Today we took our Little Man swimming for the first time. He’s 7.5 months old and we’ve wanted to take him since he was 4 months old but things have just gotten in the way.
We decided to take LM swimming together so that neither my husband or I missed out on this milestone. It also meant that we were able to support each other.
We chose GL1 leisure centre (Aspire trust) as it’s close to home, and recommended on Mumsnet Here. It has a buggy Park to leave your buggy and family changing rooms. There are also 4 pools to choose from.
We chose a reusable swimming nappy from oBambino Mio and it was just the ticket – we put some swim shorts on top just to be doubly safe.
When we got into the pool we took it in turns to hold LM, dipping him in the water and swooshing him around. We encouraged him to splash but he was more interested in smiling at everyone.
LM enjoyed the experience, but he did shiver a little. He got a little overwhelmed when a toddler splashed him massively, bit, overall he was brilliant.
The pool was meant to be 32 degrees, but it felt cooler than that. We stayed in the pool for around 10 minutes before getting out and getting dried. We took it in turns to get changed. While hubby got changed I changed LM then hubby played with LM while I got changed.
Tips for taking baby swimming for the first time:
1. Be prepared – make sure you know the pool times, when it’s likely to be busy and any additional rules. Our pool doesn’t let you wear shoes in the changing room and will make you wait in the changing area if it’s too busy in the pool.
2. Pack everything you need in an organised way so you can find it! You’ll need all the usual changing bag stuff plus: swimming nappies, a hooded towel, toys, bottles or snacks, a pushchair lock.
3. Have a plan of how to get baby ready while you get ready too – a second adult here is ace!
4. Start off with a 10-15 minute session – we hope to build up from there.
5. Try to go when it isn’t too busy – it’s less likely Baby will be overwhelmed.