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What Do You Need When Swimming with Babies?

What Do You Need When Swimming with Babies?
30 September 2014 1416 Views No comments

Swimming with your child is becoming increasingly popular, no matter how young they are. Even newborn babies can benefit from a bit of time in the water, and you will be surprised at how much fun they will have splashing around in the shallow end!

However, if you are going in the water with a baby or toddler, you will have a few more things to take into consideration than when you take older children swimming. This is the same with every aspect of a baby's life, but every parent will agree that it is worth it.

Before you take your baby swimming for the first time, you should make a checklist of everything you are going to need. Sometimes this might involve specialist equipment, although often you will be able to manage with your usual gear.

You should be able to modify this list as you get used to swimming with your baby and gain a better understanding of what they will need. For example, there is no point packing an entire holdall full of special baby swimming gear if you are going along for a half-hour lesson. On the other hand, long swimming sessions will need the appropriate kit.

If you have never gone swimming with a baby or toddler before, deciding what to take can be frustrating. Luckily, here is a guide to the different things you will need to take into consideration.

Changing

Let's get the elephant in the room out of the way first: babies require changing, and they are not usually considerate about when they go to the toilet. You definitely don't want to be the parent whose child has an 'accident' within minutes of getting into the pool! Equally, you don't want to have to go home as soon as your child fills their nappy.

You also need to think about the hygiene of your baby, as well as the other swimmers in the pool. The thought of this is fairly unpleasant, but there is a solution. All you need is a nappy that will keep your baby – and those around them – safe from any accidents that might occur.

The Konfidence AquaNappy is one way to make sure that your child is hygienically safe and sound in the water. The nappy features layers of polyester, recycled PVC and a soft inner mesh, ensuring it is sealed against the water. An adjustable Velcro sash secures it in place, along with a few poppers.

Of course, sometimes you will need an extra layer on top of the AquaNappy. This might be because you want to be extra careful, or because you are taking your child to a swimming class that has a policy of making participants wear two nappies (as many of them do).

If you are using the AquaNappy, the best combination is the NeoNappy. The two products are designed to be used with each other, so they will be especially good at preventing leaks. The NeoNappy goes over the AquaNappy to form a double layer for extra protection from leaks, while ensuring that your baby is as comfortable as possible in the water.

You will also need to think about how you will change your baby's nappy if you need to in the middle of a swimming session. Every pool should have baby changing facilities, but you might want to make things more comfortable and hygienic for your child by bringing a mat along. This prevents them from having to be changed on hard plastic or wood.

Make sure that you have all the basics as well. Wipes, talc, cream and a distraction for your child, like a rattle or their favourite toy, might all end up in your bag when you go to the swimming baths. If you have a high-quality nappy then you might not need any of this, but you should still take it along just in case.

Buoyancy

Babies love to swim, or at least splash around in the water. However, that doesn't mean that you can just throw them in there and hope. You will need to teach your child how to swim, and do so in a way that eases them into it gently so that they don't end up losing confidence and becoming afraid of the water in later life.

For especially young children, you won't be able to talk to them to help them swim. Instead, you will need to start off by holding them afloat. When they are able to swim a little bit on their own, you might consider letting them go, but usually it is hard to gauge when to do this.

One way to help them get used to swimming without needing to worry about them sinking is to get them a buoyancy aid. These usually come in the form of floats that your child can hold on to, but this will not be all that effective if your child is especially young, as they won't understand what they need to do.

Instead, the Konfidence Floatsuit is a good investment for children aged one and up. This is exactly as it sounds: a swimsuit with a ring of floats around it, to keep your child above the water while still giving them the freedom to swim on their own.

This is an excellent investment for a number of reasons, one of which is the fact that the floats are removable. This means that you can adjust the suit for how good your child is in the water. If they are able to pretty much swim on their own, for example, but still need a bit of help, you could give them one or two floats to add that extra boost to their buoyancy.

Warmth

Finally, you will need to make sure that your child is nice and warm. Babies and toddlers can end up getting quite cold in the water and may be too young to properly tell you what it is they need. This is especially true of their hands and feet, which can become numb and painful if they get too cold.

It might seem like there is nothing you can do about this, but you could invest in a pair of Paddlers. These baby swimming socks can protect your child's feet from the cold, especially during baby swimming lessons, as the neoprene keeps their toes wrapped up warm without hindering their movement in the water.

Swimming socks like this are usually a good idea, as they have a number of other benefits as well. On toddlers, for example, they help to stop them from slipping on the side of the pool if they are able to walk around. They also protect your child against infection while in the pool.

You should check your child's hands and feet every so often, especially if they have been in the water for a while, or start crying for no discernible reason. You should be able to feel if they are cold, or even see that they are paler than the rest of the body. If so, it might be time to take them out.

This should provide you with all you need to have a safe and fun swim with your child. Make sure you have everything before every swim, adding and removing items from your list when you feel the need to, and you should be able to have a great time at the pool!