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I remember when we first took Jake swimming as a 10-week old baby. Oh, the naivety. I had assumed that he would love it, I had assumed that other children would be more careful around a baby, I thought it would be beautifully warm and we would be in there for a while… not quite! He kinda liked it, other children don’t really care how much they splash you and he got cold, so cold that his lips turned blue. So it lasted about ten minutes and that was that, his very first swim over in a flash. But we were first-time parents. We hadn’t been swimming ourselves for years and we certainly hadn’t done our research into what was available for babies to make their experience better.
Today we took William for the first time and we were pros! We had the swim nappy and extras just in case, we had spare clothes, we had a body warmer and we were so organised that we even got separate lockers because I knew I would be getting out long before Jake and Rob. Plus I had cash to get a cuppa in the cafe.
So, here are our baby swimming essentials:
Yep, seems like an obvious first choice doesn’t it? Babies can only swim in proper swim nappies as normal nappies absorb the water. Tip number one- take more than one with you, I’ve had a nappy break as I put I was putting it on before! Also, if an accident happens you need to be able to go and change them. Tip number two- do NOT put the nappy on before you arrive. They leak. Yes, people, they are only designed to hold number twos not number ones and now you are thinking about all the baby pee you have swum around in before, aren’t you?! We love these swim nappies:
However, you can also buy reusable swim nappies and as I am starting to think about ways to reduce our waste I may switch over to something like these:
*Update: reusable swim nappies are far better for the environment and on your pocket. Check out this blog post for more on these fantastic nappies.
This is a must. When we took Jake we only had him in a swim nappy and swim shorts. His poor little body got so cold so quickly because they aren’t moving around as much as we do, if at all. I see it so often too, even now; babies just in a nappy and nothing to hold their body warmth and it just isn’t enough. Bodywarmers are a real investment, they tend to last 6 months or more and if you go swimming regularly you will get so much use out of them. This style has velcro fastenings down the side (where the fish are), over both shoulders and at the bottom around the nappy. Easy to fit, easy to adjust and easy to clean.
It isn’t really something that is needed on a very small baby but they do make armbands from birth and if you want a little more peace of mind for their safety you could go for some like these:
We’ve not personally used one of these chairs but they look brilliant and seem really popular. I think they must be even more useful when you have other children to watch whilst in the pool too.
A Water Babies Baby Towel is essential. With its thick cotton for warmth, comfort and absorbency plus a hood it is ideal for your baby after their swim.
If you aren’t seasoned swimmers do not forget your £1 for a locker, some pools charge around 20p to use their hairdryers and some even have in-house photographers so be prepared to spend out more because there is no chance you won’t wanna leave without a gorgeous piccie of your baby in the pool!
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