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Baby's first swim... what do I need to know?

(19 Posts)
purpleaura Thu 14-Nov-13 12:24:24

I'm really excited to take my 8 week old to the swimming pool for the first time. I know lots of people do Waterbabies classes or similar, but we can't afford those. The fact that so many people do them makes me nervous- is it safe to take him in without a professional on hand? Myself and DP are planning to go, so there'll be two of us. My plan is to take him in the warm kid's pool, not be in for too long and make sure one of us always has a good hold on him so he can't go under water. I guess we'll slowly move him through the water and enjoy some gentle splashing and hopefully lots of smiling smile

Is there anything I should be really careful of? Or does anyone have any top tips for enjoying the experience and being safe? xx

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 14-Nov-13 12:28:01

Check your pools policy on swim nappies - some may require double bagging.

Do you have family changing? If not consider exactly how you will get yourself and baby changed. If baby will be on the floor remember to take extra towels.

Swim nappies aren't waterproof so don't be too alarm if you get weed on.

humphryscorner Thu 14-Nov-13 12:33:19

I'm a swimming teacher! You will be fine !

We normally advise on baby having their injection done but it's not mandatory.

Aim for around 15-20 mins the first time as baby is so little they struggle to keep there temp up. Watch out signs of being cold..

Take some toys and just relax and be gentle . I'm not a big fan on submersion and would recommend it at this age . I've took my dd since she was tiny and she lives it!

You should be able to take car seat on on to pool and tuck it away some where , take baby towel and a robe for your self in to poolside to make things easier for your self. My dd is STARVING after so make sure there is milk available after!


MrsLianeB Thu 14-Nov-13 12:33:58

I took ds for the first time with oh 2 weeks ago for free via the local children's centre. They played music and gave us some actions to follow then we had free time at the end.
It wasnt as scary or as slippery as I thought it would be. Just enjoy being together lots of happy faces and eye contact so baby feels safe, try to keep shoulders under water for warmth and have a feed ready (if ff) for the end.

humphryscorner Thu 14-Nov-13 12:34:12

wouldnt recommend it ! Bloody fat fingers!!

dyslexicdespot Thu 14-Nov-13 12:39:53

Call the pool before you go and make sure that the pool and the changing rooms are heated. We used a wet suit for DS when he was very little. They get cold very fast.

mrsmartin1984 Thu 14-Nov-13 15:16:55

I decided against swimming lessons and just take DD myself. We brought this [[ book]]which goes through the principles of teaching babies to swim and is very good. For the first time don't expect to be in for long (20 mins is good) and keep calm. You are not teaching your child to swim at that age, you're teaching them to enjoy water

purpleaura Thu 14-Nov-13 19:34:00

Thanks so much for all your replies- very reassuring and helpful. I hadn't thought about the changing ItsAll, so thanks for the heads up on that one. What do you mean by double bagging?

We'll be careful about the temp humphreys. Good plan to watch out for signs of cold. It sounds like we need to have low expectations about how long we'll be in the pool.

I love the point about the aim is just to enjoy water mrsm. I will keep that in the front of my mind.

Just a thought- presumably we need to give DS a good rinse to get the chlorine off him? In the showers?! Or just wait and dip him in the sink when we get home? What do you guys do?

Thanks again smile

Fafanapoli Thu 14-Nov-13 19:43:44

At our pool showers tend to be super hot or super cold. I'd wait til home or just give him a wipedown with wipes or a flannel tbh.

PolyesterBride Thu 14-Nov-13 19:47:21

I would just get him dressed ASAP when you get out cos he'll be cold and hungry. Then give him a bath as normal later. I always wished I had a towelling dressing gown or some sort of adult version of the kids towels that stay on when I took babies swimming becos it's so bloody freezing while you're getting them dressed! If there's two if you you should be ok tho.

LBsBongers Thu 14-Nov-13 19:47:23

Agree with keep it short, big smile on your face (even if it's cold) and happy upbeat voice. Don't worry if for first few visits he looks a bit bemused, all mine seemed to be a bit gob smacked at first.

Take baby's towel to edge of pool so you can wrap up straight after swim/shower.

My pool had a communal room for changing which I feel comfortable leaving pram/car seat in ( i always locked away valuables). It's a safe place to plonk baby when changing yourself.

Be prepared to offer milk feed soon after swim


teenagetantrums Thu 14-Nov-13 20:00:47

my oldest is 20 now , i took him before swimming nappies were even invented, or if the were i had never heard of them, he just had a little costume on, i cant imagine why we thought that was a good idea{smile} but he loved it, never pooed in the pool. My two never had swimming lessons, just me and them in the pool, they can swim fine, its a pian getting dressed if you have baby by yourself but my pool always had baby changing things so you could get baby changed and warm and leave them on that. My pfb and i only swam for a bit, but my DD stayed in much longer as her big brother did not want to leave, but i think the second one gets used to these sorts of things.

Iris445 Thu 14-Nov-13 20:02:49

Baby wetsuit ( like a body wrap)
Fleecy dressing gown to pop on straight after drying before dressing, whilst you feed them.
Lots of food.
Fav bath toy.

Tbh, it's really cold in a public pool, I would wait as I don't think it really matters so young. My youngest got taken swimming from 5 weeks ( with elder sibling) my pfb was 8 month. They both swim really well.

YBR Fri 15-Nov-13 14:00:56

We find it worth taking 2 towels for DD. Once LO's dried the towel's wet, the 2nd dry one goes under her when getting her dressed so that her clothes don't get wet.

Give yourselves plenty of time to begin with, once you've done it all a couple of times you'll figure out what works.

BornToFolk Fri 15-Nov-13 14:09:02

Do not wear handcream before going! I used to take DS when he was tiny and once in the winter I covered my hands in thick cream only to find it was very slippy when wet. Luckily, I managed to keep hold of him grin

I agree with two towels. Also when I took DS by myself I used to take a thin dressing gown for me, so when we got out I'd whack that on, dry and dress DS and then dress myself. Saved me shivering the the freezing changing rooms.

I think what was meant by double-bagging is that some pools insist on a neoprene swim nappy over a disposable one. The one I took DS to never did so he used to wear trunks with a build in swim nappy like these (so cute!)

Just remember that any swim nappy is only designed to contain poo, not wee so put it on at the last minute!

I never bothered with a wetsuit or anything like that and DS never suffered with the cold. He was rather a chubby baby though...being built like a baby seal had its advantages.

Have fun!

purpleaura Fri 15-Nov-13 20:56:22

Thanks all! Duly noted- 2 towels, dressing gown sounds like a good idea and no hand cream!! I think I have the kit for double bagging, if required. Will definitely allow loads of time- I find that's a principle generally applicable to life with an 8 week old smile

givemeaclue Fri 15-Nov-13 21:01:10

Don't be surprised if only lasts ten mins till they turn blue!

A lot of faff and babies can be very disinterested. Or cry.

mrsmartin1984 Fri 15-Nov-13 21:05:26

Give them a good feed afterwards. It tends to knock them out so expect a good nap.

purpleaura Fri 22-Nov-13 17:40:27

Thanks all. It was a successful trip to the pool smile Purchased a snuggly dressing gown and fed him straight after. He didn't smile, but he was really engaged and interested in in all. I think it went really well. Many thanks for your help smile

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