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1st time swimming with 3m.o-what do we do..??!!!

(14 Posts)
mishkamoo Tue 06-Jan-09 16:55:35

Planning to take DS swimming for the 1st time this weekend. He is 3 months old. How long should he be in the pool for? Can we dunk him right under the water or do we need professionals to advise us when doing that? What do people do about washing all the chlorine off??

dinkystinky Tue 06-Jan-09 17:16:36

Would keep it very low key - and only go in for 20 minutes tops to start off with. Just hold him and move him around in the water, give him lots of reassurance and cuddles. Dont dunk him right under - you could sprinkle a little bit of water on his face to start off with to get him used to it, but to be honest, would look into local baby swimming lessons if he does like it in the water.

IsaacsFabMummy Tue 06-Jan-09 17:35:02

If you do "dunk" him under - which babies can cope with but might be a bit full on for their 1st trip! - make sure you do it head 1st (like diving) and not just push them under. It gives them the cue they need to hold their breath.

You should be able to find local "swimming" lessons for babies which will show you exactly how to handle it. Good for your confidence even if you only go a couple of times.

Well done for getting your child in the water nice and young - I think it's so important for a child to learn to swim young

trixiethepixie Tue 06-Jan-09 20:12:15

Ring and ask the leisure center when they have the baby sessions. They usually turn the water up warmer then. The first time we took our ds (also about 3m) we were in and out in a couple of minutes. The baby pool was cold even for me. We just stood under the changing room shower with him to get the chlorine off and he got his bath later.

vess Thu 08-Jan-09 12:21:47

Don't dunk him if he's lying on his back. I read somewhere that babies panic when you do that, whereas if he's on his tummy, he'll be more prepared to hold his breath under water.
The other thing I read was to blow gently in his face before dunking him - then he would instinctively hold his breath.
If you read a bit about baby swimming and are not afraid to let him go under water, you don't need lessons. It's quite simple really. Just let your baby guide you and stop if you see he's not comfortable with something.
I did it with DD when she was 2-3 months old, and we both enjoyed it.

wasabipeanut Thu 08-Jan-09 12:25:13

At the risk of stating the obvious, just have fun and a bit of a splash about. Personally I wouldn't try and dunk him - it could freak him out and make him hate it. Just have fun and concentrate on getting him to enjoy being in the water and call it a day the second you think he's had enough which could be in about 10 mins.

Re chlorine - ds has always loved having a "man shower" with dh! A little gentle babywash should do the job nicely.

nailpolish Thu 08-Jan-09 12:28:13

only go in for 10-20mins or they get cold

you can dunk - yes! they love it

if you do it regularly get one of these


when you get out, wrap baby in towel, get yourself dried and dressed and then you can get baby organised

have fun!

nailpolish Thu 08-Jan-09 12:28:58

you could always take baby in the shower with you to get rid of chlorine

BikeRunSki Fri 09-Jan-09 09:35:37

I have been taking DS to baby sessions at teh local baths since he was 7 weeks old. He wears a tiny wetsuit, and we stay in for about 20 mins. The instructor does little games - chasing balls, walking under a watering can etc. We join in of course, but DS too young to get much out of them. And yes, I dunk him, feet first and he is fine.

When we get out I out him under the hand dryer in the loos to warm him up and dry him off at once, then get him dressed and warm before I get dressed.

Quidditch Sun 11-Jan-09 20:25:47

I'm a babyswim teacher, so can advise with authority!
20 minutes is the maximum recommended time for tinies, and that's in a water temperature of 32ºC, which is the minimum recommended temperature for babies. Very few pools provide this, so I always recommend a baby wetsuit. There is an online shop where you get a guaranteed part exchange price if you buy a wetsuit from them and upgrade with them to a larger size, and their prices are extremely good as well.

Don't dunk the first few visits - make sure your LO is very happy with the water, the situation, and water on his face before you attempt this. When you do try it, first of all show him yourself going under. Then blow sharply in his face first, to make him take a breath in, and then SLOWLY take him right under in a vertical position, holding him in front of you, and go with him, so he can see you under the water with him. If you snatch this bit, you can force water up his nose! If you don't take him under in a vertical position, water can flow into his nose more easily, and although this won't do any harm, it can be uncomfortable!

Most important of all is to smile and laugh when you both come up!

A warm shower afterwards will not only remove chlorine, but also warm him up! Use your normal babywash if you want to remove all traces of chlorine.

LuckySalem Sun 11-Jan-09 21:11:46


Quidditch - DD is 1 on Friday and we've been taking her since she was about 4 months old. We've only just started dunking her she seems ok by it but still comes up coughing. Also I dont like to keep her under as she seems to panic.

What am I doing wrong? I blow on her face before as I read about that.

CherryChoc Tue 13-Jan-09 20:02:24

I read somewhere about a good way to get babies slowly into the dunking thing, you can do this in the bath or at the pool - first with a wet hand or washcloth drip some water on their face and say a cue word, e.g. "Dive" or "Splash". The next time you have a bath or go swimming you can progress to splashing them gently in the face with the same word, then to pouring water over their head, dipping their face into the water, and finally dunking them completely. You can then use the cue word even when they older and learning to swim properly, to warn them that they might get water on their face (e.g. when going down a slide.)

Ah, just found where I got that from, quite an interesting article, here. (The section about infant swimming is about halfway down)

jack99 Wed 14-Jan-09 13:34:58

I took both my dcs in the pool myself at about 3 months - never felt the need to fork out for special baby swimming lessons. Just yet another way to fleece vulnerable new mums of cash they can ill afford IMO! Just splash about and have fun. Both my dcs now love swimming and can't wait to dive headlong into the pool!

MrsMattie Wed 14-Jan-09 13:37:57

I took my DS around this age. We didn't stay in for longer than 20 mins (babies get cold at this age) and yes, we did dunk him. I am convinced his early splashings about and dunkings gave him the confidence he has now at the age of 4 yrs old - he is diving in head first, loves swimming and has no fear of the water.

(We started proper swimming classes for him at the age of 3 yrs old).

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