Who would have thought that taking a little person swimming could be so complicated?
We’re half way through our latest term of Puddle Ducks baby swimming lessons and it turns out there are all sorts of things to consider, from what to wear and what to pack to the logistics of getting them changed afterwards.
Forget slinging your costume and towel into a bag and heading out the door, like most things now you’re a parent going swimming requires planning in advance.
Here’s what I’ve learnt so far:
10 top tips for taking your baby swimming
1. It might sound obvious, but use a swimming nappy! Normal disposable nappies aren’t designed for water and blow up immediately, and can actually be quite dangerous. We use Huggies Little Swimmers which are lightweight but super absorbent, with a reusable over-nappy on top to make sure there are no unwanted spillages.
2. Plan your swimming session around naptimes and mealtimes. A hungry or tired baby isn’t going to enjoy the experience as much as a happy and well-rested one, plus you want to make sure their last meal has been properly digested before taking them in the water.
3. Put them in clothes it’s easy to get in and out of. An all-in-one if they’re small, trousers and a loose top if they’re older. There’s nothing like trying to wrestle them back into a pair of super-elastic leggings or an intricately buttoned top to bring you out in a sweat. The same goes for you – it makes life so much easier.
4. Take towels with you to the poolside. Babies can get really cold really quickly after being in the water.
5. Persevere. If you take them swimming and they don’t enjoy it, don’t write the experience off completely. They might just be having an off-day. After two swimming lessons in a row which Little B really didn’t seem to enjoy I thought it might be time to throw in the towel, but during the third lesson he totally changed his tune and loved every minute.
6. Make sure you have a towel or robe you can throw on in the changing room while you get them dry and dressed first, so you don’t get cold too.
7. Buy a chlorine-removing shampoo to get rid of the chemical nasties. We use Vosene Kids Afterswim hair and body wash (rrp £2.49), an all-in-one shampoo and soap which is pediatrician-approved and removes chlorine and other impurities from hair and skin after swimming. It’s melon scented and smells delicious, leaving no traces of that chlorine/swimming pool smell at all.
8. Pack an extra set of baby clothes, in case you drop the ones they were wearing in a puddle on the wet floor. (Trust me, I learnt this through bitter experience).
9. Take something to occupy them while you’re getting changed. I find raisins work a treat – Little B happily sits on the bench eating a little box of raisins while I’m getting myself sorted out. Puddle Ducks also helpfully put a travel cot in the changing room which you can use as a play pen if needed.
10. Take a snack and drink to offer them afterwards. You’ll be surprised how hungry and thirsty half an hour of activity can make them.
Do you take your little one swimming? Do you have any other useful advice?
Puddle Ducks West Kent & East Sussex is offering Crummy Mummy readers 10% off the price of swimming lessons at the Hilton Hotel in Brighton for the autumn term. The offer is valid until Christmas 2016 – just quote ‘Crummy Mummy Hilton’ when booking. The offer is not valid in conjunction with any other offer, and is only valid for the autumn 2016 term.
We have been given a half-term of Puddle Ducks swimming lessons in exchange for this post. As always all opinions are my own and based on my own honest experience. We were also sent the Vosene Kids Afterswim hair and body wash free of charge for the purpose of review. Once again, I would never recommend a product I don’t love and use myself – and this stuff is great!
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