We all want to do the best for our babies and teaching them to swim and encouraging water confidence is right up there on the list of important things to do. Not to mention you can’t wait to watch your gorgeous, giggling new-born splash around in their cute little swim outfit whilst you look on proudly.
Without wishing to burst any pre (or post) birth baby bliss bubbles. As you’ve probably realised by now, there is often a stark contrast (massive chasm) between our pre-birth ideals and the realities of those hit by a train, leaving the house takes more planning than a moon visit first few months as a new mum. So here are my five top tips for enjoying (surviving) taking your baby for their first swim.
Wait till your baby’s ready
NHS guidelines state swimming is ok for babies at any time regardless of if they’ve had vaccinations. Saying this, it all depends on what’s right for your baby. Some babies pop into this world very alert and able to support their own head almost straight away. Others barely open their eyes and have as much muscle control as a slinky on a night out. You know your baby better than anyone, make sure your baby is developed enough to enjoy the experience.
Timing is everything
Eat, sleep, miniscule window of opportunity to do things, repeat! We know that routine is important and to avoid an overtired, hungry baby at all costs. So plan your visit around baby’s happy time. Of course this may not always be possible if you prefer a dedicated baby session. Shout out to mums that haven’t quite managed the timing conundrum and end up sat naked, shivering on a cubicle floor providing that all important booby juice.
Swim nappies don’t absorb water – who knew!?! Obvious when you think about it, as no baby wants to be carrying the contents of the swimming pool back to the changing room. So this is one time where preparation is not key! You may put your swimming costume on before you leave the house. Don’t do it for your baby.
Back to point 2 timing is everything. Quick to put on, quick to take off – enough said. Baby swim costumes are the cutest. But equally there’s no need. It’s perfectly fine for a baby to enter the pool in just a swim nappy and lots of people do it. If you take your baby to a baby swim sessions in a learner pools the water is usually warmer than in the main pool so you don’t need to worry about them getting cold.
Do it again
The first time is always the trickiest, but don’t be put off. Each time you go it gets a little bit easier and more enjoyable. Time between feeding and naps gets longer and you’ll develop your own routine. Before you know it your bundle of joy will be jumping off the side and ducking underwater un aided and you can safely put a tick in one of the “important things to do for my child” boxes.
Click here for more information on baby swimming opportunities at Bramcote and Kimberley Leisure Centre
Happy swimming, Emily, Business Development Manager, L Leisure