In fact every day brings a first of one sort or another! But one of the most fun and exciting for you and baby, is the first dip in a swimming pool.
There are so many benefits for baby from getting into the pool at an early age, and according to the NHS Choices website, there’s no minimum age to get baby started. From improved coordination and balance, to good physical strength and general baby confidence, there’s a long list of reasons for getting in the pool as soon as you feel ready.
But one of the main reasons must be the bonding experience of being in the water with your little one. Holding her close, watching her respond to the warm water and the other sights and sounds all around, keeping her safe and stable as she splashes around – it’s a wonderful thing to share. But as with all baby outings, preparation is the key to success!
Here are our 5 tips to ensure your pool trip goes swimmingly:
- Baby swim club or do it yourself? Many parents like the structure and socialising aspects of baby swim clubs, whilst others love the opportunity to just be with baby by themselves in the pool. Check with your local pool to see how they’re set up for swim clubs.
- Make a list of all the things you’ll need to take to the pool. It’ll be a long list! The first outings always feel a bit like a military exercise, but the planning really pays off in the long run.
- The rules for nappy types vary from pool to pool. It’s generally required that baby wears some type of swim nappy, plus a pair of waterproof pants over the top. Check with your local pool.
- Going by yourself or with a partner? If you’re going by yourself, allow more time to get in and out of the pool so you don’t feel rushed, especially coming out of the pool. The calmer you are, the happier baby will be, and the better his associations of being in the pool will be.
- The first few dips in the pool for baby are likely to be fairly short, beginning at 10-15 minutes, then gradually building up. It may seem like a lot of trouble for a very short amount of time in the pool, but the benefits to baby make it all very worthwhile.
Ready to take the plunge? You’ll be glad you did, and you could be starting a habit that baby will love for years to come!