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tips on taking babies swimming

(27 Posts)
Loislane78 Mon 01-Apr-13 20:49:13

Going to take DD swimming soon - any tips? I heard about how tricky it is to get changed/dry etc. so any advice gratefully received smile

Floweryhat Mon 01-Apr-13 20:50:56

<whispers> don't bother, have a nice warm bath together instead wink. Once they turn two years they enjoy swimming a lot more smile

2kidsintow Mon 01-Apr-13 20:54:29

Dressing gown for you and a small towel for your hair (or one of those towelling hair wraps from the pound shop). Stick them on while you get the little one dry and warm. Then sort yourself out when they are happy.

How old? I would take my first stage car seat in with me... it was a handy place to keep the towels etc (I often asked a member of staff for somewhere safe to keep them as the lockers weren't big enough) as well as somewhere to safely put the little one once they were changed.

Lots of swimming baths have changing tables, but I preferred to head for the family room shared changing areas. More room for a pushchair to pop baby into once you have changed or, if they are older, for the little one to toddle around safely while you swallow any pride you may still have retained after having a child and get changed super fast in the communal room. wink

HearMyRoar Mon 01-Apr-13 20:59:20

I would totally disagree with flowery, but I guess it maybe depends on the baby. Dd loves,loves, loves going swimming. Dp takes her at least once a week and she always has an amazing time.

How old is your dd? When ours was tiny dp just popped her on towel all wrapped up while he changed and she would happily burble away. Now she's mobile she gets a snack when they get out and she will sit and eat that while he gets sorted.

I would also say don't bother with all that wet suit and float rubbish. All she needs is a pair of trunks and she will be fine splashing about. Have fun! grin

AnythingNotEverything Mon 01-Apr-13 21:01:24

If you can, go with a friend the first couple of times. If you have a baby each, you can each sort the babies out and then one of you watch both babies while the other gets dressed!

Startail Mon 01-Apr-13 21:02:16

Wait until the schools go back and if you have a choice of pools, one with a warm baby pool and family changing.preferably one with it's own car park.Changing yourself and a baby in a standard cubical is interesting.

If you can take DH or a friend the first time it helps, juggling baby, bag and locker keys takes practice.

Very easy clothes, leggings and a jumper for DC and the same for yourself. If at all possible leave coats in the car, hence wanting on site parking. You want minimum junk so you can get it all in a ruck sac and keep your hands free. Don't try anything clever, you can wash and dry your hair at home.

Startail Mon 01-Apr-13 21:07:04

non of our local pools have room for niceties like pushchairs or car seats, nearest one doesn't even have a changing table.

Posterofapombear Mon 01-Apr-13 21:11:24

Make sure the pool/ changing rooms are warm. Some pools round here are like fridges and DD can manage 10 mins before howling with cold and teeth chattering.

Some pools have baby sessions where they turn up the temperature which is great.

Baby towel ponchos are ace and TK Maxx have lovely cheaper ones.

Take a snack for baby after as they come out starving. If FF I would have a bottle ready.

Don't forget to have fun, splashy babies are hilarious grin

LadyWidmerpool Mon 01-Apr-13 21:13:09

A sling. Rice cakes if weaned. Lower your expectations of getting yourself nicely showered, dried etc - congrats if you can do it but I do the bare minimum! My daughter gets cold and a wetsuit definitely helps.

Wereonourway Mon 01-Apr-13 21:18:26

I take a poncho towel for ds and another towel to actually dry him iykwim?
I keep the poncho next to pool to pop straight on after shower to keep ds warm til I've emptied locker and found cubicle.

He is 2 now so a banana keeps him occupied once he is dressed whilst I get dry and dressed.

When he was tiny his teeth used to chatter after ten mins so def ask around and find the warmest pool possible.

WillowB Mon 01-Apr-13 21:19:33

Here goes...get yourself changed into your swimming costume before baby so they don't get cold (I used to wear mine under my clothes) Travel changing mats are handy or just a hand towel to lie baby on.
When you get out, dry baby first. DS used to scream his head off at this point so dummy or distracting toy v.handy.
Just wear stuff you can throw on. No fiddly buttons or jewellery etc. slip on shoes. Take a carrier bag for wet things & a baby wetsuit is really useful. Meant DS could stay in the water a lot longer.

Loislane78 Mon 01-Apr-13 21:19:36

Good tips! She's 7.5 mo and loves splashing in the bath so thought we'd give it a go. Was waiting until after injections and the weather to get warmer hmm but think will just brave it.

It's a baby session so heated pool. Not paying for lessons, just thought a splash about for a few mins might be nice and I heard they sleep well afterwards!

Thanks smile

BettyandDon Tue 02-Apr-13 10:12:27

Get your husband to do it on Sunday's so you can get a break.

Honestly I gave up after I drove home one afternoon in a soaking wet bikini.

Step Tue 02-Apr-13 14:24:34

Go with H and use family changing room.

Ask a friend to help...

Use the seat in the disabled shower....

...don't think you're washing your hair either!

