to the water from a young age. It’s a great way to occupy him for a morning and he always sleeps great afterwards.
If there’s any other days out you’d like me to write about just let me know!