8 Essentials For Taking Baby Swimming
If you’ve read our blog on the many benefits of baby swimming you’ll know that it’s the most wonderful way for you and your baby to spend time together outside of the home. But we know that if you’ve never been swimming before, the prospect of taking to the water with an infant in tow can be a daunting one.
“What do I need to take?” is the question we hear most often from new parents, and it’s a very good question indeed. Feeling as prepared as possible can help relieve a little of that anxiety and ensure both you and baby have a great time at the pool. So, cast your eye down our baby swimming checklist to make sure you’ve got everything you need:
1. Swim Nappy
Starting with the most crucial of all baby swimming items, the swim nappy is an absolute must when taking your baby to the pool, and you won’t be allowed to swim if your baby isn’t wearing one. Basic disposable swim nappies can be found in most supermarkets, however if you’re intending to visit the pool regularly then purchase a reusable swim nappy from our brands like Konfidence and Platypus Australia. This will save you money and also, they are much more reliable that disposable nappies.
Some pools and most baby swimming lessons also require your baby to wear a neoprene nappy cover, such as the Happy Nappy, over their regular swim nappy for extra protection against leaks, so make sure you check with your local pool / swim school before you visit. Take extra regular nappies with you as well.
2. Float suit (and wetsuits)
As the name suggests, a baby float suit is a swimsuit with built-in floats to keep your baby safely at the surface while in the water. Supporting their weight and holding them in the optimum, natural swimming position, a float suit is the ideal way to ease your baby into swimming and help build their water confidence slowly.
Float suits would not typically be worn in a swimming lesson but are great for when your swimming on your own with your child. Float suits are typically for those children 12 months and older. Wetsuits are also fantastic for keeping babies and toddlers warm during pool trips such as these.
3. Changing Mat
Some swimming pools may already provide changing mats, but if not then be sure to take one with you so you can change your baby in and out of his swim nappy and float suit. And it’s not as bulky as you might think; you can get specially designed swim changing mats made of comfy neoprene or soft foam that roll up and store easily and which don’t slip on the wet changing room floors. We're a bit germ-phobic so always took our own easy-to-carry changing mat to baby swim sessions. Sorted!
Babies can chill easily so take a cosy towel to wrap them up in as soon as you get out of the water to keep them nice and warm until they’re dressed again. The hooded swim towels from Cuddledry are perfect for this (and they are soooo cute)!
5. Wet wipes
As any parent knows, wet wipes are a packing essential whenever you leave the house with your baby (child, teenager, dog....the list is endless), and the swimming baths are no exception. Have them on hand for before and after your swim session.
6. Bath toys
To help your baby feel more comfortable and at home in the water, there’s no harm in taking their favourite bath toy along for the trip. A touch of familiarity and an extra element of fun never went amiss! For toddlers and children, pool toys can really help when learning to swim.
7. Waterproof bag
So simple yet so essential! You’ll need somewhere to place your wet swimsuits and swim nappy after you’ve been in the pool. If you have ordered one of the Swimi Gymi’s then these come with their own neoprene bag. Alternatively, take along a plastic carrier bag to wrap them up in until you get home.
8. Snacks and drinks
Little ones might need breast or bottle feeding before and after swimming and toddlers will need water on hand plus a healthy snack (which are also great distractions if the water wobbles or a tantrum appears)!
Don’t forget to pack your own swimwear!