How To Swim With A Baby

One of the activities that baby H and I have been really enjoying is swimming. In fact she enjoys it so much that dad takes her to swim lessons on the weekend, while I do aquasize during the week. It doesn’t matter if she is hungry, tired, grumpy… she gets in the water and is so happy! Also her naps after swimming… awesome!

Aquasize means that everyone puts their babies in a little boat… so stinking cute! The cute factor can actual be a bit of an issue as we are often distracted and miss what we should be doing! We do laps with them, jump around, all kinds of water exercises… it’s a ton of fun. If there is a class nearby I highly recommend giving it a go with a little one! If you have another kiddo they actually have a little shallow swim area right beside the big pool where they get to play in the water with a lifeguard… those kids are always having a great time! Swim lessons generally consists of songs and some dunking (they aren’t ready to work on their front crawl just yet!

We found a great pool nearby that is boarder-line a hot tub, if you ask me. The average temperature… 34 degrees (93 Fahrenheit for my American friends). This pool also has many programs for people with a variety of disabilities so in the change room are large padded benches… perfect for changing a squirming baby! Once your baby is changed you can put them in these chairs fixed to the wall, that you clip the little ones into. There is an open swim before aquasize and you always hear giggles and oohh’s as everyone sees the babies in their little swimsuits. I don’t care who you are… it’s like a parade of cuteness!

A few things to consider when bringing baby swimming:

  •  Personally I wouldn’t rush to put a baby in a pool too soon because of their sensitive skin
  • Your peanut will need decent head support to sit in one of the little boats for programs like aquasize (we started at about 4.5 months)
  • Some babes, even when a bit older, have sensitive skin so you might want to space out when you go (we go on Wednesday and Saturday for this reason)
  • You will want to rinse your babe off as soon as you are out of the pool, which can be a bit scary for your wee one at first (exposure to a shower has really come in handy when we were in a pinch for a bath in Hawaii!)
  • If you have a wiggly one try to be as prepared as you can be when you are getting dressed so you don’t have to continually ask your neighbor to make sure your baby doesn’t roll away on you! Depending on the lay out of the change room if you can leave out babies towel, lotion, clean diaper and clothes you will be in great shape (if not have them ready to grab!)
  • You might want to consider the outfit your munchkin is wearing to make changing easier (we like H to be in her PJ’s! One piece and your done!)
  • If you find that your little one does have skin sensitivity (H does!), really make sure to shower baby off very well and apply lotion ASAP!
  • At 6 months we started bringing a sippy cup for H… because the pool is so warm I feel this helps keep her hydrated and I prefer her chomping on this rather than another random toy the pool provides

Gear we actually use (rather than bring our diaper bag we have a backpack set up to grab and go on swim days):

  • Weleda cream – seriously this stuff is AWESOME!
  • towels (if you can splurge these ones are amazing)
  • swim suit (honestly this isn’t necessary, but they are just soooo cute!)
  • plastic bag for wet suits and towels
  • clean diapers and wipes because you never know!
  • Plastic swim cover (most pools require this but also will sell this to go over the swim diaper). I know many baby boutiques also sell them… I am working on finding one that has adjustable legs as this one, from the pool, is a bit tight on little H!
  • Swim diaper (this is really only to contain solids hence the additional plastic cover above): we used  Huggies Little Swimmers… and now have this reusable one (purchased at a local baby store). The reusable one works great. I love that it has numerous snaps so it will lasts a really long time! This being said I do always have a back up diaper because if there is a poop… well I think you know where I am going with this.
  • Baby boat: if you are going to be swimming on vacation these are the boats we use, I would highly recommend getting one with a canopy for extra sun protection!

11 thoughts on “How To Swim With A Baby

  1. I love the idea of getting a baby swimming early. But you’re right when to start the baby swimming is directly proportional to the comfort level of the parent. Whether you decide to have your baby in water, or wait until they are older the parent must be at ease with the idea of the baby Learning to swim -dr. Heather.

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  2. This sounds like so much fun, and such a great way to introduce your baby to the water! It’s always been important to me to make sure my little guy knows how to swim, but he’s still too young at this point. A class like this would be perfect! I like to take him to the pool with me, and put him in a floating tube (similar to a baby boat, I think?) – and he has so much fun 🙂

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  3. My girls are certainly water babies and these are great tips. I especially love the swimsuits (for girls) that have the clasps at the bottom beneath the crotch- makes changing diapers so much easier. Trying to get a wet swimsuit back on can be torture!

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