Taking your baby swimming for the first time

With the warmest months of year sneaking up on us mixed in with the April Avurudu holidays, you may be planning a family trip or two with your baby or toddler in tow. As a child, splashing about and chasing waves can be a very joyful and memorable experience which makes a trip to the pool or beach a great idea!

However, if you are parents of a baby or toddler, there are a number of precautions that must be taken before heading to the water and even after. Read on for a few tips on how to introduce your baby to water the safe and fun way!

Show your baby that water is fun

Before taking your baby or toddler to the pool or ocean, get him/her used to playing in water by making bath time a fun experience. Getting into the bathtub with your toddler and getting them to experience the senses of water noises and splashing will help make the transition from bathtub to pool or ocean much smoother. Learning to swim from an early age has proven benefits for the heart and lungs so get them in the water when they are young!

Timing is everything

With infants and toddlers, we all know that tired equals cranky. Make sure your baby is well rested and properly fed before taking them to the pool or ocean in order to avoid tantrums and crying.

Check the temperature

Babies and toddlers are much more sensitive to temperature than adults are, therefore its important to test the waters, literally! Before getting in a pool, always check the temperature of the water to ensure that it’s suited for younger children. The water should never be too hot or too cold.

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

Before heading to the beach or pool, make sure to pack a bag with everything you need to keep your baby comfortable and happy, pre and post swim.

  • A towel: A warm thick towel, or hooded towel will help keep the baby dry and warm after a swim.
  • Diaper bag: Include plenty of diapers for an emergency along with a changing mat.
  • Baby soap: The pool and the ocean can contain a lot of bacteria, therefore it’s important to wash your baby or toddler right after their swim with a mild cleanser such as the Rebecca Lee Floral Soap.
  • Lotion: Baby skin is very sensitive and tends to get dry very frequently, especially after being in water. After a swim, a bath must be immediately followed by a gentle lotion such as the RL Floral Cream to keep your baby's skin moisturized throughout the day.
  • A sun hat can help protect your baby against direct sunlight.
  • Snacks and water
  • Pool toys   

 Keep them close

Since a pool or the ocean can be much more overwhelming than a bathtub, it is only natural that a baby will cling onto you when he/she is first submerged in water. Your baby may cry for a bit because they are scared and nervous but the reassurance of you being nearby along with skin to skin contact will help them feel safe and confident overtime.

Ease your baby into the water

Be as gentle as you can when you are introducing your baby to the pool or ocean. Slowly carry your baby into the water while holding them  in a sitting position against your chest, support their bottom with one hand and his/her neck with your other hand.