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to be absolutely to be absolutely shitting myself about taking a 5 year old and 9 month old on a villa holiday with a swimming pool?

(28 Posts)
kitsmummy Tue 29-Jul-08 19:57:23

I really don't think i have any choice in the matter - we're going to Italy next year with dh's parents and renting a villa with pool. DS (currently aged 4) is learning to swim but can't swim at the moment. The baby will be 9 months and possibly crawling by the time we go. I keep getting images of floating children in the pool. Am i being ridiculous? Would you take children on a villa with pool holiday? Obviously I fully intend keeping an eye on them every second of the day (how relaxing hmm) and i'm kind of hoping everyone will tell me it's perfectly normal to do this kind of holiday with kids and I'm worrying over nothing?

Love2bake Tue 29-Jul-08 20:01:04

I've been to a villa with a pool before, and actually my DC's were about the same age.

You just have to keep an eye on them when outside and keep the door shut (air con on) when inside.

I worried a bit too, but was all ok.

WinkyWinkola Tue 29-Jul-08 20:03:35

Yes, I'd take them absolutely and without any qualms.

When by the pool, always put both kids in arm bands so if they do drop in by mistake, you've got a few seconds grace to jump in to save if necessary.

Always state and reiterate who is supposed to be watching the DCs so there's always a pair of eyes on them. Be very clear about this and it sounds bonkers, but make direct eye contact with the person who is in charge of keeping an eye out for them at the time.

And enjoy your holiday. YOu lucky bugger. It's good for kids to learn to be around water. YOu can teach them a lot.

SorenLorensen Tue 29-Jul-08 20:03:40

We took ds1 to a house with a swimming pool (outdoor) in Cornwall when he was 13 months old. I had nightmares beforehand about him drowning but, in reality, we watched him like a hawk, the only access to the pool was through French doors which we kept locked when we were in the house and all was fine. You're not worrying about nothing but common sense and vigilance will be enough - and make sure dh's parents are equally on-the-ball (the Grandads in my family can be a bit slack with child safety - leaving gates to busy main roads open, chopping large branches off trees while toddlers wander about underneath, leaving small children unattended by a lit barbecue while they come in to get another glass of wine...)

thequietone Tue 29-Jul-08 20:03:57

I'm supposed to be booking a last minute hols (villa plus pool) for August. DH doesn't realise I spend most of my waking hours having nightmare about DS1 (3.5) face down in the pool. No, YANBU. It'll be fine - I think it'll just be a case of always one parent or adult on the watch, and check those doors to the outside before you go to bed so no-one can escape if they are up early.

Gobbledigook Tue 29-Jul-08 20:05:07

Yes, I am taking my children on a villa holiday with pool - they will be 7, 5 and 3 - 7 and 5 yr olds can swim though, 3 yr old cannot. Have taken them also when they were younger.

Basically you are super vigilant - you don't let them outside around the pool at all without an adult.

When we took ds3 when he was younger we put one of those float vest thingies on him when he was outside, even if not in the pool so that should he fall in he would float!!

You'll be fine - you also have 4 adults with you which is easier.

Is the pool alarmed, gated or have a cover? Teh villa we are going to has acover that you can actually stand on (not that they suggest you do!) so you can't fall through it.

GordonTheGopher Tue 29-Jul-08 20:05:31

I know in France it's the law to have pool alarms - maybe yours has one too?

MsDemeanor Tue 29-Jul-08 20:07:14

LIke you, I'm very nervous about water but I did this sort of holiday last year (younger children 4 & 2 then) and although I did feel I had to keep an eye out, it was lovely. The children wore armbands all the time which helped, I only kept one door to the terrace open, and after dinner we all swam under the stars, which the children all absolutely adored. It was a wonderful experience. And with other adults about it will be far less stressful than you think.

Waswondering Tue 29-Jul-08 20:07:18

Have a nominated person on duty so that it's not a case of "I thought you were watching?". Also what about one of these swim jacket things with the floats in - wear it at all times by the pool?

5yo should be reasonable - it's the 9m which is more of an issue, ie whether or not crawling! DD was about 10/11m before she crawled, so was quite placid sitting at this age.

Could you take a paddling pool and have that separate to the main pool? So that the wee one can splash around in that?

Have fun! I've only been to Italy once and loved it.

Gobbledigook Tue 29-Jul-08 20:07:46

Agree with others - be very explicit about who is responsible for watching at all times. I know I'll be saying 'right dh, I'm going inside for the loo/make lunch/whatever - you are watching, OK?' and getting eye contact and absolute agreement tht he is watching!

Or, being super neurotic I'd take ds3 in with me knowing that the other 2 can swim anywya.

Although we talked about it last night and dh agreed about vigilance since this time we are on our own - not with parents and uncles etc as we have been before.

kitsmummy Tue 29-Jul-08 20:07:54

ok thank you everyone. I guess it is ok to do it then, will just have to be totally on the ball with keeping an eye on them. And thanks for the float vest tip - good idea.