It's a pain in the bum but good fun. Take a 4 month old about twice a week. He loves it and to see him smile makes the hassle worth while.

monstergoose Thu 04-Apr-13 07:41:53

Is 7wks too young do you think to go to the local pool? Also do you wash your baby afterwards to rinse off the chloriney water? I'm not sure how that would work as the showers are really temperamental and can be hot or cold depending on which way the wind blows! Sorry for hijack!

katolla Thu 04-Apr-13 08:03:39

Ours is also 7 weeks and we want to take her, thanks for these tips so far!

Radiator1234 Thu 04-Apr-13 10:57:49

I love floweryhat's response.

I must admit I was so excited about taking DD1 swimming when she was about 10 weeks old and one of my friends said something similar to flowery and that she never goes swimming any more as it was too much hassle, babies crying etc. I remember listening to her thinking " gosh what a shame I'm sure you're DD would love to go swimming".... And then I went swimming myself with DD. omg! Awful! In the pool DD was pretty nonchalant to it all... Didn't cry, didn't smile. The worst bit though was the changing room after. I'd signed up to a water babies course so there were 8 or so babies and their mums in a tiny hotel swimming pool changing room. It was like some sort of hell... Didn't help that the changing room quite cold, but all the babies screaming... You get pretty cold yourself as having to deal with baby while still wet. Ugh! A horror experience. The thoughts of what my friend said all came flooding back.

Anyway. It does get better. Now at nearly 3 DD absolutely LOVES swimming, and obviously it gets easier when they can sit/ stand/eat you can bribe them with food to sit still while you get dressed but I certainly won't be enrolling DD2 (3 weeks) in any swimming lessons for a while no sireeee!

Everyone is different though.... I am perhaps just a big grump! Sure you and your baby will lie every minute.

In answer to the qs (from my experience)... Showers.... Not possible to have a proper shower (ie where you wash your hair/body) until baby is older or you have someone else there to help you as just too much juggling! Resign yourself to having a shower at home. ....when to take them.... I think they say 6 weeks or so. Don't need to wait for jabs.

Enjoy!

biscuitnoodle Thu 04-Apr-13 14:29:47

We have taken my son since he was a few weeks old. We get changed first then do him and then vice versa when we get out so he doesn't get cold either time. We tried a gloat but found he was happier bobbing in our arms. We always have snacks and a dummy to entertain him when he is dressed afterwards so we can get dressed. Just stay relaxed and be organised with all your towels, nappy etc and you will be fine, its one of our favourite things to do together!

biscuitnoodle Thu 04-Apr-13 14:31:34

We tried a float! Oops

Floweryhat Thu 04-Apr-13 19:14:46

Hehe radiator, your post did make me smile. With DC1 I tried it at about 10 weeks. I tried it a few times, but he got teeth chatteringly cold, and whilst not miserable, just really didn't look like he enjoyed it at all. He's 8 now, and is a proper fish. We took him regularly from age 2 years, and he's had swimming lessons since age 3. With his younger siblings we just didn't bother until they were toddlers grin.

JollyPurpleGiant Thu 04-Apr-13 19:21:23

DS loves swimming. We went on holiday when he was 13mo and he was jumping into the pool, not fussed about going right under the water.

The first time you go it will likely be stressful and difficult, but it really does get easier. The more often you go, the easier it is.

Go with both your costumes on under your clothes. Remember underwear though! Dress both of you in clothes that are easy to get on and off - joggers and jumpers are ideal. Bring snacks and water for you both.

Pascha Thu 04-Apr-13 19:21:49

A swim wrap makes a big difference I found. Warm baby = happy baby and it means we can all go as a family at the weekend as the baby is content in the water. Once you get a routine in the changing room it's relatively simple and quick. I feed thhe baby while I wait for dh and ds1 to finish in the pool.

JoulesM Thu 04-Apr-13 19:41:43

I'm an ex-swimmer and have been taking my toddler since she was 4 weeks old-she is only 2.5 but can almost swim and can certainly get herself out of trouble! So week worth it! We use one of these for our little baby boy (since he was 3 weeks) and he can now spend a good 45 mins swimming about with his sister and I. Word of warning-after about 8 months the reflex that makes them hold their breath underwater is less strong (becoming integrated) so if you haven't been doing regular submersions with them take it slowly!

It's a great way to tire out a baby/toddler!!

http://www.twobarefeet.co.uk/acatalog/Two_Bare_Feet_Ultimate_Newborn_Suit.html

If link doesn't work...the wetsuit is from Two Bare Feet and its the ultimate newborn wetsuit!

Pascha Thu 04-Apr-13 20:43:54

DS1's wetsuit with lycra arms and DS2's baby swim wrap are from the same company.

whatsoever Thu 04-Apr-13 21:04:32

I've taken DS about 4 times but only with MIL to help in the changing room. I have no idea how I'd manage on my own!

He is apathetic towards swimming (as others have mentioned, he doesnt cry, but he doesn't smile either) but pragmatically, I just wanted to ensure he isn't scared of water.

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