When Phoebe was born we decided we’d try and go swimming once every couple of weeks. Neither me or wifey were confident in the water as kids and wanted to make sure Phoebe was comfortable in a pool.
It’s worth waiting until at least the first round of jabs is out of the way so your little one has at least some immunity against the big wide world. We took Phoebe for the first time at 3 months old. Obviously you can’t just throw your baby in the water and hope she doesn’t sink, and armbands look a bit ridiculous on tiny babies too. After a short hunt on Amazon we found a product that we would definitely recommend – Zoggs Trainer Seat. There are a number of cheaper trainer seats but they often have scratchy or sharper edges where your baby will sit, so it’s worth spending a few more pounds to get a decent one. It’s a bit of a bugger to blow up, so make sure you’ve plenty puff. There’s multiple inflation points so it’s a bit more involved than blowing up a set of armbands. Nevertheless, it’s easy enough to get up and running, plop your baby in and off she goes. You’ll also want to make sure you’ve got some Swimming Nappies which are designed to catch solids (liquids just run out, but we’ve all peed in a pool at some point in our lives). We used Huggies Little Swimmers which are cheap enough and do the job just fine.
We phoned the pool before we went to check times and went early doors. We only had to share the pool with one other couple which was great to do the little introduction to swimming. The pool staff recommend only staying in about 20 minutes for the first few sessions so that Phoebe wasn’t exposed to chlorine for too long. If you are in West Yorkshire, Brighouse Pool is lovely. New facilities and very clean too. At around £9 for two adults and a teeny one, it’s also a cheap morning out. Don’t forget a quid for a locker. Whichever pool you go to, ensure it is heated. It’s handy if they’ve got a separate training/small pool too so you can be well away from the serious swimmers.
One problem we quickly came up against was spick (if you don’t know what that is, read my first ever post!). When this appears from nowhere, for no reason, in the middle of a swimming pool you suddenly find yourself with limited options. You can either:
- Catch it in your hand and quickly exit the pool to deal with it or
- Mix it in the water (it soon disappears. Seriously, seems gross, but a quick Google shows plenty other mums and dads doing the same thing, and after all, that’s what chlorine is for!)
We became savvy to this for the second visit and wifey stuffed a few baby wipes down her swimming costume which came in handy. Just make sure you don’t lose them ladies otherwise they’ll float off and the lifeguard probably won’t thank you for it.
The first few swimming visits will tire out your baby. We spent 20 minutes in the pool – plus changing time – and Phoebe slept like a log for a few hours and was pretty out of it for most of the day. The proof is in the pudding, no difficult working out which is the before and after shot!
In summary, swimming is great and the earlier you introduce your baby to pools the more confident they’ll be