What to take for your baby’s next swim
What do babies really need for swimming? And what can you bring along that will reduce the stress factor by 1000%? We asked the real experts (parents like you) to tell us all the stuff you need, and none of the stuff you don’t.
Don’t forget to pack a baby wetsuit
Sounds obvious, but don’t forget to bring swimming clothes for your baby to wear. In a warm pool you can opt for a mini swimsuit or costume, but if you prefer an extra layer, go for a baby wetsuit or rash guard made of neoprene that traps a layer of warm water next to your baby’s skin. A firm favourite with parents was the Swim Cosy from Swim Elite, here.
Pack some spare towels
Hooded towels are great for wrapping and keeping warm as soon as you get out and a spare towel is always a good idea for your baby to lie on, if you have room to pack one. Our parents were recommending the Cuddledry Hands-free towel.
Swim nappies are essential
Huggies® Little Swimmers® are perfect for pool visits until your child is potty trained. They’re specially designed to be used in water, with guard leaks that protect against accidents and, most importantly, don’t swell in water (like normal nappies do). They help keep your baby safe through not taking on water, as well as enabling maximum movement. And don’t forget the regular nappies, Huggies® Baby Wipes and cream for afterwards.
An inflatable ring
If you can bring a swimming aid, do. It’s useful to give your arms a break and your baby a taste of independence in the water. There are loads to choose from – floats, armbands, inflatable swim seats, swim rings and water slings. Did you know that babies automatically open their eyes under water? So, goggles aren’t necessary – one less thing to remember. A popular choice was this baby swim float from JoJo Maman Bebe.
Extra clothes, just in case
Always bring another set of clothes in case things get wet, including some layers for keeping warm post-swim. If your baby is tiny, a hat is a good idea as babies lose heat through their heads.
Tons of snacks
Your baby will be ravenous as soon as you get out, so bring drinks and snacks they can hold themselves like bananas and rice cakes to keep them occupied and happy while you’re drying them/yourself. If your baby isn’t on solids yet, they’ll be ready for a feed immediately so sound out the facilities before you go in and get ready for a quick change.
A bath toy
Pick a favourite (small) bath toy to pack to offer some familiarity, reassurance and fun in the pool. It’s a good distraction for babies that might not feel so relaxed.
Coins for lockers
Before you leave home check that you have enough change for two lockers in-case they are unrealistically small for baby bags and coats.
Your own stuff!
Don’t forget yourself. Packed or wearing your swimming costume? Easy to remove clothes? Got your own towel and some spare pants? And breathe. You’re good to go.