Swimming with toddler and a baby...how?(23 Posts)
The answer is probably quite simple but I haven't taken toddler swimming much as it is so I'm really not used to taking one, let alone two =(
We have Thurs & Fri free nearly every week so would love to start taking toddler swimming weekly. No one really free at that time to watch baby unfortunately.
Baby is only 7 weeks so won't be going for a while...just trying to get my head around how I would do it, without either baby or toddler ending up with hypothermia through waiting to be dried & dressed or drowning before we'd even got out! Is it possible? How do you/would you do it?
Most pools don't allow 2 under 5s to one adult.
I'd wrap toddler in towel and give a snack/iPhone whilst I sorted baby I reckon.
No idea how i'd actually cope in swimming pool though!
I think there might be rules to do with ratios of adults to children. It might be 1:1. You'd have to check your pool.
Go to a toddler pool so you don't have to hold them both in the pool.
I haven't attempted solo swimming but I will when dd1 is big enough to touch the bottom! That's the sum total of my anti drowning plan.
Wetsuits, dd1 still wears one and she's 3yo. I'm always convinced everyone is looking at me like but she stays toasty until it's taken off, no matter how long I spend faffing at the locker.
Is it possible to have the baby in a car seat/carrycot with you near the poolside or is that lunacy?! Actually good point - most places probably won't allow it anyway. What a shame
If you're in Staffordshire I'll watch the baby for you for an hour or two!
There's a lot to be said for wetsuits, Trilby.
You can get slings that are suitable for swimming - is that an option for the baby?
I have had same issue. I've either taken littlest while biggest is at school or biggest when biggest is in nursery. Neither of those happen very often.
Now eldest is 5 he has started swimming lessons where I am not needed in the pool. So I'm taking youngest in while biggest is in lesson.
It's one of the crap things about being a single mum to more than one I find.
In the mornings, most leisure centres have a crèche. Drop baby, swim with toddler. Drop toddler swim alone.
Otherwise - if you have to take both together - get tooled up with flotation vests, poncho towels and fleecy onesies.
Go somewhere with shallow baby pool, toddler in arm bands or float vest baby can be put in baby swim ring, short swim into shower to warm up. Get some hooded towels, if needs be put baby on floor while putting towel over toddlers head. Sit toddler with snack/phone, dress baby and yourself then toddler. Go home and collapse in a heap! Totally worth it 😂
I didn't even think it might not be allowed but I can completely see why now!
I was wondering if there was some sort of swimming pool sling for baby to go in, to leave my arms free for toddler. Might look into that.
Otherwise like said above, I think I'm just going to have to wait for rare moments I can take them seperately (or choose another activity that isn't swimming!)
Might see about toddler lessons instead and just go with baby when toddler at nursery. But do you have to get in with them at toddler lessons? Otherwise I'm gonna have the same problem haha...
You usually have to get onwith under thread unless you got them a private lesson?
How old is your toddler? DS started swimming lessons with me not in the pool at 3. However I'd been taking him weekly up until then so he was confident in the water. TBH I'm not keen on the swim school's focus on teaching them proper swimming at such a thing age, it looks really boring! But he seems to enjoy it. We only switched because I'm expecting DC2 so can't carry on taking DS in
I'm a Babywearing consultant and wouldnt recommend a water sling for such a Littly.
A water sling is really only an extra hand and IMHO you need two hands for baby and a hand or two for toddler (depending on their water confidence and ability to do what you ask). Sorry
Our local pool has a 'beach style' shallow bit, and an under 5s only slot on week days in term time. That would make it a lot easier, as it's all shallow and also nice and quiet. I'd get a wetsuit for the baby, swim discs (can't deflate at the wrong moment and stay on well) for the toddler, and find a pool nearby that does something similar. Then you can park yourself in knee deep water in a nice shallow pool, hold the baby, watch the toddler splash about / play with them one-handed.
I found getting them out, warm, dry, clothed and fed the hard part...
I've only taken a baby and toddler together on holiday when we had a villa with pool. Our local pools don't allow it, although they do have a playpen at the side of the pool you can put a baby in a car seat in. I used a floating seat for the baby and then got the toddler to stay on the steps at paddling depth to have a bit on one to one with the baby.
I put one child in one of those inflatable seat things and kept a hand on that, plus other child with a ring around waist and / or a float with a grip on either the ring or float. It wasn't enjoyable but I did it so they'd get used to sounds & smells of the pool. We didn't go terribly often or regularly.
Tbh as tricky as it was in the water, I found the after stage worse. Showering & drying / dressing a baby plus toddler plus yourself was a stressful feat of orders and organisation. There's 2 yrs between mine. Started when they were about 6 months / 2.5 yrs. They both started ASA formal lessons from age 4 to relieve me of it...
I echo what others say - you'll struggle to find somewhere that would let you take both by yourself. I work at a private swimming pool and our ratios are 1:1 for "babes in arms" so you wouldn't be allowed to have a toddler in with you too. Other places may be different though so you'll need to make a few phone calls and ask around. The other option would be see if you can find a small enough pool where baby can stay on pool side in car seat?
I've done this loads.
Toddler pool where toddler can stand is a must. Armbands and jacket on toddler. Hold baby (although I'd wait until 3 months or so) and keep an arm free for toddler.
Take pram into changing room, wrap toddler in towel and sit with a snack. Dress baby quickly and put in pram. Ignore hungry cries for 2 mins whilst you quickly dress toddler then feed baby. Baby back in pram, dress yourself, go.
Once the baby is a bit older those rings with a seat are good.
I used to keep baby strapped in pushchair (my pool allowed them into changing rooms or you can use a car seat) whilst I got toddler and myself changed.
Change baby into swim nappy.
Strap baby back into pushchair whilst you put clothes in locker.
Stow pushchair somewhere. (If someone pinches it they'll be on CCTV anyway if the worst happens). Car seat - reception will stow somewhere if you ask.
Take both into shallow learner pool, or if there's only one big pool, ensure toddler has armbands on. Baby you just hold or put in one of those secured baby floaty chair wotsit things.
Baby shouldn't be in for more than 20 minutes at a time I think I read somewhere once.
You'll know when toddler has had enough because they'll maybe start shivering or turning slightly green around the gills!
Keep those thick hooded towelling swim ponchos at the poolside to throw over toddler and swaddle baby in when you get out.
Showers - if it's too much hassle, just wait till you get home.
If you want to shower, just water off, forget all the faff with shampoos etc.
Reverse changing process. Keep swaddled baby strapped in pushchair whilst you and toddler get changed. Then if toddler starts whinging or screaming whilst you do baby just give them a book/toy/iPhone game to play with.
Get a water sling, the cost about a tenner on eBay and will leave your hands free to hold onto your toddler while the baby gets to be in the water too. Most pools have a policy though so you might not even be allowed in with both of them. Water slings are very handy for holidays etc though.
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