Baby Swimming Tips from Real Parents
Did you know this week is National Baby Swimning Week? Run by the wonderfulWater Babies, this week aims to spread awareness and education to parents on the amazing benefits of swimming. We're huge advocates for swimming lessons here at Cuddledry HQ- its a valuable life skill that all children should be taught wherever possible. Over the years we've realised that the problem for lots of families though, is that the prospect of swimming with baby can be just as daunting as bathtime! With this in mind, we thought we'd share some baby swimming tips from real parents on Instagram for those of you yet to take the plunge (excuse the pun!) with baby swimming lessons. Let us know in the comments if you have any to add, or get in touch over and Facebook or Instagram.
Make it fun
One of the main concerns lots of parents have when it comes to baby swimming is what to do if they don't actually enjoy being in the water. This is very common at first, so don't panic! You can actually help to prepare your baby for swimming lessons at bathtime- read this post for more ideas and information. It's a good idea is to bring familiar bath toys with you to the pool- a tip shared by @ccgreen.1106, @holly.caplin and @cassmilts who says, "I always take a few of my daughter's bath toys!". Our Cuddleduck makes a perfect swimming buddy!
The key is to make the whole experience fun. @juicylucy1988 says, “Keep smiling at baby and praising them, if they sense you’re anxious they pick up on it”- another great tip, especially if you're feeling nervous.
Keep it short
Another good tip is to keep the whole experience short and sweet, especially if you and baby are brand new to it all. One huge reason why we suggest shorter swim sessions is because your baby can actually get cold really quickly in the water. To combat this, @themumclubleamingtonspa recommends dressing baby in a wetsuit over their swimming costume, and @gemfullerbino's tip is to head to a hydro pool, as they're usually a lot warmer than normal public pools. That said, babies do tend to get cold faster than you, so we love @whatalanadid's tip: "Always get out while baby is still warm. Don’t wait until they start getting cold!”
Make getting out easier
Once you're out of the water, then comes the challenge of getting dressed. Probably the worst part about it all! But our parents have some fantastic tips to make it as painless possible...
@jj_forster says that the "best advice I read was wrap up baby and dry yourself first. Save dripping over baby” and @Rebeccabazire agrees, advising that getting dressed yourself first is always the best plan of action. @followingfrankly also recommends packing a jumpsuit or onesie for baby too, so that you can dress them as quickly as possible once you're ready.
Baby not warm enough while you're dressing? @kreilly29x and @anotina04 both shared the genius tip of taking a small hot water bottle with you to stash inside baby's towel, to keep it nice and toasty for a gorgeous post-swim cuddle. Such a great tip!
Tips for toddlers
So, what about older babies and toddlers? Hopefully if they started lessons early enough they'll be happy in the water, but the changing rooms can be a different story! @busywoman_sw recommends always taking a snack to keep them occupied while you get dressed, and @beckyshaw_xo says, "Take a float- helps in the pool and doubles up somewhere for them to sit with snacks!” and adds that loses clothing for both you and your little one will help with speedier dressing too.
@mrswildexx also has a great tip for parents with toddlers: "Dress yourself first post swim, your toddler will enjoy the naked time and you’ll be drip free to dress them.”- so true! And a tip from us: use a Cuddletwist for toddlers with longer hair, to stop it dripping down their back! Our super soft bamboo hooded toddler towels are also great for post-swimming- pop it over the head, fasten under the chin and let them go!
Tips for you
So we've covered keeping baby warm during and after the swim, but what about you? When babies are really tiny, its not always easy to carry out all the best intended snippets of advice and things can escalate quite quickly. If you can't manage to get dressed before baby, @Sophiegreenacre recommends taking a dressing gown so that you can at least stay warm and covered up while you deal with them, adding that the dressing gown is "also good for when a breastfed baby inevitably wants a feed in the changing room” - very wise words!
Enjoy the experience
Before we wrap it up, we wanted to share a few last tips that our lovely parents gave us. It might seem obvious, but @abbeymossxx recommends always taking your towel to the poolside, @lauramariiex cautions against putting the swim nappy on baby before you get to the pool (she has had the soaked car seat to prove that this is an essential tip!)
And while @kanebulmanf jokingly advises "Make it a special Daddy-baby thing and catch upon Netflix/ sleep!", we wanted to leave you with this beautiful gem from @courtmccombe, who says, "My LO just loved being in mummy’s arms in the water- you’re their safe place”.