I had a feeling my child of Pisces would love splish splashing around in the pool and my assumption was correct. He is a water sign after all but to be fair all babies are born with the natural ability to swim and are perfectly adapted to immersion in water. We all know that swimming is an important must learn life skill and unlike my other half who swims daily I’m not that confident in the water. I managed a swimming proficiency of 25m at school but that’s about it, if my feet can’t touch the bottom of the pool or the sea then it’s game over.
I was advised to take Jay swimming after his immunisations but I’ve since discovered that you don’t need to wait and can go anytime unless your baby is unwell. Most pools start swimming classes at 3 months and many mums prefer to wait until then to take their baby for a swim. The decision is entirely up to you. Jay had his first official pool visit at 6 months old with Daddio and he took to it brilliantly there were no tears and although he managed to splash his own face with water a couple of times he didn’t cry. He was as happy as Larry whoever Larry is.
If you’re thinking of heading to the pool here’s a couple of pointers that I hope will help:
- Consider the timing of your visit. Choose a time when the pool is quieter some leisure centres have a baby pool and if it doesn’t probably best to avoid busy lane sessions.
- You may find you need to sign a form at the Leisure centre if you or family/friend is going to take photos of baby swimming. This is the World we live in now.
- Might be an idea to get your swimming cossie on underneath your clothes before you leave the house to save time when you get to the pool.
- Try and grab a bay with a table as it’s quite tricky trying to change baby in one without one basically!
- We packed 2 towels for Jay one to dry him immediately after coming out of the pool and one to put him down onto after drying. It’s no fun getting changed on a wet towel.
- We chose Huggies disposable nappies which worked really well and Jay wore his funky swimming shorts over the nappy. Regular readers of my blog will know the Jay bird suffers from reflux. I was more worried about the milk throw ups than the possible nappy leak incidents! I had to make sure we waited 30 mins after feeding him and then we made our short drive to the pool.
- The pool temperature should not be too cold it should be at least 30 degrees celsius or warmer. If you think it’s too cold then check with the staff.
- When you get in the pool for the first time, smile and talk to your baby. It’s really important that you are calm as they’ll take their cues from you. Get your shoulders under the water and hold your baby so the water covers their chests. Through the session, try alternating between holding your baby very close, with lots of reassuring skin-to-skin contact, then at arm’s length so they can move freely and feel a bit more independent. Singing songs and play gentle games with your baby, blowing bubbles and splashing water over baby’s tummy and baby’s head.
- We restricted his visit in the water to 20 minutes and made sure he was warm and cosy afterwards as babies lose heat quicker than adults.
- Jay usually ready for a drink immediately after swimming, thirsty work! so I feed him before we head home. There is the added benefit that he naps for longer after a visit to the pool which means I can actually have a warm mug of coffee for once and even manage to eat a meal when it’s hot and you mummies know what I mean!.
Do you enjoy taking your babies swimming and have you tried structured swimming classes?
Thanks for reading