21 Mar First Trip to the Swimming Pool
Your first trip to the swimming pool should be an enjoyable experience for both you and baby although we know that it can make some parents feel a little apprehensive if you are unsure what to do in the water or what to take. We have put together a few tips to help make it as enjoyable as possible for you.
What Should I Do In The Water?
When you get in the water try to keep as low as possible so that your baby’s shoulders are in the water and keep them moving. Hold your baby nice and close whilst in the water, make eye contact where possible and keep smiling will all help to reassure them that swimming is a lovely experience. If you panic or feel anxious in the water then try not to show it, babies can feel your emotions so it is important to stay as relaxed as possible. Talking to your baby or singing to them will help to make them feel comfortable in this new environment.
When you are feeling confident you can extend your arms and swish them around a little, using your hands to support their head. If they are interested then you can throw a toy for them to chase, but if they are too little for this then just being in the water is more than enough stimulation for them.
If you hold them facing you, you can put your mouth under the water and show them how to blow bubbles, they will start to copy you eventually but be patient and don’t put their mouth to the water for them as they will do it when they are ready.
If they can sit up then you can put them on the side and do a little jump into the water, babies and toddlers absolutely love jumping into the pool so this is a great activity to do with them. Sometimes a little song before they jump can help to make it more fun for them, one of our favourites for this is Humpty Dumpty!
It can also be lovely to lay them on their back with their head resting on your shoulder and move around the water so they get used to this, if you feel comfortable and baby seems happy, then you can extend your arms and just hold them under the head or neck – this is a great way to get eye contact as you are standing over them. Babies are great at floating when they are still in the newborn stage!
What Do I Take To Our First Swim?
In order to make it a lovely experience you definitely need to be prepared for the changing part so here is a little list of the things to remember to take:
- Of course the obvious swim nappy and swimwear.
- A towel with a hood is a good idea or a large soft bath towel, something to really wrap them up warm afterward. It can be a good idea to take a small hand towel to put on the changing mat or table after you have dried them so they don’t feel the cold on their backs
- If you are bottle feeding then ensure you have a bottle for afterward – they will be really hungry after all that activity as it is a lot more than they would do if they were at home!
- A snack if they are on solids. Most changing rooms you are not allowed to eat in so be mindful of this, but we think it’s a good idea to have a snack ready for when you leave the pool.
- A few bath toys for them to enjoy in the water or even a little toy to help with changing.
- An extra pair of hands…..if you can get away with it then this can be hugely helpful too!
- And of course changing bag, nappies, changes of clothes.
Refer to our handy Pre Swim Checklist for a handy printy off!