Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Time for a Swim

As a former lifeguard & swim instructor I think swimming is really important.  I also think that the earlier you get kids into the pool the better.   I know some people may disagree with me and I'm by no means an expert.  I do know that my boys love the water even though we don't go swimming as much as we should.  Tavish was 6 weeks old the first time I took him swimming.  He lasted about 7 minutes or so before he started to get cold but he really seamed to enjoy it.  I started to take him every few weeks and even took him to a diaper fit class ( an aquafit class for moms with babies in boats - wish they had it here).  To this day he loves swimming, jumping in the water, blowing bubbles and won't cry when I stick his head under the water (I did that early too around 6 months or so).

Tavish's First Time Swimming

Now Callen loves the water even more so than Tavish did, bath times are when he gives his biggest smiles.  With two kids it's not as easy to go swimming but when my parents were visiting we took Callen for the first time.  He LOVED it.  He could have stayed in the water for hours.  I have to say I'm looking forward to this summer while I have 2 pools within walking distance so he'll catch up on his swimming then.

Callen First Time Swimming 
(sorry about the bad quality, it was really humid in the pool)

Tavish having fun

Tips for taking babies swimming
-keep babies warm (a onesie is a good to have under the swimsuit)
-don't plan on staying long - depending on the water temperature and the baby's temperament, a baby may only like the water for a few minutes
-take bath times as a cue for when a baby is ready for swimming.  If your baby hates a bath then they will most likely hate the swimming pool; wait until they like a bath before you take them to the pool
-go as often as you can and find a friend to go with you as it makes it more sociable for both you and your baby
-go when the pool is not busy - during the week in my experience tends to be much quieter than on the weekend, during the day when kids are in school is the best
-make swimming fun, sing songs, bring toys
-swim diapers are a must and they usually need to be combined with a swimsuit (many pools don't allow a baby in just a swim diaper), I prefer cloth swim diapers but I also prefer cloth diapers but there are many disposable swim diapers too

You should not be nervous about taking your child swimming, think of it as a giant bath.  If you need help just ask a lifeguard or take a swimming class.  Taking babies swimming not only is it fun but it will make learning to swim much more enjoyable for the child, the parents and the lifeguard (there is nothing worse than teaching a kid to swim who won't get into the pool) .

Tavish at swimming lesson in the summer


  1. I can't wait until summer rolls around and I can take advantage of the kiddie pool across the street; which kind of cloth swim diaper would you recommend?

  2. We use Monkey Doodlez ones but they are from Canada and http://www.monkeydoodlez.com/retailers/ has all the retailers in the USA. There is a place in Maryland that sells them. I also have some from Sears that work well too but I also bought those in Canada. I've never tried any other brand.