It’s time for swimming with baby in the pool
The main thing with your baby is to introduce him gradually to the pool, to get that feeling of safety around water that so many of us remember having all our lives. Especially in summer, swimming with baby will be terrific fun and you make it into a game, as he grows confident around the pool.
When to start swimming with baby in the pool?
Swimming seems to be one of the most joyful activities for children. Not only that, it is also one of the beneficial activities. Among the great benefits of the swimming there are building muscle mass, making bones and joints strong, and improving appetite. Moreover, it’s not an age-related activity, so anyone from infants to seniors can enjoy it.
Nevertheless, it’s not like you can take your baby to the pool whenever after giving birth. It is better to know when is the best time to start familiarizing a baby with an expanse of water. You can introduce your baby an outdoor swimming pool if the kid is at least one month. As long as the belly button has healed and the baby hasn’t got health problems you may begin swimming in the outdoor pool. As for swimming lessons, American Academy of Pediatrics recommends not to start them before your baby’s first birthday.
Before starting check with the pediatrician to make sure that your baby is ready for pool swimming. Also, don’t forget about yourself. Your afterbirth health condition should be in a good state, so you can feel yourself comfortable in the water.
Getting ready for the Pool
It starts long before birth, with a baby encased in fluid in the womb, so it is hardly surprising that we all want to swim in the pool from the first day we see it. Water envelops us and feels safe, so swimming with baby also will give a lot pleasure to you and your kid. Here are some tips for you on getting ready for the first swimming in outdoor pool.
1. Start with the bath, and get your baby used to being wet all over without fear. Never leave the baby unsupervised in water.
2. To build confidence, start at about three months of age, and by the time they have their first birthday, they will be confident.
3. When a baby is this young you are better to go swimming in your own pool, it is too early to go to a public pool where diseases breed.
4. If you are near the ocean take your baby into a rock pool, saltwater is cleansing.
5. For safety reasons it is better if the baby is under supervision of at least two adults.
6. Before going to the pool prepare baby swimming pool float. Practice using it at home in the bath, so the baby get used to swimming pool float.
Get Baby’s Supplies Ready
When swimming with baby, you will need the following supplies:
• Swimming diaper.
• Two towels for the baby, one with a hood to envelop him in.
• A boat or a yellow rubber duck, some bath toys to create fun atmosphere.
• A bottle or sippy cup to give him a drink.
• Changing mat and nappy bag.
• Some snacks if baby has started solid food.
• A snuggly hat to protect baby from sunrays.
When you are at the Pool
First visit. If you are in a public area, make sure the lifeguards are on duty. For your first visit to a public pool choose time when it’s not busy. Moreover, do not schedule your swimming sessions for your baby’s napping or feeding time. Baby can’t play and enjoy when he is hungry or tired. Therefore, pick a time when your kid is usually alert and stomach is full.
Swimming duration. Keep your first swimming session to ten minutes. After couple of sessions you may prolong the swimming time to 20 minutes. For baby under a year old the limit to be in the water shouldn’t exceed 30 minutes.
Swimming lessons. Once you have been down to the pool on several occasions consider proper swim lessons for the baby. For the first time join the beginners’ class. Usually, a baby’s first swimming lessons are just learning to float and to become water safe. To find more about parent and baby swimming lessons visit usaswimming.org.
Security. When you are in the pool, hold your baby at all times. Baby can drown even in very little water, so be extra careful. If you want a flotation device, purchase an approved baby life vest. Furthermore, pool water contains many chemicals to keep the pool bacteria-free. Try to keep your baby from swallowing pool water. Saltwater pool is gentler for baby’s sensitive skin, because they contain less chlorine in water.
Getting Used to Water
When swimming with baby, play with him at the same time. Sing a few songs, so that he will have happy associations with water from the start.
Bob him up and down, and play together with some of the floating toys. Don’t allow the water to go over his head, as he is not ready for that yet. Sit on the side of the pool with your feet in the water, and his legs dangling in the water. Don’t allow him to get cold.
If for any reason baby becomes distressed or upset remove him from the pool, it must be a pleasant experience, or he won’t want to go there again.
A Heated Pool in Winter
A small baby shouldn’t be exposed to cold water, and the water should be at least 90 degrees Fahrenheit or 32 degrees C. Make sure the water is warm enough, because babies lose heat more quickly than adults.
You may even have a large inflatable pool in the garden that you can fill with tepid water, if you do, empty it out after use.
Safety is your prime consideration when swimming with baby. As the weather warms up, use baby sunscreen on him, baby skin is delicate and you don’t want any early damage to occur to his skin.
Don’t take him to the pool if he seems unwell or grizzly, as that won’t work, you want to both enjoy the experience.
Start early as this gives you plenty of time and the baby will feel safe and secure, and gradually get used to the water with you. Go to the pool as often as possible in the morning before too many people are there, and before the heat of the day. Make sure that baby has a hat that can stay on in the water.
Don’t let anyone else take him to the pool in that first year or two, as until he has his water safe/ swimming lessons he is much safer with you.
Before you start going to the pool, it is a good idea to do an accredited first aid course, and CPR resuscitation course, especially if you have a pool at home. All home pools have to be properly fenced, in line with local legislation so that baby can’t get in there when you are not with him.
Swimming with baby must be safe.