Gobbledigook Tue 29-Jul-08 20:09:11

I love the paddling pool by the side of the pool idea - I might do that even for ds3 (although he is fearless and likes to do strange daring jumps into swimming pools shock

katiepotatie Tue 29-Jul-08 20:09:22

You could get them both float jackets or floatsuits for when they are out side, just to be on the safe side. Obviously you will be watching them too wink got my 14 month old the swimsuit, have tried it out in the local pool before we go away in Sept. I have been worrying too.
get them here

snickersnack Tue 29-Jul-08 20:11:44

I do sympathise. A lot. A friend's dd drowned in a pool a couple of years ago and so it's something I am very conscious of. But we have, despite that, continued to do holidays in villas with pools.

Mostly, when we book a villa, we make sure we are comfortable with the pool security. Last year it was miles away from the house, down 5 flights of steps and pretty inaccessible for the kids. The year before the pool had a hard cover that locked into place. Can you check with the villa owner whether the pool is secured or whether it's possible to secure it? We've just got back from a villa in France with 5 under 5s and the owner arranged for someone to put up a temporary fence around the pool which was great. You can, I think, buy special alarms that let you know if someone falls in if you're really worried.

You presumably wouldn't let the 9 month old out of your sight anyway, would you? And the 5 year old, though obviously needing to be supervised, is old enough to understand that you DO NOT GO NEAR THE POOL WITHOUT A GROWN UP...I agree with the idea of a designated pool minder. Maybe a shift system - from 9am to 11am you, Granny, are in charge of making sure you know where they are.

TwoWashTutter Tue 29-Jul-08 20:13:46


we're moving into a new house next week. it ahs a pool but no fence. we have people arriving the day after we move in to start erectin a fence. am already nerv ous about the first few days in the property

mumtofour Tue 29-Jul-08 20:16:49

My daughter just turned five and we like katiepotatie said used a float jacket which was really good. She was able to independantly get around the pool and she also sometimes put a rubber ring on as well. I don'tknow if idea would work but if you are taking a travel cot for your nine month old could you not also use that like a playpen when you are all outside around pool?

fizzbuzz Tue 29-Jul-08 20:35:38

We went when dd was 12mo.

I took a paddling pool, and sat her in there with some toys and a brolly to protect her from the sun. She loved it, and made no effort to get out.

She was quite safe when someone was watching her

Quattrocento Tue 29-Jul-08 20:39:52

I have taken mine to a villa with a pool every summer since they were born.


(1) floaty jackets - they are fantastic and if you make sure they wear them all the time they are in the water they will know that they shouldn't go in without them.

(2) Always watch them in the pool - the issue with there being four adults is that everyone might think that someone else is watching. Be clear about whose responsibility it is

(3) If your DS is having swimming lessons now I guarantee that he will be able to swim by next summer.


Lukesmammy Wed 30-Jul-08 16:20:41

We are planning a trip to a villa with a pool next year and our DS will be just over two then. It is already starting to play on my mind too so I sympathise.

Some great tips here though.

oeufflorentine Wed 30-Jul-08 16:26:59

Gobbledigook's idea re swim vest is a good one. Once when my first three were 6,4 and 10m we were in the south of france in a villa/pool situ. pool quite near house but basically total hyper vigilance at all times. Also timed baby's nap for after lunch when you most want to chill and swim without watching a ittle crawler like a hawk !

snice Wed 30-Jul-08 16:28:00

I agree that the issue of making sure there is a "nominated" adult is vital. When there are loads of adults about you would think it would be OK but IME everyone sort of assumes that someone else is watching whilst they get a drink/go to the loo/do some proper lengths/have a nap and you can return to the pool to find no-one is actully keeping an eye on the children at all. Luckily , in my case, just in time!

Loriycs Wed 30-Jul-08 17:06:39

sounds like you are rsponsible and vigilant so im sure all will be fine. Problems happen when adults drink,and rely on each other. Only trust yourself i would say, no one else will watch them as you would. TBH i have never booked a villa holiday for i have the same fear. We usually holiday in appartments where we are away from the pool area unless we choose to go there. Its much easier, as it only takes someone to leave a door open.

Loriycs Wed 30-Jul-08 17:07:59

ive never heard of pool alarms, how do they work?

Loshad Wed 30-Jul-08 17:08:55

if you have several mobile children (three of mine walked at 9 months so your dd may well be on her feet by thengrin) then pool watching is more effrective ime than children watching eg, you are all outside but not swimming. first child shouts - watch me do this mummy, you turn to see handstand or whatever, and briefly lose sight of next child, cue panic as to where they are and lots of running around down to pool. However if you are situated where you can watch the pool then child b can wander out of sight briefly, as you know they are not in the water.

Flum Wed 30-Jul-08 17:13:45

The five year old will be able to swim by then as long as along with the swim lessons you take them to the pool, without armbands and let them do a few - challenges eg pick stuff up from the bottom etc.

If you leave the armbands on it will take AGES for them to learn!

I would not worry too much at all. We are going to a villa with a pool, with 8 kids of varying ages next week.

Must make sure the older one knows not to go in without you.

You'd be more gutted if it didn;t have a pool! grin

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